Swing Stage OSHA Requirements

July 11, 2008

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OSHA requirements for swing stage scaffolding is meant to ensure the safety of the workers both on the scaffolding platform and on the ground. Every year, hundreds, perhaps thousands of workers risk injury on jury-rigged or otherwise inadequate work platforms. Here is a brief summary of the requirements for the materials and construction of a swing stage.

Swing Stage Load Bearing Requirements

Scaffold components must be able to bear up to their own weight plus at least four times their maximum allowable load. Although the components must be a little over-built to meet the OSHA specs, the maximum load should not be exceeded. The extra load capacity is meant as a safety cushion during operation.

Suspension ropes and cables have even more stringent load bearing requirements. They must be able to support at least six times the force generated by the scaffold platform and components operating at either the maximum rated load of the platform or at least double the stall load* of the hoist, whichever is greater.

The outriggers, cornice hooks and other anchoring components of a swing stage scaffolding system must be attached to surfaces which are able to bear at least four times the weight of the maximum rated load of the swing stage or one and a half times the stall load of the hoist, which ever is greater.

*Side note: The stall load of a hoist is the amount of load that causes an motorized hoist to stall or disconnect its power supply.

Coming Up: More Swing Stage OSHA Requirements

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