Exterior scaffolding Safety Guidelines

The product or assembly variants shown in these instructions for assembly and use may be subject to local regulations. The product user bears the responsibility for compliance with such regulations, if there is a conflict between this guidelines and the local regulations, local regulations shall supersede these guidelines.


A scaffold must be erected, altered, and dismantled by qualified workers or under the direct supervision of a qualified person. The qualified person must ensure that the erection is carried out properly, and that the correct components and materials are being used. All equipment must be inspected before use to ensure that it is in good repair and suitable for the intended use.

The base must be firm and level enough to support the load of scaffolding, workers, and materials. Sills and base plates are required on any soil or unstable ground condition, or where any levelling adjustment is needed. The sill must be sound, rigid, and capable of supporting the maximum loads without settlement or deformation.

Leveling jack base must be adjusted within the limits specified by the local regulation.

The frames must be plumb and level and spaced to adequately support the loads.

If uplift could cause the components to separate, locking pins must be used and the components secured. Uplift might be caused by the action of wind on a secured deck or by the leverage action of a cantilever side bracket on the scaffolding. All joints must be pinned on rolling scaffoldings and free-standing towers.

With a rolling scaffolding or free-standing tower, the platform height must not exceed three times its smallest base dimension (3 to 1 rule).

A scaffolding built above the 3 to 1 rule must be effectively guyed or secured to a building or structure to prevent overturning. The guying of a scaffolding may require the direction of a professional engineer.

Guardrails must be installed on all open sides of the platform where a person could fall a distance of 10 ft. or more. The top rail must be placed 40-44 in. above the work surface. An intermediate rail must be placed halfway between the top rail and the toeboard, if one is provided, or halfway between the top rail and the work surface if no toeboard is provided.

Toeboards must be installed on all the open sides of a platform where it is possible for tools and or materials to roll off. The top of the toeboard must be at least 4 in. above the platform. If loose materials are to be stacked above the height of the toeboard, then the toeboard must be increased in height or mesh panels must be installed to prevent materials from falling off the scaffolding.


What will the scaffolding be used for? For example, light duty (one or two workers; painting a wall), or heavy duty (several tradespersons, with large and heavy materials on the platform)?

How high will the scaffolding be? Will it be erected in one operation or as the work progresses?

Is the ground firm? Can it support the loads from the scaffolding, workers, and materials on it?

Will the scaffolding need to be tied in? How will this be done? Will the ties be moved as the work progresses?

Is the scaffolding likely to be covered or enclosed as a protection against the elements? Is there provision for adding additional ties to the adjoining structure?

What will be the method of access and egress? For example, a sloping ladder, vertical ladder, built-in stairway, or direct from the floors of the building structure?

On a multi-level scaffolding, how many levels will be loaded with materials at one time? Will an engineer be required to make the calculations for the total anticipated loading and possibly design the scaffolding and the sills?

If a rolling scaffolding is required, consider ground surface, height restriction (3 to 1 rule) hazards when moving (such as power lines, projections from the building, and potholes).



Sills: suitable size and strength for the loads. Not split or rotten.

Frames: no cracks in the welded joints. No kinks or dents in the top or bottom cross-members. Legs plumb and square with the cross-members. Brace locks in good working order. Coupling pins in place and secured to the frame.

Cross braces and diagonal braces: straight with no bent ends. Pivot connection in good working order. No excessive rust.

All aluminium or with plywood deck platforms: not mis-shaped or cracked. Locks working. All bolts and screws in place. No burns or broken ends. If upper surface has non-skid coating, no rot or plywood separation on underside.

Side or end brackets: hook-on attachment not distorted. No cracks in welds. No dents, kinks, or any signs of abuse.

Guardrails: straight, with no kinks, dents, or excessive rust.

Casters: same size and from same manufacturer. Wheel rotates well and the swivel below the stem is working. Brake mechanism works properly. Wheel tread has no damage.

Leveling jacks: no cracks in weld where leveling jack is attached to the top of the caster. No thread damage. No curling or warping of the base plate. Adjusting nut is a tight fit.

Other equipment: inspect any other equipment in the frame structure. Damaged equipment should be tagged and marked as not fit for use. Inform the supervisor so that others do not use it.