This information is provided free of charge by the Department of Industrial Relations from its web site at www.dir.ca.gov. These regulations are for the convenience of the user and no representation or warranty is made that the information is current or accurate. See full disclaimer at http://www.dir.ca.gov/od_pub/disclaimer.html.


Subchapter 4. Construction Safety Orders
Article 22. Scaffolds--Various Types

Return to index
New query

§1640. Light-Duty Wooden Pole Scaffolds.

  


(a) Pole scaffolds to be used by carpenters, lathers, shinglers, painters, plasterers, sheet metal workers, or other trades not using heavy tools or storing heavy materials on the scaffolds, shall be constructed as follows:

(See Plate B-18, Appendix)

(b) Light-Duty Exterior Scaffolds.

 (1) Uprights. For heights not to exceed 20 feet, the uprights shall be 2-inch by 4-inch lumber or heavier, spaced not more than 3 feet between uprights at right angles to the wall and not more than 10 feet center to center, parallel to the wall. The inside uprights may be omitted and ledgers attached to the permanent structure, provided that the method of attaching the ledgers to the permanent structure will make the connection as secure as though the ledger were nailed to the upright with 5 8-penny nails. The splices of uprights shall be made with square butt joints, and scabs of 1-inch by 4-inch or heavier material at least 48 inches long shall be nailed on 2 sides of each upright with 6 nails in each 1/2 of each scab. If the uprights of the scaffold rest on a surface that might cause slipping, a continuous sill or other means shall be provided to hold the uprights in place. When the scaffold is resting on earth or other such material, the uprights shall rest on and be secured to the equivalent of a 2-inch by 10-inch by 10-inch wooden base. Note:1 1/8-inch by 10-inch by 10-inch piece of exterior grade plywood may be used in lieu of the wooden base mentioned above. 


 (2) Ledgers and Ribbons. The platforms of the scaffold shall be supported by ledgers. For ledgers spanning not more than 3 feet between uprights, use 2 pieces of 1-inch by 6-inch board, 1 being on each side of the uprights and fastened securely at each point of support. Single 2-inch by 4-inch ledgers are not permitted. Vertical spacing of ribbons and ledgers shall not exceed 7 feet. The ribbons shall be 1-inch by 6-inch or heavier material, placed on the outer uprights, directly under, and in contact with, the ledgers. The ribbons shall be long enough to extend from upright to upright without splices. Exceptions: 1. When metal ledgers are used or when ledgers are bolted or when a 45-degree angle brace is nailed to the uprights between double ledgers, and ledgers also nailed to this brace, the ribbon may be placed at other elevations such as guardrail height, but they cannot be eliminated from the scaffold. 2. Metal ledgers and ribbons that are part of a patented scaffold system may be used when installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. 


 (3) Ties and Braces. The scaffold shall be securely tied to the building or structure by means of a double looped No. 12 iron wire, or single looped No. 10 iron wire or 1-inch by 4-inch boards with at least 2 nails at each connection or equivalent means. Ties shall connect to the inside uprights and shall not be more than 20 feet apart horizontally and vertically. The outside line of uprights shall contain sufficient diagonal bracing of 1-inch by 6-inch material in a vertical plane across the entire face of the scaffold in both directions to prevent swaying, tipping, or collapsing. (See Appendix Plate B-18). 


 Exception: Bracing of 2-inch by 4-inch material may be used provided that the bracing extends from ledger to next higher or lower ledger or from ledger to sill in the form of an "X" in the end bays and in every third bay in between so that the "X" bracing also extends from the upper-most ledger to the sill, vertically, in each of these bays. 


 (4) Railing. Open sides and ends of intermediate working levels 7 1/2 feet or more above grade shall be guarded by a 2-inch by 4-inch top rail nailed to the uprights so that the top edge is between 42 inches and 45 inches above the platform. Midrails of at least 2-inch by 4-inch material are required at all work levels. The uppermost platform shall be protected by a top rail consisting of double 2-inch by 4-inch members. One member shall be fastened in a flat position on top of the uprights and the other member shall be fastened in an edge-up position to the inside of the uprights and at the side of the top member. A single 2-inch by 4-inch member having an allowable bending stress of at least 1,900 psi may be used as a top rail. 


 (5) Platforms. 


 (A) Platform planks shall be of 2-inch by 10-inch or larger material and of such length that they overlap the ledgers at each end by at least 6 inches. A plank shall not overlap an unsupported end of another plank. The working platform shall cover the entire space between scaffold uprights, except for the open area under the backrailing, which shall not be more than 8 inches wide. Platforms shall be at least 20 inches wide and within 14 inches of the structure wall. When moving platforms to the next level, the old platform shall be left undisturbed until the new ledgers have been set in place ready to receive the platform planks. 


 Exception: A single 2-inch by 10-inch plank may be used for light trades work up to a height of 4 feet. 


 (B) Working platforms for light-trades work may be made of 3/4-inch Douglas fir plywood instead of 2-inch plank if the platform is at least 2 feet wide, nailed in place and supported on cross members at 4-foot or closer intervals along its length. 


(c) Light-Duty Interior Scaffolds.

 (1) Loading. For scaffolds of the following design, the imposed load on the platform area shall not apply more than 1,500 pounds to any 1 ledger or a single upright, and the total load on the whole platform area shall not average more than 15 pounds per square foot. 


 (2) Uprights. 


 (A) For heights not to exceed 20 feet the uprights shall be 2-inch by 4-inch lumber, or heavier. For heights between 20 feet and 60 feet, the uprights shall be 3-inch by 4-inch lumber, or heavier, except for the top 20 feet which may be 2-inch by 4-inch material. The horizontal distance between uprights shall not exceed 10 feet measured either parallel or at right angles to the direction of the platform planks. 


 (B) If uprights are spliced, the joints must conform to that described in subsection 1640(b)(1), and they shall be located near a point where ribbons are attached or where equivalent lateral support is provided. Pairs of horizontal ribbons at right angles to one another are required at vertical intervals of 7 feet, or less. 


 (3) Ledgers and Ribbons. The platform of the scaffold shall be supported by ledgers made of one piece of 2-inch by 10-inch or heavier material, placed with the edge upward. The ribbons shall be 1-inch by 6-inch or heavier material, placed on all uprights directly under and in contact with the ledgers. Additional horizontal ribbons, in pairs at right angles to one another, shall be provided at lower levels in order to provide lateral support for all uprights at vertical intervals not greater than 7 feet. 


 (4) Diagonal Braces. Each line of uprights shall contain sufficient diagonal bracing of 1-inch by 6-inch material in vertical planes, lengthwise and crosswise, to prevent swaying, tipping, or collapsing. If the scaffold extends to and bears against the walls of the building, the horizontal ribbons and ledgers may provide adequate support without diagonal braces, but provision must always be made for adequate lateral stability. 


 (5) Platforms. 


 (A) The platform shall consist of 2-inch by 10-inch or larger planks laid closely together. There shall be no other openings in the platform except those necessary for the passage of employees and material. Unless nailed in place, planks shall be of such length that they overlap the ledgers at each end by at least 6 inches. A plank shall not overlap an unsupported end of another plank. 


 (B) Working platforms shall cover the entire space between scaffold uprights, except for the open area under the backrailing which shall not be more than 8 inches. 


 (C) Platforms shall extend within 14 inches of the finished face of the building. 


 (D) Douglas fir plywood that is 3/4 inch thick, or thicker, may be used for platforms if the panels are 4 feet wide, or wider, and are supported on ledgers or crossmembers at 4-foot or closer intervals. 


 (6) Railings. Open sides of working levels 7 1/2 feet or more above grade shall be provided with top rails and midrails as specified in Subsection 1640(b)(4). When scaffold platforms are erected in sections it is necessary for workers to travel between these sections, such sections shall be provided with connecting runways equipped with railings as described in Section 1620. 


    Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.  


 HISTORY 
   
1. Editorial correction in subsection (f)(2)(B) (Register 70, No. 48).

2. Repealer and new section filed 11-14-75; effective thirtieth day thereafter 
(Register 75, No. 46).

3. Amendment filed 3-19-79; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 79, 
No. 12).

4. Amendment filed 7-24-87; operative 8-23-87 (Register 87, No. 33).

5. Amendment of section heading and subsection (b), redesignation and amendment
of former subsection (b)(5)(C) as new subsection (c) and amendment of newly
designated subsection (c)(1) filed 7-11-2003; operative 8-10-2003 (Register
2003, No. 28).