What Are The Safety Rules For Rolling Scaffolds?

Window washers, painters, carpenters, maintenance workers, building restoration crews, masons, and other contract construction work all use rolling scaffolds from job to job, and knowing how to use them properly significantly lowers the risk of falls and other hazards. Safety standards for rolling scaffolds in particular are crucial to understand because they are mobile. With any scaffold, inspections are always required prior to using them, during, and after the job is completed.

What is a Rolling Scaffold?

Rolling scaffolds, also called mobile scaffolds, are a type of scaffold supported on wheels. This design lets workers who frequently change position during their work have more maneuverability, resulting in more time efficiency at each job. The most common rolling scaffold is a single bay scaffold tower supported with castors, which are constructed using modular type, fabricated frame or tube, and coupler scaffolds. Narrow frame scaffolds are often used as rolling scaffolds, which also are designed for mobility.

Standards for Rolling Scaffolds

Because rolling scaffolds offer more mobility than other types of scaffolds, each comes with their own set of safety standards. Companies that use mobile scaffolds should prioritize OSHA mobile scaffold fall protections for their workers. Remember to always inspect your mobile scaffold prior to use, during the job, and after. Any damaged parts of the scaffold should immediately be replaced to avoid any problems in the future.

Important scaffolding practices:

  • Secure or cleat planks
  • Ensure the mobile scaffold’s height is no greater than four times the minimum base width
  • Secure access ladders
  • Brace rolling scaffolds with cross braces, horizontal or diagonal braces, or a combination of both
  • Push at the base of the rolling scaffold when moving 
  • Prevent rolling scaffolds joint’s from separating
  • Ensure proper guardrails are present on the scaffold’s platform
  • Install outriggers to increase the base’s dimensions
  • When any modifications are made, inspect before and after every use
  • Ensure all workers understand all safety protocols when erecting and using rolling scaffolds
  • Make sure every castor or wheel has brakes to avoid swiveling or rolling
  • Assemble the scaffold according to manufacturer’s instructions
  • Use built-in access ladders to reach the platform
  • Provide accessible methods to enter and exit the scaffolding safely
  • Ensure the castor brakes are locked prior to climbing the scaffold
  • Secure or remove all equipment, workers, and materials from the platform before moving 
  • Only move the rolling scaffold on level, hard ground surfaces, free of obstructions or holes
  • Follow OSHA’s regulations for scaffold height requirements
  • Refer to your jurisdiction’s occupational health and safety regulations to determine if fall arrest systems are needed. If they are necessary, ensure employees are appropriately trained before using them.

Moving a Rolling Scaffold

While rolling scaffolds are made for easy movement, that ease comes with potential hazards if moved incorrectly. OSHA requires each castor to have a brake to ensure safety for employees. Rolling scaffolds typically have wheels with positive wheel locks, wheel and swivel locks, or an equivalent to prevent sudden or unwanted movement.

When moving a mobile scaffold, apply physical force as close to the base of the scaffold, no more than five feet above the support surface. To prevent the scaffold from tipping over, stabilize the scaffold before moving in any direction.

There are certain conditions and requirements to be met when riding on a rolling scaffolding, and workers should follow OSHA standards in regards to moving employees on moving scaffolds. 

An employee should not ride on scaffolds unless:

  • The surface under the scaffold is
    1. Within three degrees of level

2. Free of any holes or obstructions

  • The height to base width ratio is 2:1 or less during movement, unless the scaffold is specifically designed and made to meet stability test requirements
  • Outrigger frames are installed on both sides
  • When power systems are used and the propelling force is directly applied to the wheels, and does not produce speed over one foot per second
  • No employee is on a part of the scaffold that extends further than the wheels or other supports

Each employee should be aware if the scaffolding is being moved, as moving the scaffold with someone unaware can be detrimental and cause them to fall.

Scaffold Rentals in the Rio Grande Valley 

At Elephant Construction Solutions, we provide exceptional service and rentals in the Rio Grande Valley. If you’re a company in need of equipment, a contractor needing high-quality tools, or a DIY enthusiast with a taste for your own remodel, we’re here to provide you with what you need to get the job done.

Reach out to us at Elephant Construction Solutions to get a free quote to rent any power tools or machinery you may need for your next job or project. From something as simple as a lawnmower, to something as important as scaffolding, or as powerful as a power generator, we have the best in high quality products you are looking for.


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