OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 23 Scaffolds and Temporary Work Platforms

Section 345 Workers on swingstage scaffolds

Subsections 345(1) to 345(3)

Ropes i.e. life safety ropes (vertical lifelines) that extend to the ground or a landing must be secured to prevent them from getting entangled in equipment or vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Figure 23.24 shows examples of how this might be done.

Figure 23.24 Examples of how to secure ropes

Maintaining the stage level within the specified 10 percent limit helps to prevent workers from falling, materials from upsetting, and rigging from being subjected to excessive wear.

Workers must remain between the swingstage’s stirrups for their personal safety and to prevent the possibility of the stage becoming unstable. Stirrups are the main support brackets located at each end of the stage and onto which the hoisting devices are normally attached. They are also commonly known as suspension brackets.

Workers must not bridge the distance between two or more scaffolds with planks or similar connecting materials. This prohibition is consistent with subsection 344(7). Figure 23.25 shows what bridging scaffolds means.

Figure 23.25 Bridging between two or more scaffolds is not permitted

Subsections 345(4) and 345(5)

Workers working from a suspended scaffold must be protected from falling. Two cables suspend most swingstage scaffolds, one at either end of the scaffold. However, other swingstage scaffolds are available with two suspension cables at each end, a primary and a secondary suspension cable.

The Canadian Standards Association (CSA), in clause 5.3.4 of CSA standard Z91-02, Health and Safety Code for Suspended Equipment Operations and clause of CSA standard Z271-98, Safety Code for Suspended Elevating Platforms, recognizes the use of swingstages in which the failure of one suspension rope will not substantially alter the position of the suspended swingstage. This type of swingstage has primary and secondary suspension lines at each end of the swingstage.

With this type of swingstage, CSA states that a worker’s personal fall arrest system can be attached to a horizontal lifeline or anchorage on the swingstage itself, rather than the traditional approach in which workers are attached to a vertical lifeline secured to an anchorage integral to the structure from which the swingstage is suspended.

Subsection 345(5) now recognizes this situation.