OHS Code Explanation Guide

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

Section 344 Safety on swingstage scaffolds

Failure of the hoisting mechanism of a manually operated swingstage scaffold could cause the scaffold to drop uncontrollably. To prevent this, all manually operated swingstage scaffolds must be equipped with a secondary anti-fall device that connects the scaffold to the suspension rope at a point above the hoisting mechanism.

In case of a mechanical or power failure, workers must be able to safely leave a powered swingstage scaffold. In the case of a building with windows designed to open, or on buildings under construction with access to completed floors, workers may be able to safely leave the stage without the need for any additional or specialized equipment.

However, where workers cannot safely leave the stage as described above, the scaffold must be equipped with a manually operated secondary mechanism – perhaps the power units are capable of being converted to manual operation – or an escape device. The purpose of the secondary mechanism is to permit the stage to be positioned so that workers can safely leave it. The purpose of the escape device is to permit workers to reach a point of safe exit. The escape device cannot be a vertical lifeline used by a worker for fall protection.