OHS Code Explanation Guide

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

Section 326 Tagging requirements

Subsections 326(1) through 326(5)

The tagging of scaffolds following visual inspection is a requirement new to Alberta. The requirement applies to the following types of scaffolds:

(a) bracket scaffold;
(b) double-pole scaffold;
(c) needle-beam scaffold;
(d) outrigger scaffold;
(e) single-pole scaffold;
(f) suspended scaffold; and
(g) swingstage scaffold; and
(h) any similar site-assembled scaffold.

The meaning and colour-coding of scaffold tags is summarized in Table 23.2. Tags need not be solidly coloured – coloured stripes and broken lines are acceptable. When a person looks at the tag, its colour coding must clearly be green, yellow or red.

Table 23.2 Summary of scaffold inspection tag requirements

Colour of Inspection Tag

Wording to Appear on Tag

Green “Safe for Use” or similar wording
Yellow “Caution: Potential or Unusual Hazard” or similar wording
Red “Unsafe for Use” or similar wording

The tags let workers know that a particular scaffold is safe for use, that a potential or unusual hazard is present, or the scaffold is unsafe for use. The yellow tag is required to describe any precautions to be taken while working on the scaffold. A scaffold being modified on a particular level requires a yellow tag. The tag alerts workers climbing onto the scaffold of the modification work and any special precautions that might affect them.

Tags must be placed at each point of entry to the scaffold. This includes access points from ground level and any access points from the structure with which the scaffold is being used. Doing so ensures that workers are aware of the status and condition of the scaffold, regardless of where they access it. Whatever their colour, tags must include:

(a) the duty rating of the scaffold,
(b) the date on which the scaffold was last inspected,
(c) the name of the competent worker who inspected the scaffold,
(d) any precautions to be taken while working on the scaffold, and
(e) the expiry date of the tag.

Scaffolds to which this section applies must be inspected prior to initial use and at least every 21 calendar days thereafter while workers work from the scaffold or materials are stored on it. A scaffold that is erected but not immediately put into service, or not used for more than 21 consecutive calendar days, must be tagged with a red tag until inspected by a competent worker. A scaffold sitting idle may be exposed to weather or other circumstances that could make it unsafe for use. Inspection, just prior to the scaffold being put into service, confirms that it is safe for workers to use.

Subsections 326(6) and 326(7)

No worker can use a scaffold under the listed conditions unless the worker is involved in the erection, inspection or dismantling of a scaffold, and is competent to do so. Workers performing these duties are specially trained to perform this work safely.