OHS Code Explanation Guide

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

Section 325 Load

Subsection 325(1) and 325(2)

This subsection requires a scaffold to be capable of safely supporting four times the load that may be imposed on it – a 4:1 safety factor. The imposed or intended load consists of two components: the live load and the dead load.

The live load is the maximum combined weight of all workers, tools and materials placed on the scaffold platform at any given time. When estimating the live load, assume a weight of 91 kilograms (200 pounds) for each worker and 22.7 kilograms (50 pounds) for the worker’s tools and accessories, resulting in a combined weight of 113.7 kilograms (250 pounds) per worker on the scaffold. Multiply the number of workers on the platform by this value, adding to the result the estimated weight of any material placed on the scaffold.

The dead load is the weight of the scaffold itself and includes the weight of all bases, frames, posts, tubes, clamps, guardrails, toe boards, ladders or stairs, platforms or planks, and any accessories. The dead load is estimated by multiplying the total number of scaffold parts by the weight of each part and taking the sum of the resulting values.

Subsections 325(3) and 325(4)

Situations may arise in which a scaffold must support an evenly distributed load exceeding 367 kilograms/square metre or is of a type not described in this Part. To ensure worker safety when this is the case, the employer is required to have the scaffold designed and certified by a professional engineer and constructed, maintained and used in accordance with the engineer’s certified specifications.

Subsection 325(5)

Workers must be aware of the maximum load the scaffold from which they are working is permitted to carry. Doing so ensures that workers use the scaffold as intended and do not exceed its load limit. The method by which workers are made aware of this information rests with the employer and may involve signage, verbal instructions or a posted notice.