Construction Scaffolding eTool: Glossary
U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Safety & Health Administration,
Constitution Avenue, NW,
Washington, DC 20210, U.S.A.
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Adjustable suspension scaffold - A suspension
scaffold equipped with a hoist(s) that can be operated
by an employee(s) on the scaffold.
Angulated roping - A system of platform suspension
in which the upper wire rope sheaves or suspension
points are closer to the plane of the building face
than the corresponding attachment points on the platform,
thus causing the platform to press against the face
of the building.
Bearer - (putlog): A horizontal transverse
scaffold member (which may be supported by ledgers
or runners) upon which the scaffold platform rests
and which joins scaffold uprights, posts, poles, and
Boatswain's chair - A single-point adjustable
suspension scaffold consisting of a seat or sling
designed to support one employee in a sitting position.
Body belt - (safety belt): A strap with means
both for securing it about the waist and for attaching
it to a lanyard, lifeline, or deceleration device.
Body harness - A design of straps which may
be secured about the employee in a manner to distribute
the fall-arrest forces over at least the thighs, pelvis,
waist, chest, and shoulders, with means for attaching
it to other components of a personal fall arrest system.
Brace - A rigid connection that holds one scaffold
member in a fixed position with respect to another
member, or to a building or structure.
Bricklayers' square scaffold - A supported
scaffold composed of framed squares which support
Carpenters' bracket scaffold - A supported
scaffold consisting of a platform supported by brackets
attached to building or structural walls.
Catenary scaffold - A suspension scaffold consisting
of a platform supported by two essentially horizontal
and parallel ropes attached to structural members
of a building or other structure. Additional support
may be provided by vertical pickups.
Chimney hoist - A multi-point adjustable suspension
scaffold used to provide access to work inside chimneys.
(See "Multi-point adjustable suspension scaffold".)
Cleat - A structural block used at the end
of a platform to prevent the platform from slipping
off its supports. Cleats are also used to provide
footing on sloped surfaces such as crawling boards.
Competent person - One who is capable of identifying
existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings
or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous,
or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization
to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.
Continuous run scaffold - (Run scaffold): A
two-point or multi-point adjustable suspension scaffold
constructed using a series of interconnected braced
scaffold members or supporting structures erected
to form a continuous scaffold.
Coupler - A device for locking together the
tubes of a tube and coupler scaffold.
Crawling board - (chicken ladder): A supported
scaffold consisting of a plank with cleats spaced
and secured to provide footing, for use on sloped
surfaces such as roofs.
Deceleration device - Any mechanism, such as
a rope grab, rip-stitch lanyard, specially woven lanyard,
tearing or deforming lanyard, or automatic self-retracting
lifeline lanyard, which dissipates a substantial amount
of energy during a fall arrest or limits the energy
imposed on an employee during fall arrest.
Double pole (independent pole) scaffold - A
supported scaffold consisting of a platform(s) resting
on cross beams (bearers) supported by ledgers and
a double row of uprights independent of support (except
ties, guys, braces) from any structure.
Equivalent - Alternative designs, materials,
or methods to protect against a hazard which the employer
can demonstrate will provide an equal or greater degree
of safety for employees than the methods, materials,
or designs specified in the standard.
Exposed power lines - Electrical power lines
which are accessible to employees and which are not
shielded from contact. Such lines do not include extension
cords or power tool cords.
Eye or Eye splice - A loop with or without
a thimble at the end of a wire rope.
Fabricated decking and planking - Manufactured
platforms made of wood (including laminated wood and
solid sawn wood planks), metal, or other materials.
Fabricated frame scaffold - (tubular welded
frame scaffold): A scaffold consisting of a platform(s)
supported on fabricated end frames with integral posts,
horizontal bearers, and intermediate members.
Failure - Load refusal, breakage, or separation
of component parts. Load refusal is the point where
the ultimate strength is exceeded.
Float (ship) scaffold - A suspension scaffold
consisting of a braced platform resting on two parallel
bearers and hung from overhead supports by ropes of
Form scaffold - A supported scaffold consisting
of a platform supported by brackets attached to formwork.
Guardrail system - A vertical barrier, consisting
of, but not limited to, toprails, midrails, and posts,
erected to prevent employees from falling off a scaffold
platform or walkway to lower levels.
Hoist - A manual or power-operated mechanical
device to raise or lower a suspended scaffold.
Horse scaffold - A supported scaffold consisting
of a platform supported by construction horses (saw
horses). Horse scaffolds constructed of metal are
sometimes known as trestle scaffolds.
Independent pole scaffold - (See "Double
Interior hung scaffold - A suspension scaffold
consisting of a platform suspended from the ceiling
or roof structure by fixed length supports.
Ladder jack scaffold - A supported scaffold
consisting of a platform resting on brackets attached
Ladder stand - A mobile, fixed-sized, self-supporting
ladder consisting of a wide flat tread ladder in the
form of stairs.
Landing - A platform at the end of a flight
Large area scaffold - A pole scaffold, tube,
and coupler scaffold, systems scaffold, or fabricated
frame scaffold erected over substantially the entire
work area. For example: a scaffold erected over the
entire floor area of a room.
Lean-to scaffold - A supported scaffold kept
erect by tilting it toward and resting it against
a building or structure.
Lifeline - A component consisting of a flexible
line that connects to an anchorage at one end to hang
vertically (vertical lifeline), or that connects to
anchorages at both ends to stretch horizontally (horizontal
lifeline), and which serves as a means for connecting
other components of a personal fall arrest system
to the anchorage.
Longitudinal bracing - Bracing parallel to
the long side of the scaffold, so the X runs the same
direction as the long side of the scaffold.
Lower levels - Areas below the level where
the employee is located and to which an employee can
fall. Such areas include, but are not limited to,
ground levels, floors, roofs, ramps, runways, excavations,
pits, tanks, materials, water, and equipment.
Masons' adjustable supported scaffold - (See
"Self-contained adjustable scaffold").
Masons' multi-point adjustable suspension scaffold
- A continuous-run suspension scaffold designed and
used for masonry operations.
Maximum intended load - The total load of all
persons, equipment, tools, materials, transmitted
loads, and other loads reasonably anticipated to be
applied to a scaffold or scaffold component at any
Mobile scaffold - A powered or unpowered, portable,
caster, or wheel-mounted supported scaffold.
Multi-level suspended scaffold - A two-point
or multi-point adjustable suspension scaffold with
a series of platforms at various levels resting on
Multi-point adjustable suspension scaffold
- A suspension scaffold consisting of a platform(s)
suspended by more than two ropes from overhead supports
and equipped with a means to raise and lower the platform
to desired work levels. Such scaffolds include chimney
Needle beam scaffold - A platform suspended
from needle beams.
Open sides and ends - The edges of a platform
that are more than 14 inches (36 cm) away horizontally
from a sturdy, continuous, vertical surface (such
as a building wall) or a sturdy, continuous horizontal
surface (such as a floor), or a point of access. Exception:
For plastering and lathing operations the horizontal
threshold distance is 18 inches (46 cm).
Outrigger - The structural member of a supported
scaffold used to increase the base width of a scaffold
in order to provide support for and increased stability
of the scaffold.
Outrigger beam - (Thrustout): The structural
member of a suspension scaffold or outrigger scaffold
which provides support for the scaffold by extending
the scaffold point of attachment to a point out and
away from the structure or building.
Outrigger scaffold - A supported scaffold consisting
of a platform resting on outrigger beams (thrustouts)
projecting beyond the wall or face of the building
or structure, the inboard ends of which are secured
inside the building or structure.
Overhand bricklaying - The process of laying
bricks and masonry units such that the surface of
the wall to be jointed is on the opposite side of
the wall from the mason, requiring the mason to lean
over the wall to complete the work. It includes mason
tending and electrical installation incorporated into
the brick wall during the overhand bricklaying process.
Personal fall-arrest system - A system used
to arrest an employee's fall. It consists of an anchorage,
connectors, a body belt, or body harness and may include
a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or combinations
Platform - A work surface elevated above lower
levels. Platforms can be constructed using individual
wood planks, fabricated planks, fabricated decks,
and fabricated platforms.
Pole scaffold - (See definitions for "Single-pole
scaffold" and "Double (independent) pole
Power-operated hoist - A hoist powered by other
than human energy.
Pump jack scaffold - A supported scaffold consisting
of a platform supported by vertical poles and movable
Qualified - One who, by possession of a recognized
degree, certificate, or professional standing, or
who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience,
has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve
or resolve problems related to the subject matter,
work, or project.
Rated load - The manufacturer's specified maximum
load to be lifted by a hoist or applied to a scaffold
or scaffold component.
Repair bracket scaffold - A supported scaffold
consisting of a platform supported by brackets which
are secured in place around the circumference or perimeter
of a chimney, stack, tank, or other supporting structure
by one or more wire ropes placed around the supporting
Roof bracket scaffold - A rooftop supported
scaffold consisting of a platform resting on angular-shaped
Runner - (ledger or ribbon): The lengthwise
horizontal spacing or bracing member which may support
Scaffold - Any temporary elevated platform
(supported or suspended) and its supporting structure
(including points of anchorage), used for supporting
employees or materials or both.
Self-contained adjustable scaffold - A combination
supported and suspension scaffold consisting of an
adjustable platform(s) mounted on an independent supporting
frame(s) not a part of the object being worked on,
and which is equipped with a means to permit the raising
and lowering of the platform(s). Such systems include
rolling roof rigs, rolling outrigger systems, and
some masons' adjustable supported scaffolds.
Shore scaffold - A supported scaffold placed
against a building or structure and held in place
Single-point adjustable suspension scaffold
- A suspension scaffold consisting of a platform suspended
by one rope from an overhead support and equipped
with means to permit the movement of the platform
to desired work levels.
Single-pole scaffold - A supported scaffold
consisting of a platform(s) resting on bearers, the
outside ends of which are supported on runners secured
to a single row of posts or uprights, and the inner
ends of which are supported on or in a structure or
Stair tower - (Scaffold stairway/tower): A
tower comprised of scaffold components and which contains
internal stairway units and rest platforms. These
towers are used to provide access to scaffold platforms
and other elevated points such as floors and roofs.
Stall load - The load at which the prime-mover
of a power-operated hoist stalls or the power to the
prime-mover is automatically disconnected.
Static lines - Separate ropes secured at their
top and bottom ends closer to the plane of the building
face than the outermost edge of the platform. By drawing
the static line taut, the platform is drawn against
the face of the building.
Step, platform, and trestle ladder scaffold
- A platform resting directly on the rungs of step
ladders or trestle ladders.
Stilts - A pair of poles or similar supports
with raised footrests, used to permit walking above
the ground or working surface.
Stonesetters' multi-point adjustable suspension
scaffold - A continuous-run suspension scaffold
designed and used for stonesetters' operations.
Supported scaffold - One or more platforms
supported by outrigger beams, brackets, poles, legs,
uprights, posts, frames, or similar rigid support.
Suspension scaffold - One or more platforms
suspended by ropes or other non-rigid means from an
System scaffold - A scaffold consisting of
posts with fixed connection points that accept runners,
bearers, and diagonals that can be interconnected
at predetermined levels.
Tank builders' scaffold - A supported scaffold
consisting of a platform resting on brackets that
are either directly attached to a cylindrical tank
or attached to devices that are attached to such a
Tenon - A projecting member in a piece of wood
or other material for insertion into a mortise to
make a joint.
Top plate bracket scaffold - A scaffold supported
by brackets that hook over or are attached to the
top of a wall. This type of scaffold is similar to
carpenters' bracket scaffolds and form scaffolds and
is used in residential construction for setting trusses.
Transverse bracing - Bracing at right angles
to the long side of the scaffold, so the X is in the
interior scaffold space, between parallel uprights.
Tube and coupler scaffold - A supported or
suspended scaffold consisting of a platform(s) supported
by tubing, erected with coupling devices connecting
uprights, braces, bearers, and runners.
Tubular welded frame scaffold - (See "Fabricated
Two-point suspension scaffold - (swing stage):
A suspension scaffold consisting of a platform supported
by hangers (stirrups) suspended by two ropes from
overhead supports and equipped with means to permit
the raising and lowering of the platform to desired
Unstable objects - Items whose strength, configuration,
or lack of stability may allow them to become dislocated
and shift and therefore may not properly support the
loads imposed on them. Unstable objects do not constitute
a safe base support for scaffolds, platforms, or employees.
Examples include, but are not limited to, barrels,
boxes, loose brick, and concrete blocks.
Vertical pickup - A rope used to support the
horizontal rope in catenary scaffolds.
Walkway - A portion of a scaffold platform
used only for access and not as a work level.
Window jack scaffold - A platform resting on
a bracket or jack which projects through a window
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