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Section C.16
University of South Carolina Safety Program Guide


University of South Carolina recognizes that the scaffold industry is considered "inherently dangerous". These guidelines are generalities and do not intend to cover every specific situation or component; they do not purport to be all inclusive nor to supplant other regulatory and precautionary measures for the safe use of scaffold in usual or unusual conditions. The primary codes or regulations are those promulgated by OSHA.  They are Federal Laws intended to provide a safe workplace by providing a minimum reference guidelines upon which related activities should be carried out.  It shall be the responsibility of all users / erectors to avail himself and to comply with all applicable codes, regulations, standard and common sense practices designed to promote safety in the erection, use and dismantling of scaffold.


Scope and Application

This applies to most scaffolds used in workplace.

Program Description

General Guidelines Prior To Use Of Scaffolding

1.  Jobsite conditions within the boundaries of USC or construction site may vary, and each presents unique circumstances.  Efficient and proper planning of each job must be done by a competent, qualified person:  OSHA 1926.451 (a) (3) no scaffold shall be erected, moved, dismantled or altered except under the supervision of competent persons.

2.  The jobsite should be inspected and supervision be familiarized with proper access, proximity of power or process lines, obstructions, ground conditions, openings or pits, strength of supporting structure, interference with other workers, overhead protection, wind / weather protection and environmental hazards.  These conditions must be evaluated and adequately provided for.  Also, consider the protection of people who will be passing or working beneath or around scaffold structures.

3.  The work to be done and the number of persons involved must be determined to properly calculate the loading; the total loads and the supporting ground or structure must be considered when designing scaffold structure - leg spacing, adequate sills, horizontal bracing, etc.

4.  Stationary scaffolds over 125 ft. in height and rolling towers over 60 ft. in height must be designed by a professional engineer.

5.  All equipment must be inspected to insure that it is in good condition.  Damaged or deteriorated equipment should not be used and must be removed from service.

6.  Scaffolds must be designed and used in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and recommendations.  Do not intermix different brands of scaffold, unless authorized by the manufacturer, or plan to use materials in any manner other than what the manufacturer intended their design to accommodate.

7.  When planning the job, remember to use common sense, sound judgment and qualified reasoning for the following:

  • provide adequate foundations
  • provide proper access
  • provide proper bracing
  • provide proper handrails and toeboards
  • provide adequate decking materials
  • design scaffold structure on components to adequately compensate the loads to be imposed
  • use only qualified personnel who are in good shape emotionally and physically

8. Read, understand and comply with all Federal (OSHA) State and local codes and regulations pertaining to scaffold erection and removal.

Scaffold Tagging and Inspection :

1. Inspection and tagging of the scaffold is to be performed by a competent worker experienced in the erection of scaffold.

2. A unique scaffold identification tag number must be clearly identified on all tags for tracking purposes.

3. All scaffolds shall be inspected after the erection as per the Occupational Health and Safety Act requirements.

4. All scaffold identification tags will be of a solid green, yellow, or red color with black lettering.

5. All scaffold identification tags will have the front information displayed and must be completed for each tag.

• Date Erected / Tagged
• Inspected By: Name (print & signature)
• Inspection Date
• Department or Group Responsible for Erection/Maintaining/Dismantling on the reverse.

6. It is common practice to use the following color schemes:

  • Green - tags will be hung on scaffolds that have been inspected and are safe for use. A green "SAFE FOR USE" tag(s), and should be attached to the scaffold at each access point after the initial inspection is complete.
  • Yellow - "CAUTION” tag(s), will replace all green "Safe Scaffold" tag(s) whenever the scaffold has been modified to meet work requirements, and as a result could present a hazard to the user. This tag indicates special requirements for safe use. The tag as a minimum requirement will have:
    • The unusual or potential hazard marked on the reverse.
    • The preventative measures that must be taken prior to use to mitigate the hazard marked on the reverse.
    • The name of the client company representative authorizing the use of the Yellow tagged scaffold.
  • The yellow tag should not to be removed until the scaffold has been returned to a safe condition and an inspection by a “competent person” has been completed. Based on the results of that inspection the appropriate tag ( red or green ) will be hung on the scaffold and the yellow tag removed.

NOTE: Use of the “yellow tag” status is not intended to override the green tag system. All efforts should be made to return the scaffold to a “Green Tag” status as soon as possible.

  • Red " DANGER – UNSAFE FOR USE" tag(s), will be used during erection or dismantling when the scaffold is left unattended and replace all green "Safe for Use " tag(s) or yellow “Caution / Hazard “ tag(s) in the event a scaffold has been deemed unfit for use. The tag(s) as a minimum requirement will include:
    • The work order number or project number, the inspection date and the name of the person who performed the inspection filled in on the front of the card.
    • The designation, under erection, being dismantled, repairs required or overhead protection only, marked on the reverse.
    • Scaffold re-inspections must be completed any time when conditions may have changed causing the integrity of the scaffold to be suspect


  1. USC shall have each employee who performs work while on a scaffold trained by a person qualified in the subject matter to recognize the hazards associated with the type of scaffold being used and to understand the procedures to control or minimize those hazards. The training shall include the following areas, as applicable:
    • The nature of any electrical hazards, fall hazards and falling object hazards in the work area;
    • The correct procedures for dealing with electrical hazards and for erecting, maintaining, and disassembling the fall protection systems and falling object protection systems being used;
    • The proper use of the scaffold, and the proper handling of materials on the scaffold;
    • The maximum intended load and the load-carrying capacities of the scaffolds used; and
    • Any other pertinent requirements
  2. USC shall have each employee who is involved in erecting, disassembling, moving, operating, repairing, maintaining, or inspecting a scaffold trained by a competent person to recognize any hazards associated with the work in question:
    • The nature of scaffold hazards;
    • The correct procedures for erecting, disassembling, moving, operating, repairing, inspecting, and maintaining the type of scaffold in question;
    • The design criteria, maximum intended load-carrying capacity and intended use of the scaffold;
    • Any other pertinent requirements



  1. When a USC supervisor, manager, or safety professional has reason to believe that an employee lacks the skill or understanding needed for safe work involving the erection, use or dismantling of scaffolds, USC shall retrain each such employee so that the requisite proficiency is regained. Retraining is required in at least the following situations:
    • Where changes at the worksite present a hazard about which an employee has not been previously trained; or
    • Where changes in the types of scaffolds, fall protection, falling object protection, or other equipment present a hazard about which an employee has not been previously trained; or
    • Where inadequacies in an affected employee's work involving scaffolds indicate that the employee has not retained the requisite proficiency.

Use of Equipment

  1. Review the OSHA CFR 1926 Subpart L. Scaffolds for equipment use and requirements.
  2. Review and follow all manufacture’s requirements for use.


Roles and Responsibilities


  • Provide specific training for qualified and compete workers.
  • Provide and maintain necessary protective equipment and materials.


  • Ensure workers receive training appropriate to their assigned tasks.
  • Ensure workers are provided with and use protective equipment and materials.


  • Provide general training.
  • Provide assistance with evaluation erection and use.
  • Provide a periodic audit of this program.


  • Attend training.
  • Use appropriate electrical safety-related work practices, including all necessary protective equipment and materials.


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