KNOW THE LAWS: Load Requirements for Scaffolds

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KNOW THE LAWS: Load Requirements for Scaffolds

Here are the load requirements in the OHS regulations in each jurisdiction for scaffolds.

FED Canada OHS Regulations:

1. The footings and supports of every scaffold must be capable of carrying, without dangerous settling, all loads that are likely to be imposed on them [Sec. 3.10(2)].

2. Every scaffold must be capable of supporting at least four times the load that’s likely to be imposed on it [Sec. 3.10(3)].

AB OHS Code 2009:

1. An employer must ensure that a scaffold is designed and constructed to support at least four times the load that may be imposed on it [Sec. 325(1)].

2. An employer must ensure that the load to which a scaffold is subjected never exceeds the equivalent of one‐quarter of the load for which it’s designed [Sec. 325(2)].

3. An employer must ensure that a scaffold used to carry the equivalent of an evenly distributed load of more than 367 kg per square metre is:

a. designed and certified by a professional engineer; and

b. constructed, maintained and used in accordance with the certified specifications [Sec. 325(3). (This section applies to a type of scaffold that isn’t otherwise specifically referred to in the Code.)

BC OHS Regulation:

The employer must ensure that scaffolds used by workers are in a safe condition and are able to withstand the load, regardless of who erected the scaffold [Sec. 13.13].

MB Workplace Safety and Health Regulation:

An employer must ensure that a scaffold can safely support, and its footing, sills and similar supports can support without undue settlement or deformation, at least four times the maximum load that will be or is likely to be imposed on it [Sec. 28.6(1)(a)].

NB OHS Regulations:

1. An employer and a contractor must each ensure that a scaffold is:

a. capable of sustaining a minimum uniformly distributed load of 1.4 kPa;

b. at no time subjected to a load that exceeds the equivalent of one-quarter of the load for which it’s designed; and

c. designed and constructed to support at least four times the load that may be imposed on it [Sec. 131(1)].

NL OHS Regulations, 2012:

1. Except as provided elsewhere in the regulations, the safe working load of equipment shall be that specified by the manufacturer [Sec. 16(1)].

2. The safe working load of equipment must be certified by a suitably qualified and registered professional engineer or other person named by the employer and acceptable to the assistant deputy minister where:

a. the manufacturer’s specification or other acceptable warranty cannot be produced;

b. the equipment has been modified in a manner that changes its safe working load;

c. wear, corrosion, damage or signs of fatigue are found which may reduce the safe working load;

d. the equipment’s used in a manner or for a purpose other than that for which it was originally designed, where that use changes the safe working load; or

e. the provision of the certification is considered to be necessary by an officer [Sec. 16(2)].

NT/NU General Safety Regulations:

Only material for immediate use must be kept on a scaffold and at no time shall a scaffold be overloaded [Sec. 282].

NS Workplace Health and Safety Regulations:

1. An employer must ensure that a scaffold is:

a. designed to support and capable of holding at least four times the load that’s likely to be on it; and

b. not used for a load that’s heavier than 25% of the load that it’s designed for [Sec. 23.3(2)].

ON Construction Projects Regulation:

1. Every scaffold must be designed and constructed to support or resist:

a. two times the maximum load or force to which it’s likely to be subjected, without exceeding the allowable unit stresses for the materials of which it’s made; and

b. four times the maximum load or force to which it’s likely to be subjected without overturning [Sec. 126(1)].

2. Despite the above, a scaffold with structural components whose capacity can only be determined by testing must be designed and constructed to support or resist three times the maximum load or force to which it’s likely to be subjected without causing the failure of any component [Sec. 126 (2)].

3. No scaffold must be loaded in excess of the load that it’s designed and constructed to bear [Sec. 126(3)].

PE Scaffolding Regulations :

1. An employer must ensure that a scaffold provided to a worker by the employer for the use of a worker isn’t loaded in excess of its rated capacity [Sec. 2(1)(a)].

2. An employer must ensure that every scaffold provided by the employer for the use of a worker is capable of supporting at least four times the maximum load likely to be imposed [Sec. 6(a)].

QC Regulation respecting occupational health and safety:

Scaffolds must be designed for the type of work to be performed and the probable risks. They must be so designed, constructed, trussed, braced and maintained as to support any loads and stresses they may be subjected to, and resist wind action [Sec. 33].

SK OHS Regulations:

1. An employer or contractor must ensure that every light-duty scaffold is designed and constructed to support:

a. a minimum working load of 3.63 kN per lineal metre of platform width applied vertically and uniformly across an independent platform section along an imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the platform edge anywhere along the length of the section; and

b. a minimum uniformly distributed working load of 1.20 kN/m2, acting simultaneously with the concentrated load specified above [Sec. 172(1)(a)].

2. An employer or contractor must ensure that every heavy-duty scaffold is designed and constructed to support:

a. a minimum working load of 3.88 kN per lineal metre of platform width applied vertically and uniformly across an independent platform section along an imaginary line drawn perpendicular to the platform edge anywhere along the length of the section; and

b. a minimum uniformly distributed working load of 3.60 kN/m2, acting simultaneously with the concentrated load specified above [Sec. 172(1)(b)].

3. An employer or contractor must ensure that every scaffold is designed, constructed and erected to support or resist:

a. in the case of a wooden scaffold, at least four times the load that may be imposed on the scaffold;

b. in the case of a metal scaffold, at least 2.2 times the load that maybe imposed on the scaffold;

c. in the case of any components suspending any part of a scaffold supporting workers, at least 10 times the load that may be imposed on those components; and

d. four times the maximum load or force to which the scaffold is likely to be subjected without overturning [Sec. 172(2)(b)].

YT OHS Regulations:

1. Scaffolds must, if light-duty, be designed to carry an evenly distributed maximum load of 1.2 kPa (25 lbs. per sq. ft.) and be used only to carry workers [Sec. 10.35(i)].

2. Scaffolds must, if heavy-duty, be designed to carry a maximum load of 3.5 kPa (75 lbs. per sq. ft.), which enables them to be used for both the material and workers [Sec. 10.35(j)].