The Ontario Construction Projects Regulations establish certain scaffold-specific requirements for pre-use inspections and frequency of inspections. Where the legislation is less specific, such as in providing details about elements to be inspected and frequency of periodical inspections, it is recommended to follow the guidelines provided by the applicable standards.
During a general inspection of a scaffold,
Specific regulatory requirements
Scaffold inspection before use:
Before placed in service a scaffold must be inspected to conform that the erection has been done in accordance with the design drawings.
If a scaffold is erected in an environment that could affect its structural components, (such as a corrosive environment), the adequate inspection frequency should be determined by a competent person.
Multi-point suspended work platforms, suspended platforms, scaffolds and boatswain’s chairs operated by mechanical power must be inspected at least each week by a supervisor or a competent person appointed by the supervisor.
Inspection records and retention
What to look for when inspecting a scaffold
O. Reg. 213/91
Part I GENERAL
14. (1) A constructor shall appoint a supervisor for every project at which five or more workers will work at the same time.
(2) The supervisor shall supervise the work at all times either personally or by having an assistant, who is a competent person, do so personally.
(3) A supervisor or a competent person appointed by the supervisor shall inspect all machinery and equipment, including fire extinguishing equipment, magazines, electrical installations, communication systems, sanitation and medical facilities, buildings and other structures, temporary supports and means of access and egress at the project to ensure that they do not endanger any worker.
(4) An inspection shall be made at least once a week or more frequently as the supervisor determines is necessary in order to ensure that the machinery and equipment referred to in subsection (3) do not endanger any worker.
(5) A competent person shall perform tests and observations necessary for the detection of hazardous conditions on a project.
Part II GENERAL CONSTRUCTION
126. (1) Every scaffold shall be designed and constructed to support or resist,
(a) two times the maximum load or force to which it is likely to be subjected, without exceeding the allowable unit stresses for the materials of which it is made; and
(b) four times the maximum load or force to which it is likely to be subjected without overturning.
(2) Despite clause (1)(a), a scaffold with structural components whose capacity can only be determined by testing shall be designed and constructed to support or resist three times the maximum load or force to which it is likely to be subjected without causing the failure of any component.
(3) No scaffold shall be loaded in excess of the load that it is designed and constructed to bear.
128. (1) Every scaffold,
(a) shall have uprights braced diagonally in the horizontal and vertical planes to prevent lateral movement;
(b) shall have horizontal members that are adequately secured to prevent lateral movement and that do not have splices between the points of support;
(c) shall have footings, sills or supports that are sound, rigid and capable of supporting at least two times the maximum load to which the scaffold may be subjected without settlement or deformation that may affect the stability of the scaffold;
(d) shall have all fittings and gear, including base plates or wheels, installed in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions;
(e) shall have connecting devices between frames that provide positive engagement in tension and compression;
(f) shall have safety catches on all hooks; and
(g) shall be adequately secured at vertical intervals not exceeding three times the least lateral dimension of the scaffold, measured at the base, to prevent lateral movement.
(2) A scaffold shall be constructed of suitable structural materials and, if lumber is used, it shall be construction grade or Number 1 Grade spruce.
(3) A scaffold mounted on pneumatic tires shall not be supported by the pneumatic tires while the scaffold is being erected, used or dismantled.
(4) If tubular metal frames are used to support masonry units on a scaffold platform, each frame leg shall have a minimum working load of,
(a) twenty-two kilonewtons for standard frames; and
(b) 16.7 kilonewtons for walk-through frames.
130. (1) A scaffold shall be designed by a professional engineer and shall be erected in accordance with the design if the scaffold exceeds,
(a) fifteen metres in height above its base support; or
(b) ten metres in height above its base support if the scaffold is constructed of a tube and clamp system.
(2) Design drawings for a scaffold shall set out erection instructions and the rated loads for the scaffold.
(3) A professional engineer or a competent worker designated by the supervisor of the project shall inspect the scaffold before it is used to ensure that it is erected in accordance with the design drawings.
(4) The person carrying out an inspection shall state in writing whether the scaffold is erected in accordance with the design drawings.
(5) The constructor shall keep at a project the design drawings and the written statement for a scaffold while the scaffold is erected.
[O. Reg. 85/04, s. 12]
132. (1) A professional engineer shall inspect and give a written opinion as to the structural adequacy of a centre pole scaffold used in silo construction when required by subsection (2).
(2) An inspection shall be performed on the earlier of,
(a) the twenty-fourth time the scaffold is erected following the most recent inspection; or
(b) for a scaffold used in the construction of,
(i) a monolithic silo, two years after the scaffold is erected or after the most recent inspection, and
(ii) a stave silo, one year after the scaffold is erected or after the most recent inspection.
(3) The employer responsible for constructing the silo shall keep with a scaffold every written opinion by a professional engineer concerning the scaffold while it is in use on a project.
(4) The employer responsible for constructing the silo shall record information about the frequency of use of the scaffold in a log book which shall be kept with the scaffold while it is in use on a project.
134. (1) Every scaffold platform and other work platform shall be designed, constructed and maintained to support or resist, without exceeding the allowable unit stresses for the materials of which it is constructed,
(a) all loads and forces to which it is likely to be subjected; and
(b) at least 2.4 kilonewtons per square metre.
(2) Each component of a scaffold platform or other work platform shall be capable of supporting a load of at least 2.2 kilonewtons without exceeding the allowable unit stress for each material used.
(3) No scaffold platform or other work platform shall be loaded in excess of the load that it is designed and constructed to bear.
137. (1) Every suspended work platform system or powered boatswain’s chair, including all components and connections of the suspended work platform system or boatswain’s chair, shall be designed by a professional engineer in accordance with,
(a) good engineering practice;
(b) CSA Standard Z271-10 , with the exception of clauses 6.1.1 (b) and 6.1.2;
(c) the requirements of this section; and
(d) for a suspended work platform, the requirements of section 137.1.
(2) For the purposes of clause (1) (b), every reference to the National Building Code of Canada in CSA Standard Z271-10 shall be deemed to be a reference to the Building Code.
(3) Every suspended work platform system or powered boatswain’s chair shall be designed to be able to support or resist,
(a) the rated platform capacity; and
(b) any other loads likely to be applied to it, including the loads specified in clause 6.1.5 (Design loads from forces imposed on a platform) of CSA Standard Z271-10 .
(4) The design of a suspended work platform system or powered boatswain’s chair shall take into account the potential increased loads due to wind on all components of the suspended work platform system or powered boatswain’s chair if shielding, tarpaulins, enclosures, signs, banners or other similar items were used or attached.
(5) The design of a work platform or boatswain’s chair shall use the factored load combination calculated in accordance with subsection (6).
(6) The factored load combination shall be calculated as follows:
[O. Reg. 242/16, s. 11]
139. (1) An employer shall ensure that, prior to the first use of a suspended work platform system at a project, the entire system, including its suspension lines, has been inspected, tested and maintained in accordance with this Regulation, the manufacturer’s instructions, and clause 11 (Inspection and Testing) and Clause 12 (Maintenance) of CSA Standard Z271-10 .
(2) The employer shall ensure that the inspection, testing and maintenance referred to in subsection (1) is completed by,
(a) a competent worker; or
(b) if the CSA Standard Z271-10 requires the inspection or test be performed by a person with specific qualifications, such person.
[O. Reg. 85/04, s. 14; 242/16, s. 11]
142.3 (1) Before erecting or dismantling a multi-point suspended work platform, the constructor shall give notice, in person, by telephone, by fax or by electronic means, to the Ministry office located nearest the project.
(2) A multi-point suspended work platform shall be inspected by a professional engineer to determine whether it complies with the design drawings, or the design drawings subject to any deviations approved under subsection 142.2 (17), as the case may be,
(a) after it is erected but before it is first used; and
(b) if the multi-point suspended work platform is moved to another anchorage position, before it is used there.
(3) The inspection under subsection (2) shall include a determination of whether all components are in adequate condition.
(4) The professional engineer who conducts the inspection under subsection (2) shall prepare a written report of the inspection.
(5) The written report is a positive report if it indicates that,
(a) the multi-point suspended work platform complies with the design drawings, or the design drawings subject to any deviations approved under subsection 142.2 (17), as the case may be; and
(b) all components are in adequate condition.
(6) Subsections (1), (2), (3), (4) and (5) do not apply to a multi-point suspended work platform whose platform area is six square metres or less.
(7) A competent worker shall inspect a multi-point suspended work platform each day before it is used.
[O. Reg. 85/04, s. 15; 242/16, s. 1, 13]
142.6 (1) A multi-point suspended work platform shall not be loaded in excess of the specified loads indicated on the design drawings for the multi-point suspended work platform.
(2) Signs indicating the specified live loads shall be posted in conspicuous places on the multi-point suspended work platform.
[O. Reg. 85/04, s. 15; 242/16, s. 1, 13]
142.8 (1) The constructor of a project where a multi-point suspended work platform is used shall keep a written record of all inspections, tests, repairs, modifications and maintenance performed on the multi-point suspended work platform and make copies of the record available to an inspector upon request.
(2) The record referred to in subsection (1) shall,
(a) be kept up to date;
(b) include the signature, name and business address of each person who performs an inspection, test, repair, modification or maintenance; and
(c) be kept at the project while the multi-point suspended work platform is there.
[O. Reg. 85/04, s. 15; 242/16, s. 1, 13]
Elevating Work Platforms