SSFI TECHNICAL BULLETIN
Use of Scaffolds as Fall Arrest Anchorages
The Scaffolding, Shoring and Forming Institute (SSFI) is an industry association comprising designers and manufacturers of scaffolding, shoring, and forming products. For many years, members of SSFI have been familiar with, and have been very active in, the engineering and standards development work associated with fall protection equipment.
SSFI members are aware of the increased use of scaffolds as fall arrest anchorages. The members recognize that scaffold erectors and users are being required to use Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) in some jurisdictions. Scaffold components may seem to be a convenient anchorage, and in many situations scaffold components are the only readily available components for use as a fall arrest anchorage; however, many scaffold systems and components were not designed or manufactured specifically to withstand fall arrest forces. These forces are quite substantial, and personal fall arrest systems impose dynamic loads on anchorages. SSFI cautions users and erectors that not all scaffold components and systems are designed for the purpose of providing an adequate fall arrest anchorage.
Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) should, if possible, be attached to a permanent structure. If a permanent structure is not available, the scaffold component may be used as a PFAS anchorage PROVIDED the manufacturer has determined such use to be feasible and safe through design and testing. In this case, it is essential that the manufacturer's instructions are followed exactly.
Design and testing of scaffold components used as a PFAS anchorage must comply with the fall arrest standards that apply in the jurisdiction in which the scaffold is being used.
This Technical Bulletin was prepared by members of the SSFI Scaffolding Section. SSFI is a trade association comprising manufacturers of scaffolding, shoring, forming, and suspended scaffolding. The institute focuses on engineering and safety aspects of scope products.
This bulletin does not purport to be all-inclusive nor to supplant or replace other additional safety and precautionary measures to cover usual or unusual conditions. If this bulletin conflicts in any way with a state, local, federal or other government statute or regulation, said statute or regulation shall supersede this bulletin and it shall be the responsibility of each user to comply therewith. This bulletin has been developed as an aid to users of scaffolding equipment.
June 2003, Revised February 2014 This Bulletin is reviewed periodically. Check www.ssfi.org for the latest version.