How Well Do You Know?

By David H. Glabe, P.E. / August 1, 2004

How well do you know the minimum expectations for the construction and use of suspended scaffolds?  Take the following quiz two ways; first answer the questions without referring to any standards or regulations.  Second, answer the questions using any reference material you want.  In other words, take the quiz “closed book” and then take it again “open book.”  The correct answers will be in next month’s magazine so you have 30 days to answer the quiz!


True or False

  1. A suspended scaffold shall be designed by a competent person.
  2. All suspended scaffolds must have at least a 3 to 1 safety factor.
  3. Counterweights for suspended scaffolds must have a 4 to 1 safety factor.
  4. Suspension ropes for suspended scaffolds must be steel.
  5. The material used to make suspension ropes for suspended scaffolds must be certified by the American Wire Rope Association.
  6. Counterweights for suspended scaffold outrigger beams can be sand if it is in a sealed container.
  7. Masons multi-point scaffolds can use counterweights provided they are non-flowable material.
  8. Tieback cables shall be at least as half as strong as the suspension rope.
  9. Outrigger beams can never extend more than 48 inches beyond the fulcrum unless designed by a qualified person.
  10. Repaired wire rope can be used as a suspension rope if it has been repaired by a certified wire rope repairer.
  11. Ropes shall be inspected for defects by a competent person prior to each work shift.
  12. U-bolts can be used on scaffold suspension wire ropes provided they are tight.
  13. There shall be at least three wire rope clips used on wire ropes at their connection points.
  14. Manually operated hoists shall require a positive crank force to descend.
  15. Once the rigging system has been installed and inspected, it shall be inspected weekly unless the system has been overloaded.
  16. Personal Fall Arrest Equipment shall be used on all multi-point suspended scaffolds.
  17. When vertical lifelines are used on a single level, two point suspended scaffold, the lifeline shall be attached to a secure location on the scaffold.
  18. Trained and experience workers do not have to use personal fall protection on two point suspended scaffolds if there is a guardrail system.
  19. Suspended scaffold hoist operators need more training than other workers on a suspended scaffold platform.
  20. While a good idea, a retrieval plan for dangling workers is not required on a suspended scaffold platform that is designed by a qualified person.
  21. Platforms on two-point suspended scaffolds can never be more than 36 inches wide.
  22. Welders working from a suspended scaffold should be concerned about special requirements for protecting the rigging.
  23. Suspended scaffold erectors do not have to use personal fall arrest equipment unless the building is more than 5 stories (48 feet) tall.
  24. If u-bolts are used on suspension ropes, there shall be at least 4 so that there is a 4 to 1 safety factor.
  25. All suspended scaffolds, single, two-point, and multi-point, shall have a guardrail system.
  26. Outrigger beams used for a mason’s multi-point suspended scaffolds shall be designed by an engineer experienced in such scaffold design.
  27. Suspension ropes shall be replaced if more than 6 randomly distributed wires in one rope lay are broken.
  28. Only power operated hoists that support two or more workers require an overspeed brake.
  29. Manually operated hoists can “free-fall” if the operator is trained in this type of operation.
  30.  While erectors shall have special training, users of suspended scaffolds do not require specialized training on the use of suspended scaffolds if they are experienced.
  31. The SIA can provide erectors and users of suspended scaffolds with a recognized training program.


Fill in the blank:

  1. All suspended scaffolds shall be inspected by a _______________ person.
  2. A scaffold supported by a wire rope is classified as a ___________ scaffold.
  3. When a u-bolt is used, the u-bolt shall be placed over the ________ end of the rope.
  4. A minimum of ___________ wire rope clips shall be used on suspended scaffold connections.
  5. I think I got ______________ of the questions correct.


Taking this quiz “closed book” simulates actual jobsite conditions when you try to remember the regulations without any reference material at hand.  “Open book” testing simulates having the reference but perhaps not understanding the intent of the regulations.  Next month we’ll look at the answers to the questions.

Tags: Scaffolding Hoists Resources suspended scaffold suspended scaffold inspection suspended scaffold quiz

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