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Safety of Scaffold

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A client's facility has a 145 feet tall X 19 feet diameter tower. The diameter reduces to 12' at the upper part of the tower. A platform, 15' X 15' (approx) exists on top of the tower. The insulation on the tower, in the vicinity of the platform support legs, is in need of repair.  In order to perform the repairs, a scaffold contractor has proposed a "self-supporting" scaffold. The repair guy will be in a cage measuring 6' X 6' X 7' high. Another scaffold, measuring 14' X 14' X 10' high, will be erected inside the existing platform. The smaller cage will be attached to the corner vertical member of the larger scaffold. On the quarter of the larger cage, diagonally opposite from the point where the smaller cage will be attached, counterweight will be placed  as required. This design has come for my review.

Although a stable, self sustaining, scaffold can be designed for gravity loads, and, perhaps for wind loads as well,  I feel uncomfortable with the contractor's propsal, particularly because the structure will be  high up in the air. Theoretical calculation is one thing but practicality is something else. I will be reviewing OSHA's regulations regarding the proposed scaffold. In the meanwhile, I would like to hear from the experienced members of this list. Am I visualizing a ghost where there may be none?


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