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#149798 - 04/01/04 06:42 AM planking over desks of system furniture
Elzappr Offline
Member

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Oregon
What are the rules about using planks for working less than 4 ft above the floor? I've made a bracket ass'y. to hook over the walls of system furniture of office spaces, and use a 2x10 plank attached to the bracket, and the other end supported by a step ladder. This allows access to light fixtures that are over the walls and intersections of system furniture. I haven't tried to let an OSHA compliance officer check it out yet, and am wondering if my setup will be allowed. I've been told that as long as I am less than 4 ft up, that I don't need handrails for my plank/scaffold. Anyone got experience in this sort of scenario, so as to help me fine tune my setup?

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#149799 - 04/01/04 09:54 PM Re: planking over desks of system furniture
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
Check the OSHA website - www.osha.gov , and this area in particular: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/scaffolding/supported/frame/fallprotection.html

According to it, the height limit is 10 feet for supported scaffolds. Not sure about mounting any kind of platform that my butt depends on off of prefab cubicle walls, though. I'd rather sawhorse it.

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#149800 - 04/02/04 12:34 PM Re: planking over desks of system furniture
Elzappr Offline
Member

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Oregon
I'll check it out. Problem is ..I can't seem to find a category that fits my particular "scaffold" setup. As for the system furniture walls, some are made of solid chipboard, while others are made of masonite panels with corrogated cardboard separating the masonite panels. So, I can certainly see where the OSHA folks would have a fit over using some make-shift bracket supported by one of the flimsier types of partitions. Yet, it is totally impracticable to set up a scaffold to do 5 minutes of light fixture work. Just looking to make a safer set-up than what everybody does now: one foot on a ladder and another on top of the partition wall!

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#149801 - 04/02/04 02:22 PM Re: planking over desks of system furniture
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
Check out
www.proladder.com for one of those multi-use ladders, or go to Homedepot.com, click on shop - building supplies - ladders. The Gorilla 4' steel scaffold is PN # 165352.
(I tried every way I can think of to link it here - guess BOB wants to make it difficult!)

Try this - it's the Manufacturer's website -for a picture of the mini scaffold and their version of the multi-ladder:
http://www.tricam.com/commercial.htm

to at least get an idea. My forman turned me onto the "mini-scaffold" - he had one of the wal-mart style ones (smaller tubing, lighter gauge platform)that is a lot lighter than the Gorilla one - It's about $20-$30 cheaper as well.

The Gorilla weighs a fair amount, but it is rock solid when you're on it; it also has bigger wheels, so rolling over the edges of rough plywood flooring, and relief cuts in concrete (plus the occasional extension cord ) is a lot easier! Both models fold up to minimize storage space.

I found them to be excellent when mounting/piping/wiring rows of can lights - a hell of a lot easier than up the ladder, down the ladder all freekin' day. Just grab the rafter and skoosh....err, uuh, HYPOTHETICALLY, of course, since I'd never advocate an unsafe work practice!

And if anybody at your place mentions OSHA and metal ladders for the mini scaffold, just get one of those rubber insulating mats, and put it on top of the platform... problem solved!

The multi ladders are available in Al or fiberglass...

[This message has been edited by DougW (edited 04-02-2004).]

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#149802 - 05/09/04 06:57 AM Re: planking over desks of system furniture
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
Any update on your situation?

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#149803 - 05/09/04 08:05 PM Re: planking over desks of system furniture
PCBelarge Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 657
Loc: Dobbs Ferry, NY, USA
Elzappr
The setup for 5 minutes of work may not matter now, but if you were hurt where you could not support your family, then how valuable is the setup?

Pierre
_________________________
Pierre Belarge

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#149804 - 05/13/04 09:11 PM Re: planking over desks of system furniture
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
I'd agree there Pierre!.
Some of the smallest jobs can cause the worst of accidents.
Would this be through complacency?.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#149805 - 05/15/04 02:11 PM Re: planking over desks of system furniture
Elzappr Offline
Member

Registered: 12/20/01
Posts: 273
Loc: Oregon
Well, in spite of the above suggested references, I looked over the ladder and OSHA stuff and still can't find anything useful for my situation, other than affirming that I should keep to using 2x10 planking, 6 ft long, for heavy-duty (75#/ft) use (OSHA 1926 Subpart L App A).
I'm stuck at the point of finding a way to diagonally brace a vertical support for the table member of the furniture. My latest scheme was to make some sort of adjustible struts which could support the system furniture table, then procede to work off that table surface, or extend a strut up even higher for support of a plank. The design of the vertical strut, and some 1/4" steel offset link for coupling an extra elevation strut to the under-table support strut is easy. The bracing isn't!
Basically it comes down to this. You wouldn't put one end of a plank on a step-ladder rung, and support the other end on an extension ladder, right? So, likewise, supporting a plank on a vertical bracket located at the system furniture wall would be equivalent to supporting the plank on an extension ladder! Hence, I need diagonal bracing. This makes it all very cumbersome. If I end up with too many parts and pieces it becomes impracticable for occasional service work in a multi-story office building. It would be so much simpler to just hang brackets on the top edge of the furniture walls to support/secure the plank. Too bad the system furniture walls are constructed so flimsily. Keep in mind that I'm trying to cope with working around a cubicle space packed with books, computer stuff, file cabinets and all sorts of under-the-table cords and outlet, space heaters, trash containers and foot support stools...where I have to get in and get the job done without disrupting things for longer than an hour, if possible!

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#149806 - 05/18/04 08:54 PM Re: planking over desks of system furniture
DougW Offline
Member

Registered: 06/08/03
Posts: 1083
Loc: North Chicago, IL
I would still check the weight or load bearing capacity of the cubicle walls. I don't think there are a lot that are actually rated (aka "listed"?) as weight-bearing supports... likewise, I've seen desktops bow under a CPU, monitor, and laser printer. Add 245 Lbs of electrician, and crunch!

And I know how corporate lawyers start looking to shift blame when the butt hits the hospital, even though it's the company managers pushing you to "hurry up" and "don't mess things up" by moving them.

Good luck!

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