Key Project Terms: Scaffold (Construction Equipment)

The following is a list of useful terms to use when researching additional Sidewalk Shed information on each of the topics discussed:

Anchorage and Connections

Anchorage to the building for tie-backs and lifelines is required.


New York City Board of Standards and Appeals is an integral part of the City’s system for regulation of land use, development, and construction. The approved Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA 362-44. SM) Standard Design of Scaffold can be used and referenced on submitted drawings by the contractor, in lieu of the Registered Design Professional’s seal and stamp on the submission.


Refers to the maximum permissible load in pounds per square foot applied uniformly over the entire span area of the scaffold platform.  In general, each scaffold and its components shall be capable of supporting, without failure, its own weight and at least four times the maximum intended load applied or transmitted to it.

Competent Person

An individual at a construction site who is capable of identifying, existing predictable hazards in the surroundings or conditions that are unsanitary, hazardous or dangerous, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate such hazards.

Debris (Safety) Netting

The netting is generally composed of mesh side ropes, ties and other components. The net can be applied on various construction sites, especially in high-rise buildings. Netting installed on the scaffold to protect pedestrian and workers from falling debris and other safety measures.

Hoist Equipment

Equipment used to raise and lower personnel and/or material with intermittent motion. Hoisting equipment does not include scaffolds, mast climbers or elevators. A certificate issued by the Department based on a site-specific approval of the placement, founding and operation of hoisting equipment is required.

Loads Imposed Letter

Where a supported scaffold sits on a sidewalk shed or other structure, the scaffold drawings shall be accompanied by a Loads Imposed Letter signed, sealed, and dated by a registered design professional. The letter details the loads imposed by the scaffold onto the base structure and indicates that the registered design professional has reviewed the adequacy of the base structure to sustain the load imposed.


The structural member of a supported scaffold used to increase the base width of a scaffold to provide support for and increased stability.

Personal Fall Arrest System

Refers to fall protection for employees more than 10 feet above a lower level, who shall be protected from falls by guardrails or a fall arrest system. For single-point and two-point adjustable suspension scaffolds, employees shall be protected by both a personal fall arrest system and a guardrail.


A work surface elevated above lower levels. Platforms can be constructed using individual wood planks, fabricated planks or fabricated decks.

Post-installed Anchors Special Inspection

Special inspection Post-installed anchors, per BC 1704.32. The installation of post-installed mechanical anchors, adhesive anchors, and screw anchors shall comply with BC Table 1704.32.


A Rigger is a credentialed and trained individual responsible to hoist materials and equipment outside of buildings. The Department issues licenses to various Riggers.


Any temporary elevated platform and its supporting structure (including points of anchorage) used for supporting workers and/or material, including but not limited to supported scaffolds, suspended scaffolds, and mobile scaffolds.

Scaffold Design Load

Heavy Duty Scaffold

A supported scaffold capable of supporting loads of up to 75 pounds per square foot, and not more than those imposed by workers and heavy material, including but not limited to stone.Medium Duty Scaffold

A supported scaffold capable of supporting loas of up to 50 pounds per square foot, and not more than those imposed by workers and moderate material, including but not limited to brick and pipe.

Light Duty Scaffold

A supported scaffold capable of supporting loads of up to 25 pounds per square foot, and not more than those imposed by workers and lightweight material, including but not limited to wood or paint.

A permit is not required for a supported scaffold that will not be loaded, or designed to be loaded, in excess of 75 pounds per square foot and is less than 40 feet in height.

Scaffold Height

The height of a scaffold shall be measured from the base of the scaffold to the top of the uppermost vertical member of the scaffold, with any temporary structure, but not any permanent structure, on which the scaffold rests, included in the height measurement.

Sidewalk Shed


A temporary structure built over a sidewalk to protect pedestrians from objects falling from a building or construction site. If the shed is being used to support ongoing construction or maintenance work, the contractor on duty will be responsible for the project log during business hours.

Site Safety Plans/Projects

A site safety plan is required for all major buildings, including new buildings, alterations and demolition projects that are 10 stories or greater, or façade work on buildings that are 15 stories or greater, as detailed in BC 3310. The requirements for a site safety plan includes all requirements needed to protect the public areas and adjoining properties by providing a detailed list of construction logistics, including the locations of all forms of site protection equipment, such as fences, sidewalk sheds, locations of adjoining buildings, safety netting, etc. as outlined in AC 28-110.1.

Structural Stability Special Inspection

Special inspection for structural stability shall be required for construction work, per BC 1704.20.

Key Points & Project Terms Categories

  1. Alterations

  2. Building Systems Installation & Modifications

  3. Construction Equipment

  4. Demolition COMING SOON!

  5. New Buildings COMING SOON!

  6. Renovations

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