Injury Caused by Mobile Scaffold on WheelsScaffolds are a common cause of injuries on construction sites, especially those that can be wheeled from one job to another. Site owners and contractors have a duty to follow safety provisions for manually-propelled mobile scaffolds to prevent falls from height or head injuries from falling equipment. Our New York construction injury lawyers explain state regulations to protect workers and how violations could lead to victim compensation.

Special Protections Under the NY Industrial Code for a Scaffold on Wheels

NY Labor Law 241 requires owners and contractors to make construction sites as safe as possible for workers. Under Section 241(6), owners and contractors must comply with any rules made by the Commissioner of the Department of Labor to carry out the provisions of the law.

The Department of Labor has created specific construction safety rules in Part 23 of the New York Industrial Code to protect people employed in construction, demolition, or excavation work. N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. Tit. 12 § 23-5.18 sets forth the following guidelines for manually-propelled mobile scaffolds.

These guidelines include:

Platform planking

Scaffold platforms for manually-propelled mobile scaffolds must be tightly planked for the entire width of the scaffolds, except for necessary access openings. Planks must be at least two inches thick full size, exterior grade plywood at least three-quarters inch thick, or material of equivalent strength.

Safety railings

Every manually-propelled mobile scaffold must be provided with a compliant safety railing constructed and installed on the platform.

Platform access

All manually-propelled mobile scaffolds must have proper access via a ladder or stairway. Ladders and stairways must be secured to or built into the scaffold and located so there is no danger of tipping the scaffold when used. Landing platforms must be provided at intervals of no more than 35 feet.

Scaffold height

The ratio of the platform height above the ground, grade, floor, or surface to the minimum base dimension must assure scaffold stability when in use. No free-standing manually-propelled mobile scaffold may have a height greater than four times the minimum base dimension.


Casters must have positive locking devices to hold a mobile scaffold in position and be of adequate strength and dimensions to support four times the maximum load of the scaffold’s intended use.

Scaffold bracing

Manually-propelled mobile scaffolds must have adequate cross-bracing, diagonal-bracing, or both, to secure vertical members together laterally. Cross braces must be of a length that automatically squares and aligns vertical members so that the erected scaffold is always plumb, square, and rigid. Brace connections must be installed and secured correctly before use.

Scaffold footing

If a scaffold is in use and occupied by any person, the scaffold must be resting on a stable footing, the platform must be level, the scaffold must be standing plumb, and all casters or wheels must be locked in position.

Moving the scaffold

Provisions must be in place to prevent scaffolds from tipping or falling during movement from one location to another. Scaffolds may only be moved on level surfaces free from obstructions and openings. No person may be permitted to ride on any manually-propelled mobile scaffold while moving between locations.

Bridging prohibited

Bridging between two or more manually-propelled mobile scaffolds or between a mobile scaffold and another support is not permitted.

Construction Workers Are Owed Compensation After Scaffold Injuries in New York City

The danger of injury or death on a scaffold is so prevalent that New York has several statutes to protect workers and make it easier to get compensation after an accident. If you or someone you love was seriously hurt on a scaffold, the attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer will listen to your story at no cost to you.

Contact us today at (800) 362-9329 to begin building your injury case or learn more about your rights in our FREE guide, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.


Timothy F. Schweitzer
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Personal injury lawyer specializing in maritime, construction and railroad injury claims.
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