Owner Project Requirements: Scaffold


Work you can do without a permit, Licensed Contractor, or Registered Design Professional

There is some minor work, described below, that can be performed without a work permit, without hiring a Licensed Contractor, and/or without hiring a Registered Design Professional.


Work you can do without a permit

The NYC Administrative Code §28-105.4.5 clarifies work exempt from permit. Exemptions from permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for work to be done in any manner that violates the provisions of the code, including the zoning resolution or any other law or rules enforced by the Department. Such exemptions shall not relieve owners of the obligation to comply with the requirements of other city agencies, including any filing requirements. Unless otherwise indicated, permits shall not be required for the following:


Emergency Work

Licensed Contractors may perform emergency work without initially getting a permit. NYC Administrative Code Section AC 28-105.4.1 clarifies ‘emergency work’ as that would otherwise require a permit, but may be performed without a permit to the extent necessary to relieve an emergency condition. However, the application for a permit shall be submitted within two (2) business days after the commencement of the emergency work, perform required inspections to close out the project, and shall include a written description of the emergency condition and the measures undertaken to mitigate the hazard. Emergency work, as it relates to Scaffolding projects, may include but not be limited to stabilization of unsafe structural conditions.  


Design and Permit Requirements

Per BC 3314.2, a Scaffold shall not require permits if:

  • Supported Scaffold: A supported scaffold that is less than 40 feet in height; not an outrigger scaffold; without any hoisting equipment over2000 pound capacity; and is not designed to be loaded over 75 pounds per square foot, does not need a permit.

  • Suspended Scaffold: A permit is not required for a two-point suspended scaffold suspended from a parapet using C-hooks; a scaffold installed and used in conjunction with a project that holds a valid permit, where the site is closed to the public and enclosed within a fence in accordance with Section BC 3307; and the installation, use, and removal of the scaffold is confined within the site or over an area protected by sidewalk sheds or roof protection.


When you need to hire a Licensed Contractor to obtain a permit

A Licensed Contractor may design and perform the following work without the owner first hiring a Registered Design Professional to prepare and submit construction plans for approval by the Department.

Supported Scaffolds and Outrigger Scaffolds: Supported scaffolds and outrigger scaffolds (thrust out) shall be designed by a Registered Design Professional, per BC 3314.3.1, with the following exceptions:

  • No hoisting equipment with a manufacturer’s rated capacity greater than 2,000 pounds will be located on the scaffold;

  • The scaffold will not be loaded, or designed to be loaded, in excess of 75 pounds per square foot;

  • The scaffold is less than 40 feet (12 192mm) in height;

  • Side-arm or end-arm scaffold brackets are used exclusively for the support of workers; and

  • The scaffold is a light duty scaffold, a medium duty scaffold, or a heavy-duty scaffold.

Suspended Scaffolds: Shall be designed by a Registered Design Professional, per BC 3314.3.2, with the following exceptions:

  • Design is not required for a single tier nonadjustable suspended scaffold whose platform is 40 square feet or less in size.

  • In lieu of a Registered Design Professional, a two-point, single tier, suspended scaffold may be designed by a licensed Rigger provided the scaffold or scaffold outrigger beam or suspension member support structure is not anchored to the building or structure, other than tiebacks; and

  • The scaffold will not be loaded or designed to be loaded in excess of 75 pounds per square foot and the scaffold utilizes either C-hooks or the distance from floor or roof on which the support structure is located to the top of the outrigger beam or suspension member support structure is less than 15 feet.

  • In lieu of a Registered Design Professional or a licensed Rigger, a two-point, single tier, suspended scaffold meeting the requirements mentioned above in these exceptions that is used exclusively for sign hanging work may be designed by a licensed Sign Hanger.

In lieu of a Registered Design Professional’s seal and stamp on the submission, a Licensed Contractor can use and reference the approved Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA 362-44.SM) standard design of scaffold on submitted drawings.


When you need to hire a Registered Design Professional, Licensed Contractor and obtain a permit

If the Scaffolding project is comprised of aspects of work exceeding what is allowed in the items listed above, then a Registered Design Professional must submit construction plans, for approval by the Department, prior to obtaining a work permit.


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ADDITIONAL Requirements

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