Portland Head Light


Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Products Used

Scaffold, Swivel Jacks, Debris Netting

Services Used

Scaffold Rental, Erect and Dismantle


Portland Head Light, located at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine is one of the state’s most iconic landmarks and tourist attractions. It is Maine’s oldest lighthouse, having been in operation since January 10, 1791. As high a profile as Portland Head Light has, the lighthouse needs to be repainted from time to time. In the spring of 2016, Certa-Pro Painters contracted Seacoast Scaffold to stage the famed landmark.

Objectives Included:

  • To create a safe working structure with multiple deck levels that would allow Certa-Pro employees the ability to paint the lighthouse.
  • Following all OSHA guidelines in creating the structure to not only make it safe for Seacoast employees while erecting the scaffold, but also for Certa-Pro’s painters while they work, and for the many people who come to visit the lighthouse.


The staging was built up 70′ around the conical structure of the lighthouse itself. An interesting wrinkle presented itself when it came to ensuring the staging’s integrity to the tower. Using OSHA’s 4:1 height-width ratio meant that the scaffold structure would need to be secured. For example, if a scaffold tower is 5′ wide and stands over 20′ tall, it would need to be tied in. Generally, this would be done with an item called a wall tie. It is clamped to the staging and a face-plate abuts the structure and is in then lag-bolted into place. However, this was not possible with Portland Head Light because of restrictions placed on the job. Instead, swivel jacks were clamped to the staging and used to support the staging up along the tower of the lighthouse. This gave the staging the structural integrity to remain safe for working level to level. The entire structure was also enclosed with netting that way the wind would be less of an issue for the painters.

  • Safety first. All work was completed with Seacoast Scaffold’s erectors wearing proper safety gear from hard hats, gloves and steel-toe boots, to harnesses and tying off when necessary.
  • To build a sound scaffold structure that would be both safe and efficient for the painters to work on
  • Properly secure the staging to the building using swivel jacks.
  • To enclose the scaffold in a debris netting to protect it from wind, rain and any other detritus.


Once the staging was completed and green-tagged (meaning it is safe to use the staging without being in a harness or tied off) by the jobsite’s foreman, Certa-Pro was able to start painting. Deck levels were 6’6″ apart for the painters to have easy access and reach, making the painting project run much more efficiently. Once the job was completed, Seacoast Scaffold returned to Portland Head Light to first cut down the netting, followed by dismantling the staging. The job was another example of Seacoast being able to combine top-notch efficiency and safety together so Certa-Pro Painters could get their job down as quickly and safely as possible.