scaffolding in a building

Almost every construction site you come across has structures set around that support workers to get on top and down the building. These structures are not referred to as ladders, because, in this case, ladders can’t handle that amount of application. The structures can be of different designs with one aim, to support workers and materials while working on a construction building.

Ever wondered what these structures are called? Let’s make it easy for you. The structures are referred to as scaffolds. Scaffolding is extensively applied in the construction and renovation field to make work easier for the workers on the site to maneuver the large building. It serves as a temporary elevation work platform in virtually all construction sites. Read on to find out more about scaffolding in this article.

Types of scaffolding

Scaffold comes in three types including; supported, suspended, and in rare cases, aerial lifts (also known to be suspended scaffolds).

·       Supported

As the name suggests, this type of scaffold is an elevated platform supported from the ground up using rigid poles, frames, legs, and outriggers, among others. The objects supporting the scaffold should bear a lot of weight to enable proper support.

·       Suspended

This type of scaffolding includes a platform(s) supported using non-rigid objects, particularly ropes, offering support from above the building.

Aerial lifts, scissor lifts, and other types of equipment fall under suspended scaffolding as they use the same technique of support.

Who is eligible to work with scaffolds?

Scaffolding isn’t just for anyone in the construction field. Specific people use scaffolding to perform various tasks. These include erectors or dismantlers, workers, and designers of the building they are constructing.

  • Erectors and dismantlers are those who mainly assemble and disassemble scaffolding equipment prior to working and after completion.
  • Workers who need support in accessing areas of a structure where they are working are also eligible for scaffolding.
  • Designers are those who devise the scaffolds, and they use them to test the stability.

What are the requirements for scaffolding?

  1. First and foremost, a scaffold footing should be sound and rigid enough to support a large amount of weight. Ensure that the scaffolding is on stable objects and surfaces,
  2. After erecting scaffolds, dismantling or any movement should be conducted by well-trained personnel and under the stringent supervision of an expert. The expert, in this case, will identify potential hazards and prevent the workers from endangering their lives.
  3. Ensure the scaffold and its components can support no less than four times the anticipated load.
  4. For all scaffolds above 10 feet, they require standard guardrails including handrails and mid-rails, and toeboards on all the open sides.
  5. Install screens between the toe-board and mid-rail to protect against falling items.
  6. Remove, repair, and replace a damaged or weakened piece of a scaffold immediately.
  7. Ensure the distance between the working area for every scaffold platform and the walkway is 18 feet at the minimum. If the area doesn’t offer enough space, ensure guardrails and personal fall trap systems are set in place for protection.
  8. Provide safe means of accessing the scaffold, such as a ladder.
  9. Make sure that all overhand bricklayers using supported scaffolds are well protected by a guardrail or fall arrest systems on all the free sides.
  10. Erecting and dismantling the scaffold should be fast and effortless.
  11. The scaffolds should provide easy accessibility both horizontally and vertically.

Scaffolding provides workers easy accessibility to those high areas of construction that are hard to reach by ladders. Workers and building materials are easily transported to various parts of the structure for utmost convenience. Generally, scaffolds are very important structures for various construction sites. Make sure to get the right type of scaffold and equip the workers with the knowledge of scaffolds to enable safety.