Regardless of whether you have been contracted to build the next Marriott high-rise hotel, or whether your own home is in need of some new guttering, you need to have at least a basic understanding of scaffolding. Essentially, this is a temporary structure put in place to allow homes, commercial buildings, or other structures to be constructed, decorated, or repaired. It is vital that the right type of scaffolding is purchased or rented in order to make sure the job can be completed properly and safely. Indeed, statistics show that 65% of construction workers have to use scaffolds every once in a while, and this is also one of the reasons why they are so commonly involved in accidents.
A scaffold is made up of a number of timber, steel, and/or aluminum parts to create a framework. Onto this, wood working platforms are added, so that workers can access elevated parts of the building they are working on. Two main types of scaffolding towers exist, being the fixed and the mobile tower.
The Fixed Tower
A fixed tower is built from the ground up against the building onto which work is done. Before it can be used elsewhere, it must be completely dismantled. They have uprights on both sides so that it is fully supported. Exactly how these uprights are installed depends on the type of fixed tower that is in use.
A mobile scaffold is very different, because it uses wheels or castors to move the completed tower from one location to the next.
Other Types of Scaffolds
There are a number of other scaffolds available as well, although those are less common and used in very specific situations. Those include:
- The swingstage or suspended scaffold, which has a platform that can be lowered or raised. They are found on high-rise buildings where the windows have to be washed.
- The hanging bracket scaffold, which have to be designed individually by engineers, who run a variety of safety measures, including load tests.
Buying or Renting Scaffold
Before you rent or purchase scaffolding, there are a couple of things that you need to think about. Those include:
- The scope of your project. Think about your needs, your budget, and your situation.
- What you want to use the scaffolding for.
- The type of building on which you want to use scaffolding. How is it designed, how many levels does it have?
- How long you will need the scaffolding for.
Your budget is likely to be an important consideration, but you have to make sure that you don’t choose options that may be cheap, but are also of very poor quality. Scaffold accidents continue to be common, despite stringent safety requirements, and one of the reasons for that is that people don’t invest in high quality materials. Do not make that mistake because, when working at a height, accidents are often fatal. Common accidents, by the way, include not just workers falling, but also tools falling from a height and hurting people below, including innocent passersby.