If you live in a busy urban area, chances are that you will have seen scaffolding erected on a regular basis. Scaffolding is a temporary structure used in building construction to allow people to work at height, grant access to hard to reach places, and to support workers and materials on the job. Scaffolding is highly flexible and comes in many different forms, so it’s important to select the right system for the job.
If you’re new to the world of building or construction then it can be difficult to know where to begin, so if you’re looking for scaffolding for your next upcoming job, see below for our handy guide.
Access scaffoldingAccess scaffolding does what the name suggests; it gives workers access to areas of a building or structure that are normally difficult to reach, like the roof. Access scaffolding is usually used for maintenance or repair work, such as replacing cracked roof tiles, repairing gutters, or cleaning high windows.
Suspended scaffoldingSuspended scaffolding is composed of a working platform hung by wire ropes or chains. This allows it to be lowered or raised as needed, so it’s a good choice for jobs like painting, decorating or window cleaning. Suspended scaffolding also tends to be easier to install and dismantle, so it’s a popular choice for short term jobs.
Trestle scaffolding uses a working platform supported on a moveable tripod or ladders. It’s typically used for indoor work like painting or plastering, up to a height of five metres. The frame is typically made of metal, with a wooden or metal deck. Trestle scaffolding can also be used on balconies or terraces, but additional netting is usually added for safety.
This is a specialist type of scaffolding that’s used when a traditional scaffolding tower isn’t feasible. It might be due to obstacles in the way, or because the ground doesn’t have the capacity to support a regular scaffolding tower. Regular scaffolding uses a frame, post or base to support the structure, but cantilever scaffolding is erected using support needles.
These needles are inserted into holes in the wall or strutted inside the floors through openings (making it single or double frame scaffolding respectively). Cantilever scaffolding is also used if the upper part of a building is under construction or if the ground near the wall needs to be clear of traffic.
Also known as bricklayer’s scaffolding, this type of scaffold is typically used for brick masonry work. Single scaffolding uses putlogs (holes used to support scaffolding poles), standards and ledgers (horizontal tubes which are fixed to the standards).
This is also known as mason’s scaffolding as it’s commonly used for stone masonry work. Double scaffolding uses two rows of scaffolding for extra security and strength, but also because it’s more difficult to insert putlogs into a stone wall.
The first row of scaffolding is fixed close to the wall (around 20-30cm away) and the second row is then fixed around one metre away from the first. Putlogs are then placed so that they’re supported by both frames so that they’re independent of the wall’s surface.
As the name suggests, steel scaffolding is constructed using steel tubes fixed together with steel couplers. It’s very easy to assemble and dismantle, making it a good choice for last minute jobs or shorter term projects.
Steel scaffolding is incredibly durable and has a high fire resistance so it’s very safe to use. It does tend to be more expensive than other scaffolding alternatives but the benefits mean that it’s still highly used throughout the industry.
This type of scaffolding is also made from steel, but it uses specialist couplings and frames which allow it to be adjusted to different heights. This means that the working platform can be placed at various heights, making this scaffolding ideal for indoor jobs or short term repairs.
This is the general name given to scaffolding that uses one or more platforms supported by outrigger beams, uprights, posts, frames or poles. Tube and coupler is one of the most commonly used models of supported scaffolding and it consists of metal tubes held together by couplers.
Supported scaffolding is extremely sturdy and durable, making it best suited to heavy duty jobs or those requiring heavy loads.
This is a type of supported scaffolding on wheels, to make it mobile. Braces should always be used with rolling scaffolding to prevent it from collapsing and help the structure to remain secure. Rolling scaffolds are designed for easy movement, but it’s important for workers to be aware of their surroundings to prevent accidents or injury.
Rolling scaffolding is available in various heights, from five feet all the way up to 30 foot tall. This makes it incredibly versatile and it’s often used for painting and decorating jobs or indoor repairs.
Scaffolding is an extremely versatile and useful piece of equipment, but it’s vital to ensure that all workers know how to work with it safely. Any scaffolding should always be erected by a competent person and workers should be fully trained before using the equipment.
All components should also be checked before use to ensure that the structure is safe and secure. Every worker should be aware of the weight capacity of the scaffold too, to ensure that it doesn’t become overloaded. The appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should also be worn, such as high-vis jackets, hard hats and steel capped boots. If the scaffolding is particularly high, then safety harnesses will also be necessary, or ensure that protective barriers are in place to prevent falls.
It’s not safe to work on scaffolding in bad weather, so you may need to delay the job if it’s raining heavily, very windy, or frosty and icy underfoot. Workers should also never climb scaffolding with tools or equipment in their hands; always climb to the level you need first and then hoist tools up separately. Workers should be aware of their surroundings at all times and avoid throwing waste or equipment off the scaffolding at any time. Objects dropped from height can cause serious injury and it’s not always clear to see if workers are below.
Employers should provide regular scaffolding training for all workers, especially if you’re using a type of scaffolding that you haven’t worked with before.
Professional scaffolding services from the experts at RodellsIf you’re in need of professional, reliable scaffolding services, get in touch with the experienced team at Rodells. We’re proud to offer scaffolding solutions for industrial, commercial and domestic clients, and we can adapt our scaffolding systems to suit the job at hand. We’re able to supply a wide range of access scaffolding, including high rise scaffolding, bridge decking systems, scaffold sheeting, lift shaft scaffold and many more.
If you’re looking for a scaffolding alternative, we also offer rope access works, which provide a reliable and cost-effective alternative to scaffolding. For more information about our scaffolding services or to discuss your requirements for your next construction job, don’t hesitate to give us a call today or visit our website.