This article on “Scaffolding Definition” aims to give an in-depth explanation on scaffolding activity.
This topic will cover:
- What is a scaffold
- Categories of scaffold
- Types of scaffolding
- Risk Associated with scaffolding
- Safe working practice for scaffolding
- Don’ts when working from a scaffold
The process of setting up a scaffold is called scaffolding and a person who sets up a scaffold is called a scaffolder.
What Is A Scaffold
A scaffold is a temporary working structure, set with poles, wood or iron to hold workers, materials or both. It is an elevated working platform. It provides a better and spacious working platform when the use of ladder is not feasible.
Some jobs that requires a scaffold are:
- Electrical installations, etc.
OSHA categorizes scaffold into three (3) basic types:
- Supported Scaffold: This consist of one or more platforms, supported by rigid, load-bearing members, such as poles, legs, frames and outriggers.
- Suspended Scaffold: This is one which has one or more platforms suspended by ropes or other non-rigid, overhead support.
- Other Scaffold: Principally, this consist of personnel hoist, man-lifts, etc.
Types Of Scaffolding
- Single scaffolding: Single scaffolding stands parallel to a wall of a structure by using vertical supports called standards. Ledgers, the horizontal supports, connect to the standards at an even vertical angle. Putlogs are the holes in the building or structure through which the scaffolding connects for support.
- Double scaffolding: In this type of scaffolding, a double row of scaffolding makes the entire support structure stronger. The first row sits parallel to the wall, while the other row sits away from the first row. Added putlog holes support the frames.
- Cantilever scaffolding: Cantilevered scaffolding is used in construction projects where work needs to be carried out on the side of a building or structure. Unlike traditional scaffolding systems, cantilevered scaffolding is supported on one end and projects horizontally from the building or structure.
- Suspended scaffolding: Suspended scaffolds are platforms suspended by ropes, or other non-rigid means, from an overhead structure. It can also be said to be a temporary work platform.
- Trestle scaffolding: A trestle scaffold is a scaffold assembled from prefabricated trestles, braces and accessories. Trestle scaffolds, and ‘H-frame’ trestle scaffolds, are commonly used by bricklayers, plasterers and painters and for general fit-out and finishing work.
- Steel scaffolding: Steel scaffolding is known as a temporary supporting system (temporary structure), which is widely used in the construction industry. Scaffolds are used to provide a safe working environment during the construction of large structures. The scaffolding materials include steel pipes, horizontal and vertical members, cross links and legs
- Patented scaffolding: Patented scaffoldings are made up of steel these are ready-made scaffoldings that are available in the market. Patented scaffoldings are fitted with special couplings and frames etc. The working platform is set on brackets that are adjustable to the required height.
Major Risk associated with scaffolding
- Fall from height
- Falling object
- Musculoskeletal disorders, etc
Safe working practice for scaffolding
- Scaffolding should be carried out by competent personnel only.
- All scaffold must be assessed and certified before use.
- Safe access and egress but be provided.
- Adequate fall protection should be provided when working from a scaffold.
- In cases of falling objects and tools, debris net may be installed in the scaffold to checkmate falling objects, tools and materials.
Don’ts when working from a scaffold
- Don’t over reach, work to the limit of the scaffold.
- Don’t stand on the scaffold edge protection rail to work.
- Don’t try to move the scaffold while still on it. (Applicable to mobile scaffold)
- Don’t use the scaffold rail to access the scaffold, use the ladder.
- Don’t set the scaffold on an uneven ground.
- Don’t climb any scaffold when it has not been certified safe for use and when there is no safe scaf tag on it.
- Don’t carry materials when climbing unto a scaffold; always maintain 3-point contact. Use tag line to convey your materials.
OSHA regulations employers must follow:
- Construct all scaffolds according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Install guardrail systems along all open sides and ends of platforms.
- Use at least one of the following for scaffolds more than 10 feet above a lower level.1
- Provide safe access to scaffold platforms.
- Do not climb cross-bracing as a means of access.
- Always use a licensed professional engineer competent in scaffolding to design tube and coupler scaffolds that exceed the standard limits set forth by OSHA.
- Use a licensed professional engineer competent in scaffolding to design the scaffolds (if the state has specific qualification requirements).
- Ensure scaffolds are erected, moved, dismantled, and altered under the supervision of a competent person.
From our topic “Scaffolding Definition”, we have been able to provide series of information about scaffolding.
If you are an employer and needs a certified scaffolder for your organization, or as an individual and needs to be certified as a scaffolder or scaffold inspector, please contact us.
You can contact us through our contact page. We will be happy to guide you in the process.