Erecting scaffolding can be a daunting prospect and there’s no denying that if you have the funds getting a contractor to carry out the work for you can often be the better and safer choice.
But being able to rent reasonably cheap scaffolding material can make doing the job yourself a cheaper and more realistic option.
With a little forward planning it’s possible to build something like a simple tower in no time, so here are a few things to remember when you are constructing scaffolding, via this helpful scaffolding document.
1. Plan ahead
If you are renting your scaffolding then you need to be sure you have all the equipment required to complete the structure. To ensure you are not left short, make a quick sketch so that you can see just what you need to order. Missing pieces and trying to make the best of what you’ve got is extremely dangerous and not recommended. Take the time before hand to do all your planning for a smoother and safer job.
2. Prepare the area well
Like with any construction; your foundations are extremely important. Constructing anything on unsound or uneven ground is a bad idea and can be extremely dangerous. The ground or surface should be as level as possible, and soils should be compact and should be able to support the scaffold, even in wet weather.
3. Ensure safety is a priority
As well as the obvious personal protective equipment like gloves, hard-hats and goggles; you should ALWAYS ensure your structure is a safe as possible at all times and never cut corners. Ladders should be used and furnished for every level completed, as well as handrails, toe-boards, and access gates. Failing to do so puts you and your fellow workers at great danger.
4. Use boarding at all times
Boarding will not only make the structure safer; it makes working on the scaffold easier. Boards, or battens, can be used to store materials and provide a sound working platform. Make sure the boards you use fit as tightly together as possible so that the materials will not fall through cracks to lower scaffold levels during use. Any split, rotten, or damaged scaffold boards should be discarded and never used.
5. Inspect the scaffold before use
It’s important that whoever is responsible for the scaffold inspects it thoroughly before anyone is allowed to use it. A daily inspection log that is signed and dated each day should also be produced, covering things like erosion, undermining, and other deterioration, as well as damaged braces and supports. The condition of the scaffold planks, handrails, and toe boards should be closely examined, along with signs of damage or broken clamps, braces, or pins.