Many types of construction projects use scaffolding, but how do you know when you need scafolding? And what indicators mean that need scaffolding as part of your project? There are many factors to consider when deciding if the job requires scaffolding.
1) What are the Rules?
In most cases, health and safety guidelines advise that if you have more than four people working at height, then a proper risk assessment needs to be carried out. The conclusion of such a risk assessment will usually be that the safest way to carry out the job is with scaffolding. A good scaffolder will erect a safe scaffold structure for buildings and structures of any shape, size and dimension to ensure a safe fit for all tradesmen who will be working on the structure.
As per the HSE website, those with duties under the regulations must ensure that:
- All work at height is properly planned and organised
- Those involved in work at height are competent
- The risks from work at height are assessed, and appropriate work equipment is selected and used
- The risks of working on or near fragile surfaces are properly managed
- The equipment used for work at height is properly inspected and maintained
2) How Big is the Job?
Scaffolding can seem surplus to requirement for small ‘one-man’ jobs, so in these cases, many people use a safely-secured ladder. However, ladders can only be used for low-risk, short duration work, and sometimes a ladder doesn’t give you full access to the entire roof and so the job only gets partly done. It’s important to remember that scaffolding is not only designed to keep those working at height safe, but also those on the ground. If there is any risk of tools or materials falling from the roof, then scaffolding with an edge fitted around the platform is essential to retain a safe working environment for all your workforce.
3) How Long Will the Job Take?
Scaffolding is advised in cases where the project involves working at height for more than three days, and also where weather is looking temperamental. Cornwall is notorious for its sudden weather changes so it’s crucial to retain a safe working environment by installing a temporary roof or scaffolding structure to maintain optimum safety for your project.
4 ) The Activities Requires Scaffolding
Scaffolding for Home Improvements
When a homeowner or landlord decides that they want to extend their kitchen, convert their loft or replace their rundown roof, more often than not they will require scaffolding to be erected in order for the work to be completed.
Construction workers may need access tower to reach the roof, or work platforms to make their job more comfortable and to get the work completed a lot quicker.
Scaffolding for Painters and Decorators
Painters can be expected to work at substantial heights for their job which means that scaffolding is important for keeping them safe and providing a secure work platform. They need to be able to place their tools and equipment by them as they work and move around the site with ease and safe access to all areas of the building.
Scaffolding for Building Repairs
When maintenance work is being carried out on a building (typically this is the gutter or roof), there is an increased risk of injury due to the faults that are being repaired. This could be surfaces that are not stable, tiles that are loose and structures that are at risk of falling. Hence, scaffolding can help reduce these risks by providing a safe surface and area for work to be carried out.
Scaffolding for Window Cleaners
Cleaning windows of larger commercial buildings, such as office blocks, hotels and retail stores, will require more than a ladder. Windows can often be found as high as twenty storeys and puts window cleaners at risk of falling from a fatal height. Scaffolding is one way of ensuring their safety and enabling them to carry out their job with ease and comfort.
Scaffolding for Building Inspections
Building inspections include checking the credibility and safety of buildings and structures. This inspection requires safety equipment to be installed such as scaffolding since it often involves reviewing the infrastructure’s various parts that can be located hundreds of metres above the ground. Additionally, you have to remember that the scaffold installed should adhere to safety standards.