Scaffolding has been used in the construction industry for centuries, however its invaluable purpose still remains the same. It is widely used as a provisional arrangement in order to ensure the safety of workers and materials on a platform while construction work such as brickworking, plastering, or painting takes place. Ramps, built-in scaffold ladders, stair towers and attachable ladders are often used in order to provide safe access for workers to get on and off the scaffolding. Scaffolding is utilised during the repair, cleaning, or construction of buildings, bridges, and other structures. It is important for construction workers to follow precise instructions and inspect the scaffolding to keep the structure robust and to ensure it offers the desired support.
Scaffolding is widely recognised as an integral tool within the construction industry, and is essential for both the safety of workers to prevent any hazards, to provide easy access to previously inaccessible areas, and to ensure optimum progress of a construction project. Without it, workers would not be able to comfortably carry out construction work that requires reaching higher walls or ceilings and carrying heavier materials.
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Scaffolds are built by fixing components together, which are known as tube and fitting scaffolds. The process of building the scaffold is referred to as erection, while dismantling is called striking. Tubes include vertical standards, horizontal ledgers, diagonal braces, and transoms, which are horizontal but run from one ledger to another. It is crucial that all scaffolding is correctly erected, dismantled and altered with a safe approach.
There are several different types of scaffolding that are used within the construction industry.
Single Scaffolding or Brick Layer’s Scaffolding
Single scaffolding is often referred to as bricklayers scaffolding is one of the most common methods used in construction mainly for brick masonry. This type of scaffolding includes standards, putlogs, and ledgers which link to the wall at a distance of approximately 1.2 metres. Ledgers join the standards at a vertical distance of 1.2 metres to 1.5 metres while the distance between the standards is 2 to 2.5 metres. Putlogs are fixed at a distance of 1.2 metres to 1.5 metres, but are extracted through a gap in the wall at the end of a ledger.
Double scaffolding is also known as independent scaffolding, and is commonly used within the stone masonry industry. As it is difficult to make holes in the stone walls for supporting the putlogs, two scaffoldings are used together to create a strong structure for construction work. While the first row is 20 to 30cm away from the wall, the second is 1 meter away from the first row. Additional steps are taken to ensure the structure is made frimed b adding cross braces and rakers.
This scaffolding is contrived from hard wearing galvanized steel and is known for its easy installation as well as disintegration. It is largely used in the industry for both big and small construction works.
This type of scaffolding is supported on a tripod moveable ladder, and is primarily used indoors, such as for repairs or painting works. The usage of Trestle scaffolding is limited to indoor use as the height is up to 5 metres only.
Steel scaffolding is used for outdoor construction and bigger structures, and is created using steel tubes set by couplers. It is easy to assemble as well as to disintegrate. Due to steel scaffolding’s advantages, it has a higher cost, but provides higher safety standards to workers during construction, including strength, durability, and fire resistance.
Patented scaffolding is also made using steel, however these are readymade and are fitted with special couplings and frames. When using the patented scaffolding, the working platform is set on the brackets which can be adjusted to the appropriate level.
Suspended scaffolding is used for repair works but is primarily used in painting as the platform can be adjusted to the desired length. It is created using rope or chains that are tied to the platform for the construction worker, which is then hung from the roof where the height can be adjusted.
Also known as Single Frame scaffolding, Cantilever scaffolding has limited usage and requires various checks before it can be installed. With this system, the standards are supported by a chain of needles that are pulled out from the holes in the wall. There is also another type of cantilever scaffolding, in which instead of a wall, the needles are supported inside the floors through the double frame scaffolding.