Scaffolding is a temporary construction with which walkways or platforms supported by wood or steel are made.
The function of scaffolding is to allow access to the construction workers as well as the material to all the points of a building that is under construction or undergoing rehabilitation of the facades.
Types of Scaffolding
When hiring scaffolding, it is important to be clear about which type would be best for the work planned. We asked construction equipment hire experts which provide scaffolding in Eastbourne for some pointers on choosing scaffolding. Here is what you should keep in mind.
There are different types of scaffolding that allow the performing of different tasks. Among them are trestle scaffolds, hanging scaffolds, and access towers.
Trestle scaffolding is simply work platforms supported by “A” shaped frames or similar folding supports. This type of scaffolding – be it rigid or folding trestle – should only be used for light jobs of relatively short duration.
Folding trestles should only be used on scaffolding without a second level, and the work platform should have a width of at least 430 mm (two planks). One third of the height of the trestle should rise above the work platform.
When the work platform is more than 2 m high it is necessary to install handrails and guard rails. Trestle scaffolding is not suitable in circumstances in which a person can fall more than 4.5 m from the platform.
Like the other varieties, trestle scaffolds must be placed on a firm and level base and must be well fixed to avoid displacement. It must be ensured that the trestles are adequately braced to achieve rigidity and resist lateral movement.
Trestles should not be more than 1.35 m apart from each other when 38 mm thick boards are used, and at 1.50 m if the boards are 50 mm thick.
This type of scaffolding is usually used for structures or tall buildings located in streets with a lot of traffic, or in other circumstances where it is not feasible or economical to erect a scaffolding from the ground.
There are two main classes: hanging platforms and articulated or independent platforms.
The installation of hanging scaffolding requires the services of a suitable person, capable of supervising its construction and subsequent use. The assembly must be done only by someone experienced.
Only persons who have trained in the use of such equipment and safety devices, and have a practical understanding of maximum load and emergency procedures, should work on suspended scaffolding. Remember that to work on hanging scaffolding you have to use a safety belt with a rope attached to the building.
Scaffolding towers typically consist of a platform supported by horizontal beams mounted on four upright columns positioned on base plates. Towers may be fixed, or mobile with wheels. These are most often used by painters or other workers to carry out light work which does not take long, and in one location.
Safety tips for the use of scaffolding towers
The first precaution in the installation of scaffolding towers is to achieve its stability. For this purpose, the relationship between the height and width of the base must not be greater than 4:1 for a fixed tower to be used indoors: in the open, that ratio is reduced to 3.5:1, and for a mobile tower, also outdoors, should not be more than 3:1.
Any load on the platform will raise the centre of gravity of the tower, and an excessive load will endanger its stability. The scaffolding of fixed towers must not exceed 12 m in height if they are loose; above that level it is necessary to tie them. Mobile towers must not exceed 9.6 m in height if they are loose, or 12 m if they are attached to a structure.
If you are still unsure which type of scaffolding would be most suitable, or cost-effective for the construction or project you have planned, it is best to seek the advice of professional scaffolding hire experts.