When it comes time to construct, repair, clean, or any type of work on a structure, there is a need for using an efficiently assembled scaffold. Scaffolding or as is often called staging or scaffold refers to a structure for supporting workers. The other application of scaffolding is supporting construction materials during constructing or repairing buildings, bridges, etc. The nature of the construction project and the support required for the building will dictate the type of scaffolding used. Scaffolding can be as simple as using trestle supports for large areas that are 7 to 18 feet high. It can also be as complex as a timber scaffold that requires Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulated provisions. OSHA requirements span fall arrest systems, guardrail height, cross bracing, capacity, training, dismantling procedures, and much more.
Modern scaffolding has advanced worksite safety tremendously. It pioneered the infrastructure that has enabled detailed construction necessities to be performed in a safe manner. Below highlights some of the main reasons for using scaffolding as part of the construction process.
Provides Much Needed Support
The type of scaffolding needed for a particular project comes down to the duties and materials required for the job. For projects that demand materials, tools, and multiple workers, there may be a need for a scaffold secured to the foundation of the building. OSHA mandates that every scaffold should support its own weight in addition to at least four times the maximum intended load for the proposed plan. According to OSHA, only licensed workers can operate on the scaffold.
Gives Workers Better Access
Safely accessing hard-to-reach areas is one of the most significant challenges workers face in the construction industry. Scaffolding is the only way workers can perform necessary duties and improves positioning so that detailed work that’s often conducted on windows, ceilings, and walls can be completed with accuracy. Using unregulated ways to create height is dangerous for both workers and people around the construction site. Scaffolds have been able to bridge the safety gap, which has been an added benefit for the entire construction industry.
Makes Worksites Safer
Working at an increased height on a temporary frame that bears a significant amount of weight is a high-risk situation for both workers and the public. This is why assembling error-proof scaffolding requires the installment to be completed by an OSHA-certified Competent Person, which is an individual in the field that is able to adequately identify existing hazards and also forecast any potential danger that may impact the scaffold’s instability. The certification process is yet another step to ensure the safe and effective use of scaffolding.
Using Scaffolding in a Safe Manner Requires Training
Training workers on scaffolding starts from when it’s being erected and ends once the scaffolding is fully dismantled. Workers must be trained on every component. They include choosing the right scaffolding type, identifying faulty points, falls, slips, and recognizing load capacities. Once training is complete, workers are able to operate with full efficiency and in a manner that preserves the integrity of the building. It keeps both workers and anyone passing underneath the scaffolding safely.