It is quite common to walk or drive past a construction site. These sites are used for cleaning as well as commercial and residential building work. Often, building work takes place above ground level; therefore it becomes essential for any workers to have the ability to reach the desired height to complete the task. In order to ensure all tasks can be completed, scaffolds are used. These working structures may look precarious, but in reality they are incredibly safe. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about a scaffold.
What are scaffolds?
In simple terms, scaffolds are a temporary structure which are put up in order to support, or provide access to working platforms. The main goal of these working structures is to ensure that workers have a safe and stable area to work during building or construction if it has to be completed above ground level. It is not uncommon to see a variation of a working platforms on a building site; in fact, it is rare to see a construction area that is not making use of one. There are many different variations of working platform, each design has its own primary purpose and a job that it is suitable for. It is also important to recognize that all working structures are made up of different components. This is done to make sure that they are safe and durable.
What are scaffolds made from?
Regardless of type, each scaffold is made up of three basic parts; tubes, boards and couplers. Tubes are generally made from aluminium or steel and come in varying lengths. Couplers are the fittings that join the tubes together, and the boards are wooden and make up the work surface. In some circumstances, other materials may be required, and therefore will be added to the structure. Some materials that can be added are anchor ties, ropes, base plates and ladders. Interestingly, geographical location impacts what the scaffold is made of, so in other countries, different materials are used to create working platforms. As an example, in Hong Kong and India, bamboo is used more often than steel or aluminium. Bamboo structures make used of nylon straps in order to hold everything in place, this is instead of couplers or wires. Working platforms are durable, long lasting and effective, this is the main reason why they are still used on building sites today.
Are scaffolds safe?
Although these working platforms may sound, and sometimes look precarious; they are designed to be safe and stable. Don’t forget that they have the strength and stability to hold multiple workers, and their equipment. However, if used improperly, they can become dangerous. This is why it is so essential to follow the correct safety procedures when using them. Furthermore, in order to work on a construction site, or use a working platform, you will need to have been briefed with the safety measures, and in some circumstances take a course.
Are there different types?
There are several different types of working structures that help workers reach different levels. The reason there are so many variants is simply because each construction job differs and will require unique equipment. This allows the workers to meet their specific job requirements. Working platforms are generally divided into three main types, these are; suspended, self supported and aerial.
Working platforms have been in use on every construction site for many years, so it is safe to say that by now they are refined and as stable and secure as they need to be. It would be almost impossible for construction workers to carry out their jobs without the aid of some type of structure.