Before requesting a scaffold for a construction, assembling a stage for an event or doing remodeling work in the home, users ask many questions regarding operability and safety. In this article, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the use of scaffolding.
Building a scaffold requires knowledge and experience, and knowing that permission from the authorities is essential in case of assembling on public roads. It is vital to have professional advice and be clear about the steps that must be followed for scaffolding use and to avoid accidents.
Typical questions about the use of scaffolding
- Who can assemble scaffolding?
All scaffoldings have to be assembled by competent, adequately trained scaffolding erectors. While a single healthy and capable person can build a work platform of fewer than 4 meters, it is always better this person has training and experience.
At least two persons are needed to build a work platform of 6 meters. To build higher scaffolding, it is advisable to rely on a large group of people that guarantees a safe structure for construction workers.
- – How frequently does scaffolding have to be inspected?
Scaffolding has to be inspected right after assembly to guarantee their steadiness before using them. It has to be supervised daily until it is dismantled entirely. It is also essential to check on it when adverse climatic conditions occur that could harm the structure.
Periodical preventive check will allow detecting any failure and preventing the structure from being damaged. It is necessary to review every detail to make practical use of scaffolding.
- – What aspects have to be taken into account to assemble scaffolding?
It is important to make sure that the ground is solid and stable, take into account the number of workers that will be using the surface, and calculate the maximum loads and how they will be set up on the platform. Another critical aspect in the use of scaffolding is the height at which it must be raised. It is crucial to keep in mind that the maximum loads must never be exceeded.
- – Is a permit required to build scaffolding?
If part of the scaffolding must be built on public roads, it is necessary to process the corresponding permits since the law prohibits this type of structures from obstructing the streets and sidewalks. Following guidelines is a must to assemble, dismantle and use scaffolding without endangering the safety of workers and citizens.
- – Which is better? Aluminum scaffolding or steel scaffolding?
It depends on the type of work. Aluminum scaffolding offers more advantages due to their lower weight, a feature that makes them easier to assemble and dismantle because it requires fewer hours, and also reduce costs regarding transportation.
Although it’s heavier than aluminum scaffolding, steel scaffolding offers more stability and steadiness for more demanding works, especially during winter months and adverse climate conditions.
- – How can accidents be prevented in the use of scaffolding?
In the first place, the entire workgroup must be required to wear adequate safety equipment, besides wearing reflecting clothing to reduce chances of being hit accidentally. Regular breaks to avoid accidents due to staff exhaustion and periodic meetings before the workday starts to specify the orders and define the machinery with which the staff will work are mandatory.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported on its website that 72% of workers injured on scaffolds suffered accidents in the support table, by sliding or being hit by an object. This is why OSHA asks companies to follow its guidelines to guarantee the safety in the use of scaffolding.
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