How to set scaffolding: tips and tricks for set up on site

Scaffold on site

Scaffolding is a century old technique that has evolved into modern construction. It is a staple on almost all construction sites and creates the safety necessary for many large infrastructure projects across Australia.  

Scaffolding is often set up to replace a ladder and is a much safer choice. According to Safe Work, Australian reports show that 86% of falls at a workplace is due to ladder usage. This is much more than 14% of accidents attributed to scaffolding.

Required tools

Whether you are working on a home renovation or large scale commercial construction work it is important to have the required tools to ensure the successful installation of scaffolding.

Before you start getting ready to build your scaffold, get these tools in your tool kit to make the process much faster and more convenient.

1. Boots and Gloves

Scaffolding PPE equipment

The most common accident on a job site is falling and in most cases, this is due to the carelessness of the individual or because of the scaffolding itself. The severity of the impact can be greatly reduced by ensuring you have the right type of scaffold safety equipment.

Good footing and a strong grip can make many accidents less fatal, and safety equipment can help reduce this risk further. If you are not currently equipped with this then keep reading.

Everybody likes shopping for shoes right? Well, it's time you invest in a good pair of boots. It would be even more beneficial if they are a steel-toed boot. The steel-toed boot will help decrease the impact of falling objects which is a very common injury on a construction site.

Gloves are also an excellent investment as they keep your hands safe from abrasions and cuts which are often caused by slightly sharper edges on the scaffolding. Moreover, it can assist workers in holding tools with a tighter grip, therefore, increasing work performance.

2. Scaffold Wrench

Scaffold wrench

A scaffolding frame often needs to be adjusted or replaced on-site and this can be easily done with the use of a scaffold wrench.

A scaffold wrench will help tighten and loosen the fasteners which makes adjusting or moving the scaffolding much easier. A scaffolding wrench can also be used for bolts and nuts meaning construction workers do not need to carry a multitude of tools. This is beneficial as a two-in-one wrench means more space on your belt which is safer when working on tall scaffolding.

3. Podger

A common issue people have when constructing a scaffold is aligning the parts so a bolt can be inserted to secure the structure. Standing at a height and attempting to align sections might be a little difficult which is where it would be useful to have a podger in your tool kit.

This tool is a wrench that allows construction workers to easily align the holes. This can be done firstly by pushing it through and then a bolt can be inserted to secure it in place.

4. Adjustable Wrench or Crescent Wrench

This tool is another two in one tool you need. This tool helps you hold the nut in place when tightening the bold. This provides convenience as it makes the job much faster and easier allowing time to be used more efficiently.

5 . Tape Measure

A tape measure is an invaluable tool that is included in nearly all tool kits. This tool helps with precise measurement which is vital when setting up a scaffolding structure.

There are so many different types of tape measures in the market currently and one that is highly recommended is the magnetic grip which will stay secured to your belt.

6. Magnetic Levels

This equipment will help stabilise and level a scaffolding structure. They come in different sizes allowing them to be used in varying spaces.

This is an important tool as leveling your scaffolding will help decrease accidents. If the structure is not levelled and is leading to a side then this may cause instability which results in an accident.

7. Pipe Cutter

Most scaffolding structures come ready to assemble however a pipe cutter is useful to carry to cut piping to the necessary length. Sometimes the place you are working on is unique and the scaffolding will need to be altered to fit correctly.

8. Tool Cutting Lanyards

This tool stops other tools from falling off the belt to the floor which helps stop accidents. It also provides easy retrieval of the tool.

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Required materials

There are several basic materials that you will need when assembling a scaffold. Below is a list of some:

  • Standards
  • Ledgers
  • Transoms
  • Scaffold Couplers
  • Adjustable Base Plates
  • Diagonal Braces
  • Toe Boards
  • Decks
  • Scaffold Tubes

 

Build frame and base

Scaffolding platforms

The process of building the scaffold can only be started once a solid foundation is built. A solid foundation helps remove the problems with sloped or uneven ground. Employing the use of leg extensions to dig down on a slope helps with easy levelling. A solid base allows scaffolding to safely be installed and used.

To assemble the frame and bases you need to lay out the scaffolding ends. Then lift each piece and secure the ends. This process will differ a little depending on the manufacture of the scaffold. To save time and effort adjusting screws and base plates or casters should be slid on in the beginning. This means later you will not have to lift the entire scaffold frames. You can rent adjusting screws for as little as $3.00 a week. Sometimes adding cross braces will help reinforce the building structure and cross braces also let the scaffolding reach complete capacity.

Once the frame of the scaffolds has been built you should move it into the desired position and ensure it is level and secure.

Install platforms

Once you have the scaffolding properly installed it is time to install the scaffold planks. To do this you need to lift the scaffold planks through the bars and secure them into place. To help fasten the scaffolding planks into the scaffolding safely hardware should be used. Make sure to utilise a scaffolding rental company to source secure scaffold planks instead of using wood or other unsecured options.

Install guardrails

After platforms have been added make sure to include guard posts and rails. You will not need rails on the scaffolding frame side that faces the building given the scaffold is within 14in of the construction structure. When attempting to work on the scaffold during its construction do not climb on the cross brace instead use built-in ladders or stair-like ladders.

Examining the scaffold safety

A common safety concern for those working on scaffolds is the unfortunate event of them falling. This concern can be overcome by using toe boards. A toe board is a vertical barrier that is attached to a raised platform or floor. The purpose of this is to prevent people and other objects from falling over from a raised platform.

Tying the scaffold to a supporting structure whilst the construction is in progress is recommended. Sound structures include a transom, a ledger or guardrail that is supported with load-bearing couplers.

How can I find the best scaffolding supplier?

After reading this if you have decided this is a little bit too much for you then don’t stress. You can easily access scaffolding suppliers through iseekplant  Australia’s go-to site for hiring equipment and contracting services. Through our website’s large online directory, you can find and analyse several suppliers and contractors in mere clicks. Use our simple Get a Quote Tool or email our projects team today.

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