What is Scaffolding in Construction and why do you need it?

Retaining wall on construction site with light seeping through

Retaining wall on construction site

Scaffolding is used by construction workers on most of their construction projects. It is a temporary structure created to support access or working platforms. This structure is used when the work cannot be completed on ground level or from a completed floor. Scaffolds can be created to the desired height allowing them to be useful in most construction works.

Scaffolding is the individual components, like steel tubes, couplers or frames and when put together it is called a scaffold.

Why is scaffolding used in construction?

Safety

Scaffolding systems are essential to ensuring the safety of your construction crew as it provides a stable working platform and easy access.

A scaffolding structure is a secure option on sloped roofs as it provides a flat and firm base to balance on. Most scaffolding has handrails that offer grip and support for workers on a construction project. Since scaffolding structures are professionally installed it means workers are less vulnerable to moving and imbalance compared to using unsecured ladders.

The construction industry ensures the protection of workers through the provision and maintenance of safe scaffolding and scaffolds.

Ease of positioning

There are multiple advantages of having a scaffold on construction projects including the ease of positioning and easy installation. This means it can be easily repositioned to a different spot at the desired level allowing for convenience of use.

Ease of accessibility

A scaffold can be easily altered to reach different heights which result in ease of accessibility. This means if the construction work is on a multi-storey building then workers can easily access the upper floors using the scaffolding. Scaffolding not only facilitates workers to reach all parts of a building but also lets them safely and smoothly move across or up on the building. This temporary framework is essential as workers can access the same area at the same time and allows for greater workflow .

Different types of scaffolding used on construction sites

There are  different types of scaffolding used in construction as different types cater to different needs.

Trestle scaffolding

A trestle scaffold is made from prefabricated trestles, braces, and accessories. Trestle scaffolding is useful as they are more stable than ladders and mobile towers and can handle two people. Additionally, trestle scaffolding is easy to both assemble and disassemble, increasing convenience.

However, they allow limited access as they can only reach twenty feet in height and do not include a working platform.

Steel scaffolding

Steel scaffolding can be reused multiple times and makes work easy and safe. It comes with safety lines along with other supplies to optimise safety on site

Steel scaffolding is a secure option as it provides a steady and firm structure that can withstand heavy rain, severe storms, and even earthquakes. This means this scaffolding option is more durable and has  the capacity to withstand a full lifespan. Similar to trestle scaffolding this one can also be assembled and dismantled easily which contributes to work efficiency. This option is also environmentally friendly as the scaffolding is made using leftover raw material and helps prevent waste material. 

Patented scaffolding

Patented scaffolding is also made of steel and is most commonly used in short term projects. This type of scaffolding is fitted using special couplings and frames.

They are easy to assemble and disassemble meaning semi-skilled labourers should be able to use them. Patented scaffolding is ready-made meaning it can be bought in-store and is adjustable to the desired height.

Suspended scaffolding

Suspended scaffolding is a platform installed using wire ropes or a basket that utilises a motor. Suspended scaffolding is useful for medium-height buildings or those involving skyscrapers, making it an excellent scaffolding type for the projects that require you to reach higher heights rather than using other types of scaffolding.

Another benefit of a suspended scaffold is that if the ground you are working on is unstable then this will not be a concern as it does not use ground based support. This is also a great solution for construction projects above the water as you do not need to worry about unstable or unsafe conditions.

This type of structure is also more cost-effective. 

However, this might not be the best option for projects that require extremely heavy load construction material. This is because there are limitations on carrying out heavy construction work using this scaffolding system.

Cantilever scaffolding

Cantilever scaffolding is used during projects where there are obstacles preventing the construction of a scaffolding tower. Cantilever scaffolding is a good choice for areas where the roof is sloped, glazed or too weak to hold a person's weight.

This is an excellent cost and time effective solution for work when traditional scaffolding cannot be used. Cantilever scaffolding is a safe option as it can withstand different types of weather conditions.

Single scaffolding

Single scaffolding is most commonly used for brick masonry and is often referred to as bricklayers scaffolding. Bricklayers scaffolding uses standards, putlogs, and ledgers which are placed 1.2 meters from the wall. For taller buildings when installing brick layer's scaffolding braces are used to help increase structural stability. Single scaffolding can be made using different materials including bamboo or timber.

Double scaffolding

Double scaffolding is similar to bricklayers scaffolding  used for stone masonry. Other names for double scaffolding include masons scaffolding or independent scaffolding. Stone walls are extremely difficult to create holes to support putlogs so  employing the use of double scaffolding overcomes this obstacle.

Kwikstage scaffolding

Kwikstage scaffolding is a heavy structure most commonly used for larger projects. This is a suitable replacement for regular scaffolds as it provides similar benefits. The structure can be built to the required level by using a strong and safe interlocking system.

It is a convenient option as it is very easy to assemble meaning it requires fewer labourers which helps decrease costs. Unlike other scaffolding systems, kwikstage does not require an even ground, increasing the convenience and versatility of its use.

Talk to the professionals

At iseekplant, we’re Australia’s largest construction hire marketplace. This means you can search our large directory for suppliers, including scaffolding suppliers. Do a quick search today and find a concrete contractor near you now! Or email our projects team for any extra information you might need. 

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