A Quick Guide to Professional Scaffolding ErectionDecember 1, 2017
Descriptive operational guidelines are encouraged in our industry because details save lives when scaffolding is being erected. However, there are benefits to be found in brevity. Here's a quick guide to professional scaffolding erection, one that highlights the main points of this at-height line of work. Use it as a reference and as an at-a-glance series of supervisory tips. Above all, use it to stay safe.
Scaffolding Stability: Strength and Rigidity
Select the appropriate scaffolding system. Maintain the equipment and regularly inspect the discrete elements. Dependent on project requirements, erect a frame that's certain to support a desired number of employees. Stay in compliance with all nationally and internationally accredited scaffolding codes at all times.
Employ a Conditions-Aware Erection Approach
The soil type can shift during a heavy shower, or it could be laced with rocky deposits. Correct this foundational area before lifting a single cross brace or fastener. Next, the height of the staging tower and its alignment angle require calculated consideration. Bolster the framework by anchoring it to the building, by implementing supplementary stabilizers, and by using tensioned scaffold lanyards. Beyond the structure, there are overhead electrical cables and strong winds to plan for during the erection.
A Best Practice Safety Approach
On the ground, large signs warn of falling tools. Safety helmets are mandatory. Fall protection systems are a central focus point during the course of the scaffolding erection process, which is why the fitted handrails and toe guards receive extra attention as the frame climbs skywards. In short, the workers on the steel frame are protected, as are the workers on the ground and any pedestrians in the vicinity. For that latter consideration, expect safety nets and pedestrian protection tunnels.
Use Competence-Based Inspections
Carrying a checklist of unconditional site requirements, the inspector ensures the scaffolding frame is up to code. The job of this highly responsible individual is to document the implemented erection methods and procedures. If even a single measure of this duty is slightly off, it's the job of that inspector to identify the risk factor and make sure the fault is addressed.
Running through all of these steps, a common thread ties every sequenced operation together. These are the work and safety regulations, the codes that assure a suitably wide safety margin. Once that safety margin is documented and approved by the inspector, the erection work begins. This working frame is now stable and built to fulfil the work type, be it a renovation project or a full building construction job.
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