A scaffold is a temporary structure set up to provide support for working platforms. They are used in construction projects so workers can perform tasks that cannot be done while at ground level. Since they are temporary structures, they can be assembled and disassembled. In this regard, it is necessary to ensure they are erected safely to prevent untoward incidents at the construction site.
There are several things to take into account to ensure a scaffold is erected safely. Reputable scaffolding companies, such as Access Scaffolding, are aware of these things so they can ensure the safety of their workers.
- Prepare the Foundations
Erecting a scaffold requires a stable foundation where it will be erected. The foundation of a scaffold is designed to carry as well as distribute the weight of the scaffold. This weight includes dead and live loads. Due to this, it is important to consider the ground conditions since it can affect the stability of the foundation of the scaffold. Additionally, weather conditions should also be taken into account, particularly rain and wind. The live load or transient loads, such as the workers and equipment, should also be factored in since they may require a more durable foundation for the scaffold if the load is heavy.
- Using sole boards and baseplates
The sole board and baseplate of the scaffold may be needed to ensure it will distribute the load evenly into the support surface. Doing this will ensure the scaffold will remain stable. Sole boards distribute the load from load-bearing components of the scaffold system into the supporting surface. It is designed to be placed under the baseplate.
If the support surface or the ground where the scaffold is erected is not stable, it will be necessary to use a sole board and baseplate. These less stable support surfaces include gravel and soil. The type of support surface will also determine the sole board size. They can be positioned under a single or multiple standards. It is also important for a person with the necessary skill and experience to compute the bearing capacity of the support surface to determine if a sole board is necessary. While the sole board and baseplate should be level, an adjustable base can be used when the surface is uneven. The whole baseplate should be supported by the seaboard and it should not protrude.
- Safe Scaffold Installation Practices
There are several practices to observe to ensure a scaffold is installed properly and safely.
- Follow a methodical sequence when installing or setting up the scaffold
- Secure or tighten all the fittings and connections of the scaffold
- Once the scaffold is erected, all necessary scaffoldings should be installed. This includes the guy ropes, buttresses, and bracing and ties.
- Loading platforms specifically designed for a certain load should be used to avoid overloading.
- Competent and certified professionals should work on installing the scaffold. Companies such as Access Scaffolding have all the necessary personnel to perform this task.
- Live loads, particularly the number of workers, should be checked before the scaffold is erected.
- The scaffold bay should not be overloaded with scaffolding that has yet to be installed
- Avoid climbing on the guard rails to gain additional height
- Control measures to prevent the risk of falling should be implemented. These measures are for internal gaps that are greater than 225 millimeters. Some measures to implement include the installation of edge protection and installation of extra scaffold planks.
- It may also be necessary to keep a section of the platform open while erecting the scaffold. This open section will allow planks and other materials to be passed to the next levels.
After a sufficient number of the scaffold components are installed, it is necessary to install the following:
- A 450-millimeter platform across the scaffold.
- Edge protection along edges where there is a risk of falling.
- Access to the scaffold, such as a ladder or temporary stairs.
It is also necessary to check the scaffolding for any defects. If a defective scaffolding is found, it should be marked and replaced as soon as possible to prevent any accidents. If the scaffold is erected over water, it is necessary to take the necessary measures to keep the scaffold away from the water.
These are the things to take into account to ensure a scaffold is safely erected. To ensure this, it is necessary to get the services of a reputable scaffold company, such as Access Scaffolding to erect the scaffold for a construction project. For more information, visit Access Scaffolding Today !