Construction jobs often require scaffolding to access areas and spaces that may otherwise not be accessible and are essential when height is a barrier. Consider ancient cathedrals — their height was massive, and reaching high walls and ceilings was necessary to complete the work that needed to be done. Nowadays, while scaffolds have improved, they are largely similar to their ancestors, but refinements have come in the way of specialized scaffolding for specialized jobs. The required type of scaffold depends on the structure and the kind of project.
Scaffolding has many uses, such as safely supporting workers, tools, building materials, and more. But, first, you need to know which kind of scaffolding is appropriate for the situations you find yourself in at your job or working on your DIY projects at home. When working at elevated levels, scaffolding is your best defense against injury.
All scaffolding is not the same. There are several different kinds of scaffolding, and in this article, we will help you identify which type is appropriate for your specific job.
What Is Scaffolding?
Scaffolding is a temporary structure allowing primarily construction crews to access elevated areas safely. Staging is a term used interchangeably with scaffolding. Although scaffolding serves the purpose of safety, set it up correctly to avoid causing serious injury.
Although there are different types of scaffolding, they all have some of the following features:
- Load-bearing base plate to support the scaffold
- Upright standards with connectors
- Horizontal braces
- Horizontal load-bearing cross-section to hold the decking
- Diagonal bracing
- Decking for the working platform
- Joint couplers
- Scaffold ties
- Brackets to increase workspace
Types Of Scaffolding for Different Jobs
There are different types of scaffolding based on the kind of project. For example, is it a construction project? What is the nature of the project? There are other considerations such as whether it is a repair, maintenance, new, or demolition project.
Scaffolding requires experience and knowledge to determine an individualized plan for each project. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to safety.
Type #1: Trestle
Trestle is primarily used indoors, with the platform set up on movable ladders in a tripod shape. This type is quick to set up and take down and more typical for indoor painting or ceiling repairs. Unfortunately, trestle scaffolds have little value outdoors since they are limited significantly by their lack of height.
Type #2: Steel
The steel scaffold has steel tubes and couplers and is quick and easy to set up and tear down. The drawback is that it comes at a higher expense, while the benefit is its higher safety value due to its strength, durability, and fire resistance. Based on these benefits, it is the most popular scaffolding option outdoors and for significantly high structures.
Type #3: Patented
Patented scaffolds are also made of steel but rather have specialized couplers and rigging. When purchased, this type is popular because it is ready to use immediately by setting the platform on brackets and adjusting the brackets.
Type #4: Suspended
The suspended type of scaffolding is ideal for projects that involve frequently adjusting and moving. Often used by painters and utilizes chains and rope hanging from a roof to reach the access area. This style is ideal for work on very tall buildings like skyscrapers.
Type #5: Cantilever
Cantilever scaffolding takes a great deal of planning and double-checking. However, this scaffold style is ideal in situations where the scaffolding cannot hang from above, such as an unfinished roof or wall—additionally, there a safe load-bearing space as a platform below.
Type #6: Single
The single style of scaffolding requires following very defined technical specifications. In addition, single scaffolds are time-consuming to set up due to the strict guidelines. Therefore, Masons primarily utilize this kind of scaffold.
Type #7: Double
Double scaffolding is also known as independent and utilized primarily by stonemasons. Essentially these are two single scaffolds together requiring similar technical specifications and time-consuming setup.
Type #8: Kwikstage
Kwikstage scaffolding is a favorite since it is easy to install and tear down—highly durable construction from galvanized hard wearing steel. This style is a modular system that is ideal for small and large construction projects providing a solid platform for workers.
Others are not necessarily scaffolds but allow workers to reach the unreachable. Others include lifts, hoists, and more.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires employers to provide appropriate training for anyone setting up or tearing down scaffolds. In addition, these same employers must have a qualified person provide training for any employees performing work on a scaffold.
Scaffolds allow workers with their tools of the trade, such as power tools, air compressors, power generators, and framing nail guns, to move to various heights to perform work. Safety is a significant consideration, so barriers for the safety zone are critical to avoid catastrophic events like someone bumping into the staging with a lawnmower while someone is on it.
It is essential that tools and building materials be secured if stored for any length of time on scaffolding, as a simple bump could be enough to send heavy items off the edge and onto someone or something below.
Rent the Right Tool for the Job
You probably agree that safety is not a luxury, it’s a requirement for every worksite. You’ll never go wrong with an extra scaffold, or a state-of-the-art power generator. At Elephant Construction Solutions, we offer you and your team all of the equipment you need to get the job done. We have everything you need–including scaffolding, power tools, air compressors, power generators, lawn mowers and nail guns–to get your project done quickly and safely.
Reach out to us here to get a free quote for all of your equipment needs.
Elephant Construction Solutions is a latino-family-owned business based in Pharr, TX. We combine many years of experience in different fields to finally offer you, our customer, a real solution of tools and equipment so you can be more productive.