Construction work is dangerous. Simply put, this is why a scaffold is a high necessity. But let’s break this down a little…
A scaffold is a temporary framework put up to give construction workers a safe, stable footing when working above ground level.
It’s typically made from aluminum or steel tubes, couplers or frames, and wooden boards or decking also made from aluminum or steel. When assembled these form a supportive framework that can be many stories tall.
So, why exactly go to the trouble of constructing this engineering feat only to dismantle it again at the end of the project? We’ve thrown together a list of important and practical ‘why’s’…
- Health and safety duties at work
Why not just throw a bunch of ladders together? It’s in everyone’s best interest to have a safe work environment, and that includes providing a sturdy footing when working above the height of the average person.
- Manage risks
Tying into the above, it’s duty of care to minimize the risk of personal injury on the job. Managing risks comes with the following steps…
- Identifying risks – spotting a potential problem that could occur before it even happens
- Assessing risks – understanding the nature and seriousness of each of these potential problems
- Controlling risks – taking action to minimize the chance of hazardous scenarios actually happening
- Reviewing risks – feedback to verify the problem is at bay.
- Work on multiple levels at the same time
Often, the work that needs to be done isn’t contained in a single area, with spots on different levels and sides needing attention. A scaffold framework makes non-localized work easier. It’s easier to work from different parts of the structure simultaneously.
- Finding out about hazards from a safe distance
A scaffold allows workers to walk around the site and identify potential hazards, without having to go in too close. We’re talking those within the structure, and around it. The elevation provides a handy perspective on the surrounding environment.
- Easier to bring the toolkit
If it were just ladders, the worker would need to take one tool up at time. And take it down. To swap, and bring a new tool up…
The scaffold gives the worker somewhere to put their tool box and have everything they need with them at the exact spot they’re working on.
- Safe transportation of goods
Tying in with this, is being able to safely transport not only tools but building materials from one location of the structure to another.
- Better for business
Also, construction companies can’t afford an accident. The scaffold towers are a pledge to keeping up the occupational health and safety standards, and hopefully avoid paying out workers compensation.
- Makes it easier to refresh a city
Our steel beams are also imperative to touching up run down buildings that may be city icons, or architectural feats. Two great examples where this has happened is the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney CBD and Quadrangle building at Sydney University.
Now we’ve talked about a bunch of within the construction site. But what uses are there for the humble scaffold outside of this? Here are a couple other places it’s come in handy that you may not know about…
So the building is up and the framework has been dismantled. But down the track there may come a time where the building is need of a specialist clean. However will we reach up there?
- Camera, lights, music!
No major event could happen without a scaffold or two. We’re talking sports events, festival stages, and concerts, to support cameras, lighting, speakers, and more.