What You Need To Know When Installing Scaffoldings
March 12, 2020
Scaffoldings, also known as building platforms, are designed to assist labourers and construction workers on worksites. Building platforms are governed by strict workplace regulatory standards, largely because they can be incredibly dangerous, should they be installed or erected improperly. Unfortunately, collapses occur quite often, and fatalities often ensue. So, if you are a little unsure about how to effectively and safely erect scaffoldings for your labouring work, make sure you read the following guide, which will help you through the process.
Step 1: Foundations are crucial
No matter how safe and secure your building platforms might be, if their foundations are unsafe or unsteady, issues and injuries will occur. You cannot install your building platforms on unstable ground, so before you even start assembling the parts, make sure the ground you intend to use is strong and firm. If the ground is unstable, you can attach plates to the base of the tower to prevent it from sliding or tipping. Lay planks of wood if you will be working on grass or dirt.
What if my platform needs to be mobile?
If your scaffoldings need to be mobile, simply attach casters to the legs of the platform. The size of the wheel will depend on how large the tower is and how much weight it needs to bear. If the load is minimal, 5-inch caster wheels should be enough. If you’re unsure, simply go for a larger size.
Step 2: Building the base
Once the foundations have been established and you are content with them, you can move onto building the frame of your scaffoldings. Firstly, lay out all the pieces and ensure that everything is there. Then, find the base piece and slide the adjusting screws (you should have four of them) into the base. These screws are used to set the height of your building platform. If the base piece is a square, then one screws goes in each corner. Next, if you don’t plan on moving your scaffoldings, attach the baseplate to the bottom. Check the instructions but most baseplates simply clip onto the base with a pin, while others need to be manually screwed in.
Step 3: Erecting the frame
Standard scaffoldings are approximately 2.1m in height and with each baseplate attached, the frame should be able to stand on its own. Stand the 2 separate pieces roughly 2.1m apart from each other and begin connecting them via the cross braces. The cross braces are the metal poles that connect the two tower pieces together. There should be 4 metal poles that serve as cross braces. Pick up one of the poles and connect it to the top hook of the one of the towers. Once secure, connect it to the corresponding bottom hook on the opposite side. Repeat this for the remaining 3 cross braces.
Step 4: Adding the planks
Once you’re happy with the frame of your scaffoldings, the next step is to begin placing planks along the platform. Firstly, lay the planks across the platform evenly and then, using either rope, screws or straps, ensure that the planks are firmly in place and won’t move while you’re working. It’s incredibly important to have strong planks, since more than half of Sydney worksites reportedly have poorly constructed building platforms.
Step 5: Adding the guardrails
The final major step is to add guardrails. Regardless of how tall your building platforms are, it is always advised that you have guardrails installed on your scaffoldings. This will minimise the risks of someone falling off the platform and minimise the risk of injury should a collapse occur.
Once your guardrails have been installed, do a quick safety check to ensure that the previous steps have been followed carefully and succinctly. If you’re happy, you’re ready to go!