What Is A Scaffold?

A scaffold is used in building construction. It is a temporary work platform that is used to support and elevate materials and workers during the repair, construction, or cleaning of a machine or structure. There are two popular types of scaffolds – supported scaffolds and suspended scaffolds.

Supported scaffolds contain one or more platforms that are supported by lead-bearing and rigid members, such as outriggers, frames, legs, and poles, among others. A suspended scaffold on the other hand is one or more platforms that are suspended by non-rigid overhead support, such as ropes.  

What are the different oarts of a scaffold?

A scaffold has different parts that make it up. Each part is important to the sturdiness of the scaffold itself. 

  • Standards: These refer to the vertical posts
  • Braces: these are the diagonal members that are fixed on standards
  • Ledgers: The horizontal members that are parallel to the wall
  • Boarding: These are the planks where the workers stand
  • Putlogs: These are horizontal members, which are vertical to the wall. Each putlog end is supported by the ledger and the other by the wall.
  • Bridle: Workers use this for bridging an opening on the wall that supports one end of the putlog on the opening
  • Transom: These are both ends of putlogs that are supported by the ledgers
  • Toeboard: These are situated parallel to the boarding close to the wall to offer protection to workers on site.

What are the different types of scaffolds that there are?

scaffold in a building being constructed

There are five types of scaffolds and each has specific materials used in making it. It is essential to know each type, including its features before settling for one. Here are the scaffold options that you can find.

Single Scaffold: This is also known as the bricklayer’s scaffolding. It is used for brickwork and has a single row of standards that are spaced at about 1.2 meters distance from the wall. The space between them is around 2.0m and 2.4m. 

Double Scaffold: This also refers to mason’s scaffolding. It contains only two rows. The first measures about 200-300 mm distance from the wall, and the second measures 1m distance from the first row. It features bracers and rakers. Double scaffold type is also known as stone masonry construction.

Suspended Scaffold: This is a temporary work platform that is suspended from the roof with wires, chairs, or ropes. It can be moved horizontally and vertically, depending on the construction needs.

Suspended scaffolds are cheaper and offer optimal work levels without disturbing the movement of materials and workers on the ground. They often use it for painting, distempering of walls, and whitewashing.

Cantilever Scaffold: They use the cantilever Scaffold when the ground is weak to hold the standards and during the construction of the upper parts of a multi-story structure. Workers cantilever this type of scaffolding from the walls.

Trestle Scaffold: This is a movable platform, and workers mount it on wheels, ladders, or tripods. Users use this type of scaffolding for maintenance works in buildings. They use it for buildings of up to 5 meters in height.

What hazards are commonly associated with scaffolds?

Several hazards are associated with scaffolds and users must be aware of this so that they can mitigate them. Here are the common hazards that are associated with the use of a scaffold:

  • It is easy to fall from elevation because there is no fall protection in the structure.
  • The scaffold can collapse because of overloading or instability.
  • Electrocution can occur because of the proximity of the scaffold to available overhead power lines.
  • Workers can be struck by falling work materials, debris, and tools.