Scaffolding is a safety structure that is common on most construction sites and important for many reasons, which is something that we discussed in this previous blog.
However, there are many factors to consider when deciding if your construction job requires scaffolding and, if so – what kind?
If you are going to be carrying out work on a building that requires you to be at a height, such as window cleaning or roof repairs, then you are more than likely going to need scaffolding to meet health and safety standards, especially if there are multiple people on the job or if you will be moving around at a height.
Access towers are perfect for smaller jobs that require more than a ladder.
For a one-man band and a job that may take less than a day, such as painting, it might be perfectly acceptable to use just a ladder, but it is always necessary to assess the job first before deciding.
Construction tasks that are likely to take more than one or two days are probably best completed with scaffolding in place, especially when working on a roof that may need protecting from temperamental weather with a temporary roof structure.
If the job is a one-day task, then going through the cost and time that it takes to have scaffolding erected is usually unnecessary.
When there are multiple traders working on the job at one time, scaffolding is the most convenient method of moving around the site.
There is also the risk of endangering passers-by or visitors to the site if you don’t have scaffolding and aren’t able to drop materials through a chute, for example.
So, if you are working on a job of a rather large size with many traders involved then you will need scaffolding.
When assessing the job, even for a one-man band, there may be a need for a platform on which you can keep tools and materials, such as a paint pot, at an easy to reach for length. It also makes moving around at a height a lot safer and easier, especially when wind and rain is involved.
In these circumstances, you will need to opt for scaffolding over a ladder.
Generally, if you are carrying out any of the tasks below then you will more than likely require scaffolding:
All in all, the best way to decipher whether you need scaffolding is to carry out a risk assessment for the work where the results of that will determine if it is required.