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Safety of Scaffolding installation


Do you need to install a scaffolding safely? If yes, it is worth reading this blog about “safety of Scaffolding installation”. Scaffolding erection is a risky activity for those who are at the work, as well as for the general public. The safety of scaffolding during installation is a major issue in today’s construction field. Because. huge numbers of workers die every year from accidents related to scaffolding. If  we do not consider safety factors during the installation of scaffolding ,  it will lead to accident . It can be by the fall of materials and workers from scaffolding . Or, may be due to the collapse of  unstable scaffolding. In order to avoid this, we have to   follow safety procedures during the installation of scaffold. So, This blog is an eye opener about the subject “safety of scaffolding installation” or “safety of scaffolding fixing”.  

The safe scaffolding does not result just from a wish,. But, it happens only with proper planning and monitoring of the works throughout the process .We have to plan properly from beginning to erect a safe and stable scaffolding. So, let us  go through the following headings to understand about the safety of scaffolding erection.

  • The planning  and design for safety of  scaffolding installation
  • Other considerations about safety of scaffolding Fixing
  • Safety requirements of scaffolding erection

The Planning and design for safety of scaffolding installation

Always, plan about  scaffolding installation works  well before the erection starts. Normally, the planning and design happens together.  In this way, we can avoid or eliminate  many health and safety risks. Thus, we can avoid accidents by taking necessary control measures. As said, prepare scaffolding plan initially prior to the installation. The plan  shall include the following.

  1. Site Layout Plan
  2. Detailed Elevation and sections of the scaffold.

You may need to consult the scaffold designer, builder or principal contractor to prepare the scaffold plan.

Also, this scaffold plan should address all the issues as listed below

  • Basis of plan
  • Ground conditions and loading
  • Supporting structure
  • Access and egress
  • Tying, bracing
  • Type of scaffold and edge protection.

A qualified person has to do scaffolding design work. The scaffold design shall include the following important facts:

  • The proper material to construct the scaffolding
  • The scaffold shall support its own weight and at least 4 times the maximum expected load. To ensure a correct calculation, the designer has to do a realistic assessment of loads. Consider the maximum intended load on the scaffold at all stage of erection and loading.

The design and planning is a very important step when think about the safety of scaffolding installation.   If you have any confusion  about whether scaffolding design and calculation required or not, we can guide you on this. You can read our blog on this “ does scaffolding design and load calculation required for all scaffolding” ? . If you are in UAE,  you can contact a leading scaffolding contractor in UAE  to  assist you further on this.

Other Considerations about safety of  Scaffolding Fixing:-

The following are some of the important factors to consider at this stage  about the safety of scaffolding installation.

Exposure to Electrical Services

Check whether there is any electrical lines in close proximity to the scaffolding erection area. If there is, Contact the concerned electricity authority  for details and for appropriate system of work. Need to get “No objection certificate” from this authority

Mobile Plant and Traffic

If there is hazard from mobile plant and moving traffic, we need to take appropriate control measures . For example, like rerouting of traffic roads, placing barricades, signs, posts..etc to prevent the vehicles/plants approaching towards the  scaffolding. This is also one of the important point while considering the safety of scaffolding installation.

Mixing and matching scaffold components

Incompatible scaffold components ,from different manufactures, can lead to difficulties in dismantling. And so, only compatible  component from the same manufacture need to use.

Method statement and Risk Assessment

We need to assess the risk involved in the scaffolding installation and to take control measures. For this purpose, prepare method statement and risk assessment and take precautions to ensure good safety of scaffolding fixing.

Safety requirements during scaffolding installation

As per the above planning and design, carry out scaffolding installation safely. Ensure to  take care of the following points.

  • Firstly, We have to prevent the unauthorised persons from entering the accessing area of scaffolding erection. For this purpose, we need to provide and exclusion zone around the scaffolding and adjoining area. Place signs and barriers to divert the public away from the operations.This is one of the point affecting the safety of scaffolding installation.
  • Prepare the ground and erect scaffolding on the compacted land to take up the  load of scaffolding.
  • Trained and experienced scaffolders shall erect the scaffolding under the supervision of competent person.
  • Sole boards and baseplates shall be provided to evenly distribute the load from the scaffold to the supporting surface.
  • Tie the scaffolding to the structure at the required interval vertically and horizontally.
  • Provide adequate bracing for the scaffolding
  • Provide full boarded platform and to secure the scaffold boards.
  • Edge protection shall be provided at all edges of the scaffolding as per the standard.
  • Provide Toe board at all sides of the platform.
  • Safe access and egress shall be provided during the erection stage, use and dismantling of scaffolding.  

Conclusion and Disclaimer

The author has made sincere attempt to include important points  in this blog  of “safety of scaffolding installation”. However, this blog is in brief. Of course, there may be  several other matters which needs to add in this blog of “safety of scaffolding erection”. In case of any doubts, you may refer to the legal requirements. Concerning  with the scaffolding in UAE , you can  read our blog “scaffolding legal requirements in UAE”. If you are in UAE and wish to install scaffolding , you can have advise from a leading  scaffolding company in UAE.

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