What is the Meaning of Scaffolding or scaffold

The “Scaffolding” is very important subject in the construction industry in the world. So, let us discuss  about “what is the meaning of scaffolding” in detail through this blog. We will go through various aspects about scaffolding like “what is the meaning of scaffolding” , importance of scaffolding, Types of scaffolding and much more.

What is the meaning of Scaffold and Scaffolding

During construction, repairing   or maintenance work,  we need to have a platform to support the work crew and materials. We provide this platform , called Scaffold ,by building a  temporary structure . So, the scaffold helps to support the working team to perform construction activities . In other words, the use of scaffold is to  make access to the workplace at height. In addition, the scaffold also support the materials..

The Scaffolding is the individual components we use to assemble to form a scaffold . For example tubes, couplers or frames…..etc. However, the general public use  the word scaffolding and scaffold  with the same meaning. For the easy understanding of the general public, we have also used the word ” scaffolding” in place of the word “scaffold” throughout this blog and in our website. This blog does not describe about the components. SCAFFOLDING WORK means erecting , altering or dismantling  a temporary structure using to support a platform. Majority of accidents in construction industry happens by falling from scaffold. Considering this hazards, the safety procedures has more importance while working on a scaffold.

Difference Between Scaffold , Formwork and Shoring

As explained above, Scaffold means a temporary structure built next to a building or any other structure ,such as a bridge. Scaffold provides work platforms at various heights and locations for the workers .This helps the workers to get access to work locations at various heights for their jobs. In short, the sole purpose of Scaffold is to elevate the  workers, materials, and equipment to perform their work.

image of  scaffolding

Formwork is a temporary structure using to contain poured concrete and to mould it to the required dimensions. This is to support the concrete until it is able to support itself. Like scaffolds, shoring systems are also temporary structure. However, the purpose is to support the permanent structure like building or bridge along with the formwork, but  not for the workers. The Structural shoring is used during construction, renovation, and demolition of projects. Unstable formwork and shoring can injure and even kill you  and others working below it. So, safety is a major concern for formwork and shoring.

What is the meaning & Importance of Scaffolding in Construction

The use of Scaffold is important in the construction field due to the following advantages.

  • The scaffold can be constructed to reach any height which increases the importance of scaffold than any other methods.
  • Scaffold provides a solid and secure platform for  construction workers to perform their job easily
  • Scaffold erected  in compliance with the legal requirements will definitely help  to prevent falls and accidents.
  • It allows multiple workers to work together at one place so that it helps to finish complicated jobs like installing windows, fixing of structural components …etc
  • Very often, Scaffold is useful to hold heavy building materials such as bricks or concrete blocks during the construction or repair works.
  • Scaffolding is also important when it is using to support the unstable portion of the building, or temporary formwork for shoring.
  • The Scaffold also guarantees the safety of the public areas surrounding a building that is under-construction.
  • The Scaffolding helps the pedestrians and public  safe from damage caused by tools and materials falling from  height.

The scaffold installation and dismantling works are high risky job. So we advise you to contract these works  to specialised scaffolding contractor . If you are located  in Abudhabi,  we suggest you to read the OSHAD code of practice of scaffolding COP 26.0 .If you are in USA or following OSHA stands, then, it is worth reading the A Guide to Scaffold Use in the Construction Industry – OSHA

General Requirements of Scaffold Work.

  • We should consider to use  the   scaffold  only if  the work cannot be done safely from the ground or from part of the building or from other  permanent structure.
  • Those who work on the scaffold should have relevant scaffold competency. It can be in the form of qualification, training coupled with adequate experience.
  • In UAE, the scaffolders involved in the erection, dismantling or modifying the scaffold shall have scaffolding competency certificate issued by approved third party training centers.
  • The employer shall provide general training to all personnel involved in the scaffold work.
  • Proper planning and supervision is necessary for all scaffold work .
  • The weekly inspection of all scaffold is mandatory by a competent inspector.
  • Shall follow safe work practices during the installation , dismantling and usage of  scaffolding.
  • Prior to the construction of scaffolding, the employers to assess the risk and control measures . In this way, action to take to mitigate any hazards.
  • Employers to ensure that design drawing is available for the scaffolding above 10 meters height .The design of scaffolding should take into account the scaffold stability by suitable means.

Employers shall ensure that scaffold  erected consists of the following:-

  1. A platform of at least 450 mm wide along the full length
  2. Edge protection and means of access
  3. Guard Rails and Toe boards

Scaffolding- Standards and Legal

If you are looking for international standards about this subject, It is worth reading the frequently asked questions of scaffolding . The UK government agency , health and safety executive in UK ,has published this FAQ.

You can read about legal requirements in UAE, you can read our blog  “Scaffolding Legal requirements in UAE”.


In case of any doubt about your scaffolding requirements, you can talk to a reputed scaffolding company in UAE to clarify your doubts.

I think you have understood more about “what is the meaning of scaffolding” and its importance. Now, Let us go through the different types of scaffolding available in the market and their difference  advantages and disadvantages…etc    ( Contd……….)

Click here to continue reading of this subject


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