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What is meant by Scaffolding

The “Scaffolding” is very important subject in the construction industry in the world. So, let us discuss  about “what is meant by scaffolding” in detail through this blog. We will go through various aspects of it like ” what is the definition and meaning of scaffolding and much more. After reading this article, you will be able to understand all basic knowledge about the scaffolding.

What is the meaning and definition of 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, it 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, it also support the materials. Now, you might have understood the definition very clearly.

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  these both terms with the same meaning. For the easy understanding of the general public, we have also used these words interchangeably . 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 it. Considering this hazards, the safety procedures has more importance while working on a it.

Difference Between Scaffold , Formwork and Shoring

As explained above, definition of Scaffold is described as a temporary structure built next to a building . or it can be any other structure ,such as a bridge. It 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 it 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 and Importance of Scaffolding in Construction

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

  • Because, it is constructed to reach any height which increases the importance of scaffold than any other methods.
  • It provides a solid and secure platform for  construction workers to perform their job easily
  • As it is 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, it 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.
  • It also guarantees the safety of the public areas surrounding a building that is under-construction.
  • 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 .

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 it should have relevant competency certificate. 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 the competency certificate. It shall be issued by approved third party training centers.
  • The employer shall provide general training to all personnel involved in the this work.
  • Proper planning and supervision is necessary for all these works .
  • The weekly inspection of all is mandatory by a competent inspector.
  • Shall follow safe work practices during the installation , dismantling and usage of  it.
  • Prior to the construction of scaffolding, the employers to assess the risk and control measures . In this way, take action to take to mitigate any hazards.
  • Employers to ensure that design drawing is available for the scaffolding above 10 meters height .The design should take into account the 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

To know about international standards about this subject, Visit the FAQ Page   the UK government agency, the  health and safety executive .

If you want to know  the legal requirements of scaffolding in UAE, can read our blog  “Scaffolding Legal requirements in UAE .


For any doubt about your scaffolding requirements, you can talk to a reputed scaffolding company in UAE to clarify the same.

I hope you have understood the meaning and definition of scaffolding in detail. Now, Let us go through the different types of it available in the market and their difference , advantages and disadvantages…etc    

It is worth to read our blog “types-of-scaffolding-used-in-construction”  to know about the various types of it used in the market


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