Sometimes, ladders just aren’t up to the job! If you are working alone, it is impossible to ensure your safety whilst perched precariously at the top of a narrow ladder. Do not despair; there is another, safer, option – the scaffolding system. As well as being more stable, you will have a wide platform from which to work from. It will save time and also enable you to do a better job. If you thought scaffolding was strictly for large buildings and construction sites, think again!
Where To Start
You should measure the height of the area that you need to work on, use a reliable measuring system, and speak to the experts where you bought or hired the scaffolding from. You will need to calculate how many frames you need. A scaffolding frame is about five feet wide and five feet tall. Also remember that your platform needs to be about five or six feet below the area you are working on.
So you’ve spoken to the experts and they have advised you of the correct scaffolding equipment. So what next? Firstly, you will need to assemble the base parts; this is achieved by placing two end frames together and connecting them with the correct screws. Ensure the base is rested on a solid surface, preferably wooden pads or concrete if available. After the base is assembled you can start on the planks and handrails.
Do not be tempted to use some old planks you had lying around in the garden shed; you need strengthened wood for this job. You will risk a serious accident if you try to cut corners – be warned. You should also install guard rails to avoid a nasty fall, although you shouldn’t require them on the area that is facing the building.
A real danger when working on scaffolding is the possibility of falling objects, and the safety of people beneath them. You can avoid this by placing boards underneath the platform. These will catch any tools that become wayward.
Your scaffolding tower has been erected, with the help of a few friends, and now you are ready to start the work. Or are you? Here are a few extra ways to ensure your experience is a safe one:
• Construct a workstation – this allows you work extra hours without needing to climb down.
• Always lock the casters before you start to climb up the tower.
• Look out for any overhead wires nearby, they may be live electrical conductors.
• Take regular breaks, especially if you are working alone.
• Use a bucket to hoist required materials up into the workstation.
• Finally, if the job becomes too much, do not be afraid to call in the professionals!