You are on page 1of 12

1. What is scaffolding?

Scaffolding is a temporary platform constructed for reaching heights above arms' reach for the purpose of building construction, maintenance, or repair. It is usually a modular system of metal pipes (termed tubes in Britain), although it can be made out of other materials. Scaffolding is generally made of lumber and steel which can range from simple to complex in design, depending on its use and purpose. Millions of construction workers, painters, and building maintenance crews work on scaffolding every day, and due to the nature of its use, scaffolding must be properly constructed and used to ensure the safety of those who use it. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) has very specific standards for the construction and use of scaffolding in the workplace, and many large commercial and government construction projects require all workers to have scaffold training and OSHA certification. Some of OSHA's regulations regarding construction of scaffolding include using specific types of lumber when not using steel, weight limitations based on the design of the scaffolding, and regular checks for weakened or broken sections. OSHA places stringent safety regulations on the construction and use of scaffolding not only to reduce serious workplace injury or death, but also to save employers millions in lost time and workers' compensation. OSHA can issue fines to any company, large or small, that they find to be in violation of scaffolding regulations. Commercial construction accounts for the largest use of scaffolding, but even residential construction and home improvement projects can sometimes require scaffolding. Professional painters are equipped to quickly and properly construct scaffolding on the job, as are other professionals such as bricklayers and carpenters. Unfortunately, many homeowners attempt to construct scaffolding for personal use without the proper knowledge, which often results in injury. To avoid personal injury when attempting to repair, paint, or maintain your home, be sure you know how to properly and safely erect a scaffolding platform that will provide a stable work surface and will bear the weight you place on it. If you are unsure how to construct or use scaffolding, consult a professional contractor.

(1) Scaffolding Materials

The basic materials are tubes, couplers and boards. Tubes are either steel or aluminium. If steel they are either 'black' or galvanised. The tubes come in a variety of lengths and a standard diameter. The chief difference between the two types of tubes is the lower weight of aluminium tubes and also a greater flexibility and so less resistance to force.

Extensive scaffolding on a building in Manhattan, New York provide a working surface for users of the scaffold. The board ends are protected by metal plates called hoop irons or sometimes nail plates. Timber Scaffold boards should comply with the requirements. As well as timber, steel or aluminium decking is used or laminate boards. There are sole boards which are placed beneath the scaffolding if the surface is soft or otherwise suspect, although ordinary boards can be used,another design called the scaffpad is another solution as it is made from a rubber base with a base plate moulded inside, these are great to put on uneven ground because they adapt to any ground where sole boards would split costing more money to replace. A short section of steel scaffold pole.Couplers are the fittings which hold the tubes together. The most common are called scaffold couplers, there are three basic types: right-angle couplers, putlog couplers and swivel couplers. To join tubes end-to-end joint pins (also called spigots) or sleeve couplers are used, or both together. Only right angle couplers and swivel couplers can be used to fix tube in a 'load bearing connection'. Single couplers are not load bearing couplers and have no design capacity. Other common materials lnclude base plates, ladders, ropes, anchor ties, reveal ties, gin wheels, sheeting, etc.

(2) Basic scaffolding

The key elements of a scaffold are standards, ledgers and transoms. The standards, also called uprights, are the vertical tubes that transfer the entire mass of the structure to the ground where they rest on a square base plate to spread the load. The base plate has a shank in its centre to hold the tube and is sometimes pinned to a sole board. Ledgers are horizontal tubes which connect between the standards. Transoms rest upon the ledgers at right angles. Main transoms are placed next to the standards, they hold the standards in place and provide support for boards; intermediate transoms are those placed between the main transoms to provide extra support for boards. In Canada this style is referred to as "English". "American" has the transoms attached to the standards and is used less but has certain advantages in some situations. Since scaffolding is a physical structure, it is possible to go in and come out of scaffolding. There are cross braces to increase rigidity, these are placed diagonally from ledger to ledger, next to the standards to which they are fitted. If the braces are fitted to the ledgers they are called ledger braces. To limit sway a facade brace is fitted to the face of the scaffold running right from the base to the top of the scaffold and fixed at every level. Right-angle couplers join ledgers or transoms to standards, putlog or single couplers join board bearing transoms to ledgers - Non-board bearing transoms should be fixed using a right-angle coupler. Swivel couplers are to connect tubes at any other angle. The actual joints are staggered to avoid occurring at the same level in neighbouring standards.

(3) Foundations

Good foundations are essential. Often scaffold frameworks will require more than simple base plates to safely carry and spread the load. Scaffolding can be used without base plates on concrete or similar hard surfaces, although base plates are always recommended. A working platform requires certain other elements to be safe. They must be closeboarded, have double guard rails and toe and stop boards. Safe and secure access must also be provided.

2. Rental Scaffolding
When you have to work up high, consider renting scaffolding rather than struggling with ladders. Scaffolding provides a large, stable work platform where you can stack materials and set up your tools. With scaffolding, you can easily reach all areas of the repair to do a better job in half the time. And you will save tons of time and energy by not constantly climbing up and down to reposition your ladder. Guard rails attached to the top of the scaffold frames allow you to concentrate on the task at hand without worrying about falling. We will show you how to set up your rented scaffolding so it is safe and secure and then show you a few of the home-repair jobs where scaffolding really shines. Frame scaffolds (sometimes referred to as pipe-scaffold) are perfect for exterior work and are available at most full-service rental centers. Also check the websites under Scaffold, New York for businesses that specialize in scaffolding rental and sales. You will usually get lower rates and expert advice from these specialists. Most rental centers will deliver and pick up rented scaffold for an additional fee. Otherwise you will need a pickup truck or trailer. Even though the basic setup procedure is the same, scaffold hardware varies slightly from one manufacturer to another. The key to a safe scaffolding is a solid foundation. If the base plates or casters rest on dirt, grass, asphalt or other soft material, put them on top of lengths of 2x10 lumber to prevent them from sinking. Adjusting screws make leveling the scaffolding easy and safe. Never stack bricks, concrete blocks or scraps of wood under the frame to level it. If your ground slopes more than about a foot over an 8-ft. distance, rent leg extensions. Extreme slopes may require the addition of a short scaffold section under one end of the scaffolding.

(1) Ask Your Rental Agent For Help

Don t be tempted to save money by using your own ordinary wood planks for the work surface they aren t strong enough. Rent special scaffold planks to cover the frames from side to side. Then install the guardrail posts and rails. Rails aren t required on the side of the scaffolding that faces the building as long as the scaffolding is within 14 in. of the building. Our scaffolding didn t require them, but if you re working where people might walk below the scaffold structure, wire on 2x4 toe boards to prevent tools and materials from falling and injuring someone. Rest the 2x4 boards upright around the perimeter of the scaffold planks, screw or nail the corners together and attach them to the base of the guardrail posts with No. 10 wire. Once the scaffolding is assembled and in place, double-check that it is level and resting securely on all four base plates or casters. If it rocks, readjust one of the screws to stabilize the scaffolding. Use the built-in ladders to climb the scaffolding. Don t climb on the cross braces. Recruit a helper to hand materials and tools up to the platform. If you can t reach, use a rope and bucket to pull tools to the top. Casters allow you to move the scaffolding easily without taking it apart, but take a few extra precautions: - Install a special horizontal brace diagonally between the two outside frames to keep them square - Ask your supplier about this. Never roll the scaffolding with tools, materials or passengers on the planks - Lock the casters before climbing the scaffolding. Avoid overhead wires when moving the scaffolding - You could be electrocuted if you bump power lines. Don t roll the scaffolding on steep slopes or near ditches or holes

(2) How to rent scaffolding? Step #1

Determine whether or not you will need fixed, mobile or hanging scaffolding. Fixed scaffolding is either independent, meaning it does not need support from the building, or putlog, which uses the building to secure the working platform. Mobile scaffolding is an independent and freestanding structure mounted on wheels, to allow for easy moving. Hanging scaffolding has a suspended platform that can be raised and lowered and is most often used for washing windows.

Step #2
Estimate a budget for scaffolding rental, but make sure that you put safety before economy. Many companies that rent scaffolding have websites with estimator tools that allow you to input project plans in order to determine pricing. Even if you choose to rent locally, these estimator tools can help you choose the correct style for the job.

Step #3
Compare prices on scaffolding rentals. Though researching scaffolding rentals online is helpful in determining a budget, it is usually best to rent locally to avoid expensive shipping costs. A comprehensive search of your local telephone directory will offer a world of rental services. Large rental services can offer expert advice, replacement parts, easy delivery and you can inspect the scaffolding before renting.

Step #4
Rent special scaffold planks, even though you may be tempted to save money, by using your own. Scaffold planks are specially built for scaffolding and offer the safest fit.

Step #5
Add toeboards to your rental order, if people will be walking underneath your scaffolding. Toeboards can help prevent tools from falling off the platform, protecting the safety of pedestrians and workers below.

(3) How to install scaffolding Step #1

Place the inside sills or pads on the ground next to the face of the building; use pads in the case of uneven ground. Set inside uprights at each end of the building and toenail them to the sill. Use a carpenter's level and plumb the uprights. Next, tie the uprights to the building using wood cleats.

Step #2
Nail a one-by-six ribbon board to the uprights at three and one half inches below the plank height. Layout and nail intermediate uprights in place along face of wall. Uprights should not be spread out more than 10 feet.

Step #3
Lay the outside sill or pads on the ground. Set up two outside uprights and nail in place. Level and nail ledger boards connecting the inside and outside uprights; all ledger boards will be resting on top of the ribbon boards. The ledgers should be at the height of where the walking planks will be placed. Place ribbon board below outside ledger and nail.

Step #4
Place outside uprights opposite of the inside uprights and nail them into place. Next, connect each outside upright with the inside upright using ledger boards. Use a level to make sure ledgers are level before nailing.

Step #5
Place walking planks for a platform on top of ledgers; the planks should run over the ledgers at least 12 inches on both sides. Nail second-level ribbons and ledgers in place at height of next work area. Next, nail diagonal braces to outside uprights to provide lateral support. Place the next work level planks on the ledgers.

Step #6
Nail the guardrail into place; the guardrail should be installed around 42 inches height-wise. The mid-rail will be placed around 28 inches. In some cases, there may be a need for a toe board; this type of board protects people from falling objects that get kicked off of the scaffolding. The toe board will be nailed against the planks of the scaffold walk way.

3. Scaffolding Sale
While it may be convenient to rent scaffolding for the odd project, if you are a contractor, it may be more economical to buy your own scaffolding. There are many styles of scaffolding available, so you will need to select the set up that best fits your needs. Working with a ladder is difficult and can be dangerous. Climbing up and down a ladder may take more time than doing the actual repair the ladder was gotten out for to begin with. But there is a solution for the ladder problem: Use scaffolding. A simple 2 x 4 foot dry wall scaffold with four wheels has two steel steps that can double as work platforms and a tool shelf to keep a bucket of paint of handful of tools close. The steps are 10 inches wide and 4 feet long and beats standing on the rung of a ladder. With locking castors that swivel when unlocked make it easy to move. If you have work to do outside that is higher than 6 feet off the ground, consider buying scaffolding rather than struggling with a ladder.

(1) How to buy scaffolding

Step #1
Decide what kind of scaffolding you would like to buy. Folding scaffolding provides great rigidity and an easy setup, but is difficult to stack, which makes working at very tall heights, difficult. Standard scaffolding comes with jacks and brackets and requires manual assembly, but it is easier to store and stack. If you do most of your work

inside, buy indoor scaffolding, which is less weather resistant, but often comes with locking wheels, which makes for easier portability.

Step #2
Place an ad on your local Craigslist page or put up wanted notices at the local hardware stores if you are looking to save a few dollars by buying used scaffolding. Be sure to inspect all the pieces for rust, damage or misshapen parts before purchase.

Step #3
Go to your local hardware store. Many hardware stores will not have a wide scaffolding selection available in-house, but will be able to special order any configuration that you would like.

Step #4
Research manufacturers and their available parts. Regardless of scaffolding style or whether you are buying used or new, it is important that you are able to purchase extra pieces, replacement parts and add-ons for your set up. So, make sure that the manufacturer that you choose makes all of the pieces that you will need, as you should not mix parts from different companies.

(2) Scaffolding Education and Training

Scaffolding is a common piece of equipment in the construction industry and any industry that requires workers to access areas not within normal reach, such as commercial window cleaning. To ensure that you and your employees utilize scaffolding in the safest manner possible, specialized training and education in regards to safety and proper maintenance will help keep your worksite up to code and everyone on stable footing while working at elevated heights. Whether your jobsite uses supported or suspended scaffolding, knowing how to properly erect, dismantle, move or alter the equipment and the correct fall protection and other safety procedures to follow while utilizing the equipment are prime objectives. Industry associations are a great source of information including training and education. Likewise, government agencies can also provide programs to fit your training needs. When it comes to scaffolding training, you can find both independent and government organizations with the educational programs you need. The Scaffold Industry Association (SIA) offers training through its SIA Training Program for both suspended and supported scaffolding equipment. Not only will its courses help you meet government and insurance requirements for your specific scaffolding materials, the training you receive can also ensure a safer workplace, and courses are offered throughout the U.S. The United States Department of Labor s

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) sets the standards in safety, and it can help with scaffolding training that not only keeps you up-to-date on these standards, but can also ensure a much safer jobsite. No matter what type of scaffolding supplies your company uses on a regular basis, keep current with any regulations you should follow for the safest working environment. Even if you're well experienced with scaffold equipment, taking refresher training can be an invaluable tool.

4. Sidewalk Bridge, Sidewalk Shed

(1) What is sidewalk bridge ?

A sidewalk shed is a structure constructed to protect pedestrians from objects falling from a building or construction site. Owners may have to erect a sidewalk shed before beginning the renovation of a building fa ade, construction of a new building or demolition of an existing structure. The necessity to erect such a sidewalk shed is dependent upon the height of the building being repaired, constructed or demolished and the horizontal distance between the structure and the inside edge of the sidewalk. In New York City, a sidewalk shed is required when construction work is over 40 feet high or 25 feet high for demolition work, and whenever there is a dangerous condition irrespective of height. A sidewalk shed must be erected whenever materials will be hoisted over the sidewalk, regardless of building height or horizontal distance between building and sidewalk.

(2) Sidewalk Shed permit and regulations

A permit is required prior to erecting a sidewalk shed or supported scaffold over 40 feet in height. If a scaffold is on top of a sidewalk shed, the height of the scaffold must include the height of the shed and be taken from the top of the sidewalk. If the supported scaffold is located on a setback or roof of a building, and if the outer leg of the scaffold is located a distance less than half the height of the scaffold (from the top of roof or floor slab), the height of the scaffold for permitting purposes shall include the height of the building below. Prior to erecting a sidewalk shed, an owner must obtain a permit from DOB. The applicant for a sidewalk shed permit must state the reason such sidewalk shed is needed. These permits are good for one year. Sidewalk sheds must be dismantled within thirty days of permit expiration. Should a renewal of the shed permit be required, other than a new building under construction, an architect or engineer must conduct a thorough examination and report to the commissioner on the work that has been performed and an estimate of the time needed to complete the work. Additionally, in New York City, Local Law No. 33 also mandated that the permit holder post a twenty-five square foot sign on the sidewalk shed with the permit holder s name, address, telephone number and permit number and expiration date.

Adequate lighting must be maintained under the shed. The Construction Division within each borough office of the Department of Buildings (DOB) has jurisdiction over sidewalk sheds. The Department of Buildings (DOB) inspects construction sites when they receive a complaint. DOB also has a program to inspect major construction sites on a weekly basis for compliance with public safety regulations. Major construction sites are buildings that are more than 15 stories, over 200 feet in height or more 100,000 square feet in area, or any other buildings designated by DOB. The Department s Building Enforcement Safety Team, (BEST Squad), checks for more than 85 onsite safety features such as safety netting, placement of cranes and protection of adjacent property. Inspectors are empowered to issue violations, summonses and stop work orders for conditions contrary to the Building Code or Zoning Resolution.

(3) NYC Building Code Design Requirements for Temporary Equipment & Constructions:
27-1011(b): Temporary equipment and constructions shall be designed so that the allowable stress values prescribed in subchapter 10 are not exceeded. 27-594: Provides load combinations which include dead, live, wind, and snow. - Loads subscribed in subchapter 9 must be used for design, including wind - Uplift forces from wind must be considered in design calculations - Snow and ice loads must be included in design calculations during winter months - Tieback design must include wind factors created when netting is used, as wind load can be significantly increased with netting and screens - Note: Wind forces are reversible and can impose a "suction" load away from the structure as well as towards the structure 27-591: Minimum factor of safety for overturning and sliding is 1.5. - Free-standing scaffolds and sidewalk sheds must meet code requirements for overturning and sliding 27-1015: Design shall be executed by or under the supervision of a licensed engineer or an architect who shall sign and seal the drawings and specifications. - If the scaffold is supported on a sidewalk shed or roof structure, you must verify that the base structure can support the concentrated loads imposed by the scaffold legs - At points of anchorage, you must check the base building elements for local failure 27-1042(b)(1): All scaffold members shall be designed to be capable of withstanding, without collapse, 4 times the maximum loads. 27-1042(b)(3): Standard Scaffold Designations and Design Live Loads a. Light duty scaffold - To be used for loads up to 25psf and is intended for use by carpenters, painters and other similar trades. b. Medium duty scaffold - To be used for loads up to 50psf and is intended for use by bricklayers and plasters. c. Heavy duty scaffold - To be used for loads up to 75psf and is intended for use by stone masons.

27-1021(b)(1): Sidewalk sheds for buildings 100ft or more in height shall be designed for a live load of 300psf. For buildings under 100ft in height, the minimum sidewalk design live load is 150 psf and no storage is permitted. - If the BSA approved sidewalk shed design is utilized, you must verify that the shed is within the scope of the design by ensuring that: a. Height does not exceed maximum height b. Width does not exceed maximum width c. Parapet does not exceed the height limit d. Details/connections are in full compliance - If a scaffold is sitting on a sidewalk shed, the BSA design does not apply - Sheds must be designed for live loads in addition to imposed loads from the scaffold

(4) NYC Building Code Requirements for Sidewalk Shed Construction:

Sidewalk Sheds must be erected and utilized in accordance with 27-1021 of the NYC Building Code. 27-1021(a) provides when a sidewalk shed must be constructed. A shed is required when: - New construction is over 40ft and the distance from the face of the building to the inner edge of the walkway is less than half the height of the new building - The demolished structure is over 25ft and the distance from the face of the building to the inner edge of the walkway is less than half the height of the new building - Material or debris is to be moved over a sidewalk by a crane or hoist

5. Tower Scaffold
(1) Mobile access towers
Mobile access towers(also known as tower scaffolds or towers) are widely used and can provide an effective and safe means of gaining access to work at height. However, inappropriate erection and misuse of towers are the cause of numerous accidents each year. Aluminium and thin-wall steel towers are light and can easily overturn if used incorrectly. Towers rely on all parts being in place to ensure adequate strength. They can collapse if sections are left out.

(2) Erecting a tower

Many types of mobile access towers are available. The manufacturer or supplier has a duty to provide an instruction manual which explains the erection sequence, including any bracing requirements. If the tower has been hired, the hirer has a duty to provide this information. This information must be passed on to the person erecting the tower. Towers should only be erected by trained and competent people. There are a number of organisations that provide training for the safe erection and use of tower scaffolds following the methods described above.

(3) Stability

Make sure the tower is resting on firm, level ground with the locked castors or base plates properly supported. Never use bricks or building blocks to take the weight of any part of the tower. Always check the safe working height by referring to the instruction manual. Towers should never be erected to heights above those recommended by the manufacturer. Towers should only be erected by trained and competent people. There are a number of organisations that provide training for the safe erection and use of tower scaffolds following the methods described above. Always install stabilisers or outriggers when advised to do so in the instruction manual. Remember, the stability of any tower is easily affected. Unless the tower has been specifically designed for such use, activities such as those listed below should never be carried out: - sheeting or exposure to strong winds; - loading with heavy equipment; and - using the tower to hoist materials or support rubbish chutes.

(4) Using a tower

There must be a safe way to get to and from the work platform. This must be on the inside of the tower by an appropriately designed built-in ladder. It is not safe to climb up the rungs on the end frames unless the rungs have been specifically designed for the purpose of getting to and from the working platform these have rung spacings of between 230 and 300 mm and an anti-slip surface. If you are in doubt, consult the instruction manual. Falls must be prevented where there is a risk that a fall could result in personal injury. The working platform must be provided with suitable edge protection and toe boards. Guard rails should be at least 950 mm high and an intermediate guard rail should be provided so the unprotected gap does not exceed 470 mm. Never use a tower: - as a support for ladders, trestles or other access equipment; - in weather conditions which are likely to make it unstable; - with broken or missing parts; - with incompatible components. When moving a tower: - reduce the height; - check that there are no power lines or other obstructions overhead; - check that the ground is firm, level and free from potholes; - push or pull using manual effort from the base only never use powered vehicles; - never move it while there are people or materials on the tower; - never move it in windy conditions.

(5) Inspection
To prevent the use of incorrectly erected or damaged mobile access towers, they must be inspected by a competent person. This is someone with the experience, knowledge and appropriate qualifications to enable them to identify any risks that are present and decide upon the measures required to control the risks.

(6) Dismantling a tower

To dismantle a tower using the advance guard rail method, the operator starts from the top and reinstates the advance guard rail unit before removing the permanent guard rails and toe boards and descending to the lower level. The advance guard rail units are then relocated to the level below and the process is repeated, with collective fall prevention measures being maintained throughout.

Related Interests