Rental Scaffolds: Safety 101

There are various advantages associated with using scaffolds over conventional ladders. One of the major advantages is that a scaffold will provide a wider work platform, which provides greater stability and makes it easier to access hard-to-reach areas without adjusting the position of the scaffold every so often.

As is the case when using ladders, you should be concerned about your safety when working with a rental scaffold. This article provides three tips on how to improve your safety when using scaffolds for demolition or repairs.

Load Limitations

The load limit refers to the maximum weight that a scaffold is designed to support.

Ideally, the average weight of loads that will go on the scaffold during the work period should be below the load limit of the mentioned equipment. There are two types of loads that you should consider when calculating the average weight of loads to be carried by the scaffolds. Dead loads refer to the weight of the scaffold itself, suspension cables, stairways and other structural components of the elevated work platform.

Live loads refers to your weight and that of others who will be on the scaffold's work platform at any given time, the weight of equipment that will be carried on the scaffold during repairs or demolition and the weight of debris that the repair/demolition exercise is expected to generate.

Guard Rails

Guard rails define and make it easier for you to identify the boundaries/edges of the work platform on the scaffold, thereby reducing the likelihood that you'll fall off the work platform.

If you're not working very high above the ground level (e.g. at a height of 1.5 metres), you might not need guardrails on the scaffold. However, certain situations will make it necessary for you to use a scaffold that has guard rails regardless of the working height.

For example, repair activities that create the need for welding may limit your vision on the work platform. This makes it easy for you to mistake the location of the boundaries/edges of the work platform, thereby increasing the likelihood of falling off the scaffold.

Accessories For Stability

Consider investing in accessories that will improve stability, especially if the scaffold will be installed on a surface that's not level. Examples of these accessories include soleboards and spurs.

The mentioned accessories help to achieve even distribution of loads placed on the scaffold for increased stability. It's important to point out that these accessories are often not part of the rental package. With a bit of research however, you might find an equipment rental agency that includes either of the mentioned accessories in their package deal.

For more information, contact a scaffolding hire company.