If you're about to rent scaffolding for a community project for the first time, you need to ensure you have certain safety features and follow certain procedures to ensure you and your crew stay safe when using the elevated structures. Scaffolding is designed to hold people, but accidents do happen, and following safety rules is really the best way to prevent major damage should an accident occur.
Wheel Locks and Brakes
If the scaffolding you get is on casters, ensure those casters all lock. These locks may also be referred to as brakes. Scaffolding that is not stationary is unsteady, and you could fall over if the scaffolding were to shift a bit. The locks you'll see are usually small levers on each wheel that immobilize the caster when flipped into a certain position. That does mean that if you have to move the scaffolding along the side of a building or wall that you'll have to climb down, unlock the wheels, move the scaffolding, and re-lock the wheels. You may be able to find special brakes that you can operate from up on top of the scaffolding, but these may cost more and be harder to find.
Not all scaffolding is the thin-metal-beam type you see in old skyscraper construction photos. Many scaffolding companies offer extra-wide scaffolding that is steadier and easier to walk on. However, even that scaffolding needs to have side rails to prevent people from falling off. If the scaffolding model you rent does not have built-in side rails, you can get attachments for added protection.
No matter how good the reputation of the scaffolding company is, you still need to inspect the scaffolding and ensure certain items are stable and in good shape. Without this inspection, you risk having the scaffolding collapse or fail to protect someone who loses his or her balance. It's best to run through a checklist of specific items, such as this one from StopConstructionFalls.com. Even if you're not climbing up very high, if you're climbing up off the ground, you need to inspect the scaffolding.
If you have other questions about using the scaffolding safely, talk to the rental companies like Savage Scaffold & Equipment Co. One sign of a good rental company is that they will discuss safety with you in detail. Set aside a time to call the company and ask specifically about how to keep your crew safe.Share