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Introduction To Scaffolding

Scaffolding

The importance of hiring scaffolding companies

In urban cities, scaffolding is all around us. It holds up many of the manmade structures that make up our surroundings, like advertising hoardings, concert stages, exhibition booths, art installations or many forms of grandstand seating at sports events. In tall buildings, window cleaning is difficult, and often dangerous, without it.

In civil engineering, too, scaffolding serves some vital purposes. When it comes to construction, maintenance and repair work, scaffolding is temporarily built around the periphery of a construction site to provide workers access to the top, as well as to, hard-to-reach places.

TYPES OF SCAFFOLDING

Different materials are used to make scaffolding for construction.

Wood and Bamboo:

For cheaper, low-rise buildings, wooden or bamboo scaffolds are common in countries where it is easily grown and labor is cheaply available. Wooden/bamboo poles and planks are bound together using coir ropes, creating a framework for workers to climb and work. Wooden/bamboo scaffolds, however, tend to need replacement every six-to-nine months due to sun exposure that weakens the structure.

Aluminum and steel scaffolding:

For high-rise construction projects with a greater budget, contractors use steel- or aluminum-based scaffolding structures, which are stronger and longer-lasting. Aluminum is now taking over as the metal of choice for scaffolding as it’s lighter than steel and allows for scaffold components to be lifted and quickly assembled with greater ease. The one disadvantage of using aluminum for use in scaffolding is that it is expensive

Metallic scaffolds can take many forms, depending on the workers’ requirements for a task. Different scaffolds are used for bricklaying and masonry, each with specifications, to allow greater ease of access.

Common types of scaffolding range from:

o    Tubular and walk-through frames:

Tube-and-clamp scaffolds and system-based scaffolds offer flexibility in shape for non-linear buildings.

o    Rolling and adjustable varieties:

For higher-rise projects, construction companies may harness tower-based scaffolds such as mast-climbing platforms or crank-up scaffolds.

As developments continue to take place in the global construction industry, newer and newer types of scaffolds are being devised. There are also different systems of classifications, where often different terms are applied for similar kinds of scaffolds.

To learn more about the major types of scaffolding used in construction today, read this article. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF SCAFFOLDING IN CONSTUCTION

Scaffolding is preferred over extendable ladders or rope-based harnesses due to the safety and efficiency it offers. When properly installed, scaffolding fulfills some of the following functions:

Secure option:

Scaffolding provides a solid and secure platform for construction workers.  Mandatory safety standards require scaffolding to be fitted with guardrails and toe boards that work to prevent falls and accidents.

Allows for scalability:

The use of scaffolding across construction allows for it to be expanded to reach any height, while ladders and crane equipment are limited to how high they can carry workers.

Allows for increased reach and accessibility:

Scaffolding allows multiple workers to work together on one part of a building, which increases the speed of completing tasks such as installing windows, laying bricks, painting and plastering walls — and cuts down costs for the contractor. Scaffolding also allows workers direct access to the part of the building they are working on, which also helps speed up their work.

Weight-bearing:

Scaffolding is often used to hold heavy building materials such as bricks or concrete blocks.

It is also referred to in technical terms as:

o Shoring is the name given to scaffolding when it is used to bolster unstable portions of a building while it is being repaired or renovated.

o Formwork is the name given to scaffolding when it is used to support temporary structures built to hold liquid concrete before it has solidified to stand on its own.

Safety:

Scaffolding also guarantees the safety of the public areas surrounding a building that is under-construction. While ladders and rope harnesses leave both workers and nearby pedestrians vulnerable, trained workers who properly use scaffolds are able to keep pedestrians and public property safe from damage caused by tools and materials falling from a great height.

ADVANTAGES OF USING A PROFESSIONAL SCAFFOLD HIRE COMPANY

Buildings today are huge and complex architectural projects, which need scaffolding in place before construction can start. This scaffolding not only assists with the edifice, but also protects pedestrian traffic from injury. While scaffolding works to provide safe support and access to the various parts of the building, it is, in itself a big construct. Therefore, much like the specialized masons, electricians and engineers, working on the building, it too requires a set of professionals to erect.

Here are some of the advantages of hiring a professional scaffolding company:

• A professional scaffold hire company employs engineers that can custom design scaffolding to client and construction-specific needs. This makes it much safer than using generic, pre-made scaffolding.

• A third-party scaffold company provides the manpower to erect the scaffold onsite, saving the project managers having to hire extra staff to undertake the job.

• For any scaffolds to be erected, there is crane work involved. Hiring a company ensures trained, skilled personnel who bring their own cranes, trucks and whatever else is needed.

• They can provide experienced management and supervision for all aspects of the scaffolding work, from material  deliveries to erection and dismantling.

• A good scaffold company will already have all the equipment and materials needed to handle the different kinds of  scaffolding designs, allowing the building owners, time and resources to focus on the construction aspects of the larger project.

• Hiring an outside scaffolding company brings a level of objectivity to the construction site. At times, scaffolding companies can also offer site inspection reports, system audits and ensure that there is safety in all areas of the construction.

• When you are working with a trusted and experienced company, you have peace of mind that the project can go ahead with minimal delays and remain accident free.

• Hired scaffolding companies bring, as well as store their own scaffold after use, saving project developers space and resources.

• Using professional, in-house experienced engineers, hired scaffolding companies can ensure safety, as their entire  reputation is built on the strength, durability and versatility of their scaffolds. An engineer knows just how to design the support structure so that it does its job properly, supporting and protecting workers, equipment and building materials right up to the topmost floor.

SUITING YOUR SCAFFOLDING NEEDS

Scale:

When looking into hiring scaffolding, it’s a good idea to consider the scale and scaffolding price within which a project has to work, which in turn, will determine the scaffold design. As a standard, most scaffolding companies will offer, what is known as:

o ‘Traditional scaffolding’. Applicable for large-scale or smaller projects, traditional scaffolding is the most-used style, and is made up of boards and galvanized tubing to create a structure.

o However, if a project requires specification, and more-reinforced scaffolding, aluminum scaffolds, can be used. Lightweight, durable and maneuverable, they are easier to put up.

o Equally, for interior work, there is specialized indoor scaffolding, that accesses hard-to-reach areas, or caters for uneven ground like stairs.

o MEWP’s: For those looking for access solutions on a smaller site, traditional scaffolding may not be the best choice due to its size and scale. However, a quality supplier may have an alternative in the form of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWP’s). These platforms are connected to trucks and are controlled via an operator on the platform itself. Due to the platform’s connection to a vehicle, it is a great choice for those looking for quick-access solutions that require a greater degree of maneuverability.

A range of services: Very often on a construction site there are different kinds of areas that need to be worked. As scaffolding is deeply integrated in all aspects of construction work, a good scaffolding company can also come in, in a consulting role to offer advice, as well as diversity in the service portfolio they can offer to customers. With this in mind, some suppliers also have the skills and equipment to do a variety of jobs aside from scaffolding. As they already work within the construction and renovation industry, suppliers may be able to carry out building installation and maintenance work, in addition to the scaffolding work required on a property, project or construction site.

A part of the Arab Bulk Trading group, Saudi Scaffolding Factory (SSF) has been in the business for more than 35 years.  With a presence in major cities such as Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh, the company has supplied a range of scaffolding products, including Kwikstage, Cuplok and Ringlok systems, table formwork, tubes, couplers and boards and aluminum system scaffolds and ladders. The company is known for its emphasis on safety, and rigorously tests all its products before supplying to clients. They have successfully provided scaffolding solutions across multiple industry platforms.

To find out more about how scaffolding companies can help you with the timely and safe execution of your scaffolding needs, while ensuring safety and best practices, get in touch or click here.

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