How to Build a Scaffolding Structure in Sydney

According to the OHSA reports, almost two out of every three construction workers work on the scaffolding. That is how essential scaffolds are to the construction industry and must carry that sense of high quality when we talk about them. Moreover, the associated risks with climbing height during a construction project depend on the effectiveness and structural integrity of the scaffold. Failure or compromise on the scaffold quality means a significant risk that may be fatal on the construction site.

Below is also a standard procedure for the building of scaffolding structures on a construction site in Sydney. Kindly adhere to the specifications, which apply to all working levels. The details below can also serve as a guide for standard rules of the structural integrity of the scaffold structure. Click here to read about How Scaffolding Companies Can Prevent commercial scaffolding Hazards in a Construction Site in Sydney.

Scaffold construction details

  • Each scaffold platform at all the working levels shall be fully planked with wood or decked with concrete between the front uprights and the guardrail support. Below is the description of how to achieve this step
    • You should install each fabricated or scaffold platform unit between the platform and the upright with a space that is not more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) in width. An exception to that rule is having an employer demonstrate a necessarily more expansive space that can fit around uprights when using side brackets to extend the width of the platform.
  • When the planking of decking has been done as thoroughly as possible, the remaining open space between that platform and the uprights should not exceed 9 inches, which is 24.1 cm. However, note the requirement for the decking or planking procedure does not apply to platforms that are only meant to serve as walkways for employees of the scaffold erection or dismantling. Planking only is enough in such cases to remind safe.
  • The minimum recommended width of each scaffold platform and walkway is 18 inches, which is about 46 cm in width. Also, each ladder jack scaffold, top-plate bracket scaffold, pump jack scaffold, and roof bracket scaffold should have a minimum width of 12 inches (30 cm). When using the boatswains’ chairs, there is no minimum width for that.
  • Suppose the employer can establish that the platforms and walkways are too narrow for 18 inches in the built scaffolds. In that case, the employer can extend the width as comprehensively as feasible while the employees should be guarded by using guardrails and some of the personal fall arrest systems in place. This system will help to prevent falls and other hazards from eh walkways and platforms.
  • Also, the front edge of the scaffold platform for construction works in Sydney should not exceed 14 inches, which is about 36 cm from eh face of the work. However, the exception is when you already have a guardrail system erected along the front edge or with a personal fall arrest system. This system f erection must go in line with standard protocols of the protection standards.
  • The optimum distance between the face of the outrigger scaffolds shall not exceed 3 inches, about 8 cm.
  • Also, the maximum distance from the face of the plastering with the lathing operations should not be more than 18 inches, which is about 46 cm.
  • Each end of the platform shall also extend the centering of its support for better balance with at least 6 inches or 15 cm. on the other hand, the exception to that rule is when the platform is already cleated or restrained by hoots or other equivalent means.
  • The end of the platform on both sides that are about 10 feet or less in length cannot exceed its support beyond 12 inches. However, if the venue has a design, the cantilevered portion can support employees and their materials without tipping them. On the other hand, it may provide guardrails that can block employees’ access to the cantilevered end. 
  • Suppose the platform is longer than 10 feet in length. In that case, the extension over its support should not exceed 18 inches, which is about 46 cm. otherwise, the design and installation should be such that the cantilevered portion of the platform can support employees without tipping. Alternatively, it may possess guardrails that can block employee’s access to the cantilevered end. 
  • Each abutted end must rest on different support surfaces if the scaffold has planks with abutted lots. However, this provision does not preclude the use of common support members like the ‘T’ sections that support abutting planks. In addition, it also hooks on platforms whose design rests on common supports.
  • The scaffolds have platforms with overlapping ends to create a long one; this overlap shall be over only the supports. And it should not be less than 12 inches, which is about 30 cm unless you nail the platforms together or restrained them in any other way to prevent any movement. 
  • Every movable point of the scaffold, such as where the platform changes direction like turning a corner, should be laid first. Another example is the platform that rests on a bearer at only an angle other than a right angle. Those platforms that rest over the same bearer should be laid second right on top of the first platform. 

How to Erect Scaffolding in Sydney

In setting up a scaffolding structure, there is a need to ensure that everyone using the scaffolding is safe. Therefore, the erecting process is a careful but diligent one that should give confidence and safety to anyone using it. A scaffolding component is a more credible alternative to ladders in constructing a building, maintenance or renovation, and cleaning some high towers. 

Using scaffolding gives you a much larger area of work and a level of mobility over the ladder, which is usually inclined at an angle and is far less convenient. Below are the eight simple steps for erecting a scaffold by yourself

  1. Select a secure foundation where you want to set your scaffold. The foundation must be rigid, stable, and non-slippery. 
  2. Use casters in setting up your scaffold because it can enhance the moving of the scaffold around the site
  3. Assemble the scaffolding frames by laying out the ends of the two edges, attaching the upper cross brace, and laying the supports in place.
  4. Ensure the scaffold is stable by checking that all the joints of the frames are intact and firm
  5. Place the planks to establish the platform.
  6. Secure access to the scaffold by placing its ladders or stairs in the right places
  7. Attach the guardrails to protect from falls
  8. Inspect all the scaffold parts one after the other to ensure 100% safety

Now, you are done!

How Scaffolding Companies Can Prevent Scaffolding Hazards in a Construction Site in Sydney

Scaffolding is a vital tool for every construction worker. When a robust and stable scaffolding is on-site, there is no limit to the extent builders can achieve their aesthetical projections. Indeed, one of the most appealing advantages of scaffolding is to help construction workers to reach the seemingly impossible places to perform some tasks. Click here to read more about Scaffolding Companies in Sydney.

For instance, roofers can climb the roof of a High-rise building to make some repairs; cleaners can go all the way up to do some cleaning works at the top of the building and the likes. 

In a nutshell, scaffolding is a beneficial tool and a great asset for every building contractor. If they know how to install and use it properly, it can help them work faster, better, and most importantly, deliver according to expectation or even beyond. 

However, as good as scaffolding can help a construction site, it also comes with its risks. Since it is all about working at a height, scaffolding can cause specific life-threatening injuries that can incur huge damages on the project or even stop the work for a while. Or, what do you think can happen if workers fall from a very high scaffolding? It can result in death.  

Indeed, there is a lot of risks and dangers associated with scaffolding. For example, there is a risk of fatal injury from falling; falling tools may hit somebody else below the scaffolding. In addition, there is a risk of being close to powerlines which might result in electrocution and many others.

And, it doesn’t have to be that you fail in the process of erecting the scaffolding. Many other factors can lead to scaffolding hazards such as explosion, harsh weather conditions, falling off some tools and materials, inferior quality scaffolding materials, and more.

However, it may delight your heart to know that all scaffolding hazards are preventable. As a scaffolding company, all you have to do is follow the rules and regulations guiding the use of scaffolding in Sydney. If you do, you will save many construction workers from the dangers of working at a height.

As a scaffold inspector, you have many responsibilities to ensure that the scaffolding is at its best working condition and that a construction site is a safe place for workers. Also, you would have to make sure that you strictly adhere to standard safety precautions to reduce the risk of being a victim of scaffolding hazards.

Now, what are the necessary steps to take to prevent scaffolding hazards in a construction site? Read on to unveil the essential safety secrets. Visit http://abrahamshouse.org/how-to-build-a-scaffolding-structure-in-sydney/ to read about How to Build a Scaffolding Structure in Sydney.

How To Prevent Scaffolding Hazards In a Construction Site

1. Warn against working at a height 

Sometimes, workers don’t necessarily have to climb scaffolding before they could do some works. In that case, try as much as possible to instruct workers to avoid working at height when the job demands do not require such an action. 

Before the work begins for the day, you may have to assess whether that day’s tasks would require scaffolding. If not, it is safer to push the scaffolding aside perform each task accordingly. 

The idea is to avoid using scaffolding wherever and whenever possible. And if you cannot change the situation, you can sit down with your scaffolding crew and the construction workers to discuss how they can put some safety measures in place to reduce the risk of scaffolding hazards.

2. Inspect the scaffolding 

It is one of the paramount duties of scaffolding companies to ensure that the scaffolding is in its best working conditions before any construction worker can attempt to use it.

Ideally, scaffolding inspectors need to carry out scaffolding inspections immediately after they erected the scaffold to ensure that it is safe and fit for use. Mind you; scaffolding inspection is not something you do for one day and cease. Instead, you have to keep inspecting the scaffolding every day before the work commences.

As a professional scaffolding inspector, you should be able to identify all the weaknesses in the structure. For instance, you need to check if the scaffolding is well balanced on the ground or adequately braced. Constant inspection will also enable you to identify any missing parts in the scaffolding. 

3. Conduct adequate training for the workers

Before the day’s work starts, it is ideal for you to give all the workers on-site the necessary training to work on a height successfully. Having done that, you will rest assured that they are all aware of their responsibilities and every safety measure they need to follow to prevent scaffolding hazards. 

Besides, you will also need to teach them how to properly use their tools and equipment when they are up there on the scaffolding. Finally, all workers need to know how to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as helmets, fall arrest kits, and more.

4. Ensure that the workspace is safe and clean

A clean workspace will make work easier and better; it will keep the workers safe as well. But, on the other hand, a dirty work environment encourages slips and falls. Particularly in a construction site where debris and working tools can litter everywhere, the trip hazard can be inevitable. 

To keep the work environment clean, you can encourage all the workers to maintain adequate personal hygiene and keep the walkways clear for easy movement around the worksite.

5. Watch the weather 

Weather is another factor that can result in severe scaffolding hazards. Harsh weather conditions such as strong winds can blow away debris off the scaffolding to the ground. As a result, it’s critical that you first do a detailed weather assessment before allowing workers to begin work.

It can also be dangerous to work during snow, thunderstorm, and heavy rain. It wouldn’t only lead to scaffolding hazards but can also delay the entire project. 

Final Words

Above all, you must take your time to carefully adhere to all the above-listed safety precautions before workers bounce to the site. As a scaffolding company, you need to have a seasoned representative that can give out proper training to workers on-site and provide guidance whenever necessary. Providing a safe working environment for construction workers can also improve the image of your company.