Working on a construction site can be incredibly dangerous, particularly given the nature of the work, the intense foot traffic and the materials/processes involved in industrial activities. In this situation, scaffolding platforms are central in improving the relative efficiency of activities, whilst also enhancing overall safety. However, this safety does not just include those on the site, but also includes surrounding communities and civilians. Indeed, there are various types of towers and platforms, which can be used in a variety of different construction scenarios. Every site is different; featuring different people, processes, materials and activities. As a result, it is important you understand the benefits of using scaffolding as well as the different types, since each type of platform works best in a different situation. Let’s take a look.
In the current working environment, safety is an incredibly important concern. Given the government’s strict regulation regarding OHS and worker safety, scaffolding is a crucial safety requirement on many construction sites. Indeed, building towers are generally made from aluminium, ensuring they can support high weight levels and heavy materials. This also ensures that they are very durable, which is particularly advantageous during inclement weather, such as gale force winds, hail or heavy rainfall.
Construction towers can also be designed to include walkways and pathways, which allows for a greater spread and distribution of weight. It also affords workers with greater room when navigating along the towers or around the site. In essence, worksite congestion and foot traffic can be effectively managed, which will reduce the chances of having a serious accident on your worksite. From a supervising perspective, the last thing you need is a huge liability claim or an investigation on your hands.
Scaffolding is also really important for enhancing efficiency and productivity on construction sites. The textbook environment of a construction area or building site can be really intense. A lot of the time, there is so much going on that it can be hard for everyone to keep up and stay on the same page. Building platforms help ensure that tasks are completed sequentially and in a practical order, meaning everyone is aware of their roles and objectives for every working day.
Installing scaffolding on your work site can also save you and your workforce a lot of time. This is because labourers can now reach areas they perhaps weren’t able to before without the assistance of a building platform. Put simply, moving things around your worksite, whether it be labour or materials, can now happen at a much quicker rate than before.
Now that we have analysed some of the key benefits of scaffolding equipment and platforms, it is important to understand the risks of using building platforms and how to cope with such concerns. So let’s check out the things you need to be aware of when installing building platforms.
Accounting for risks
It is important to be aware of all or any risks that could bring about serious harm on your worksite. Firstly, you need to identify any potential hazards; find out what has the potential to cause harm and pain. Secondly, you need to assess these risks, specifically the overall likelihood of that risk turning into something worse. Having identified and assessed the risks, you need to develop measures on how to control them in any practical scenario. Finally, review your control measures to guarantee that they are effective and that your scaffolding remains safe and secure.
Choosing your scaffolding
There are various types of platforms available for a wide array of construction sites. If you’re looking for something a little less intensive, light duty towers are generally the best suited, because they are easy to install and perfect for small construction jobs. At the same time, they are very flexible and can be disassembled quite easily. This makes them very mobile and transportable, which works well on sites where the scene of activity is constantly changing.
Medium duty towers are generally used for more intense work, with a maximum weight load of 450kg. Whilst they are stronger than light duty platforms, they are fixed after installation. However, they can be fixed with locking systems to prevent theft, which can occur when worksites are vacant overnight.
Walk-thru scaffolding is perfect for high rise construction and is tailored with walk-through end to end access. This makes them perfect for larger construction sites. They can be built to be up to 30 metres in height.
After you have chosen your scaffolding, it is really important that you’re aware of all the necessary requirements regarding ongoing inspections. For any platform that is higher than 4 metres, the tower cannot be used unless written confirmation has been provided by a competent individual approving the safety of the platform. Likewise, scaffolding must be inspected every 30 days, following any relevant repairs or after an accident has occurred. This is to prevent dangerous collapses or further accidents.