Types of Scaffold and Their Purposes

  • The art of scaffolding is indispensable when it comes to constructing buildings or forming makeshift platforms. This has a lot of ranges that can be used in construction and for other purposes. The general principle of a scaffolding construction remains the same regardless of its nature and purpose; that is, to provide a platform for workers and materials. Scaffolding structures for sale are found in a variety of ‘industrial works’ stores in and around Cape Town. It is common to see scaffolding being used for repair work, for the purpose of gaining access to things out of reach or situated very high, to clean windows of tall buildings, and much more. Choosing the most appropriate form of scaffold structure is an important stage in the project that you are undertaking. (Information Credit – http://www.southendscaffolding.co.za)

    Supported Scaffolding: Supported scaffolding, or supportive scaffolding, is the most commonly used form of scaffolding and is the kind that you will see being used in construction work and on several other forms of work where there is a need for elevation. Extra support may be required if the scaffolding is quite a heightened structure or is required to support quite a bit of weight. Supported scaffolding is built from the base upwards, and is normally used wherever seemed fit. It is widely held to be the easiest, most convenient, safest, and cost effective form of scaffold. You find different forms of supported scaffolding are in the market, each of which serves a designated purpose and are used in specific circumstances.

    Suspended Scaffolding: Suspended scaffolding is named this way since it is generally used after being suspended from a roof or other similar constructions with height. This type of scaffold is used in cases where it is nigh impossible to construct a ground platform; or, where access to the higher levels may be a necessity, yet it would be grossly impractical to build a scaffold that starts at the floor and reaches up to the required level.

    Suspended scaffolding is commonly used by window cleaners for tall/high buildings or constructions, but is not uncommonly seen in cases where the exteriors of upper levels of similarly tall buildings need repair. Supported scaffolding is usually preferred wherever it can be fit in.

    Aerial Scaffolding: Aerial lifts have to be used where workers have to be able access several levels of the structure or the construction. E.g., if building work is being completed on the outside of a multi-storied property and the labourers are needed to work outside two or more floors at different times, then an aerial lift would make it easier and safer to lift even large amounts of material and multiple workers to the intended levels. 

    Mobile Scaffolding: Plainly defined, a mobile scaffold is a type of free standing scaffold which is supported on wheels, castors or other devices on a firm, and plain supporting structure. You can erect mobile scaffolds from a variety of components or systems. Several things need to be considered when deciding whether to use static or mobile scaffolding. Some of those considerations are: ease of access, the amount of movement on the scaffolding, the strength of the material and the firmness of the joints. Where possible, you should rely on the use of a single scaffolding structure, or a number of structures, because mobile units are often unpredictable. On one hand, they are perfectly safe when well-constructed and used properly, but can become dangerous and unreliable if there is a single weakness anywhere in the structure.  A vast majority of all scaffolding is considered either temporary or partly permanent (semi-permanent). Once it has been used, it can be dismantled and moved to another location where it is set up from scratch. Fixed scaffolding can be left in position for long time periods.

    Rolling Scaffolding: Rolling scaffolding is somewhat similar in form and function to the previously discussed ‘supported scaffolding’. However, the difference lies in that rather than making a firm base or platform, it uses a mobile base. That is, the platform is equipped with wheels that enable the base to be moved. This is a very useful form of scaffolding that permits work to be completed over a distance, as opposed to normal scaffolding that requires static work at just one point or multiple contiguous points.

    Tip: Before you start working on a rolling scaffold, make sure that the wheels are locked when workers or the construction materials are being loaded on to the platform.