Scaffolding equipment is essential in construction projects, especially for contractors working at great heights. Compared to ladders, scaffolding is much safer and can be used even at hundreds of feet higher. When planning to hire scaffolding, consider the following helpful tips to make the right choice.
Conduct Site Assessment
It's essential to carry out a thorough site assessment to determine its safety condition for the scaffold. Check whether the site has any overhead branches or electric power lines that might interfere with the scaffold. The scaffolding type you can choose depends on the prevailing site conditions. For example, if the ground below can't support a scaffolding, consider hiring a cantilever scaffold. Additionally, you can opt for suspended scaffolds when working repairs or paintwork on upper storey building floors.
Select the Right Scaffold
Before hiring your ideal scaffold, it's imperative to conduct some inspections. Be wary of bend or cracked poles. It's vital to assess the condition of the ropes if you choose to hire a suspended scaffold. Furthermore, find out more about the scaffold features present. For example:
- The height of your preferred scaffold should be higher than the structure you are working on
- The maximum weight that the scaffold can support. Choose heavy-duty scaffolds if you have multiple workers and equipment needed on the equipment.
- Steel scaffolds are highly durable and can support more weight. However, consider PVC or fibreglass when working near electric power lines.
- Assess the equipment safety features. Things like access gates and guardrails are vital in preventing falls while workers are on top of the platform. Besides, ensure that the scaffold's planking board is not smooth to avoid slipping.
- Choose fire-resistant scaffolds when running your project in fire hazard sites.
Scaffold Hire Terms and Conditions
When hiring a scaffold, the terms and conditions offered by the hiring company should be more reasonable. For instance, free transportation, onsite repairs and maintenance service. If you plan to hire the equipment for an extended period, the hiring company should be ready to offer reduced rates. Also, confirm the company's payment terms. Also, check whether you are required to pay a deposit upfront as well.
It's imperative that the workers who'll be using the scaffold be adequately trained. That's especially crucial when it comes to dismantling the equipment and moving to a different job site. Furthermore, don't overlook the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) and fall protection equipment for all the workers on site. Conduct a thorough inspection of the scaffold and determine whether any loose connections might result in dangerous collapse.
Before hiring a scaffolding system, conduct a site assessment, choosing the ideal scaffolding, confirm the hire terms and ensure proper scaffold safety.