A scaffold is a raised platform or structure that is designed to help with the construction of a building. It can also be used to maintain or repair various buildings. These raised platforms are often used on various construction sites throughout Australia. Naturally, they are governed by a range of strict rules and regulations, which must be followed to promote both public and worker safety. If such rules are not followed, the consequences can be severe (e.g. collapses, injuries, casualties). So, if you are erecting a scaffold, possibly to do some minor repairs on your home, here are several steps you must follow to complete the process in safe manner.
You can’t place your platform on unstable ground. Unlevel ground can cause the tower to become unstable and collapse, leading to serious injury. Your scaffold should be as secure as possible. You may need to dig down into the ground make the dirt level or attach plates to the base to level the foundation. If you are working on a slope, make sure you use leg extensions to properly support the tower. If you plan on moving your platform around, you’ll need casters to ensure easy mobility.
Lay out the ends of your platform. Lift one of the end pieces and attach the upper cross brace, which will support the end piece (permitting you have done it correctly). Following this, secure the ends of both cross braces to the bottom of the opposing frames. If you are unsure, verify with a friend or someone experienced in handiwork or carpentry. Do not use your scaffold if you are unsure about its stability.
Once you have ascertained that the building tower is secure and stable, lay some planks. These planks should run through the gaps in the platform. Don’t just simply lie them across the tower; they need to be fastened in place with relevant hardware, straps or screws.
When using a scaffold, you are required to have a safe point of access and departure. If you are using a ladder, use one that has been designed specifically for your tower. If you don’t have one of these at your disposal, you need to use stair-like ladders. This is because they have handrails and treading that make using your tower much safer.
If your scaffold is a certain height, it is required by law to have guardrails. Moreover, if your tower is more than 4m in height, it can only be used by someone with a license. Guardrails are highly recommended because of the height of the structure and the fact that collapses or falls can occur quite often. There are other ways you can fortify the safety of your building tower. You can use tie offs to prevent your platform from swaying in strong winds.
You should thoroughly inspect your scaffold before using it every time. Conditions can change, and your platform can deteriorate and become unsafe over time. This is because of general wear and tear. If you leave the site, you must remember to inspect the platform before you recommence using it, even if you have only been gone for less than an hour.
Once you are satisfied with your scaffold, you can begin using it. If, at any stage, you notice that the tower is somewhat unstable or if inclement weather conditions arise, get off the platform straight away for safety reasons.