Scaffolding is an indispensable element when carrying out construction work and all kinds of work at height. The modular construction of the individual systems makes it very easy to adapt to the height of the individual building. The use of scaffolding provides a stable working surface for renovation work, façade insulation or the construction of all kinds of buildings such as industrial structures, viaducts and bridges. The main advantage of scaffolding for all types of building and erection work is that time is of the essence, as scaffolding makes maintenance or repair work quick and easy. Another advantage of using scaffolding is the cost of the whole project, which is relatively low.
What is the installation of scaffolding like?
The main purpose of scaffolding is to carry out work at height with its help, so it is important that it provides maximum safety for users and bystanders. Scaffolding should be erected by qualified scaffolders with the relevant qualifications. The prerequisite for this is a certificate of qualification, which can be obtained by passing an exam. The method for erecting scaffolding depends on the manufacturer's instructions. Before erecting the scaffolding, each component should be carefully checked for deformation of the parts, damage or completeness of the parts. The erection of the scaffolding must be approved by the site manager or an authorised person and the action must be recorded in the acceptance report or the site log. When erecting the scaffolding, the sequence must always be followed according to the manufacturer's instructions in the operating manual. Safety when erecting the scaffolding depends above all on the scaffolding being properly levelled and correctly anchored in the places provided by the manufacturer. When erecting the scaffolding, it is obligatory to install the safety elements included in the kit, such as guard rails and safety nets.
Scaffolding and its division.
Working scaffolding - is a type of building structure erected temporarily, thanks to them work at heights is carried out, their main use is to hold people, all kinds of materials and equipment. Scaffolding is divided according to:
- Type of materials used:
- Steel scaffolding,
- Aluminium scaffolding,
- Due to the construction of the structure:
- System scaffolding,
- Non-system scaffolding,
- Based on usage:
- Immobile scaffolding,
- Mobile scaffolding.
Tasks and role of the scaffolder.
Scaffold erectors are special employees selected on the basis of their training and experience by the department to be responsible for the erection and maintenance of departmental scaffolding on construction sites. Only selected scaffolders are responsible for erecting scaffolding, taking into account their own safety and the safety of others as well as the appropriate selection of scaffolding based on its type and stability. Scaffolding plays a significant role in all types of construction work. The scope of a scaffolder's work is wide and usually includes erecting and securing scaffolding, dismantling scaffolding and carrying out safety inspections. Scaffolding not only plays a key role on all kinds of construction sites, but is also ideal for all kinds of work at height, such as painting. A skilled scaffolder works with a group of people responsible for building a stable and properly anchored scaffolding that can last for weeks, months or years. Depending on the job, the structure may require the fitter to make adjustments and rearrangements based on the progress of the work.
Basic duties of a scaffolder.
- Set up scaffolding in accordance with safety rules, local regulations and manufacturer's recommendations,
- Meeting the requirements for fall protection during the erection or dismantling of scaffolding,
- Inspection of all scaffolding components prior to erection to ensure that each component is made of the same material and is of suitable quality and condition. In particular, components such as mud thresholds, screw jacks, frames, bracing, planks, brackets and access ladders need to be checked.
- Ensuring that people using the scaffolding have an adequate level of safety to avoid hazards. Solutions such as installing fall protection systems, securing against falling objects, providing suitable access and egress to the scaffolding, proper anchoring and stability of the structure, maintaining proper distances from electrical hazards are all useful here.
Scaffolding inspection by the scaffolder.
There is a high risk of scaffolding collapse due to structural instability or overloading, which is why it is so important to inspect scaffolding to avoid tragedy. Scaffolding needs to be inspected at all times by a person with the appropriate qualifications, level of knowledge, training and experience appropriate for the type of scaffolding. The assembler should also have the authority to take prompt corrective action to address the hazard as soon as possible.
Entry requirements for scaffolder.
To start training as a scaffolding operator, you must have at least an elementary school education, have the appropriate medical certificate and be at least 18 years old.
Scaffolding installer course.
Each metal scaffolding assembler course ends with a theoretical and practical exam conducted by an Examination Commission appointed by the Institute of Construction and Rock Mining Mechanisation based in Warsaw. Upon successful completion of the course and passing the state examination, each participant receives a certificate, an entry in the Scaffolding Machine Operator's Booklet and a certificate of completion of the course. Scaffolding trade companies provide the participants with a comprehensive range of theoretical and practical knowledge as well as online course material on basic electrotechnology, work technology and technical and traffic documentation.