by Frederike Berg
How to erect a scaffold
Scaffolding assembly and dismantling are jobs for professionals! After all, as a trained scaffolder, you are ultimately responsible for the safety of the craftsmen working on the scaffold. To do this, you must comply with defined standards and regulations to minimise the risk of falls from scaffolding. We have summarised the steps you need to take to assemble scaffolding safely.
What do I need to do before I start to erect the scaffolding?
When it comes to scaffolding, the most important rule is always: safety first! And to ensure safety, good preparation is crucial. That's why you need to take a few precautions before you tighten the first bolt on your scaffolding. For example, you can do this as follows:
Step 1: Site and risk assessment
To be able to plan your scaffolding correctly, you should first carry out a site and risk assessment. The site assessment will tell you, for example, what structural features are present on the site and what scaffolding material you need to plan for it, as well as how your scaffolding should be secured against unauthorised access.
The risk assessment is important for both the scaffold assembly and the later use of the scaffold. It will show what safety devices need to be used on the scaffold and what hazards your team needs to be prepared for.
Step 2: Assessing the project requirements and planning the scaffold
After you have carefully assessed the project requirements, you can start planning the scaffold. Consider factors such as
- the desired working height of the scaffold,
- the load capacity of the scaffold,
- the anchoring points of the scaffold
Review project plans, regulations, and safety guidelines to determine the appropriate scaffold dimensions and configurations.
Step 3: Clear the standing area of the scaffold
Once you have arrived at the site, it is usually time to tidy up. The area where your scaffolding is to be erected should be cleared of all obstacles such as tools and building materials.
Step 4: Preparing the ground for the loads of the scaffold
Before you start erecting your scaffold, make sure that the ground can support all the loads on it. The scaffolding should later stand on a solid foundation that is as level as possible. If needed, use adjustable base plates or screw jacks to provide stability and compensate for uneven surfaces. Ensure that the base plates are securely fastened and capable of supporting the scaffold's weight.
The assembly of the scaffold starts
All preparations are complete and you can start assembling the scaffold. Make sure you wear the appropriate safety clothing. Depending on the working environment, this may include
- a hard hat
- safety shoes
- work gloves
Depending on the configuration and location of your scaffold, it may be necessary to wear PPE during scaffold assembly. To find out when this is the case, read our blog articles on PPE and fall protection on the scaffold.
How you erect a scaffold depends largely on the type of scaffold. The correct way to assemble the scaffold is described in the manufacturer's scaffold erection manual. It explains and illustrates the scaffold assembly steps in detail for each type of scaffolding.
When can the scaffolding be used?
The scaffold has been erected, is stable and there is nothing to stop you from using it? However, before it can be approved for use, it must be inspected by a competent person. This involves checking compliance with applicable safety standards, the integrity of the scaffold and the adequacy and effectiveness of the safety measures chosen for the scaffold. If the scaffold passes the inspection, assembly is complete.
Read more about scaffold inspections in our blog post:
Erecting a scaffold requires careful planning, good preparation, and following the scaffold manufacturer's erection manual. Although this blog article is not intended to replace the scaffold erection manual, following the steps outlined will provide a good foundation for safe scaffold assembly. In addition, regular inspections, maintenance, and adherence to safety guidelines are crucial for maintaining the integrity and stability of the scaffold throughout its use.
You want to learn more about scaffold assembly and dismantling? Click here to read our step-by-step guide on how to dismantle a scaffold safely.
Add a comment
The entire Scafom-rux Team is dedicated to support you with all your enquiries. Reach out to us by clicking on the button below and let us know how we can help you.