Facts About Scaffolding and Uses

Long before, wood or timber is widely used as a shoring material. Bamboo is one of the most common of them as these grasses are one of the fastest growing plants in the world. But as the construction progresses, Galvanized iron, steel, and other lighter metal-based materials mainly because it can be used several times if properly maintained. In addition, for durability and efficiency, some contractor invests in high-quality shoring wherein lengths are customizable for easy interchanging of heights as required on-site. These metal tubes are attached to adjustable accessories and fittings capable of varying heights as required.

By definition, scaffoldings are temporary support used in civil, structural and architectural construction industry normally for supporting yet to be concreted formworks for slabs, columns, walls, and others. A requisite and support for scaffolding, shorings are needed which may be horizontal, vertical or diagonal depending on the structure it is supported into. These are used basically for a suspended structure like slabs, beams, column and retaining walls.

Several products available nowadays in the market which is mostly patented shoring system with adjustable lengths to diminish wedging and cutting which are truly time-consuming. On the other hand, scaffolding are those ramp or platforms consist of a system on tubes of same adjustable height used to transport people or construction material along building floors. Aluminium and galvanized iron metal tubes are the most common materials used as scaffolding mainly because it is lighter in nature. Meaning, it would be easier to be transported and mobility is an advantage causing faster assembly.

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As a requisite, there are general design consideration and globally accepted practices to follow for the safety purposes. There is a factor of safety for this scaffolding and shoring systems to be aware of. The most common is that most scaffolding to be used should be able to withstand four times its maximum designed capacity without experiencing breakage or rupture.

In addition, not only that the scaffolds have its loading design and consideration, but as well as the shoring. Normally, there are three of the most common types of specified loadings for shoring available as manufactured. But for the comprehensive guide, it should be provided via manuals and guides that come along with the purchasing of the product.

Here are the three common loadings for shoring:

1. Light-duty Loading: Maximum stress allowed is 1200N/m2 to support tools and laborers. Please note that these shorings are not for use for storage purposes.

2. Medium-duty Loading: 2400 N/m2 Maximum stress allowed to support manpower and tools weights. These are used for lighter masonry scope of works like brick-piling and plastering works.

3. Heavy-duty Loading: 3600 N/m2 Maximum stress allowed to support manpower, tools and may provide storage for materials overhead. These are also used for heavy stone masonry scope like concrete hollow block installation.

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In addition to this topic, there is a trade material, not a scaffolding or shoring accessory but is directly related to them, the barricades and safety signs. Barricades are just roadblocks or pathway guides to properly direct and control traffic out of the hazard are. These barricades can be bought directly in the market or made from improvised construction materials provided that it is painted with highly visual painting catchy to the naked eye. These are very important in the construction industry to prevent any untoward incident. Furthermore, no scaffolds should be erected only with a certified and/or technically experienced scaffolder. It is also in-situ practiced that green tags are placed on the checked and accepted scaffolds ready for usage.

Safety signs also play a vital role in the construction industry. Almost all areas have to be properly marked up with safety signages depending on how hazardous the area may be. These markings would serve as warnings for the laborer. One example is for an ongoing welding scope in a suspended area. A person passing by should be aware of the existing welding works overhead for him to change his direction and prevent that area. As the primary objective of any construction projects is the safety the people working on it.

Quality Engineer Tips:

Do not use scaffolds without a green tag, contact a safety assistant to provide green tag before you can use the scaffolding for inspections.

•To a Safety Engineer or Safety Officer, I recommend checking out this Scafftag Kit. You will have an internationally recognized scaffold tag.

Always see to it that scaffolds are properly installed as per design and drawings, clamps, diagonals bracing and horizontal bracings are properly joint when it is used to support slab and beam or any related suspended concrete element.

Safety signs and barricades should never be taken for granted not only because it is a requirement to proceed with the construction but for the benefit of the project itself. Some serious grounds may be sanctioned to the builder if proven that they deliberately took the safety of the workers for granted. Some of which is on site work stoppage which is harmful to the project schedule. Some grounds may be as worst as suspension or cancellation to operate for the team responsible.

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These materials cost a huge amount of money. Thus, maintenance of these scaffolds and its accessories should be a priority of the builders. Depending on the nature of scaffold materials, cleaning and removal of stubborn laitance, as well as light greasing must be done on these systems including its accessories to prevent rusting. Also, these should also be stored in a cool and dry place with natural humidity to ensure a longer lifespan.

Do you follow safety rules about scaffolding?  Do you send scaffolding design to Consultant for approval?

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