Whenever any construction work is done, workers need a temporary structure that enables them to reach the top of this. In comes scaffolding, which is produced specifically for these situations. It enables people to work safely and securely at a height. Scaffolding is an absolutely essential part of the construction industry, therefore, as it actually gives people a work platform, something that a ladder is not able to do.
At the same time, it is important to understand that scaffolding only really works if it is erected and used properly. Raising the towers should only be done by professionals who have been trained in this. While the idea of scaffolding has remained pretty much the same since ancient times (similar structures were used in the construction of the Pyramids and the Great Wall of China for instance), they do get updated so that they become even safer. Hence, those who work with scaffolding must always keep their knowledge up to date. This will also ensure that they know everything about the parts and elements of scaffolding, as described below.
Parts and Elements of Scaffolding
- Fittings and tubes, which come in either aluminum or steel. The tubes come in all sorts of lengths and diameters, and the pipe itself is usually 48.3 mm with 1.5NPS. This guarantees its strength. Aluminum tubes have a much lower weight, averaging about 1.7kg per meter of tubing, compared to the 4.4kg per meter of tubing with steel. Aluminum is a suppler material, with means it responds better to force. This is why a lot of scaffolding experts prefer it to steel. On the other hand, some people do not have faith in the material’s ability to stay up, precisely because it is so supple.
- Jacks, which are used at a range of different points in the scaffolding construction. Jacks can be placed at any point along the board. However, in order for the structure to be safe, a minimum number of jacks must be installed at each level of the scaffolding. This is calculated using quite a complex mathematical procedure, which further highlights the need for trained professionals to set the system up. Without the jacks, working on scaffolding would not be safe and secure, and many more accidents would occur.
- Couplers are used to make sure all the tubes join together properly. They come in a range of different shapes, including end-to-end joints and 90 degree angle joints. These have to be made out of strong materials. Experts will calculate where joints need to be placed in order to make sure the entire structure is supported.
- Hoists are one of the most important scaffolding accessories. They ensure workers are able to lift and lower materials in a safe way. Hoists have been around since ancient times, ensuring Mayan construction workers were able to bring up stones, for instance. What is important is that someone calculates exactly where the hoist should be placed and how much it is able to lift and lower.