Everything You Need to Know About Scaffolding Accessories
If you think that a scaffold is nothing but steel pieces that connect together to make a support for planks, you’ll only be partly correct.
There are different types of scaffold for different types of work. Scaffolds come in a variety of sizes and shapes as well.
Besides all the basic components that support the workspace, there are dozens of accessories you can use. Scaffold accessories can improve the efficiency of workers, plus make the job site safer. Here’s everything you need to know about scaffolding accessories.
Swivel Base plates
If you’ve ever used an old scaffold for personal projects, you may have felt it was okay to just position the legs on sturdy slabs of wood or blocks. In fact, this can be extremely dangerous, not to mention a violation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.
When not secured properly to a base plate, a scaffold can shift or tilt easily. This creates a dangerous situation, no matter how many levels high the scaffold. Be sure to put the proper base plate under each leg.
The best base plates will automatically swivel. By swiveling, you’ll be able to turn sections of the scaffold easily, without moving an entire tier. Swivel base plates are probably the most essential of all scaffold accessories.
Swivel Base Plates with Screw Jacks
These types of base plates will provide the same security and safety of standard swivel base plates. However, a swivel base plate with screw jacks will make leveling your scaffold a snap. This takes out any need for ground altering, or unsafe blocks to secure a level platform on each level of your scaffold.
There are going to be instances where moving the scaffold an inch or a few feet will be necessary. If you’ve built a multi-tier scaffold, this could mean tearing it all down. Moving any scaffold, no matter how many levels, won’t be a problem with quality caster wheels.
Be certain to only get caster wheels certified under OSHA standards. You can add each of these three accessories in convenient four-packs. There are also base plates that are fixed, but adjustable. Each of these accessories establishes a secure foundation for scaffold safety.
Access Ladders and Stair Units
Getting on and off a single tier scaffold can require some excellent physical dexterity. While it isn’t mandated that one and two tier scaffolds have access ladders, they are recommended.
The primary reason is, of course, safety. The second is efficiency for workers. It is much easier to climb and descend from a scaffold using a secure access ladder. Bringing up equipment and supplies is also safe and simple. For even more convenience, scaffold stair units are available.
These make entering and exiting the scaffold even more convenient. Internal scaffold stair units are strongly recommended for jobs that have a lot of material and equipment to be transferred. Remember, just like the scaffold construction itself, there are OSHA standards for access ladders and stair units.
All scaffolding used on construction jobs must adhere to OSHA scaffold standards. One of the most important guidelines is for guard rails. Haphazard ropes or retaining lines do not meet these standards.
The safest and most secure way to improve worker safety is by using authentic scaffold guard rails. These guard rails are not only simple to install, they provide the ultimate assurance against accidental worker falls.
You can also include various panels to improve worker efficiency and safety. Expandable access gates are another valuable accessory. These gates can be opened for quick access, and tightly secured to help ensure worker safety.
There may be a number of situations where the scaffold needs to span across something. These spans could be across doorways, windows or walkways. Anytime there is an opening to span, you’ll need what is called a scaffold putlog truss.
Scaffold putlog trusses are of varying lengths and configurations to fit specific situations. There are also special putlog hangers and saddle pins to make sure that the truss construction is secure.
These are some essential accessories for your scaffold needs. Each has a primary objective directed at safety with secondary benefits of more efficient scaffold use by workers. There are other accessories designed specifically for certain types of scaffold jobs. You can check out all the essential accessories and extras at a professional scaffold supply store.