Scaffolding makes it easy to work on buildings or structures high off the ground on a stable, level platform. Many people can work on the same scaffolding, using equipment and machinery. To be safe, though, scaffolding must be braced and installed properly so it doesn't sway or collapse when people work on it. While scaffolding is not a permanent structure, it should be built and put together like one for complete safety.
Establish a stable base for the scaffolding. Install flat legs on the scaffold so it sits even on concrete or hard surfaces. If the scaffolding is on casters or wheels, lock them in place and put blocks or chucks around the wheels to prevent movement. For soft surfaces like grass and dirt, place boards under the legs or casters so the scaffold doesn't sink.
Brace each level of the scaffold on both sides with boards or with the built-in braces. Make sure that they're screwed on or bolted together at angles or form triangles for stability. For every two stories or levels of scaffolding, install braces on the back or front side of the scaffold as well for additional support.
Level and balance the scaffolding before anyone gets on it. Adjust the legs and tie ropes from the upper levels to stakes or posts in the ground for additional balance and to prevent swaying.
Anchor the scaffolding to the building with ropes or boards every 16 feet for additional support, in case the scaffolding collapses or starts to move.
Have a certified inspector look at your scaffolding before working on it. Review local and national regulations regarding scaffolding for guidance.
Tips and warnings
- Have a certified inspector look at your scaffolding before working on it.
- Review local and national regulations regarding scaffolding for guidance.