How to Dismantle Scaffolding

Written by joanne robitaille
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How to Dismantle Scaffolding
All safety precautions should be taken when removing scaffolding. (scaffolding image by Svetlana Tikhonova from

Scaffolding creates a safe and secure platform for people working at elevated levels. They're often used at construction sites or on remodelling projects to provide easy access to ceilings and building facades. Once the job is complete and it's time to remove the scaffolding, special care must be taken in order to ensure that the job's done safely.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Safety harness
  • Appropriate safety gear
  • Scaffolding tools
  • Extra scaffolding components

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  1. 1

    Clear a nearby space to set the dismantled pieces of scaffolding down. As a scaffold is dismantled, the components should immediately be removed from the structure and set aside for later inspection. There should also be room enough to provide truck access to transport the scaffolding parts to a loading area.

  2. 2

    Examine the entire scaffold structure. Starting with the base, make sure that the structure is sound and that there are no visible hazards. Any ties that have been removed at an earlier time must now be put back in place. Check each individual platform to ensure that the wood hasn't been damaged during construction. Wood that has been damaged should be removed and replaced.

  3. 3

    Put on all necessary safety gear. Safety shoes, hard hats and gloves should be worn along with any other gear required by the site conditions. Safety harnesses should also be worn when on the scaffold structure.

  4. 4

    Begin the dismantling project at the top of the scaffold. Remove the guardrail and posts first using the necessary tools. Pass the components down from person to person in a daisy chain formation. Make sure not to stand in a location where pieces can be dropped on you.

  5. 5

    Remove the remainder of the platform from the section below. The ties holding the structure secure to the building should only be removed once the entire platform they support has been removed. The dismantling process works exactly the same as the construction process only in reverse.

  6. 6

    Examine all of the scaffolding components once they've been removed. Parts that cannot be repaired should be set aside for later disposal as faulty equipment can lead to injury. All of the undamaged and repairable pieces should be safely stored away for transport off site.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid handing loose coupling/stacking pins by attaching them to the top of the frame below. Keeping them fastened to the structure lessens the risk of them falling on workers below.
  • A safety harness should be worn at all times. The force necessary to remove components such as ties can cause a person to loose their balance.

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