Safety, Weight, And The Correct Use Of Your Scaffolding

Posted on: 22 June 2016


If your construction business has taken on its first commercial job that requires repairs along the upper levels of a building, then you may need to buy and use your first scaffold. If this is the case, then safety should be your number one concern. To make sure that you use the scaffold the right way, keep reading to learn about a few weight concerns you should have.

Weight Capacity

When you buy and use a scaffold, you will need to follow the weight or load capacity rating. Scaffolds come in a wide variety of different ratings, and the type of scaffold you should buy will depend on your intended use. If the scaffold is being used to hold up equipment or supplies for easy access, then you can go with a light, medium, or heavy-duty scaffold. These types of scaffolds are best used when weight is spread out along the platform. A light-duty scaffold can hold about 25 pounds per square foot, a medium-duty scaffold can carry 50 pounds per square foot, and a heavy-duty one will hold 75 pounds per square foot.

If you want workers to stand on the scaffold platforms, then buy one, two, or three person scaffolds. The name of the scaffold indicates how many people should be on the device at one time. The weight limit for each person will be around 250 pounds. While the weight of your workers should be considered, you will also need to take into account the supplies that will be held by the scaffold. The total weight should not exceed the capacity of the scaffold. For example, if the device is a one person scaffold and you weigh about 180 pounds, then your tools and equipment should not weigh more than 70 pounds. 

Weight Distribution

To reduce tipping concerns, the scaffolding should be able to retain or distribute weight evenly across the metal beams and platforms of the device. While the placement of workers and equipment can help with this, you also will need to secure the right types of wood planks across the bars of the scaffolding. Rigid and thick planks are best. These types of planks will not bend when weight is placed on the wood and this will help to retain weight more evenly.

When buying the wood for the scaffolding, look for load bearing planks that are specifically made for scaffolding. The beams are typically called scaffold grade planks and are about two inches thick and 10 inches wide. You will typically need six of these planks to create the platforms on the scaffold. If you are using the scaffolding to hold workers, then you also will need to make sure that you go with full-thickness, undressed lumber. These types of planks will hold the most weight. 

For scaffolding, contact a business such as All Star Equipment Rental & Sales, Inc.