Due to the nature of the construction industry, builders are asked to scale dramatic heights every day and it’s only thanks to builder’s scaffolding that they are able to do so safely and effectively. These structures provide them with support, provide safe access to higher working areas and also have the added benefit of concealing the work from the general public.
But it’s not only during industrial construction that scaffolding can prove useful. Its strength and flexibility make it an ideal solution for a number of situations, which we’ll explore below.
Window cleaning - Whilst a full commercial scaffolding rig might seem like overkill for domestic situations when it comes to larger-scale properties (hotels, retail stores etc) then it might not only be the safer option, but it could expedite the process too. With larger chains, it’s important to keep windows looking spotless in order to entice clients and customers whilst conforming to brand values. The particularly true when the property in question is surrounded by glass (we’re looking at you Apple). Scaffolding for window cleaners is generally easy to erect and dismantle and will allow them to work at height safely and efficiently.
Film and TV - Step on to any major Hollywood movie set and you’re likely to see almost as much scaffolding as you would on a construction site in Wigan! Indeed, there is an industry within an industry dedicated to designing scaffolding and rigging for use on film and TV shoots. From building scaffolding to help cameramen reach difficult, high angled shots, to temporary stages framed by green screen and even whole sets.
Live music and theatre - Similarly, scaffolding is often used during live music performances to display sound and lighting rigs. This scaffolding was once often seen flanking the stages at arena and stadium gigs, with roadies swinging from the rafters. Today, scaffolding safety standards are much higher, but scaffolding is still used to erect and dismantle large stages and productions.
Painting and decorating - Many painters and decorators working outdoors and at height assume that a ladder will suffice, but the support offered by a ladder is minimal at best and provides little help when working for long periods or in high winds. Scaffolding can be erected with additional handrails to allow painters to support themselves and hang their paintbrushes and paint cans. A single scaffolding rig outside a building will also take very little time to erect and will also provide the painters with that much more room to work comfortably, hopefully resulting in a more professional job.
Home improvement - if you’re planning a large-scale home improvement job such as an extension or a loft conversion, it’s unlikely you’d be safely able to complete the project without the support of scaffolding. The doesn’t need to be full industrial scaffolding either. Lightweight access platforms can be put up quite safely and easily around any home property and for more difficult indoor jobs, scaffolding is flexible enough to be constructed above staircases.
Building inspection/Civil engineering - When engineers are inspecting and surveying a site build, it’s imperative that they have secure scaffolding in place to allow them to inspect the work safely. Similarly with building inspectors, once the building is down - safety checks on certain buildings will require observations from hundreds of metres off the ground and that kind of inspection will obviously require a scaffolding rig.
Repairs and maintenance - Finally, any maintenance or repair work that requires working from a height will require scaffolding in order to ensure workers are not directly exposed to the existing faults in the building structure.
Whatever the situation, of course, safety is always of paramount importance with any ‘working at height’ situation. So, even if your job doesn’t conform to those listed above, you might want to give your local professional scaffolding company a call to see if they can help you achieve your goals safely and effectively.