What Is A Scaffolder?
A scaffolder is a person who produces shuttering or propping for building work using supplies made of steel. Scaffolders are primarily involved in building composite structures, consisting of structural frameworks covered with cladding. They also provide temporary supports outside high-rise buildings during repair and maintenance work.
Scaffolding may be permanently attached to the ground but often has wheels to be moved from one place to another or left standing when not required. It is usually erected around the perimeter of a site where concrete will be poured or on top of internal walls into which concrete posts will be placed. Using scaffolding for working at height requires compliance with safety standards such as those laid out by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Some other common uses for scaffolding are :
– Builders working on roofs or above ground level may use a Suspended Access Platform like a small bridge with the platform attached to wire rope stretched between two points. It needs few if any, props below it as walls serve as barriers.
It is possible to use an A-frame, which can be used indoors or outdoors or both; less commonly still, there is the crow’s nest (most often referred to by this name in the US), made of manila rope wooden boards.
The top end of this “boom” rests on a swing point at one corner of the building under construction so that operators can reach girders and tools at each elevation. A swing stage allows the platform to be moved around the building site as required and is commonly used for exterior window cleaning, painting, and other maintenance activities.
Scaffolding is also often used in cave diving. Expert divers do exploration dives looking for new or more difficult caves and less expert cavers using small diameter artificial tunnels to get through. The penetration can go into very tight places not accessible by any other means.
Scaffolding was mostly massive parallelogram reinforced concrete frames with comprehensive mesh platforms supporting a lean-to roof slab. Still, these have been largely replaced due to their high construction costs (up to 5x that of suspension scaffolds) and poor utilization. The more traditional form of scaffolding is now seen mainly on smaller jobs, especially repairs to brickwork feature walls, stone walls, and heritage homes.
In some localities or industries, scaffolding may be prohibited or inaccessible for health & safety reasons. For example, swimming pool construction requires large open spaces at ground level to allow workers easy access to equipment. If a wall needs to be built around the pool, it will have to use a tower instead of a conventional scaffold system.
It’s widespread in many other countries that buildings cannot be constructed over existing structures restricted by legislation such as fire regulations which limit the height a building can extend upwards before requiring additional support. Steel platforms must often be erected to bridge the gap in these situations.
How to become a scaffolder:
Scaffolding is a civil engineering occupation. The primary role of scaffolders, or tower hands, which the older term ‘roughnecks also know,’ is to assemble the structural framework (‘scaffold’) of work platforms for use above ground level in construction and industrial projects. Scaffolding uses tube steel components to build towers needed for various construction projects. They then put up supporting frames, stairways, walkways, or ladders according to how they will be used during the task at hand.
There are no formal education requirements for becoming a scaffolder. Still, most require some on-site training which usually takes between 3 months-1 years before being employed on-site, generally starting as an apprentice. They must also pass a physical test that assesses their strength and stamina.
To find work as a scaffolder, it is best to search for local construction companies and inquire about any apprenticeship or on-site training programs they may have. Several scaffolders’ unions throughout the UK can provide more information on becoming a scaffolder.
The average salary for a scaffolder in the UK is £21,000 per year.
The job prospects for scaffolders are good, with many opportunities available in the construction industry. With the increasing demand for new housing and infrastructure projects, scaffolders are likely to continue to be in high order. Those with experience and qualifications will have the best job prospects.
The skills required to be a successful scaffolder include:
-Working at heights
-Assembly and use of tools
-Physical strength and stamina
-Good communication and teamwork skills
Many training programs are available for aspiring scaffolders that will teach them the necessary skills needed for the job. On-the-job training is also standard, allowing apprentices to learn from experienced scaffolders.
It is essential for scaffolders to be safety conscious and have good communication and teamwork skills as they will often be working with other construction workers. Physical strength and stamina are also essential as much of the work involves carrying heavy materials and working at heights.
With good job prospects and a relatively high salary, scaffolding is a good career choice for those looking for a challenging and rewarding job in the construction industry.