Whether you’re undertaking some home improvement jobs or you’re renovating your house before selling it, mobile scaffolding is a versatile tool that offers plenty of support when working at heights. When performing any type of construction or repair projects at home, safety is the key priority and mobile scaffolding is a secure, efficient, and reliable option. You can reach windows and gutters for cleaning, painting, and repairs without the need for a wobbly ladder and you can easily support all your tools and materials on a secure platform.
Tradesman also make use of mobile scaffolding for a range of tasks as it has fantastic mobility, easy lock assembly, and sturdy platforms to undertake any tasks at height. Today’s mobile scaffolding is quick, easy, and safe to assemble and can be easily collapsed and stored when not in use. To give you some insight into how to use mobile scaffolding, today’s article will provide you with a simple guide to ensure you minimise any risks when using this type of scaffolding.
What is a mobile scaffold?
A mobile scaffold is essentially an independent tower scaffold that consists of four vertical standards connected transversely and longitudinally, or two frames connected transversely to create a one bay scaffold. Whether you purchase or hire mobile scaffolding, the manufacturers and suppliers must provide detailed information on how to safely erect the scaffold. All mobile scaffolding should be erected according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Do I need a ‘Scaffolding High-Risk Work Licence’?
In most scenarios, a licenced scaffolder is not required to erect mobile scaffolding because a person or object cannot fall more than four metres in height. In Australia, a licenced scaffolder is required to erect, alter, or dismantle any scaffolding that is greater than four metres in height. Despite this, it’s vital that the mobile scaffold is erected by a competent person who follows the manufacturers guidelines.
The following control measures should be considered whenever using mobile scaffolding:
- Mobile scaffold should only be used on level ground where the surface slope is no greater than 5 degrees
- Never use building blocks or loose bricks to hold the weight of the scaffold
- Only use wheels that have the WLL (working load limit) clearly visible
- Lock the wheel brakes when erecting and using the scaffold, and only unlock the wheel brakes when moving the scaffold
- Wheels should have adjustable legs so you can keep the platform level when the supporting structure is uneven or at different heights.
- Always install guardrails, mid-rails, and toe boards on the working platform
- For greater stability, include plan bracing at the base of the mobile scaffold
- The secure internal ladder must have a protected opening such as a hinged trap door for entry and exit
- The internal ladder must be free of the supporting surface
- Reduce the height to base ratio to offer extra support when the scaffold is:
- loaded with heavy materials or equipment
- used to hoist heavy materials or support rubbish chutes
- sheeted or exposed to high winds, and
- used with heavy or awkward equipment such as water-jetting
Moving the scaffold
Before moving or relocating the mobile scaffold to a different area, always check:
- the ground is firm and level and there are no obstructions (such as electrical leads) which could cause the scaffold to collapse
- there are no materials or people on the scaffold platform
- there are no overhead electrical lines or other obstructions in the path to the new location
In addition, never move a mobile scaffold when there is strong winds or other unpleasant weather conditions.
If you’re interested in hiring or purchasing mobile scaffolding, one of the most important considerations is the stability of the structure. Always opt for mobile scaffolding that has plenty of safety features to ensure the working platform remains stable at all times. It’s also advised to consult the guidelines and regulations for working at heights in your state to ensure you purchase a compliant system.
If you have any further questions regarding mobile scaffolding and its use, get in touch with the professionals at Uni-Span by phoning 1300 882 825.