Scaffolding

You are here

Debunking Scaffolding.....Maybe.

If you're a naivete to scaffolding like me, you'd think at first blush that scaffolding isn't that complicated. Especially the simple structures like a baker scaffold or a simple housing scaffold for installing siding. But you soon begin to understand the complexity of it when you see structures like the one here of Buckingham Palace. The terminology, the engineering, the knowledge required to built a safe and supportive structure are immense. And it's easy to get overwhelmed at the parts and sections that make up different parts of scaffold.

According to Wikipedia, scaffolding was invented during the Victoria era. The British Patent Rapid company, founded in 1906 by Daniel Palmer-Jones and his brother David, were the first company to actually take previous designs and 'rationalize' the parts into a usable system. The company when on to become SGB (Scaffolding Great Britain) in 1919 and is now owned by Harsco. Another company called Palmer-Jones, patented the "Scaffixer", which was a coupling device, apparently a better design than rope and changed the scaffolding industry forever.  Palmer- Jones used their new technology to reconstruct Buckingham Palace (pictured here) where the 'Scaffixer' gained much attention and was followed up with the improved "Universal Coupler" in 1919. This coupler became the new standard from here on in. 

Nowadays, scaffolding is a industry and requires a journeyman ticket to construct for safety and reliability. There are many dangers and safety precautions to take into consideration when using scaffolding. This safety video from OSHA is a good reminder of what the common mistakes made that can result in severe injury or even death. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZrMK9lizfM. 

There are many many different types of scaffold and determining the type you need can be complex. If you're confused and not sure, your local rental store can help. Most rental stores carry the common construction types such as baker or Access scaffold. Attached is a quick reference sheet on the various terms.