In Michelangelo's time, scaffolding was not exactly the safest place to lay on your back and paint, to be sure. However, modern scaffolding equipment has come a very long way from the days of painting the Sistine Chapel. Such equipment is a lot safer now. If you would like to see just how safe, check out and perform one of the following unusual approaches.
Stack the scaffolding as high as the scaffolding manufacturer says you can stack it. Lock the wheels. Now climb the scaffolding tower to the top. As long as your weight falls within the weight restrictions of the equipment, the scaffolding will not wiggle or topple. Regardless of which side you approach and climb, the results should remain the same. The scaffolding may creak a little under your weight, but otherwise never budge more than a couple millimeters. That is proven safety.
Roll Heavy Cylinders on the Top Platform
How often do you think the famous Italian painter paused to snooze on the top platform of his scaffolding? Working tirelessly tends to make one very tired indeed. With the common practice of an afternoon siesta, and the hot air near the ceiling, it would not have been that unusual. It would have been exceedingly dangerous because ancient scaffolding did not have the enclosures or platform protection modern scaffolding has.
To prove how safe your crew will be from items falling from the scaffolding, construct your own scaffolding and include the platform quarter-walls around the topmost platform. Haul several metal cylinders that roll easily to the top. The quarter-sidewalls for the bottom of the platform on which you roll these heavy cylinders will prevent the cylinders from rolling off the edge of the platform. Anything that could roll from the platform will be prevented by the quarter-wall attachments.
Swing Weighted Buckets from a Tether
Modern scaffolding also has the ability to prevent you from falling all the way to the ground. With tethering systems, you can tether yourself to the scaffolding. If you should slip and fall, the tether stops you before you fall too far. It is a bit of a jerking motion when it happens, but nonetheless effective. The scaffolding remains erect, rather than toppling after you when your weight pulls on it.
If you want to test this, you will need a tether line, harness, and clips to clip onto the scaffolding.
- Attach buckets of stone (or other heavy materials) equal to your own body weight through the loops of the harness, making sure the handles of the bucket are each secured by part of the harness.
- Clip one end of the tether to the harness. Then climb up to a high point on the scaffolding.
- Find a clip-on loop on the scaffolding and clip the other end of the tether to this point.
- Climb back down until the tether is almost to the end of itself.
- Let go and allow the buckets to swing freely.
Now that you know for certain that modern scaffolding is utterly safe, you can do whatever work needs to be done from on high. Using the safety accessories mentioned above in conjunction with modern scaffolding, you are not likely to fall and become injured, or worse, suffer a fatal fall from scaffolding. Anyone that works for you or alongside you that is afraid of heights may be reassured by your own personal experiences and experiments. Strange though these approaches are, they are most effective for proving the safety of scaffolding equipment.
For more safety tips and information on how ensure your scaffolding has been erected properly, contact companies like Savage Scaffold & Equipment Co.