What Is Scaffolding on a Construction Site?

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Organization, nearly 65% of all construction workers must perform tasks on scaffolds each year. For those new to the industry, this type of work may be unfamiliar. Here is a quick definition of scaffolding and its purpose on a construction site.

What Is Scaffolding?

Scaffolding is a structure made of long steel or wooden planks that are wide and sturdy enough for people to walk on while they clean, repair, or finish constructing a permanent building. The following are the five main types used worldwide:

  • Tube and coupler
  • Prefabricated modular¬†
  • H-frame
  • Timber
  • Bamboo¬†

How Do Construction Workers Use Scaffolding?

Construction workers stand and walk on scaffolding to access parts of a structure that are too high for them to reach with a ladder. By definition, scaffolding is only a temporary structure. Therefore, workers erect it at the start of a project, then take it down when construction is complete. OSHA has published standards for companies to use as a guide for the safe use of scaffolding.

Scaffolding is an integral part of the construction process. Because its use is nearly ubiquitous, all workers and foremen should be trained in ways to stay safe when working at heights so that they can avoid falls.