Two Tips for Those Who Will Be Using Suspended Scaffolding Whilst Renovating a High-Rise Building

Posted on: 13 January 2020

If you need to renovate the top of a high-rise building, then you will probably have to use suspended scaffolding (i.e. scaffolding that hangs off the roof of the building) when your construction team need to work on the upper parts of this building. Here are some of the key points that you should try to remember if you're planning to use scaffolding.

Ensure that the people inside the building do not open any windows whilst the scaffolding is being lowered

After the scaffolding ropes or chains have been attached to the support system at the top of the roof, the scaffolding itself (along with the construction workers who will be standing on it) will be lowered down to the part of the building that the crew need to renovate.

If the floors of the building that the scaffolding will pass by whilst it is being lowered will be occupied by people during this process, then it is vital to instruct these individuals not to open any of the windows that are on the side of the building where the scaffolding is located. If there will be a lot of people in the building and you won't have time to speak to them individually, you should either put warning signs on the windows or alternatively, lock them and keep them secured until your team are finished using the scaffolding.

The reason for this is as follows; if someone pushes open a window whilst the scaffolding is descending, the window and the scaffolding could collide, which could cause the former to then rattle violently. This, in turn, might result in some of the construction workers on this equipment falling over or, worse still, falling out of the scaffolding and hurtling down to the ground.

Remind those who use the scaffolding about its ability to swing

Scaffolding equipment that is erected on the ground and secured to a building's walls will not usually move after it has been set up. This is not the case with suspended scaffolding; this equipment, which is attached via ropes or chains to a support structure on a building's roof, may swing forcefully away from the wall it is facing, or from side to side, if it is exposed to a moderate gale or if the people using it get a bit too boisterous and run from one part of the scaffolding to the other very quickly.

It is essential to remind the construction workers who will be using this scaffolding of this fact, particularly if they are accustomed to ground-based scaffolding and do not grasp how forcefully suspended access equipment can swing. This is important for the following two reasons; firstly, if the scaffolding starts to swing and the workers are unprepared for this, the shock of this violent movement could cause them to drop their tools, which could then lead to these (potentially sharp and dangerous) objects falling down onto the vehicles or pedestrians below them. Secondly, if the workers are unaware of the fact that this equipment can move a lot and they, therefore, do something that causes the scaffolding to swing away from the building, the scaffolding could then damage the building when it swings back again and collides with it.