It is not surprising that the moment the calendar hits October, the weather changes drastically. It goes from long, warm, lush days to short, dark, cold days accompanied by stormy, horizontal cold rain. With the sudden change, we begin to think about the impact the weather will have on our current and upcoming projects; most namely the scaffolding, which is the core to most domestic and commercial projects.
However, what is music to most people’s ears is that scaffolders carry on working whatever the weather.
The only thing which will deter a scaffolder are high winds due to the height of the structure, as it can become very dangerous.
However, if scaffolding is being erected during treacherous weather on commercial scaffolding projects or residential homes, there are a few steps which need to be considered and completed to ensure everyone’s safety;
Boards: The boards are an essential part of the overall scaffolding structure as they enable the scaffolders to erect the scaffolding, and also allow roofers, painters and other workers to complete their job effectively.
As the boards are often made of wood, a material which is known to absorb water, they become slippery very quickly. The placement of the board on the scaffold should also be taken into consideration, as the higher the board, the higher the chance of puddles forming, further increasing the danger factor.
Gripping: The grip of anything in wet weather becomes non-existent, and this is especially the case with the metal poles.
Ground conditions: When erecting scaffolding, the ground should always be safe and have a secure base. However, when there is adverse weather, extra attention should be paid. Grass or soft surfaces should be avoided as they absorb water and become drenched. If this is the case, it can lead to the scaffolding sinking or slipping.
Inspection of the scaffolding: In weather conditions such as this, the wind and heavy rain often causes objects to fly around and things loosen. By having frequent inspections of the scaffolding, it reinforces the safety of the project, not only just for the scaffolders, but also for those who are to use the scaffolding once its fully completed.
Ladders: Ladders, similarly like the base of the scaffolding, should be placed where they won’t be easily knocked or slip.
If there is lightning or a thunder storm, there should be no access to or erection of the scaffolding. This is because metal is a lightning conductor and has a high chance of being struck.
Scaffolding is made and designed to withstand awful weather, especially the British weather, but there are some cases where it is not safe for the scaffolders or those in the properties for it to be erected.
When it comes to the impact of the weather on scaffolding during the autumn and winter seasons, it is all down to common sense and ensuring safety for all the parties involved.