Scaffolding is a very common modern tool that is used to support workers at heights. You see them used everywhere from cities to rural areas. No matter what construction job you have you can be sure that someone has pitched scaffolding to do the job that is required. These systems are so popular because they enable workers to get too hard to reach spots on difficult angles while also remaining as safe as possible.
They have become such a staple thing for construction jobs that people are unaware of their long history. Traditional scaffolding was made out of very different materials and differed depending upon the geographical area. Below we are going to explore a brief history of scaffolding crossing over into the modern era.
Long long time ago
While we don’t have any pictures or antiques from the BC era to suggest that scaffolding was used, there is a good indication within the buildings themselves that may suggest otherwise. The walls around the Paleolithic cave paintings in Lascaux have sockets within them. As someone would have had to be at weird angles to paint their pictures we can theorise that they used some sort of similar system 17,000 years ago.
Even ancient civilizations such as the Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese and Nubians all recorded that they used similar structures to help build their tall buildings. As this era didn’t have access to the metal resources we have today, they were more than likely made from wooden poles and tied together with rope.
Systems made from bamboo was very popular in the Chinese region as was actually the structure that they used to help build the great wall. We mentioned earlier that the material that nations and workers used depended upon where they were geographically as well as where their technology was. Bamboo grows really fast and really long in the China region which makes it a great material to make massive arrays from.
It’s lightweight, easy to work with and abundant throughout the country which makes it one of the more common structures within the nation. It is even common today to find many construction crews using bamboo systems for their jobs. These systems have also been used in China to create temporary stages. The uses for them are limitless with different nations coming up with new uses all the time!
Modern day use
In the modern scheme of things, you will find that western countries will use stainless steel to create their scaffolding systems. This is because it is cost effective to create while also granting you the greatest safety output. Civil engineers will run multiple tests and calculations on these systems to come up with safety regulations for them as well. This is what is known as a loading limit or in simple terms, the maximum weight you can have on top of it.
The maximum weight is essentially the heaviest load you can have on the system before it will fail. Exceeding the limit will cause a failure and could potentially seriously injure those involved with the job. It may be easy to overlook the small and “insignificant” safety rules but they do exist for a reason. These systems have been around for a very long time and from such we have been able to perfect them and point out where things could potentially go wrong.
Safety is the number one priority on every construction site so it is important that this standard is upheld. Many workplaces no force their workers to undergo training before they can work on or around them to ensure that everything runs smoothly.