Scaffold towers are one of the most common pieces of equipment used in the construction industry today. These towers help workers, who work at height, to do their job efficiently and safely.
This piece of equipment is also deemed much safer to use than a basic ladder because they are extremely stable and can give workers more ease of movement whilst at height.
Planning for the job
One of the biggest causes of workplace injuries within the UK are falls from height. Taking this into account, you need to be extra vigilant and assess the job at hand, and your environment, before you begin to work at height.
Some of the main things to consider when assessing any potential safety issues are*:
- Intended use. Do you have the right scaffold tower?
- The site location
- Ensure that you’re building on stable, firm ground.
- Has the scaffold tower been erected correctly including any bracing requirements?
- How long the scaffold is required to be in place
- Number of boarded lifts
- Safe working loads (maximum amount of people, equipment, and material the tower is designed for)
- Any additional requirements or provisions
Types of scaffold towers and their uses
You’ve most probably seen a scaffold tower before, but did you know there are different types available, all designed for specific purposes?
Below we’ve outlined some of the most common types of towers and their uses:
Standard Scaffold Towers
For those simple jobs that you might have to do around the house or on-site, a standard scaffold tower may just be what you need. These are available in a narrow or double width, they’re easy to assemble and can reach heights of 8-12m respectively.
Its name is pretty self-explanatory – it’s for use on staircases, both indoors and outdoors. Staircase towers provide safe access to both industrial and domestic stairwells.
Advanced Guardrail Scaffold (AGR) Towers
Advanced Guardrail, now the preferred method for many major construction companies, is a revolutionary concept in towers, ensuring that the operators are protected by handrail safety at every stage of erection and dismantle.
They can be assembled on the next level above the one on which the assembler is standing. A classic example of this type of tower is the Euro Advanced Guardrail (AGR) Alloy Scaffold Tower
AGR towers are fully approved by PASMA on equal par with the traditional 3T (through the trap) method.
GRP Scaffold Towers
Made with fibreglass instead of aluminium, these towers are ideal for working in environments where electrical hazards or chemical agents exist.
The non-conductive nature of fibreglass provides a stable and lightweight scaffold that offers safe insulation from electrical elements.
One Man Towers
These are designed to be easily erected and dismantled by one person. The industrial classification makes the UTS One Man Alloy Scaffold Access Tower, for example, suitable for both commercial and domestic uses.
Cantilever Scaffold Towers
Cantilever towers include an additional platform making them ideal if you need to reach over obstacles such as porches, stairwells or garages.
The towers include a link brace system and sturdy stabilisers to improve overall stability which provides added safety.
*this is not official Health and Safety advice. You should always consult your onsite Health and Safety Office before taking up the job at hand.