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Scaffolding is erected as a work platform in areas too high to reach from conventional methods such as a step ladder. The scaffold has four basic parts: the planks, cross-bars, frame and connecting pins. To assemble scaffolding, the individual needs some general tools. Most scaffolding accidents happen because the scaffold was incorrectly assembled, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
Assembling a scaffold requires the base unit to be placed on a solid foundation and level. To accomplish the this, the scaffold worker needs a good level that will check the assembled pieces to ensure they are horizontally straight and plumb. A good three-foot level will accomplish this task, but a smaller bob level may be the best choice, as it can be easily carried in a work pouch.
Even though the scaffolding is put together with pins and clamps, it is a good idea to have a claw hammer available. The claw hammer is used to drive the pins into place or to help remove the pins when a worker disassembles the scaffold. Claw hammers come in different lengths and weights, but a scaffold worker should have a heavy-duty commercial hammer.
A tape measure will be needed to measure the height the scaffold needs to be and to assist the scaffold worker square up the frames. If a scaffold worker has to make his own planks, the tape measure is needed to measure the size of plank required. A worker will also need to measure the distance the scaffold is from the building to make sure the assembly is not tilting as it goes up.
A good socket set is required to assemble scaffolding. The cross-braces are attached to the main-frame with pins or clamps. These pins and clamps have nuts and bolts that need to be tightened or loosened when the scaffold is disassembled. Get a socket set that has both standard and metric sockets, as not all scaffolding accessories come with standard nuts and bolts, especially if the scaffold was built outside the United States.
Safety Harness and Lanyard
The higher the scaffold goes, the more important a good safety harness and lanyard becomes. A harness comes in many waist and full-body sizes, while the conventional size of a lanyard is three feet. The harness and lanyard are attached to a safety rope and protect the scaffold worker from falling to the ground in case the scaffold crumbles or falls over.
Horacio Garcia has been writing since 1979, beginning his career as the spokesperson for Trinity Broadcast Network. Within 10 years Garcia was being called upon to write speeches and scripts for several state and federal congressmen, local broadcast networks and publications such as "Readers Digest." He received his bachelor's degree in public relations from Argosy University.