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How to Make Scaffolding With Ladders

How to Make Scaffolding With Ladders

When carrying out some home projects like repainting a wall, you’ll need to keep relocating and setting up your ladder. This act of moving a ladder now and then, climbing up and descending every time, can be time-consuming and tiresome.

This article will guide you on how to make scaffolding with ladders to ease your job. On the other hand, simple ladder scaffolding will save you from buying a scaffold or hiring one which may take longer to be delivered.

After all, it’s just a simple home project that doesn’t need to stress you.

What is Scaffolding?

grey and brown concrete building
Scaffolding

Scaffolding, also known as scaffold or staging, is a temporary structure normally used in constructions to help workers assess and work on higher heights. Additionally, you can safely place your tools and building materials on scaffolding and work with ease.

Using ladders on some occasions can be tiresome. For instance, you need to hold a ladder with one of your hands while working, or at other times, you lean your hip against the ladder rail for support, which is more stressful.

Scaffolding can help you perform home maintenance activities like installing the satellite dish, cleaning the windows, or dusting the ceiling without all the above challenges.

See also: Safest ways to hold a ladder for someone

Why People Make Scaffolding with Ladders

There are several benefits of using a scaffold over a ladder which makes many people prefer scaffolds for home projects. Take a look;

  • Safety

When you make scaffolding with step ladders, each step ladder has four legs. The two ladders will offer great support and traction with eight legs.

  • Comfortability

Stepping on ladder rungs that are smaller than scaffolding may cause the feet to itch. The scaffold offers a wider and level platform for the feet.

  • Saves Time

Working with a scaffold is faster because the platform covers a wider movement area. For instance, when repainting a wall, you’ll have to repaint a wider surface before descending to reposition your ladders.

  • Can be Used by Two People

If you set up a wider and strong platform, two workers can climb to carry out the job even faster.

See also: Differences between ladder bar and traction bar

low-angle photograph of construction site
Scaffolds

How to Make Scaffolding with Ladders

Self-supporting ladders are the best if you’re figuring out how to build scaffolding. As such, you need two self-supporting ladders and a metal or wooden platform.

But first, you need to inspect your ladders as directed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

1. Inspecting the Ladders

You should inspect key components on both ladders for your safety before setting them up. The components are;

  • The rungs – Ensure the rungs are not broken or have sharp edges that may injure you while climbing. If there are loose rungs, tighten the bolts using a wrench. If there are missing bolts, replace them before using the ladders. 
  • The rails – Check any cracks, breakage, or sharp edges and fix them for aluminum rails.
  • Safety shoes – Every self-supporting ladder has four safety shoes. Inspect to ensure the shoes can offer the best support and traction from the ground.
  • The top cap – in self-supporting ladders, the top caps contain hinges that allow the front and rear rails to extend to various angles. Inspect the hinges and replace them if broken or corroded.
  • Extender locks – holds the extenders firmly to prevent further spreading of rear and front rails.
  • Cleaning – Ensure the ladders have no debris, mud, or slip substances like oils that may cause the scaffold to slide and cause an accident.

2. Making the Scaffolding

Step 1: Ensure the two ladders are of uniform height for easy setting of the platform.

Step 2: Inspect the ground surface and ensure its level and clean from any debris. If there are sand grains or debris, use a broom to sweep.

Step 3: Open the ladders and set them up, with each ladder’s rear rails facing the other ladder.

Step 4: Ensure you’ve measured the length of your scaffold platform before deciding on the ladder stepping points. Ensure the platform protrudes out of the ladder rungs in a few inches to avoid sliding.

Step 5: Take your wooden or metallic scaffolding platform and test starting with the second rungs. Step on the platform to determine if it’s stable to support you on higher heights.

Step 6: Set the platform halfway to the ladder top and test again if it’s stable enough to support your weight.

Step 7: Set it to the desired height and start working if the scaffolding is stable enough.

However, for more safety, you can secure both ladders with a rope to the nearby solid anchors around the set-up area.

See also: How do I keep my ladder from sliding off my roof?

What Can You Use Instead of Scaffolding?

There are three alternatives to scaffolding to access and work on higher heights. Take a look to understand each;

  • Access Towers

Access towers are as effective as scaffolding, although they aren’t bigger. However, they are available in sizes suitable for small, medium, and large working areas.

  • Access Platforms

Access platforms are rectangular. For that reason, they give a wide working platform for easy movements. They work best for rooftop jobs, but they can also be lowered to assess the building walls.

  • Scissor Lift

They are adjustable in height to reach different parts of the building. Additionally, they have wheeled base units for easy pulling in various areas. Scissor lifts are more solid and stable for construction jobs.

Read: What to do with old aluminum ladders

FAQ’s on Scaffolding With Ladders

What Are the Requirements for Placing an Access Ladder on a Scaffold?

Access ladders should extend at least one meter above the scaffolding platform. Secondly, they should be secured to avoid slipping, usually by tying them with a rope at the top.

Third, the access ladder should be properly angled to enhance stability and minimize the chances of sliding backward.

Do Scaffold Ladders Need Fall Protection?

All scaffolds must be equipped with fall protection. You should have a guard rail system or a net for safety on all occasions.

At What Height Does the Work Platform for Scaffolding Require Fall Prevention?

At the height of 10 feet and above, you are required to have fall protection. In addition, ensure you clean sand and debris from the platform to avoid slipping.

However, you should learn how to make scaffolding with ladders to avoid much cost for shorter heights. 

References and Citations:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): A Guide to Scaffold Use in the Construction Industry https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/osha3150.pdf

Pacific Scaffold Company: Reasons why scaffolding is better than a ladder- https://www.pacificscaffold.net/3-reasons-why-scaffolding-is-better-than-a-ladder

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