Scaffolds and Ladders – Frequently Asked Questions

Scaffolds and Ladders – Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the purpose of scaffolds and ladders?

Scaffolds are a common sight during any construction, painting or building renovation/cleaning activities. They allow workers to reach inaccessible heights and locations, store tools and equipment and provide safety features to workers working at height or in potentially dangerous locations. Scaffolds can be equipped with additional features and safety requirements as per the job and local regulations.

Ladders, on the other hand, provide vertical access for shorter duration tasks (generally around 5 minutes). There are various categories of ladders depending on the height of operation and nature of the job. Some ladders need to provide additional support, such as a larger working platform for working up to 10 minutes, whereas other ladders might serve the purpose of allowing workers to climb onto high scaffolding platforms.  

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2. How do you choose the right kind of scaffolding?

There are several varieties of activities that call for customised scaffolds and platforms such as maintenance, painting of the house, roofing activities, building and internal modifications. Depending upon the nature of work, scaffolds need to have various features such as mobility, toeboards, railings/roof-edge protection, modularity of components and their ability to completely surround a building. For many activities, a full-sized mobile scaffolding tower is called for. These ensure greater ease and safety. If you are working at heights of  2 meters or more, then make sure that your platform tower has proper toeboards installed.

3. How do you choose the right ladder for the job?

Different activities call for different types of ladders. The ladders that are used must necessarily comply with the safety rules and regulations stipulated by local law. Some of the common varieties of ladders and their suitable applications are mentioned below:

  • Double sided step ladders: Primarily used for small and quick jobs.  Bolt on handrails may be added for additional safety. New Zealand regulations dictate that the user should not step on the top-most step.

  • Dual purpose ladders: These A-frame ladders can be folded out to form a straight ladder.  The Easy Access Dual Purpose Ladders’ steps are trapezoidal in shape on both the sides to ensure maximum comfort while using in both A Frame or Straight Ladder positions.

  • Platform ladders: Mostly used by workers in construction, painting or maintenance as it has a larger work platform for safety and comfort and provides for 3 points of contact at any time. This is the safest option for jobs of a longer a duration (up to 10 minutes).  Easy Access Platform ladders have optional clip on tool buckets, spring loaded wheels and a full surround gate for additional safety.

  • Extension ladders: Primarily used for reaching higher, and uses a rope pulley to extend to full height.  If you are working on stairs or uneven surfaces, you will need to go for the Trade series model by Easy Access, with levelling feet.

  • Multi-purpose ladders: These ladders are 4-in-1, basically having all the features of the above-mentioned ladders. They are beneficial for contractors and workers who have a variety of jobs. These ladders can even be used on uneven surfaces.

4. What are the things to keep in mind while choosing the right equipment?

  • The ladders and scaffolds that you choose must comply to local safety regulations. www.worksafe.co.nz

  • Proper specifications, such as the mentioned height and maximum load capacity, must be noted.

  • Your ladders should have stainless steel rivets to protect against rusting

  • The manufacturer must provide replacement ladder feet should they wear out

  • Ensure the scaffold you are buying includes all the components required to be compliant onsite

  • Make sure you read the manufacturers instructions before use of any ladder

For more information, contact us today!


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