As with any factor in life, it seems that when it rains, it pours. With that being said, it appears it is no different in the ways of scaffold accidents, which have been occurring at an alarmingly increasing rate. Some might blame this on the lack of experience to newcomers to the industry, and some on the quality of material that is being manufactured into the system. However, it all usually points back to a single key mistake which is essential to the erection process: “Where were the ties?”
What Is A Scaffold Tie?
A scaffold tie is a system that is used to secure the scaffold to a structure so that it can assist in carrying the weight without any distortion from variable factors. It keeps the structure standing so it doesn’t blow over, buckle, or fall over.
How Do You Pattern Scaffold Ties?
Scaffold ties need to be planned and spaced based on the instructions of the designer, the manufacturer, or a competent engineer. The first row of ties must always be placed no more than 4m above the ground. This is why a scaffold must not free stand more than 4m above the ground or a row of ties. You may need to play more ties if the scaffold has been encapsulated in mesh or hoarding, if you feel it requires more stabilization, or if it is being used to hoist materials or people. Always ensure that the scaffold ties are interconnected with both the inside and outside standards as this will increase stabilization.
The Importance of Safe Scaffold Ties
In 2019, the NSW Government decided to visit more than 700 building sites with scaffold to check the compliance of the scaffold ties and components. According to the received data, approximately 44% of the scaffold had missing parts and ties. As an essential service and a being in an industry with such high standards for safety, it is imperative that all scaffold, not only have the proper equipment and competent erectors but have properly placed ties to assist with stabilizing the structure. To date, Safework NSW has given out approximately 832 notices and $115K in fines.
For any further questions on scaffold ties, or should to see the available products that can assist tying scaffold safely, please visit www.turboscaffolding.com.au
Statistics from NSW Government taken from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-01/almost-half-of-nsw-building-sites-have-dodgy-scaffolding-report/11562850