Lots of people think that scaffolding is a new technique used for construction, but it’s actually been around for centuries.
Great Wonders like the Pyramids were built using a primitive kind of scaffolding, so it’s a technique that has come a long way since it was first used and is proven to work. But structures erected today to enable work on high buildings are the safest they’ve ever been now that there are regulations and stronger materials available.
We’ve put together a brief history of scaffolding and why it’s vital that you have scaffolding put around your building for any work at height.
Scaffolding started its life as wooden staging, which was used as long as five thousand years ago in China to help build their empire. The wooden structures were made from horizontal and vertical beams held together with knotted ropes, with wooden platforms held at the top.
Wood only works on a few levels, as it begins to buckle under its own weight if it gets too high. That’s when metal started taking over as it can take much more weight.
You may still find some structures made from bamboo in countries like China, though – bamboo is surprisingly strong, and is even used when building tall skyscrapers.
By the early 1900s, people were becoming increasingly aware that there was a lack of conformity and standardisation in the scaffolding industry and safety of workers and customers was being compromised.
A pair of brothers in 1919 brought in a set of fixings called Scaffixer, which were metal components used to fix scaffold materials together, making a much stronger structure.
By 1922, they started using metal water pipes rather than wooden poles, introducing a standard for the industry and increasing safety and strength even further. This meant that scaffolding could be built higher than ever without any risk to contractors and the public.
Fast forward to today and there are strict regulations that shape how the scaffolding industry operates and ensures that safety is the top priority. The regulations also make sure that companies collaborate and are offered appropriate training to work in the trade.
Thankfully, due to the regulations put in place in the UK, accidents involving scaffolding are now incredibly rare.
If you need a scaffolder that works safely and appropriately, get in contact with us where we can put you in touch with up to 4 reliable scaffolding companies.