Working at height can be one of the most dangerous professions, resulting in numerous accidents and fatalities if done incorrectly. It is of utmost importance to take proper measures while any work at height, and one of the major aspects is to select the right height equipment.
In today’s world, there are several equipment ranging from ladders, mobile access towers to human lifters and boom lifts. In some countries, drones are being experimented to complete any work at height activity to avoid accidents.
While man lifts are a great option for working at heights, they are bulky, extremely expensive and require a lot of space. These lifters either work on electricity or diesel, which prove to be expensive in the log run.
Coming to other manual solutions, ladders and mobile scaffolds are the most commonly used work at height equipment that are both reliable and convenient if used in a correct manner and by trained professionals.
Now comes the bigger question, when do we use scaffolds instead of ladders?
Height & Reach
Mobile aluminium scaffolds are advantageous when you need to work at elevated heights for an extended period. They offer a larger working platform and provide greater stability compared to ladders. If the task requires working at a height above a few meters, a scaffold can provide a safer and more comfortable working environment.
Working Area & Space
Scaffolds are beneficial when you have a larger work area or need to cover a significant horizontal distance. Unlike ladders, which have a limited reach, mobile aluminium scaffolds can span a larger area, providing more accessibility to different parts of the workspace. They allow you to move along the scaffold platform without constantly repositioning it.
Duration of Work
If the task is expected to take a considerable amount of time, a scaffold is generally more suitable. Scaffolds offer greater stability and a wider platform, allowing you to work more comfortably for longer durations. Ladders may cause fatigue or discomfort when used for extended periods, leading to decreased productivity and potentially compromising safety.
Safety & Stability
When safety is a top priority, mobile aluminium scaffolds are often preferable. They offer a more stable and secure platform compared to ladders, reducing the risk of falls or accidents. Scaffolds typically have guardrails, toe boards, and non-slip surfaces, providing better protection for workers, especially when performing tasks at height.
Heavy or Bulky Load
If you need to transport heavy tools, equipment, or materials to the elevated work area, mobile scaffolds with stairway access can be more convenient. Mobile aluminium scaffolds have built-in work platforms, and carrying load via an inclined staircase can be safer and more convenient. One can easily place their tools and other equipment, allowing for easier movement and access.
It's important to assess the specific requirements of your task, taking into account factors such as height, duration, workspace, and safety considerations. Mobile aluminium scaffolds are generally a better choice when working at significant heights, requiring a larger work area, or performing tasks that require extended periods of work or heavy loads. Ladders are more convenient when space is a constraint, or when the height of the work area is less than 14 feet, and one can easily maintain 3-point contact with the ladder at all times.