Four Tips for Using Scaffolding Near a River

If you need to use scaffolding near a river bank, it can be challenging. However, there are tips that can help make it safer and easier. Whether you are painting a house next to a riverbank or doing anything else that requires scaffolding next to a river, here are some ideas to consider:

1. Talk with the hire company about using the scaffolding near water.

Before using scaffolding near a river or any other water, talk with the hire company. You need to ensure that they allow that. Additionally, if you book any damage insurance through the scaffolding company, you need to make sure that it covers any accidental damage that may occur while using it near water.

2. Choose scaffolding width based on conditions.

The width of scaffolding you select depends on a couple different factors. If you have a small patch of riverbed where you need to place the scaffolding, you may want to opt for relatively thin scaffolding. However, if you are working by a very narrow river and you decide to "bridge" the river with the base of the scaffolding, you should use a wide, more sturdy scaffolding.

3. Be creative about supporting the scaffolding.

Just as the advisable width varies based on the conditions, so too does how you support your scaffolding. In some cases—for example, if you are working next to a creek or a very narrow river—you may be able to support your scaffolding by laying beams across the span of the river, placing box trusses on top of them and building up from there.

In other cases, however, you need to support the scaffolding so that it doesn't sink into the riverbed. To that end, use large base plates. Also, talk with the scaffold hire company about how to adjust the scaffolding to account for uneven ground.

4. Clean out debris every day.

If you leave the scaffolding out during the evening instead of taking it down, you need to take care to clean it every morning before you start using it again. This is particularly important if some of the scaffolding is in the water. As the river flows, bits of flotsam and jetsam may build up against the scaffolding. That can create a dam, which eventually may put so much pressure on the scaffolding that it collapses.

If you want more tips on using scaffolding down by the river, contact a scaffolding hire company.