How to Remove Scaffolding

Use of scaffolding allows workers greater access and safer work environments than merely trying to access high areas by ladder. After setting up scaffolding for a work project, when it does come to an end, the scaffolding needs to be removed. A little bit of common sense will work toward a successful and safe removal of scaffolding from your work site.

Wear Protective Head Gear

It is more than likely a good choice to always wear protective head gear when working at any construction site – commercially or at home. When disassembling a scaffolding structure, the possibility exists for material to fall when loosened. This presents a very dangerous situation and wearing protective head gear as well as protective eyewear will result in fewer accidents and harm to workers disassembling the scaffold structure. Safety always comes first.

Check All Platform Areas

Before disassembling your scaffolding, inspect all working platform areas for loose items. Anything can be found from a worker’s personal items like car keys or a cell phone to forgotten tools. Also check all piping areas where someone might have hung an item that you will need to retrieve before you disassemble the scaffold structure.
It is a good idea to have an inventory list of all tools and other work items that were at the site. Check to see that all are accounted for before disassembling the structure so there are no surprises if a wayward tool falls from a spot that is being taken apart.

Remove the Top Frame

The first place to begin your scaffold removal is to locate the top frame section and remove the piping before removing the platform planking. You will need to stand on the planking while disassembling the frame. Pay special attention to safety concerns and work with another to help act as a “spotter” or supporter. If possible, place a ladder against the building the scaffold structure stands next to in order to reach the frame areas that are not accessible from ground levels. Once the top most section has been removed, go to the next level.

Rope the Material

Using a rope attached to specific scaffold items to lower these to the ground is a good choice opposed to tossing them to the floor. Also, if using several personnel to lower scaffolding items in a “fire brigade bucket-like” assembly line, make sure each person involved has the proper strength and maintains the proper balance to pass items to the next level in a safe manner. Again, all personnel should wear protective gear, including gloves, when handling disassembled scaffold items.

Watch for Sharp Objects

In the course of any general use, some edges may become sharp and dangerous causing clothing tears as well cuts and bruises to personnel if caution is not taken. Additionally, errant screws, nails and small tools like screwdrivers present hazards if not collected or cleaned away before removing any scaffolding. It is particularly important to protect one’s eyes during scaffold dis-assembly.