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What are Scaffold Couplers? How does Suspended Scaffolding Work? A contractors guide to scaffolding insurance

Updated on July 5, 2009

How does Scaffolding work?

Scaffolding is major equipment used in the construction and maintenance of buildings. Construction companies need indoor and outdoor scaffolding to build a structure. Scaffolding is also used in maintenance activities such as painting, replacing fixtures, washing windows and repairs.

Types of Scaffolding Platforms

A suspended scaffold is a platform that is hung from ropes or cables from overhead. There are several types of suspended scaffolds.

The two-point, or swing stage scaffold is a platform supported by stirrups that are suspended by a pair of ropes from supports overhead. The platform can be raised and lowered as needed.

The single-point scaffold is a platform that hangs by one rope from support overhead that can be raised and lowered.

The multi-point platform has several ropes and is suspended from supports overhead. It can be lowered or raised by the operator. A chimney hoist is considered to be a multi-point platform.

The interior-hung suspended scaffold is suspended from a ceiling or roof. The suspension is fixed rather than adjustable up and down.

The Catenary suspended scaffold is supported by horizontal and parallel ropes that are attached to the building itself.

The float or ship suspended scaffold rests on two bearers that are parallel and hung from supports overhead. The ropes are at a fixed length.

The needle beam scaffold is as its name describes. It hangs from needle beams.

Scaffolding Couplers

All scaffolding has three main parts:  tubing, couplers and boards.  The couplers are used to hold the tubes together.  The three basic types of couplers are putlog, swivel, and right-angle couplers.  Spigots or sleeve couplers are used to join tubes end-to-end.  It is important that couplers meet safety standards determined by official agencies such as the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration).

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How does one procure Scaffolding Insurance?

Companies who own their own scaffolding equipment or who rent scaffolding to other companies must insure their equipment against failure, accidents, or loss of income.

Companies must purchase liability insurance. Liability insurance protects the company in case a third party on the jobsite is injured. This insurance does not cover construction or jobsite workers because they are covered under worker’s compensation.

It is also necessary to purchase insurance that protects the equipment if it is damaged or stolen. Many scaffolding rental companies purchase a property-casualty insurance package for complete coverage and to save money.

Another essential insurance for scaffolding rental companies is business interruption insurance that protects against the loss of income due to a job cancellation or delay.

The best worker’s compensation package is necessary to protect workers who use scaffolding to perform their jobs. The package you choose will protect the company against faulty equipment or workers who don’t use good safety practices. A worker falling from a scaffold happens more often than any other construction or building maintenance accident.

If you have a large construction business, you should use an insurance broker. A broker has years of experience and knowledge of insurance policies and are best equipped to find the exact policy or policies you need for your particular business. An insurance agent is limited to presenting your needs to the company they work for and can’t give you a tailored policy to fit your company’s unique needs.

You have gained some knowledge of the different types of suspended scaffolds and a general overview of the kinds of insurance needed to keep your employees and other personnel on the jobsite covered in case of an accident.


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    • profile image

      Scaffolding Sales 

      7 years ago

      This article is so much helpful about sacaffolding . I hope which company deal in Scaffolding will take help. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • scaffolding tower profile image

      scaffolding tower 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very concisely put together article on scaffolding and its workings.


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