You want to keep your crew safe on each and every construction site. In order to do this, part of the responsibility is making sure that structural support is in place on the work site. As you and your crew make your plans to put all of the necessary safety plans together, it is important to understand and remember the difference between scaffolding and structural shoring.
Both of these systems are very important on a job site but each one serves a very different purpose. Here are the definitions and purposes for each of the two often misunderstood systems.
Let us begin with scaffolding. Scaffolding is a temporary structure that is meant to support crew members as they work on the job. It is made to hold both the workers and their materials and is built upwards, parallel to the structure on which the crew is working. If you have spent any time in a city or around tall buildings, you may have seen scaffolding up against a building as crew members worked to repair or even build that structure.
The scaffolding system consists of different platforms on which workers stand, kneel and move around. In addition to being used on buildings, scaffolding is also used on bridges. There are 600,000 bridges in the United States alone, making the use of scaffolding very important as these bridges constantly need to be maintained and upgraded. Different types of bridges might require different types of scaffolding, depending on the job.
Scaffolding should be wide enough to support workers and their materials but it is not meant to support buildings or any structures. It does not require an engineering certification to put up and only takes a relatively short amount of time to put up.
Structural shoring systems are temporary structures that are put in place to support a building or bridge during construction or repair. Heavy duty modular steel components are used to create legs and steel towers capable of supporting and sustaining great weight and pressure. Different types of shoring might include raking or inclined shores, horizontal shores or vertical shores.
Types of shoring for excavation employs trench shoring material that includes the trench box. Trench box sizes will obviously vary based on the type and size of the trench that needs shoring. It might be common to use several trench box sizes on a single job, depending on the need.
Structural shoring is designed to keep structures properly supported so that construction on maintenance can take place while the load can be born elsewhere. Because structural shoring is a load-bearing apparatus, a certified engineer must be brought in to make sure everything is sturdy and safe. Trench box sizes must be measured and approved, and the construction crew cannot begin work until the site has been signed off on.