How to Erect a Scaffold Tower
There are some jobs that can’t be completed using a standard ladder. In these scenarios, you might opt for a scaffold tower to provide you with extra height and workspace. Today we’re going to show you how to erect a scaffold tower so that it’s safe to use.
Disclaimer: This guide is intended to show you how to erect a generic scaffold tower. You should always refer to the assembly instructions on your chosen make/model for a more detailed guide.
Scaffolding Safety Guidelines
The person in charge of erecting a scaffold tower should be competent and trained to do so. If in doubt, please contact a licensed builder or scaffolding contractor to help you erect your scaffold tower safely.
Scaffolding that’s a risk to the public
If your scaffold tower will be erected in a place that’s a risk to the public, for example, on a public footpath, it’s best to schedule your scaffold work during quiet times of day. Alternatively, request a temporary road closure from your local council to reduce the risk of accidents.
Scaffolding safety checks
While you’re working on a scaffold tower, it’s vital that you periodically check that it’s safe to use. You should do this:
- Before you start using it
- Every 7 days while it’s in use
- After damage or bad weather
How to Erect a Scaffold Tower: Step-By-Step Guide
Most scaffold towers are made of these major elements:
- Scaffold frames
- Work platforms
- Scaffold stabilisers
- Advanced guard rails
- Castors (for mobile scaffold towers)
It is possible to erect a scaffold tower on your own, but it’s much easier with two people. We’d recommend finding a friend or colleague to help you.
1. Attach the castors
If you’re building a mobile scaffold tower you should start by attaching the castors to the first scaffold frame. Once attached, lock the brakes in place to prevent movement.
2. Install horizontal braces
The horizontal braces are put in place to secure the two sides together. Once these are in place you should have a sturdy rectangular base for your scaffold tower.
3. Check the scaffold tower is level
During the building process, you should repeatedly check your scaffold tower is level using a spirit level. It’s important that your scaffold tower doesn’t lean to one side. This could become a health and safety hazard,
4. Install the first level
Once the base of the scaffold tower is in place, you can add the first level. It’s likely that some of your scaffold frames will feature ladders to allow you to climb up and down the scaffold. Ensure these are installed in the right place by referring to your manufacturer's guide.
5. Install diagonal braces
To stabilise the scaffold tower as you build the first level, you use diagonal braces. These secure the scaffold tower and help to keep the rectangular shape all the way up.
6. Install the scaffold stabilisers
Once you’ve erected the first level of the scaffold tower, you should install the scaffold stabilisers. There’s usually one stabiliser on each corner of the scaffold tower. These add an extra level of security before you build the scaffold tower to a significant height.
7. Add a work platform
Before you can add the remaining scaffold frames and braces, you’ll need to install a work platform to stand on. It’s important that this is fully secure and level to prevent slips and falls. For 3T (through the trap door) scaffold towers, you will need to ensure the trapdoor is in the correct place & orientation.
8. Install the guard rails
Most scaffold towers come with an advanced guard rail system for added safety. Guard rails should be installed on the first level of the scaffold tower before anyone attempts to climb the scaffold tower to continue building.
9. Continue adding scaffold frames & work platforms
All you need to do now is continue adding the remaining scaffold frames and work platforms until you reach the desired height.
Safety tips when erecting a scaffold tower:
- Ensure all fastenings are tightened securely before climbing the scaffold tower.
- Wear appropriate PPE and fall protection gear, (this will depend on the height and nature of your scaffold tower).
- Choose a scaffold tower with toe boards to prevent the fall of any equipment/materials.
At Ladders UK Direct we offer a wide range of DIY and professional scaffold towers to suit your needs. We hope that this guide will help you erect your scaffold tower quickly and safely so you can start working at height in no time! Head to our scaffold towers page to shop:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more help finding the right scaffold tower for you.