What Does a Scaffolding Contractor Do?

Dan Cavallari

A scaffolding contractor is a person who oversees a team of workers who will erect or tear down scaffolding structures. The scaffolding contractor will also often be responsible for delivery of the scaffolding materials; in many cases, the contractor owns the scaffolding and will rent it out to various construction outfits in need of such structures. The contractor will work on a construction site before, during, and after the construction process to oversee the proper installation of scaffolding towers and to ensure the units are being used properly and safely.

Scaffolding workers must not be fearful of heights.
Scaffolding workers must not be fearful of heights.

A construction company may hire an in-house scaffolding contractor to work exclusively on that company's construction projects, but in most cases, an independent contractor will be hired by a construction company to work on a job site as needed. This means the scaffolding contractor will usually run his or her own business that entails delivery of the product, construction of the structure, and tear-down of the structure once construction has been completed. As the construction project progresses, the scaffolding contractor will need to revisit the site often to add to scaffolding towers or tear them down. A contract is usually drawn up between the contractor and the construction company to outline the specific time frames and job functions the contractor will need to meet.

Numerous accidents can occur if the scaffolding structure is not completely stabilized.
Numerous accidents can occur if the scaffolding structure is not completely stabilized.

Any additional equipment added to the scaffolding structure will also need to be installed by the scaffolding contractor. Such equipment may include lifts and hoists, elevator systems, stairways and ladders, and tool buckets. While some of this equipment can be installed quickly and easily by other construction professionals, it usually falls on the contractor to complete such jobs to avoid improper installation and accidents due to installations performed by non-certified employees. The structure will also be inspected by the contractor during the construction process to ensure the scaffolding has not undergone any changes that may affect its stability or safety.

Before the scaffolding can be installed, the scaffolding contractor will need to draw up a plan for the overall design of the structure. He will work with the construction foreman to analyze building plans so the contractor knows how much scaffolding will be necessary, where it should be built, how it should be built, and what specific materials should be used. Scaffolding can be built in many different ways, and the specific design will depend on what type of building is being done and how many people will be using the structure at one time.

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