The trestle scaffold is a scaffold that’s assembled from prefabricated braces, trestles, and accessories.
Trestle scaffolds such as A-frame; along with H-frame trestle scaffolds, are typically used by painters, plasterers, and bricklayers as well as general finishing and fit-out work.
Trestle scaffolds typically don’t require a licensed scaffolder for erecting or dismantling.
Only a competent person should erect or dismantle a trestle scaffold in a progressive way to ensure the safety of the installer as well as the stability of the entire structure.
Braces should be attached to trestles according to instructions provided by the supplier or manufacturer.
As the height of trestles increases, there’s a greater need for providing lateral stability to trestles.
A trestle scaffold should be erected on an appropriate foundation and be stable to ensure that it is capable of safely carrying and distributing loads such as workers and materials on each trestle.
Measures for controlling instability as well as stopping possible toppling include using outriggers or ties to a permanent structure.
Trestle scaffolds should be able:
– Support the relevant duty or load rating without exceeding it.
Note: the trestle’s full width should ideally be planked irrespective of the duty rating.
– Have edge protection or barriers installed where a potential fall may result in the people using the scaffold being injured or the fall area contains hazards such as sharp objects like reinforcing bars
– Have a means of safely loading material onto the working platform such as using mechanical means or where that isn’t practicable, passing as opposed to throwing material up to the working platform
– Have a horizontal work platform that’s at least 4.5m wide. On uneven or sloping ground, you should use a trestle that has provisions for height adjustment. Blocks or bricks shouldn’t be used as soleplates.
– Have uniform scaffold planks that are in serviceable condition i.e. no cracks, splits, bends, or knots, overhang their end supports between 1.5 and 2.5m and secured against uplift
– Not be used by multiple people in restricted work areas simultaneously to avoid overloading 4.5m, 2 plank platforms
– Have a safe means of exit and entry i.e. secured ladders or from the building if the level of the platform is approximately the same as the building
The vast majority of bracing systems for tubular trestle scaffolds are made using light materials and can be easily damaged by abuse or misuse.
This is why care should be taken during assembly and dismantling. Under no circumstances should anybody climb the trestles or braces.
Cross-braces found on trestle scaffolding doesn’t satisfy the edge protection requirements.