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Scaffolders put up and take down scaffolding and working platforms on construction sites and other projects. These platforms enable tradespeople to safely reach parts of the interior and exterior structure they are working on. It involves using a range of hand tools, including spanners, spirit levels, pulleys and winches.
Generally working in small teams of three, scaffolders would:
  • lay out the scaffolding foundations and equipment 
  • join horizontal and upright scaffolding metal tubes with fittings to create the framework 
  • safely secure to base plates at the structure to prevent scaffolding moving 
  • work up several levels until the required height is reached 
  • install guardrails and safety netting. 
Some scaffolders put up temporary spectator stands, stages or gantries at public events or specialise in other areas, such as falsework or offshore scaffolding. 
Scaffolders usually work Monday to Friday. Evening and weekend overtime is sometimes necessary to minimise disruption to surrounding businesses. Most scaffolding takes place outdoors, in all weathers, although some scaffolding is installed indoors. The job involves working at variable heights and is physically demanding, with lots of climbing, lifting and carrying of heavy materials. Scaffolders must wear personal protective equipment.
A scaffolder should be:
  • practical 
  • able to follow instructions 
  • comfortable working at heights 
  • agile and physically fit 
  • co-operative team workers. 
Salaries range from between £8,639 and £14,439 for apprentices, potentially reaching £27,000 a year once skilled. 

Useful websites

The Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS)
The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC)

online magazines