Mobile tower scaffolds are often used for painting and maintenance jobs both inside and outside buildings. They are light-duty scaffolds and their use should be restricted to light work. They have a working platform at the top which is accessible by a ladder fitted internally. They can be constructed using normal scaffolding tubes, but are mostly proprietary-made structures. The whole structure is usually mounted on wheels so it can be moved about.
Since tower scaffolds are inherently unstable they can only be built to a certain maximum height. This height depends upon the size of the base – the larger the base, the higher the tower can go, and to enlarge the base it is usual to use outriggers. The tower can also be made more stable by guying or by using ballast.
Main hazards associated with mobile tower scaffolds:
- Falls from the work platform.
- Objects falling from the platform.
- Collapse of the structure.
- Overturn (toppling) of the structure.
- Unintended movement of the wheels.
- Contact with live overheads.
Safety precautions for safe use of mobile tower scaffolds include the following:
- The guardrail must be fitted to the work platform.
- The tower must not be overloaded.
- Wheels should be locked when the tower is in use.
- The tower must be sited on firm, level ground.
- People and materials should not remain on the tower when it is moved.
- Care should be taken to avoid overheads when the tower is moved.
- Outriggers should be used where necessary to ensure stability.
- People should not climb up the outside of the tower.
- Tower must be built by trained workers.