• Why Construction Projects Fall Behind Schedule and What to Do About It

    Construction projects frequently fall behind schedule. Unfortunately, the impacts can be extreme for everyone involved. The construction team faces extra expense that is not in the budget for work hours, scaffold rentals, and other costs associated with a lengthier-than-projected schedule. The customer who commissioned the construction faces inconveniences associated with delayed access to the finished work. Despite these issues, behind-schedule projects are extremely common. What causes these kinds of delays, and is there anything your team can do to reduce the chances of them happening? Here is what you need to know.

    Common Causes of Construction Delays

Any number of factors can lead to delays in construction project, and some of the causes are not predictable. However, there are some causes of timeline problems that occur more frequently than others. Some of these common causes of delays include:

  • Bad weather
  • Delays by subcontractors
  • Bureaucracy delays that slow down permitting approvals
  • Changes made to the project plan
  • Budgeting issues
  • Shortages of materials

These factors can all cause delays of different lengths on a construction project. In most cases, these issues are not caused by the construction team, but mitigating the impact of the delays does rely on the onsite construction crew. For this reason, the construction team must do what it can to reduce these causes of delays from being an issue.

Strategies for Reducing Delays

Some causes of delays are out of anyone’s hands. For example, you can’t control the weather, and there is little you can do if the weather is preventing work from occurring. Other factors can be managed. Some strategies to consider include:

  • Don’t work with vendors or subcontractors who are frequently behind schedule
  • Have clear project plans agreed upon up-front to avoid late changes
  • Build in extra time when you’re ordering materials or applying for permits to account for delays

It is also helpful to be conservative when projecting a timeline, so you have some wiggle room if an issue develops.

Scaffold Resource can be part of getting your projects done on time with our shoring and scaffolding rentals. Find out more about scaffold rentals in Washington, D.C. by calling (301) 924-7223.

  • Spotlight on Our Work at Brent Wood Elementary

    During our many years in business, Scaffold Resource has had the honor to work on some of the nation’s most beloved landmarks. But none of that work is as important as the steps we took to safeguard America’s true national treasures: its children. Our shoring erection project at Brent Wood Elementary was particularly challenging because the school was in operation at the time. Ensuring the safety of each and every child on campus was our top priority on this job.

    There were other challenges regarding this project’s shoring erection. Namely, that we didn’t have reliable “as built” drawings available, and so our workers had to conduct a full evaluation of the existing old structure. Our engineers designed a cantilevered shoring system that turned certain elements of the building into counterweights.

    Scaffold Resource is available to provide shoring erection, sidewalk canopies, and scaffolding rentals at your construction site in Washington, D.C. Call our office at (301) 924-7223 to discuss your needs.

  • A Look at Workers’ Safety Rights

    Every worker has the right to a safe workplace. In the U.S., these rights are protected by numerous laws and regulating bodies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Although safety issues are relevant in every workplace, some workplaces pose more of a threat than others. Workers setting up tube and clamp scaffolding or participating in shoring erection need to be particularly cautious about safety concerns.

    You can learn more about workplace safety rights when you watch the accompanying video. It explains that workers have the right to ask questions if anything seems unsafe, and to report job-related injuries without fear of retaliation.

    Scaffold Resource in Washington, D.C. is known for our superior track record of safety, and we work hard to keep it that way. Our workers perform daily hazard analysis on every job, and participate in many other rigorous safety initiatives. Call (301) 924-7223.

  • What Are the Training Requirements for Working on Scaffolding?

    The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires employers to properly train workers to recognize, address, and prevent hazardous conditions. Specific safety training requirements have been developed for various roles within the construction industry, including work performed on scaffolding. Abiding by these training requirements can save lives and reduce the risk of serious, disabling injuries.

    Builder On Building Site Discussing Work With Apprentice

    Safety Training Requirements for Working on Scaffolding

    OSHA’s scaffolding training requirements are divided into three categories: Requirements for employees working on scaffolding, those working with scaffolding, and employees in need of retraining. All training must be performed by a person who is qualified in hazard recognition and control as they pertain to the specific type of scaffolding being used. Employees who perform work while on scaffolding must receive safety training in these areas:

    • Recognizing electrical hazards
    • Using best practices to deal with electrical hazards
    • Recognizing fall hazards and falling object hazards in the work area
    • Using the scaffolding properly
    • Handling materials properly while on the scaffold
    • Recognizing the maximum intended load
    • Recognizing the load-carrying capacities of the scaffold
    • Erecting, maintaining, and disassembling fall protection systems and falling object protection systems

    Safety Training Requirements for Working with Scaffolding

    A qualified person must administer safety training to every employee who is involved with these scaffolding-related activities:

    • Inspecting
    • Repairing
    • Erecting
    • Disassembling
    • Moving
    • Operating
    • Maintaining

    These employees must receive safety training in these areas:

    • Understanding the nature of scaffold hazards
    • Understanding correct procedures for all scaffold-related activities
    • Design criteria, intended use, and intended load-carrying capacity of scaffolding

    Retraining Requirements to Regain Requisite Proficiency

    Safety training in the construction field is an ongoing endeavor. Whenever there is reason to believe that an employee no longer has the skill or understanding to perform work safely, that employee must be retrained. Retraining is a requirement for the following situations, but is not limited to them:

    • When new hazards are present at the worksite and the employee lacks training in them
    • When changes in scaffolding and other equipment present a new hazard that the employee lacks training in
    • When substandard work indicates the employee has lost skill or understanding

    At Scaffold Resource, we firmly believe that safety is everything, and this is evidenced by the numerous and ongoing safety training initiatives our workers undergo every day. Scaffold Resource in Washington, D.C. can also custom-design safety training programs for your company, including as-needed specialized training and monthly scaffold hazard awareness training. Company representatives can inquire about our training capabilities at (301) 924-7223.

  • Why Soil Types Matter When Using Shoring

    All construction operations carry inherent risks, but excavations are widely recognized as being among the most dangerous. Cave-ins and trench collapses pose a grave threat to worker safety, as they cause fatalities and injuries every year. The erection of the proper shoring keeps workers safe. Engineers must assess the type of soil in the area before they can determine the proper method for building shoring.

    Identifying Stable Rock

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes four categories of soil and rock deposits. The first is stable rock, such as granite or sandstone. Solid rock can be safely excavated with vertical sides, as it will remain intact. However, before classifying a deposit as solid rock, the engineer must determine whether the rock contains cracks.

    Identifying Type A Soil

  • Type A soils are typically clay, clay loam, and silty clay. These are cohesive soils that feature an unconfined compressive strength of 1.5 tons per square foot or greater. Note that no soil may be classified as type A if any of the following are applicable:

    • It’s part of a sloped, layered system
    • It’s been previously disturbed
    • It’s fissured
    • It’s been subjected to vibrations
    • It has seeping water

    Identifying Type B Soil

    Type B soils are also cohesive soils. Typical examples include angular gravel, silt loam, silt, and dry, unstable rock. Type B soils have an unconfined compressive strength between 0.5 and 1.5 tons per square foot. It’s also possible for a soil to be classified as type B if it’s been subjected to vibrations or fissures, but would otherwise be classified as type A soil.

    Identifying Type C Soil

    Some examples of type C soils are gravel, sand, submerged soil, loamy sand, soil with seeping water, and unstable, submerged rock. On construction sites, it’s most common for deposits to be classified as type C. These cohesive soils have an unconfined compressive strength of less than 0.5 tons per square foot.

    If your company is planning excavation work, you can count on the expertly trained team at Scaffold Resource to provide safe, compliant shoring erection services. Call us at (301) 924-7223. We also offer scaffolding rentals near Washington, D.C.

  • Recognizing the Importance of Hard Hats

    Workplace safety must be a top priority for construction companies. There are inherent risks involved with major projects like shoring erection and scaffolding work, and one of those risks is the possibility of head injuries. All employees should wear hard hats whenever there is a potential for falling objects, accidental head contact with electrical hazards, or contact between a fixed object and an employee’s head.

    This video offers a simple demonstration of why hard hats are so important. “Melanie,” a watermelon, is wearing a hard hat the first time a brick falls on her. As you can see, there is no cranial damage. The second time the brick falls on Melanie, she lacks a hard hat, and the damage is considerable.

    Scaffold Resource in Washington, D.C., is a recognized leader in on-the-job safety because we firmly believe that even one serious injury is too many. To have our highly trained, safety-minded employees provide scaffolding or shoring erection for your jobsite, call (301) 924-7223.

  • Understanding Wall Bracing Safety

    Jobsite accidents like collapsed walls are every construction manager’s worst nightmare. Even if the accident occurs during off-hours when no employees are present, a collapsed wall can easily lead to major headaches, including construction delays and higher insurance premiums. Only a strict adherence to OSHA regulations and industry standards regarding wall bracing safety can prevent this type of accident from happening in almost any circumstance.

     

    Understanding the OSHA Regulations and Industry Standards

    The OSHA regulations are uncharacteristically minimalist regarding wall bracing safety. The main code requirement is that all masonry walls taller than eight feet must be adequately braced until the permanent supporting structures are installed. Because the official regulations can be subject to interpretation, the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) developed its own industry standards. This resulted in the widely accepted and used Standard Practice for Bracing Masonry Walls under Construction guidelines. Mason contractors and project managers are strongly encouraged to follow the Standard Practice and consult its tables regarding the proper installation of bracing.

    Establishing the Restricted Zone

  • One of the first steps for proper wall bracing is to establish the restricted zone based on the wall’s height. The restricted zone should be on the side of the masonry wall opposite the scaffolding, if scaffolding is up. Once the scaffolding is removed, the foreman must establish the restricted zone on both sides of the wall. For the sake of simplicity, mason contractors can tape off the restricted zone based on the height the wall will be once it’s completed. Otherwise, the boundaries must be re-established as the wall grows higher.

    Designing the Wall Bracing

    For maximum protection from damaging winds, a minimum of two braces must be installed for each wall panel. Note that the national Building Codes prohibit a space greater than 25 feet between control joints. Finally, there must be 20% of the wall between any given brace and the nearest control joint.

    Scaffold Resource is a leader in construction site safety. We provide safe wall bracing, shoring erection, and scaffolding rentals at sites in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (301) 924-7223 and let us know how we can help you make your construction zone as safe as possible.

     

  • A Look at Different Types of Hoisting

    Hoisting and rigging are common features in construction zones where large amounts of materials must be transported up and down scaffolding. OSHA requires that only qualified and properly trained operators be allowed to work with hoisting and rigging equipment. Furthermore, all hoisting and rigging equipment should be carefully inspected prior to use to ensure the safety of everyone on the jobsite. Construction managers may find it safer to rely on contracted hoisting experts from an outside firm. Continue reading to learn more about hoisting.

    Wire Rope

  • Slings are commonly used to hoist suspended loads. Wire rope is among the most commonly used materials for slings, as it is capable of withstanding heavy loads and adverse conditions. Some wire ropes feature a fiber core. The outer shell is comprised of individual wires twisted to form strands, which are then twisted together to form the rope. The fiber core gives the wire rope greater flexibility, but lowers its resistance to damage. If greater strength and heat resistance are desired, then it’s best to choose a wire rope with a wire core.

    Chains

    Chain slings are ideal because they easily adapt to hold bulky loads and unusually shaped objects. The alloy steel is also strong, but sudden shock can result in damage and potential failure of the sling. Before using a chain sling, the operator should visually inspect it for signs of damage from wear and tear, including gouging, stretching, and nicking.

    Fiber Rope and Synthetic Web

    Fiber rope and synthetic web slings aren’t as strong as wire rope or chain slings. However, depending on the specific composition and size, they can still handle loads of up to 300,000 pounds. These slings are primarily used for highly delicate or finished loads. It should be noted that, due to their susceptibility to caustic materials, fiber rope slings shouldn’t be used near acids or other caustics.

    Could your construction site benefit from the expertise of engineers who are well-versed in hoisting challenges? Contact Scaffold Resource today at (301) 924-7223 to discuss your project. We’re known for providing safe tube and clamp scaffolding in Washington, D.C., but we also offer shoring and hoisting services.

     

  • Risk Management When Working at Height

    When you work at height, such as on scaffolding, it is necessary to take specific safety precautions to protect yourself and everyone else on a job site. This video offers some tips for staying safe on scaffolds and protecting the people below your scaffolding from injury.

    Never work on a scaffold without a protective barrier on the edges. The barrier prevents items from falling on people below and protects you from stepping off the edge. Keep the work platform tidy, to reduce trip hazards. Check out the video for some additional helpful advice.

    Scaffold Resource offers scaffolding rentals in Washington, D.C. as well as project safety consulting. When your job site needs scaffolding, call us at (301) 924-7223.

  • The Unique Challenges of Restoring Historic Ceilings

    Historic ceiling restoration projects come with a variety of challenges, from the necessity of preserving the historic integrity of the ceiling to the practical challenge of working in the space. Scaffolds and shoring can both play a role in projects that involve the restoration of historic ceilings. If you are undertaking a restoration project, this information will help you cope with some of the challenges that you may face.

    Identifying Structural Issues

    Before restoring a ceiling, it’s necessary to uncover what structural issues are present. Historic ceilings are often subject to plumbing leaks and other kinds of water intrusion that must be addressed before any restorations are made. Layers of the ceiling underneath ornamental plaster may also be weak or have poor adhesion. It is usually necessary to install shoring for support while these structural issues are identified and repaired. Keep in mind that in addition to making repairs, some modernization may be needed in order to comply with local codes.

    Finding Qualified Workers

    Historic ceilings require specialty craftsmanship. It’s important to hire a contractor with experience working on historic sites and workers who are skilled in working the materials used in historic ceilings. Restoration contractors, plasterers who have worked with historic projects in the past, and other workers who are accustomed to historical sites can all help with ceiling restorations. Historical societies, museums, and unions can all provide references for qualified workers.

    Use the Right Equipment

    When working on a ceiling, stair tower scaffolding is inefficient and sometimes dangerous. Dance floor scaffolding, which holds multiple workers at once, allows work to take place across large spans safely and effectively, so that the job can be finished as quickly as possible.

    Scaffold Resource provides multiple scaffold rental options, so you can get exactly what you need to complete your job on time and on budget. If you need scaffolding or shoring in Washington, D.C., call us today at (301) 924-7223.