• 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.

  • What Every Site Manager Needs to Know About Accident Reporting

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, requires that employees keep track of any injuries that happen on the jobsite. Requirements for reporting vary depending on the type of injury and size of the business. Construction is an industry with one of the highest levels of jobsite accidents, because of the nature of the work and the use of scaffolding and other complex equipment, and site managers are usually responsible for meeting OSHA accident reporting requirements. Here is what you need to know.

    Report of Injury Forms

    Any time an injury or illness occurs on the jobsite, even if the incident is minor, OSHA requires a Report of Injury to be completed. These reports contain statements from employees and employers describing the incident, the nature of the injury or illness, what treatment was needed, and what can be done to prevent the incident from happening again in the future. OSHA also requires these forms to be completed for near-misses that could have resulted in an injury, such as a fall from scaffolding. It is the site manager’s job to ensure these forms are completed as required.

    Severe Injury Reporting Rules

    When a severe injury occurs on the jobsite, OSHA requires expedited reporting. Any time an injury leads to an amputation, loss of an eye, or a hospitalization, a report must be filed within 24 hours of the incident. If a fatality occurs, a report must be filed within eight hours. Fatalities that occur due to injuries that happened on a jobsite must be reported to OSHA if they happen within 30 days of the initial incident.

    Records Keeping

    Site managers are required to keep records of all accidents and injuries for five years. Companies are required to submit full records of all of the accidents and injuries annually to OSHA. Records submissions happen every February through April for the year prior.

    Scaffold Resource is committed to safety on worksites and offers consulting services to ensure that you are using your shoring or scaffold rentals in Washington, D.C., safely. For more information, call us today at (301) 924-7223.

  • Situations That Call for Personnel/Material Hoists

    Construction scaffolding provides temporary work platforms, and is capable of holding employees, tools, and materials up to a certain weight. However, scaffolding alone may not be sufficient for your work site. Workers still need a way to transport heavy items up the building, and for the workers themselves to make repeated trips up and down without becoming overly fatigued. Personnel and material hoists are the solution.

    With these specialty hoists, heavy equipment and materials can be transported to where they are needed with minimal risk to the worker. As the work gets underway, debris can be transported out on the hoist. Installing personnel and material hoists is also a smart idea when the construction project must be completed on a tight schedule. Compact hoists are available for work zones in which space is a critical issue, such as in urban settings.

    Scaffold Resource provides construction solutions for builders, including personnel and material hoists. Call (301) 924-7223 to request information on any of our services, including shoring systems and scaffolding rentals available in Washington, D.C.

  • How Soil Instability Develops

    Soil instability is a major concern at every excavation site, but installing an appropriate shoring system allows workers to complete projects safely. As you watch the accompanying video, take note of the main causes of soil instability. Soil instability occurs when the downward stress and horizontal support are not balanced.

    Unequal horizontal and vertical stresses often occur because of water saturation of the soil, the effects of frost, or vibrations emitted from machinery near the excavation site. It can also occur due to defective shoring systems or poor maintenance of shoring.

    Scaffold Resource in Washington, D.C. has earned a reputation for being industry leaders in safety. Call (301) 924-7223 or explore our website to view our portfolio of shoring projects .

  • Construction Budgeting 101

    Budgeting can be challenging for construction and restoration project managers, namely because unexpected problems routinely crop up, and because it’s easy to mistakenly neglect to add certain requirements to the budget. You may find, for example, that tube and clamp scaffolding isn’t enough by itself, and that your workers also need personnel and material hoists. It’s best to err on the side of caution and take more time than you think you’ll need to develop a comprehensive budget.

    Site Costs

    You can break your budget down into categories, including site costs. Your site costs will include the following types of expenses:

    • Land surveys
    • Environmental compliance measures
    • Federal, state, county, and city code compliance
    • Demolition of existing structures
    • Inspections

    Soft Costs

    Soft costs include any expenses that are neither directly for the actual construction, nor for site preparation. Taxes, workers’ compensation, general liability insurance, and LEED certifications are examples of soft costs. Others include the following:

    • Interest from financing
    • Legal fees
    • Design fees

    Hard Costs

    The hard costs of a construction or restoration project include everything pertaining to the actual construction activities. These expenses can include excavation and the installation of shoring systems, scaffolding rentals and their set-up, and personnel and material hoists. Hard costs also include the following:

    • Estimated cost of labor
    • Rental or purchase of heavy machinery
    • Rental or purchase of power tools
    • Cost of all materials
    • HVAC costs
    • Plumbing
    • Windows and doors
    • Electrical
    • Mechanical costs

    Don’t forget to add in the cost of debris removal and disposal.

    Contingency Expenses

    Seasoned builders add a little wiggle room into their project budgets for unexpected expenses. If it’s a restoration project, some commonly encountered unexpected expenses include the remediation of dry rot and mold. Other unexpected costs can arise from the following:

    • Incomplete designs
    • Changes to the plans during construction
    • Delayed completion and extra labor costs

    Builders throughout the Washington, D.C. area rely on Scaffold Resource to provide expert engineering guidance, top-notch products, and competitive pricing. We’re known for our award-winning safety record. You can direct your questions about shoring erection and scaffolding rentals to a friendly representative at (301) 924-7223.