International Equipment Related FAQs
IE provides engineered drawings when required. We also offer engineered services if requested.
Yes, we supply quotes with drawings if requested. We can also provide 3D modeling of drawings.
Yes, we provide user training for suspended scaffolds, we also provide City of Chicago approved user classes.
We work primarily in the Midwest (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI) but we also service our customers wherever we're needed.
IE employs highly skilled craftsmen with many certifications including Union Carpenters, Union Laborers.
Many Cities require permits, IE can obtain and post all your scaffold permits.
Your scaffold cost is figured by the pieces rented. The minimum rental cycle is 28 days, after that its charged per day.
IE can deliver/pickup your scaffold anywhere in the Midwest, we can also use a carrier service.
General Scaffolding Related FAQs
Two common scaffolding types are:
- Supported: Supported scaffolds feature one or more platforms held in place by the ground and the side of the building.
- Suspended: This scaffolding type typically provides the most practical solution when working on tall buildings. Workers can hang the platforms from the top of the structure and support them with ropes, enabling easy raising and lowering between floors as needed.
Mobile scaffolding options are also popular. These include:
- Man lifts, which consist of a platform attached to a boom.
- Birdcages, which are multiple joined bays that provide large areas of continuous access.
- Personnel hoists that transport workers and materials vertically.
Supported scaffolding is the most commonly used type. Because the building and ground support the structure, this scaffolding offers maximum stability. These units also provide the most flexible solution for erecting scaffolding. It's easy to add extra levels to reach higher elevations or remove them during demolition projects that require dismantling from the top down.
For companies working with a tight budget, support scaffolding is typically the most cost-effective and affordable option. It's also the easiest to design and construct. Additional support may be necessary if the scaffold must handle heavier weights.
Cuplock is the main type of scaffolding we offer at International Equipment. Cuplock scaffolding consists of an innovative circular node locking design and construction that enables the connection of a vertical member to as many as four horizontals with one fastening action. The result is a heavy-duty support system that can serve many purposes. Common applications include bridge repair and maintenance and office and retail building construction.
Cuplock scaffolding is easy to assemble, enabling a faster installation process. You can also disassemble it quickly and efficiently, saving time and labor at the job site.
One of the most crucial factors in safe scaffolding use is determining the appropriate load capacity. An overloaded platform creates a dangerous situation for workers. The total weight should not exceed the maximum intended load or the rated load capacity, whichever is less.
To calculate the maximum intended load, combine the weight of all individuals, tools, equipment and anything else that the platform must accommodate. For example, if the job requires two workers weighing 200 pounds each and 30 pounds of hand tools, the scaffolding's maximum intended load should be at least 430 pounds.
To calculate the rated load capacity, you must determine if the scaffolding is a light-duty, medium-duty or heavy-duty version. The intended load for each is 25, 50 and 75 pounds per square foot, respectively.
Scaffolding height is another consideration when choosing equipment for your projects. Scaffolding is available in multiple sizes, although the standard dimensions for supported scaffolding towers are 5 feet and 7 feet long and heights ranging from 5 to 30 feet.
If you're using a mobile stair tower, the height capacity can go much higher than 30 feet. However, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) stipulates that scaffolds with platforms that rise more than 125 feet above the base require designing by a professional engineer. This requirement stems from the diminishing stability as the elevation increases.
If your job requires the use of freestanding scaffolding, you'll need to determine the appropriate height-to-width ratio. OSHA uses the total height in relation to the smallest base dimension when making the calculation. OSHA considers a freestanding scaffolding to be safe if the ratio is 4-to-1. In other words, the total height must be equal to or less than four times the minimum or least base dimension.
According to the OSHA fall protection requirements, employers must take adequate precautions for crew members working above specific elevations. The mandatory height for fall protection is more than 10 feet above a lower level. OSHA allows an exception when using single-post or two-point suspension scaffolding. Additionally, a competent person must determine the safety and feasibility of the fall protection method when assembling or dismantling supported scaffolding.
Depending on the scaffolding type, fall protection can consist of guardrails or personal fall arrest systems. The latter can include a scaffolding harness and related components such as D-rings, lifelines, anchorage points and hooks. A body belt is not an acceptable part of a personal fall protection system.
In general, the required scaffolding height is 4 feet above a lower level. When working on construction projects, the requirement increases to 6 feet. As mentioned previously, fall protection is necessary when working at heights over 10 feet.
Due to the dangers involved when working at heights, erecting scaffolding on your own is not advisable. The only exception would be if you have previous training and experience and are competent at performing the process. Also, it typically takes a crew consisting of several scaffolding professionals to handle the project.
Compliance is another factor to consider when erecting scaffolding. Unless you assemble these structures every day, you might not be familiar with all the applicable OSHA regulations. A violation could result in substantial fines and penalties and put your crew's safety at risk.
Certain types of scaffolding require the use of a personal fall-arrest system to safeguard workers against the dangers of falling from high elevations. A few examples include:
- Aerial lifts.
- Float scaffolds.
- Ladder jack scaffolds.
- Needle-beam scaffolds.
Others require a combination of a personal fall-arrest system and guardrails to ensure worker safety and meet OSHA requirements. Among others, these include:
- Supported scaffolds.
- Single-point and two-point suspension scaffolds.
- Self-contained scaffolds.
Whenever you use a personal fall-arrest system, it must include a scaffolding harness to secure workers and prevent dangerous falls. A scaffolding harness is also essential to maintain OSHA compliance.
OSHA does not have any guidelines regarding the length of time scaffolding can stay up. In theory, a scaffold could remain in place indefinitely. However, many municipalities have laws or ordinances that may require disassembly after a specific time frame. You'll want to check with your local government agency to determine the acceptable duration in your area.
No matter how long your scaffolding stays up, you'll want to inspect it before each use to ensure it's stable and safe for your workers.
If you use a ladder instead of scaffolding, OSHA guidelines may or may not apply in regards to the need for fall protection. For instance, when using fixed ladders, you'll need fall protection whenever the climb is equal to or exceeds 24 feet. OSHA classifies a fixed ladder as one that's an integral part of the building or structure.
While OSHA does not specify maximum lengths for portable ladders, it does list specific performance requirements that all ladders must meet. OSHA further categorizes these as portable wood and metal ladders with several subcategories under each type.
Whether you should use scaffolding for roofing work depends on the size and scope of the job. For a one-person repair of a one-story flat roof that takes a day or less to complete, a secured ladder should be sufficient.
However, any roofing job that requires four or more workers should have scaffolding, as do any tasks that involve the entire roof. Due to the high volume of tools typically used in these more complex projects, the scaffolding should have an edge around the platform's perimeter to protect people on the ground from falling objects.
While you can conceivably work on scaffolding in inclement weather, it's typically not a safe practice. It's easy for workers to slip on wet platform surfaces or accidentally drop tools on passersby far below. Heavy winds could blow unsecured scaffolding equipment over or cause workers to lose their balance.
It's better to avoid scaffolding work in bad weather or when any other potentially adverse situations exist. You should also remain alert throughout the workday for changes that could cause working conditions to deteriorate.
A swing stage, a type of suspended scaffolding you can find at IE, is an excellent choice when working on taller structures. As the name implies, this scaffolding consists of a platform connected to ropes or cables that allow it to swing from the side of the structure. An electric motor enables fast, easy and safe raising and lowering.
Swing stages offer excellent versatility — crews can use them for window-washing, construction work, painting, maintenance and additional high-rise building projects. They also make it easier to reach areas that are inaccessible to other platform types. Our swing stages feature a modular design that makes them simple to assemble, dismantle and transport.