The development and prospect of metal scaffold
By Ir George W Y AU

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As 2022 goes by, it is saddening that over 17 lives have been taken away by construction accidents at building sites. We should definitely avoid recurrence of such tragedies. Among those fatal accidents and significant incidents, we note that scaffold is a common cause.


Bamboo scaffold is a well-known historic construction tool which has been widely adopted in construction industry for over 40 years in Hong Kong. To keep abreast of the technological advancement, our industry demands for a stronger and more design-friendly tool for high-rise buildings, thus introducing metal scaffold. Undeniably, the uses of metal scaffold were limited by its relatively high cost, heavy weight, and low flexibility in the beginning. By repeated trials and reviews, metal scaffold has greatly improved in different areas including materials, installation flexibility, reliability, with more competitive maintenance fee and manufacturing cost. Given the growing demand and application of metal scaffold, it is sharing the limelight with bamboo scaffold.


Work safety is an endless journey, yet it deserves our effort to provide a safer working environment with safer procedures and equipment for all construction participants. Metal scaffolding manufacturers are now developing “Modular Scaffolding System” for such purposes. The main advantage of adopting modular units is that they are pre-assembled in factories to minimise the effort of human on site installation and thus reducing the risk of falling from height. Moreover, modular unit is particularly designed for lifting by crane, hence resources can be reduced in each relocation.


On top of it, fold-up scaffolding is a new technology to be promoted for external scaffolding. Fold-up scaffold is a tailor-made model that can be folded up and stacked to multi-levels. This innovative design is good for saving space at worksites, easy for transporting, and convenient for planning due to its standardised and unique design.


Metal scaffold is a great alternative which helps eliminate potential hazards. We should gain deeper insights into its development and explore how it could facilitate the planning process.


This article is contributed by Ir George W Y Au with the coordination of the Safety Specialist Committee.

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