Since humans first recognised the need to create taller buildings, they have sought ways to simplify the process of working at height. Although ladders are an obvious option, they need to be constantly repositioned as the construction progresses, adding to the time and effort required for each project. The answer is to erect a stable working platform that provides easy access to the entire structure.
However, in practice, the first people to develop scaffolding solutions were painters rather than builders. Some 17 000 years ago, stone-age cave dwellers in France had the idea of inserting poles into the cave’s walls to provide support while they painted their primitive murals. That said, it was several more millennia before the builders of ancient Egypt eventually developed an elevated work platform that resembles those in use today.
Although the practice of erecting these structures from bamboo poles lashed together with ropes continues in many countries, the more industrialised societies have turned to the use of metal components for this purpose. In South Africa, two scaffolding solutions now dominate the market and, for several valid reasons, Disc-O-Scaff is an acknowledged local industry leader and preferred supplier to many of the nation’s biggest construction companies. These two dominant products are Kwikstage and Selflock, and both are renowned globally for their respective merits.
The Kwikstage range has long been the preferred choice of the country’s larger construction companies, and with good reason. This product’s popularity stems from its extensive range of components that offer users an exceptional degree of versatility. While the complex profiles common in older buildings may be too challenging for other scaffolding solutions, they present no problem for the Kwikstage user. Although this product has been designed to be assembled and dismantled more quickly than rival products, the benefits will be greatest when these tasks are assigned to trained and experienced scaffolders.
Safety is a primary concern during any construction project. The Kwikstage range includes toe boards to retain loose objects, handrails to protect workers when using ladders, and trap doors to cover potentially dangerous gaps in the platform. By contrast, Selflock, the second of the two local scaffolding solutions, has far fewer components. Furthermore, the inclusion of prefabricated interlocking frames means it is even quicker and easier to erect than Kwikstage. Consequently, unskilled workers can master its use after a single, short demonstration, making it the ideal choice for smaller companies engaged in indoor painting, plastering, and maintenance work.
All materials used by Disc-O-Scaff are SABS approved, and the products are all SANS compliant. Our company is a Level 2 BBEE contributor and a South African industry leader, providing world-class scaffolding solutions.