Scaffolding: Training in assembling from ceiling down

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Instructors Rob Studt and Alexandra Kelloway box a beam 20-feet above the training floor to allow tie-off for assembly of hanging scaffold at the Carpenters’ Local 27 Training Centre in Woodbridge. A course in suspended access scaffold will commence early next year at the centre. Photo by Don Procter.

Special to GTA Construction Report

Where space constraints prevent contractors from assembling scaffolding from the ground up, the alternative is to assemble from a ceiling structure down.

“It is used all the time in industrial applications, including nuclear plants, and in bridge restoration or anywhere there is no ground access,” says Cristina Selva, executive director, Carpenters’ Local 27 Training Centre, adding it is common at Ontario Power Generation projects.

That is why the Carpenters’ Local 27 Training Centre will be adding a primer in suspended access scaffolding to its Scaffolding Safety training program early next year at its Woodbridge facility. To Selva’s knowledge, the centre is the only one in the province to deliver such training.

The training is part and parcel of the 84-hour Scaffolding Safety program delivered at the training centre. The carpenters union in Ontario (Carpenters District Council of Ontario) has long required its members to complete the program prior to working in the field.

“We wanted to provide an even more comprehensive scaffold program that equips our new and existing workers with the knowledge of safety protocols and practical skills necessary to meet the needs of our markets.”

Instructors Rob Studt and Alexandra Kelloway box a beam 20-feet above the training floor to allow tie-off for assembly of hanging scaffold at the Carpenters’ Local 27 Training Centre in Woodbridge. A course in suspended access scaffold will commence early next year at the centre. Photo by Don Procter.
Instructors Rob Studt and Alexandra Kelloway box a beam 20-feet above the training floor to allow tie-off for assembly of hanging scaffold at the Carpenters’ Local 27 Training Centre in Woodbridge. A course in suspended access scaffold will commence early next year at the centre. Photo by Don Procter.

To prepare ceiling access for scaffolding was not straightforward for the training centre. An overhead supporting structure was built, consisting of six 38-foot-long I-beams and a catwalk, installed 20-feet above the training floor. The structure enables specialist scaffolding instructors to teach under site-simulated but controlled conditions, explains Selva.

Construction costs and program development was $120,000.  Provincial funding received through the Apprenticeship Enhancement Fund covered approximately 60 percent of the cost.

Members are welcome to register for the course once it is posted on the training centre’s online course calendar at www.carpenterstraining.ca

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