Bamboo Scaffolding: All You Need To Know

What is bamboo scaffolding?

Bamboo scaffolding is a type of scaffolding made from bamboo and is commonly used in the construction industry as a temporary structure. Unlike other types of scaffolding that you will find in most parts of the world, bamboo scaffolding is only made from bamboo tied together through nylon straps. It is renowned for its strength, innovative prospects and ability to be used on small projects or megastructures.

Is it still used?

The use of bamboo scaffolding is on the decline, but it is still used. It is most famously used in Hong Kong, where they still use bamboo for scaffolding as well as building material. You may still find bamboo scaffolding being used in China and parts of India. However, it is now a threatened industry, there are only a few companies that specialise in bamboo scaffolding and finding successors is a difficult task. This reason, alongside many others such as the job being laborious, repetitive, low pay and high risk means that the industry has an ageing population.

The Hong Kong government has tried to protect this trade, implementing certification programmes to address safety concerns. They also made courses and apprenticeships with scaffolding companies available for prospective workers to learn. But ultimately, there are more educational degrees and opportunities available now which means people are less inclined to enter the industry.

Why do Hong Kong still use it?

However, the industry has not vanished as fast as experts predicted and bamboo scaffolding is still a common sight at the sides of half constructed buildings in Hong Kong. So why do they still use it? There are many reasons:

  • Readily available from nearby sources
  • Cheaper compared to other scaffolding types
  • Lightweight- this means more bamboo can be transported to site, saving time and money in a densely populated city.
  • Assembly and disassembly is dramatically quicker compared to steel and aluminium scaffolding. It can be built six times and taken down ten times faster!
  • The know how is still available
  • What has been built using bamboo scaffolding?

    Bamboo scaffolding helped to build the bridges for one of the greatest architectural structures of all time, The Great Wall of China. Other structures include worshipping halls for festivals, such as the Yu Lan Ghost Festival and Cheung Chau Bun Festival. Bamboo scaffolding is also famous for building temporary Cantonese opera theatres.

    Why use bamboo scaffolding?

    Bamboo scaffolding has many benefits which is why it is a popular choice of material in Hong Kong. It is a material that Asian countries have an abundance of, which means that it is cheap to resource. It is also one of the fastest growing materials in the world with the ability to grow up to three feet a day. This means bamboo is easy to replenish and extremely eco-friendly. It is lightweight whilst being durable to support the weight of the workers and equipment. This also means that it is easy and quick to construct, with crews able to construct up to 1,000 square feet in one day. It also has the benefit of being able to be cut and tailor-made to any contour of construction, something that metal scaffolding can not offer.

    How strong is it?

    Bamboo is extremely strong and resilient. Steel has tensile strength of 23,000 per square inch, bamboo on the other hand, has 28,000 per square inch. The strength and its durability is why bamboo has successfully been used in the construction industry for many years.

    How do you make it?

    Bamboo scaffolding is essentially made by tying pieces of bamboo together. Tying them together creates vertical squares, which act as support for the structure but also as a ladder for the workers to move up and down. This is repeated until the structure is completed. It can then be attached or anchored to the building to ensure a more solid structure. To dismantle bamboo scaffolding, the workers start at the top and work their way down. They cut the nylon straps and pass the pieces of bamboo down.

    Types of bamboo you can use

    There are two types of bamboo that are used for bamboo scaffolding construction. The most common is gaozhu, it comes from a species called Bambusa pervariabilis. This type is used to build the foundation of bamboo structures. The other type is maozhu, this is thicker and longer and comes from Phyllostachys edulis. Regardless of the type, when bamboo is being used for scaffolding, it needs to be completely dried out and not have cracks or rot.

    Safeway Scaffolding Limited

    Safeway Scaffolding is one of the biggest scaffolding companies in the Midlands catering for the whole region. We pride ourselves on being able to provide commercial and bespoke scaffolding contracts to clients in Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull, Leicester Nottingham and Wolverhampton. If you are in need of scaffolding, Safeway Scaffolding has the knowledge and experience to help. Please contact us on 01675 465593, or leave us a message on our online form.

    3 of the World’s Biggest Scaffolds

    At Safeway Scaffolding, we take pride in our ability to provide bespoke scaffolds to our customers. What we can’t do, however, is replicate any of the world’s biggest scaffolds (although we’d definitely give it a crack if required).

    Here, we’re taking a look at 3 of the world’s most striking scaffolding projects.

    Burj Khalifa

    This is the tallest building in the world. The Burj Khalifa is a staggering 2 717 feet high, and has been the world’s tallest building since 2008. Need we say much more? The scaffolding required to assemble this absurdly large structure was pretty much unprecedented. In a bid to keep the world guessing when it came to the building’s final dimensions or design, the scaffolding was actually assembled as the tower grew.

    The Eden Project

    You want truly bespoke scaffolding? You’ve got it. In 1998, the Eden Project was constructed to help educate the public about conservation, sustainability, and how to make our world greener. To do so, 230 miles of scaffolding was required, and it wasn’t your average shape or design, either.

    The nature of the construction, featuring two huge biomes, meant that an abnormal amount of reinforced scaffolding was required for the project to be successful.

    Statue of Liberty

    One of America’s most iconic landmarks, the Statue of Liberty was renovated in 1984. Approximately $2 million was required to assemble what was, at the time, the world’s biggest free-standing scaffold. Wrapped in this aluminium maze from head to toe, the statue’s restoration was considered a great success. Take a look for yourself at the pictures, too, as they’re pretty impressive.

    Safeway Scaffolding

    As we’ve said, the sort of work we carry out doesn’t really compare to that undertaken on the Burj Khalifa. It does, however, still cater to our customers’ every requirement. For more information on our bespoke scaffolding solutions, call us on 01675 465 593 or fill out one of our online contact forms.

    Guide to Cantilever Scaffolding

    Scaffolding enthusiasts will already be aware of all the different types of scaffolding from bamboo scaffolding to putlog scaffolding. There are several types of scaffolding that are used across the world, but today we’d like to focus on providing an overview of cantilever scaffolding.

    What is Cantilever Scaffolding?

    Cantilever scaffolding, also known as needle scaffolding, is a type of scaffolding that is a separate scaffold that is built to angle out from a structure. Usually, this scaffolding is situated near balconies for easy access. This scaffolding is specifically used when there are obstacles on the ground or narrow pathways which prevents basing the scaffolding on the ground. One of the main benefits of cantilever scaffolding is that it is cost and time effective in situations where the surface does not allow for a regular scaffolding system. Cantilever scaffolds are relatively easy to erect and this can support the average worker as well as supplies. This scaffolding eliminates the need for poles and frames erected in front of a building.

    It is called a needle scaffold because the ‘needle’ (often made of timber) supports the entire scaffold structure. The ‘needle’ is braced on all sides to prevent the scaffolding structure from falling over. This type of scaffolding is highly effective in situations where the ground surface does not allow for a traditional scaffold to be set up. Anyone working on a cantilever scaffold must wear a safety harness for maximum protection.

    Features & Characteristics

    One of the main things for this type of scaffolding is for it to be stable, and able to withstand all types of weather. Key features include barriers to or edge protection in place; the planks are all the same size and in good condition; it has a safe way to enter or exit for both the person using the scaffolding and for the loading materials; a horizontal work platform.

  • Barriers or edge protection in place
  • All planks are uniform and in excellent condition
  • A safe entrance way and exit for both the user and loading materials
  • A wide work platform positioned horizontally
  • Contact Safeway Scaffolding

    Here at Safeway Scaffolding we have a wide range of domestic and commercial scaffolding perfect for different requirements, please get in touch with our team by calling 01675 465 593 or through filling out our online contact form and we’ll be in touch.

    Proper Scaffolding Inspection: Your Guide to Scaffolding Tags

    Safety is paramount when it comes to scaffolding. As with any large construction project where scaffolding is involved, there are various safety procedures and inspections that must take place before any work is carried out. Following the installation of scaffolding and before first use, it is integral that the scaffold users or hirers ensure that all scaffolding has been inspected properly. The scaffold users or hirers must also make sure that scaffolding is inspected regularly at ‘an interval of no more than 7 days thereafter’ and ‘following any circumstances liable to jeopardise the safety of the installation (e.g. high winds)’, according to guidelines and regulations set out by Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
    One of the scaffolding inspection systems in place to ensure safety for all those using scaffolding, comes in the form of scaffolding tags, otherwise known as safety tags.

    What is a scaffolding tag?

    A scaffolding tag is signage that is placed onto erect scaffolding, and used to indicate whether it is compliant with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. OSHA is a public health agency that sets and enforces workplace safety regulations.

    There are two main types of scaffolding safety tags; these are commonly categorised as ‘red tags’ and ‘green tags’ – we’ll get into their individual meanings a little later on, but feel free to scroll down if you’re eager to find out more about these exciting little labels.
    Scaffolding tags are primarily used to show workers when scaffolding is, and is not, safe to use. A scaffolding safety tag is placed onto key points of the scaffold, and used after a scaffold inspection has taken place. Scaffolding safety tags can be used on any type of scaffolding, occurring at any access point.

    As scaffolding can be the source of multiple different hazards in the workplace – including falls and objects falling. By tagging equipment, workers know if the scaffolding is safe to use and that it has been inspected and to a high standard.

    On these safety tags, they can also record information about the last inspection, such as the date, as well as any modifications that have taken place to the scaffold structure. This lets users know when another inspection is due, as well as inform them of any changes.

    Why use scaffolding safety tags?

    The main reason why we use scaffold tags is to provide a world leading visual indication that the scaffolding has been inspected and improve scaffolding safety. It is part of the scaffold inspection system that helps prevent working at height hazards for scaffold users, and efficiently manage scaffold inspection procedures. You can ensure safe scaffolding use with scaffolding safety tags.

    What are the different types of scaffolding tags and why are they important?

    Most commonly red tags are used for unsafe or incomplete scaffolds, and green tags are used when a scaffold is safe and ready to use.

  • Red Tags – this indicates that the scaffold is unsafe or that it is an incomplete scaffolding structure and therefore it should not be used
  • Green Tags – indicates that scaffolding is safe and ready to use, so construction work and repairs can go ahead
  • Contact Safeway Scaffolding

    If you’re interested in learning more about scaffolding safety and inspections, or health and safety in general, please feel free to contact our expert team by calling 01675 465593 or through filling out our online contact form and we’ll be in touch.

    Guide to Putlog Scaffolding

    What is a putlog scaffolding system?

    Putlog scaffolding, otherwise known as bricklayer’s scaffolding or single scaffolding, is a system that involves using the wall of a building or structure as support for the working platform. It is erected using a single row of standards and a single ledger. The ‘putlog’ is a component that links the wall and the ledger together.

    This method of scaffolding derives from old masonry techniques where they used a hole in a wall of a structure to ‘put the log’.

    A putlog scaffold is tied directly into the brickwork of a structure using putlogs or tubes with putlog adapters. Depending on the project or type of building, different scaffolding is required and is developed to suit individual structural needs and requirements.

    Different components of putlog scaffolding

  • Putlog
  • Standard (e.g. upright tubes)
  • Ledgers (e.g. the horizontal tubes)
  • Double/ right angle coupler
  • Single/ right angle coupler
  • Putlog heads
  • Benefit of putlog scaffold

    One of the main benefits of this scaffolding system is that it does not require additional components like an independent scaffold does. Due to putlog scaffolding using a wall for support, it means that the scaffold structure is more rigid and that it can stand stable even in poor weather conditions such as wind.

    How is putlog scaffolding different from independently tied scaffolding?

    The difference between independent scaffolding and putlog scaffold is that an independent scaffold relies on two lines of standards to support the working platform, not the building wall. This means that independent scaffolding is separate from the building, and only tied to the building for additional security.

    Contact Safeway Scaffolding

    If you’re interested in scaffolding services whether that’s for domestic or commercial purposes, please get in touch with our team by calling 01675 465 593 or through filling out our online contact form and we’ll be in touch.

    How To Become A Scaffolder

    Whether it is for access towers or concert stages, there will always be a demand for scaffolders. These skilled workers carry out a variety of jobs at height come rain, wind or shine. Although it may not be the most glamorous of jobs, this career offers a clear path of progression, as well as a vocational trade that will set you up for life.

    But before you sign yourself up for a life as a scaffolder, you need to know what the job entails. As we’ve just discussed, a job on a scaffolding site is synonymous with heights. For the main part, you will be working on buildings of all shapes and sizes, and although you are secured with a harness, if heights aren’t your thing then it may be wise to pursue a career on the ground.

    The job itself consists of a lot of heavy lifting and there are a number of health and safety aspects to contend with. While on site, you will always be required to wear a safety helmet, safety boots and, of course, your harness.

    Trainee and Apprenticeship Scaffolder Positions

    If you are fresh out of school and have decided that you wish to pursue a career as a scaffolder, then apprenticeships and trainee schemes offer a direct route into the industry. These entry level positions allow you to learn the trade under the supervision of an experienced scaffolder and is a more practical way of learning.

    You will need to complete the mandatory Construction Industry Scaffolders Record one day training course to be able to enlist as an apprentice, however. Once completed, you will be issued with a CISRS card and you can get to work right away.

    Career Progression

    As you begin to learn and understand the craft of scaffolding, you will begin to work on larger, more complex projects. For better opportunities and an increase in the average wage, you may consider registering with a company or agency responsible for commercial projects.

    There are always opportunities to become a site supervisor once you have a few years under your belt and you completely understand the trade. There is also the possibility of undertaking the role of a scaffold designer and construction site manager as you progress in the industry. A number of government start up grants and business loan schemes have also been created to help people start their own companies should you wish to set up your own firm.

    Safeway Scaffolding

    If you want to find out more about the type of work our scaffolders are a part of, check out the Safeway Scaffoldings client portfolio, and to find out about any vacancies or entry positions, contact us on 01675 465593.

    What is Bamboo Scaffolding? And What Are The Benefits?

    Bamboo scaffolding is a type of scaffolding made from bamboo and is used extensively across the world, particularly in Hong Kong. It is renowned for its strength, flexibility and innovative prospects, and has proved to be a beneficial alternative to steel.

    For some countries, bamboo scaffolding is relied upon as a resource to be used within construction projects. Countries that have tropical climates, harvest the bamboo as it can grow strong and quickly to be used as scaffolding material. Hong Kong have supported the forward-thinking ‘up-cycling’ approach in using bamboo scaffolding, which will help to avoid unnecessary landfill.

    Strength and Durability

    Bamboo scaffolding is extremely strong and resilient. It has a tensile strength of 28,000 per square inch, in comparison to steel which is 23,000 per square inch. (Which is the preferred material in westernised countries.) Bamboo could be grown in western countries as a replacement for steel and a way of forward-thinking within construction, as it is an eco-friendly material. It is the strength and durability that makes bamboo scaffolding a success in the construction industry and why it has helped to build so many modern structures across the world.

    Cost and Time

    Bamboo scaffolding is cheap to resource in places such as Hong Kong as it is available and grown locally. Despite this material being light-weight, its durability proves otherwise and has a strength-weight ratio is far greater than steel, due to the material being lighter to construct than steel, bamboo scaffolding can be assembled faster and more efficiently compared to steel, being 6-times quicker to erect and 12 times quicker to take down.


    Although scaffolding in general could be up there as one of the most dangerous jobs (if your company doesn’t have the safest and up-to-date safety measures) Bamboo scaffolding could be less dangerous than steel scaffolding, due to it causing less damage if a pole was to slip and fall, as iron rods could cause more damage than lighter materials. Bamboo scaffolding has also proved to be safer for countries and regions that are prone to earthquakes as they’re light-weight but durable.

    Contact Safeway Scaffolding

    For more information on scaffolding, and the services Safeway Scaffolding have to offer, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly team by filling out an online enquiry form, or giving us a call today on 01675 465593

    Why Scaffolding is Important During Construction

    The Importance of Scaffolding During Construction

    If you picture a construction site, you are more than likely going to conjure up an image of a half-finished building with a number of workers navigating themselves around a tall, steel structure. This structure, commonly known as scaffolding, is one of the most familiar aspects of any architectural job, but why is this aspect of construction so vital?

    Scaffolding is installed at the very beginning of any construction project or maintenance work. It is a temporary platform that offers support, elevation, and enables workers to carry materials and conduct their work during the construction process; this can include, but is not limited to, repairs and cleaning. Above all, scaffolding is erected prior to construction work to ensure the safety of the workers while the building is being maintained or built. Alongside this, it also provides a degree of support to the standing structure. In their latest blog, Safeway Scaffolding answer the question: why scaffolding is important during construction?

    Here are 4 key reasons why the construction industry uses scaffolding:

    It’s Efficient

    Scaffolding provides builders and workers with a safe and secure platform to carry out their duties. By being able to manoeuvre around buildings of any shape and size both quickly and easily, scaffolding improves the efficiency of any construction job. With scaffolding structures only taking a single working day to be erected, it is clear to see how these platforms reduce the time spent on-site, and when time is of the essence, it is clear to see why scaffolding is important during construction.

    It Ensures Safety

    Working at height always carries with it some element of danger and risk. As previously mentioned, scaffolding platforms provide a safe and secure setting for builders to carry out their tasks while working at a considerable height. Not only does scaffolding protect the health of workers, but safety appliances, such as barrier netting and fencing, also ensure the health and safety of the public below the scaffolding. These barriers catch any loose debris and help create a working environment which is completely safe and secure for everyone involved.

    #If you want to learn more about the risks of working at height, check out our blog post which identifies the 3 Golden Rules for Working at Height.

    Easy To Access

    In order to build and construct in a more creative way, scaffolding provides builders and workers with access to parts of buildings which would otherwise be tricky to reach. Specifically bespoke scaffolding, platforms can be built in a way which means that no design or blueprint is beyond the workers. Scaffolding has been used to construct some of the most famous and notorious buildings in the world, just take a look at our feature on Building For the World’s Tallest Buildings.

    Prime Position for Workers

    One of the biggest advantages for builders or workers is that scaffolding places them in a strategic position to carry out their work. The elevation scaffolding provides to them means they are not solely reliant on ladders, which can be unstable and not secure. Ladders often means the worker or builder is working at an angle; they don’t have a solid platform to work from and they don’t often great balance. Whereas, scaffolding places workers directly in front of the building, meaning they are able to work easily on portions of the wall or ceiling. It also opens up the potential for multiple workers to work simultaneously beside each other – something not possible with a ladder.

    To summarise, scaffolding is an integral part of the construction industry. It allows builders to safely erect high-rise buildings and/ or carry out necessary repairs and maintenance of any structure or building. Scaffolding also ensures fast completion of the construction work needed, whilst guaranteeing the safety of workers and the general public. That is why it is important to hire an experienced and credible scaffolding contractor.

    Contact Our Team

    If you wish to find out more about why scaffolding is important, take a look at our case studies to see how it allowed us to assist in the construction of these domestic and commercial structures. For more information on all of our services, you can contact Safeway Scaffolding on 01675 465593 or fill out our online form.

    The Challenges of Bespoke Scaffolding

    Scaffolding is an industry that poses challenges and risks that do not apply to any other jobs or vocations, which is one of the reasons as to why it is such a specialist line of work. Bespoke scaffolding, however, offers up a number of challenges that keep even the most experienced of scaffolders on their toes. In their latest blog post, Safeway Scaffolding outline the many different obstacles that bespoke scaffolding projects present.

    Size and Scale

    As per the nature of bespoke scaffolding, this line of work usually takes place on buildings of a grander scale, heightening the challenges of scaffolding in general. When working at height, scaffolders are more susceptible to stronger winds and harsher conditions, as well as carrying out their work at a precarious height.

    Prioritising Safety

    Although the standards and practices of scaffolding have been developed over a number of years to prioritise the safety of scaffolders, with bespoke scaffolding, there a number of new threats to their health and wellbeing. By being placed on abnormal structures, usually at a greater height, it is important to ensure the health and safety of everyone on site. As bespoke scaffolding structures can overhang and wrap around buildings, it is important for every worker to be strapped on and to be completely familiar with the safety protocols for each and every job.

    No Rule Book

    With domestic and commercial scaffolding projects, there is typically a tried and tested strategy to adopt for these projects. However, as bespoke scaffolding is specific to projects of an unusual nature, there is no rule book to follow. Unlike many other professions, scaffolding is not a ‘one size fits all’ industry, and with bespoke scaffolding, it falls down to the knowledge and experience of scaffolders to be able to carry out the work safely and efficiently.

    Safeway Scaffolding

    To enquire about a potential bespoke scaffolding project, contact Safeway Scaffolding today by calling us on 01675 465593 or leave us a message via our online contact form.

    Why Bespoke Scaffolding Is So Important

    We offer bespoke scaffolding as one of our core services here at Safeway Scaffolding Limited, but why? In our latest blog post, we explain why bespoke scaffolding is so important, and why it’s necessary.

    One Size Does Not Fit All

    Scaffolding is tailored. It has to be. Every project is unique and, therefore, requires a unique scaffold to be assembled alongside it. Rather than trying to apply a formulaic approach to different scaffolding projects, a more tailored, considered assembly is often required. 

    Sure, you can use standard scaffolds for a number of residential and commercial properties, but often the shape, size, and circumstances of scaffolding projects mean that you need to adapt. Doing so can often be difficult, too. In one of our previous blog posts, we discussed the challenges of bespoke scaffolding, which really helps to underline just how different every project is. 

    What Can Go Wrong

    Having established that different projects require different scaffolds, it’s also important to point out what can go wrong if bespoke scaffolding isn’t used. It’s pretty obvious, but using a scaffold that isn’t right for any given structure or property will compromise its structural integrity. Doing so causes serious health and safety risks to anyone working on the site, but also threatens to damage the building itself immeasurably.

    Our Bespoke Solutions

    We pride ourselves on our bespoke scaffolding solutions here at Safeway Scaffolding Limited. We’re adept at tailoring our work to suit the unique requirements of all our customers, while our experience over many years on a great number of projects means we’re perfectly placed to deliver what’s needed. 

    Give us a call on 01675 465593 or fill out one of our online contact forms to find out more about our services.