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Parapet Scaffolding

Scaffolding parapet and edge protection: Features and Requirements

The scaffolding parapet is a safety measure for working at height. Learn when it should be installed and at what height.

Working at height exposes workers to the risk of falling from above. To ensure safe execution, it’s essential to determine the nature and extent of risks, plan activities, adopt suitable work methodologies along with choosing appropriate equipment, temporary structures (scaffolding), and collective and individual protective devices. The summit parapets of scaffolding meeting specific requirements can be used for this purpose.

During assembly, disassembly, and throughout the use of scaffolding, a series of precautions and specific structural norms established by the standard must be respected and implemented.

To ensure compliance with scaffolding safety standards and streamline the verification process required for these operations, you can use 2D and 3D scaffolding design software, which, through a catalog of BIM objects and advanced 3D input, also allows you to design the scaffolding you have in mind with maximum design freedom and insert the front and rear facade parapets.

What is a Scaffolding Parapet?

The parapet is a collective protection device intended to protect people and/or objects against falls from above, generally wherever there is a significant height difference that exposes the worker to the risk of falling from a height exceeding 2 m from a stable plane (working at height).

The parapet consists of at least two uprights onto which the main rail, intermediate rail, and toe board are fixed, made of various materials (e.g., wood, steel, etc.).

The parapet must meet the following conditions:

  • Being built with rigid and resistant good condition materials;
  • Consisting of at least two rails, with the intermediate rail placed approximately halfway between the upper rail and the floor;
  • Being built and fixed in a way to withstand the maximum stress it may be subjected to, considering environmental conditions and its specific function.

Scaffolding edge protection

The scaffolding edge protection is the parapet of the last deck of the scaffolding structure fixed to two vertical supports. It can also function as an edge protection system for a roof if it meets suitable performance and geometric requirements.

Performance requirements for scaffolding edge protection

The scaffolding structure, used as protection for roofing activities, must be able to:

  • Resist design actions due to normal scaffold use;
  • Prevent people and/or objects from falling or slipping from the roof towards the protection used (fall arrest);
  • Absorb the kinetic energy of people and/or objects falling or slipping from the roof, at the moment of impact against the protection;

Geometric requirements for edge protection parapets

The scaffolding, used as protection for roofing activities, must include, on the top floor, at least the following elements:

  • Top posts for each scaffold line;
  • Sufficient number of rails to prevent the passage of people and things; alternatively, continuous protection;
  • Toes board for each scaffold field;
  • Deck;
  • Anchorage to the construction work for each scaffold line, at the last deck, doubled downward along the upright.