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How Scaffolding Systems are Affected by Weather

Scaffold Safety | July 29, 2021

Scaffolding systems are an efficient and effective method of accessing difficult areas for construction in elevated areas or on the side of a building. Though scaffolding systems are safe and stable when assembled correctly, they are still subject to ever-changing weather conditions and the hazards they can bring. As leading providers of scaffold rentals and other services, the team at United Scaffold Supply understands the importance of safe operation. That is why we have provided some information detailing how scaffolding systems are affected by weather and how to stay safe during these conditions.

Learn about the common hazards when working on scaffolding.

Types of Weather Conditions and Their Effects

The following weather conditions can cause numerous safety hazards during scaffold operation:


Most scaffolding systems will become slippery when wet, making prolonged rain an instant cause for concern. Most systems utilize wooden boards as work platforms. Depending on the type of wood, this surface can become slippery even with a minimal amount of water, increasing the risk of slips, trips, and falls. To ensure optimal stability in the rain, it is worth adding some high-traction material to the surface of the wooden platform and ensuring that workers are wearing suitable boots.

High Wind

Exceptionally high winds carry several risks for scaffolding systems and the workers that operate on them. Severe wind speeds can cause smaller systems and poorly built systems to collapse. This means that wind speed should be monitored to ensure that no workers are on the system during intense gusts. In most cases, it is best to wait until wind speeds die down before resuming operation.

Lightning Storms

If you hear thunder or see lightning during operation on a scaffolding system, it is time to stop work immediately. As scaffolding systems are primarily constructed from steel or aluminum, they are highly conductive and are far more likely to be struck by lightning. Much like severe winds, it is best to wait until the storm has passed before resuming operation.

Severe Heat or Cold

Though severe heat or cold do have a significant impact on the scaffolding systems themselves, these extreme temperatures have a direct effect on workers. Severe heat can cause dehydration, heat stroke, and other injuries that can put a stop to your operation. Freezing temperatures can cause frostbite, reduce worker dexterity, and compromise the effectiveness of tools, reducing productivity and increasing the risk of accidents. When working in extreme temperatures, be sure that all personnel are properly equipped to handle these hazards.

To learn more about weather-based scaffolding hazards or to inquire about our scaffolding system rentals, get in touch with our team. United Scaffold Supply can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.