The Importance of Height and Load Capacity

If you are planning to undertake some building or renovation work at your home or business, you are most likely going to need scaffolding. Reliable scaffolding systems are the best way of ensuring safe access and work conditions for any construction, repairs, and maintenance projects.

In order to get the best use of the temporary platform, you have to ensure its height and load-bearing capacity is appropriate for the intended use. Using the wrong scaffolding structure is a safety risk, either because of overloading or a lack of safety equipment. 

In this blog post, we look closer into some guidelines to follow in regards to load capacity in scaffolding work.

What is The Load Capacity of The Scaffold

Scaffolding load capacity is generally divided into 3 categories. The different load ratings are based on the intended load to be placed on the scaffold, spanning from light to heavy-duty:

  1. Light-duty scaffolds: 120 kg/ square allowance.
  2. Medium-duty scaffolding: 240 kg/ square allowance.
  3. A heavy-duty scaffolding: Over 240 kg/ square allowance.

The load capacity (maximum load) of the scaffold platform is calculated by dividing the total weight to be placed between two spans of scaffolding by the total area between the two spans. You will also have to consider the conditions you will be working in, such as the wind factor or heavy rainfall.

Select the Right Scaffold Equipment

It is important to understand all aspects of your construction project in order to be able to select the right type of scaffold product. You will need to make sure your workers will be safe and the construction site will not pose a risk to anyone below the platform. 

As scaffolding had developed over the years, there are now more scaffold and height protection products to choose from than ever, meaning you will have to be more vigilant with the requirements of height and weight to adhere to safety guidelines. You will need to choose one suitable to your construction requirements and height and load capacity. The best way to ensure you have the right product for your projects is to ask a competent person. An expert will also be able to help you with the correct assembly and installation for each scaffold.

Maintaining The Right Height and Load Ratio

Not only do you want to ensure you choose the right scaffolding structure for the job, but also that you are able to maintain the right height and load ratio for the duration of the projects. Failure to do so may increase the risk of scaffold malfunction and accidents.

If you are unsure how to correctly calculate and select the right equipment for your project, make sure you enlist a reputable company. An experienced scaffolding company, like Cando, will inform you about the load-bearing capacity of the scaffolding and access systems. They will also provide you will all the necessary guidelines, protective equipment, and legal requirements for a safe and effective work environment.

Heavy Duty Scaffold Capacity and Load Calculation

At CanDo Scaffolding, we understand the importance of ensuring the safety and reliability of our scaffolding systems. One crucial aspect is determining the load capacity of our heavy-duty scaffolds. By accurately calculating the load capacity, we can guarantee the scaffold’s ability to support the intended weight without compromising safety.

To calculate the load capacity of our scaffolding, we utilize a straightforward formula. The load capacity is determined by dividing the scaffold weight capacity by the sum of the maximum intended load and the weight of the scaffold itself. The scaffold weight capacity is specified by the manufacturer and prominently marked on the scaffold for easy reference.

To illustrate the formula, let’s break it down: 

Load Capacity = Scaffold Weight Capacity / (Maximum Intended Load + Weight of Scaffold)

By employing this calculation method, we ensure that the scaffolding can handle the necessary weight while maintaining structural integrity. It allows us to determine the safe and appropriate load limit for our heavy-duty scaffolds, ensuring a reliable and secure working platform for workers and materials.

Calculating the Safe Working Load of Scaffolding

At CanDo Scaffolding, when calculating the safe working load (SWL) for our scaffolding systems, we consider several key factors to guarantee optimal performance and adherence to safety regulations.

To determine the SWL, we take into account the scaffold weight capacity, maximum intended load, scaffold weight, and a safety factor. A safety factor of at least 2 is applied to the scaffold load capacity to ensure robust support for the intended load. This means that the maximum load placed on the scaffolding should not exceed half of its load capacity.

To calculate the SWL, we use the following formula:

SWL = (Scaffold Weight Capacity / (Maximum Intended Load + Weight of Scaffold)) x Safety Factor

Let’s examine the components of the formula:

  1. Scaffold Weight Capacity: This refers to the maximum load specified by the manufacturer and visibly indicated on the scaffold itself.
  2. Maximum Intended Load: It represents the combined weight of workers, tools, and materials placed on the scaffold simultaneously.
  3. Weight of Scaffold: This includes the weight of all scaffold components, as well as any tools or materials present on the scaffold.
  4. Safety Factor: A safety factor is incorporated to account for uncertainties in the load. A typical safety factor of 2.0 is employed, although variations may exist based on specific conditions and regulations.

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Many people are unaware of the risks that can arise from scaffolding that has been set up incorrectly. Scaffolding structures may look uncomplicated to some, but even the smallest error in the setup can cause devastating consequences. The best option for non-professionals to ensure their structure is safe and sound is to connect with an established company that offers professional scaffolding services and hire a qualified person for the job.

Companies like CanDo will know the scaffolding system and can access it following all the rules of working at height. Get in touch with us using the details below and we will be happy to help you with your next project.

CanDo Scaffolding Hire

You can call 1300 226 336 or send an email to theguys@cando.com.au to learn more about our services at any time.

We provide a comprehensive range of scaffolding solutions, including void protection platforms and roof edge protection, that will suit any residential or light commercial construction work.

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Frequently Asked Questions

We do not recommend mixing scaffolding from different manufacturers or suppliers. Even though they may look compatible, they often have different dimensions and tolerances. Mixing scaffolding can reduce the structural integrity and lead to a collapse of the scaffold.

You can erect your own scaffolding structure under 4m. Workcover/Worksafe regulation applies to any structure above this height and must be undertaken by a scaffolder with relevant qualifications.

CanDo can take care of all aspects of scaffolding hire and system installation on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Northern NSW. Call us today on 1300 226 336.

All our Scaffolders are equipped with proper protective equipment (PPE) and have been trained and are up to scratch with safe work practices.

Yes! You need to use an internal ladder with a scaffold to be compliant with WorkCover/WorkSafe practices.

Yes! CanDo’s whole business revolves around hiring out scaffolds.

We provide cost effective scaffolding solutions in Brisbane, Gold Coast & the Northern Rivers. Our experienced team are knowledgable in construction methodology which save our clients time on construction and minimises scaffolding costs.

The cost of scaffolding depends on many factors. These include:

  1. How high the scaffolding needs to be;
  2. The location of the scaffolding;
  3. The type of job the scaffolding will be used for;
  4. The type of scaffolding required;
  5. How long you need to hire the scaffolding for.

The best way to find out the cost of scaffolding hire would be to give us a call on 1300 226 336 or request a quote online.

Many of our scaffolding installations have a component of difficulty that other companies cannot be bothered with. Our goal is to meet the project requirements of our clients by providing a comprehensive service.

CanDo provide a range of scaffolding hire solutions including:

Lightweight Scaffolding

Aluminium stage scaffolding is extremely versatile. It is much faster to erect than steel scaffolding and can be erected on existing and new structures easily. Despite its lightweight nature, the Quick Ally aluminium scaffolding is incredibly durable and efficient, with many combinations available. 

Steel Scaffolding

Steel Scaffolding is hired out for projects needing longer hire periods (exceeding 2 weeks). It involve concrete, blockwork and brickwork in the construction process. This is due to a higher load rating than Lightweight Aluminium Scaffolding.

We typically undertake projects up to 15 metres high to the top working deck.

Mobile Scaffold Towers

When you need to access heights across a large surface, an aluminium mobile scaffold is an excellent option. Our mobile towers provide a safe and stable working platform with a 225kg safe work load and are available as square or rectangular towers.

Edge Protection

We offer a comprehensive range of roof edge protection systems for both residential applications and commercial job sites.

Void Protection Platforms

Our void platforms turn an upper level void into a working & catch platform. This enables tradesmen to work on, around or above the platform safely.

Hang On Platforms

Hang On Working Platforms reduce labour and hire costs by eliminating the need for ground-up scaffolding.

CanDo offers scaffolding hire in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Northern NSW and everywhere in-between.


At CanDo, we take pride in ensuring every scaffold is erected and maintained to the highest standards.

We regularly test all our equipment to ensure its safety and compliance. Every job we do is audited and reported back to our office.

Yes we do.

Our aluminium mobile towers provide a safe and stable working platform with a 225kg safe work load and are available as square or rectangular towers.

The experienced team at CanDo will assess your work site and recommend the most appropriate mobile scaffolding solution.

Mobile Scaffold Towers →

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