In days gone by, scaffolding was erected by individual firms with wildly varying standards and sizes. Scaffolding was revolutionized by Daniel Palmer Jones and David Henry Jones. Modern day scaffolding standards, practices and processes can be attributed to these men and their companies. With Daniel being the better known and patent applicant and holder for many scaffold components still in use today see inventor:"Daniel Palmer-Jones". He is considered the grandfather of Scaffolding. The history of scaffolding being that of the Jones brothers and their company's Patent Rapid Scaffold Tie Company Ltd, Tubular Scaffolding Company and Scaffolding Great Britain Ltd (SGB).
David Palmer-Jones patented the "Scaffixer", a coupling device far more robust than rope which revolutionized scaffolding construction. In 1913, his company was commissioned for the reconstruction of Buckingham Palace, during which his Scaffixer gained much publicity. Palmer-Jones followed this up with the improved "Universal Coupler" in 1919 - this soon became the industry standard coupling and has remained so to this day.
Or as Daniel would say “Be it known that I, DANIEL PALMER JONES, manufacturer, subject of the King of England, residing at 124 Victoria Street, Westminster, London, England, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Devices for Gripping, Fastening, or Locking Purposes” segment from a patent application.
With the advancements in metallurgy throughout the early 20th century. Saw the introduction of tubular steel water pipes (instead of timber poles) with standardized dimensions, allowing for the industrial interchangeability of parts and improving the structural stability of the scaffold. The use of diagonal bracings also helped to improve stability, especially on tall buildings. The first frame system was brought to market by SGB in 1944 and was used extensively for the postwar reconstruction.
The European Standard, BS EN 12811-1, specifies performance requirements and methods of structural and general design for access and working scaffolds. Requirements given are for scaffold structures that rely on the adjacent structures for stability. In general these requirements also apply to other types of working scaffolds.
The purpose of a working scaffold is to provide a safe working platform and access suitable for work crews to carry out their work. The European Standard sets out performance requirements for working scaffolds. These are substantially independent of the materials of which the scaffold is made. The standard is intended to be used as the basis for enquiry and design.