Working at Height? 4 Alternatives to Scaffolding

When it comes to accessing heights for extended periods of work off the ground, scaffolding is pretty much the standard solution. It's reliable, stable and, assuming it's put together professionally, a safe way to reach higher levels. But it's not the only choice.

Since scaffolding takes time to erect, which needs to be done by a properly trained and certified scaffolding company, it's not always the most convenient option. In some situations, there isn't even the space to set up a scaffold, or it might be impossible for other reasons, leaving you stuck. Here are some alternatives that work just as well in the right situations.

Access tower

Similar in its appearance to a prefabricated scaffold, an access tower gives you the same capabilities without the installation. Although they're not as big as scaffolding can be and aren't custom built to fit the building and job, towers can be just perfect for plenty of scenarios.

Towers come in different sizes, from small to huge, so they can give you a reasonably large working surface, supporting you firmly with a built-in guard rail to prevent falls. They're even available in a form that's designed to fit safely onto a staircase.

Scissor lift

With their wheeled base units, scissors lifts are easy to put into position wherever you need them. This makes them a good choice for work where you might need to move your platform regularly.

They're safe, solid and stable, and the easily adjustable height lets you adjust the level as you need to get the perfect setting.


A ladder is a simple choice, and an obvious one, but one that's often forgotten due to the fact many people have a ladder at home. However, there are much taller ones available that can be hired if you don't want to invest in buying one.

Adjustable ladders can give you extra height without needing lots of storage space or being difficult to move, and if you're concerned about safety, look for a ladder with a cage surround.

Access platform

Similar to access towers, platforms are rectangular, so you can use a longer surface when you need to move about during your work. These are great for rooftop work, as they can extend along the side of a building and provide easy access to all parts of the roof. If you need to access a large area, a platform is a safer choice than a tower or ladder because you won't be tempted to lean outwards.

Now that you know about some alternatives to scaffolding, you can hire the access equipment you need.