Offshore scaffolding is a form of scaffolding used on offshore oil rigs to allow workers access to various areas of the rig for construction, drilling, maintenance, and repair operations. Suppliers of this product can offer both components for scaffolding construction and experienced scaffolding crews to put it in place, maintain it, and bring it down when it is no longer needed. This type of oil and gas work typically requires previous experience and may in some cases also require a certification to work at extreme heights.
Scaffolding provides support for personnel and equipment on a temporary basis for activities like construction and maintenance. When an offshore rig is built, scaffolding is necessary for support as workers create the project. Once a rig is finished, installations of offshore scaffolding can be periodically necessary for activities like cleaning, painting, replacing worn components, and inspecting parts of the rig that cannot be reached from fixed walkways and platforms.
An offshore scaffolding crew can assess the needs of a rig, build appropriate scaffolding, and make sure it remains in good condition while in use. They may need to work with safety harnesses because of the height of the rigging, and also need to make sure the scaffolding is rated for the potential weight that it may bear. They work with a variety of metals as well as wood and engineered plastics to create the framework, and add decking to make it easier to move around.
Members of the crew may work for an oil company or a scaffolding contractor. The pay can vary, but can be high because of the large amount of time spent away from home and the potential dangers of the work. Scaffolding crews may need to travel for extended periods to access remote rigs with complex offshore scaffolding needs. Like other oil and gas workers, they may receive benefits like paid location, shore leave near a rig location, and travel vouchers, depending on the company and the level of seniority.
To work on offshore scaffolding, people usually need scaffolding experience on shore. This can include experience in a variety of areas within the construction trade, although industrial construction skills may be preferred. If the rig is high enough and regional laws apply, people who work at great heights may need safety certifications. Completion of a safety class will allow a worker to perform rigging at significant heights and supervise coworkers on the job.