Cantilever scaffolding aka needle scaffold

Cantilever scaffolding is a type of scaffolding with a needle that supports the entire scaffolding system. The cantilever scaffolding is also known as needle scaffolding. The cantilever design allows for the scaffold to be built out from the building without the need for support on the ground, which can be useful in situations where there is limited space or the area below the scaffold needs to be kept clear or the ground is weak or unstable, such as stairs, glazed roofs, or sloping roofs. 

Scaffolders working on platform

Yes, cantilever scaffolding is also known as needle scaffolding. The name “needle scaffold” refers to the needle-like appearance of the scaffolding when it is viewed from the side, as it projects out from the building like a needle.

3 Main types of cantilever

  • fully cantilever scaffold
  • bottom supporting
  • pull up

The needle is made from timber and cantilevered from holes in the structure under construction. The needle is fully braced on all sides to prevent it from tipping over when construction work is ongoing.

Weight capacity of a needle scaffolding

The cantilever scaffold has a weight capacity of 1500 pounds. Workers working on needle scaffolding are required to have a safety harness on the structure for maximum security when working.

Aluminium cantilever scaffolding can however come quite lightweight and is rather meant to be used as a safety device rather than scaffolding. It has a weight capacity of 500 pounds.

scaffold reaching a chimney on a roof level

Components of a cantilever scaffold

The needle scaffold needs you to have several components that you need to have to set it up. These components include:

Toe board

Toeboards are attached to the platforms to keep equipment, tools, and other work material from falling over on the scaffolding. They also play a big part in providing safety for workers who are working from heights.


This is the surface from which construction workers perform all their tasks on the scaffolding tower. To provide added protection, the cantilever scaffold has platforms that are also attached vertically.

Monarflex sheeting

To prevent the workers and tools from falling, monarflex sheeting is placed between the cantilever. The layer of sheeting has been double-boarded.

Protective rails

These prevent the workers from accidentally falling off the platform when working on scaffolding. Protective rails help make the work environment of workers working at great heights safer due to the large risk of falling involved. Cantilever scaffolding is relatively cost-effective and can be hired from a cost as low as £50 per week.

Choosing whether or not to choose needle scaffolding for your construction project entirely depends on the conditions you will be working under. You should always conduct appropriate research before choosing which scaffolding method to use. With proper knowledge of the various scaffolding methods, you will never go wrong with your choice.