An elevated temporary platform is called a scaffold. The scaffold is used because it is much safer and efficient to have workers and their materials on a platform than scrambling up and down ladders all day.

A scaffold is also the platform on which criminals used to be executed publicly by hanging or beheading. If you watch a lot of swashbuckler movies, you'll have seen depictions of a helpless person being threatened with beheading by a villain on a scaffold in a crowded square. Suddenly, out of the crowd a hero appears and saves the day, after which they ride off into the sunset.

Definitions of scaffold
  1. noun
    a temporary arrangement erected around a building for convenience of workers
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    type of:
    an orderly grouping (of things or persons) considered as a unit; the result of arranging
  2. noun
    a platform from which criminals are executed (hanged or beheaded)
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    type of:
    a raised horizontal surface
  3. verb
    provide with a scaffold for support
    scaffold the building before painting it”
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    type of:
    hold, hold up, support, sustain
    be the physical support of; carry the weight of
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