Sometimes, the rules around scaffolding can be a little unclear. The main piece of legislation that scaffolders and their associates follow is the Work at Height Regulations 2005, with the HSE providing guidance on how to comply. Referring to these articles, we’re going to look at some of the main ways in which you can prepare your scaffolding safely and effectively.
Please note: this guide is not designed to explain the legislation in detail, but is intended to provide a brief overview. Is important to remember that a wide range of people—the clients, the self-employed or anyone else associated with the project—have legal responsibilities when it comes to scaffolding.
1) Determine whether you really need scaffolding first
It is up to the trader to assess whether scaffolding needs to be used. Fixing a loose tile on the roof of a house is quite different to installing windows on a multi-storey building! It all depends on the level of risk involved and the type of work you are doing.
2) Make sure it is set up by a trained scaffolder
A qualified scaffolder should hold a valid Construction Industry Record Scheme Card (CISRS). The trader is responsible for making sure that the scaffolder is fully qualified and competent before any work begins. You can contact the CISRC Helpline on 0870 417 7223 to confirm the validity of a scaffolder’s card.
3) Assess the configuration your project is going to require
Is it going to be a straightforward project that requires a standard scaffolding structure? If not, then a bespoke design must be put together by a qualified scaffold contractor or designer.
4) The scaffolding should always be checked to make sure it’s safe
The law stipulates that once your scaffolding structure has been completed, it should be given a safety check before it is first used, every 7 days thereafter, and following any environmental alterations such as extreme weather.
5) Other factors to consider when planning work at height
The following are all legal requirements that you need to bear in mind when planning and undertaking work at height. You must:
- Consider weather conditions that might compromise worker safety.
- Check that the working platform is safe before it’s used by someone, every time.
- Store materials safely so that they won’t cause injury if they are knocked, or if they collapse.
- Stop or prevent materials/objects from falling. If it is unreasonable to do this, use an exclusion zone or other similar method to make sure there’s no chance of anyone being injured.
- Plan for emergencies—setting up an evacuation procedure and letting every employee know is a good example.
George Roberts are here to help
We hope that this has provided you with an insight into preparing scaffolding safely. Here at George Roberts, we are committed to Health and Safety, which you can find out more about here.
If you are looking for high-quality height safety equipment such as helmets, harnesses and fall arrest blocks, then make sure to check out our online shop.
We also stock a range of tool safety equipment, Scafftag tagging systems and much more to help keep you safe when working at height. Have a browse today.