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Staying safe with Scaffolding – The 12 most frequently asked questions

  1. How often should a scaffold be inspected?
    A scaffold used for construction should be inspected before it is used for the first time and then every 7 days, until it is removed. It should also be inspected each time it is exposed to conditions likely to cause deterioration eg following adverse weather conditions or following substantial alteration.

  1. Who is allowed to carry out a scaffold inspection?
    All scaffolding inspection should be carried out by a competent person whose combination of knowledge, training and experience is appropriate for the type and complexity of the scaffold he is inspecting. Competence may have been assessed under The Construction Industry Scaffolders Registration Scheme (CISRS) or an individual may be suitably experienced in scaffolding work and have received additional training under a recognised manufacturer/supplier scheme for the specific configuration he is inspecting.
    A non-scaffolder who has attended a suitable scaffold inspection course and has the necessary background experience would be considered competent to inspect a basic scaffold (ie a site manager).
  2. Must I use scafftags?
    It is not a legal requirement to use scafftags, but using a visible tag system to supplement inspection records is one way of recording that the scaffold has been checked before use
  3. How high should the guardrails on a scaffold be?
    For construction work, the top guardrail should be a minimum of 950mm above the working platform and any gap between the top rail and the intermediate rail should not exceed 470mm. The Regulations also require toe boards to be suitable and sufficient to prevent people or materials from falling.
  4. Do I have to use advanced guardrails when putting up a scaffold? No, you don’t have to use an advanced guardrail but you do have to prevent a person falling from the scaffold while it is being erected, altered or dismantled. The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) document SG4 gives details of the different methods that can be used to prevent falls when erecting, altering and dismantling scaffolding.
  5. How can I prevent falls while putting up scaffolding?
    You can prevent falls during the erection of a scaffold in a number of different ways, including, the use of advanced guardrails, special tools and equipment or safe methods of work. The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) document SG4 gives details of the different methods that can be used to prevent falls when erecting, altering and dismantling scaffolding.
  6. Do I need a design drawing for my scaffold?
    A scaffold must either be erected to a recognised standard configuration, such as those in National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) document TG20 Volume 1 for tube and fitting scaffolds, or the manufacturers’ guidance for system scaffolds, or it must be designed by calculation to ensure it has adequate strength and stability.
  7. What training is required to be a scaffolder?
    All those erecting scaffolding should be competent (or in the case of trainees, supervised by a competent person) for the type of scaffolding work they are undertaking and should have received appropriate training relevant to the type and form of scaffolding they are working on.
    As a minimum, every scaffold gang should contain a qualified scaffolder for the type and complexity of the scaffold to be erected. This may be an individual who has received training under an industry recognised training scheme eg The Construction Industry Scaffolders Registration Scheme (CISRS) and has been awarded the Scaffolder card or someone who has received training under a recognised manufacturer or supplier scheme, to the limit of the configurations involved.
  8. What training is required to be a scaffolder?
    All those erecting scaffolding should be competent (or in the case of trainees, supervised by a competent person) for the type of scaffolding work they are undertaking and should have received appropriate training relevant to the type and form of scaffolding they are working on.
    As a minimum, every scaffold gang should contain a qualified scaffolder for the type and complexity of the scaffold to be erected. This may be an individual who has received training under an industry recognised training scheme eg The Construction Industry Scaffolders Registration Scheme (CISRS) and has been awarded the Scaffolder card or someone who has received training under a recognised manufacturer or supplier scheme, to the limit of the configurations involved.
  9. How often should a harness be inspected?
    Three levels of inspection are recommended: Pre-use checks, Detailed Inspections and Interim Inspections.
  10. What training is required to put up a tower scaffold?
    Anyone erecting a tower scaffold should be competent to do so and should have received training under an industry recognised training scheme. The 2005 At Height Regulations state that all users of mobile access towers are required to have had appropriate training for the safe assembly, alteration, dismantling or relocation for this type of equipment.
    Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association PASMA Training Certificates are nationally recognised and Mr Plant Hire regularly runs the PASMA Towers for Users and Low Level Access (Combined) course.
  11. What is the maximum height a tower scaffold can be erected to?
    You must refer to the manufacturers’ instructions when erecting a tower scaffold. If you are taking out scaffold tower hire from Mr Plant Hire these will be provided at the time of hire.

Mr Plant Hire – the Number One choice for Scaffold Tower hire in London
If you are considering scaffold tower hire Mr Plant Hire is the natural and responsible supplier choice. Our equipment is top-of-the-range and regularly serviced to ensure that it is safe and in good working order. Our team will advise your operatives on how best to use our equipment for accident prevention and maximum efficiency.

Contact Enfield-based Mr Plant Hire today for advice on and the best rates for scaffold tower Hire and details of their regularly run PASMA training courses.

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