Many people are injured each year when they fall from towers or if the towers overturn. Leading London scaffold tower hire suppliers, Mr Plant Hire outline here how to stay safe when using scaffold towers. Mr Plant Hire also provide London based PASMA training for the safe erection and use of tower scaffolds.
Guiding principles for safe use of scaffold towers
- The type of scaffold towers selected must be suitable for the work
- They must be erected and dismantled by people who have been trained and are competent to do so.
- Those using tower scaffolds should also be trained in the potential dangers and precautions required during use.
- Tower scaffold provision and use must be properly managed and include rigorous scaffold inspection arrangements.
The most common mistakes
- Dangerous methods of erection or dismantling – where a safe system is not being followed;
- Defects in the erected scaffold – where the tower structure is incorrectly assembled or where a platform guardrail is missing;
- Misuse of the scaffold – where a ladder is used on a tower causing it to overturn or when a person falls while the tower is being moved.
Safe Erection and dismantling
- The manufacturer, supplier or hirer has a duty to provide an instruction manual explaining the erection sequence, including any bracing requirements.
- Towers should be erected following a safe method of work, either using what is referred to as an Advance guard rail system or ‘Through-the-trap’ (3T) method.
- The 2005 At Height Regulations state that all users of mobile access towers are required to have had appropirate training for the safe assembly, alteration, dismantling or relocation for this type of equipment. PASMA Certificates are nationally recognised. We frequently run the PASMA Towers for Users and Low Level Access (Combined) course.
To maintain tower stability you must make sure:
- the tower is resting on firm, level ground with the locked castors or base plates properly supported. Never use bricks or building blocks to take the weight of any part of the tower;
- stabilisers or outriggers are installed when required by the instruction manual
- that a tower is never erected to a height above that recommended by the manufacturer.
Precautions and inspection
Check these points with your scaffold tower hire provider:
- Tower scaffolds must comply with the standard of required for all types of scaffolds, eg double guardrails, toeboards, bracing and access ladder.
- When the tower is purchased or hired it should arrive with all the necessary components to prevent falls and ensure stability.
- Towers rely on all parts being in place to ensure adequate strength. They can collapse if sections are left out.
- All towers must be inspected following assembly and then at suitable regular intervals by a competent person. In addition, if the tower is used for construction work and a person could fall 2 metres or more from the working platform, then it must be inspected following assembly and then every 7 days. Stop work if the inspection shows it is not safe to continue, and put right any faults.
- The result of an inspection should be recorded and kept until the next inspection is recorded.
When not to use the scaffold tower
You should make sure everyone involved is aware of and knows never to use a tower:
- in strong winds
- as a support for ladders, trestles or other access equipment
- with broken or missing parts; or
- with incompatible components.
Moving scaffold towers
When moving a tower you should always:
- reduce the height to a maximum of 4m
- check that there are no power lines or other obstructions overhead
- check that the ground is firm, level and free from potholes; and
- push or pull using manual effort from the base only.
- Never move a tower while people or materials are on there, or in windy conditions.
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 London-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.