The design, erection, and dismantling of scaffold equipment is not for DIY enthusiasts. Follow these scaffolding rules and regulations for safety and compliance.
SCAFFOLD SAFETY RULES: This guide explains the licence requirements, a safety checklist, and how to find a trained scaffold contractor.
You should never put up scaffolding materials on a building unless you have the proper training to do so.
Thus, you must use someone who is competent and trained. As a rule, that means a qualified builder or a professional scaffolder.
Putting up scaffolding on the highway or the pavement requires a licence in the United Kingdom. The responsibility for getting the licence rests with the scaffolding company (or builder).
Even so, you will also have certain responsibilities to meet after hiring a scaffolding company. You must check contractors have the legal document for any work being undertaken. You must also ensure that the licence does not expire before the building work gets completed.
Note: You can contact your local council authority for a list of approved scaffolding contractors.
In some cases, working at height (e.g. cleaning high windows) and scaffolding work can be a risk to the public. If so, try to schedule the work for quieter periods when there are less pedestrians around. You may also need to get a highway closure from the council authority.
According to health and safety laws, there are several things you must check to ensure the scaffolding is safe. As a rule, the site and the equipment need checking:
This section helps to clarify when to use a specific scaffold design. It also highlights the level of skills training and competence needed. It relates to the erecting, the dismantling, and altering of the site.
Note: The same scaffolding regulations apply to anyone inspecting and supervising scaffolding operations.
As a rule, the construction of scaffolding should follow the Work at Height Regulations 2005. This conforms to a generally recognised standard configuration of tube and fitting scaffolds (e.g. NASC Technical Guidance TG20).
But, in some cases, the scaffold may need designing to a bespoke calculation. Only a competent person should undertake the bespoke option. All scaffolding designs must have stability, adequate strength, and rigidity.
You should supply some relevant information to the scaffold contractor before the planning process begins. This helps to ensure they follow an accurate and proper scaffolding design process. As a rule, the relevant information should include:
The scaffolding checklist should precede any scaffold installation. It then allows the contractor (or the designer) to provide the design needed for the site, such as:
Note: Some types of scaffold structures will require a bespoke design. It would apply to any formation that is not a standard configuration. A competent person must produce a specific design if the erection does not comply with the guidelines of the scaffolding manufacturer.
Scaffolding Rules and Regulations in the United Kingdom