As a scaffolder or construction worker, it is your responsibility to make sure that any equipment you use on site is of the highest quality and can be used safely at all times. This is especially true when working at height, as relying on poorly constructed scaffolding structures can be extremely dangerous. With this in mind, we share our guide to inspecting your scaffolding responsibly.
What you need to know
Inspecting your scaffolding isn’t just a recommendation – it’s a legal requirement. When using scaffolding, you are legally required to conduct regular inspections of the structure during its use – a requirement put in place by the government to prevent accidents and fatalities from occurring. According to the government, these inspections must take place before the scaffolding has been erected, every seven days following this point, and if it’s been exposed to poor weather conditions.
What you need to inspect
Previous user reports
If you’ve hired the scaffolding from a dedicated company, ask if they have any records from the previous company that rented it. If they had any problems when using the scaffolding, or noticed any cosmetic damage worth being aware of, it should be recorded here.
Before the scaffolding in question is erected or used, it’s important to be aware of the structure’s weight restrictions. It’s highly important that you don’t overload your scaffolding, as this could cause a whole range of problems, from damaged poles to a collapsed structure in the worst case scenario. Make sure you check the height and weight restrictions with your hire company before you put it up to avoid any problems later on. As a general rule, scaffolding structures should be able to support at least four times the intended load.
Safety rails, including guardrails and toe boards, are an essential feature of all scaffolding towers as they keep employees safe and equipment from falling at height. For this reason, making sure they’re in place and are functioning as efficiently as they are designed to should be an important part of your weekly scaffolding inspections.
To allow your employees to mount and dismount the scaffolding safely via the designated routes, you’ll need to make sure these are clear and easily accessible at all times. Without clear exit and entrance points, your staff may be more likely to take risks by climbing on unstable poles or putting up ladders incorrectly to reach their work platform.
These are just a few things you must check when carrying out a scaffolding inspection, but for a truly comprehensive safety check you must also inspect:
- The way your employees are mounting/dismounting the scaffolding.
- The personal protective equipment (PPE) your employees are wearing.
- The condition of the ground on the scaffold site.
To make sure your scaffolding has been inspected to the highest possible standard, why not hire a professional scaffold inspection service? At DH Scaffold Services Ltd, our team of experts are on hand to conduct comprehensive inspections and will provide you with a full report of any issues, so you can rest assured that your scaffolding is safe for use. We also offer quotations and surveys in addition to as-built scaffolds to suit your project requirements.
For more information about our range of inspection services and more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at DH Scaffold Services Ltd today.