From the domestic to the commercial, if you’re having building work done on a roof or tall building then the first question is how to carry it out as safely and efficiently as possible. Some cases come down to a matter of opinion, but individuals need to be aware of the law and when scaffolding is a requirement. We’ve put together a quick guide for how to tell whether you need scaffolding in the first place, plus the rules and regulations when you do.
What are the rules?
The law dictates that employers and self employed contractors must carry out a risk assessment for any work being done at height. Health and safety will almost always advise the use of scaffolding following a risk assessment if you have four or more people working high off the ground. It also depends on the type of job, for example if a whole roof needs work then scaffolding will be required, the same goes for most jobs lasting more than a few days. The hirer or user of scaffolding is also required by law to carry out safety checks before use, then no less than once every 7 days it remains up and following any extreme weather conditions.
What type of scaffolding will you need?
For most residential properties, scaffolding can follow an established, standard structure. For more complex buildings or those when a standard template isn’t appropriate, a scaffolder contractor or designer must create a bespoke design. They must ensure the strength, rigidity and stability of the structure and make adjustments if necessary for the duration of the project.
Do you need a licence?
Scaffolding within the boundaries of a property does not require a licence. However, if it entrenches on the surrounding pavement or road then you will need to get a licence from the local council. If there is any risk to the general public then the work must be carried out at quiet times or you will need to obtain a highway closure from the council.
When is scaffolding not required?
Again, individual discretion is advised, and if you’re not sure it’s always better to be safe! A relatively simple job that would not take more than a day, e.g fixing a roof tile, can likely be completed using a secure ladder. The same goes for guttering work or single story flat roofs, but you’ll still need a secure ladder and chute to safely dispose of materials from the roof to the ground.
If you need help with any aspect of scaffolding safety or design, then DH Scaffolding can help. Covering the whole of the UK, we provide design risk assessments, scaffold design, site surveys, as built scaffolds and more. Visit our website to see how we can help you complete your project as safely and efficiently as possible.