A Guide To Scaffold Safety Basics


Scaffolding is a job that should always be left to the professionals. If you need scaffolding erected for a particular job you will need to be aware of some basics.

Always make sure that your scaffolding company is a registered company and that they employ a competent, properly trained workforce.

Basic checks that you can make to minimise any risks include:

  • Checking the ground conditions. E.g. Is the foundation firm, and not soft? If scaffolding is erected on frozen ground, this might melt and begin to sink.
  • Is the scaffold level and supported on proper adjustable stands.
  • If it is a rolling scaffold, are the castors locked?
  • Any scaffolding should be able to support up to four times its intended load.
  • The platform will need to be complete front to back and side to side. Any planking or decking must not have gaps greater than 25mm (1").
  • Toe boards and guardrails must be positioned on all open sides.
  • All sections of scaffolding must be secured or pinned appropriately.
  • Safe access to the scaffolding must be provided which avoid the need to climb over cross bracing. This may be a properly secured ladder.
  • The front face of any scaffolding needs to be 350mm (14") from the workface.
  • Electrical wires must be given the appropriate electrical safety clearance.
  • All scaffolding must be inspected by a competent person before being used.
  • If the scaffolding is over 3m (10') high, personal fall protection should be provided or the scaffold should have handrails over 950mm (38") high.
  • Anyone working in the vicinity of the scaffolding or on the scaffolding must wear a hard hat (in the UK it is compulsory to provide head protection/ hard hats on any site).
  • Scaffolding must be kept clear whenever possible and tools and equipment removed at night or when the scaffolding is not in use.
  • Do not use scaffolding in adverse weather conditions like high winds or snow etc.
  • If it is a rolling scaffold, employees must never be allowed to remain on the scaffold when it is being moved.
  • A hoist should be provided to haul heavy tools and equipment up the scaffold.

Remember - these are only guidelines and are not infallible. Take time to familiarise yourself with local and federal laws. Use only qualified scaffolding companies who will be able to advise you.

More Scaffolding Articles

Scaffolding for Sale - How to Get a Great Deal
Scaffolding for Sale - How to Get a Great Deal

Advice on where to look and what to look out for when purchasing scaffolding - Hopefully landing you a great deal in the process.

  • 26th December, 2013
The Scaffolding Inspection Checklist
The Scaffolding Inspection Checklist

In this guide we at the essential final checks you should carry out before a scaffolding inspection takes place.

  • 26th December, 2013
Where to Start Looking for a Job in Scaffolding
Where to Start Looking for a Job in Scaffolding

As with any job it's always difficult to know where to start looking. In this guide we look at the ins and outs of searching for a job in scaffolding.

  • 26th December, 2013
Scaffolding Rentals - A Great Way to Cut Costs
Scaffolding Rentals - A Great Way to Cut Costs

For a one off building project it's certainly well worth looking into the benefits of renting scaffolding.

  • 16th December, 2013
Choosing the Right Scaffolding Training Course
Choosing the Right Scaffolding Training Course

For anyone working with scaffolding it's strongly advised to undergo the correct training.

  • 16th December, 2013

More Household Articles

  • 21st November, 2008
  • Category: Plumbing
Rubbish Clearance
  • 12th February, 2012
  • Category: Security