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HSE UPDATE SCAFFOLD DESIGN AND USE CHECKLIST

Design, training and system expectations made simple

The HSE quick checklist on scaffold safety has been updated. The checklist clarifies when a scaffold design is required plus the training and competence requirements for those erecting, dismantling, altering, inspecting and supervising scaffolding operations.

The key points covered in the full HSE Scaffold Checklist are:

Safe design

Unless a scaffold is assembled to a generally recognised standard configuration, e.g. NASC Technical Guidance TG20 for tube and fitting scaffolds or similar guidance from manufacturers of system scaffolds, the scaffold should be designed by bespoke calculation.

The check list spells out:

  • information users should supply to the scaffold contractor;
  • information scaffold contractor or scaffold designer should provide about the scaffold; and
  • scaffold structures which normally require bespoke design.
Safe working

All scaffolding must be erected, dismantled and altered in a safe manner following the guidance provided by the NASC in document SG4 ‘Preventing falls in scaffolding’ for tube and fitting scaffolds or by following similar guidance provided by the manufacturers of system scaffolding.

For scaffolds that fall outside the scope of a generally recognised standard configuration the design must be such that safe erection and dismantling techniques can also be employed throughout the duration of the works.

Competence and supervision

Worker should be competent for the type of scaffolding work they are undertaking and have received training relevant to the type and complexity of scaffolding on which they work.

Supervision is required taking into account the complexity of the work and the levels of training and competence of the scaffolders.

As a minimum requirement, every scaffold team should contain a competent scaffolder who has received training for the type and complexity of the scaffold to be erected, altered or dismantled.

Guidance on the relevant expertise of Scaffolders and Advanced scaffolders including details of which structures they are deemed competent to erect can be obtained from the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record SchemeCISRS website.

Inspections and reports

Scaffold users / hirers must ensure scaffolding has been inspected as follows:

  • following installation /  before first use;
  • at an interval of no more than every 7 days thereafter; and
  • following any circumstances liable to jeopardise the safety of the installation e.g. high winds.

The inspections should be carried out by a competent person whose combination of knowledge, training and experience is appropriate for the type and complexity of the scaffold.  

The scaffold inspection report should note any defects or matters that could give rise to a risk to health and safety and any corrective actions taken, even when those actions are taken promptly, as this assists with the identification of any recurring problem

 

 

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