1. Allow scaffolding rental costs in the budget.

Many people forget to allow for scaffold rental. So It’s important to remember and consider types of scaffolds and the quantities of scaffolding equipment required to complete work safely and legally.

2. Certified & Licensed.

Make certain that anyone constructing, or directly supervising workers constructing any scaffold from which a person or materials could fall more than 4 metres, has a valid certificate of competency appropriate to that type of scaffold. This also applies to any alterations to the scaffold or dismantling of the scaffold. Insist that scaffold contractors have appropriate certificates and licenses. Keep an up-to-date site register of certificate holders.

3. Scaffold Design.

Bricklayers, stonemasons and demolition workers require heavy duty scaffold that safely supports up to 675 kg per platform per bay. Carpenters and general trades require medium duty scaffold, safely supporting up to 450 kg per platform per bay and light duty scaffolds limited to 225 kg per platform per bay. When estimating loads on scaffold platforms, a person assumed to weigh 80 kg. Check supplier’s information for types of scaffold rental systems in use.

4. Stable Scaffold.

Scaffolds may collapse if:

  1. Built on soft ground without timber sole plates to properly distribute the load
  2. Too close to trenches or excavations
  3. Not properly braced and tied to the supporting structure
  4. Out of level.

5. Protect the workers and other people?

Planks should be genuine scaffold planks in good condition, of uniform thickness (to prevent trip hazards) and secured against uplift.
Platforms decked across their full width and free of gaps. All platforms higher than 2 metres should have guardrails,
mid rails and toe boards (or brick guards) fixed to each open side and end. Where debris from the work can cause danger, it may be
necessary to sheet the scaffold in shade cloth. Never use hessian because it can very easily catch fire.

6. Is there safe access to every scaffold platform?

Properly constructed temporary stairways or ladder access needed to all working platforms. Climbing up and down the scaffold framework is very dangerous and illegal. Ladders should be securely fixed to prevent movement, pitched at a gradient not less than 1 in 4 or more than 1 in 6. They should extend at least 900 mm above the platform so they can be safely climbed.

7. Are scaffolds a safe distance from power lines?

No part of a metal scaffold should be closer than 4.6 metres horizontally or 5.0 metres vertically from any live power lines.

8. Are scaffolder’s working safely?

During construction, scaffold should be isolated from other workers and the general public. Scaffolders’ tools should be stowed in holders on their scaffold belt. Scaffolders should work from a full deck of planks whenever possible. They should fix a guardrail for their own protection as they go, leaving it in place until that part of the scaffold is dismantled. Scaffolder’s working underneath should wear safety helmets. On large jobs, they should have the scaffolding equipment crane lifted, or they should use a winch or gin wheel to reduce manual handling risks.

9. Are your scaffold users working safely?

Workers must use scaffold safely. They must not overload platforms or store material in a dangerous way where it could be knocked off the scaffold. Clear access should be maintained along the full length of  platforms. They should not climb on guardrails to get extra height. They should not make the scaffold unsafe by removing planks, ties or guardrails.

 10. Are your scaffolds being regularly inspected?

You must not allow work to start from a scaffold until the construction of the scaffold is complete. Get the scaffolder in charge of the work to fill in a handover certificate and keep it on site until the scaffold has been dismantled. Make sure a certificated scaffolder or other competent person inspects all alterations or additions to the scaffold. Have a thorough inspection done at least every month and keep a copy of the inspection record on site. Get any necessary repairs to the scaffold done before it is put back into use.

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