There are many safety factors involved in the construction and use of scaffolding constructs. There are also a number of regulations that must be met, which includes the requirement for the scaffolding company to apply for a scaffolding permit. Furthermore, anybody that works on scaffolding must adhere to specific regulations too. While it is obviously important that you choose a company according to budget, availability, and reputation, you must ensure that the organisation you do choose will stick to the rules, and has more than adequate insurance policies to cover any injury or damage.
There are a number of basic constructs that are considered to be safe for use in scaffolding. Where these particular types of scaffolding assembly are used, it is not necessary to have the scaffolding designed by a professional. However, where these general constructs are not fit for purpose, and even where the required design deviates by just a small amount, it is imperative that you use a qualified and skilled scaffold designer to ensure a safe and useful construction.
For any constructs that do not conform to the basic structures, it is necessary for the scaffold designer to describe the methods that will be used in order to erect and dismantle the structure. While it is the responsibility of your scaffolding company to ensure that this happens, scaffolding manufacturer guidelines and documents can be used in order to provide this information to the relevant groups and authorities.
It is the responsibility of the scaffolding company to acquire appropriate permits where scaffolding will be placed on the highways, which includes pavements. However, as the client, it is your responsibility to ensure that these permits are in place, and also that the company has the required insurance to be able to complete any scaffolding projects.
It is a legal requirement that all scaffolding be inspected for safety prior to construction work beginning, once every seven days while it is in place, and after any alterations or damage repair has been made. Most scaffolding structures are meant only as a temporary construct, and this necessitates the routine checking of the constructs to be sure that they remain safe and secure.
The ground on which scaffolding is to be constructed should be checked. It needs to be firm and secure, and it should be level. Your construction company, or scaffolding company, should ensure that this is the case before they can confirm whether or not they will be able to provide the scaffolding that you require. If they do not check the ground, then they cannot be certain that it will be possible to use a standard scaffolding tower.
The National Access and Scaffolding Federation is the largest scaffolding association in the UK, and by choosing a company that is registered with this group, you can be certain of a number of factors. They must have £5 million public liability insurance, and £10m employer’s liability cover. They must also have suitable training in the erection, management, inspection, and use of scaffolding, while adhering to a strict set of standards that have been set up and are maintained by NASC.
Choosing the best scaffolding company is important. They will be responsible for the construction of any scaffolding that you, or your contractors use. They will also be responsible for making sure that the scaffolding is safe, and remains safe through its use. They will check it following any extreme or adverse weather, and will continue to check the construct every week until it is taken down again. By using an appropriately accredited company, you will be able to enjoy total peace of mind.