Scaffolding inspections: Step by step

Scaffolding inspections guide

Inspections are an important part of scaffolding services and crucial for the safety of your workers. To clarify, scaffolding inspections aim to check the scaffold structure integrity and detect possible safety hazards.

How often to conduct inspections?

Inspection frequency is not something a scaffold or construction company can schedule at their discretion. On the contrary, according to UK legislation, it must be:

  • Before putting the scaffold into use
  • Once a week if there are no elements during the week
  • After the elements or alterations

At Q Scaffolding, we provide a scaffold inspections service both for the structures we constructed and the structures constructed by another contractor.

What to check when inspecting the structures?

Being simple at the first glance, the scaffold is very comprehensive. To clarify, it consists of a large number of parts and details. Besides, any faults in each of them may significantly threaten the safety of your workers. Therefore, you need to carry out comprehensive checks, starting from structure geometry and footing and ending with access means:

  • Footing – must be on a solid base, with base and sole plates of the correct dimension.
  • Standards – must be vertical, correctly spaced, staggered, and jointed, intact.
  • Ledgers and transforms – must be horizontally levelled, correctly spaced, staggered, and jointed, well-tightened, intact.
  • Bracing – must be all in presence, well-tightened, correctly jointed, intact.
  • Platforms – must have sufficient and correctly distributed supports, uncracked and properly levelled boards, correctly sized overhangs.
  • Fittings and couplings – must be correct, in good condition, sufficiently tightened, and have check couplers.
  • Guardrails and toeboards – must be all in presence, sufficient in quantity and their height to prevent falls, well-tightened, intact.
  • Anchors and ties – must be all in presence, sufficient in quantity, and well-tightened.
  • Ladders – must have sufficient length and provide access to the full scaffold height. Be well-tied and based, correctly positioned, and intact. Have safe handholds to prevent falls.

What to do after scaffold inspection?

Your exact actions depend on whether your access stage passes or fails the inspection. For example, if it passes successfully, you can use the stage further without any delay. Often, a scaffold inspector issues a green Scafftag, which assures all the stakeholders about the scaffold safety. However, not tagging safe equipment is not obligatory but optional.

On the contrary, if the structure fully or partially fails the scaffolding inspection, a red or yellow Scafftag is a must. It keeps the stakeholders well-informed warns them about the equipment’s unsafety. Also, you must physically prevent access to the scaffold. And, of course, you need to fix the detected faults before using the stages any further.

Scaffolding inspections guide

Related Articles