Today’s blog isn’t exactly the most exciting topic, but it certainly is an essential one: scaffolding rules and regulations. Obviously, with working at height being as potentially dangerous as it is, and scaffolders being tasked with reducing risk factors through the design, installation and maintenance of access solutions, strict rules and regulations have to be in place. They look to protect consumers in Ashford and its surrounds from unscrupulous or corner-cutting tradesmen and sub-par workmanship.
So it comes as no surprise that topics our scaffolders are always discussing include rules and regulations, ensuring our best practice evolves in line with any changes that might be implemented through legislation. Our work being bespoke, every Ashford client that calls us in receives a thorough risk assessment which informs the design process, and considers how we’ll meet the challenges presented by the site itself, while meeting all the guidelines governing scaffolding and work at height.
But what do you, the client, need to know on this topic?
Tradesmen – You are obliged to ensure that the scaffolders that you bring in are competent persons. This means that the team includes scaffolders trained to handle the degree of complexity the project presents. We advise Ashford clients to ask any company they are sounding out for a project: “what kinds of qualifications do your team hold?” The company should be keen to tell you about the accreditations and qualifications their scaffolders have. A reluctance to answer should be a big red flag, as should scaffolders offering services that seem “too good to be true” levels of cheap; they may be passing on savings made through use of unskilled labour, which may land you in legal hot water while, more importantly, endangering lives.
Inspections – All structures erected in Ashford and the wider UK must be regularly inspected. A baseline inspection every 7 days in mandatory, as is an inspection following extreme weather, suspected tampering, trespass and vandalism, and any event that may have impacted the structural integrity of your scaffold. If in doubt, ere on the side of caution and call in our scaffolders to give it a look over! It’s not worth gambling with your safety.
Licencing – If your scaffold will hang over a public byway or path, you will need to speak with Ashford’s local authority to secure a licence. DC Access Systems, as the area’s favoured scaffolders, can handle this on behalf of clients should they so wish. The licence may stipulate particular terms and conditions such as work being carried out during sociable hours due to noise concerns, or the need to incorporate particular safety features.