Scaffolding is predominantly used where work at height is required, with its primary aim to provide access and a safe "collective" working platform.
Scaffolding is covered by the Work at Height Regulations. Competence and caution are imperative to ensure safety as there are occasions where scaffold erected by reputable firms became defective and have collapsed and causing serious, even fatal injuries.
It is vital that any scaffold arrangement is designed properly by a competent person and that a reference drawing of same is available.
It must only be erected and decommissioned by competent and trained personnel and subject to an inspection regime throughout its use - within the last seven days (or in the event of extreme weather conditions prior to use. The use of a Scafftag type inspection system is recommended with adequate records being maintained.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER regulations) covers mobile work equipment. This includes mobile scaffold platforms / towers that would be required for work at height.
As well as being mobile, they are also temporary measures and must only be constructed, modified and dismantled by trained and competent persons, for example, holders of a PASAMA card.
As per fixed scaffolds, guard rails and toe boards must be provided. Ground conditions must be taken into account with stabilisers, outriggers and locking mechanisms utilised.
Maintenance and inspection activities must be formalised and recorded.