Scaffolding – What needs checking?
Checking your scaffolding ensures that it is safe and fit for use. There are a couple of times that it needs to be checked while erected, theses include:
- After the scaffold is installed
- Every 7 days
- If alterations are made
- After a storm or earthquake
- Daily before use
All scaffolds must be checked by a competent person before handover and notifiable scaffolds (greater than 5m) must be inspected by someone who holds the appropriate Certificate of Competence (COC). Handover checks involve tagging the scaffolding. Regardless of its height, all scaffolding must have a tag clearly displaying important safety information at access points. The tag should include the following:
- Whether the scaffold is safe or unsafe to use.
- The name and contact phone number of the certified scaffolder (or erector if under 5 m)
- What the scaffold is being used for
- The weight loadings of the scaffold
- The maximum number of platforms or bays that may be loaded
- Any limitations on the use of the scaffold
- A record of each inspection including who inspected or altered the scaffold and when it was done.
If the scaffolding is without a tag, it should not be used and you should contact your scaffold installer to check and tag.
Before each use of the day, a pre-start check should be done. This can be done by a competent scaffold user using the HazardCo scaffolding pre-start checklist available from the Hazardco HUB.
Every 7 days a certified scaffolder or competent person should be checking the scaffolding to make sure it is safe for continued use. If the inspector has identified any damages or non-compliant scaffold then the access ladders should be removed where possible and the tag updated stating the scaffold is not compliant and should not be used.
A thorough inspection of your scaffolding should also be conducted after any alterations, repairs, changes to the anchorage, and after any storm or event that could adversely affect the condition of the scaffold.
Details of inspections must be recorded, signed by the inspector and records kept on site.