Scaffolding inspections are a legal requirement for all scaffolding under the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
This falls under the responsibility of the scaffold users / those hiring the scaffolding; therefore, it is important that you understand how scaffolding inspections work to ensure the safety of your workers and the compliance of your construction project.
A scaffolding inspection is a careful examination of any erected scaffolding to ensure that it is safe to work on for both the safety of construction workers and passers-by.
An inspection should be completed after installation and before being used to confirm that it is safe for work to commence, and then inspections should be made at least weekly thereafter.
If there are any circumstances that might threaten the safety of the scaffolding, such as extreme weather conditions, then the scaffolding should be inspected right away even if there was an inspection less than a week earlier.
Following each inspection, a report should be written up and kept on site until the work is completed.
This report should include:
According to HSE guidance, scaffolding inspections should be carried out by ‘a competent person whose combination of knowledge, training and experience is appropriate for the type and complexity of the scaffold.’
In most cases, scaffolding inspections are part of the service provided by scaffold erectors/companies; however, when this is not the case you can hire an independent inspection service or train one of your workers to fill that position.
A non-scaffolder who has attended a CISRS scaffold inspection course could be deemed competent to inspect a basic scaffold structure; however, a more complex structure should be inspected by a CISRS Advanced Scaffold Inspection card holder. Scaffolders holding the appropriate level of CISRS qualification are also permitted to inspect scaffolding.