Following the rules: Scaffolding regulations

Cambridge Scaffolding - Following the rules: Scaffolding regulations

We all expect to be able to do our jobs in safety, with the right equipment and with proper supervision. This goes double for construction workers of all stripes, since they are exposed to potential dangers in their line of work.

The rules and regulations which govern equipment like scaffolding are there for a reason. Falling from height is still the leading cause of injury and death for construction workers – it's imperative that the proper procedures are followed. In this post, we take a look at some of the regulations that keep men and women safe when working at height.


It might sound obvious, but people need to be taught the best practices for working at height on scaffolding. If you're going to working several floors up, then regulations dictate you be given a thorough explanation of how to stay safe up there. This might include knowing when and how to affix safety harnesses, what type of equipment is safe to use on different types of scaffolding, and what weight restrictions scaffolding might have. Other considerations might be what type of lift or hoist you're able to use to get your heavy items up to the floor you need them. An expert scaffolding company will provide this instruction if necessary, but many larger building firms have their own experts on hand.

The company assembling the scaffolding

The government's health and safety directives contain the following information:

“All employees should be competent for the type of scaffolding work they are undertaking and should have received appropriate training relevant to the type and complexity of scaffolding they are working on. Employers must provide appropriate levels of supervision taking into account the complexity of the work and the levels of training and competence of the scaffolders involved. As a minimum requirement, every scaffold gang should contain a competent scaffolder who has received training for the type and complexity of the scaffold to be erected, altered or dismantled.”

Restrictions and rules

It's common for scaffolding to be used for the long haul, with a project potentially taking months to complete, particularly restoration works where care and attention are key. During this time, a scaffold's structural integrity must be tested and cleared every seven days, and after any alteration to the structure, and if there's been a bout of nasty weather.

If the scaffold overhangs the pavement or the road, the builder will need to secure a licence from the local authority. If it's a major project, where there's the chance of falling debris or other dangers, you may be required to do all of the works at night or during quiet times of day. There is the possibility of closing the road altogether, but obviously this is a much more difficult restriction to overcome.

Although many of these issues are the purview of the builder working on your project, it is often the owner's responsibility to ensure that the legal thresholds have been met. If you want to learn more from the scaffolding experts, give our friendly team a call today.

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