A scaffold tower is essential for providing a safe and stable working platform for anyone working at height. When working at height, safety is paramount and you need to ensure that the scaffold tower is erected by a competent person to avoid any unnecessary injury. The tower also needs to be checked and maintained regularly to ensure that it remains safe for use. Here are some tips and scaffold tower regulations that need to be adhered to.
What are the scaffold tower regulations
The scaffold tower height regulations are put in place to ensure that the scaffold towers used are safe and in line with the health and safety requirements. Some of these regulations include the following:
It’s the employer and anyone in control of the project to ensure that the work at height is properly planned, carried out, and supervised by a competent person.
The employer and any persons in charge should ensure that there’s a proper risk assessment done before using the scaffold tower and that proper work equipment is used.
There should be proper inspection and management of equipment used to work at height.
What are some of the risks facing scaffold towers
Failure to carefully inspect the scaffolding tower can lead to the following risks:
- Overturning or colapsing of the tower
- Falling when working at height
- Getting struck by falling objects
- Injury when erecting or dismantling the tower
What should you do if you need to use a mobile tower but the wheel brakes aren’t working
You should not use a mobile tower if the wheel brakes aren’t working. Scaffold tower stability is essential hence, the wheel brakes should be locked at all times especially when there are people working on the tower scaffold except when you’re moving the tower from one spot to the other.
You should also ensure that there’s no one on the tower when it’s being moved to avoid the risk of any injuries. You can resume using the tower once the wheel brakes have been fixed.
What’s the maximum height for mobile tower scaffolds
The maximum height for mobile tower scaffolds is 12m. This is the height a mobile tower can offer reliable stability.
When moving a tower scaffold from one point to the other, the height should be adjusted to 4m to avoid any safety hazards. You should always ensure that the person using and/or handling the adjustments is competent.
What’s the minimum width for scaffold working platform
The standards specify a width minimum of 600mm and 800mm for platforms used for material’s deposit. Among the two, what you choose will depend on how you intend to use your working platform. Hiring a competent professional will come in handy since you’ll be guided accordingly.
Safety precautions putting up and dismantling tower scaffolds
Apart from the safety manual from the manufacturer illustrating how the assembly should be done safely, the towers can be erected using the following:
- An advanced guard rail system
- Throught the trap
This ensures that the operator doesn’t face the risk of working in an unguarded platform.
How to ensure the stability of a tower scaffold
An unstable scaffold tower is a risk for anyone at the site. There are several things you can do to ensure that the stability of your tower isn’t compromised in any way.
You should make sure that the tower is erected on a firm and level surface and the base plates a properly supported. Avoid using building blocks or bricks to take off weight from any part of the tower as this could warrant a huge risk.
Always ensure that the stabilisers are installed as instructed in the manual.
You should also ensure that the scaffold tower is erected to the height recommended by the manufacturer. Be wary not to exceed this height.
Inspection and precautionary measures for scaffold towers
It is necessary for a mobile access tower to comply with the required standards. Some of these standards include having an access ladder, double guardrails, toe boards, and bracing.
Considering having a stable and solid structure relies on putting all parts in place during assembly, it’s upon you and your scaffolder to ensure that the scaffold tower hired or purchased comes with all the required components.
A competent person should inspect the tower during, after correction, and at regular intervals. If there’s the possibility of anyone using the platform falling 2 metres or more from the platform, then it’s mandatory to inspect the tower upon assembly and every seven days.
If there are any faults found during the inspection, all work should be stopped and resume after the defects have been corrected to prevent falls from height. The results must be recorded after every inspection.
Precautions when moving and using a scaffold tower
You need to be careful when using or moving a scaffold tower. Some of the instances you should take caution when using a tower include the following:
- When the components used are incompatible
- In case of strong winds
- If there’s any missing or broken part
- It shouldn’t be used as support for ladders or other access equipment
There are some things one might overlook when moving a tower from one spot to the other. Here are the things you should do to ensure that any risks are averted:
- Ensure that the maximum tower’s height is adjusted to 4m
- Look out for any overhead obstructions or overhead power lines
- Ensure the ground is leveled and firm
- It should be pulled or pushed manually from the base only
By adhering to the scaffold tower regulations discussed above and taking note of the precautionary measures highlighted, it should be easier to avoid any accidents when working at height. You can also see that diligent inspection shows any potential dangers and how to avoid or fix them. Also, working with a competent individual and following the manufacturer’s instructions will save you a lot of trouble.