The Wise Guide

Just as a solid foundation is crucial for any construction project, a thorough understanding of scaffolding regulations and proper conduct is imperative for success. We firmly believe that all our wise clients ought to acquaint themselves with scaffolding etiquette to ensure they receive the finest service. Simply glide down to explore our FAQs and delve into our ‘wise checklist’ for further insights.

Frequently asked questions

What should I look for in a scaffolding company?

Look at the track record and customer testimonials, the management of the company, the approach to customer service and the quality of the operations. Make sure the company is accredited, carries insurance and applies best practice to health (COVID), safety and 24/7 security, if required.

What are the industry certifications

The main certification is based on the training courses provided by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). So, if your chosen scaffolding company is fully trained by CITB this means that they have the crew has an appropriate level of knowledge and expertise.

Industry accreditations are typically SMAS and CHAS.

There are British Standards relating to scaffold design, edge protection, towers and temporary works, components and ladders.

Are all the crew properly trained?

Best practice scaffolding companies train every member of the team and give them refresher courses to make sure they adhere to best working practice and safety standards.

What about a scaffolding licence?

Every operator must have a highways licence issued by the local authority whenever the scaffolding encroaches on pavements and roads.

Should the contractor carry insurance

Yes, the scaffolding company should carry public liability and buildings insurance.

Should I choose the cheapest quote?

Perhaps, but be careful. Make sure the estimate covers all the things you need. Check the small print. You might find there are some extras which are added at the end of the project. Make sure that the estimate covers the precise scope of work and duration you need.

How do I know if I really need scaffolding or not?

On small projects you may think that you can have full access by using ladders, ledges and rooftops. Think again. It is always worth getting advice and an estimate from a reliable scaffolding expert so that you can make an informed decision.

What happens if the scaffolders cause a nuisance on site?

If they are dirty, noisy or in other ways disrespectful you should contact the company and make a complaint.

What happens if the scaffolders damage my property?

Make sure that the scaffolding contract includes a provision that any damage caused by the scaffolding is the responsibility of the company.

What happens if one of the scaffolders gets hurt?

There should always be more than one in the crew and all crews must be fully trained in first aid. The crew will tend to the crew member who is hurt and if necessary, call for backup. As a customer you are not liable for such accidentsso long as you are using a reputable company.

How about security? Surely scaffolding is a gift to burglars!

You may want your property to have 24/7 security. Your scaffolding team and any contractors using the scaffolding can restrict access to the scaffolding, particularly overnight and at weekends. Also, consider shrink wrapping which doesn’t allow opportunists to enter the scaffolding. You can also arrange for the scaffolding to be alarmed.

What are the advantages of shrink wrapping?

It protects workers from bad weather so that they can meet project deadlines. It adds security by restricting access. It allow for giant graphics displays. And it is 100% recyclable.

Will the scaffolding affect my house insurance?

It is best to check with your insurer. Most house insurers cover you as normal during the time you have scaffolding at your home. In any event you need to make sure all upstairs windows are locked and that you put any valuables out of sight as scaffolding makes the upper floors more accessible than they are normally.

I’ve got a business onsite; the scaffolding could affect my trade!

All the more reason to plan the project carefully with a proactive scaffolding team. There are ways to mitigate any interruptions to trade and customer traffic. A good, clean professional site installation with shrink wrapping, graphics and signage all help to maintain a professional presence. In fact, if you choose shrink wrapping you could use the wrapping as a giant billboard to promote your business. Also, shrink wrapping enables the contractors to work in adverse weather and so keep to a building project timescale.

Is shrink wrapping bad for the environment?

So long as you use fully recyclable material, shrink wrapping does not harm the environment.

What is street works registration?

If the scaffolding company has this registration it means that the scaffolder can arrange a permit if the scaffolding encroaches on local authority land, such as a pavement or car park.

What paperwork is required?

Risk & Method statements, CADs drawing and TG20:13 and SG4:15 compliance sheets. These cover the safety aspects of the scaffolding project.

What is ‘Scafftag’?

Scafftag systems are designed to clearly show users and inspectors the current safety status of equipment and shows if it has been inspected, whether an inspection is due, or whether it is unfit for use.

What about safety netting?

Safety nets are used in a wide variety of applications such as roofing or floor installation where there is a risk to personnel, but other forms of protection prove impractical.

What is the normal process?

You will want your tenderers to visit your site to survey it, agree the brief and scope of work. The tenderers then prepare 3D design and a detailed proposal with all items listed and costed. The scaffolding plan should include RAMS submissions (Risk Assessment Method Statements) and a detailed scaffold plan, as well as a thorough risk management checklist. There should be a dedicated supervisor assigned to your project.

When the crew starts on site there should be a ‘Tool Box Talk’ (a site safety briefing) and when the scaffolding is erected the contractor should issue a handover certificate.

During the project there should be regular (daily or weekly) checks and maintenance to ensure that, for example, all platforms are fully boarded and the scaffolding is not overloaded.

Finally, when the scaffolding is dismantled, any loose items, such as bricks, tiles and paint boxes should be removed and any affected areas touched up.

What happens if the scaffolders don’t perform in any way?

You should contact the office and make your complaint. If it’s a responsible contractor they should sort out the problem. If they don’t rectify the situation and the company is a member of trade body you may have redress. You should check the contract you have with the company and if they continue to ignore your complaint you should withhold final payment.

What are the normal stage payments?

When you agree the contract it is normal to pay as soon as the contractor has erected the scaffolding successfully and handed over. There may be an additional charge if the scaffolding is up for longer than agreed (this is called ‘overhire’).

Stobbs Scaffolding has endeavoured to provide helpful information on this website in good faith for scaffolding customers but cannot assume liability for such guidance and recommends that you check in detail any draft contract you have with a scaffolding company and if appropriate, consult a legal adviser regarding any commitments you may make, before signing..

Wise Owl Checklist

1. Best practice health, safety
and additional security if required.

2. Fully insured and certified.

3. Bespoke planning and site care.

4. Professional delivery, installation and removal.

5. Friendly, personal and responsive customer service.

6. A cost estimate and fully detailed contract.

Knowledge and Excellence

We’re committed to empowering you with the knowledge required to make informed decisions and ensure the success of your projects. As you navigate the FAQs and explore ‘the wise checklist,’ remember that we’re here to be your partners in knowledge and excellence. Should you have queries beyond what we’ve addressed or wish to connect with us regarding our scaffolding solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today at: 0749 27 25 200