Safe Use of Mobile Scaffold Tower
When using any type of scaffolding, safety is of course of paramount importance. Many injuries in the workplace occur when employees are working on high platforms, especially when adequate preparation is not a key part of the proceedings. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 were put together to prevent injuries and death caused by falls and should be followed at all times. While these regulations are beyond the scope of this article, we do advise familiarising yourself with them if you regularly work at height or are responsible for other employees who do.
Basic Safety Considerations for Mobile Towers
Whenever you are undertaking work that involves the use of a mobile scaffold tower, you should, at a minimum, make sure you have covered the following bases:
- Risk Assessment – You must assess the risks that workers will be subjected to when working at height, as a prelude to formulating a plan that nullifies or, at the very least, minimises these risks. As part of this assessment, you should consider whether it is possible to carry out the work in question without ascending a scaffold tower in the first place.
- Training – All of the workers who will be involved in the project you are managing must have undergone training in accordance with the Working at Height Regulations 2005. In particular, they should know exactly how to erect and dismantle the tower they will be using, and what to look for when inspecting it before it is ascended.
- Maintenance – All of the components that comprise your mobile scaffold tower must be inspected on a regular basis by a competent person to ensure they remain in good condition. Any that are found to be lacking in this respect should be repaired or replaced as applicable. In the event that it is difficult to determine whether repair or replacement is the correct option, it is always best to err on the side of caution.
- Manufacturer’s Guidelines – Whenever employees are erecting, using, or dismantling a mobile scaffold tower, they should never deviate from the manufacturer’s guidelines. While some of these guidelines may seem a little onerous and will perhaps result in the job taking a little longer to complete than would otherwise have been the case, the temptation to take short cuts should be avoided at all costs.
What Never to Do
If you take the time to read and follow manufacturer’s guidelines and always work in accordance with the Working at Height regulations mentioned above you should not need to be told about the following cardinal sins but we have listed them here, just to be on the safe side.
- Working Without Guardrails – A platform without guardrails should never be used.
- Erecting a Tower Without a Manual – If you cannot find the manual, do not erect the tower.
- Using Unprotected Platforms – When building or dismantling, this is extremely dangerous.
Please call and ask to talk to one of our experts if you have any other concerns about mobile scaffold towers that you would like us to address.
To ensure you comply with the requirement for training, your workers should be trained by a recognised body and in the case of prefabricated aluminium scaffold towers, the PASMA training course will cover all aspects.
In addition to the supply of compliant scaffold towers, Toptower can organise PASMA training courses either on your site or at a designated training centre. Simply get in touch with us either by phone or email if you have any specific needs and we can make arrangements to suit your needs.