Working at Heights Tower Scaffolding

Working at Heights Tower Scaffolding 

Short safety talk on working safely when working at heights on tower scaffolding.

Author: Star Refrigeration


                                                                                                            Working at Heights Tower Scaffolding

Tower Scaffolds represent the safest way of getting access to equipment above ground level.

Towers built of scaffold tubes and fittings must comply with all the scaffold parts of the UK
Construction (Work Place) Regulations and must only be erected and dismantled by
competent scaffolders properly supervised.

Proprietary Scaffold Towers, made up of fit-together sections, are covered by an HSE
Guidance Note and the Manufacturer’s Association Code of Practice. These may be erected
by non-scaffolders, but the maker’s instructions must be to hand and must be followed

Tower Scaffold Rules

o Towers must only be erected on a firm level base (Regulation 15).

o The maximum height of the platform is 3 times the minimum base measurement if outdoors and 3.5 times the minimum base measurement if indoors. Outriggers are permitted to increase base dimensions so that greater height can be achieved.

o The minimum platform size recommended is 1.219m x 1.219m.  The area must be fully boarded and must also have toe boards and handrails if above 1.980m high.

o Access must be by fixed ladder.  The best type of ladder is the internal diagonal type, which keeps the Centre of Gravity inside the base and braces tower.

o Where ladder is internal, platform must have a trap door, not an open hole

o Ascent by shinning up tower tubes is prohibited.

o Where the tower is mobile (on wheels) each wheel must be fixed to the tower (not held in place by the weight of the tower) and must be fitted with a brake.  The brakes must always be ‘on’ whilst the tower is in use.

o People or materials must not be on the platform whilst a tower is being moved.

o Movement of a Tower Scaffold should be by pushing horizontally near the base and only after checking that the route is clear, both at ground level and up to the height of the tower.

o Extra care is essential if outriggers are in use.  The height/side ratio may be affected if the outriggers have to be removed for moving.  Only raise the outriggers by the minimum amount possible. If in doubt about stability, get helpers to steady all four corners whilst moving.

o Ladders must not be leant against towers, or stood on the platform to gain height.  This avoids the risk of overturning the tower.

o When working on a tower, pushing and pulling actions need to be undertaken with due thought as to where you are and how your body is positioned. This avoids the risk of unbalancing or overturning the tower.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 18 February 2014, 12:25 PM