Scaffolding: Where to Start and Rules and Regulations

scaffolding being built on a house

If you’re going to use scaffolding, then it’s important you know all the rules and regulations that come with it. You’ll need to consider if it’s necessary for your specific building project, if you’ll need a license, and how to keep all workers as safe as possible.

While you might see scaffolding popping up on the regular, it’s often not as easy as going ahead by yourself- you’ll likely need some help from a local scaffolding company. For quality scaffolding construction, trust St Ives Scaffolding. We have a fantastic team available to construct both residential and commercial scaffolding in the area.

Here’s everything you need to know before choosing scaffolding for your build.

What is Scaffolding?

Scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support construction staff as they work on a range of man-made builds. It’s usually made of steel and is offered in various forms based on the work at hand.

St Ives Scaffolding offers single, double, cantilever, suspended, trestle, and patented scaffolding.

When is Scaffolding Needed?

Scaffolding is most commonly seen on high-rise buildings, roofs and bridges, but it’s essentially down to the trader to decide whether the build will need it. It’s all about keeping construction workers as safe as possible – if there’s a level of risk to the job and staff need to work from a height, then it’s likely that scaffolding will be used.

Smaller, simpler jobs don’t always need scaffolding as a safely secured ladder may just do the job. It’s all about choosing the safer option, though, so if you have any worries about the safety of workers (or the people walking below them) then scaffolding is definitely worth the extra time and money.

Scaffolding is also needed for various roofing tasks, if the roof is inaccessible from an upper window or opening, according to

Do I Need a License?

You’ll only need a license for scaffolding if it will overspill onto the pavement or road outside your property. If this is the case, your scaffolder should get a license from your local council, but it’s your responsibility to check they’ve done so.

It’s also important to check the restrictions on the license – the council can request scaffolders only work between certain hours of the day when the area is quieter, or give a time restriction on how long the structure can be up for. If your license is set to run out before work has completed, you’ll need to let the council know.

For bigger builds, your scaffolder may even need to apply for a road closure.

How Often Should Scaffolding Be Checked?

Scaffolding is all about safety, so there’s absolutely no point in having it if it won’t be checked regularly. As per UK guidelines, scaffolding must be checked before it is first used, and every 7 days following. The structure must also be checked after extreme weather and after any alterations have been carried out.

At St Ives Scaffolding, safety checks always start with a thorough inspection of the site. We’ll then note and correct any hazards we may find, such as debris and unmarked openings. If any damage or defects are found, work is stopped immediately and will not recommence until repairs and thorough checks have been carried out.

Can I Put Scaffolding Up Myself?

The short answer is no. Only builders or scaffolding contractors with the correct skillset can erect scaffolding safely. Qualified workers will hold Construction Industry Record Scheme Card – there are over 65,000 cardholders in the UK alone.

The type of CIRSC card a worker has will completely depend on their experience and training level – cards vary from Labourer all the way to Supervisor. Your local council may hold a list of approved scaffolders, too.

Remember to always check if the scaffolding company you choose has adequate insurance. Companies should have public liability insurance as well as employers liability insurance to cover any incidents that may happen on-site.

What Scaffolding Should Be Used On My Property?

Scaffolders tend to use the same structure on most residential properties. If the property differs from the usual home, then a bespoke design may be created. It’s up to the scaffold contractor to create a structure that will provide the best support for the build and the workers using it.

Who is Responsible for Maintaining Safety On-Site?

When work is being carried out on your home, the builder, contractor or scaffolder using the structure is responsible for maintaining health and safety on site. If you are a property developer or landlord carrying out work as part of your business, then the rules change slightly. In this case, it is your responsibility to ensure the health and safety of all those within site grounds, including the general public.

What Should all Scaffolders Do to Ensure Complete Safety?

There are a few main points you should always look out for as scaffolding is being erected, or as work is carried out using it. While you may not be responsible for the health and safety aspect of the project, it’s good practice to make sure all work on your property is carried out to a high standard. If you are concerned about anything, it’s always best to check in with the scaffolding company.

Always look out for:

  • Proper use of hard hats. Protective headgear should always be worn when working on or alongside scaffolding.
  • Stable ground. Scaffolding must always be placed on firm ground, and wheels should be locked if used.
  • Regular hazard checks. Platforms with open ends must always be cordoned off using guardrails to prevent accidents.

How Do I Get Started?

If you’ve decided to look into scaffolding for your property, then St Ives Scaffolding is the company to call. They have over 35 years of experience in the industry, with 22 friendly scaffolders who work within a 60-mile radius of Cambridge.

To get started, contact St Ives Scaffolding team on their website. There, you’ll be able to request a free quote from one of their team. They offer highly competitive rates, and no job is too big or too small. For more information, feel free to give the St Ives Scaffolding team a call on 01480271299.

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