WORKING AT HEIGHT ACT
A key part to the working at height act is to ensure that a competent person regularly inspects the scaffold tower and other equipment involved with the job.
And according to the act, the first inspection should be carried out before the scaffold tower is in use to identify any risks before it is put into action. The inspection differs for smaller towers under 2m compared to larger ones.
For smaller towers the equipment must be inspected after assembly, if an incident occurs that may affect the tower’s stability, and at regular intervals. No-one expects a new inspection and report every time a mobile scaffold tower is moved around the site but if guard rails or other parts have to be removed then a pre-check should be undertaken by a trained contractor. The work at height act also requires contractors to record each inspection and use a visual tag system.
Larger structures must be inspected after assembly, if an incident occurs that may affect the tower’s stability, and at intervals not exceeding a week.
The inspector must complete a report before the end of the working period and provide a copy of the report to the person who requested the scaffold tower inspection within 24 hours.
The person receiving the report must keep it at hand while the construction work is underway and then store it in an office for at least three months in line with the work at height act.
For more information on the work at height act and a DVD entitled; Don’t Fall For It! (giving advice on current best practice for assembling, dismantling and altering mobile scaffold towers, approved and recommended by PASMA in co-operation with the HSE) can be obtained from PASMA. Call 0845 2304041 or visit pasma.co.uk.
For more information on the HSE visit www.hse.gov.uk or ring HSE’s Infoline on 0845 345 0055.