Scaffolding is something we see used on projects everywhere, whether it be a new property construction, refurbishing, or renovating an old one, roof repairs or replacement of windows. Unless you are a company that uses scaffold continuously, it will always be cheaper to rent it out than to purchase it yourself, even second hand. There are several laws and organisations that regulate scaffolding and renting is definitely safer too.
How is scaffolding defined within the law?
Scaffolding is defined as any temporary structure allowing tradesmen to work at an elevated level, on the tops or sides of buildings that cannot be reached safely by ladder. Scaffolding regulations are in place to ensure the operational platform provided is of sufficient strength, rigidity and stability to make it safe. It must be assembled, dismantled or adjusted in a safe manner, by competent and trained people, who also regularly inspect and maintain it. It must be erected to minimise the possibility of anyone falling from heights and risking injury or death.
Who oversees scaffolding construction?
Several organisations regulate the scaffold industry, most specifically being, the Health and Safety Executive, responsible for health and safety at work. The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation, the UK’s national trade body for scaffolding and access equipment. Industry recognised training and qualifications are provided by the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme, while Mobile access towers come under the Prefabricated Access Suppliers and Manufacturers Association.
How to select the right scaffold hire company?
Regardless of if you are looking for scaffolding tower hire in London or scaffolding platforms elsewhere, from the thousands of scaffolding companies out there, certain things should be looked for when selecting the right firm. Always look for a company that are members of scaffolding trade associations, ask for evidence of staff training, so you can be sure the employees working on your project are adequately trained to erect the type of scaffolding correctly and safely. It is vital to ensure that they have adequate Public Liability Insurance, so ensure you ask to see proof that they have it before you hire. Local companies who do not have to travel long distances will generally be cheaper, though it is a good idea to always get at least three quotes. The industry is very competitive, so the deciding factor from three very similar numbers, may well be provided by asking them for references, and following them up, to see who acts most professionally.
The most important factor with scaffolding is always going to be safety, so you cannot afford to use anyone that might try to cut corners. With this in mind, while your local Yellow Pages or results from an Internet search may throw up lots of likely contenders, experience matters. A company that has been around for many years, servicing difficult and diverse projects with a good track record in reliability and safety is a must. Every project is slightly different, so look for a company that is happy and willing to discuss all your needs to provide the correct working platform for your job, without compromising safety. A good firm will have all the equipment and experience to ensure that your scaffolding is erected right every time.