Whether you are adding floors to your house OR just looking to renovate or repair the façade of your multi-storey office building, you are going to need working platform for tradesmen to access places at height. These working platforms are called scaffolds and those experts in putting them up or taking them apart are called certified scaffolders.
So how to find what kind of scaffolding you require?
Scaffoldings meant for residential properties abide by established, standard structure. Supported scaffolding is put up from the ground up to a set design.
In most cases, a straightforward standard configuration will be handy. However it’s always advisable to hire one of the best scaffolders in the UK to give you the best advice and do a proper job. They are truly efficient even to build a tailor-made scaffolding should you need one all the while taking care of strength, rigidity and stability of the structure.
Is there any license or permit I need to get before beginning the work?
No, you don’t – as long as the scaffolding is within your premises. However, in case the structure – or any part of it – extends over to spaces of others: license is a must. This is where hiring a competent scaffolder in the UK makes sense. On first glance, they know if the structure will be large enough to warrant a license and then go on to get a license from local council on their own. Though it is their responsibility to obtain the license, it is yours to check on it.
Is the homeowner responsible should any health and safety issue arise?
If the work being done is personal – not connected to any business – in nature, it’s the builder, scaffolder or contractor who will be held responsible for maintaining safety on site.
But the rule takes a 180 degree turn for individuals, partnerships or companies doing the scaffolding as part of their business. This includes property developers and companies managing domestic properties like landlords, rental agents or estate agents. The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 clearly state that they are the ones responsible for health and safety of everyone around – be it a worker or any one from the general public.
How to hire a competent scaffolder?
A qualified scaffolder will hold a valid Construction Industry Record Scheme (CISRS) Card. This means they have the necessary skills, experience and knowledge to do the job well and safely. Make sure you, or your contractor, check that every scaffolder is equipped with a relevant CISRS Card.
When should scaffolding be checked for safety?
By law the hirer or user of the scaffolding, must check it, to make sure it is safe:
- Before they first use it
- Every seven days when it is up
- After alterations, damage or extreme weather conditions
Verify insurance before beginning the work
Unlike other traders, scaffolders are consistently vulnerable to all the risks working at height holds. And it’s imperative that scaffolders or their firm has insurance covering those risks. The insurance must has public liability component to cover any injury to the public caused by falling items from the scaffold as well as employers’ liability part to cover their people. You are recommended not to start the work before verifying that they have proper insurance in place.