The weekly scaffolding inspection: your obligations
In recent years the number of fatal injuries to construction workers in the UK has thankfully remained relatively low, yet the rate of fatal injuries in construction is still 4 times higher than the average across all industries. Scaffold inspections are a vital part of keeping workers safe.
Scaffolds must be inspected before they are used and confirmed in the initial inspection report or in a handover certificate and then they must be inspected every 7 days or following events which could affect the safety of the structure, e.g. alterations, adverse weather or an earthquake.
Scaffold inspections are the responsibility of the organisation hiring the scaffold, even if the inspections are contracted out to the scaffolder.
Failure to provide a safe environment can lead to unlimited fines and up to two years in prison. The HSE regularly prosecute contractors and other scaffold clients for a failure to carry out comprehensive inspections by a qualified person. Learn more about your legal duties.
Scaffold inspection apps
There are a number of inspection apps on the market but it is very important to use an app that has been designed specifically to meet all the legislation relevant to scaffolds. The SMART Inspector mobile app improves the quality of the inspection as the step by step process ensures consistency and the photographs highlight any failures. The inspector’s signature is captured on the device and the inspection report is automatically emailed to the office and to the client. The desktop console gives rapid access to past reports providing a simple auditable trail avoiding rekeying or lost paperwork. The access to past reports online means it is simple to demonstrate you have carried out all your legal duties should the worst ever happen. It is also possible to highlight the most common failures on a site to indicate where trades are interfering with a scaffold or where more training is required.
You can find out more about why you should insist in your tenders that your scaffold contractors use SMART Inspector here.
Free trials are available for the Inspection and Handover apps in the UK and Ireland