The dangers of working at height are obvious and it’s absolutely essential that you should take the proper precautions before utilising a scaffold tower either for domestic or commercial use. The following is intended only as a basic guide and you should always consult with scaffolding experts and follow the safety instructions of the provider when you are setting up and using a tower.

What are the risks?

When using a scaffold tower correctly, the risks can be minimised. However, misuse of the tower can lead to things going wrong. One of the most common and dangerous risks is a worker falling from the tower – either during the erecting procedure or when actually working on it. Equally there is a risk of objects falling from the tower and hitting someone beneath.

Another risk to consider is that of a manual handling accident, either when erecting the tower or when working on it. Finally you need to also be aware of the risks of the tower falling or collapsing. There are a number of reasons why this could happen – it could have been erected incorrectly, the tower could be overloaded or it could be badly positioned on ground that cannot support it.

What are the legal requirements?

Employers and those responsible for others working at height need to follow certain regulations and legal requirements. Following these requirements ensures that the hazards are kept to an absolute minimum. Firstly, there should be a risk assessment for how the work will be carried out, and an appropriate scaffold tower must be used. It’s also the case that all equipment that is used must be properly inspected and maintained.

Another requirement is that all staff who are working on the scaffold tower are competent to do so. Hiring staff who aren’t capable of carrying out the required level of work is considered to be a breach of planning and organisation.

How to stay safe working at height

Here are three hugely important steps to staying safe while you work on a scaffold tower:

  • Planning – carry out a proper risk assessment to decide if using a scaffold tower is appropriate and the safest way to complete the work. When you are choosing the tower, you should buy or hire from a reputable dealer who will provide towers of the correct safety standard. Finally, ensure that the workers erecting, dismantling and working on the tower are fit and confident to do so.
  • Erecting the tower – to safely erect a tower, be sure to closely follow the provider’s instructions. Place the tower on ground that is both firm and level. Make sure that you inspect the tower thoroughly before anyone works on it.
  • Working on the tower – make sure that the tower is the correct height for the work you’re doing – never attempt to stand on top of something while on the tower to reach something higher. Ensure that members of the public can’t gain access to the tower.

Are second-hand towers safe?

Second hand scaffold towers are perfectly safe to use, as long as you buy or hire from a high quality scaffold tower supplier like Precipitous. Companies like Precipitous will carry out a full and thorough inspection any second-hand tower to ensure that they are in excellent condition. Any repairs that are required will be carried out before the tower is sold on.