When it comes to working at height, you need to prioritise safety. Using the incorrect equipment for the job not only endangers those working and puts them at a risk of injury, but it can also be hazardous for people on the ground below them. That’s why it is often recommended that those working at height should use a scaffold tower, which is one of the safest forms of access equipment. But it’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean that you should use a tower in every scenario. Let’s have a look at some of the times when you should not use a scaffold tower.

In poor weather conditions

You should not attempt to work at height in bad weather – and this certainly applies to scaffold towers too. Working on a tower in wind and rain can be very dangerous. In fact, it is recommended that any time winds reach speeds of more than 17mph you should stop work immediately. And if it is forecast to reach more than 40mph, the scaffold tower needs to be disassembled completely.

When it is safer to use alternative access equipment

Using a scaffold tower is often seen as the safest form of access. And while this is often true, it is not always the case. Firstly, it should be noted that you should never use a scaffold tower if it is not appropriate for the situation. For example, if you have to set up the tower incorrectly or use it in a way that is not recommended by the manufacturer, it can be very dangerous.

In some cases it may be more appropriate to use equipment such as a ladder, especially if the job is short and low risk.

When your tower is not high enough

It was previously mentioned that you should not use a scaffold tower in a way that is not recommended by the manufacturer’s instructions. However, it is also worth individually noting that if you can’t reach high enough to carry out the work, under no circumstances should you modify the tower so that you can reach higher. Using a tower in this way can cause it to be completely unsafe and put it at risk of toppling over.

If your tower is not high enough then you need to look into purchasing a taller tower or a different form of access equipment that will allow you to carry out the work without putting yourself or others in danger.

Around powerlines

This one might seem obvious, but you need to remember never use a metal scaffold tower near electrical hazards such as powerlines. As the tower conducts electricity, anyone working on the scaffold tower would be put at risk of serious electric shocks. You could look into purchasing a fibreglass scaffold tower instead, as these don’t conduct electricity and can be used safely around powerlines.