Critical Guidance

Legislation requires scaffolds to be erected to a recognised configuration – such as to TG20 compliance sheets or system scaffolding instruction manuals – or to bespoke scaffold designs with calculations.

HSE state on their website:

“It is a requirement of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 that unless a scaffold is assembled to a generally recognised standard configuration, such as National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) Technical Guidance TG20 for tube and fitting scaffolds or similar guidance from manufacturers’ instructions for system scaffolds, the scaffold must be designed by bespoke calculation, and by a competent person. This will ensure the scaffold will have adequate strength, rigidity and stability while it is erected, used and dismantled.”

Many of these scaffolds will typically have ties every 4.0m in length and height and are inspected in line with the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and are robust and stable.

It is vitally important that scaffolding is erected correctly by  CISRS-carded Scaffolders, and the HSE also state the following on their website:

“All scaffolding must be erected, dismantled and altered in a safe manner. This can be achieved by following NASC’s Safety Guidance SG4 ‘Preventing falls in scaffolding operations’ or by following similar guidance provided by the manufacturers of system scaffolding.

For scaffolds that fall outside the scope of a generally recognised standard configuration the design must be such that safe erection and dismantling techniques can also be employed throughout the duration of the works. Where this is the case, specific instructions may need to be provided with the design.”

The risk of collapse is created when scaffolds are NOT erected to a recognised configuration or design. This risk can be exacerbated when there are insufficient ties securing the scaffold to the building; or when there is unauthorised interference and anchor ties are removed; or when scaffolds are undermined; or where the scaffold is not managed correctly or inspected properly; or a combination of these factors.

The NASC recommends that everyone involved in scaffolding operations works in line with NASC guidance and applicable legislation, ensures scaffolding is erected to a recognised standard or bespoke design with calculations, that all operatives are suitably trained and supervised in line with CISRS standards, and is managed correctly in line with CDM.

Useful links:        

Critical Guidance