How to Check Scaffolding for Safety

The law states that scaffolding should be inspected before and after installation by a competent person. Although the purpose of scaffolding is for safety, it is never a complete guarantee, unfortunately accidents still happen. You can be vigilant yourself by knowing what to look out for, such as signs of improper erection or inadequate components.

If you are not trained, this checklist is not an adequate replacement for a proper inspection, but it can give you an idea of what to look out for. If you take confidence from checking things over yourself, this checklist is for you.  It’s not exhaustive, but covers the basics of scaffolding safety.


The posts & footings

  1. Check that the footings are level and sturdy.
  2. The legs/posts and up rights should be standing on baseplates.


The planks

  1. Check that there are no cracks, bends, holes or rust any of the metal.
  2. Check that the planks are not damaged with any cracks or warps larger than 1/4 inch.
  3. The planks should not have a gap greater than 1 inch between them
  4. Planks should have adequate clearance over their supports, this should be 6-12 inches for planks under 10ft and 7-18 inches for longer planks.


Other features

  1. Platforms should have guard rails anywhere work is being carried out.
  2. A debris net should, be used if above a residential road/pathway and there is risk of material falling, such as when scaffolding is used for roofing jobs.
  3. Access to the scaffold should be gate protected.
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