Scaffolding Inspection Guide

For projects involving working at height, a risk assessment should be completed to determine the appropriate equipment and provide guidance on inspection. This risk assessment should also be provided to contractors before any work commences. Selection of the equipment should take into account a range of factors such as ground conditions, duration and frequency of use and additional risks posed by use, installation and removal of the work equipment.

Scaffolding must be inspected by a competent person:

  • Before it is put into use
  • At seven day intervals until it is dismantled
  • After bad or excessively wet weather or high winds or another event likely to have effected its strength or stability
  • After any substantial additions or other alterations

In addition to scaffolding structure inspections, scaffolding tie tests should also be carried out, prior to commencing work, by a suitably competent person other than the installer of the original fixings. In addition, a minimum of three anchors must be tested and at least five percent of the overall quantity (1 in 20).

If, when using load test equipment, any of the ties fail to meet the safety margin a full inspection is required and the rate of proofing should be doubled to 1 in 10. Each anchor should also be tested to at least one and a half times the required tensile load with no significant movement of the fixing.

A competent person must carry out general access scaffolding inspections. Written proof of the competence of persons used to inspect scaffolding should always be obtained by the person responsible for the scaffolding and inspection work. A written report must be prepared by the competent person. The report should be written out at the time of the inspection but if this is not possible it must be provided to the responsible person within 24 hours. A copy of the report should be kept on site and a further copy be retained for a period of three months from the completion of the work with the person on whose behalf the inspection was carried out. If a scaffold fails inspection this must be reported by the person carrying out the inspection, to the person responsible for the scaffolding, as soon as possible.

Which Scafftag systems can help?

Requirement Relevant products
Conducting a risk assessment The Blue Book
Inspecting and maintaining equipment at suitable periods as deemed appropriate by a risk assessment

The Blue Book
Safetrak - Scaffolding

Tie Tag
Posters and pocket memos

Maintaining a record of all inspections Safetrak - Scaffolding
The Blue Book
Ensuring employees are informed if equipment is not safe to use Scafftag
Safetrak - Scaffolding


For further advice on developing a Scaffolding inspection management system, request a free Scafftag on-site visit, click here

Relevant Legislation:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989
  • Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 1992 (as amended by SI 1994 No 2063)
  • Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996
  • Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Work at Height Regulations 2005
  • Construction Design & Management Regulations 2007