Scaffold inspection checklist
This checklist can be used by principal contractors or scaffolders to conduct a basic inspection to look for common scaffold deficiencies and hazards.
Principal Contractors/builders have a duty to provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to health and safety, so far as is reasonably practicable. This includes the provision of safe systems of work and plant that is adequately maintained.
On-the-spot fines of up to $3,600 for businesses and $720 for individuals may be issued to those placing workers lives at risk by not adequately protecting them when working at heights, including working on unsafe scaffolding.
The following requirements help you to prepare and plan for a safe and effective scaffold on site.
Manage your scaffold safely by ensuring:
- the scaffold is only erected, altered and dismantled by a worker with the appropriate scaffolding high risk work (HRW) licence. You can check a HRW licence is valid by visiting www.licencecheck.nsw. gov.au. Site inductions and ongoing toolbox talks should clearly stipulate that unlicenced workers are prohibited from altering a scaffold
- workers, including contractors, need to be consulted about site rules, including the safe use of the scaffold and who to contact if it needs altering or repair
- the scaffold must be inspected and a handover certificate provided at the following intervals:
- before first use
- prior to use after alterations or repairs
- after adverse weather (eg high winds or storms) that could affect scaffold integrity or stability, and
- at regular intervals not exceeding 30 days
- the handover certificate should be kept on site until the scaffold has been dismantled
- the scaffolders have provided an adequate safe work method statement (SWMS) before starting any high risk construction work
- work is undertaken in accordance with that SWMS provided
- the project is planned and sequenced to minimise trades working above others on the scaffold.
Inspecting the scaffold
The scaffold safety checklist is designed to help identify potential issues or risks with an erected scaffold on site. It is NOT intended to be exhaustive and reference should be made to appropriate legislation, standards, Codes and Guides.
|Adequate safeguards have been provided to prevent contact with overhead power lines|
|The scaffold is erected on solid foundations and sole boards used where required|
|Vehicular protection is in place where required|
|If a ladder access is installed, edge protection or a hatch is provided to the void|
|A number of ties are installed, and are connected to two standards. The tie anchors are suitable for purpose|
|There is adequate face bracing (zig zag)|
|All handrails, mid-rails, toe boards/brick guards are installed|
|All lap boards are lashed or secured|
|The working deck is clear of materials and debris (minimum safe access is 450mm wide)|
|The working decks are complete, with no missing ledgers, planks, toe boards/kickboards or hop-ups|
|The gaps between the scaffold platforms and building edge/face are 225mm (horizontal) or less|
|The gaps between the hop-ups/decks and building floor are 300mm (vertical) or less|
|Tie bars are installed on each hop-up to prevent hop up brackets from moving or planks falling|
|Intermediate decks are in place (every 2 metres)|
|There is safe access to each working deck|
|The combined loads of materials and persons do not exceed the working load of the scaffold|
|Containment sheeting/netting has been installed, and wind loading has been accounted for in the design|
|Containment netting has a flammability index of less than 25|
Mobile scaffold safety
|The work area is free of floor penetrations, electric leads and other slip or fall hazards|
|The supporting surface is hard and flat or boards or channels are being used on unstable surfaces (on dirt, uneven ground, muddy or sloping surfaces)|
|Bracing is erected correctly and a plan brace is included at the base of the scaffold|
|The castor wheel locks are in good working order and locked when in use|
|Handrails, mid rails, kickplates are in place on all mobile scaffolds over 2m in height|
|Internal ladder access is provided and secured|
|The working deck is complete with no split decks|
- SafeWork NSW Industry Safety Standard – Erect, alter and dismantle scaffold
- Safe Work Australia: Scaffolds and scaffolding work general guide
- Safe Work Australia Guide for scaffold inspection and maintenance
- AS/NZS1576: 2019 Part 1: Scaffolding – general requirements
- AS/NZS4576: Guidelines for scaffolding.