browns ladders blog working on scaffold towers what you need to know

Working on scaffold towers: what you need to know

Posted on 5th Oct, 2015 | By Lorretta Tatham

Working from a height carries serious risk – and the more complex the access equipment, the more chance there is for fatal consequences. When set up or used incorrectly, use of scaffold towers and mobile towers can result in serious injury or even death. Following a number of incidents that occurred in the UK in September, we thought we’d share our top tips for staying safe when working on towers.

In the news

On 22nd September a man from Devon was rushed to hospital after falling from scaffolding as it collapsed underneath him. After being trapped under the debris of the scaffolding he was rescued by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue before being treated for head injuries. Just a day later, on the 23rd September in an unrelated incident, a scaffolder working at Maidstone TV Studios died after falling 15ft from the scaffold structure.

Top safety tips for using scaffolding or mobile towers


While towers do carry dangers, there are ways to safeguard your wellbeing.

  • Carry out a risk assessment before all work on towers, assessing the potential hazards.
  • Look out for defects. If these affect the structure or the tower’s use, don’t use it.
  • Never work on a platform without guardrails.
  • Never stand on an unprotected platform when building or dismantling a tower.
  • Always follow the manufacturer or supplier instruction manual – don’t presume each piece of kit will be the same.
  • Ensure that these manuals are available to all operatives erecting and using the tower, and to the person supervising the work

Planning for the job

browns ladders blog scaffold towers planning

Before each job, carefully plan how you intend to use the tower – addressing any potential safety issues or problems.

Things to consider include:

  • The site location
  • Period of time the scaffold is required to be in place
  • Intended use
  • Number of boarded lifts
  • Maximum working loads
  • Number of people to use the scaffold
  • Type of access onto the scaffold
  • Any additional requirements or provisions
  • Nature of the ground conditions or supporting structure
  • Any restrictions that may affect the erection, alteration or dismantling process

Stay safe with out training courses

For more advice on how to stay safe while working from scaffolding why not sign up to one of our training courses? Our Mobile Scaffold Towers Training Course and Scaffold Towers Training Course are specifically aimed at those involved in assembling, dismantling, moving, and working from this type of access equipment. Both of these courses cover the 3T (Through the Trapdoor) and AGR (Advanced Guardrail) systems.

Our Working at Height Training Course may also be of interest, covering the basics of working from a height with a focus on hazard awareness, theoretical knowledge and practical scenarios.

To book onto any of the courses mentioned today, contact our Course Enquiries Team on 01282 615517.

Have you ever had an accident when working from scaffolding? If so, share your story in the comments below or tweet the details to us @BrownsLadders

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