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Looking back at 2020 for the scaffolding industry

9th December 2020

2020 has been a year like no other for industries across the globe. For the scaffolding industry, there have been numerous challenges to contend with due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From SIMIAN’s perspective, the industry has navigated these challenges superbly, maintaining the high levels of health and safety performance that sets the standard for health and safety performance across the world. Below, we take a look at some of the top news stories of 2020 from the scaffolding industry and SIMIAN.


Storm Brendan hit the UK in January causing issues throughout the UK. Strong winds saw scaffolding toppled in London, blocking roads and damaging nearby vehicles. Read the full story here.

scaffold collapse


Australia has seen a number of scaffolding incidents in recent years and February was no different. A major scaffold collapse in Melbourne left five injured. The spate of incidents has seen the Australian authorities step in, as part of an attempt to reduce the occurrence of scaffold-related incidents. Find out more here.


March saw the introduction of a nationwide lockdown as the UK government took unprecedented steps to stem the spread of Coronavirus. For SIMIAN and the rest of the scaffolding industry, this meant the closure of countless sites and training centres, as well as putting a hold on our scaffold inspection services, before a speedy bounce back full operation. Read more here.



Halting training entirely was not something SIMIAN wanted to do, therefore our team worked hard on implementing remote learning techniques. Read more here.


This year has seen countless guidance published and re-published with revisions. May saw the Construction Leadership Council take a U-turn on their social distancing decision to limit the face to face contact of workers to 15 minutes of less. Read the full story here.


It was great news for SIMIAN in June, following months of careful planning we were able to once again open the doors to our Warrington Training Centre, with all appropriate COVID-security provisions in place. Discover more here.

Restarting scaffolding training


By July, SIMIAN was able to reopen all core training centres with a number of measures in place, including temperature checks, one-way systems, sanitisation stations and socially distanced classroom layouts. Read more.


In September, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced that they would be carrying out a construction health inspection initiative across Great Britain. Read the full story here.


Widely regarded as the world’s premier system scaffold, we were delighted to announce that we had introduced a Layher scaffolding apprenticeship to our training portfolio in October. Read more here.


A scaffolding firm was hit with a £171k bill for a 2018 scaffolding collapse in November, following an investigation by the HSE that found significant failings in training and adequate instruction on site. Read the full story here.


With news of vaccines, 2021 is looking bright for the scaffolding industry as we continue to work within our ‘new normal’. With the introduction of our new Layher apprenticeship scheme, training centres continuing to welcome delegates and more exciting news on the way, we look forward to what 2021 will bring!