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The legal requirements of scaffold inspection

26th February 2020

Scaffold inspections are an integral aspect of any project that involves scaffolding, and a requirement that must be adhered to for the safety of your workforce and the general public.

When should scaffolding be inspected?

The Work at Height Regulations 2005, stipulate that scaffolding must be inspected:

  • After installation and prior to being used
  • At intervals not exceeding seven days
  • Following any event that may impact the strength or stability of the scaffold, i.e. adverse weather, heavy impact, or unauthorised modification, etc.

Who is responsible for scaffold inspection?

The statutory duty for ensuring scaffold inspections take place comes from Regulation 12 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and rests with the hirer or the end user of the scaffold, and this is usually the individual who accepts the handing over certificate from the scaffolding contractor. In some situations, the end user may contract out inspection responsibility (to the scaffolding contractor that provided the scaffold, for example), but it should be remembered that they (the user) retain the legal duty.

Inspections must be carried out by a competent person whose combination of knowledge, training and experience is appropriate for the type and complexity of the scaffold and in the UK, this is usually interpreted to be a qualified Scaffolder, or an individual who holds  When looking for an a Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) scaffold inspection qualification.

It should be noted that scaffold complexity has an influence on the level of competence required to carry out an inspection and for example, a basic scaffold could be inspected by someone who has successfully completed a CISRS scaffold inspection course, but a more complex structure should be inspected by someone holding a CISRS Advanced Scaffolding qualification, or CISRS Advanced Inspection card.

What should go into a scaffold inspection report?

Following each inspection carried out on site, a report must be completed, this report should be kept on site until the project/work is complete and then kept in the company’s office for a minimum of three months thereafter.

The contents of a report are also a statutory requirement, as defined by the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (Schedule 7), and these are:

  • The name and address for the person that the inspection was carried out for
  • The name and position of the person carrying out the inspection
  • The date, time and location of the inspection
  • A through description of the scaffolding structure
  • Clear details of any risks identified
  • Clear details of the actions taken out to rectify issues
  • Details of any further action that is deemed necessary

Are you looking for a qualified and experienced scaffold inspector to support upcoming projects? Or are you looking to get qualified in scaffold inspection? Get in touch with the Simian team today to find out more about our inspection services and our training courses.