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27 Jul 2022

scaffold tower outside a house

Scaffold towers, also called access towers, can be a good alternative to traditional ladders when you need to work at height for a long time. The larger work platform gives you extra space to move around and put down tools between tasks.

Whilst they are handy pieces of equipment, scaffold towers - like ladders - should only be used if they are in good condition. It's important to inspect your scaffold tower regularly in order to ensure that it's safe to use.


General tips for inspecting a scaffold tower

All scaffold towers must comply with the HSE's standards for scaffolds. If you own a scaffold tower, it must be inspected after assembly, then at regular intervals thereafter.

When you purchase your scaffold tower, make sure it has all the necessary components to ensure stability and prevent falls.


Scaffold tower inspection checklist

  • Are the manufacturer's erection guidelines displayed on the scaffold?
  • Are the guardrails in place 1m above all decks (including intermediate decks)?
  • Are the mid-rails in place on all decks (including intermediate decks)?
  • Are the toe boards in place on all working decks?
  • Are the platforms in place at the correct height for work to be undertaken?
  • Is the hinged cover in place for walk-through platforms?
  • Are horizontal braces placed as per the manufacturer's guidelines?
  • Are diagonal braces placed as per the manufacturer's guidelines?
  • Is the plan brace in place?
  • Are the castor wheel locks operational?
  • Are the adjustable legs operational and at the correct height?
  • Is the access ladder secured in place to the top rung of the scaffold?
  • If the scaffold tower has a fall height of 4 metres or more, was it erected and inspected by a licensed scaffolder?

If the answer to any of these questions is 'no' then the scaffold tower may not be safe to use.


How often should scaffold towers be inspected?

PASMA (the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association) recommends that scaffold towers should be inspected as often as necessary, including:

  • After assembly
  • Before use
  • After any signification alterations are made
  • After any event that is likely to have affected the tower's stability / structural integrity

If it is possible to fall 2 metres or more from the scaffold tower, it should be inspected at least once every 7 days, with a new inspection report issued each time.


Need more advice?

At Ladders UK Direct, we offer a wide range of scaffold towers for DIY and professional use. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our products!

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READ MORE: How to Erect a Scaffold Tower