Are you are using a scaffold tower or mobile tower or indeed, any item of work at height equipment in the workplace? Whether you are an employee or a self-employed person, the Work at Height Regulations apply to you. You must ensure that not only the person building the tower is competent but also those who specify, use, and supervise or manage the use of a tower are competent to do so.
A competent person is a person who can demonstrate that they have sufficient professional or technical training, knowledge, actual experience, and authority to enable them to:
- Carry out their assigned duties at the level of responsibility allocated to them.
- Understand any potential hazards related to the work (or equipment) under consideration.
- Detect any technical defects or omissions in that work (or equipment).
- Recognise any implications for Health and Safety caused by those defects or omissions.
- Be able to specify a remedial action to mitigate those implications.
- You must carry out a proper risk assessment before you start work.
- You must be competent to build, dismantle, carry out a pre-use inspection on the tower. Also, to complete the necessary pre-use inspection record in accordance with the regulations.
- The tower components must be inspected at suitable intervals and an appropriate record kept of those inspections.
Use of a scaffold tower or mobile access tower
- Never work on a platform without guardrails.
- Never stand on an unprotected platform when building or dismantling a tower.
- ALWAYS follow the manufacturer’s or supplier’s instruction manual.
- Ensure that these manuals are available to the operatives erecting and using the tower and to the person supervising the work.
- No manual, should mean no tower.