Three required documents for safer scaffolding projects (which also lands you more jobs)
The requirements from clients have increased a lot recently and more documentation is required from the scaffolding contractor. But what is required? How many documents should you hand over?
The Swedish regulations describe three documents required for facade scaffolding of a module type, and a total of six documents if you are building temporary roof systems (more about this in a future blog post).
The documents you need are:
Plan for construction, use and disassembly
Documentation of self inspection
... and all are described below.
1. Dimensioning documents
Every year, about 50 scaffolding collapses in Sweden and several hundred workers are injured. The problem is usually home-made calculations, which promise incorrect standard loads and anchoring forces. Requirements for dimensioning documents exist to provide reassuring safety against material breakage, instability and deformations. In this section, we will find out what a dimensioning document is and how much information it should contain, so that you can build safely and sleep well at night.
1.1. What is a dimensioning document?
A dimensioning document is a collection of information about different loads to which the scaffold will be exposed. In other words, it is a verification that the scaffolding is safe to work on if the maximum load is reached.
1.2. Are documented standard cases enough as a dimensioning document?
The answer is: sometimes. If the standard case agrees well with the scaffolding you are going to build, it is enough, but in many cases you will make deviations, which means that you need a special dimensioning document.
Standard cases from RISE can be found here.
1.3. What should be included in a dimensioning document?
If you have planned to dress the scaffolding in fabric or plastic, the scaffolding is significantly more affected by winds, as the upholstery forms a sail with a large windbreak. The anchoring forces are several times higher and you will need to use stronger and more anchors. If the scaffolding is to be able to carry large amounts of bricks or heavy machinery, you will need to ensure that the load class is sufficient, and specify how many working decks you are to load at the same time.
In short, you need the following when deviating from the standard cases:
Dimensioning standard loads (vertical forces),
Dimensioning anchoring forces (horizontal forces)
Action points for critical areas of the scaffolding
Also make sure that you have enough approved access routes drawn on the scaffolding. Normally there should be no more than 25 meters between each stair tower (if several are needed).
Curious about what a complete special dimensioning document looks like? Download one of Scaffcalc's examples here.
2. Plan for construction, use and disassembly
Do you have a plan for how to deliver the job? Probably. Have you got your ideas down on paper? Documenting the plan for construction, use and disassembly is an important factor when ensuring safe scaffolding projects. Make sure to hand over the document to the customer so that it is at the workplace.
More information about this particular document can be found here. Worth noting is that there are other standards out there, so please make sure it is the right one for your country.
3. Documentation of self inspection
Are you sure that your scaffolding is correctly constructed and works well? Good! How do you present this to your customer? Many scaffolding contractors produce their own templates for inspections, but customers are constantly raising the requirements and it is not always obvious what is being sought.
Here are some important headlines for self-checks:
Are standards / feet resting on the foundations and are they centered?
Are the anchors placed correctly?
Do you have the correct number of facade and ledger braces?
Are all working decks fully covered and complete?
Do you have enough protection against accidents?
Does the scaffolding have sufficient load-bearing capacity?
Is the distance from the scaffolding to the wall a maximum of 30 cm?
An entire post dedicated to self-inspections will be coming soon. Until then, feel free to try the Scaffinspect app!
Bonus: Risk assessment
Your risk assessment should be included in the previously mentioned documents. But if you have not written about special risks such as protection against traffic, risk of collision and fall protection, an extra risk assessment document is a good place for that.
Think through the risks that exist in the workplace. Here are some examples:
Risk of falling
Use fall protection equipment
Risk for falling objects
Keep the workplace clean and use nets on fall protection
Stumble and slip risk
No protruding components on the working decks, keep the workplace tidy and use nets on fall protection
Risk of collision
Developer is responsible for collision protection *
*This is country and city specific, make sure that you know what the regulations says in your area
There is a lot to consider when it comes to scaffolding projects. Make sure to communicate well with the customer so that no misunderstandings arise and make sure to produce correct dimensioning documents. If you need help, Scaffcalc is here for you.