When Should A Mobile Scaffold Tower Be Inspected?
Scaffolding is integral to virtually any worksite, and workers should be able to depend on it. It facilitates tasks at heights that would otherwise be impossible to reach, but this means it must be frequently inspected for any defects that could lead to it collapsing.

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Mobile scaffold towers tend to be moved around and changed far more frequently than stationary scaffolding. This can cause issues in the structure, and they can be difficult to identify. For this reason, everyone who uses a scaffold tower should be trained and have knowledge of when and how to inspect the mobile tower scaffold.

When To Inspect A Mobile Scaffold Tower

The basic rule is that the more often you check it, the better. It is recommended that conventional scaffolding is inspected at least once a week to determine its safety. This is the bare minimum, and additional checks should be undertaken whenever an event occurs that could compromise the integrity of the structure.

When it comes to mobile scaffold towers, if the platform height is less than 2m, it should be inspected after assembly in any position, after any event likely to affect its stability, and at suitable intervals depending on the frequency and conditions of use. So, if you have a low-level tower assembled on site, kept in the stores ready for use, it only needs to be inspected when it is put to use. If the same low-level tower is on a building site in constant use, it should be inspected at least every 7 days.

If the platform height is 2m or more, it should be inspected after assembly in any position, after any event likely to affect its stability, and at intervals not exceeding 7 days.

A new inspection and report is not required every time a mobile scaffold tower is moved to a new location on the same site, however, if guardrails or other components have to be removed to enable the tower to be moved, then a pre-use check should be undertaken by a trained, competent person to make sure the tower has been reinstated correctly.

Reports Of Inspection

The result of an inspection should be recorded and retained until the next inspection. The person carrying out the inspection must complete the report before the end of their shift and provide a copy of the report to the person in charge within 24 hours. That person must retain a copy of the report on-site until the work is complete then, keep it at an office for a further 3 months.

What To Look For When Inspecting A Mobile Tower Scaffold

There are many things on a safety checklist for mobile scaffolding. Observations should be made about worksite surroundings, manufacturer safety checklists should be assessed, and all workers should be trained in the equipment’s safety guidelines.

Due to the portable nature of the equipment, inspections should pay special attention to signs of wear and tear. For example, the brakes that lock the castors in place can wear out with multiple applications. Also, the fact that these towers have less overall support than stationary ones mean each component is more likely to become damaged.

The Bottom Line

The primary concern is that mobile scaffold towers must be frequently assessed for work-readiness, and the focus should be on structural integrity. Working at height comes with risks, but there could also be incidents with objects falling from the platform and various other factors.

The risk factors should all be considered when assessing the safety of a mobile tower scaffold. There are penalties for neglecting your responsibilities in maintaining and assessing work equipment, so you must never overlook them.

Ability International offers a range of training courses for the safe use and inspection of mobile scaffold towers. Take a look at our courses and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

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