Three Required Documents for Safer Scaffolding Projects (Which Also Land You More Jobs)
Are you tired of your clients demanding more and more documentation for scaffolding projects? You're not alone. It turns out, the Swedes have it all figured out with their three required documents for safer scaffolding projects. And let's face it, who doesn't want to build safely and sleep well at night? So, let's dive into these documents and make sure we're providing the correct ones.
Swedish regulations require three documents for facade scaffolding of a module type, and six documents for building temporary roof systems (more about this in a future blog post). The required documents are:
- Dimensioning documents
- Construction, use, and disassembly plans
- Self-inspection documentation
Below is a description of each document.
1. Dimensioning documents
In Sweden, approximately 50 scaffolding collapses occur each year, resulting in several hundred worker injuries. Often, the problem arises from incorrect calculations made using inadequate standard loads and anchoring forces. To ensure safe construction practices that mitigate against material breakage, instability, and deformations, requirements exist for dimensioning documents. This section will outline what a dimensioning document is and what information it should contain to enable safe construction practices and restful nights.
1.1. What is a dimensioning document?
A dimensioning document is a collection of information about the various loads to which the scaffold will be exposed. It is a verification that the scaffolding is safe for work, even when the maximum load is reached.
1.2. Are documented standard cases sufficient for dimensioning?
The answer is: sometimes. If the standard case aligns well with the scaffolding that you intend to build, then it may be sufficient. However, in many cases, you may need a special dimensioning document if you plan to deviate from the standard case.
You can find standard cases from RISE here.
1.3. What should be included in a dimensioning document?
When planning to dress the scaffolding in fabric or plastic, it is important to consider that the scaffolding will be significantly more affected by winds, as the upholstery forms a sail with a large windbreak. As a result, anchoring forces will be several times higher, and stronger and more anchors will be required. If the scaffolding is intended to carry large amounts of bricks or heavy machinery, ensure that the load class is sufficient, and specify how many working decks are to be loaded at the same time.
In summary, when deviating from standard cases, the following are needed:
- Standard load dimensioning (vertical forces)
- Anchoring force dimensioning (horizontal forces)
- Action points for critical areas of the scaffolding
Additionally, ensure that enough approved access routes are drawn on the scaffolding. Normally, there should be no more than 25 meters between each stair tower (if multiple are needed).
Curious about what a complete special dimensioning document looks like? Get in touch with us and we will give you some examples.
2. Plan for Construction, Use, and Disassembly
Have you documented your plan for construction, use, and disassembly? It is important to do so when ensuring safe scaffolding projects. Make sure to hand over the document to the customer so that it is on-site.
For more information about this document and to access it, click here. Note that there may be other standards for your country, so please ensure that you are using the correct one.
3. Self-Inspection Documentation
Congratulations on constructing your scaffolding correctly and ensuring that it works well! However, how do you present this to your customer? Many scaffolding contractors create their own inspection templates, but customers often have specific requirements that are not always clear.
Here are some important topics to consider when conducting a self-check:
- Are the standards/feet resting on the foundations and are they centered?
- Have the anchors been placed correctly?
- Have you installed the correct number of facade and ledger braces?
- Are all working decks fully covered and complete?
- Do you have adequate protection against accidents?
- Does the scaffolding have sufficient load-bearing capacity?
- Is the distance from the scaffolding to the wall no more than 30 cm?
A future post dedicated to self-inspections will be available soon. In the meantime, feel free to try the Scaffinspect app!
Bonus: Risk Assessment
Your risk assessment should be included in the previously mentioned documents. However, if you have not addressed special risks such as protection against traffic, risk of collision, and fall protection, it is a good idea to create an extra risk assessment document.
Consider the risks that exist in your 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
In conclusion, building scaffolding can be a complex and challenging task. To ensure that your projects are safe and efficient, it's crucial to produce the correct documentation and plan for every step of the process. At Scaffcalc, we understand the importance of following regulations and producing high-quality scaffolding. Our team is here to provide you with expert advice and guidance on how to build correctly and safer. Contact us today to learn more and take the first step towards safer and more successful scaffolding projects.