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Scaffolding on medium-rise construction sites

Has your scaffold been inspected in the past 30 days? Are you confident it’s compliant?

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is currently auditing medium-rise construction work sites – buildings between three to ten storeys high. This is a comprehensive site inspection that includes reviewing all paperwork, such as the safety management plan and hazardous chemicals register, and a physical inspection of the work environment and onsite activities.

So far, the number one issue found by inspectors is non-compliant scaffolds, mainly:

  • damaged components
  • gaps in the scaffold
  • gaps between the scaffold and the building, and
  • missing components.

Workers are at risk from falling from height or objects falling and hitting them, so you must ensure you develop and follow an inspection and maintenance procedure for your scaffolding.

Scaffold components are prone to damage, and gaps form in the scaffold overtime due to wear and tear. That’s why an ongoing inspection regime is vital. Make sure you keep records of all your inspections.

It is vital to know when a competent person should carry out a physical inspection to ensure the scaffold is safe. If inspections are carried out diligently and regularly, safety issues can be identified and rectified before someone gets hurt. A competent person must inspect your scaffold:

  • before the scaffold is used
  • before use of the scaffold is resumed after an incident occurs that may have affected the stability of the scaffold
  • before use of the scaffold is resumed after repairs, and
  • at least every 30days.

More information

Read more in the Scaffolding code of practice 2021 (PDF, 1.63 MB).