The Importance of Design Drawings For Scaffolding

Whether work is taking place on a domestic or commercial property, one of the main considerations that clients have is whether scaffolding arrangements require a design. While the HSE has compiled a useful list of scaffold arrangements that need a design prior to work taking place, it’s understandable that confusion sometimes arises. Identifying risks at an early stage while the scaffolding design is being prepared by an engineer can play a significant role in the safety of scaffold structure throughout its life on site.

It is a requirement of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 that unless a scaffold is assembled to a generally recognised standard configuration then the scaffold should be designed by bespoke calculation, by a competent person, to ensure it will have adequate strength, rigidity and stability while it is erected, used and dismantled.

At the start of the planning process, the client should supply all of the relevant information to the scaffold contractor to ensure that an accurate and proper design process is followed. There are many benefits to implementing bespoke scaffold design drawings into the beginning stages of any building construction. Some of these include:

1. Safety

Scaffolding is relied upon to make construction work safe and accessible. Whether you’re repairing a roof or plastering, safety should be a top priority. The design team will discuss your project and ensure that the scaffolding design is planned with your exact needs in mind. Unsafe scaffolding means workers could be at risk of injury, but with the right installation, they can work comfortably. 

2. Accuracy 

Different projects have different needs, and the wrong type of scaffolding, this could create a big delay in your ability to complete the work. Bespoke scaffolding will suit each stage of your project, so you can complete work to the highest standard possible. When it comes to scaffolding one size does not fit all, so it’s important that scaffolding is specially tailored. No matter how big or small your project is, you can always benefit from scaffolding design, and an expert team can help.

3. Time-Saving 

Scaffolding provides builders and workers with a safe and secure platform to carry out their duties. By being able to manoeuvre around buildings of any shape and size both quickly and easily, scaffolding improves the efficiency of any construction job. With scaffolding structures only taking a single working day to be erected, it is clear to see how these platforms reduce the time spent on-site, and when time is of the essence, it is clear to see why scaffolding is important during construction. Time is precious when working on building or construction projects and many employees may be too busy to draw up a detailed scaffolding design. Scaffolding designs can also be highly complicated and you may need to outsource to get the right level of expertise.

 Choosing a professional company to design the scaffolding on your behalf saves time and stress, and ensures that workers can focus on more pressing tasks at hand.

 Final Thoughts

The level of design input required will vary depending upon the type of scaffold and the level of required deviation (from TG20:13), but this can often be confirmed quickly and easily by a competent Design Engineer. It should be noted that where there is a legal requirement for a ‘scaffold design’, this means that the calculations that prove the integrity of a scaffold must be provided.

Designing scaffolding at the start of a construction project not only provides wider visibility on the project (primarily its length and cost) but also provides a deeper understanding of exactly what is required, with potential amendments and improvements to other temporary and permanent works coming into scope (which can be a huge benefit to multi-million-pound construction projects).

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