View Full Version : work at height regs

1st January 2010, 05:50 PM
Hi looking at one of your postings regarding working at height reg,sit states the reg,s are 2005 now 2007

14th February 2010, 08:35 PM
Technically we follow the working at height regulations 2005 and the working at height (amendment) regulations 2007.

The 2007 regulations were only an amendment to the 2005 Act not an Act in itself.

All thats beside the point as soon we'll be getting issued rocket boots together with skyhooks for erecting LOL

14th February 2010, 09:09 PM
Rocket boots and sky hooks are a thing of the past mate, we are introducing SG4 spur lash this year, solves all the wah regs

paddy carr
14th February 2010, 09:47 PM
Aye Scaff
solves all the WAsH regs m8;););)

19th August 2010, 10:53 AM
I think the Amendment to the Work at Height Regulations in 2007 was specific to recreational climbing and mountaineering.

That aside, all scaffolders should be aware of and understand the requirements of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After they scrapped the Construction (Working Places) Regulations 1966 – The 2005 Regs is the only legislative source referring directly to scaffolding operations.

Extract from the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (Regulation 2 (1) – Interpretation)

"work at height" means -
(a) work in any place, including a place at or below ground level;
(b) obtaining access to or egress from such place while at work, except by a staircase in a permanent workplace, where, if measures required by these Regulations were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury;

I make a point of getting to know the Regulations and the meaning of the words used in the context of the any specific statutory instrument – it keeps me up-to-speed with the suits

john houlihan
26th September 2010, 08:43 AM
It is reassuring that scaffolders are taking note of the provisions laid out in the Work at Height Regulations 2005, after all; all Technical Guidance such TG20 and SG4 have to comply. The HSE Interim Guidance Note A prohibits a person traversing on an open edge where there is a risk of a fall, this makes the current SG4:05 null and void. Scaffolders can follow the spirit and principles of SG4:05 but cannot traverse on an open edge.
Regulation ten says that there shall be no gap on a working platform where a risk of falling objects is likely to cause injury. The 50mm gap between the inside board and main deck of boards present a real problem here and the service gap between the building facade and the inside board. the service gap allowance is generally accepted being no more than 100mm, for practical reasons but there is no need for the 50mm gap and it serves no purpose.
Its time more scaffold organisations take note of the WAH Regs 2005, and make a concerted effort to comply.

26th September 2010, 10:54 AM
and how do you think scaffold companies should go about this then john , the 50mm gap thats created by the standards between the boards , i cant imagine that little gap has been the cause of many accidents over the years , and im sure the cost and time involved removing that gap far outwieghs the benefits

26th September 2010, 11:12 AM

There are instances where we would all fill in the 50mm gap, i.e. where members of the public have access below the scaffold. But my opinion in a building site situation, is that this gap poses no significant risk. If the main contractors spent more time and resources making sure that the scaffold platforms were clean and clear of debris, surplus materials and general crap, then the likelyhood of anything falling through this gap would be virtually nil, with the added bonus of reducing slips and trips (by far the biggest cause of lost time accidents).

john houlihan
26th September 2010, 11:40 AM
Collo, you have said that there is no risk of falling objects on working platforms, enough to worry about and then on the other-hand said, main contractors are guilty of leaving working platforms full of debris. Debris and a 50mm gap does present risk in my book. By closing the 50mm gap we are also reducing the risk of slips, trips and falls. I have investigated many accidents involving this gap, not only from falling objects but twisted ankles and broken knees. We can mitigate against the risk and set up exclusion zones, etc. but then we are not following the hierarchy of risk. We must prevent falling in the first place rather than mitigating against the consequences.

Superscaff75, Yes this little gap has been the cause of many accidents over the years and the cost, time involved used to be consuming, where strips of plywood would be cut, nail or screwed to the working platform. This process is time consuming and expensive, also undermining the integrity of the scaffold boards; BS 2482, and also creating a trip hazard. So whilst removing one hazard you would be creating more.
There is a product specifically designed for this purpose and is cheap, easy to install and totally re-usable, thus making it reasonably practicable to eliminate this risk. The product is called ScaffGap. Try googling it, you will be pleasantly surprised.

on a more general note, it is not for us to decide what parts of the Work at Height Regulations we want to keep or delete as we see fit. They are what they are for reason.

A metre length of re-bar that fell 70ft through the 50mm gap on a working platform is a good example of the risk. The project on which this incident occurred cannot get enough of ScaffGap now.

A nut, bolt, washer etc would cause considerable injury when falling from a significant height. Minimising the liklihood of this occuring would be by following Reg. 10. of the WAH Regs 2005.......Close the Gap!

John Houlihan CMIOSH

26th September 2010, 01:51 PM
Welcome to ScaffGap Ltd (http://www.scaffgap.com)

ScaffGap Ltd - Director

Please contact John Houlihan(Director) ScaffGap Ltd - 07930 606665

its ok asking us to purchase and fit but its getting contractors to pay for it john
and allowing enough time for us to fit it along with the advanced guardrails using the step up system etc etc

im all for health and safety but in the 3 sentences above look at the extra costs and labour and time put onto the scaffolder , add that to all the other things thats become part of scaffolding over the past few years and im sure plenty will agree that it seems the scaffolders an scaffolding companies seem to be taking all the burdon and costs .

house keeping is surely one of the key elements of safety on site yet look around it seems that every site you visit always has loose equipment, materials, rubbish or tools strewn all over work areas and scaffolds.
maybe if h&s concentrated on getting the basics right first we might be able to reduce the number of new rules an regs in the future

26th September 2010, 01:56 PM
Looks like a clear case of John Houlihan advertising his product on here to me
Managing Director of Scaffgap :worried:

paddy carr
26th September 2010, 01:57 PM
And so say all of us,superscaff.
Great post mate.

26th September 2010, 02:00 PM
ive just checked his website out , to be honest it looks a decent bit of kit ,
reduces gaps
enviromentally friendly made out of recycled pvc-u
also can be recycled again if nescessary
30 to 40 year expected life span

all in all seems a good decent idea

but if he wants to sponsor the forum he should speak to sf admin :laugh:

good product john i like it what sort of price does it retail at

paddy carr
26th September 2010, 02:06 PM
John you are not allowed to free advertise, without SF admin permission.

I realise your Kit is good and you recieved a award at the IOSH presentations, Well done.I must add. However, mate, why not become a 'Sponser' to the Forum, and promotion will be spread by word of mouth by over 3,000 members.

Patrick Carr Tech IOSH

steve gregory
26th September 2010, 02:23 PM
I totally agree paddy and why doesnt he member the SCCR aswell while he is at it..

26th September 2010, 04:28 PM
Superscaff, took the words from my mouth. The same housekeeping rules on a scaffold platform should be enforced as on a floor.

---------- Post added at 04:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:39 PM ----------

John Houlihan, You mentioned in your post a piece of re bar falling through the 50mm gap resulting in an accident. Agree the scaffgap would have prevented it. But the real issue here that concerns scaffolders, is why such materials are left lying on the scaffold in the first place. We have to follow the good housekeeping rules and clear up our surplus materials rightly so. So why is it not enforced on other trades. I have seen many incidences of materials such as re bar, or threaded bar and bundles of welding rods stuffed down scaffold tubes because of laziness of the workers involved to remove them from the scaffold, all accidents waiting to happen. If you complain your told end cap all tubes, thats the favourite solution, more work, more expense on the scaffolder/ scaffold company. instead of the site management enforcing the housekeeping rules. The worse example of this i seen was a 6ft long piece of re bar slid down a 21ft topper and on the strip a scaff nearly lost his balance taking it out unaware. These are issues the powers that be should be looking at and educating the scaffold users that just as the scaffolder, they too have responsibilities for the prevention of accidents. keeping a debris free scaffold would be a good start.

john houlihan
26th September 2010, 07:53 PM
Hi superscaff,

Yes the safety systems are a costly extra to all work at height activity and all contracts highly competitive. Our main customers are Principle Contractors who install ScaffGap as an after thought, once they realise the potential risk the 50mm gap poses. It also provides the only cost effective solution to the problem, 1000% quicker and cheaper than other methods used.
H&S do consider housekeeping as a real problem on sites but are not in a position to control the daily work activity by contractors and site management. Site Management are there to manage works and part of that duty is to ensure high standards of housekeeping at all times. If site management done their job properly, poor housekeeping would not exist.
Scaffolding works has undergone a revolutionary change of days gone by but there is still those who live in the past. Yes, commercially safe working practices has pressurised the industry somewhat but leaving the old style of erecting scaffold would have far greater commercial consequences if things went wrong. The bigger picture makes all the innovative advancements cost effective and once embraced will even win you contracts.
Advanced guardrail systems, self closing ladder gates, ladder hatch covers, double guardrails, harnesses, training, etc etc etc do not come cheap. I do believe that tube and fitting scaffold will still be around for years to come but I also believe a system scaffold should be developed that has a push-up guardrail to alleviate these expensive measures currently on the market. The next edition of SG4 will be an interesting read. I did hear rumours that harnesses will be a thing of the past.
ScaffGap is considered by many as a consumable and the cost can be passed on to the Client, as is Monarflex and debris netting. I hope it has given you another option to providing a real solution to the problem superscaff75. I wish you all the best.

paddy carr
26th September 2010, 08:41 PM

Thanks for the interesting post mate. However, i dont think the wearing of a Harness will be a thing of the past. firstly, irrespective of Advanced Guardrails or not. If every lift is not fully boarded, you will need to clip on when raising or lowering the boards. Secondly, for Cantilever,truss out,Hangars and Beam work, you will need Harness's.

Why would you need a 'System scaff' with a adapaptation for 'Advanced Guardrails' you already have the major components there. All you need to do is add a couple of hop up brkts, to the inside of the working platform, at handrail height, once your ledger is installed, add a couple of decks and instal your upper handrail.


26th September 2010, 11:05 PM
not knocking the scaffgap but weve used it on the grid its good stuff providing the boards are nice and new.if not its a pain i found after a while it started to twist and didnt lay flat and ended up causing more of a trip hazard unless you put nails down the edge of it wouldnt last five minutes on a building site.

27th September 2010, 02:05 PM
The 9 Principles of Protection - referred to in Regulation 4 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (Schedule 1) are as follows – note No. 5
1 Avoiding risks
2 Evaluating risks which cannot be avoided
3 Combating risks at source
4 Adapting the work to suit the individual, especially as regards the design of workplaces, the choice of work equipment and the choice of working and production methods, with a in particular, to alleviating monotonous work and work at a predetermined work rate and to reduce their effect on health
5 Adapting to technical progress
6 Replacing the dangerous by the non-dangerous
7 Developing a coherent overall prevention policy which covers technology, organising of work, working conditions, social relationships and the influence of factors relating to the working environment
8 Giving collective protective measures priority over individual protective measures
9 Giving appropriate instructions to employees

The Principles are very often:
• Not known;
• Not Understood;
• Disregarded

There is continuous technical advancement. Not just in the scaffolding industry but in all construction activities – some will work, some won’t. But employing organisations must demonstrate their attempts keep abreast of and try-out new or modified technical advancement.

Like other posters, I too have experienced (and seen the consequences of) materials, including re-bar falling through gaps and voids in decked-out lifts. Equally the basics of housekeeping and materials management on working lifts should and must be rigorously monitored and enforced by principle contractors

15th October 2010, 04:06 PM
fools in suits are the biggest burden when it comes to this topic. take a step back and take a proper look at what is going on!!!!*********

16th October 2010, 02:26 PM
Well named – Babooooooon!

joe mcevoy
16th October 2010, 02:27 PM

john houlihan
15th December 2010, 12:29 PM
Well said Superscaff75,

The Construction Industry, Unfortunately is run by QS's these days and Principle Contractors want West End Scaffolds at East End Prices. Clients allocate budgets for all temporary works but this is scaled down by profiteering PC's who use cost cutting measures to make the job commercially viable. Unfortunately the cost cutting measures attract sub-standard companies and sub-standard work. Covering 50mm gaps in working platforms to reduce and/or eliminate risks is a foreign language.
Market forces eliminate safety with the blinkered few!! If only they could see and were not blinded by short term greed!!

john houlihan
16th December 2010, 01:27 PM
Well said stumpy.

16th December 2010, 01:38 PM
fools in suits are the biggest burden when it comes to this topic. take a step back and take a proper look at what is going on!!!!*********

What is going on !!!!!!!! maybe you should take a step back from a great height :D

3rd October 2011, 09:35 PM
Ive used a product very similar to scaffgap and found it really awkward to get onto brand new boards. The product i used was a H shape.

3rd October 2011, 09:53 PM
Ive used a product very similar to scaffgap and found it really awkward to get onto brand new boards. The product i used was a H shape.

if its the stuff we used to use gaz its rubbish it bows and causes a trip hazzard most time the boards dont fit wether there new or olde if there walped which most boards are exspecially building sites boards you end up bagging nails down the edges which defeats the object as for using it again no chance!!!

22nd November 2011, 08:40 PM
We used the stuff for cape and it was s***t so they made us use plywood so there is ur answer ply wood is best to use

john houlihan
28th April 2013, 11:40 PM
hi SuperScaff75,

Sorry for the delayed response. i totally agree with you. PC's are very quick at demanding this and that, I wont I won't but do not want to pay for anything....A West End Scaffold for an East End Price! I sat in a meeting called by a major contractor with 14 prominent scaffold firm Directors. The PC did not know I was the Director of scaffGap Ltd, I stayed quiet. The main topic of the supplier meeting was closing gaps on working platforms. The presenter introduced ScaffGap to the meeting, I remained silent. There was a common acknowledgement by all that the product was good, some had used it. One Director commented to the PC, "who is going to pay for ScaffGap", purchasing and fitting? the PC said price didnt come into it. The PC was virtually telling everyone they must close the 50mm gap on all their scaffolds. I then revealed I was the Director of scaffGap, to the amusement of some of the Directors who knew me! A debate followed over the quality of ScaffGap and price. I informed the meeting that ScaffGap was made cheaper to the end user by making the version thinner, the meeting asked if a stronger more durable version could be made. the meeting sat three months later, I had re-tooled - manufactured a heavy duty version of ScaffGap and presented this to the meeting with a nice gift box for all meeting attendee's. The upshot of it all still came back to price and laying costs on. One Scaffold Director told the PC to buy it themselves and the scaffold companies would fit it. The debate still goes on.
I know a few companies that when tendering for work produce a shopping list of add-on's;
Soft - wrap
ladder gates
heras fencing

All safety products

At a cost, of course!!

Everyone agrees ScaffGap is a cost effective working solution for scaffold platforms, getting companies to put their hands in their pockets is an entirely different problem.
I can report that ScaffGap is doing quite well, holding its own. It use has grown over time and some companies are regular buyers. There is a lot of repeat orders and works for many companies by demonstrating their commitment to safe working practices, sometimes winning them jobs. Since ScaffGap's initial concept to todays circumstance I can honestly say it has been a roller coaster journey that I have remained focused and true throughout. to invent and market a product is not for the faint hearted, I have enjoyed the journey albeit sometimes in the face of adversity. At the end of the day, come rain or shine, if ScaffGap saves one life then the tireless effort over the years would have been worthwhile. Having investigated many scaffold accidents and experienced first hand; the traumatic consequences any accident brings, my passion is somewhat biased!

John houlihan CMIOSH

18th February 2014, 09:14 PM
So how does this stuff work when there is a gap between the building and inside board? Unless inside board is butted up against brick work.
Brick repairs, rendering, brick washing etc require a gap between wall and inside board. Inside board moves, does worker below end up injured because of falling "scaffgap"?

scaffy 1980
18th February 2014, 09:38 PM
It all comes back on the users meathod statement.
I.e. interserve allow a 225mm gap ( 1 bd ), however if they require 2 bds and no inside gaurdrail then the users wether its renderers or cladders must use harnesses to clip on to the back gaurdrail until the gap is reduced. A ball ache for the other trades admittadly but about time some other fuccker got the shiit.

18th February 2014, 09:47 PM
I appreciate that scaffy. But that don't stop the Scaff gap moving/falling or **** falling between the gaps..
Fukien right about other trades getting the **** for a change!!

scaffy 1980
18th February 2014, 09:52 PM
Clip your inside boards to stop any creep.
Again it all comes down to the principle contractors requests. If he requests no inside boards, and no gaurdrail and signs the handover cert to state it wad his req then its nothing to do with us.

john houlihan
18th February 2014, 10:00 PM
Hi Stoko,
No ScaffGap clips to a scaffold board

19th February 2015, 02:17 PM

how much did you make out of this **** last year? you ppl are killing the industry

12th May 2015, 08:12 AM
When we read the regs they continually state " reasonably practcable " determining reasonably practicable is the crux of most of these issues being discussed.

10.—(1) Every employer shall, where necessary to prevent injury to any person, take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, the fall of any material or object.
(2) Where it is not reasonably practicable to comply with the requirements of paragraph (1), every employer shall take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent any person being struck by any falling material or object which is liable to cause personal injury.

When determining what is reasonably practicable, you should take into account: the likelihood of the hazard or risk occurring and also the degree of harm from the hazard or risk.

Multi lift jobs where a small object might only drop to the lift below would cause negligble or minimal injuries so one could argue it is not reasonably practicable to nail ply over every two inch gap re further trip hazards ? Is it 1 person using scaffold for a day or 50 men for 3 months ? Reasonably practicable ?????? John can you provide evidence from TRADA or likewise that a nail or a screw in a scaffold board undermines the integrity of the board rather than scaremongering to sell your product.

8th July 2015, 01:07 PM
Hear hear too many ppl just wanting to sell crap

28th July 2015, 04:31 PM
Crap dont suppose you made any money out of it ?? Or were you doing it for the love of it????? All down to profit if it wasnt making money you wouidnt be doing it

Alan Reade
29th July 2015, 08:39 AM
Rocket boots and sky hooks are a thing of the past mate, we are introducing SG4 spur lash this year, solves all the wah regs

Your wish is my command!!
BOOM Ave it!


I use these for site surveys in the UAE!!!