Tower scaffolds

What you need to do

A tower scaffold is one way to prevent a fall when working at height. The type of tower selected must be suitable for the work and erected and dismantled by people who have been trained and are competent to do so.

Those using tower scaffolds should also be trained in the potential dangers and precautions required during use.

Tower scaffold provision and use must be properly managed and include rigorous scaffold inspection arrangements.

Key issues with tower scaffolds are:

What you need to know

Many people are injured each year when they fall from towers or when the tower overturns.

Towers should be erected by trained and competent people. There are a number of organisations that provide training for the safe erection and use of tower scaffolds.

The incidents that occur are mainly caused by:

Erection and dismantling

The manufacturer or supplier or hirer has a duty to provide an instruction manual explaining the erection sequence, including any bracing requirements and the height to which the tower can be erected safely.  This information must be passed on to the person erecting the tower and the person supervising the work.

Towers should be erected following a safe method of work, either using:


To maintain tower stability you must make sure:

Precautions and inspection

Tower scaffolds must comply with the standard required for all types of scaffolds, eg double guardrails, toeboards, bracing and access ladder.

When the tower is purchased or hired it should arrive with all the necessary components to prevent falls and ensure stability.

Towers rely on all parts being in place to ensure adequate strength. They can collapse if sections are left out.

All towers must be inspected following assembly and then at suitable regular intervals by a competent person. In addition, if the tower is used for construction work and a person could fall 2 metres or more from the working platform, then it must be inspected following assembly and then every 7 days. Stop work if the inspection shows it is not safe to continue, and put right any faults.

The result of an inspection must be recorded and kept until the next inspection is recorded.

Using and moving

Make sure everyone involved is aware of, and follows, these simple rules:


Never use a tower:


When moving a tower you should always:

Never move a tower while people or materials are on the tower, or in windy conditions.