New SG4:15 Preventing falls in scaffold operations

Falls from height account for almost half of the fatal accidents in the construction sector. Falling from height is a significant risk faced by scaffolders when erecting, altering or dismantling scaffolding during most scaffolding operations.
The NASC (National Access & Scaffolding Confederation) and HSE (Health & Safety Awareness) acknowledges that scaffolders have to work in hazardous situations, and this guidance note accepts that employers have a responsibility to ensure that adequate measures are provided for employees during scaffolding operations to eliminate or minimise those risks.
In recognition of the significant hazards and risks that scaffolders are exposed to day to day, the NASC have produced this edition of Safety Guidance Number 4 (SG4) as ‘scaffolding industry good practice’ for work at height. This updated guidance reflects the challenges facing our industry through new fall protection technology, Technical Guidance (TG20) and changing methods of construction and maintenance.

The aim of this document remains the same and is to illustrate current preventative and protective measures which represent good industry practice that could be utilised when establishing safe systems of work to prevent and protect against falls from height during scaffolding operations.

This edition of SG4 continues to focus on the measures scaffolding contractors and scaffolders have to take to create a scaffolders’ safe zone where they are suitably protected against the risk of falling. The key priority and objective for scaffolders is to establish collective protection by creating a scaffolders’ safe zone and therefore minimising the time exposed to a fall risk and reliance upon personal fall protection equipment (safety harnesses).

The introduction of these collective methods of working will not completely remove the risk of a fall in all situations, therefore the NASC recognises that scaffolders will still be required to wear and use personal fall protection equipment in accordance with this Safety Guidance when working at height.

To purchase this document, follow this link to the NASC website