Scaffolding regulations guide

UK Home Improvement

Scaffolding Regulations Guide

You may see scaffolding on buildings all the time, but many people will never have dealt with having scaffolding erected. If you’re thinking about having work done on your home, you might be wondering what the scaffolding regulations are. In this article, we’ll be answering the different questions you might have to create a handy guide on the subject of scaffolding for your home.

Do I need a licence for scaffolding?


The good news is that if you’re having scaffolding placed within the boundary of your own land, there isn’t any need for a license – it’s your land. Where a license may be required, however, is any situation where scaffolding sits on the pavement or road outside of your boundary.

At this point, your scaffolder should obtain a license from the local council, but as the person employing the builder or scaffolder, it is your responsibility to check the right paperwork is in place before beginning work.

Additional consideration: Having scaffolding erected when there is a risk to the general public? For this, you should book in scaffolding for a quiet period or seek to have the area closed by the local council.

When do I need scaffolding?

housebuilding project

Think about how practical scaffolding is and how essential it is to the safety of the work you or your builder is carrying out. If you’re having your roof completely rebuilt, then scaffolding is a good idea. However, if you’re simply clearing the gutters of debris then a secured ladder might suffice.

Ultimately, it’s down to you or whoever you’ve employed for the work to decide what is and isn’t appropriate. Safety is obviously of the utmost importance, so if work can be done from the ground, then that’s the best course of action.

Additional consideration: Think about the height of your roof or building. A bungalow may not need scaffolding, while a tower block will most definitely require it. The height of the work always impacts this decision.

Am I responsible for scaffolding health and safety?

If the reason you have scaffolding erected is to have work done to your home, then it falls to your builder or contractor to ensure that site safety – including related to scaffolding – is maintained and observed by all. At Conker Nation, we understand the importance of health and safety, which is why we adhere to the industry regulations and standards.

Additional consideration: If you’re a company or partnership – or even a landlord – the rules are different. It is up to you to ensure health and safety regulations are upheld as per The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

How long can scaffolding be left up?

There are no regulations on how long scaffolding can be left up due to different projects taking different lengths of time to complete. However, scaffolding should be inspected every seven days while it’s up, to help maintain the safety of your property – this is extremely important for any lengthy projects where scaffolding has to remain in place for long periods.

Additional consideration: To help with site safety, scaffolding should be checked before it is first used, preferably at the start of each day. Any shortcomings or changes in structural integrity can then be addressed accordingly.

Do I need to be insured to use scaffolding?

ladder and scaffolding

Due to the need for working at height, there are a variety of safety issues at play. That includes injury to those working on the site as well as items which may fall on the public from a height. Public liability insurance should be obtained by the building company or scaffolder, ensuring they’re covered for any circumstances where someone could be injured agreed a scaffolding company in Essex.

Additional consideration: You should check your scaffolding company has the requisite level of insurance in place before allowing any works to begin, giving you peace of mind. You should never have to erect the scaffolding yourself.

Scaffolding on your neighbour’s property

You can erect scaffolding on your own property, but what if you need the structure to be situated on a neighbour’s property? The hope here is that you have a good relationship with your neighbour, making them more likely to grant you permission to have scaffolding placed on their property – especially if the work carried out will improve the look and feel of the area generally. There are two scenarios in which you’ll need to place scaffolding on a neighbour’s land:

  • When carrying out essential repairs – Anything essential to the preservation of your property can be deemed reason to erect scaffolding on neighbouring land, but you may need to prove this to the courts using the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 if your neighbour won’t give permission.
  • When carrying out improvements or extension work – Because this work is not essential, if your neighbour won’t give permission, then you’ll have to find a way around it with the design of the scaffolding.

Safety is always the main consideration when it comes to scaffolding, but if you’re using a reputable scaffolding company then you’ll know you’re in safe hands. It always pays to ask about issues which might be unique to your home project, but we hope this guide has answered some of the more common questions people have about scaffolding.


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