I visit top end principal contractor sites mostly, and in doing so I walk past many smaller projects. Almost all projects of any size have some scaffolding. I see many method statements describing the method of erection as “fully compliant with SG4:10” and I even see the odd hop up or step up lying around on site. Sadly what I do not see is scaffolding activity that complies with SG4:10 .. or that is even close. What I see, in the main, are scaffolding contractors doing what they have done for 20 years, with no change of work sequence, no review of their method of height access, and no safe zone.
The fundamental principle behind SG4:10 is to move the scaffolder’s access method up the work at height hierarchy. To reduce the dependence on PFPE (harness & lanyard solutions), and to engage fall prevention measures. It was published in October 2010, over four and a half years ago. So far it is regularly referenced by not followed.
Practical change is always hard. Changes in method impact productivity, and old habits are genuinely hard to break. Down stream there are productivity gains, opportunities to develop the workforce, and a chance to improve safety. Significant time and effort has been expended educating HSE, site managers, and scaffolding contractors.
The tell tale sings of “non-compliance” are very easy to spot, and I thought that we had scaffolds inspected every week, by competent people ? When do you think we should grab the opportunity within SG4:10 ?