It is important to inspect your mobile access tower before use, but don’t forget to inspect the COMPONENTS prior to assembly….

The first thing to check when your tower arrives from the hire company is that you have a valid manufacturer’s instruction manual. Without this important document you will be unable to assemble the tower. Scaffold towers are assembled in different ways using different bracing patterns and stabilisers. Therefore, without the manual you will not be able to put the components in the correct positions.

The second thing to do is to count the components off against the delivery note. Don’t sign for equipment that isn’t there. When it comes to be collected you will be looking at a bill for missing items!

Same applies for the condition of the components. Anything damaged needs to be reported so that it can be replaced – you don’t want a bill for damage but more importantly, you don’t want to risk using scaffold tower components that will be unsafe due to damage. If the hire company are a member of PASMA, they should be reliable especially if their staff have undergone PASMA Training but take nothing for granted.

So, to the inspection:

First check that the castors are in good condition and that they are free to rotate and the brake works.

Next is the adjustable leg – if they are threaded make sure that the collar and thread is not damaged and the collar is free to spin the full length.

The frames need to be checked for damage, cracked welds are one of the most common faults and sometimes easily missed.

Braces, horizontal and vertical need to be perfectly straight, if they are bent they will not connect. On the end of the brace is a locking hook which also needs to be checked.

Platforms are made from a frame with non-slip timber decking – check for cracks in the deck and that the hooks are not damaged. If trapdoor platforms are provided you need to check the hinges and clasps.

Toeboards must be provided and used. They prevent tools and equipment from falling off the tower.

If separate guardrails are provided check they are the correct size and fitting.

If all the above checks are done to your satisfaction, you are able to continue to assemble the tower. Don’t forget to inspect the completed tower prior to using it and record your findings in writing.

Working at height training courses will cover the above topics, in particular the tower inspection procedure using the PASMA Scaffold Tower Inspection Record system.