A scaffold is a temporary structure to assist construction workers and ensure health and safety on-site. Scaffolding work is complex and requires a high-risk work licence. The only exception is for certain ground-based scaffolds with a limited height.
WHEN IS A LICENCE REQUIRED?
A licence is necessary when a scaffold platform is four metres in height or more. Alternatively, it is required if a person or object could fall at four metres or greater height. Erection, alteration and dismantling must be conducted by a licenced and competent person(s).
HOW HIGH CAN YOU BUILD A SCAFFOLD WITHOUT A LICENCE?
Qualifications are not required for any scaffold less than four metres in height. Civilians with little or no experience can assemble mobile towers so long as they adhere to the correct instructions. There is still an obligation for businesses and the principal contractor to maintain the workplace health and safety of personnel on construction sites. Maintaining the structure with regular scaffolding inspections is still recommended.
SCAFFOLDING LICENCE CATEGORIES
It is vital to know which licence permits you to perform scaffolding work before jumping in headfirst. Three tiers dictate the systems you can assemble:
- Basic Scaffolding (SB)
- Intermediate Scaffolding (SI)
- Advanced Scaffolding (SA)
BASIC SCAFFOLDING LICENCE
The beginner qualification allows workers to handle the following:
- Modular and pre-fabricated scaffolding;
- Safety nets;
- Static lines; and
- Bracket scaffolds.
INTERMEDIATE SCAFFOLDING LICENCE
The next step of qualifications. Construction workers must complete the basic qualification before attaining an intermediate licence. Tradesmen can handle the following:
- All models included in the basic scaffolding licence;
- Scaffold Tube and Couplers;
- Cantilever crane loading platforms;
- Cantilever and spurred scaffolds;
- Barrow ramps and sloping platforms;
- Scaffolding with perimeter safety screens or shutters; and
- Mast climbers.
ADVANCED SCAFFOLDING LICENCE
The highest qualification available in Australia requires personnel to complete the previous two courses. Tradesmen can undertake the following:
- All scaffolding work included in basic and intermediate licences;
- Cantilevered hoists;
- Hung scaffolds (hanging from tubing, wires, or chains); and
- Suspended scaffolds.
INTERSTATE SCAFFOLDING WORK
Tradesmen must complete courses in each state if they want to work. However, there is also the option to apply and bypass this requirement through WorkSafe.