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Erecting and Dismantling Restricted Height Scaffolding

Qualified painters are permitted to erect scaffolding up to four meters high without a scaffolding license.

Before commencing work with any type of restricted height scaffold a risk assessment should be undertaken.
It is wise to conduct a survey of the proposed worksite before conducting the assessment as each location will have different hazards to deal with. These hazards may influence the choice of scaffolding and the financial outcome of the job. Workcover NSWs research shows that slips,trips and falls are one of the most common causes of injury to workersin the construction industry. Falls from ladders and scaffold can have serious consequences for workers and their families. Falling objects striking workers or the public can also cause serious injury and must be considered when producing the risk assessment.

Generally it is always necessary to protect other workers and the public from falling objects when conducting work on ladders or scaffold. Some control measures commonly used to prevent this are as follows:

  • The supervisor or manager of the site should be informed of the location and duration of the work.
  • Installation of warning signs
  • The establishment of an exclusion zone around the work area by the use of barriers, cones or bunting
  • Control of pedestrian or vehicular traffic if required
  • Lanyards on tools that may fall from scaffolding
  • Fitting toeboards where available
  • Never leave scaffold/ladders unattended unless secured to prevent unauthorized access.
  • The use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment ( hard hat, gloves, covered footwear, goggles, close fitting clothing )

Common Hazards


Overhead electricity supply lines are dangerous. Notify the local electricity authority before erecting any scaffold near electrical wires or supply lines so that the power may be switched off, reā€routed or covered. At ground level, make sure any holes pits or gratings are covered.
If there is any doubt about the stability of the ground it is recommended that sole boards be used to distribute the loadings. Soft earth or piping under the ground may not carry the weight of a scaffold. Hot mix asphalt softens in the sun and may allow the castors to sink.


General scaffold Safety Precautions

  • Towers must never be moved with people or materials on the platforms.
  • Must only be moved by applying force at the base of the tower.
  • NEVER tow or push mobile scaffold towers with a vehicle
  • NEVER move towers in high wind conditions
  • Take care overhead electric cables.
  • Scaffold height must not exceed 3 times the minimun base measurement.
  • If the 3 – 1 slenderness ratio is exceeded outriggers must be used or the towers needs to be tied to an adjacent building or structure.
  • The tower must be plumb.
  • Take care when moving mobile towers, ie: do not attempt to pull them along at working platform level, this could overbalance the structure.
  • Make certain that the ground is clear of obstructions, potholes, ducts, etc.
  • Make certain that the tower is clear of overheard obstructions.
  • Bracing members must be fitted in accordance with instructions.
  • Guardrails and toeboards must be fitted to prevent people or materials falling from the working platform. Lanyards should be used on heavy equipment.
  • Do not use a tower in adverse weather conditions.
  • The castor wheels must be locked when operations are taking place on the tower.
  • Do not exceed the safe working load.

CPCCCM2008 Erect and dismantle restricted height scaffolding - Learning Resources

To access quality learning resources, including learner guides, multi-media learning resources, and assessment tools, contact the National Painting and Decorating Institute.