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Working on scaffolding

Scaffolding for roof work

When working on roofs, the distance from the foot of the roof to the scaffold floors must not exceed 0.5 m. There must also be a dense cover on the top scaffold floor.

If scaffolding is used for safety when working on pitched roofs, this must be provided with a screen which can arrest the fall of anyone falling from the roof. This screen must be at least 1 m high and cover a parallel line 1 m above the surface of the roof. Use steel mesh, plywood panelling or similar, for example.

When working on roofs, the scaffolding must be made wider in order to ensure that the necessary space is available; this can be done using brackets, for example.


These 3 points are applicable for all scaffolding work:

  • Scaffolding parts must not project upwards at the top level.
  • All hatches must be closed when work is being carried out on the scaffolding.
  • Trestling, boxes, ladders, loose construction elements, etc. must not be used to increase the working height.

Particular risks

If scaffolding is erected and used on and near to public roads, this work is also covered by the rules of the road. A delineation plan must be prepared which is to be approved by the road authority. The delineation plan must show in detail where the barriers are to be set up, which boards, etc. are to be used and how the scaffolding is to be protected in order to prevent collisions.

If there are overhead cables so close to the scaffolding that staff come within what is known as the safe distance (see drawing), the electric cables must be insulated to prevent contact or the power must be switched off. Only qualified personnel from e.g. the local utility company may make live cables safe. The measurements in the drawing are minimum figures.