23 March 2017

Do you certify or design scaffolding systems?


Chartered Professional Engineers engaged to certify scaffolding systems need to make sure they are following current guidelines.

Engineers now need to refer to the latest version of the Good Practice Guidelines for Scaffolding in New Zealand, released in November 2016 by WorkSafe New Zealand.

The guidelines provide information for the design of scaffold systems used in scaffold structures, as well as providing information on competency requirements for people designing scaffold structures. Chartered Professional Engineers must be engaged to design certain scaffold structures and these criteria are detailed in the guidelines.

Those engineers certifying scaffolding systems or components of systems not only must be aware of the primary intended use but also must ensure the certification also applies to, or explicitly does not apply to, variations or combinations of the systems, components or uses beyond the intended use.

Scaffold systems must comply with these (or equivalent) standards:

  • 1576.1 General requirements
  • 1576.2 Couplers and accessories
  • 1576.3 Prefabricated and tube and coupler scaffolding
  • 1576.4 Suspended scaffolding
  • 1577 Scaffold decking components

Certification must include references to required analysis or testing to meet or exceed the above standards. Testing should be conducted at an approved facility and results should be reported in the formats given in the relevant standards. A scaffold system must comply with all the requirements of these standards, including the provision of manufacturers’ information and instructions.

Designers and certifiers are an upstream PCBU (Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking) under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and have a duty of care to ensure the safety of the system.

Read the Guidelines