Before employing professionals to provide support on your construction project, ensure they are the ideal team for the project. Whether you are hiring decorators to refurbish your house or moving specialists to help you move house, the work must be done to the highest possible standard. The same applies when you are hiring scaffolding professionals.
Scaffolding towers play a key role in the success of a construction project, therefore if the structure is poorly designed, erected, or dismantled, it could pose health and safety risks for passers-by, your employees, and you. With that said, it is important to work with scaffolding contractors that are qualified, safety-conscious, and experienced. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find a reliable scaffolding company.
Separating the wheat from the chaff can be difficult because most scaffolding companies boast of excellent service and it may seem easy to pick the first available option. However, a little research can be quite rewarding as it will help you avoid making the wrong choice. You must work with scaffolding contractors who can meet your unique needs so that you can complete your project on time and within your budget. What is the most suitable way to start your search? To help with that, we’ve created a mini-guide below.
Are they safety-conscious?
When dealing with scaffolding structures, safety is an essential element to be considered. It is therefore essential that the scaffolding contractor you use has a reputation for good health and safety management. By checking with the health and safety executive, you can receive all the necessary information as they publish a list of companies that are not doing well. Remember that not all terrible scaffolding contractors have been found out, but this is a great first step.
So, apart from checking with the health and safety executive, you should also look out for scaffolding companies who have cover for unavoidable scenarios — those that have excellent employee and public liability insurance (accidents can occur even with the best suppliers). Also, we recommend you check how seriously they take health and safety policies. For example, at Ace Scaffolding in Shoreham, we are members of the SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement).
Scaffolding companies that wish to become members of the SSIP must comply rigidly with the health and safety regulations put in place by the SSIP in order to be eligible. If the scaffolding business that you are considering is a member of SSIP, then they are more likely to be reliable.
What are the installation techniques and materials they use?
Asking for information about the type of installation materials and strategies used by the company is a good way to assess the quality of scaffolding installation work the company you intend to hire does. A trustworthy scaffolding company will be willing to provide you with details of their processes from installation to dismantling.
Are they insured?
No matter how careful or safety-conscious a scaffolding company is in a construction site, accidents can still happen. Therefore, incidents, on-site injuries and property damage will occur even with the best scaffolding firm. Hire a scaffolding company with a good insurance policy to avoid personal costs if any accidents and incidents occur.
Your scaffolding company should be able to offer compensation if anything goes wrong on your site. Always check the insurance packages of your scaffolding company before hiring.
Look for a local company
Going for a local company is a great way to reduce the costs of scaffolding services you will be getting. The costs of transporting equipment are cut down drastically because the company and project site will be close to each other.
Do they offer relevant support?
Regardless of whether you are buying or renting the scaffolding equipment, you must go for a team that can offer technical and emergency support should you require urgent work done at height. Always verify if the initial project quote includes support throughout the project. Damaged areas of your building can deteriorate and your project can face considerable delays if support is not available when you need it.
Are the scaffolders on their team adequately trained?
You need to check that the scaffolders who will be working on your project are qualified and skilled to work on the type of scaffolding structure you chose before hiring them. A valid National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) membership is a key identifier of a trustworthy scaffolding company. Look for a NASC membership before making a choice.
Why is this important?
In 2018, the 2010 NASC scaffolding safety report recorded a 30% decrease in falls from heights. A 19% decrease was recorded in project site incidents when a company registered with NASC was employed. NASC companies have better performance, and our safety report can attest to that fact. According to NASC President Bob Whincup, “We want to be able to objectively show people that what the NASC does makes a difference.”
Does the scaffolding company have the kind of scaffolding structure you need?
Taking into consideration the little details and specifics of your project is crucial before deciding which contractor to choose. Remember to look past the basic requirements like scaffolding towers when considering your project. Determine if your project will require other types of equipment as well.
Be sure that the scaffolding contractor you choose will fulfil all the project requirements, whether it’s a Ginny lift for access to all levels of the building or a scissor lift for additional workspace. You can instantly say whether a scaffolding company would be the best match for your construction project by knowing your requirements entirely.
Is the company experienced for the type of scaffolding erection you need?
That may seem obvious, but it needs to be reiterated. The scaffolding service tends to be of a higher quality when you work with an experienced company. Experienced scaffolding companies can modify and revamp their services to match the requirements of their clients. They’ll be more suited to your scaffolding needs.
While websites are a great platform to learn about a brand, the time they have worked is another useful indicator of credibility. The years of experience a company has in the industry is often displayed by trustworthy companies on the home page of their website. We advise that you reconsider your choice if there are no references to their experience.
What do their reviews say?
A great way to get details and information about the services of a company is by going through their reviews from previous customers. Reviews are a great way to discover the strength and weaknesses of a business as well as the danger signs it may show.
Do not forget to look at their portfolio and view examples of their work. If you have special requirements for your project or your building has unique features, the portfolio will help you see if the scaffolding company you intend to hire has relevant experience or has worked on jobs similar to yours.