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CROSS Safety Report

Designed scaffold built incorrectly

Report ID: 701 Published: 1 January 2018 Region: CROSS-UK

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A Temporary Works Coordinator (TWC) found that scaffolding was not constructed in accordance with the approved design drawings and a number of unauthorised modifications had been made.

Key Learning Outcomes

For construction professionals:

  • Having a competent temporary works designer/adviser in place to supply an engineered solution can ensure all temporary works are carefully considered and planned

  • Verification of temporary works erection by a competent person who can oversee and coordinate the whole process can also ensure the works are installed as per the design intent

  • It is good practice to ensure temporary access platforms are not used on site until inspected and approved by a competent person

Full Report

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The Full Report below has been submitted to CROSS and describes the reporter’s experience. The text has been edited for clarity and to ensure anonymity and confidentiality by removing any identifiable details. If you would like to know more about our secure reporting process or submit a report yourself, please visit the reporting to CROSS-UK page.


A Temporary Works Coordinator (TWC) was requested to inspect and issue a permit to load for designed access scaffold on a site. Prior to visiting the site, the TWC was issued with a copy of the approved design drawings and design check certificate. On inspection of the recently completed scaffolding with the scafftag attached, the TWC found that the scaffolding was not built in accordance with the approved design drawings and a number of unauthorised modifications were made.

The TWC immediately removed the scafftag and provided the site manager with a list of construction deviations from the approved design drawings for remediation. The deviations included:

  • Base plates incorrectly placed on sole boards

  • Beams not installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions - bracing was either missing or at incorrect centres

  • Puncheon standards missing couplers

  • Ties back to the structure were either missing or incomplete with girder clamps not being used in pairs

  • Insufficient scaffold tube projection through numerous fixings (due to site constrains not being allowed for in the design)

The design was revised as required and remedial measures undertaken on site prior to the TWC reinspecting the scaffolding and issuing a permit to load.

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