Skip to main content

CROSS Safety Report

Unauthorised scaffolding

Report ID: 111 Published: 1 July 2008 Region: CROSS-UK

This report is over 2 years old

Please be aware that it might contain information that is no longer up to date. We keep all reports available for historic reference and as learning aids.


A reporter raises concerns over a temporary scaffold support that they came across that was over a  public highway.

Key Learning Outcomes

For all built environment professionals:

  • Be aware that the design and construction of scaffolding requires the same degree of competence and quality as does permanent works

  • A scaffold that is erected over a highway should have the required permits and approval in place prior to erection

  • If you notice a potential safety issue not during the course of your work, consider reporting it to the owner or tenant

  • If the owner is not known, then the appropriate regulator could be informed

Full Report

Find out more about the Full Report

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 reporter came across the scaffolding shown below over a public highway (Figure 1). At first, they thought their eyesight was deceiving them but there were obvious signs of deflection in the system. They found out that local area offices grant permits for scaffolding to be erected over the highway, and not building control. In this instance, the erection of the scaffolding was not licensed, and therefore unauthorised, and action was taken.

Figure 1: unauthorised scaffold support

Expert Panel Comments

Find out more about the Expert Panels

Expert Panels comment on the reports we receive. They use their experience to help you understand what can be learned from the reports. If you would like to know more, please visit the CROSS-UK Expert Panels page.

There are no Expert Panel comments on this report. The Expert Panels are only asked to comment on selected reports. These are normally reports where there is an opportunity for them to help you understand what can be learned from the report.


Submit a report

Your report will make a difference. It will help to create positive change and improve safety.

Our secure and confidential safety reporting system gives professionals the opportunity to share their experiences to help others.