Construction jobs can be complex and technical, that’s why you should ensure that you choose a professional scaffolding team with the relevant skills to execute your 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 is also applicable to scaffolding hire and erection services.

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. Sadly, finding a reputable scaffolding company for hire isn’t the easiest thing to do. It can be tempting to go for the very first scaffolding company you come across because of the quality of services some of these companies claim to offer.

However, a little research can be quite rewarding as it will help you avoid making the wrong choice. It is important you work with scaffolding contractors that can meet your specific needs, so your project can be completed as planned. What method is appropriate for starting your search? We’ve come up with a mini-guide to help with that.

Are they safety-conscious?

With scaffolding structures, safety is vital. The scaffolding contractor you decide to hire must therefore have a good reputation for compliance with safety and health regulations. You can find out about any issues in this department by checking with the HSE executive. They report on companies’ performance. You must be aware that not all substandard scaffolding companies have been identified, but this is still a good first step to take.   After checking for performance reports with the safety executive, it is also a good idea to check if the company has insurance cover for accidents.

You should check for the level of employee and public liability insurance. Also, we recommend you check how seriously they take health and safety policies. For example, at Ace Scaffolding in Haywards Heath, we are members of the SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement).  Only scaffolding companies that strictly comply with the health and safety regulations highlighted by the SSIP are eligible for membership. Scaffolding companies that are members of the SSIP are more trustworthy, so this should be considered when making hiring decisions.

What are the installation techniques and materials they use?

The type of materials, equipment, and installation methods used by a scaffolding company will directly impact the quality of scaffolding work the company will deliver. Checking these materials is a good way to assess quality.  A trustworthy scaffolding company will be willing to provide you with details of their processes from installation to dismantling.

Are they insured?

Accidents can happen, regardless of how secure a scaffolding company is with its materials and installation. This means that even the most reputable scaffolding contractors report accidents and damage on their work sites. Shield yourself from unprecedented costs by using a scaffolding company with proper insurance policy.  In the event of mishaps on site, a good scaffolding company should have a plan in place to cover any accidents. Please be sure to check out their insurance information before hiring any scaffolding contractor.

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?

Whether you are purchasing or renting the scaffolding structure, you’ll want to ensure the scaffolding company you choose can offer the relevant design and support in the event of an urgent need to access a hard-to-reach space. 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?

Before signing any contracts, you should ensure you are getting only trained scaffolding professionals with experience in the kind of scaffolding needed to work on your project.   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. This statistic shows a 19% drop when an NASC registered company was used.  “We want to be able to objectively show people that what the NASC does makes a difference,” NASC President Bob Whincap said. “Our safety report is a testament to the fact that NASC businesses perform better.”

Does the scaffolding company have the kind of scaffolding structure you need?

Before deciding on the scaffolding contractor to work with, it is essential to take the minutiae of your project into account.  Even though you might need a typical scaffold tower, you have to ask yourself – is there any other equipment that I will need for my project? 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. If you have a good understanding of your project requirements, it will be easy to find a company that is a good match for it.

Is the company experienced for the type of scaffolding erection you need?

This might seem pretty obvious, but we need to reiterate it. The more experienced a company is, the higher the chances of you getting top quality service. The ability to modify scaffolding services to fit with the requirements of the client is one that experienced scaffolding companies possess.  They’ll have the best fit for your scaffolding requirements.

While websites are a great platform to learn about a brand, the time they have worked is another useful indicator of credibility. Most successful scaffolding companies often will list their years of work experience on their homepages. In the event where no experience references are available, you should reconsider your choice.

What do their reviews say?

To get a feel of how a scaffolding company interacts with their clients, you should check out their reviews. This is a good technique for assessing the strengths and shortcomings of a company while also revealing any possible warning signs.  Do not forget to look at their portfolio to view samples of work they’ve done. 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.