Case Study : Chapman Scaffolding Pre-Use Scaffolding Safety Inspection

Ken Chapman has worked in the construction industry for over 40 years, building up a wealth of experience in scaffolding management and forming Chapman Scaffolding in 1991. Based in Flixton, Greater Manchester, Chapman Scaffolding Ltd provides a comprehensive service in Manchester and its surrounding areas. Their services include scaffolding hire and erection, tubular scaffolding, CAD drawing services and scaffolding inspection. At Chapman’s, safe working practices are an integral part of the business; all staff receive C.I.T.B. and confined spaces training, and are SAFEcontractor approved.

Chapman’s first started using SG World's scaffolding pre-use safety inspection in 2000 — a multi-part system comprising a handy pad of inspection checklists tailored to the specific piece of equipment and its governing safety regulations. Completing a slip creates a carbon copy for records as well as a complete local inspection history that stays with scaffolding. The reverse of the checklist slip is a Pass/Fail notice which is displayed in a hi-vis, hard-wearing status indicator paddle which affixes to the scaffolding, giving site personnel an instant red flag to see if the scaffolding is unsafe.

Chapman’s initially used the Scafftag system but saw the distinct advantages in SG World’s scaffolding pre-use safety inspection in its duplicate record keeping and the high visibility of the Pass/Fail notice. While the construction industry has significantly reduced the number and rate of injury over the last 20 years it remains a high risk occupation. Employing about 5% of UK employees, construction-related injury still accounts for 27% of fatal injuries and 9% of reported major injuries overall. With these figures, construction sites are routinely targeted by the HSE for ‘spot checks’. The bright yellow scaffolding pre-use safety inspection status paddle provides an instant indication that there is a structured inspection process in place on the site.

SG World designs and prints its own documentation, and offered Chapman’s a cost-effective bespoke system that combined the inspection checklist with a Handing Over Certificate — the documentation that is signed off by the site manager confirming that the scaffolding is in safe operational condition. Merging the two pieces of documentation cut down on paperwork making it easier to follow the process.

"We’re very happy with SG World's scaffolding pre-use safety inspection . We have had an incident where a builder was injured on our scaffold. We were able to go through our records and confidently demonstrate to all involved parties that the accident couldn’t be attributed to any fault in the scaffold erection. In addition to our own piece of mind, our Health and Safety processes averted any potential lengthy and damaging litigation." Ken Chapman said.
“As a business we get through over a thousand of pre-use inspection checklists and are very happy with the product. The product is simple to use and the paddles are hard wearing – they need to be as the hi-vis indicators get daily abuse from being slung in the back of the trucks.”
Chapman’s have seen a lot of change in the construction industry over the past decades. The rules and regulations governing scaffolding companies have multiplied and the HSE closely monitor that guidelines are being followed, actively pursuing any company not adopting robust Health and Safety processes.
“Chapman’s take Health and Safety very seriously. We work with our own Risk Assessment consultancy to ensure we are following best practice across all of our processes including our scaffold inspection system. The economic climate has been tough for many firms in the construction industry, but our business has remained stable. Thanks to our niche skills, we can accommodate large, specialist commercial projects as well as domestic work. A solid safety record and a highly visible deployment of Health and Safety processes is essential in successfully winning these contracts.”
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