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Scaffolding certification


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I have just been asked if I can go on a film shoot for a local production as a general rigger / cable basher / GDB (the word local is the basis for funding - everybody must live within the county!). that is not a problem - laying camera track / cable bashing etc...


the other requirement is certification - I will be required to put up black drapes using metal poles to partition off areas...


these metal poles are scaffolding bars... :mods:


while using scaff bars in ents industry (slung from points etc ) is commonplace, it is not 'constructing' anything - this would be in the strictest sence of the word a 'construction'.... i.e. a collection of bars standing upon the ground supporting a drape (and probably the odd emergency light)


I know that I am not sufficiently competent to make anything resembling a scaffold platform for people or equipment to sit on and would not do so, but does this require a ticket???


If so, are there any quick courses that could provide a 'cover your ass' certification... here comes the crux... without any 'formal experience' or 'previous or current employment in the construction industry' :)


In NI, there are short courses that allow you to create access platforms up to 7m high, but they require a time of employment in the construction industry, but I haven't seen anything remotely like it over here... :)


as if I'm not asking for cake as it is.... preferably costing less than a grand....

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Hi Angus (Hamilton here from 'down-under').


Firstly I'm going to assume you are in the U.K. (not obvious from your profile) so apologies if I am wrong.


I've done this sort of work both in U.K. and Oz, and the 'Black Out' (or 'Mask Out') usually falls into one of two areas;


1. Quick Build

2. Major Build


'Quick Build' is the more common method and usually requires a ground supported system such as 'Telescopic Push Up's' with flat base plates and shot bags which extend up to a height of 5.5m, and a transom / ledger (horizontal bar) 1.5m - 3.0m long. Or 'Winch Up Trees' with bars or Tri truss which any one can erect without certification or 'Ticket' - At maximum height you should ensure that you have at least 3 shot bags per base plate and that the top bar is tied back to prevent them being blown over (remember that you are constructing a fairly large sail). NB - I've shown an Australian company in the links purely for you to get the idea of what I'm on about.


'Major Build' on the other hand is generally required for much larger areas (whole sides of buildings etc) and requires modular scaffolding such as Kwikform or Plettac etc. This you will need certification for if you are going to do it yourself - my advice is that you would hire the modular scaff together with certified scaffolders to erect it under your direction.


In some instances you can use light alloy access scaffolding such as Allscaff which can be 'Dry hired' from most tool & plant hire companies (Kennards?). Be aware of several issues with this in that it MUST be put together correctly (ledgers fit to the uprights on the end ladder frames NOT onto the ledgers of the end ladder frames). And you can only build up to a certain height (6m in Oz). Alloy towers on wheels can be useful if you need to relocate the mask quickly for a re-light or re-shoot, but they don't cover a very wide area - I try to avoid them if possible, although a couple of 6m towers are a useful tool in your 'Grips' kit. In the past I have rigged a 6m alloy scaff tube between two towers to create a wider mask (be aware that the bar will sag in the middle).


Hope this helps.





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cheers for your reply, please do not take this the wrong way, but I know of the alternatives, and have used many push-ups, wind ups and towers in the last 12 years or so.


Good guess... I am based in the UK, I do kind of forget that there are quite a few members from across one puddle or another...


I was going to post what I've been told about the job, but it is mere storytelling...


the basic question is ignoring anything that could possibly provoke a 'you could always....' answer is...



....does anyone know of any basic scaffolding courses... here comes the crux... without the prerequisite of any 'formal experience' or 'previous or current employment in the construction industry'





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been there Thursday, and searched industry sites (bluestone / willmot dixon / sgb / NASC / SIA) and searched google, and searched.... henceforth the 'without the prerequisite of any 'formal experience' or 'previous or current employment in the construction industry'- they are top of my 'gonna call on Monday' list - unable to Thursday or Friday to see if there is anything else, but even the most basic courses I found had something like the below quote attached to it ...




Who should attend?

Applicants should be registered as a Trainee Scaffolder and have 6 months site experience


I am quite capable of searching the internet, and not afraid to walk to the old TEC to ask, but not had time since the offer came in, and thought I'd push the boat out here while I was waiting for 'office hours' next week... really IOW I am asking if someone on here has got a certification in basic scaffolding, without spending their youth on a building site and knowing the path I should take (if it is still available)

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Would this be of any interest to you?


Its on SGB's website, says its aimed at:


" Target Audience

For site managers or supervisors responsible for checking that the erection of scaffolding has been carried out safely and correctly."


which, I know isn't really you, but this bit looks good:


"The course is intended to provide a good understanding of basic scaffolding, including safety requirements and assistance in identifying faults in scaffolding. "





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sorry Sean - already looked at the SGB site (as mentioned above) the course contains


Classroom format covering:


* Scaffolding Functions

* Traditional Scaffolding Components

* Identifying scaffold faults

* Test Paper


no practical work involved - just an 'appreciation course' designed so that someone could tell if it was unsuitably / badly / unsafely constructed or used damadged parts - it doesn't teach you how to build it - a 'critics course' ..



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My school asked for TA-SC to come in and do a proficiency course. It was a day long and it gave us the required bit of paper to make/use any type of scaffolding, so that we have PUWER and other regulations covered. anyway their number is 0845 050 7171. I dont have a website address for the TA-SC (Training assessment safety consultants ltd) but im sure a quick google wont hurt
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Thank you Chris - will try them first thing Monday - I was on one of your courses in October '01 - I'm grateful to see that you are still contributing to the education of others - long may it be so!.


DjDunc - cheers for your contact - I had not heard of them in relation to scaffoling courses as self contained certifiable courses, but that doesn't mean there aren't any..... I don't think that TASC is a very 'local' project, and as such, will be unable to help me, but I will try both and report back....


thanks again both of you.




Hmmmm.... It seems that I am not the only person interested in scaffolding - both of them have a slow but steady stream of TV and theatre / corporate event riggers call them with the same queries... both say that a CSIRS part 1 is 'not strictly necessary' since all that gives me is the ability to work on construction sites (TASC cannot do that, not being accredited)- an NVQ level 2 is what both suggested, moving to level 3 after a while. (you need the NVQ before getting your CSIRS certification anyway)


Both pointed out correctly that were I to do anything, due to the manual handling of scaffolding components and needing a 'third hand' at times, I'd need 'assistance' from somebody, and that person would also need to have had training

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I think it's a bit like rigging (at present, at least!) where it is the venue and employer(s) who need to be sure that anyone working for them is competent.

If competent means trained, which in this case it probably does, then there is no 'ticket' for specific applications.

You could try Jason Curtis at Media Safety, 01923 685000

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