New scaffolding guidance will cut costs and transform sector
The National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has launched a new best-practice guide which it claims will transform the industry, saving scaffolders thousands of pounds a year in design fees as well as speeding up site work.
TG20:13 – the name for the new technical guidelines for tube and fitting scaffolding – has been developed by the NASC to facilitate compliance with BS EN 12811, the British and European design standard for scaffolding.
The guidance is backed by the Health & Safety Executive and the UK Contractors Group.
The guidance and accompanying design software provide guidelines for independent scaffold structures, birdcages, loading bays, ladder-access and free-standing towers, and chimney scaffolds.
It includes features such as bridges, protection fans, inside board brackets, cantilevered platforms and pavement lifts. Floor-level lifts and double standards are addressed, and guidance is provided for the first time for structural transom units.
By using the TG20:13 e-Guide, designed for Macs, PCs and tablets, scaffolders erecting basic structures will be able to demonstrate full compliance with BS EN 12811 without requiring a bespoke design.
The NASC estimates that perhaps as many as 80% of current scaffolding structures will no longer need to hire a designer to satisfy client requirements
The NASC estimates that perhaps as many as 80% of current scaffolding structures will no longer need to hire a designer to satisfy client requirements. Proposed construction changes to standard configurations that have had to go back and forth between scaffolder and designer to achieve compliance with EU standards, costing on average £400 a job and adding sometimes weeks to a job, are now eliminated at a stroke.
The TG20:13 compliance process has been designed to be easy to use and covers the entire range of scaffolding configurations. It incorporates much new research into wind effects on scaffolding, with the software working out exposure for different approaches, depending on which part of the country the work is taking place.
The NASC describes TG20:13, which comes into effect on 30 June this year, as “the most significant change in the industry for years”, claiming it will make the industry slicker and more streamlined than ever before.
“The new version of TG20 sees a step change in our industry with regard to the design of tube and fitting scaffolds.”
Kevin Ward, NASC
NASC managing director Robin James commented: “TG20:13 represents a hugely improved, more user-friendly and significantly enhanced technical guidance system. We are confident that our members, and the wider industry, will welcome this innovative product.
NASC president Kevin Ward added: “TG20:13 is not a rewrite, it is a completely new suite of documents. The scope of these documents has meant that it has taken longer to complete than was initially hoped. It has been worth the wait though.
“The new version of TG20 sees a ‘step change’ in our industry with regard to the design of tube and fitting scaffolds. In future our clients will be expecting either a site specific ‘TG20:13 compliance sheet’ or a ‘full temporary works scaffold design’ to be submitted as part of a scaffold plan prior to the commencement of any works, and the HSE will also be looking for this.”
Heather Bryant, HM chief inspector of construction for the HSE, said: “HSE is pleased to acknowledge that the NASC has written TG20:13 to provide a standard for traditional tube and fitting scaffolds to help industry manage safety risks effectively in the scaffolding and wider construction sector.”
Stephen Ratcliffe, director of the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) said: “We applaud and support the work of the NASC which will no doubt result in safer scaffolding structures being installed and thus reduce the frequency of scaffolding failures, which at present occur far too frequently across the industry.
“The UKCG recommends the adoption and standardised use of TG20:13 to the wider industries that utilise scaffolding structures both within and outside the construction sector.”
The NASC has arranged a series of regional workshops to help members adjust to the new compliance regime.
TG20:13 comprises four publications:
1. TG20:13 Operational Guide
A full-colour, brand new, 224-page guide containing detailed practical guidance for most common types of scaffolding supported by structural research and calculations.
Guidance is provided for an expanded range of standard structures which includes independent scaffolding, interior birdcages, chimney stack scaffolds, loading bays, ladder-access towers, free-standing towers, lift shaft towers and putlog scaffolding. A range of TG20 “compliance sheets” is included for these structures.
2. TG20:13 Design Guide
Intended predominantly for engineers and designers, this 206-page document provides technical data, commentary, and source material for use by competent and suitably qualified scaffold designers in circumstances which are outside the scope of standard solutions provided in the TG20:13 Operational Guide and TG20:13 e-Guide software.
3. TG20:13 e-Guide
Designed for Mac, PC and tablet use, making it extremely easy to check scaffolds for TG20:13 compliance digitally, with user-friendly software which will facilitate printing and circulation of details of TG20 compliant structures by email. The TG20:13 e-Guide calculates and prints compliance sheets for TG20 compliant scaffolding. It allows TG20 to incorporate a wide range of scaffolding configurations, and calculates safe heights, tie duties and leg loads.
The purpose of the TG20:13 eGuide is to browse for TG20 compliance sheets: definitions of standard scaffolds that have been designed by structural calculation to BS EN 12811 and do not require additional design.
TG20 compliance sheets specify the design criteria for scaffolding including the height to which it may be safely erected, the maximum dimensions to which it must conform, the leg loads its foundations must support and, where applicable, the ties required to stabilise it.
TG20 compliance sheets can be exported to the Adobe PDF electronic format for printing, saving onto a computer or distribution by email.
4. TG20:13 User Guide
A 32-page, full-colour pocket guide in A6 format. This document clearly summarises the requirements for TG20 compliant scaffolding and offers indispensable guidance to the scaffolding operative on-site.
A full TG20:13 suite will be free for NASC members. Non-members will pay £995 + VAT. NASC says that the price reflects the costs required to research and produce the guide, and says scaffolders should recoup the outlay in just three to four average sized contracts.