France Tightens Scaffolding Rules

01 May 2008

French rules governing scaffolding safety have been tightened as a result of the introduction of new regulations for working at height introduced last year.

The regulations, which became law on 1 September 2004, transpose into national law the European Temporary Work at Height Directive (2001/45/EC), and they cover all types of work at height, including specific measures for scaffolding.

These measures require scaffold contractors to undertake additional checks on scaffold installations when they are erected or altered in any way. Contractors can either do the checks themselves or employ independent expert bodies. The new regulations do not change scaffolding designs.

The regulations will also have a wider impact on working at height in France because they explicitly cover all industries, not just construction. In the past focus was on the dangers of working above 3 m height. The new regulations do not include this 3 m cut-off and require employers to undertake a risk assessment at all working heights.

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