The HSE has issued a safety alert after finding that many manufacturers are selling extendable scaffold loading bays that do not satisfy legal requirements when set up in certain ways. It has identifed that when extended, the loading bay gate, which should form part of the edge protection, is not robust enough for this purpose.

You must make sure that all work at height is properly planned, risk assessed and controlled. Anyone who is in control of scaffold erection needs to check the type and take appropriate action.

The HSE recognises that many loading bay gates are manufactured overseas and so employers will not be able to replace them quickly. Therefore, the use of cable ties will be accepted until the end of December 2016 and should be included in seven-day scaffold inspections.