A scaffold tie is the important connection that fastens the scaffolding to a solid building or body to prevent it from collapse. When installed properly in a system they create a resistance to opposing forces such as high winds and vehicle collision.
Scaffold Anchor Pull-Out Testing of the pull out strength of construction fixings is becoming an essential and legal part of health and safety in the building industry.
Why do you need to test anchor ties?
In short because we want to avoid the potential for a disaster if stacked heavy metal tubes were to fall from a faulty scaffold. Each metal tube is capable of inflicting heavy damage to people or property, especially if erected on modern buildings in a populated high-street, or a busy building-site.
It’s not only the human cost during a collapse if there were to be fatalities, the scaffolder responsible could face a hefty fine and a custodial sentence. Also, the debris will have to be cleared and scaffold rebuilt. This would cause a delay in the completion and many wasted hours or days which will result in further costs.
Ensure your scaffolding is safe and secure, and one important part of this is to test the scaffold anchor ties.
What is a scaffold anchor tie and what does it do?
The National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) is the trade body for access and scaffolding in the UK. The NASC Guidance Note 'TG4:17 - Anchorage Systems for Scaffolding' describes several common anchor types, such as drop-in anchors, self-tapping screws and ring bolts.
An anchor may be strong enough and specifically approved for the job but if installed incorrectly or into a weak material they will be compromised and potentially fail. That’s why testing on-site in the actual working conditions is so important.
The NASC Guidance Note 'TG4:17 - Anchorage Systems for Scaffolding' sets out requirements for two types of test:
TG4:17- PRELIMINARY TESTS of scaffold anchors - to check the suitability and allowable loads of an anchor type in a particular base material
- PROOF TESTS - sample tests to check that anchors have been installed correctly – to be carried out on all jobs.