What is SS 659 : 2020 (SINGAPORE STANDARD – Code of Practice for Scaffolds)

It is a revision of CP 14 : 1996, “Code of Practice for Scaffolds”.

The summary of changes is as follows:

  • Inclusion of stakeholders’ responsibilities;
  • Inclusion of aluminium mobile tower and mobile access tower;
  • Update of the figures; and
  • Alignment with current industry practices
  • Tower scaffolds are categorised into:
  • Aluminium Tower Scaffolds
  • Steel Tower Scaffolds
  • Aluminium Tower scaffold will now be heavily dependent on EN1004 / PASMA concepts. Excerpts can be found in SS 659 Chapter 12.


What is the difference between a Fibreglass and an Aluminium Ladder?

The aluminium and fibreglass ladders have their own advantages and special properties.

Aluminium ladders do not rust or corrode and are fully recyclable. Aluminium ladders are easy to transport and store thanks to its lightweight property. Our aluminium ladders are robust and tested for maximum durability.

Fibreglass ladders can be used where an electrical hazard exists. It is recommended and, in most cases mandatory to use fibreglass ladders instead of aluminium in such applications. Fibreglass ladders provide electrical insulation between the user and the earth thus reducing (but not necessarily eliminating) the potential risk of electrocution.


What should I do before I use my ladder?

It is recommended that your ladder/s be inspected prior to use. The following should be undertaken:

  • Check for damage or missing components.
  • Check for loose or missing bolts or rivets.
  • Check ladder feet for excessive wear.
  • Check ropes are not fraying and are securely attached.
  • Check that ladder stiles/rungs/treads are straight.
  • Check spreaders are in good order.
  • Check that the ladder is free from dust, water, grease and corrosion.
  • Clean a ladder with mild soapy water and ensure it is dry prior to use.
  • Check timber ladder for splits, rot, and insect infestation.
  • Never paint a timber ladder use a clear varnish suitable for exterior or marine environments so that defects are not hidden.
  • If a ladder does have any defects take it out of service immediately and replace it.
  • Store ladders in a dry, covered location.
  • Exposure to excessive heat may weaken a ladder.
  • If the ladder has sustained a blow or impact carefully check the ladder for defects prior to next use.

We conduct a ladder user and inspection course. For more information, please visit our SAE Training department (link to our training department)


How do I repair my damaged ladder?

For the safety of the user, we do not recommend repairing a damaged ladder.


What is the current product standard for mobile towers?

EN1004:2004 (published in the UK as BSEN1004:2004) is the European standard for mobile access and working towers made from prefabricated elements. It was published in 2004 and replaces the withdrawn British standard BS1139 Part 3. EN1004 covers standard mobile towers in the height range of 2.5m to 8m for external (outdoors) use and 2.5m to 12m internal (indoors) use.

BS1139 Part 6 Metal Scaffolding, is the British standard which covers mobile access towers outside of the scope of EN1004:2004 but which use the same components. Examples are high level towers greater than 12m for internal use and 8m for external use, towers with cantilever platforms, towers less than 2.5m in height commonly referred to as room scaffolds, linked towers and high clearance towers.


What is the 3T method and what is Advance Guardrail (AGR)?

3T stands for Through the Trap and it is one of two processes used for fall protection on mobile towers recommended by PASMA and the HSE. The other process is the use of Advance Guardrail (AGR) systems. If you do not know what the 3T method is or how Advance Guardrail (AGR) systems work and you are involved in the building of mobile towers or you have responsibilities for the use of mobile towers, then please contact us. (link to our training department)


Do I need the manufacturer’s instruction manual to assemble a tower?

If you do not have a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions, you cannot assemble the tower. If you hire a tower you should be issued a copy by the hire company. When you are assembling, altering or dismantling a mobile tower:

You must have a copy of the correct instructions with you.

You must note all of the safety information, the schedule of components and follow the step-by-step instructions every time and you must do this, even if you are a PASMA trained operative. (link to our training department)


When should mobile towers be inspected?

Towers must be inspected as often as is necessary to ensure safety.

PASMA recommends that towers where it is possible to fall 2m or more you should carry out inspections after assembly or significant alteration, before use and following any event likely to have affected the towers stability or structural integrity. You should complete and issue the inspection report in accordance with the requirements of the Work at Height Regulations. Re-inspect the tower as often as is necessary to ensure safety and at a minimum of every 7 days. A new report should be issued at each inspection.

You do not need to re-inspect the tower if it is moved unless it was necessary to significantly alter it to make that movement or if anything happens when moving it that may have affected its safety.