Updated 7th February 2012

TG20:08 Scaffolding Guidance

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BS5973 Withdrawn
TG20 Overview
Detailed Explanation
Pricing and Order Information
Technically Speaking 8

Toolbox Talk Pocket Guide
FREE Video Toolbox Talk NEW
Toolbox Talk Powerpoint Presentation
Toolbox Talk Attendance Register
TG20:08 Appendix 'H'
TG20 Interactive Guide NEW
Euro Wind Code Tables (Vol.2) NEW
Supplement 1 NEW


(Originally posted on 21st December 2011)

TG20:08 – Volume 2

Following the introduction of the European Wind Code and the publication of BS EN1991-1-4:2005 + A1:2010 (European Wind) and the National Annexe to BS EN1991-1-4:2005 + A1:2010, the NASC has undertaken a review of all the safe height tables covered in TG20:08 Volume 2 as shown below.

Tables reviewed:

Section 9
Table 29 – 31
(Pages 154 – 159)
Safe heights for Basic independent tied scaffolds fully ledger braced with fully loaded inside boards.

Section 10
Table 34 – 36
(Pages 165 – 168)
Safe heights for Basic independent tied scaffolds part ledger braced with lines of ties at alternative lifts.

Appendix A
Tables A1 – A24
(Pages 172 – 219)
Appendix A - Tables of maximum safe height for fully ledger braced Basic Scaffolds

Appendix B
Tables B1 – B12
(Pages 222 – 233)
Appendix B - Tables of maximum safe height for part ledger braced Basic Scaffolds with line of ties at alternate lifts.

The NASC have completed the final review of the data associated with the wind load calculations and the revised tables are now available.

The NASC would like to advise all users of TG20:08 - Volume 2 that scaffolds erected prior to January 2012 which were designed using the original safe height tables contained in TG20:08 Volume 2 are not considered to require further calculation or review. All scaffolds designed after 1st January 2012 must be designed in accordance with the revised tables.


The NASC would also like to advise users of TG20:08 - Supplement 1 that the safe height tables and the Wind map were revised in January 2012.

Click here to download the revised tables and the revised version of Supplement 1 (9Mb)

Click here to download Supplement 1 only

BS5973 to be formally withdrawn by end of 2010

The UK scaffolding industry should be fully conforming to the European Standard BS EN12811-1:2003 by the end of 2010 rather than the withdrawn British Standard BS 5973:1993.

A recent statement from the HSE has advised the scaffolding industry that time is now running out for the continued use of BS5973:

"As from 1st January 2011 the Health and Safety Executive will no longer acknowledge BS5973:1993 as a recognised standard for the design of tube and fitting scaffolding structures"




Philip White, Chief Inspector of Construction, HSE

Note: This statement is not retrospective and BS5973 scaffolds erected prior to 1st January 2011 will not have to be altered to comply with the European Regulations.

However, BS EN12811-1 is a performance document and does not give detailed advice on safe systems of work for erecting, altering or dismantling scaffolds when erected using tubes and fittings. To overcome this, the NASC produced TG20:08 - Technical Guidance on the use of BS EN12811-1, which has been published as a guide to good practice for scaffolding with tubes and fittings.

TG20 Overview

After significant investment in both time and money the NASC (National Access and Scaffolding Confederation) has now launched the long awaiting guidance note TG20:08 - A Guide to good Practice for Scaffolding with Tubes and Fittings

The combination of detailed testing, calculations and advice on best practice will ensure that TG20:08 becomes adopted by the whole of the UK, (including Scotland).

Designed as an important, practical and user friendly guide for scaffolding contractors and designers the guidance note will also be of use to any construction professional working with scaffolding contractors.

TG20:08 details how tube and fitting scaffolding can be erected to comply with the European standard BS EN 12811-1, which supersedes BS 5973. It is now important that all scaffolding contractors digest and start adopting this document. The original release of TG:20 resulted in some main contractors wanting the document to be implemented immediately, undoubtedly this will happen even though the HSE have agreed not to fully enforce the guidance immediately.

Fundamentally the principles of BS 5973 will remain unchanged and there are few changes for the scaffolder day to day. The main changes are:

  • The processes of justifying the design will alter rather than the scaffold
  • Fa├žade/sway bracing is fitted every six bays
  • There are more tie arrangements and alternatives for greater flexibility
  • The arrangements for some sheeted scaffolds are more varied than BS 5973

However, the scope of TG20:08 is wider than the previous version giving a larger number of standard scaffold arrangements e.g. two inside boards. It also includes debris netted scaffolds and although not part of BS EN 12811, it provides guidance for Putlog scaffolds

TG20:08 will become the required standard by which tube and fitting scaffolding should be erected and (when required) designed.

The guidance has been produced in two volumes, one for every day use by scaffolding contractors and the second for specific use by scaffold designers.

To order TG20:08 please click here

For further detailed information on the implications of TG20:08 please click here

In summary, the standard for ALL scaffolds to be built to within the UK from January 1st 2011 is BS EN12811-1, and the guidance document for tube and fitting scaffolds to meet this European standard is TG20:08 - Technical Guidance on the use of BS EN12811-1

The NASC envisages that all its members will be working fully to the new guidance by no later than the end of 2010.


TG20:08 GUIDANCE Pricing

(includes both Volume 1 and 2)

Non-NASC members

For order form please pick click here


NASC Full members

All copies @ 50% discount
Please log in to the Full members area for your order form.


NASC Information members

All copies @ 50% discount
Please log in to the Information members area for your order form.


CISRS Approved Training Providers

All copies @ 50% discount
Please mark clearly on the order form for your CISRS 50% discount.
For order form please pick click here

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Other Supporting Information and Publications to TG20:08

NEW Video Toolbox Talk

To watch a free online video toolbox talk on the changes in TG20:08 and how to understand them please click here. The video is approximatley 15 minutes long and there is also a short online test that can be taken too.

Click here to watch the video



Toolbox Talk Booklet (TG20:08 Pocket Guide)

To support operatives on site the NASC has also produced a small A6 sized booklet as a toolbox talk and aid memoir. The Toolbox talk covers broadly the differences to 'Basic' scaffolds according to TG20:08 (as opposed to previously BS5973). Priced at just £2.50 (for non-members) the booklet provides excellent value the NASC would encourage all scaffolders to have one of these booklets to hand every day on site to maintain compliance.

To order the Toolbox Talk Pocket Guide please click here

(NB: NASC Members should order the TG20:08 Pocket Guide via the Members area of this website to receive their discounted price)

(Released July 2009)

Toolbox Talk Powerpoint Presentation

To ensure operatives have been informed and trained on the fundamental differences to 'Basic' scaffold design on site the NASC has produced a simple but effective PowerPoint presentation for use by Site Managers and Staff who carry out Toolbox talks.

The presentation is free and can be downloaded by clicking here (PowerPoint file) or by clicking here (as a PowerPoint file within a Zip file)

To avoid errors when downloading this file please only click 'save' option - not 'open'

(Released July 2009)

Attendance Register

Designed to be used with the PowerPoint presentation (detailed above), the attendance register is for operatives to sign to confirm they have read and understood the Toolbox presentation, and for management to maintain a copy of the signatures on file for recording purposes.

The Attendance Register is free and can be downloaded by clicking here

(Released July 2009)


Technically Speaking 8 (updated to include TG20:08)

(Released June 2009)


TG20:08 Appendix 'H' Tying to Permeable Open Structures

(Released January 2010)


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Latest NASC News
New Euro wind tables now available for TG20:08 Vol. 2