Electrical power for swing stages

This alert highlights the need for principal, scaffold and electrical contractors to work together to ensure the electrical installation for swing-stages is safe and fit for purpose.



Recently, inspections of swing-stage installations have found unsuitable construction switchboards being used.

Switchboards suppling power to swing-stages should be designed so that electrical power cannot be inadvertently disconnected. They should also be designed so that a person must complete a deliberate action before disconnection can occur.

Control measures

The principal, scaffold and electrical contractors should work together to ensure switchboards are suitable for swing-stages, including:

  • positioning switchboard close to the swing-stage
  • ensuring wiring is designed to limit voltage drop to a maximum of 5 per cent, based on:
    • 2 per cent to the switchboard
    • 3 per cent for the flexible supply cord for the swing-stage
  • having a dedicated circuit for each swing-stage protected by separate Residual Current Devices (RCDs).

Some methods to prevent inadvertent disconnection of swingstage supply cords are:

  • hard wiring the supply cord into the switchboard
  • securing plug-tops to socket-outlets with purpose-designed locking rings
  • using a dedicated switchboard so the switchboard can be locked to prevent access.

Label supply cords with ‘Do not remove’, or similar.