Guidance > Working Platforms

Working Platform Guidance

One third of all Dangerous Occurrences reported by FPS Members are related to working platforms. Every Dangerous Occurrence and every 'near miss' involving the platform is a potential fatality. Working Platforms must be designed, properly constructed, regularly inspected  and maintained for the plant which will use them.

The FPS Working Platform Certificate (WPCPDF) confirms that the working platform has been properly designed, constructed in the accordance with the design, and will be regularly inspected and adequately maintained to ensure the integrity of the platform is maintained. It requires the signature of the Principal Contractor and must be handed to the Piling Contractor before piling (or other work) commences on site.

The WPC has the full support of the Health and Safety Executive

The design of the working platform must take account of the bearing pressures of the plant which will use it and the ground conditions on which it will be constructed. It should be undertaken by a qualified designer with appropriate geotechnical expertise.

A BRE Guide 'Working platforms for tracked plant: good practice guide to the design, installation, maintenance and repair of ground-supported working platforms' can be obtained from IHS BRE Press. Tel: 01923 664262 email:

In December 2011 BRE undertook further research to consider the way in which the effect of "structural geosynthetic reinforcement" is evaluated and the fact that the contribution of geosynthetics can be represented in ways other than that depicted in the guide.  Pending a full review of the guide, BRE has reviewed this one issue and its findings are summarised in the document.


The HSE has worked closely with the FPS to develop the working platform initiative and supports the principle of reducing accidents by the certification of properly designed, prepared and maintained working platforms.

Documents Available

Use of 'Structural Geosynthetic Reinforcement' - a BRE review seven years on


FPS Guide to Hydraulically Bound Platforms

Working platform design sensitivity

Calculation of track bearing pressures

Frequently Asked Questions