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NASC Welcomes Two New Supplier Members

NASC Welcomes Two New Supplier Members

Two established scaffolding suppliers have had their applications to become NASC full non-contracting members approved.

PSB Sales Ltd, based in Devon, and PcP Gratings Ltd, based in Wolverhampton, both met the NASC’s stringent membership criteria and were formally accepted as NASC members in May.

Both companies must now complete an audit covering Quality Systems & Procedures, Product Testing, Raw Material & Components and Process Control in respect of scaffolding products covered by the NASC Code of Practice. Where appropriate relevant BS, EN & ISO Standards are utilised.

PSB Sales Ltd offers a wide range of both new and used conventional and system scaffolding, building products and accessories throughout the south-west and beyond.

Daniel Steele, Group Business Manager of PSB Sales Ltd, said: “The NASC has been setting the benchmark for product testing which will offer our customers peace of mind. We wished to join to provide our customers assurance that our equipment and service is of the highest quality.

“As such, we are delighted to become members of the NASC and look forward to developing and growing with them.”

PcP Gratings Ltd is a manufacturer and supplier of gratings, scaffold tube and boards as well as sundry components and accessories.

Peter Webster, Director of PcP Gratings, said: “At PCP Gratings Ltd we understand the importance of the NASC to the industry. The NASC is and has for decades been a true industry trade body with a rigorous audit process, and high standards for entry and retention of membership.

“We are proud to have been accepted as a full non contracting member and look forward to fully participating with and supporting all existing and future members of the NASC.”

Sean Pike, Chair of the NASC Hire, Sales and Manufacturing Committee and Managing Director of Layher UK, said: “We are delighted that both PSB Sales Ltd and PcP Gratings Ltd have recognised the benefits of attaining NASC non contracting membership.

“Through meeting the membership criteria, both companies have demonstrated to their customers that they are committed to delivering the highest standards in both product and service.”

The NASC is currently developing a suite of product guidance documents. This reference material, which is being prepared by the NASC Hire, Sales & Manufacturing Committee, will give scaffolding contractors key advice regarding product specification.

It will include detailed sections on system scaffolds, EN39 tube, EN74-1 couplers, BS2482 timber board, aluminium beams and high tensile 3.2mm tube and will list the basic compliance requirements for each product group.

The guidance documents are also designed to assist NASC auditors when auditing contracting member companies. Publication is anticipated in June 2018.

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Falls From Height – Are You Legally Responsible?

Falls From Height – Are You Legally Responsible?

By Adrian Rooney, Chair of the NASC Health and Safety Committee and Managing Director of Midland Scaffolding Services

A contractor is injured after falling off a scaffold. In legal terms, who is responsible?

Most people answering this question correctly apportion liability to the contractor’s employer and the scaffolding contractor, however many respondents completely overlook another party that could be held to blame; the principal contractor or developer.

Worryingly, many principal contractors and developers are themselves unaware of their legal responsibilities under Work at Height Regulations 2005 – and the financial penalties they face for breaching this legislation.

In April 2018, a principal contractor received an eight-month sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to pay £5,000 compensation and £2,000 in costs after a self-employed worker fell from height and suffered life threatening injuries.

Leeds Crown Court heard how the operative fell approximately eight metres on to a paved floor, resulting in a traumatic brain injury, bruising, and damage to his left arm.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that scaffolding erected on the site did not extend fully across the intended area of works and did not provide a protective area along the ledge where the operative was working. The principal contractor failed to ensure suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent persons falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.

This case demonstrates the need for developers and principal contractors using scaffolds on their projects to be fully responsible for managing this equipment. HSE regulations state that they should check that anyone they appoint has the skills, knowledge, experience and, where relevant, the organisational capability to carry out their work safely and without risk to health.

But what does this mean in practice and how do those organisations protect themselves from the possibility of prosecution and potentially severe financial penalties?

The NASC would remind everyone with responsibility that scaffold inspections are undertaken weekly as required by the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and that all tradesman using the scaffolds are fully aware of how to work on the scaffold safely and have received appropriate training.

We also strongly recommend that their procurement process is robust. They should be able to demonstrate that the scaffolding contractor they appoint has the necessary competence and experience to erect and dismantle scaffolding safely with skilled operatives and can evidence that they are health and safety compliant.

This can easily be achieved by simply ensuring they utilise the services of an NASC full contracting member. To gain, and then retain, NASC membership, the scaffolding contractor must prove they are experienced and meet all current health and safety legislation and their operatives are highly trained with an emphasis on directly employed operatives, as well as meeting additional stringent membership criteria.

By adopting an NASC only scaffolding procurement policy, companies can go a long way to protecting themselves against the likelihood of prosecutions and associated financial penalties or custodial terms under the recent Health and Safety Sentencing Guidelines.

We believe that greater awareness of the potential legal and financial risks principal contractors and developers currently expose themselves to will result in an increased appreciation of the peace of mind value of using NASC only.

So, remember, when it comes to procuring safe and compliant scaffolding that won’t leave you liable in the event of a fall from height – it has to be NASC.

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NASC Launches Head for Heights Campaign

NASC Launches Head for Heights Campaign

The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation has today launched its Head for Heights campaign, aimed at changing how mental health is approached and acted upon in the scaffolding industry.

The campaign will see the NASC attempt to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and wellbeing and raise awareness of the simple steps companies can take to introduce a proactive approach to tackling these issues in a sensitive manner – and the positive impact this can have.

As part of the Head for Heights initiative, the NASC has signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge, a growing social movement established to end mental health discrimination, and is urging NASC members to follow suit.

According to Time to Change, one in four people experience a mental health problem every year and half of those affected say that the associated isolation and shame is worse than the condition itself.

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to launch our Head for Heights campaign and also sign the Time to Change Employer Pledge, demonstrating our commitment to addressing how mental health is viewed in the industry.

“There is a stigma surrounding mental health, one that is felt particularly keenly in a male-dominated industry such as scaffolding and access. That’s why we’re so keen to support people and help them find the confidence to speak up, and also support businesses looking to step up their mental health and wellbeing support.”

To find out more about Time to Change and to sign the Employer Pledge click here.

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NASC Vice President Joins Equality in Construction Event Panel

Credit: Neil Pepper, MBE and Women in Transport

NASC Vice President Joins Equality in Construction Event Panel

NASC Vice President Lynn Way joined a panel of successful businesswomen at the Breaking Down Barriers to Success event, aimed at promoting equality in construction.

Mrs Way, Financial Director and Company Secretary at Chris Sedgeman Scaffolding Ltd, spoke about the benefits of creating more opportunities for women to thrive in what remains a heavily male-dominated sector.

“I’m passionate about promoting the value of increasing the number of women in senior positions in the scaffolding and wider construction industries, both from an equality point of view and in terms of commercial common sense,” she said.

“This event has been really positive. It’s been fantastic to meet so many inspiring people.”

At the event, co-hosted by Women in Transport and Women in H&S and held at UBM’s offices in London, Mrs Way also spoke about her pride in becoming NASC’s first female director in its 73-year history and how Chris Sedgeman Ltd had benefited from employing women in senior positions.

She said: “The women I have employed have brought a great deal of experience and skills into the business. By giving these women the opportunity to thrive they have achieved great things personally and so has the company.

“What we need now is for more women to be given more opportunities across the construction sector to follow suit.”

 

Photo credit: Neil Pepper, MBE and Women in Transport

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Value Explored at Safe Scaffolding Breakfast Briefing

Value Explored at Safe Scaffolding Breakfast Briefing

The advantages of adopting a value-driven approach to procurement are set to be explored at an NASC breakfast briefing.

The Future of Safe Scaffolding event will give delegates a greater understanding of how the scaffolding and access industry’s approach to health and safety is evolving and how this benefits them – helping them to streamline their procurement process and create a safer and more effective and accountable supply chain.

The briefing takes place at the UK Chamber of Shipping on Thursday 31 May.

Speakers on the day include Des Moore, TRAD Group CEO and NASC President, Bob Whincap, former Chair of the Access and Scaffolding Industry Training Organisation, and motivational safety speaker Dylan Skelhorn.

Des Moore said: “This event gives us the opportunity to talk directly with representatives from a wide range of businesses that procure scaffolding and access services. We’re keen to inform delegates of what the NASC is doing to further improve working practices across the scaffolding industry and also learn what challenges they face:

“We believe there is a lot of common ground between us and look forward to discussing how the standards and value offered by our members might help them best achieve their goals in an effective and efficient manner.”

The briefing will take place at the UK Chamber of Shipping, 30 Park Street, London, SE1 9EQ on Thursday 31 May, running from 8am to 10.30am.

The event is targeted at health and safety and procurement professionals from main contractors, local authorities and major housebuilders working across London and the South East.

A limited number of seats are still available. To register your interest in attending please contact Simon Robinson, NASC Marketing Manager, by email.