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NASC Releases TG20:13 Maintenance Update

NASC Releases TG20:13 Maintenance Update

The NASC has released an updated version of its TG20:13 eGuide – required by all existing users of version 1.2.

Version 1.3 – which can be downloaded for free here in Windows, Mac and Android formats – has been created in response to a recent change in the way Google Maps works. This change sometimes causes version 1.2 to stop when trying to progress from the wind map screen to the compliance sheet.

Existing users will need to uninstall their current eGuide before installing the maintenance upgrade. This issue does not affect users with version 1.0 or 1.1 of the eGuide. The NASC will update the DVD edition for new customers.

For technical support email CADS via support@cads.co.uk or call 01202 603733.

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Improving the Payment Process Through the Use of a Schedule of Rates

Improving the Payment Process Through the Use of a Schedule of Rates

By David Brown, Managing Surveyor at IBN Scaffold Access Ltd and Chair of the NASC Contracts Committee

While great strides have been made in the post-Carillion era to shine the spotlight on the importance of prompt payments to subcontractors, more must also be done to streamline the pre-payment process – something that will benefit the whole construction industry.

It is clear that the failure of main contractors and other clients to stick to agreed payment terms can severely impact on a subcontractor’s ability to continue to operate.

That is why it has been great to see such prominence given in recent months to the need for fair payment practices to be adopted and adhered to and more and more companies sign up to the Construction Supply Chain Payment Charter.

But while it’s only right that payment practices are tightened, more can be done by both clients and subcontractors to further improve the pre-payment process through better management of sub-contract accounts during the course of the Project.

The area we are particularly focused on here is ensuring there is no discrepancy between client and subcontractor on the cost of the works carried out, something that can easily arise through the undertaking of additional works.

Additional works are commonplace on almost all construction projects. This comes despite the best efforts at tender stage to produce a detailed and fixed schedule of works as unfortunately in our industry plans and programmes change, which result in a change to the planned works. When the original scope of works changes resulting in additional works, it is only fair that the subcontractor is remunerated for the additional works carried out.

From the client’s perspective they need confidence that the additional works have been valued fairly and where appropriate on a pro rata basis to the items detailed in the original scope of works. The extent and cost of additional works can often be the cause of conflict between the client and subcontractor and create an additional barrier that prevents prompt payment.

The NASC encourages scaffolding contractors to avoid any uncertainty regarding variation orders through the use of a schedule of rates, an example of which is included in the CG11:17 Preparation of Schedule of Rates guidance.

The incorporation of a schedule of rates into a contract can have a number of advantages:

  • Rates for additional works are agreed from the outset
  • Disputes in connection with the valuation of additional works are avoided completely or at least significantly reduced
  • Valuation and payment of additional work is made easier and earlier thereby improving cash flow
  • Schedules can be incorporated within the sub-contract order
  • Final accounts are prepared more quickly because of fewer disputes
  • Clients appreciate the clarity on how additional works are measured and valued, something an agreed schedule of rates can achieve

A schedule of rates should be prepared at tender stage, negotiated with the client during pre-contract discussions and incorporated into the contract documents / orders from the outset. It is possible to agree them after the contract has started particularly if the contract is unexpectedly found to be subject to an excessive number of variations, however the preference would be to agree a schedule of rates in the first instance.

A schedule of rates can help to significantly streamline the pre-payment process and also ensure the client / subcontractor relationship isn’t affected by any financial disputes.

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NASC Unveils Vice Squad

NASC Unveils Vice Squad

The NASC has appointed four regional Vice Chairs as part of its efforts to improve succession planning and ensure members across the UK always have a local representative to contact for guidance and support.

The new Vice Chairs are; Mike Lloyd, Managing Director at LTC Scaffolding Ltd – London/South East region; Matthew Cousins, Director at Apex Scaffolding (Exeter) Ltd – South West region; Lisa Rooney, Financial Director at Midlands Scaffolding Services Ltd – Midlands region; and Darren Maratty, Managing Director at Interlink Scaffolding Ltd – Northern and North Wales region.

Expressions of interest will shortly be sought from NASC Scotland/NI members with a view to securing the full set of regional Vice Chairs by the autumn.

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, said: “The new NASC Vice Chairs will replace the current regional chairs at the end of their respective tenures. Having them in place now allows them to prepare for the role well in advance as well as ensuring members know who will be representing them in the future.

“We’d like to thank our new regional Vice Chairs for putting their names forward and taking on the responsibility of voicing the interests of members in their regions in due course.”

 

London/South East

Mike Lloyd, Managing Director at LTC Scaffolding Ltd, said: “I have been involved in the construction industry for nearly 30 years following graduation from university in 1991 having completed a surveying degree. During my time as owner of LTC Scaffolding I have seen the industry develop to a point where health and safety is at the forefront of all that we do and should always be second nature in the way that we do it.

“I am keen to take a more active role within our industry and therefore the NASC to assist in the evolution of our trade and businesses. I’d like to help improve the way we are perceived by prospective clients and those who may wish to enter into the industry for employment and the way we train and develop those within the industry in a way that allows us to achieve and maintain high standards of excellence and safety.

“We need to be alert and flexible to the changing needs and geographical nuances of our clients and the employment markets they work in and protect our industry by naming and shaming those outside of the NASC that contravene the safety standards the construction industry and the NASC have worked so hard to develop and implement.”

 

South West

Matthew Cousins, Director at Apex Scaffolding (Exeter) Ltd, said: “I have been involved in the scaffolding industry for more than 17 years, having joined Apex Scaffolding in 2001 as a temp and rising to the position of Commercial Director in 2014. In all this time I have been fully aware of the positive impact and influence NASC membership has had on the company and embraced the benefits it has brought.

“Apex Scaffolding has been a member of the NASC for 24 years and has always taken an active role in the meetings and committees. As such, when I was offered the chance to sit on the Contracts Committee, I was delighted to accept, and always feel like we make progress in the meetings.

“With regard to the regional Vice Chair position I am thankful to be given this opportunity and look forward to developing my role as time progresses and tackling the new challenges that will come my way.”

 

Midlands

Lisa Rooney, Financial Director, Midlands Scaffolding Services Ltd, said: “I have been working within the scaffolding industry for more than 15 years, firstly starting out in office admin then moving on to surveying, during which I gained a knowledge of scaffolding which has helped me within all my roles at MSS.

“MSS has been a long-standing and supportive member of the NASC, with my co-director and father being an active NASC Council member and NASC Health and Safety Committee Chair. MSS Managing Director, Adrian Rooney, is committed to the NASC and its ethos, a stance I fully share and support.

“I feel my knowledge of the industry and the NASC will stand me in good stead as Vice Chair of the region.”

 

Northern

Darren Maratty, MD, Interlink Scaffolding Ltd, said: “At ISL we have very strong opinions on what we do and what we need to do to stand out from other companies, not only in our area but on all of our projects. I am proud to drive the ISL ethos, which is to become one of the best within our industry. I want to extend this ethos as Northern region Vice Chair.

“I am passionate about all aspects of scaffolding and am looking forward to bringing this enthusiasm to the NASC team, to help support and promote the wider membership and the industry as a whole.”

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NASC to Host Safety Seminar

NASC to Host Safety Seminar

The National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) is hosting a Safety Seminar in Manchester on Thursday 20 September.

The purpose of this informal event is to bring delegates up to speed with how the confederation is continuing to raise health and safety standards in the scaffolding and access industry and explain how this might benefit them.

The event is aimed at representatives from companies that regularly utilise the services of scaffolding contractors. This could include main contractors, local authorities, major housebuilders and developers.

Speakers on the day include Des Moore, TRAD Group CEO and NASC President, Robin James, NASC Managing Director, and Wayne Connolly, Managing Director of Connolly Scaffolding and Chair of the NASC Northern and North Wales region.

Des Moore said: “We’re keen to engage with delegates; letting them know a little bit about what the confederation is doing to drive safety standards upwards and also learn what challenges they face and what more we can do to help them achieve their objectives.”

The briefing will take place at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate on Thursday 20 September from 9am to noon. Delegates will receive free copies of our TG20:13 Guide to Good Practice for Tube and Fitting Scaffolding (Full Suite worth £612, one copy issued per delegate company) and safety guidance pocket guides.

Please note that spaces are limited. To register your interest in attending please contact Simon Robinson, NASC Marketing Manager, by email.

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Isle of Wight Council Insists NASC Only

Isle of Wight Council Insists NASC Only

Isle of Wight Council has unveiled plans to raise procurement requirements on public highway scaffolding contracts following a number of fatalities and injuries in recent years.

From September, applications for scaffolding over or on the highways will need to include more information on the purpose of the scaffolding and the method of its construction as well as confirmation operatives erecting it are registered under the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS).

By 2019, scaffolding contractors will also have to be members of the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) to win these contracts. Furthermore, scaffolding towers will be required to display consent from the council as well as the agreed dates the structure can remain in place.

Cabinet member for community safety and public protection, Councillor Tig Outlaw, said: “Without commenting on individual cases, there have been two fatalities and many more injuries through accidents involving scaffolding on the Island in recent years. It is imperative that scaffolding is erected and used correctly and I am delighted that the Island now has more robust policies in place to ensure that happens.

“This is not a case of excessive bureaucracy or overbearing health and safety requirements – it is quite simply about keeping people safe.”

Isle of Wight Working Well Together group chairman John Nicholson said the new policy should give the public confidence that scaffolding erected on or over the public highway was put up to a high professional standard.

“The purpose of having a clear, comprehensive policy is to prevent people without proper insurance operating without the required training and qualification,” he said.

“Those companies on the Island who are professional and conscientious and most are have absolutely nothing to fear from this new approach. The price of an application will not rise but by being more rigorous it will help ensure scaffolding erected on Island highways complies with safety regulations and professional standards.

“It will also help Island Roads, which manages the highway network on the council’s behalf, to monitor and regulate scaffolding that is on the highway.”

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, welcomed the council’s move to adopt more stringent procurement policies.

He said: “We fully support the Isle of Wight council’s decision. By insisting upon NASC members for public highways projects the Council will be able to guarantee that these works are carried out by contractors that are demonstrably proven to be safe, legally compliant and experienced.

“That is because NASC members must meet a strict set of criteria – pertaining to their workforce, working practices and insurance cover, among other requirements – to attain and then retain membership.

“By setting the membership bar high and conducting stringent annual audits, NASC members are able to demonstrate that they are performing to the highest standards. This is evidenced by our Annual Safety Reports, the latest of which saw the number of injuries recorded by our 220+ full contracting members fell to an all-time low.

“Between January and December 2017, our members – employing a total of more than 16,400 operatives – recorded 89 incidents. There were no fatalities for the fifth consecutive year.

“We encourage other local authorities to explore following the Isle of Wight Council’s lead in raising safety standards through adopting a similar NASC only procurement policy.”

Image caption: (L-R) = John Nicholson, IWWWT Chairman; Councillor Tig Outlaw, Cabinet member for community safety and public protection; Mike Leppard, Safety Officer at Isle of Wight Building Safety Association; Ian Thornton, Island Roads Streetworks Manager; and Tony Dean of Scaffolding and Access Safety Consultants Ltd and IWWWT group member.

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SG5:18 Overhead Power Sources and Earthing of Scaffold Structures

SG5:18 Overhead Power Sources and Earthing of Scaffold Structures

A new safety guidance note has been published as part of the NASC’s ongoing efforts to ensure all reference materials are both current and streamlined.

SG5:18 Overhead Power Sources and Earthing of Scaffold Structures includes updated content derived from SG3:14 Earthing of Scaffolding Structures and SG5:11 Overhead Power Sources, both of which have been discontinued.

It is available to purchase via the NASC online shop here.

Adrian Rooney, Chair of the NASC Health and Safety Committee and Managing Director of Midland Scaffolding Services Ltd, said: “SG5:18 combines two existing guidance notes covering similar topics into one, making it easier for contractors to source information relating to electrical issues.

“We’re constantly looking at ways to improve and expand the range of safety guidance notes and plan to publish two further notes in the coming months.”

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CISRS OSTS Expands Reach with New Saudi Arabia Centre

CISRS OSTS Expands Reach with New Saudi Arabia Centre

The Overseas Scaffolders Training Scheme (OSTS) has expanded its global reach with the launch of the first CISRS approved training centre in Saudi Arabia.

The new training facility, located in Dammam, has been launched by TAFE Arabia (Technical and Further Education) in partnership with Simian Skill.

Operatives will be able to undertake CISRS OSTS Level 1 and 2, Basic Inspection, Scaffolding Supervisor and OSTS CPD courses.

Abdulghani Alrumaih, CEO of TAFE Arabia, said: “TAFE has been providing high quality training in this region for over a decade. When we considered offering scaffold training we were only interested in delivering CISRS OSTS approved programmes.

“We are very proud to be the first CISRS OSTS in Saudi Arabia and sure our partnership with Simian Skill will be a great success, improving the skills of the scaffolding sector and helping to establish a robust and recognised qualification across industry.”

Dave Mosley, CISRS Scheme Manager, and Ian Fyall, Operations Director at Simian Skill, travelled to Saudi Arabia for the accreditation audit at the new training centre.

Whilst in the Region CISRS, TAFE and Simian took part in Scaffold Safety Awareness Workshop arranged by multinational oil and gas company Saudi Aramco, attended by more than 100 delegates from across the province.

Dave Mosley said: “I was very pleased to take part in the Scaffold Safety Awareness Workshop and would like to thank Saudi Aramco for the invitation. While CISRS UK has historically been recognised in Saudi Arabia, the development of OSTS will allow the scheme to be delivered to the sector locally, reaching a much larger proportion of the industry.”

Ian Fyall added: “Simian has had a lot of interest for training in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and have previously met with a number of providers. TAFE stood out from the crowd as they shared our ambition.

“We’ve worked together during the past 12 months to get this centre up and running to KSA standards. From our meetings with Saudi Aramco we are feeling positive for full training courses.”

Caption: (L-R) = Ian Fyall, Operations Director at Simian Skill, Dave Mosley, CISRS Scheme Manager, and Abdulghani Alrumaih CEO of TAFE Arabia

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Scaffolding Apprenticeship Switch Set for October

Scaffolding Apprenticeship Switch Set for October

The next generation of scaffolding apprentices in England will be trained through the Scaffolding Trailblazer programme, which launches on October 1 2018.

This programme will replace the current apprenticeship framework, which will be withdrawn on the same day. Those who register on the current system prior to the changeover will have a two-year run out to allow these apprentices to complete their training.

The Government established the Trailblazer initiative as part of a major reform of apprenticeship training in England. Scotland and Wales have yet to sign up to Trailblazers programme and as such apprentices within these countries will continue to train via the current framework.

The Scaffolding Trailblazer standard was developed by a committee comprising representatives from around 15 scaffolding contractors and supplemented by Institute of apprenticeship staff, CISRS, CITB and two approved training providers.

The Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) has been tasked by committee with providing programme criteria and materials such as PowerPoint presentations, lesson plans and test papers for those looking to deliver Trailblazer.

Dave Francis, Scaffolding Trailblazer Committee Chair, said: “The Trailblazer initiative has allowed us to complete a full review of the apprenticeship programme. Together with the support of the Institute for Apprenticeships, industry professionals have developed the standards necessary for individuals to enhance their careers in the construction sector through a Trailblazer apprenticeship.

“Employers have the ability to directly control their employees training, with the knowledge that they are participating in a standardised apprenticeship programme with full quality assessment, delivering the workforce that industry requires.”

For more information on the Scaffolding Trailblazer click here.

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Provision of CISRS OSTS Training Expanded in Oman

Provision of CISRS OSTS Training Expanded in Oman

The National Training Institute (NTI) and Simian Skill have expanded the portfolio of courses offered at their Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme (OSTS) facility in Oman after successfully passing their first CISRS annual accreditation visit.

More than 540 operatives attended OSTS training at the purpose-built centre in its maiden year, completing either Level 1, Inspection or Scaffolding Supervisor courses. The centre has recently started to deliver the Level 2 course and has now broadened its training offer further still.

Ian Fyall, Operations Director at Simian Skill, said: “After a one-year partnership with NTI we have seen the centre go from strength to strength training more than 500 people. Following the CISRS audit we are proud to now offer Advanced Scaffold Inspection and OSTS CISRS Level 3.”

CISRS does not issue certification for attendance only and there has been 10 operatives that have failed to meet the required standard of skills and knowledge within this period and as such failed the courses. These operatives will need to go back to industry for additional experience and hopefully return to repeat the course at a later date.

Dave Mosley, CISRS Scheme Manager, said: “I spoke to the scaffolders attending the Level 2 course and their feedback was very positive about the course content, the centre facilities and the instructor Abid Gul. Well done to NTI and Simian, keep up the good work.”

CISRS and Simian Skill representatives recently met with representatives of Manahal Training Centre in Bahrain who are currently in discussion with the local ministry of labour to have CISRS OSTS recognised as the required standard for qualification in Bahrain. If they can achieve this, Manahal will look to partner with Simian in order to deliver OSTS.

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Consider Safety at Procurement Stage

Consider Safety at Procurement Stage

By Stephen Allen-Tidy, NASC Health and Safety Advisor

One of the main aims of the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) is to promote high standards of safety within the industry.

We achieve this in part through the production and dissemination of a wide range of industry-recognised safety and technical guidance, created to support the needs of scaffolding contractors, their operatives and clients.

It’s clear that the scaffolding industry is safer than ever, something that is evidenced in our annual NASC Safety Report. The 2018 edition showed accidents and injuries recorded by NASC members fell to an all-time low in 2017, with just 89 incidents occurring on-site throughout the year.

It also revealed that there were 14 falls from height recorded by NASC full contracting members – representing more than 16,000 scaffolding operatives across the UK, and while this marks a 46% reduction year-on-year we’d like to see this reach 0.

To further reduce the number of falls from height, we will continue to promote best practice to scaffolding contractors and their operatives, ensuring they are working safely on site day-to-day.

We’re also keen to encourage more clients to go a step further from their day-to-day safety obligations and consider safety at the procurement stage – something they are required to do under Construction Design and Management (CDM) Regulations 2015 and the Working at Height Regulations (WAHR) 2005.

Under CDM 2015, the client – project manager, contracts manager, facilities manager or anyone who engages with a scaffolding or other construction contractor – must draw up a brief that sets out what the works will entail and provide any necessary safety-related information such as asbestos registers, access to working at height areas and confined spaces.

The WAHR 2005 places the onus on principal contractors to appoint contractors that are sufficiently skilled, knowledgeable, trained and experienced to carry out the required work.

The NASC has created a Scaffold Specification Template that makes the management and procurement of scaffolding contractors simple.

Clients that use this easy-to-use document will save themselves time and protect themselves against the threat of prosecution in the event of an on-site incident. They will also play their part in reducing falls from height by ensuring only contractors that have proven skills and experience to win the contract get on site.

It’s this preliminary safety step that can help to further reduce the number of falls from height.