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NASC Contractual Guidance Notes Updated and Extended

NASC Contractual Guidance Notes Updated and Extended

Eight contractual guidance notes have been updated and amended as part of the NASC’s ongoing efforts to ensure all reference materials remain up-to-date and fit-for-purpose.

The documents, which cover a wide range of topics including pavement licences, pre-tender information and employment contracts, were reviewed and amended by the NASC Contracts Committee.

They are all available for purchase via the NASC online shop.

A new guidance note – CG23:18 Training Costs Agreements – has also been published and added to the online shop.

This document identifies a number of important factors scaffolding contractors should consider when seeking to reclaim any part of the cost of work-related training incurred when an employee leaves the company.

David Brown, Chair of the NASC Contracts Committee, said: “These documents provide scaffolding contractors with vital contractual guidance across a broad range of topics.

“The guidance is intended to make complex issues and requirements easier to understand and action, helping contractors to ensure they have appropriate contracts in place with clients and suppliers.”

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, added: “We are pleased to have updated a significant portion of the NASC contractual guidance library. The confederation looks to review all published materials every five years, bringing them up to date with legislation and the evolving requirement of scaffolding contractors as required.

“As part of this objective, the Contracts Committee will be meeting to review a number of further contractual guidance documents later this year as well as Q1 2019.”

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Claim your CISRS CPD cashback

Claim your CISRS CPD cashback

Have any of your operatives completed the CISRS CPD training course? If so, you can claim £125 cashback per employee by filling out a simple online form.

The NASC member cashback payments are drawn from a £50,000 funding pot created by the NASC to subsidise the cost associated with the CPD requirement.

To be eligible for a £125 payment, your employee must have completed the CISRS CPD two-day course and hold a current valid CISRS Scaffolder or Advanced card. NASC members can currently claim payments for up to 10 operatives.

To complete the online application form you will need the name of the operative and their CISRS card number.

A total of 400 cashback payments are available via the £50,000 funding pot.

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NASC Represents the UK at European Scaffolding Summit

NASC Represents the UK at European Scaffolding Summit

The NASC represented the UK scaffolding industry at a European scaffolding summit held in Germany earlier this month.

Members of the NASC team flew to Cologne for a panel discussion event organised by the UEG (Union Europaischer Gerustbaubetriebe) in conjunction with SBS (Small Business Standards).

The UEG is the umbrella trade body for national scaffolding organisations in Europe. NASC is the UK scaffolding industry representative and is a founder member of UEG. SBS was established with the support of the European Commission to represent European SMEs in the standard making process at European and international levels.

The event was split into two discussion groups; the first focussed on a review of standards in CEN TC 53 and the second exploring the exchange of scaffolding trainees via the ‘Erasmus Plus’ programme.

A UEG working group meeting was also held to progress the development of a common risk assessment standard. This document will be published by UEG in due course and will supplement the UEG practical guideline for the supply/provision and use of working and protective scaffolds published by UEG in 2016.

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, said: “The panel discussion event demonstrated why UEG is the principal forum for the discussion of scaffolding matters in Europe. The group is attracting funding support from SBS for events such as the panel discussion programme, which was attended by delegates from all over Europe.

“A number of national scaffolding organisations across Europe are looking to join UEG. Associate membership is also strong, with supplier organisations from all over Europe looking to be part of a body which represents the European scaffolding industry.”

The first discussion was preceded by introductory remarks from Martine Angele (UEG President), Christel Davidson (SBS Director), Dagmara Chodzicka-Merken (EU Legal & Policy Officer) and introduced by Christoph-Ludwig Bugler (UEG/SBS Expert).

The panel for this particular topic was comprised of representatives from national organisations in Germany, Norway, France and Sweden. Following the event, delegates were urged to take the discussion back to their national mirror committees, as decisions at CEN meetings affect all those who are engaged in the scaffolding industry in Europe.

It was clear from the discussion that the UEG has an increasingly important role to play in terms of facilitating debate and discussion about standards in CEN TC 53.

The second discussion saw examples of scaffolding trainees being given the opportunity to undertake exchange training in other European countries provided. Informal exchange agreements are currently in place between Norway and Germany, also Switzerland and Germany, and it was hoped that this practice would continue to grow as it benefits trainee scaffolders.

The UK was clearly in demand as a venue for exchange training. The discussion was introduced by Dr Christian Sperle of ZDH (Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks) who lamented the imminent departure of UK from the EU during the course of his presentation.

The panel for this discussion was comprised of representatives from Germany, Norway and UK, with David Mosley, NASC Director of Training & CISRS Manager (pictured above, centre), speaking eloquently about scaffolding training in the UK, assisted by simultaneous translation.

The convenor of the second panel discussion was Birgid Becker (Deutschlandfunk) who chaired the event with great skill.

Delegates from a number of European organisations were able to enjoy some local hospitality over networking upon conclusion of the panel discussion event.

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Updated Scaffolding Contract Launched

Updated Scaffolding Contract Launched

Further to recent review, the CIP Scaffolding Contract has been updated for reissue by Construction Industry Publications (CIP) in June 2018.

The document was originally developed by the NASC (National Access & Scaffolding Confederation) in conjunction with the CLG (Contractors Legal Group), which is the umbrella group for main contractors, and was first published by CIP in 2014.

It is set out as a form of contract for the erection, hire and dismantling of scaffolding, and is considered appropriate for use by CLG members and also by members of the National Federation of Builders and the Scottish Building Federation.

The 2018 version includes amended Schedules of Rates tables taken from the NASC’s recently updated guidance note CG11:17 Preparation of Schedules of Rates, and the opportunity has also been taken to update references to iconic NASC publications such as TG20 Good Practice Guidance for Tube and Fitting Scaffolding.

The contract is gaining traction with contractors in the construction industry who are increasingly recognising it as a default document when agreeing terms and conditions with scaffolding contractors.

David Brown, NASC Contracts Committee Chair and Commercial Director of IBN Scaffold Access Ltd, said: “The Scaffolding Contract allows both parties to manage the Scaffolding Works in a proactive and collaborative manner. The Contract is set out to ensure that there is clarity for all as to what is and what is not included within the Scaffolding Works package.

“We believe the Scaffolding Contract represents both parties fairly and can be easily adopted within the construction industry.”

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, added: “It’s pleasing to note that the work of the NASC Contracts Committee is finding its way into standard forms of contract. This small but dedicated group of member representatives brings considerable expertise to reviews of contractual guidance, also the development of new guidance.

“Nothing stands still in construction and scaffolding contractors need to remain alert to changes in contractual matters if they are to remain competitive.”

To view the 2018 Scaffolding Contract click here. NASC members can purchase the Contract for a discounted price of £20 + VAT by entering the promotional code NASC.

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Students Give Scaffolding a Try

Students Give Scaffolding a Try

More than 300 teenagers were given a hands-on introduction to scaffolding at a construction industry taster day.

The Give Construction a Try event saw youngsters from more than 25 schools across West Yorkshire descend on the South Leeds Stadium for a careers day with a difference.

More than 30 exhibitors set up stall at the stadium, giving the pupils the chance to get to grips with a wide range of construction industry professions.

CISRS approved Training Provider Generation Altrad and NASC member Complete Access Scaffolding Ltd represented the scaffolding industry at the event – with the former using K’Nex models to let the young delegates build model scaffolds and the latter letting the teenagers try their hand with the real thing with on a pre-erected scaffold tower situated outside the main exhibition hall.

Dave Mosley, CISRS Scheme Manager, who also attended the event, said: “It was great to see so many youngsters get involved with scaffolding. Days like this are vital in promoting the various opportunities that are available to young people within the UK construction industry.

“Unless they have friends or relatives working within scaffolding, it can be over looked as a career choice for young people. We want to highlight the fantastic opportunities it can offer not only as a qualified tradesman, but also through roles in site supervision, health and safety, scaffold inspection, design, estimating, training and ultimately management.”

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NASC Breakfast Briefing Serves Up Benefits of Greater Collaboration

NASC Breakfast Briefing Serves Up Benefits of Greater Collaboration

Representatives from more than 30 principal contractors attended the NASC’s inaugural Future of Safe Scaffolding breakfast briefing.

The event provided delegates with a greater understanding of the NASC, its makeup, objectives and processes, and the various benefits gained through greater collaboration between specifiers and NASC full contractor members.

The London / SE region event was chaired by Lee Rowswell, NASC London / SE Regional Chair, who opened the breakfast briefing and introduced speakers Des Moore, CEO of the TRAD Group and NASC President, Robin James, NASC Managing Director, Bob Whincap, former Chair of the Access and Scaffolding Industry Training Organisation, and motivational safety speaker Dylan Skelhorn.

The presentations were followed by a constructive Q&A session, during which delegates asked the panel a number of questions across a broad range of issues including operative training, the NASC member audit procedure and on-site safety.

Attendees also shared their procurement objectives and challenges and recounted their first-hand experiences of utilising the services of NASC and non-NASC members, and the differences between them.

Des Moore, CEO of the TRAD Group and NASC President, said: “This event gave us the opportunity to talk directly with procurement and health and safety professionals from a wide range of principal contractors.

“It was fantastic to be able to share what the NASC is doing to further improve working practices across the scaffolding industry with delegates and also learn what challenges they face.

“It was clear from the feedback during the Q&A session there is a lot of common ground between principal contractors and the NASC and its members and a strong will to collaborate more closely in the future.

“We look forward to further discussions exploring how the value of the services provided by our members might help these contractors achieve their goals in a safe, effective and efficient manner.”

Stewart Lewis, Senior Health and Safety Manager at Chelsea FC, said: “Many thanks for arranging and delivering a very professional, informative, and enjoyable event. The presentations greatly increased my knowledge of the NASC, its structure, values and membership.”

A second NASC Future of Safe Scaffolding breakfast briefing will be held in Manchester later this year. This event is aimed at health and safety and procurement professionals operating across the north of the UK. To register your interest in attending please email Simon Robinson, NASC Marketing Manager, here.

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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