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NASC’S Scaffolding Safety Report Reveals On-Site Accidents Fell to Record Low

NASC’S Scaffolding Safety Report Reveals On-Site Accidents Fell to Record Low

The number of accidents and injuries recorded by NASC members fell to an all-time low in 2017, with just 89 incidences occurring on-site throughout the year.

The figure was revealed in the NASC 2018 Safety Report, which documents and analyses accident and injury statistics for its full contracting members – representing more than 16,000 scaffolding operatives across the UK – in the previous calendar year.

For the fifth year running, the NASC is able to report a fatality-free year. The number of injuries and accidents in 2017 fell to a new low, continuing a decades-long general trend in ever-reducing incidences. This downward trend corresponds with long-standing efforts to improve health and safety and training in the scaffolding industry, one of the NASC’s core commitments.

The NASC Safety Report reveals there were just 17 major injuries recorded in 2017, down 37% from 27 in 2016, and 89 incidences in total, down from 96 in 2016.

There was also a 46% reduction in falls from height and 36% reduction in manual handling injuries year-on-year. Additionally, no members of the public were injured around NASC member scaffolds in 2017.

Des Moore, CEO of TRAD Group and NASC President, said: “The 2018 Safety Report shows how workplace accidents can be reduced through compliance with industry safety standards and adherence to NASC guidance.

“It is very encouraging to see that the number of accidents recorded by NASC members fell to a record low in 2017, continuing a long-established downward trend dating back many decades that corresponds with a gradual rise of awareness and implementation of on-site health and safety practices, which continues to this day.

“It is particularly pleasing to look at how far our members have come in just the past five years, with the number of reported incidents having fallen 34 per cent from the 2012 figure (134 to 89) and the incidence and frequency rates both down by more than 40 per cent.

“There is more work to be done, however. For the 13th consecutive year, slips, trips and falls on the same level was the most common cause of accident and injury – representing a third of all reported injuries. This type of incident can easily lead to serious injury or even fatality and as such is something we’ll continue to seek to address.”

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, added: “The NASC is committed to driving up safety standards in access and scaffolding, and firmly believes in the need for accountability and transparency, which is why we go to such lengths to compile and publish the Safety Report each year.

“The data validates our wider efforts to help our members maintain the highest possible standards, enabling them to keep their contracted operatives safe on construction sites across the UK.”

NASC full contracting members are required to submit a detailed accident return as a requirement of membership. The NASC Safety Report is compiled from this data and includes:

  • Injuries and fatalities to operatives, third parties and members of the public
  • Accident types
  • Detailed analysis of accidents

To read the NASC 2018 Safety Report click here:

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NASC Supports No Falls Foundation

NASC Supports No Falls Foundation

The NASC is proud to support the No Falls Foundation, a new charity dedicated exclusively to the work at height sector.

The new charity, launched at the Health & Safety Event, aims to have a positive influence on all those involved in work at height through the provision of education, research and support.

It has been backed by the 11 member organisations of the Access Industry Forum, which includes the NASC.

Ken Johnson, NASC Technical Advisor, said: “We are delighted to offer our support to the No Falls Foundation, a charity that mirrors our long-standing commitment to increasing safety in the construction industry.”

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Focus on Health and Safety at NEC

Focus on Health and Safety at NEC

The NASC promoted the importance of working safely at height at the Health & Safety Event, held at the NEC, Birmingham, last week.

The NASC exhibited alongside its fellow Access Industry Forum members, giving advice and guidance to delegates throughout the three-day show.

Stephen Allen-Tidy, NASC Health and Safety Advisor, and Ken Johnson, NASC Technical Advisor, manned the NASC stand, while Ken and fellow NASC representative Simon Hughes also contributed to daily Working at Height & Preventing Falls Q&A sessions.

Allen-Tidy said: “It was really useful to engage with a wide range of health and safety professionals from across the construction industry, providing them with scaffolding and access safety and technical advice and answering any questions they may have.

“The show also gave us the opportunity to come together with the other bodies that form the Access Industry Forum to promote the wider message of ensuring working at height safely is always a primary consideration.”

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NASC Bolsters Team Through Marketing Manager Appointment

NASC Bolsters Team Through Marketing Manager Appointment

The National Access & Scaffolding Confederation has strengthened its communications capabilities through the appointment of a new in-house marketing manager.

Simon Robinson brings a wealth of construction marketing and copywriting expertise to the NASC team, having previously held various marketing agency and news desk positions in his career.

In his new role as NASC Marketing Manager, Simon will work to strengthen ties and increase engagement with both NASC members and the wider construction industry.

The 34-year-old said: “I am delighted to join the NASC and am looking forward to developing and implementing a communications strategy that will help increase awareness of the Confederation’s primary objectives; to help our members grow safer businesses and contribute to a safer construction industry.”

Robin James, NASC Managing Director, added: “I am pleased to welcome Simon to the team. Through his appointment we will be able engage more closely with our 250+ members and communicate more effectively with the wider scaffolding and construction industries.

“This will enable us to increase understanding and appreciation of a number of key messages, including the various benefits available directly to businesses through attaining NASC membership or indirectly through utilising the services of NASC members, as well as our ongoing commitment to raising and maintaining the highest standards for access and scaffolding throughout the UK and beyond.”

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First Female completes CISRS OSTS Training

First Female completes CISRS OSTS Training

CISRS are delighted to announce that Miss Hien Pham Safety Officer with Black Cat JSC Ltd has successfully completed both OSTS Level 1 Scaffolder and Basic Scaffold Inspection courses at the AIS/Blackcat CISRS approved Training centre located in Vang Tau, Vietnam.

Miss Pham becomes the first female to attend CISRS Overseas scaffolder training, the scheme is hoping that she will be the first of many.

The Level one course which includes both theoretical and practical sessions, covering general health and safety, working at height guidance, prevention of fall from heights, component recognition, understanding basic drawings, safe methods of erection and dismantle of basic structures such as towers and independent scaffolds is the ideal starting point for anyone operating in the scaffolding sector.

Miss Pham said: ‘The first time I went on site and witnessed scaffolding operations taking place I realised I wanted to learn more about how these structures where constructed.
‘Participating in the Level 1 course has highlighted to me, the correct way to build scaffolding. I think the information on fall protection and avoiding falls from height is especially important for everyone involved in the sector.

‘The Inspection course is essential to me as a safety officer, it has given me a lot more in depth knowledge of scaffolding and will help me to spot hazards, either with defective equipment or poor construction and allow me to identify corrective actions.
‘I am really happy and proud to have completed these two courses.’

The partnership with North East Training Provider AIS and Blackcat JSC Ltd gained CISRS OSTS accreditation in October 2017 with the aim of upskilling and improving the competencies of its own employees, as well as servicing the training requirements of the lucrative Indo-China oil and gas and construction markets.

David John Adams Lead Instructor for AIS training said: ‘Blackcat has invested a huge amount into the development of scaffolding training and safety in Vietnam and AIS will continue to help them achieve that aim.

‘It’s great to see CISRS OSTS promotes equality and diversity, both AIS and Blackcat are committed to delivering high quality training to all, within the region and worldwide.’

The drive and dedication of Mr Ho Kha the Chairman of Blackcat JSC to improve the levels of Scaffolding safety and competence and of his employees is evident from the quality of centre he has established and the training programme he has put in place. Mr Kha said:

‘Hien is the first female scaffolder in Vietnam, her passion and commitment to the industry is fantastic, she is a highly valued member of the Blackcat team. We will continue to invest in the whole of our workforce for the benefit of our organisation and our client base.’

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CISRS Respond to “new scaffolder training scheme announcement”

CISRS Respond to “new scaffolder training scheme announcement”

The Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme was approached by Scaffmag in order to respond to an article concerning a proposed new scaffolder training scheme and current training capacity.

CISRS stated that they felt that some of the information that has been issued in the article does not reflect a clear picture of current industry recognised training.

The research mentioned in the article has not been shared with CISRS, there is no information supplied regarding which centres failed to respond, which courses were requested, dates offered etc. It is therefore difficult for CISRS to make a defin-itive response.

Dave Mosley CISRS Scheme Manager said: “It is tricky to respond to these claims without them being corroborated, however I feel they are misleading and unhelp-ful. I do not think that the majority of the sector or the wider industry wants to cre-ate another scaffolder training scheme as it will lead to duplication of training and confusion, a topic which was covered by Scaffmag last year.

“The proposed new training appears to cover a lot of areas which are already in-cluded within the CISRS scheme, with the initial focus at more of a supervisory level. Delivering this type of training will not increase recognised training course availability for new entrants or scaffolders. We are currently working with existing and potential new providers to increase capacity.”

In regard to training capacity within the London region there are currently 3 CISRS ‘Core Scheme’ (Part 1, Part 2, Advanced Scaffolder) centres operating. NCC Wal-tham Forest, NCC South and Training for Construction, who also offer a wide range of other CISRS courses. This is supported by local providers such as Simian/Carshal-ton College and Construction Health and Safety Group who offer short duration training such as CISRS Operative Training Scheme (COTS) for new entrants and Scaffold Inspection Training Scheme (SITS).

Safety and Access Ltd in partnership with Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College are very close to opening a centre at their Barons Court campus, initially offering short duration training COTS and SITS but looking to offer a full suite of courses in the not too distant future.

The article does not give any consideration to the numbers of courses that are ac-tually being delivered. Just taking a snapshot of the London region in the 2 weeks commencing 26th Feb – 10th March the following CISRS training courses will be tak-ing place:

8no COTS
5no Apprentice groups (1no Induction, 2no Part 1B, 2no Pt2A)
2no Part 1
2no Part 2
1no Scaffolder Skills test
1no Advanced
1no Advanced Skills Test
4no CPD courses

Well over 250 operatives are currently receiving industry recognised training in the London and South East region alone.

As no relevant information has been forwarded in relation to course availability, CISRS cannot provide any specific response on this issue. CISRS is aware that due to demand some courses are not always available at short notice. However, the majority of the scheme is structured with minimum work experience time require-ments imposed between courses, allowing employers and operatives to book courses in advance of the training actually taking place.

Training providers will provisionally set their annual training course programme in advance, however wherever possible they will respond to market demand and will often look to rearrange their schedule to accommodate specific training and en-sure they maximise centre capacity.

CISRS currently has 32 centres across the UK with 19 of them being ‘Core scheme’ centres. CISRS capacity will increase within 2018 as discussions continue in relation to CISRS provision in West London, Carshalton, Anglesey, Swansea, Weston-super-Mare, Aberdeen and Hinkley Power Station.

The industry is well aware that CITB has announced that they will withdraw from di-rect training delivery in the next few years. CITB are currently in discussions with other providers who are looking to take over the running of these facilities, which will ensure training capacity will remain for the future. CITB have made it clear that they will not withdraw from scaffolding training until alternative suitable provision is in place. This includes the South East region and also the Midlands and Scotland. Several interested parties are considering their options, however CITB has stressed that National Construction College will continue to deliver CISRS training in the in-terim period.

CISRS are working with providers to help establish course availability and will look to match supply with demand, however, it’s advisable wherever possible to proac-tively plan for future training requirements.

For more information on CISRS or becoming a CISRS provider go to or email

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UEG European Regulations Working Committee

UEG European Regulations Working Committee

At a meeting of the UEG European Regulations Working Committee held in Cologne on Friday 2 February consideration was given to a review of CEN TC 53 standards.

The UEG group, which effectively acts as the SBS (Small Business Standards) mirror committee, is comprised of representatives from 10 European national scaffolding organisations. The NASC/UK representative is Ken Johnson (NASC Technical Support).

The UEG group plays an increasingly important role in the discussion process which precedes formal CEN standards meetings, and ensures that the wider interests of the European scaffolding industry are properly represented at CEN meetings.

The group also gave consideration to forthcoming UEG guidance on Risk Assessment, and looked forward to the UEG Panel Discussion to be held on Wednesday 6 June, also in Cologne.

Topics for discussion in June will be CEN TC 53 and industry training. Guest speakers have been invited and the panel for the discussion on training will include David Mosley (CISRS Manager and NASC Director of Training).

The UEG Working Committee meeting was preceded by a meeting of the UEG Chair at which it was announced that Greece has formally announced its request to join UEG as a full member, bringing the number of national scaffolding organisations represented on UEG to 11.

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NASC Scaffolder CPD

NASC Scaffolder CPD

The requirement for Scaffolders and Advanced Scaffolders to complete the CISRS 2-day CPD course has been in place since 1st July 2017. In the intervening 6-month period, around 100 CPD courses have taken place across the UK. With card renewals numbers now exceeding 1000, feedback from those attending has been very positive.

The issue of who pays for CPD training has been widely discussed on social media and was recently raised with NASC via the Construction Industry Joint Council who wish to include a statement within the Working Rule Agreement (WRA) giving clarification. A statement of clarification as appropriate to the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI) has recently been added to that Agreement.

Towards the end of 2017, further to consideration by NASC Council, the basic premise that employers should pay for CPD training courses was agreed by consensus. A proposed form of words was circulated to Council members in respect to this issue and the following statement has since been agreed:

‘The NASC Council has confirmed that Members will fund the CPD course fee and reasonable associated costs of attendance for scaffolders in their direct employment as at the date of CISRS Scaffolder and CISRS Advanced Scaffolder card renewal. As with other employer funded training, such funding may be linked to Training Agreements.’

Dave Mosley (CISRS Manager and NASC Director of Training) said:

”I see this as a very welcome and positive move. One of the most frequently asked questions following the introduction of CPD was the issue of who will pay for the course. It is clear with this statement that NASC members are looking to do the right thing by their directly employed labour force.”

A very similar statement has been offered by the CIJC Employers to the CIJC Trade Unions for inclusion within the Working Rule Agreement and if adopted will then apply to all scaffolding companies who operate under that WRA agreement.

Any special conditions the employer may wish to apply in relation to funding CPD can be included within a training agreement or contract of employment e.g. an employee must have completed the probationary period with the company before funding is effective, if the operative leaves within a specified period after receiving this employer funded training, the costs of the course (reducing over time) will be reclaimed by the employer etc.

NASC has set aside funds to assist members whilst supporting their employers though the CPD process (£125 per operative). For further information go to

Currently levy payers will be able to apply for CITB short duration training daily attendance grant, however considerable changes are to be made to the CITB grant scheme from April 2018.

Some CISRS training providers are running subsidised CPD courses at a reduced rate. Any information we receive will be circulated to the membership and the wider industry.

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Demand for CISRS OSTS continues to grow in Oman

Demand for CISRS OSTS continues to grow in Oman

CISRS is pleased to announce Safety and Access in partnership with local company Knowledge Grid have gained Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme (OSTS) approval for their centre based in the Rosayl region of Oman. The centre has been accredited for Level 1 and 2 Scaffolder Training, plus Basic Scaffold Inspection and Scaffolding Supervisor training.

The CISRS pre-accreditation audit of the facilities was undertaken by Dave Mosley from CISRS at the end of 2017 and he was impressed with the commitment that the local partner Knowledge Grid had shown in sourcing a new venue away from their main centre and transforming it from an empty warehouse style unit into a CISRS OSTS training centre. He said:

“The centre was almost ready to go with only a few minor actions required. When I visited in December, Safety and Access/Knowledge Gird have responded very swiftly to ensure that some minor actions that were outstanding have been dealt with; they have created an excellent facility. A new toilet and shower block, also a new dining area have been installed. If you see the images of what the building looked like when the training providers first acquired it compared to what it looks like now you realise the time, effort and commitment that has gone into achieving CISRS accreditation.”

There is a growing demand for recognised accredited training within the region. Rick Statham Joint Managing Director for Safety & Access commented;

“We are delighted to be able to offer training from this second facility. The existing centre has been open for almost 12 months and is proving a great success. The ability to offer training close to Muscat is key to meeting the overall demand. There has been a fantastic commitment from the Oman government to provide funding for Oman nationals to achieve recognised qualifications and the new Centre will certainly help to facilitate that.”

CISRS are currently going through the process of verifying training of individuals within Oman and the wider GCC region who had previously trained via the CITB International scheme which was withdrawn at the end of 2016. If they can confirm that certificates are genuine they will be recognised by CISRS and will allow the holder to join the CISRS scheme at a higher level rather than starting again at Level 1, avoiding repetition of similar graded courses. Those deemed eligible will begin CISRS OSTS training in the coming months at Safety and Access/STS training centre at Nizwa.

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CISRS card renewal via CPD passes the 1000 mark

CISRS card renewal via CPD passes the 1000 mark

The Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) is pleased to announce that over 1000 Scaffolders and Advanced Scaffolders have attended the CISRS CPD course and applied to renew their CISRS cards under the new scheme rules.

The requirement for scaffolding operatives to complete the 2-day course prior to card renewal was introduced 1st July 2017 following an 18-month press campaign.

Dave Mosley CISRS Scheme Manager said: “This is a fantastic achievement in such a short space of time, as any change to an established scheme usually takes quite a while to bed in.

“We had expected a lot of people whose cards expired in 2016 simply to take a H&S test and apply for an early renewal prior to the CPD requirement going live. These figures show that there are plenty of scaffolders who have completed the programme and demand for places on courses is increasing.”

When the industry was initially informed about the intention to introduce a CPD/refresher element to the CISRS scheme, it met with a very mixed response, ranging from “It’s about time” to “I’ve been doing this for years, what can you tell me?”

Jonathan Gaunt Training Manager for Generation Training Services said “It’s interesting to see the change in attitude of some of the scaffolders over the 2 day programme. Initially they arrive feeling that they will learn very little, however giving them a knowledge test early in the course usually highlights that there are areas they do need to brush up on.

“It’s been a long time since some of the delegates attended a training centre and for those who got their card under Grandfather Rights it could actually be the first time. After the initial uncertainty they tend to enjoy the course and mixing with their peers, the delegate feedback forms reflect a positive experience.

“We commend CISRS for responding to the demands of both the construction industry and the HSE, producing a comprehensive CPD product for Scaffolders with a very timely, positive approach.”

Despite the initial backlash from some segments of the sector, the new course has been very well supported. In July and August accredited CISRS training providers had proceeded cautiously in relation to the amount of CPD courses that were included within their training programmes. In reality the number of scaffolders looking to attend CPD has proven to be much higher than expected with centres making additional courses available to meet demand.

Several Training providers are offering reduced rates or special offers on the CPD provision. Contact details for all approved centres can be found on the CISRS website