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.