The UK Contractors Group (UKCG) has teamed up with the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) to co-write a new publication which will be entitled a Guide to Appointing and Managing Scaffolding Contractors.
The publication is meant to be a useful guide for construction contractors who are employing or managing scaffolding contractors, to ensure that they adhere to the strict standards set for scaffolding in the UK.
NASC is the trade body which promotes high levels of standards within the scaffolding industry and so it is of no surprise that they want to issue new, updated guidelines on appointing scaffolders. The UKCG say that they are more than happy to help promote the guide as they aim to “aspire to world class standards of best practice for UK construction” according to UKCG director Stephen Ratcliffe.
NASC want the construction industry to take seriously the risks involved in scaffolding. No doubt the increase in scaffolding incidents have called for a better guide for those involved in the industry to prevent any further injuries or loss of life.
Just recently a badly constructed scaffolding tower collapsed on the high street in Balham, Surrey narrowly missing a female motorist and a firm in Corby, near Liverpool were fined £50,000 when supporting scaffolding that had been holding up a wet concrete floor collapsed, injuring 7 workers who, it was described, were lucky to escape with their lives. The company was later investigated by the HSE who found that design drawings were not detailed enough to allow for the safe erection of scaffolding needed to hold the concrete and that the scaffolding had not been inspected before use.
Such incidents damage the reputation of professional scaffolding companies and this new guide will indicate that not only do scaffolding companies themselves need to adhere to strict health and safety policies, but that the industry which employs those firms also need to take responsibility to ensure that the company they are appointing do adopt a good working policy.
Sussex Scaffolding Ltd is one of those companies who regularly send trained scaffolding foreman to inspect scaffolding once it is constructed and carry out risk assessments. They also follow very stringent health and safety rules, even down to employing their own external health and safety advisor.
The new NASC guidance document is available on request from their website.