What are the Health and Safety Regulations that Scaffolding Services Companies must Adhere to?
Providing scaffolding services puts companies under a legal obligation to implement health and safety measures
Companies that provide scaffolding services must ensure that the services they provide meet certain standards and laws laid down by the UK government and the EU Commission. Various non-governmental organisations are also involved in issuing industry safety guidelines.
One of these organisations is the UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - an independent national watchdog which aims to reduce the number of work related deaths and serious injuries across the UK's places of work. The HSE provides scaffolding safety guidance via a checklist of working recommendations.
The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation* (NASC) is a national body which gives guidance on all aspects of scaffolding. The NASC strictly regulates all of its members. By employing an NASC member, the customer knows exactly what level of standard they should expect from their contractor. The NASC produces annual safety reports and also issues regular safety alerts via its website. All NASC members must strictly adhere to any new regulations and the organisation's code of conduct. The NASC also works closely with many other associated organisations including the HSE.
* NASC (National Access and Scaffolding Confederation) registration requires that all members have traded for 2 years and thus some companies may not currently be on the register.
European safety standards are dictated by the European Commission, in cooperation with the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The EU sets directives and regulations which all EU member countries must abide by.
Every UK scaffolding services company therefore has many guidelines, regulations and legislation it must adhere to and thus they must provide their employees with adequate safety training in order to meet these demanding regulations.
Safety training is crucially important for many reasons:
- for safe scaffolding erection
- so that workers can operate safely on the scaffolding system
- so that people around the scaffolding can walk around it safely
- to ensure the materials used in the scaffolding are of a certain quality standard
- so that the scaffolding can be dismantled safely
Some companies run scaffolding training courses, a large part of which involves scaffolding safety and procedures.
The Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS), for example, has been in existence for over thirty years and is recognised as the scaffolding industry's de facto standard training scheme for scaffolding services companies and their employees. CISRS runs many courses about the construction, management and supervision, and inspection of scaffolding which incorporate the safety standards required to conform to current legislation.
As you can see, there are many aspects to scaffolding health and safety. Not only do UK scaffolding companies have to adhere to national regulations, but they also have to obey all current EU legislation in order to be able to offer safe scaffolding services to UK businesses and to the public.
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