The Scaffolding Association (SA) is the UK’s largest independent not-for-profit trade organisation representing scaffolding and access contractors and manufacturers. Membership numbers are growing fast with over 400 companies from a range of business sizes and complexities.
Safety in the workplace should be top priority to all employers, few industries present as many daily risks to be mitigated as construction and in particular those associated with working at height. In order to protect employees and those on site, it is vital to take a proactive approach to reduce any workplace injuries whilst working in this way.
The purpose of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 are to prevent death and injury caused by falls from height. If you are an employer or you control work at height, such as a facilities manager or building owner who contracts others to work at height, then the Regulations apply to you. You have a responsibility to ensure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people, this includes selecting the right type of equipment for working at height. You must look at how your company meets its responsibilities under the regulations and analyse the impact and consequences of non-compliance.
With this in mind, the Association campaigns to improve knowledge and competency, raise standards and improve safety throughout the sector and are committed to creating an operating culture and environment where safety, health and wellbeing are a top priority. Their vision is one where all collective and personal protection measures have been undertaken to ensure an incident and injury-free workplace, where everyone returns home safely.
By working with its member companies, client organisations, government agencies and standard setting bodies, the Association helps to maintain high standards of training and competence across the industry. They also protect standards through a competence-based independently verified accreditation scheme in line with PAS91 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
Client organisations such as Barratt Homes, Bellway, the National Trust and Thames Water have been helped by the Association to develop and improve their procurement practices and the scaffold specifications they use. Recommendations regarding the procurement of Scaffold Companies is not only to carry out pre-qualification checks, but also to take reasonable steps to ensure that the contractor undertaking the work has the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and capability to carry out the work in a way that secures quality health and safety.
When reflecting on which contractor to work with, it’s important to consider the lengths to which the relevant contractor has gone in order to ensure the safety of their team. What is deemed reasonably practicable steps will depend upon the complexity of the project its range and the nature of the risks involved.
Association members sign a Code of Conduct on joining and commit to ensuring the safe design, installation and commissioning of access and temporary structures that use scaffolding. Audited Members (the highest category) have passed an independent audit that has been specifically developed in line with PAS91 to demonstrate that as scaffolding contractors, they area operating to industry best practice.
This Audited member status is now recognised as one of the highest levels of third party accreditation in the Construction Industry. Regulating standards in this way gives clients a greater confidence in the competence of Association members, especially those who may need to demonstrate advanced capability when pre-qualifying and undertaking complex and challenging works. By using one of the Scaffolding Association’s members, you can be confident of a competent and quality company.
Further information can be found on the Association website at www.scaffolding-association.org alternatively the team can be contacted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0300 124 0470.