AUTUMN EDITION | 2020 NATIONAL ACCESS AND SCAFFOLDING CONFEDERATION
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CONTENTS Reports from the Regions..................... 4 Health and Safety........... 6 Hire, Sales & Manufacturing............. 7
7 Contracts........................ 8 Technical........................ 8 Audit & Membership....... 9 Training.........................10 Any Other Business.......11 Members in Focus..........13 13
New NASC Website........14
14 NASC Guidance Index....18
Front cover image supplied by Palmers Scaffolding UK Ltd and shows their work at Euston Station
President’s Welcome So, how's 2020 been for you so far?! I think it would probably be safe to assume that it’s been somewhat of a challenge from March onwards. It goes without saying that the Coronavirus pandemic has hit the scaffolding industry hard. The NASC has done its best to help members best navigate these difficult months. This started with being reactive; providing members with up-todate, accurate information, distinct from guesses and rumours. From the start of lockdown, the NASC published short, clear, email bulletins, containing only facts, with information linked back to reputable sources. NASC staff trawled Government press releases, newspapers, newsletters and webinars to identify the key items which would impact scaffolding businesses. Staff also attended various Construction Leadership Council and Build UK webinars and meetings to discuss a multitude of issues. All information was collated and published via daily email and also added to a specially designed Covid-19 area of the NASC website. The initial focus of this correspondence was focused on financial survival, however over time – once the dust had settled to a degree – this made way for continuing operations. At this time the NASC was able to adopt a more proactive stance. The NASC felt it was essential to assist the scaffolding industry by providing operational guidance on how to work safely and efficiently to control the spread of the virus. Whilst much government, construction industry and health authority guidance was available, this was widely dispersed and in some ways disparate. It was therefore felt that concise guidance, specific to the scaffolding industry, was required to assist all scaffolding contractors to achieve optimum standards of protection for
their workers and others who may be affected by their operations. The guidance document ‘Guidance for Scaffolding Operations During the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic’ was produced, with input from the Technical and Health & Safety Committees, in double quick time, to provide all relevant information in one location. Other NASC Standing Committees have also been busy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and some of their outputs and achievements are documented on the following pages. We’re now almost back to a new normal but there are still sizeable challenges ahead. The NASC is committed to continue to support members and the industry at large to get through these times. This includes advice on tax, employment affairs, and marketing as well as health and safety, technical and contractual guidance – all of which is touched upon in this issue of Scaffolding Matters. This magazine is one way we can stay in touch with members. We invite you to keep in touch with us, too. We’re here for you. So, whatever you need please do get in touch.
Lynn Way NASC President
REPORTS FROM THE REGIONS NORTHERN & N. WALES Darren Maratty Interlink Scaffolding Ltd What can we all say about how 2020 has panned out? From what started as probably one of the busiest times in recent years for ISL and most other scaffold contractors within the Northern region. With most of the major Northern cities having a bit of a building boom. Then that came crashing down with a massive bang at the end of March. At first, I suppose we all didn’t really know which way it was going to turn out or for how long it was going to last. And here we are in September just starting to get back to some type of normality. The Government’s Furlough Scheme has helped out companies in some respects.
SOUTH WEST & S. WALES David Anderson Allen & Foxworthy Ltd What a year it’s been! Times have been hard for so many families and this pandemic has completely changed the way we live our lives and have to deal with things on a day to day basis in our workplaces. Whilst some of our business are struggling and some may close, our industry has tried to carry on with the help and guidance from NASC and CLC updating the procedures for our industry. The Government’s Furlough Scheme has been a godsend in the short term and has helped us all from the commencement of lockdowns. Despite the initial help, it’s the view of several managers within our business that there is going to be a rocky road ahead from the end of October 2020 when furlough assistance is stopped or at best a reduced contribution. The confidence shown by developers in the industry that we are a part of
But I think they got it wrong with Holiday accruement within furlough. Most employees accrued up to 12 holidays over furlough and with a mad rush to finish delayed projects it’s finding the time for employees to fit their 12 days holiday in. This also has a financial impact, as all of our turnover was down and in some cases down to zero. But us as businesses (not just scaffold contractors) still have to find that expenditure from somewhere. Regardless if you have 10 or 150 employees, that is still a large amount to pull out, without any or very little turnover to accommodate these payments. That being said, all of the projects that we as scaffold contractors had started or about to start still had to be completed. So, I would say most will be very cautious going forward, I sense and have heard this from our customers already in our region. I am sure that with some serious focus on our business and keeping our current customer base very happy and evaluating current market value rates both in pricing and rates received from our suppliers we can all manage our way through what is likely to be a tough time. We have found in these quieter periods, a little more time to have a re-think about how we do things and tried to develop a different way of doing things in some areas within our business that should save time and money going forward. In our quest to get busy let’s remember that Covid-19 is going to be a game changer for the foreseeable future. Workers should maintain a distance of 2m, or one metre with risk mitigation where 2m is not available. Let’s look after our workforce and come out of this pandemic wiser and stronger.
construction sites were back to full steam ahead probably mid-June to mid-July. I must also congratulate the NASC for their collative work to get Covid-19 Daily Bulletins and also the guidance and publication of Covid-19 RAMS. Which in turn, helped NASC members and probably non members to the steps that needed to be taken, to get back to sites safely. In a sense the mini boom is back on and we as a region haven’t got many scaffolders looking for work, so that has to be a positive. Let’s hope the last quarter of the year gives the region a boost we need and hopefully the economy back to a decent level. Then for us all to put 2020 in the past and move on stronger in 2021. Fingers crossed for all of us, anyway.
Wales in Focus We entered lockdown as four nations; we certainly didn’t come out that way. Each nation, whether right or wrong, made their decisions based on the interest of their own people. Wales was a bit slower off the blocks and as lockdown restrictions were gradually lifted during this summer, we are expecting to see a partial recovery in the second half of 2020. That said, the first quarter of next year could see another contraction due to the end of the transition period with the EU and an actual, for real, Brexit. Members in the area have had varying levels of success throughout the pandemic but as overheads increase, shameful lowest price tendering by firms continues to force further reductions in their profit margins. However, on a brighter note there have been some pretty major construction projects happening, with more in the pipeline as we rebuild the economy.
SCOTLAND & N. IRELAND Kevin Fitzpatrick Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services UK Ltd T/A Lyndon SGB This has been the toughest time the industry has experienced for many years. When on April 7 2020 the Scottish Government told all nonessential sites to close. With the support of the Government with the introduction of the Furlough Scheme I feel many families and businesses were saved as they could make use of this scheme to retain their workforce and staff during these trying times.
MIDLANDS Phil Heffernan Scaffold Erection Services Ltd At the time of writing we appear to be pulling our industry out of the most disruptive and economically challenging period that most of us will have ever experienced. Despite the country as a whole and construction having steered through recession in the past, this drop in such a short period of time is remarkable and unlike anything that has happened before. To add to this of course was the very onerous task of trying to introduce a Covid safe system of works that would allow our companies’ operatives to continue with essential works during
LONDON & SOUTH EAST Lee Rowswell GKR Scaffolding Ltd We thought Brexit would have the biggest impact on our regional economy this year. Little did we know we were about to face our biggest challenge yet. London and the South East will no doubt be impacted by pipeline delays on commercial and larger schemes as investment in the region faces a dent in confidence. However, there is much focus on residential and infrastructure projects with the Government pledging to expedite the public sector pipeline. The Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t just triggered an economic crisis, however. This is also a health crisis which has put the focus very firmly on the safety and wellbeing of our
If not for this scheme I fear what impact this would have had on families and businesses. During the months of lockdown and working along with the NASC various committees it was great to see how knowledge and skills came from various companies to come up with risk and method statements that gave the members confidence to share with their workforce as well as their clients as and when we were allowed to gradually return to sites on best practice and measures to adhere to. Scotland’s construction industry has been praised for its response to the challenges of operating in the new the depths of lockdown and then try to pull us all through to a more normal operating time that we all seem to be edging towards now. The Midlands members along, I am sure, with the other regional member companies are grateful to the NASC for facilitating a new Covid-19 safe operating system of works that incorporated CLC guidance and the experience and scaffolding knowledge of many contributors to both develop and update the guidance. Canvassing through the Midlands NASC companies it appears that April bore the brunt of the downturn and the unprecedented furlough scheme was widely used. Some Midlands member companies managed to keep a good people. Many business owners I have spoken to in the region made bold decisions to put people first, despite the commercial pressure this put on their businesses. This included ensuring that work only continued under Site Operating Procedures and making use of the Job Retention Scheme when work could not continue to protect as many jobs as possible. So, we may be coming out of lockdown a little bruised, but there have been many positive learnings from how we responded to such an unprecedented period of time. The industry has worked together to get back to work safely and productively. We have adapted to a new normal; adopting leaner methods under social distancing on-site and embracing digital methods for remote working.
normal. With workers having to adapt to new ways of doing things in relation to a wide range of issues from social distancing, hygiene and the use of specialist PPE through to enhanced cleaning regimes. As we return to sites there has been a willingness from all to work together but there is still a real nervousness over a second wave and a possible recession and what impact this would have. We all must stay safe and work to support those who are struggling to cope during these times.
core of staff and operatives employed as normal whilst others suffered the downturn more extensively. May and June seemed to allow us all to progressively ease back into operations and early indicators for July and August suggest that all areas of the economy have continued picking up and there has certainly been much hope of pent-up demand driving the recovery through the summer months, construction included. The big test will be whether it has recovered enough to reabsorb the workers still being furloughed, and particularly once the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends in October. Let’s all hope it does and push as much as we all can to drive it forward. The larger contractors in our region have spent more time planning with their supply chains and sharing best practice, and I think have genuinely seen the benefit of working more closely with us. As the period of uncertainty continues, contractors are evaluating the commercial health of their subcontractors, including availability of labour and financial robustness. This benefits NASC members as many of these variables are what we are audited against. Without a doubt, we face more challenging months ahead, but there are positive signs coming from sectors of the construction industry. If we apply our biggest learning – the power of collaboration – we will be a more resilient and productive industry in the months and years ahead.
HEALTH & SAFETY LATEST Guidance Update SG31:20 Management of Slips and Trips This guidance has been updated with significant changes made including images. The purpose of this guide is to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury from slips and trips. Using the NASC Safety Report data from 2019, where for the 15th consecutive year that Slips and Trips have been the predominant cause of injury to NASC member operatives, resulting in 28 incidents. Of the 28 incidents, 25 occurred on site. The cause of these incidents can be broken into two categories; poor housekeeping – uneven surfaces, wet surfaces and holes and obstructions such as waste and materials, and individual errors – with operatives not taking proper care of their own working environment.
SG25:20 Access and Egress from Scaffolds via Ladders & Stair Towers etc. This guidance has been updated with significant changes that gives scaffolding companies and clients guidance on The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR 2005), relating to safe means of access to and from scaffolding working platforms. The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) outlines that clients, principal designers, principal contractors, designers and contractors should consider what form of access may be needed at the planning stage. This should include any emergency escape routes that have been identified by the risk assessment, the preferred option for access / egress and the required number of access points. On larger projects powered passenger / goods hoists may be a safer option if available. Where passenger hoists are used, an additional means of access will be required for emergency purposes (e.g. in the event of a fire or mechanical failure). This update is significant in that key changes are ‘Ladder Safety’ and ‘Security’ of access onto scaffolds.
SG40:20 Scaffolding Yard Operations - New There have been a number of incidents reported through the media of non-member scaffolding yards having had fires, causing the surrounding areas to be affected, such as closing off roads and businesses. The purpose of this guidance is for people who have management, supervisory or other health, safety and environmental management responsibilities, to help reduce serious incidents (fire), numbers of injuries, cases of occupational ill health or harm to the environment. This guidance will be published soon.
SG39:20 Guidance on Appointing a Scaffold Contractor - New This new guidance is to provide an overview of the free publication A Guide to Appointing a Scaffolding Contractor, previously called the Scaffold Specification Template. The guide will assist all clients to appoint a compliant scaffolding contractor to undertake all access and scaffolding works, with appropriately training scaffolding operatives. Due out in September 2020 and will be available on the NASC Online Shop. This guidance will be published soon.
SG41:20 Long Standing Scaffolding Structures - New To provide guidance on the management of long-standing scaffolding structures. Throughout the industry scaffolds are erected to provide long-term access requirements and often remain in position for many months or even years, for example temporary yard sheds, scaffolding material racking systems, maintenance scaffolds etc. Now available on the NASC Online Shop.
A Guide to Appointing a Scaffolding Contractor Previously called the Scaffold Specification Template, provides advice and instruction for all organisations (or individuals) who are responsible for appointing, monitoring or managing scaffolding contractors, the guidance is appropriate for all sizes of construction contractors.
The guide sets out what organisations (clients / principal contractor etc) should be asking for from a scaffolding contractor when procuring their services. It is for the organisations to evidence how they have assessed the contractor’s organisational capability for the job to carry out the work safely as per The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015).
Toolbox Talk Suite (Free for NASC Members only) - New A suite of NASC Toolbox Talks is available for NASC members to download. The suite has been developed by the Health & Safety Committee, and comprises 73 individual, one-page toolbox talks on a wide variety of topics covering all the safety guidance notes, including environmental management subjects. The suite will be updated annually using the NASC Safety Report data that is collected annually from NASC Contracting Members. Now available in the NASC website members area, information and resources.
HIRE, SALES & MANUFACTURING LATEST BRINGING ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS TO THE FORE The importance of safety, versatility and cost effectiveness relating to the use of scaffolding is quite clearly not in dispute. Every installation - not least those relating to maintenance operations in industry - must meet the highest standards in these key areas. There is, however, a further dimension which is invariably being highlighted as Sean Pike, Chair of the NASC Hire, Sales & Manufacturing committee and UK Managing Director of system scaffolding, access and weather protection specialist, Layher Ltd. points out – “Optimising environmental performance has now become a factor that is not only called for by our customers but one which, vitally, we demand of ourselves.” The committee has spent several years producing guidance on product standards and what buyers/users should consider, and how to check that the products they buy/hire conform to these existing industry standards. The suite of P.G guides have been available for some time now, and can be obtained via the NASC website. Crucially, this product guidance against existing standards is audited by an independent auditor and all member companies’ own product[s] that they supply are tested and inspected to the suite of seven product guidance notes.
However, the committee wishes not to stand still, and this year has seen the integration of the following, often contentious, topics into the audit environmental and sustainability, health and safety and ethical set of questions. Yet again, this demonstrates that the NASC, and notably the H,S&M committee members, rather than pay lip-service to such matters, actually take seriously their collective responsibilities of material supply and quality, making the product audit process robust, further still – benefitting all contracting members as well as the wider industry. Another example of the NASC representing its members as well as driving industry wide improvement as the dominant and representative trade association, informing both members and beyond. Layher’s view reflects today’s greater emphasis on the achievement of greener performance. “Every aspect of our activity now accommodates this consideration – from manufacturing and production processes to optimising our broad association with local, national and international communities,” continues Sean Pike. “For example, we have created a dedicated Energy Management Team at our manufacturing plant near Stuttgart,” continues Sean Pike, “which
uses the international standard ISO 50001 as the basis for all activities and processes that call for the use and consumption of energy.” “It is vital that this approach is continually subjected to a reliable means of measurement,” continues Sean Pike, “not just in order to demonstrate our performance, but also to identify areas where further improvements can be made – and this was the view of the NASC H,S&M committee in supporting the extension of considerations to the product audit” concludes Sean Pike.
CONTRACTS LATEST I am not sure that the Contracts Committee has often been described as 'cutting edge' but I did write in the Spring edition of Scaffolding Matters that the Contracts Committee would be trialling a new style virtual committee meeting.
I would put in a report how successful that had been, and how it will become the norm in the next few years, but it now feels as though it is actual physical meetings which will be at trial stage in the future!
produce CG12 Appendix 1 – COVID19 – Contractual Terms for Hire, Labour, and Inspections, which hopefully allowed members to go back to their clients with some confidence in the uncertain early days. This was pulled together despite the group members having their own issues to deal with, and it is a credit to them. If you are still having difficulties, please contact us, and we will do our best to provide advice. The Committee has recently updated CG6:20 Scaffold Design, CG15:20 Engineering and Construction Subcontract, CG20:20 A Guide to Monitoring
The Contracts Committee was called into action quite early in the COVID crisis, trying to put together bits of information and respond to member queries as the anticipated lockdown would be raising multitudes of contractual and operational issues. We were able to draft and
TECHNICAL LATEST Technical Guidance Update
The following guidance notes have recently been published and are now available for purchase or downloading from the NASC website: TG11 Stress Corrosion Cracking in High Tensile Steels. TG14 Supplementary and Check Couplers. TG21 A Guide to Commissioning Scaffold Designs. TG24 Ancillary Scaffolding Components Not Covered by British Standards.
The following guidance is currently in the final approval stage and should shortly be available: TG8 Fire Damage. TG16 Anchoring to the Ground.
Storage Racks Guidance in Progress Whilst some guidance on scaffolding tube storage racks is included within the TG20 Design Guide, due to the wide usage and constant requirement for such structures, it was considered that a further
TG20:21 Operational, Design and eGuides Much progress has been made on these documents and the project remains on course for launch in February/ March 2021. Access to the documents will be via a new NASC ePortal, which will provide electronic versions of the Operational Guide, the Design Guide and the eGuide and will also allow more efficient searching of specific items or topics. New structures to be included within the eGuide are external birdcages, part boarded independents, tube and fitting loading bays and mobile towers. The improved eGuide will also produce compliance sheets containing additional information to aid construction. These documents will now show an ‘indicative’ illustration of the scaffold (or a typical section thereof) with details of the compliance criteria printed on the reverse.
and Chasing Debt and CG22:20 Early Payment Schemes. The Contracts Committee will continue to represent the NASC and the scaffolding sector at JCT, with a seat on the Contractors Legal Group, who will also continue to support the NASC Scaffolding Contract. As things start to return to normal, we will be resuming work on the guidance which requires updating and will endeavour to have CG24 Staff Handbooks completed before 2021. Matthew Cousins Contracts Committee chair
document should be produced to assist members in this area. A new technical guidance note is therefore currently under development, which will include guidance on construction considerations, use, maintenance and inspection and will also provide a simple ‘generic’ design which can be utilised by members to build racks, without the need for a bespoke design.
AUDIT LATEST NEW AUDITOR IN AND AT LEAST ONE MORE TO FOLLOW In June the NASC welcomed its newest auditor Alastair O'May to the team. Alastair was the MD of former NASC member company AOM Scaffolding Ltd based in Scotland before deciding to move away from contract scaffolding and into training at CITB Inchinnan.
Where one auditor joins another leaves. Colin Stevens will be
stepping down from auditing duties in April 2021. Colin is currently the longest serving auditor after accepting the role 14 years ago. His expertise and professionalism will be sorely missed by the confederation. We will be recruiting at least one more auditor over the next 6 months to ensure good coverage over the whole of the UK to serve our growing membership.
FREE SSIP ASSESSMENTS TO CONTINUE We are currently renewing our SSIP accreditation for another year so we can keep offering SSIP assessments free to all members. This excellent benefit is still being under used by a large percentage of members. We spoke to one of our members, Amber Scaffolding Ltd who had recently completed their SSIP assessment through the NASC. Their Health & Safety manager, Steve Armstrong said: "We used to use SafeContractor for our SSIP accreditation, which their last quote was for £1,198.80. Along with this was the cost for a Deemed
to Satisfy for CHAS which was £381. SMAS was £96. So by using the NASC's free SSIP assessment it saved our company significant money, as well as half a day on time as I didn't need to complete the full questionnaire."
requires additional information and costs beyond the remit of SSIP membership.
We hope members reading this will consider applying through the NASC via the website ssip.nasc.org.uk when it’s time to renew their SSIP and save themselves time and money. Members should note that some SSIP schemes have additional products beyond SSIP, such as CHAS Premium and Constructionline Gold which
Site Auditing Procedure Document The Audit Committee produced a Site Auditing Procedure document (SAP1) in June to assist auditors and members when carrying out site audits. The guidance was produced to show how an auditor can safely perform his duties in a COVID environment. Auditees are requested to submit their own Risk Assessment prior to the auditor’s arrival to maintain safety measures from the very beginning of the auditor’s visit. An updated version of this guidance (SAP2) will soon be issued to take
into account updated government guidelines. The NASC Audit Committee is also reviewing the entire audit and application process from start to end with a view to improving the system, which we feel has worked so well over the past 3 years since the online process was introduced. One of the main proposed changes is to create fields which require PAYE and CIS figures over the previous 12 months to be inputted so that this information can be reviewed by the auditor prior to visit.
NASC Site Audit Procedure Covid-19 (v1) Before arranging a visit at the company’s office an NASC auditor will contact the company director or senior manager to arrange a convenient time to visit to carry out the NASC audit. The auditee should send any details of induction to the auditor prior to arrival. The online part of the audit must be completed in full prior to the NASC visit to prevent unnecessary handling of paperwork and so little time is spent inside. If the auditor is displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, or a member of their household is self-isolating, they will not be able to carry out an audit.
Premises & Yard •
NASC auditor will contact the company to inform them that they have arrived and will wait outside the office area for further guidance on the company’s own COVID-19 procedures, with the first priority being to wash or disinfect their hands upon arrival. Hand sanitisation must be available in the office and the yard.
NASC auditor shall be escorted around the company’s premises (office and yard if applicable) with one designated manager maintaining social distancing (2 metres apart). All areas must be accessible and other members of the organisation are to be kept at the required social distance (2 metres apart).
When entering the premises, a well-ventilate d area should be prepared, which will permit the auditor to sit in a designated area, with the auditee maintaining social distancing (2 metres apart). NASC will hold meetings/aud it document checks with the auditee in open areas wherever possible (weather permitting).
NASC Auditor will use their own
During the yard visit NASC auditor will wear normal site PPE, but will include the wearing of gloves and glasses. The auditor will avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces and equipment where safe to do so.
At the present time there is no requirement to wear facial covering RPPE but is subject to change.
28/05/2020 NASC Site Audit Procedure
stationery and PPE at all times.
- Version 1
TRAINING AND RECRUITMENT LATEST CISRS CENTRES ARE OPEN
Despite the continuing trying times we all face the scaffolding sector continues to train and qualify its operatives.
At present CISRS is still asking Industry to show leniency on recently expired cards until course availability/ capacity can be established. This is in line with other CSCS affiliated card schemes and is supported by Build UK. The card administration run by NOCN has remained in operation throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, although at a reduced capacity. If you are having any issues with delayed cards or with clients not accepting recently expired card please let CISRS know and they will be happy to confirm individuals card status.
TALENT RETENTION SCHEME Following several months of Training Providers being forced to close their doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, almost all CISRS approved Centres have now reopened across the UK. Prior to recommencing training courses, centres were required to submit detailed risk assessments with supporting documentation and photographic evidence outlining restrictions and precautions put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19. These covered each step of the training experience from arriving at the facility moving around the centre, getting to classrooms, carrying out practical exercises and getting back home. The centres and the course delegates have responded very positively to the new regime. Centres were initially dealing with courses which had been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic but are now taking general bookings. Several centres are operating at a reduced capacity, as such there may be a slight delay in booking certain courses in certain locations, so ensure you book in advance. A lot of the providers are putting on extra programmes particularly short duration courses e.g. COTS, CPD, over weekends to take up the slack
NASC has signed up to the Talent Retention Scheme, which was recently launched by The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) industry and the Government. Designed to retain and secure essential talent in the sector, this new online portal will support the redeployment of staff at risk of redundancy, allowing them to be temporarily loaned between businesses. The online system will be free to use and open to apprentices, self-employed workers, and direct employees, as well as giving displaced workers from other sectors a route to new employment within construction.
FORCES INITIATIVE NASC has successfully signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) which recognises the NASC as an organisation that is supportive of the Armed Forces. The NASC have attended several events hosted by the armed forces to promote the scaffolding sector Despite the lockdown NASC has continued to develop partnerships that will support the objective of recruiting from the military. Discussions are advancing with Mid Kent College (MKC) to deliver scaffolding training at the barracks in Chatham, Kent. They are very keen to work in collaboration with the NASC and CISRS to explore the possibility of delivering a bespoke PET course for ex-military personnel as well as trainees that didnâ€™t conclude the training. The management team at MKC have strong links with senior officers and are happy to broker introductions with individual garrisons in order to create opportunities within the scaffolding industry. Strong links have been formed with high profile organisations that support ex-services personnel such as After the Military who are keen to work in partnership with the NASC to achieve mutual objectives.
NASC CAREER WEBSITE The new careers website is ready for launch alongside the revamped main site. This accelerates the NASC towards its objective of increasing its digital presence and eventually going completely digital. The site will showcase the various career opportunities available in the scaffolding industry. Members will soon be able to post their vacancies at no cost through the site, which has been created to appeal to jobseekers of all backgrounds and experience.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS NASC SECURES FLEET RESOURCE GOLD The NASC will also be able to access Logistics UK’s Member Advice Centre, through which it can seek specific support and advice on behalf of members. NASC Managing Director Robin James said: “Through our Gold Associate Membership, the NASC has ensured that members have free access to a wide range of fleet resources, information and discounts – providing them with invaluable transport knowledge and cost savings.
Full members will soon be able to gain free access to a broad range of transport-related resources and discounts from Logistics UK via the NASC. Through the NASC’s Gold Associate Membership of Logistics UK, formerly known as the Freight Transport Association, members will be able to pick and choose from 35 different services offered through the website. These include discounted rates on training, vehicle inspection services, tacho analysis services, shop, van
and truck excellence (leading to lower insurance premiums), vehicle recovery, fuel cards and transport manager seminars. NASC members will also be given access to Logistic UK’s member to member portal to discuss any transport-related issues they may have. The NASC will receive regular briefings on the latest developments in transport legislation and policy, which will be issued to members and added to the members’ area on the NASC website.
“We are the first construction industry trade body to take up this membership and are proud to be leading the way. Our close association with Logistics UK adds yet another benefit of NASC membership to scaffolding contractors and suppliers, building on a list that includes access to work, technical and health & safety support, the opportunity to secure a share of £280,000 in NASC training funds, and discounts on a range of ancillary products and services provided by NASC Information members.”
NASC PRESIDENT ELECTED ONTO BUILD UK BOARD NASC President Lynn Way has been appointed a Specialist Contractor Director of Build UK following an election process. In this role, Lynn, Financial Director and Company Secretary at Chris Sedgeman Scaffolding, will help provide strategic direction for the leading construction industry body. Speaking of her appointment, Lynn said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been elected by Build UK trade association members to join such a respected and influential group.
“I have been very impressed with Build UK’s activities throughout the Coronavirus pandemic and have taken part in a number of their webinars in recent months. “I’m now looking forward to getting further involved, representing the scaffolding industry and ensuring the needs and views of our industry are heard, as well as delivering for the construction industry as a whole.”
TRAD Group CEO Des Moore, who took up the same role in 2017. Build UK is the leading representative organisation for the UK construction industry. By bringing together Clients, Main Contractors, Trade Associations representing over 11,500 Specialist Contractors and other organisations committed to industry collaboration, Build UK represents in excess of 40% of UK construction.
Lynn continues the NASC’s directorlevel input at Build UK, following on from former NASC President and
NASC MEMBERS IN FOCUS FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THREE FULL CONTRACTING MEMBERS Member name: Thomson Scaffolding Ltd Member type: Full contracting member Region: South West and South Wales NASC member since: 2017 Company biog and specialisms: Founded 65 years ago in 1955 by George Thomson and Les Thomas with only a wooden cart, a few bits of kit and 2 competitors. The Company became well established by the early 60’s and Les left to continue scaffolding in the steel works. George’s son, Stephen joined and was paid 48p/hr - £19.20/week. He expanded the business over the years before his son, James joined in the early 90’s. This passing down of the Company through three generations has made us leaders in the industry and enabled us to grow steadily, whilst remaining the trusted name in scaffolding access for South Wales.
Reason/s for joining the NASC: The NASC was established 10 years before our Company. Previous generations of Thomson’s obtained the first ever guidance documents and always saw the NASC as the standard setter for the scaffolding industry. However, they would also refer to it as a ‘Superior boys club’. So, there was never any interest in us becoming members. This changed when James took over the business as his client base shifted to include larger Construction Companies, with some requiring NASC membership. With so many new, unregulated scaffolding companies popping up all over South Wales we already felt that we were being pushed out of the pond by these little fish, so joining the NASC was a natural progression for us. Being a NASC member is the best way to demonstrate all round competency, that includes compliance
with all relevant legislation. We were already achieving this, so joining the NASC was ultimately in our company’s best interest. It would open up access to these customers and their potential offer of work. All we had to do was survive the rigorous audits!
What do you gain from NASC membership?: As a NASC member we gain customer assurance and recognition, which makes us visible within the industry. We have access to up to date information and invaluable advice. We have received discounted specialist liability insurance, discounted training, free legal advice and invites to attend events, which have been a great opportunity to expand our contacts within the industry. We have been able to meet fellow members of NASC as well as people from other industry bodies. These events have also given us a chance to discuss work related issues and concerns, and find out more about current news in the industry. We have gained a deeper insight into the way that tenders/contracts are awarded by Clients and they must be warned that the use of lowest price tendering will seriously affect their financial health and reputation and may have undesirable and unexpected side effects. It also forces Contractors to price work at unrealistically low levels. As it is impossible to maintain standards and make a profit, quality of work falls and Contractors become entangled in legal battles to recover their losses. There is a great difference between ‘best value’ and ‘lowest cost’, procurement processes should reflect this. Clients must ditch the price evaluation formulae they currently use and come up with an alternative one. They have to abandon the ‘Race to the bottom’ and let the industry know that quality, delivery, service and safety win contracts, not the cheapest price. To any existing or potential Clients of the Scaffolding
Industry who may be questioning the value of using NASC members, advise them to strongly consider the 2019 Annual Safety Report & Accident Statistics from members, to help them make an informed decision based on safety, not price. Encourage them to sign up to the NASC Safe Scaffolding Charter. The Charter is open to any company that recognises the value of specifying NASC only and have placed them at the heart of their scaffolding procurement decisions. There has been, in the past a surprising level of misinformation and misunderstanding as to what the NASC is, and who its members are. The NASC has successfully busted these myths of it being just a ‘club’ which selfishly promotes its own interests and has proved that it is supportive of all scaffolding companies, regardless of size or turnover.
Coventry Scaffolding Co (London) Ltd’s Mastaba project. Winner of the NASC Project of the Year (turnover up to £5m)
Member name: City Access Scaffolding Ltd Member type: Full contracting member NASC member since: 2020 Company biog and specialisms: Our commitment to quality, reliability and integrity remains as true today as the day we launched in 2014 We invest in our team, training and equipment to build long-term partnerships across industry, and deliver projects that we can truly be proud of. City Access specialises in bespoke, commercial designs and delivery.
Reason/s for joining the NASC: Our business has grown at great speed over the last 6 years, we are now being approached by clients who recognise us as experts in our field. Our NASC membership assures these high profile clients that we are fully compliant and reputable.
What do you gain from NASC membership?: As you know we have only been NASC members since March, the same month the UK went into lockdown! Although itâ€™s been an incredibly challenging time for us all and definitely not the year we hoped would follow obtaining our membership,
Member name: Coventry Scaffolding Co (London) Ltd Member type: Full contracting member NASC member since: 1960's Company biog and specialisms: Coventry Scaffolding is an independent, family run scaffolding company, with an unrivalled reputation for providing safe, affordable scaffolds across London and the South East of England. We were the first scaffolding company to be granted a Royal Warrant to Her Majesty The Queen for our service at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, an accolade repeated only once since. Established in 1950, Coventry Scaffolding celebrates itâ€™s 70th (platinum) anniversary in 2020.
Reason/s for joining NASC: In the early years, the NASC was the Association which all the large firms
we have worked harder than ever and used the tools and guidance provided by NASC to help us improve relationships with existing clients and to secure new clients. Rather than seeing this pause in business as a negative, we can appreciate the time that lockdown gave us. We had a rare opportunity to spend quality, uninterrupted time looking at how the business operates. We have felt supported by NASC throughout lockdown and during our phased return with continuous technical guidance, literature and updates.
belonged to. Coventry Scaffolding saw it as important to be associated with these and have remained members ever since. We are now probably the longest serving member. The NASC is now a widely recognised and respected organisation that has benefits for all members but especially those who want to project a safety conscious, professional image. It gives reassurance to customers and prospective customers that we not only offer high work standards but that we follow strict health and safety guidance.
What do you gain from NASC membership?: The NASC took up the reins of providing information and advice to the Scaffolding Industry and much of the guidance out there, comes from the NASC. This includes anything from changes in legislation, health and safety advice and industry facts.
THE NASC’S NEW WEBSITE IS NOW LIVE The site, which features a broad range of scaffolding information and resources, has been designed with three distinct audiences in mind; scaffolding industry companies, NASC members, and those that wish to employ NASC members. For NASC members there are a number of points you should be aware of. Each member has a designated Website Manager. This person is responsible for reviewing and populating the basic company details (address, telephone number, description, logo etc) and also adding new user profiles. For each user the Website Manager can assign specific topics of interest such as Audit, H&S, Marketing etc. By carrying out this task, members can ensure that NASC correspondence is targeted to the appropriate member of staff. The Website Manager can also highlight the geographical areas and postcodes their company operates in. In doing so, members will appear more accurately in the Find a Member search, which now allows visitors to search by the proximity of the member’s office or depot to a given postcode or by whether they operate in that postcode.
The Find a Member search has been given a major overhaul to make it as simple as possible for a visitor to find a member, gain key information about that member and also contact them directly. The NASC Shop remains. This page now features 80+ guidance documents covering a wealth of Health & Safety, Contractual, Technical, Product and Security topics. Visitors can search by product type or use the magnifying glass icon at the top of the page to find specific titles. As always, these titles are reviewed and updated on a regular basis to ensure they remain up-to-date and fit for purpose. A great deal of information can be found in the Members’ Area. This includes application forms for the
NASC’s four funding pots – covering Mental Health, Armed Forces, COTS and CPD – marketing materials, the NASC logo, meeting dates, tax bulletins, employment affairs support, Full Member Deals and Discounts (provided by Supplier, Design and Information Members) and much more besides. We hope you’ll agree that the new site is an improvement on the old one, with information that is easy to find and with a clearer emphasis on promoting the benefits of using NASC members. We are always looking to improve the website and so if you have any thoughts please do not hesitate to get in touch with NASC Marketing Manager Simon Robinson via email@example.com
A DIFFICULT TIME AHEAD FOR TAX PROFESSIONALS Well we have prepared for Reverse Charge VAT with a start date of April 1 2019, October 1 2019 and now we are told it will begin on March 1 2021. Will it really? Or as my son used to say, will it really really really? And if so, what will it mean for you? The answer is yes, I believe it will start in March. So much effort has been put into the legislation and the guidance and the webinars to start running in the autumn that it would be a huge loss of face and a huge waste of public and private money if it was scrapped now. And it will give the Chancellor a far better grasp on the flow of VAT from construction. After all no one in their right mind would agree to money that they were owed being paid via three four and more construction businesses of varying sizes and qualities, and that is what happens now. A client pays a main contractor for a power station plus VAT but the chancellor only gets that money in full when it has passed through the full chain of subcontractors and their subcontractors. From March, the VAT charged to the client will be paid in full to the Government by the main contractor and everyone else in the construction chain will account for VAT as book entries, no money will change hands.
REVERSE CHARGE VAT
Where does this leave you? If you are an employment business it leaves you unaffected -you will invoice and add VAT and a main contractor will pay that VAT. But if you are any other sort of subcontractor who buys materials and pays workers to do the subcontract it means that after March 1 2021 you will not ask a VAT registered, CIS registered customer for VAT. The supply will still be standard rated but the invoice generated by your accounting system will not ask for payment of VAT. The paperwork will show the VAT as an input and an output so you will not be out of pocket, other than in terms of cash flow. It is important to: • Warn your subcontractors in case they are behind the curve and don’t know of the change • Make sure your accounting software can handle reverse charge VAT • Make sure you know the VAT and CIS references for your regular customers • Invent a process that requests VAT and CIS details from any new customers • Make sure your invoicing proformas are ready • Think hard whether you need to sign up to monthly VAT returns. If your trading pattern involves the purchase of a lot of materials you may need to do this in order to get monthly repayments of the VAT on the materials you buy. If you feel confused so far, worse is still to come. The Off-Payroll Working rules come into force on April 1 and by then you must be sure that anyone who regularly works for you through their own limited company is not really an employee in disguise.
Learn what the HMRC CEST tool looks like. Try running it for all the workers who come and go in your offices and sites who are not on the PAYE roll. If the CEST test shows employee there is a lot of work to do, warning of PAYE deductions from the payments to their company, and possibly negotiating a move into the PAYE workforce. It will be a difficult year for tax professionals in construction just changing systems and making sure that the paperwork is clean. But there is still more. We have just had a consultation from HMRC discussing plans to introduce a scheme in which every construction site has a registration, and that every payment to a worker is cross referenced on the CIS returns to the site they have worked on. There are also plans for far more checks on the tax compliance and financial probity of all parties in the construction chain. HMRC have suggested that the main contractor might become responsible for checking the financial reliability of the tier two, three, four and even tier five subcontractors but that is for the future. Perhaps the trade federations can act together to get that particular idea kicked into the long grass…. that is my next job. Liz Bridge Joint Taxation Committee
OFF PAYROLL WORKING 15
EMPLOYMENT AFFAIRS – LATEST NEWS Gray Rigge G&E Services (UK) Ltd
This year's review of the CIJC Working Rule Agreement national minimum rates of pay and conditions has been postponed. Any changes that might have been agreed were due to take effect from the end of June 2020. The Employers, who represent nine construction trade associations, have advised the Trade Unions, UNITE and GMB, that due to the ongoing disruption to the construction industry and the economic uncertainty for construction business for the foreseeable future, the Employers were not in a position to consider any changes to the current agreement. The previous review of the CIJC Working Rule Agreement took effect from the end of June 2018 with changes being implemented in June 2018 and June 2019. The national minimum pay and conditions introduced from June 2019 will continue to apply.
From late August HMRC has commenced contacting around 3,000 'selected' organisations each week from a planned total of 30,000 organisations to contact, asking each that they check that their Job Retention Scheme claims are accurate. The organisations contacted are triggered where HMRC information on claims made and PAYE returns are 'significantly' different. Employers can correct mistakes without penalty if actioned within set time frames. By early August around 9.6 million jobs had been on furlough and the value of Job Retention Scheme claims had reached £33.8 billion. HMRC have received 10,000 reports of fraud in respect of the Job Retention Scheme, many reportedly concerning employees being asked or required by their employer to break the rules by working when on furlough.
The Office for National Statistics reports that for business that continue to trade, as at the middle of August on average 11% of their employees remain on furlough. With the cost of furlough for employers now increasing month by month through to the planned end of the scheme in October, it is thought likely that many of those furloughed employees will not be brought back to work, leading to considerable restructuring. For business considering restructuring, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has recently published a Redundancy Process Map and given advice as to a suitable procedure under ‘Manage Staff Redundancies’. These assistance documents are free and available on the ACAS website www.acas.org.uk/redundancy The Department of Work & Pensions has produced a ‘Redundancy factsheet for employers’ which has links to relevant information from ACAS and HMRC www.gov.uk/ redundancy-support-for-employers. Legislation has been enacted which means that statutory entitlements based on a week’s pay, eg notice & redundancy must be paid at 100% rather than a furlough rate.
Among the changes to ways of working whilst businesses are adapting to the Coronavirus emergency has been a substantial increase to 'Homeworking'. There is a difference between employees working from home as an occasional or currently temporary measure and what in a number of businesses is becoming a longer term, perhaps permanent arrangement. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, (CIPD) has produced practical advice for employers considering the introduction of regular homeworking under ‘Preparing your Organisation for Homeworking’. There is a suitability assessment tool for application to each employee who may be under consideration to be required to work from home,(Homeworking Questionnaire) and an information document, (Homeworking Guide), giving items to consider for the employer. Availability is via the CIPD website and the documents are free to download www.cipd. co.uk-homeworking-questionnaire
Evidence of Safe Scaffolding – the NASC Sets the Standard The NASC is occasionally asked by main contractors to provide evidence that NASC full contracting members were safer than nonmembers. The NASC does its part; each and every year going to great lengths to collate, analyse and publish a detailed Safety Report cataloguing accidents and injuries recorded by its members. The Safety Report can be read via the NASC’s website. Hard copies are also available upon request. Unfortunately, other parties do not follow our example. The Health & Safety Executive provides only general construction industry statistics from RIDDOR reports and other scaffolding industry member organisations choose not to publish any safety statistics at all. This makes it nigh on impossible to directly compare the safety of NASC members with non-members. But
it doesn’t mean the NASC’s efforts are in vain. On a very simple level, the production of the annual Safety Report gives the NASC the opportunity to demonstrate in no uncertain terms the safety performance of its members.
The NASC has identified key findings
This is laid out in great detail for all to see and make their own judgements on. Perhaps more importantly, the Safety Report provides the NASC and its standing Committees with the statistics it requires to best focus efforts on improving safety standards wherever possible.
seventh year in succession) and year-
In recent years, the NASC’s analysis of the frequency and causes of accidents to operatives led to the creation of the SG4 site poster, production of a series of safety-related toolbox talks and the ability to prioritise the production and review of core NASC safety guidance. This proactive approach to safety continues this year.
and next steps from the latest accident statistics. In terms of this year’s Report, the top-line figures speak for themselves; the lowest number of accidents recorded to date, zero operative fatalities (for the on-year reductions in falls from height and falls of materials. While the NASC will not rest on its laurels, it is right at this time to celebrate its best ever safety statistics. This achievement is made possible by the commitment of the NASC and its members to put in place the highest standards of safety procedures and practices and make improvements in this area whenever and wherever possible.
NASC 2020 SAFETY REPORT • 226 full contracting NASC members • 17,000+ operatives
NATIONAL ACCESS AND SCAFFOLDING CONFEDERATION
• 74 incidents recorded in 2019 – an all-time low • Equates to one injury for every 230 operatives, a significant improvement on last year’s one injury for every 150 operatives. • This figure means that 99% of NASC member-employed operatives went through 2019 accident and injury free. • No operative fatalities last year, for the seventh consecutive year. • Of the 74 incidents, 13 were recorded as major, requiring hospital treatment, with the remaining 61 recorded as over 7-days. These figures are both the lowest on record. • Slips and Trips accounted for the majority of the reported incidents - 28. • Operative falls from height decreased from 22 in 2018 to 12 in 2019, with only one operative falling a distance over 4m, however material falls from height rose from 4 to 9 year-on-year.
2020 SAFETY REPORT
MAINTAINING HIGH STANDARDS IN SCAFFOLDING
NASC GUIDANCE INDEX Technical Guidance
(UR) = currently under review
Temporary Edge Protection for Sloping and Flat Roofs (UR)
Not currently used
(UR) = currently under review
Contractual Issues Relating to Hiring of Hoists
Late Payment of Commercial Debts
Preparation of Quotations
Payment Under the Construction Act
Adjudication – Its use by the Sub-contractor
Erection, Use and Dismantling of Temporary Rubbish Chutes on Scaffolding
Anchorage Systems for Scaffolding
Timber scaffold boards – An introduction to the revised standard BS2482:2009 (UR)
Care and Maintenance of Scaffold Boards
Scaffold Board Nailplates (UR)
Fire Damage (UR)
Preparation of Schedule of Rates
Guide to the Design and Construction of Temporary Roofs and Buildings
Flame Retardant Treatments for Timber Scaffold Boards and Battens (UR)
Pre-Tender Information from the client
Stress Corrosion Cracking in High Tensile and Alloy Steels
Engineering and Construction Subcontract
Tying Down of Scaffold Boards
Non-Standard Boarded Platform
Supplementary Couplers and Check Couplers
Commercial Pitfalls for the Scaffolding Contractor (UR)
Not currently used
Liquidated and Ascertained Damages
Anchoring to the Ground (UR)
A Guide to Monitoring and Chasing Debt
Identification of BS EN74 Couplers (UR)
Not currently used
Early Payment Schemes
Not currently used
Training Costs Agreements
Guide to Good Practice for Tube and Fitting Scaffolding (UR)
Guide to Staff Handbook
Common Contract Terminology
A Guide to Commissioning Scaffold Design
Design of Part Boarded and Other Scaffolds (Not Referred to Elsewhere) Lacing and Bracing of Beams Ancillary Scaffolding components not Covered by British Standards
Security Guidance Guidance No.
Not currently used
Eligibility to Work
(UR) = currently under review
Title Security Considerations for the Scaffolding Industry
Safety Guidance Guidance No.
(UR) = currently under review Guidance No.
Consultation with the Workforce
Entry into Confined Spaces
Not currently used
Document now incorporated in SG7
Access and Egress from Scaffolds
Scaffolding & Hoists (UR)
Temporary Edge Protection on Open Steelwork (UR)
Safe System of Work for Scaffolding Associated with Timber Frame Building Construction
Internal Edge Protection on Scaffold Platforms
Management of Road Haulage for the Scaffolding Contractor
Management of Slips and Trips
Provision of Extended and Telescopic Transoms and Board Brackets
Health Surveillance in Scaffolding
Document not in system – for information about Safety Nets refer to FASET
Guide to the Construction of Scaffold Loading Bays and Loadbearing Platforms (UR)
Guidance on Protection of the Public
Handover of Scaffold Structures (UR)
Unauthorised Modifications to Scaffolds
Guidance on Mental Health & Wellbeing
Long Standing Scaffolding Structures
Title Control of Substance Hazardous to Health in Scaffolding (COSHH) (UR)
Asbestos Licences and Ancillary Work Involving the Scaffolding Contractor (UR)
Document incorporated into SG5
Preventing Falls in Scaffolding Operations (UR)
Overhead Power Sources and Earthing of Scaffold Structures
Manual Handling in the Scaffolding Industry
Risk Assessments & Method Statements (RAMS)
Reporting of Accidents Procedures and RIDDOR
Use, Inspection and Maintenance of Lifting Equipment […] in the Scaffolding Industry (UR)
Requirements for the Use of Brickguards
Drugs and Alcohol at Work
Management of Fall Protection Equipment (UR)
Not currently used
Document incorporated in SG16 Welfare Facilities for the Scaffolding Contractor (UR) A Guide to Formulating a Rescue Plan
Product Guidance Guidance No.
Purchasing Guidelines for EN 39:2001 Tube (4.0mm)
Purchasing Guidelines for EN 10219-1:2006 High Tensile Tube (3.2mm)
Purchasing Guidelines for BS 2482:2009 Timber Boards
Purchasing Guidelines for EN 74-1 Couplers
Purchasing Guidelines for Aluminium Beams
Purchasing Guidelines for EN 12810 11 System Scaffold
NASC T: 020 7822 7400 W: www.nasc.org.uk E: firstname.lastname@example.org 4th Floor 12 Bridewell Place London EC4V 6AP
Scaffolding industry magazine published by the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation.