Scaffolding Magazine 2020

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Contents Switchboard +44 (0)20 7490 5595 Sub-editor Nicky Roger Tel: 07704 336835 Art editor Heather Rugeley Advertising manager Howard Smith 07775 670 117 Credit control Eva Rugeley Managing director Stephen Quirke Published by Atom Media Partners, 3 Waterhouse Square, 138 Holborn, London EC1N 2SW Tel: +44 (0)20 7490 5595

To contact the NASC Tel: 020 7822 7400

Scaffolding is published by Atom Media Partners. The contents of this publication are copyright. Reproduction in part or in full is forbidden without permission of the editor. The opinions expressed by writers of signed articles (even with pseudonyms) in the magazine are those of their respective authors, and neither the NASC nor Atom Media Partners is responsible for these opinions or statements. Printed by Bishops Printers. All rights in the magazine, including copyright, content and design, are owned by the NASC and/or Atom Media Partners. ISSN 1360 3566





04 Industry updates 07 NASC award winners 13 Innovation in scaffolding

23 TG20:21 28 Hinkley Point C 34 Off Payroll Working

36 Who's liable for accidents? 38 How to choose a scaffolding contractor

scaffolding magazine march 2020 | 3

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Welcome Welcome to Scaffolding, published on behalf of the National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC). This purpose of this magazine is three-fold. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, we are able to provide readers with practical advice and useful information relating to the scaffolding industry – from procurement through to products and many different topics in between. This helps to forge closer working relationships between the NASC and its members and the wider construction industry. The magazine also gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of the wealth of scaffolding guidance that the NASC produces – accepted as the industry standard by HSE, Build UK, CITB and principal contractors alike. The majority of the 70+ titles in this library, covering health & safety, technical, contractual and product purchasing titles, are available to download for free via the NASC website. Lastly, it also enables us to provide a brief overview of how the NASC continues to set the standard for the scaffolding industry. The NASC is the national trade body for access and scaffolding in the UK, established in 1945 with the aim of promoting high standards of safety within the industry. This commitment to best practice is shared by our members, all of which are audited each year to ensure they continue to meet our stringent standards. These standards are recognised and valued by construction industry leaders, who continue to stipulate ‘NASC only’ companies for their access and scaffolding needs. We hope you find this magazine of interest. For more information about the NASC, and to find a member in your area, please visit

“The course provides a basic understanding of what compliant scaffolding looks like and guidance on how to work at height safely”

Awareness training for non-scaffolders WORKING AT HEIGHT COURSE TO EDUCATE ALL WORKERS

A new one-day scaffolding awareness course aimed at non-scaffolding operatives and other construction workers is now being offered at a range of CISRS training centres across the country. The course is open to any operatives who work on scaffolding – painters, bricklayers, electricians and plumbers – or those who want to gain a better understanding of scaffolding operations, such as site supervisors, engineers, procurement and health and safety professionals and principal contractors. The course, created by the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS), will provide attendees with a greater understanding and appreciation of the potential

Awareness of the dangers of working at height offered by CISRS

dangers of working at height on scaffolds and enable them to identify the core components of a safe scaffold. It is being delivered by CISRS accredited centres nationwide. Delegates will be issued with a CISRS Scaffolding Awareness certificate upon successful completion of the course. Laura Weekes, CISRS Administrator, said: “This classroom-based course provides learners with a basic understanding of what compliant scaffolding looks like and guidance on how they can work at height safely." The latest NASC Safety Report shows that NASC full contracting members continue to erect and dismantle scaffolds of all shapes and sizes in a safe and legally compliant manner, resulting in zero operative fatalities for the sixth year in succession. However, a recent HSE report revealed that 15 people died as a result of a fall from height during 2018/2019, making it the biggest cause of workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain. “Clearly there is a need for greater awareness of the dangers of working at height. We hope our new course will contribute to this effort," says Weekes. ●

To find a CISRS Scaffolding Awareness course near you visit Please contact the centres directly for information about course availability and costs.


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NASC in figures

75 Years 296

of operation





NASC members in Top 10 Scaffolding Specialists Table 2019 (by turnover)


NASC members’ combined share of annual UK spend on scaffolding

Lead construction firms sign up to new safety charter NASC RECOGNISES COMPANIES WHO PRIORITISE SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE

The NASC has launched a Safe Scaffolding Charter to recognise the ever-growing number of organisations that place NASC membership at the heart of its scaffolding contractor procurement policies. The Charter is open to any organisation that has specified ‘NASC-only’ in its scaffolding-related tender documents and/or has had an established commercial relationship with a full NASC member for at least a year. Signatories already include Nuclear New Build Generation – the company behind the development and eventual operation of Hinkley Point C; construction specialists DE Construct; principal contractors Knight Harwood; and facilities

Charter signatories specify 'NASC members-only'

management specialists Amey. These organisations are featured on the NASC website’s dedicated Safe Scaffolding Charter webpage. Robin James, NASC managing director, said: “We feel it’s incredibly important to celebrate the various organisations that recognise the value of specifying NASC-only for their scaffolding requirements. “Signatories clearly understand that NASC members are demonstrably safe, compliant and independently audited every year to ensure the high standards demanded in order to gain NASC full-contracting membership are maintained. “They also understand how this benefits their business; including


Guidance notes in NASC library


Members serving on the NASC’s eight standing committees

the reassurance and peace of mind gained by using experienced and expert scaffolding contractors.” Steve Fitzpatrick, senior H&S manager at Knight Harwood, said: “It is reassuring to know that our quantity surveyors and project managers only have NASC member companies to choose from when compiling bid lists for new projects. “Scaffolding will always be amongst the most challenging aspects of the construction phase, especially during projects in urban areas. There is no higher benchmark than the NASC in the construction industry when engaging competent scaffold companies. “Consequently, from a moral, civil and legal point of view, I am very comfortable signing this Safe Scaffolding Charter.” ●

For more on the NASC’s Safe Scaffolding Charter and to request to become a signatory visit: safe-scaffolding-charter/

New scaffolder cards eases life for PMs Scaffolding cards are being brought into the 21st Century, making it quicker and easier for project managers to check that scaffolders working on their site are qualified and eligible to do so. Through a new partnership between the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) and NOCN Job Cards, all new CISRS card applications will soon receive both a traditional plastic card and a new virtual card, which they can access via any smart phone or device. By tapping their card on their phone, cardholders can see all their details; photo, qualifications

and courses taken. This App is secure and can be kept on the phone so the individual has proof of their card at all times. It will also notify cardholders of renewal notifications to simplify the renewal process. A virtual ‘Card Wallet’ will allow multiple cards to be stored on a single device, allowing contractors to easily collate their operatives’ details and access them as required. David Mosley, CISRS managing director, said: “The beauty of the new cards is that they will add value to operatives and scaffolding contractors as well as their customers.

“By making CISRS cards more accessible we’ve made it easier for all parties involved in the erection and management of scaffolding to ensure those working on site have the necessary training to do so. “This not only ticks a regulatory box in terms of the principal contractor’s adherence to Working at Height legislation but also goes a long way towards guaranteeing scaffolding on site is safe and compliant.” Know your cards For a free A2 poster showing the various CISRS cards and the tasks these cardholders can undertake, email


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engineereD SCAFFOLD SOLUTiOnS Palmers were proud to be named ‘Subcontractor of the Year’ by Costain Skanska Joint Venture (CSJV) for our special access & scaffolding solutions on the iconic HS2 euston Station project – offering safe, on time & on budget innovations, with radically reduced work at height risk. Palmers Scaffolding: One of the country’s oldest scaffolding companies delivering ultra-modern special access and scaffolding solutions.

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“The scale of the project required GKR to set up a separate business unit with its own management, health & safety and commercial specialists, engineers as well as a team of 100 operatives and black hats."

Project of the Year – Turnover over £5 million Battersea Power Station – External Scaffold Package GKR Scaffolding Ltd Main contractor: Mace

Mace contracted GKR Scaffolding Ltd to provide scaffolding and access on Phase 2 works at Battersea, restoring and renovating the power station into commercial, retail and high-end residential space. GKR supplied full external scaffolding around the entire height and perimeter of the building. In total, there are 7.2 miles of lifts with 25 lifts on each of the four wash towers. If run end to end, the boards used would reach 43.2 miles. The scaffold is 60.8m at its highest point. GKR also installed complex hanging scaffolding on each of the wash towers to solve a fragile brickwork problem. With brickwork specialists PAYE concerned that pressure on the outer wall of the towers might cause a collapse, GKR engineers devised a hanging scaffold solution that only required two support points.


Battersea Power Station helped GKR secure the Project of the Year award SCAFFOLDING MAGAZINE MARCH 2020 | 7

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“E A Scaffolding and System's specialist work on the Gade Valley Viaduct was complicated and time sensitive. The commitment to ensuring the canal flow was uninterrupted and provided safe access to the public was commendable”

Each section was constructed on the ground and craned into place within a purpose-built frame, with access scaffold built up from the ground to meet the hanging scaffold. The scale of the project required GKR to address its business model, ensuring that taking on a project of this size, did not detrimentally impact other operations. To achieve this, GKR set up a separate business unit dedicated to servicing Battersea Power Station, with its own management, health & safety and commercial specialists, engineers as well as a team of 100 operatives and black hats. Being a large project with 8,000+ workers on site on any day, and a large supply chain, the project had inherent logistical challenges. The operational management and engagement of a large workforce in various locations on one site, required significant planning to maintain quality, productivity and morale. Working conditions were also often difficult such as dealing with asbestos. Communication was paramount across the project as numerous

different contractors were interdependent to GKR’s works. NASC judges said: “Working on one of the most iconic buildings in London, planning and design was key for this successful project. The complexity of design was very impressive but we feel particular recognition should be given to the operational changes GKR made in order to take on such an extensive project and for setting up a dedicated service of management and safety professionals.”

Project of the Year – Turnover up to £5 million

Span No 3, Gade Valley Viaduct– M25 Kings Langley E A Scaffolding & Systems Ltd Main contractor: Osborne EA Scaffolding & Systems Ltd was awarded the complicated and time sensitive Gade Valley Viaduct scaffolding contract to provide safe access and containment to each of the 11 spans and piers supporting the 480m stretch of M25 at Junction 20 at Kings Langley. The section of the Grand Union Canal situated within Kings Langley

Work at the Gade Valley Viaduct won E A Scaffolding first place in the small project of the year category

is considered to be one of the busiest stretches of the canal in Hertfordshire. It has a steady daily flow of canal barges passing underneath the viaduct bridge and the adjacent towpath is a popular with walkers, sightseers and members of the local community. With no historic drawings of the canal design, the scaffold structure commenced from scratch which proved to be one of the most challenging design elements of the entire project. An additional challenge was to ensure the foundations could withstand the loadings of the scaffold structure. The design also had to factor and strategise a build method to accommodate a stipulated sensitive time constraint negotiated with the client and the Canal Trust. Once an initial design brief was discussed, a further 18 months of pre-planning took place between the client and E A Scaffolding & Systems Ltd’s in-house design team to ensure the scaffold was designed and built to allow full access for all elements of works. The working designs were then submitted for approval to Highways England. It was essential the scaffold erection programme was tailored to minimise and mitigate disruption to the flow of the canal whilst also remaining a viable and cost-effective solution, enabling completion of works within the client's budget. Adjacent opposing supporting scaffolds enabled the installation and completion of a mobile scaffold


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gantry work platform built out of normal work hours during a planned short duration canal closure. This allowed for the subsequent installation of remaining double stacked HD asterix bridge beam sections to be built within the confines of a safe working platform environment, maintaining a free flow of canal traffic below. NASC judges said: “E A Scaffolding and Systems’ specialist work on the Gade Valley Viaduct was complicated and time sensitive. The commitment to ensuring the canal f low was uninterrupted, providing safe access to t h e p u b l i c wa s p a r t i c u l a r l y commendable, as was the displayed sensitivity with the preservation of the local environment.”

An employee's issues with mental health resulted in Crossway winning an award for its work and policies on the issue

Crossway began by raising money for Andy’s Man Club, a charity that helped the scaffolder in question and support men struggling with mental health issues across the UK. The company has subsequently signed the Time to Change initiative and placed mental health at the heart of its working practices and policies. NASC judges said: “Crossway Scaffolding (Elland) Ltd’s submission was excellent. Its journey to improving mental health support and developing a multi-faceted approach was very impressive. The positive impact was both clear and sustainable, and the range of evidence provided to support the submission was also superb.”

Innovation Award

Layher Ltd (FlexBeam) Suspended, cantilevered and gantry scaffold construction has been simplified and enhanced with the introduction of the Layher FlexBeam design. Providing 40% higher bending load capacity – when compared to the company’s established Lattice Beam 450 – and yet without the need for

“Crossway's journey to improving mental health support and developing a multi-faceted approach was very impressive. The positive impact was clear and sustainable. ” compression chord bracing the design also enables lower construction heights to be achieved and increases the range of locations that can benefit. A U-shaped section is at the heart of the product’s design which allows the direct suspension of system decks, while installations can still be connected directly to Layher’s Allround scaffolding system. The company has also introduced additional fittings with the FlexBeam to extend its suitability to a wider range of application environments – these include lift-off protectors, tie-rod connectors and concrete anchors, while a spigot simplifies connection between individual beam sections.

NASC President’s Award

Crossway Scaffolding (Elland) Ltd Crossway Scaffolding (Elland) Ltd won this award for its efforts in increasing the provision of mental health and wellbeing support they give to employees. These activities arose from a single Crossway scaffolder’s decision to talk to management about being diagnosed with depression – something he did despite fears of the stigma that can go hand in hand with mental health issues. From this conversation, Crossway’s commitment to tackling mental health and wellbeing in the workplace was born and quickly snowballed. SCAFFOLDING MAGAZINE MARCH 2020 | 11

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“Nothing is ever too much trouble for Ed. This means he is frequently one of the first names suggested by the planning manager and is frequently requested by all the managers and site supervisors to work on their projects.” With a choice of lengths available, Layher FlexBeam has been proven in both conventional scaffold installations and those that require installation on curved structures such as bridges. N ASC j u d ge s s a i d : “ L ay h e r ’s Flex Beam has gone through a high level of design, testing and quality assurance. The judges thought the innovative adaption of the plank beam was clever and was a marked improvement on an existing product.”

Health and Safety Award – 67+ Employees

GKR Scaffolding Ltd GKR Scaffolding Ltd’s focus in 2019 was to implement a cultural change to drive continuous improvement in safety and also introduce a companywide commitment to wellbeing and mental health. Through its new ‘Share, Learn, Improve’ initiative, GKR operatives were encouraged to report near misses, suggestions and positive observations on site, rather than fearing a ‘blamegame’ if they raised any issues. Every month a project team is selected to receive a reward based on quality or volume of suggestions. Since its introduction, the scheme has led to a rise in near-miss reporting but also a decrease in incidents, indicating that sharing and learning from near misses reduces incidents. In terms of mental health, GKR has signed the Building Mental Health Charter and trained 25 mental health

the risks posed from dropped objects by installing mini catch fans. NASC judges said: “It was clear from Apex Scaffolding (Exeter)’s submission this company is taking a proactive approach to health and safety, continually developing their systems and processes to ensure the highest standards. Weekly meetings and the employment of a full-time scaffold inspector, as well as inviting members of the workforce to attend management meetings showed an excellent commitment to safety from grass roots level all the way to the top.”

Apprentice of the Year

Edward Oldridge collecting his Apprentice of the Year award

first aiders to date. Wellbeing topics and mental health toolbox talks are now included in all company inductions. NASC judges said: “It is clear from GKR’s submission they have invested both on the development of new technology as well as training their workforce through psychological safety.”

Health and Safety Award – 1-66 Employees

Apex Scaffolding (Exeter) Ltd Apex Scaffolding (Exeter) Ltd has implemented a number of initiatives that demonstrate its commitment to health and safety excellence. These include keeping the workforce involved and informed of H&S matters through weekly contract team meetings and toolbox talks; the employment of a full-time scaffold inspector; and the nomination of a scaffolders’ health and safety representative. Apex has also raised the bar in terms of on-site safety through the introduction of CE certified and serial numbered tool tethers, the use of digital inspection software and reducing

Edward Oldridge – High Peak Scaffolding Ltd "Ed is becoming a great scaffolder – he has natural ability and understanding of the role and its requirements. However, it is his calm, understated but committed approach to work and outstanding work ethic that sets him apart." This is what High Peak Scaffolding said about Edward Oldrige who won Apprentice of the Year at the NASC awards. His employers also added that his overall attitude and approach to work results in him being helpful to others on a daily basis. "He is 100% punctual and reliable. Nothing is ever too much trouble for him. This means he is frequently one of the first names suggested by the planning manager and also frequently requested by all the sales managers, contracts managers and site supervisors to work on their projects." NASC judges said: “During his time at High Peak Scaffolding, Edward has fully embraced his training and onsite experience. Feedback from Edward’s employer, clients, his apprenticeship officer and tutors was all extremely positive. The judges felt Edward’s work ethic was outstanding.” ●


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If necessity is the mother of invention then customer demand is perhaps the father of innovation. The constant drive for new products and processes, often initiated at the very top of the procurement pyramid, derives from main contractors’ desire to achieve increased efficiencies and higher safety standards. This challenge is often placed at the feet of specialist subcontractors who in turn pass it on to the manufacturers to find a solution. This client-led demand for innovation ensures that overcoming specific issues and common problems is placed at the heart of product development. Scaffolding, access and protection equipment manufacturers continue to meet this demand. The opportunities created by the use of scaffolding equipment throughout building, construction and industrial applications have, arguably, never been more extensive. Today, the widespread use of modular or system materials as well as traditional tube and fitting means solutions that meet precise site needs can be far more effective, productive and innovative

PERI Ltd PERI UP Traveller The PERI UP Traveller system was designed to meet a unique waterproofing challenge. For the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade, the contractor required a mobile access system to facilitate waterproofing

and sprayed concrete lining, providing 360-degree coverage to the tunnel’s surface. The PERI UP Traveller was created using standard off-theshelf components, saving the customer time, money and vital space on site. This solution also offered a level of design flexibility, allowing the system

to accommodate changes in the tunnel’s diameter with ease. The system was later modified by combining formwork components from PERI’s VARIOKIT range to allow movement on an incline via large castors, enabling the same process to take place in the station’s escalator shafts.


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Forgeco Ltd KLAWZ fittings The new KLAWZ fittings enable scaffolding contractors to erect tube and fitting scaffolds faster than through using traditional methods. The fitting complements the widely used ReadyLok Transom unit, allowing seamless transfer between sections of scaffolding constructed with transom units and tube and fitting. Compliant with EN74-1:2005 Class B, scaffolds erected using KLAWZ fittings require fewer tubes than other scaffolding solutions. Fewer materials used results in quicker installs, leading to reduced labour costs, as well as reduced lorry movements, leading to lower transport costs and reduced environmental impact.

UK System Scaffold Hire Security gate The UK System Scaffold Hire (UKSSH) security gate has been designed to control access to all types of HAKI site stair towers and to be quick, easy and safe to install. The product provides a totally enclosed security system, lockable from both sides of the gate and features cladding panels which can accommodate signage and advertising. Extremely robust, UKSSH’s security gate system provides security when site staircases are accessed from pavements and other areas that are used by the public. It provides event organisers with a cost effective way to ensure that public access staircases and bridges can only be used by visitors during public opening times. The reaction from customers has been very positive: specially designed and engineered for the purpose, UKSSH’s security gate not only provides the quickest and most effective way to control access but looks so much smarter than solutions that have to be improvised on site.

“Feedback is so often the impetus for innovation and it is important that the NASC provides practical support and enables all members to benefit” than has often been the case with the conventional option alone. With this innovation comes a greater degree of product/manufacturing methods and advances in raw material, testing and traceability. The NASC, in particular its Hire, Sales and Manufacturing committee, plays a key role in scaffolding industry innovation. Via direct liaison with, and access to, much of the scaffolding sector, this key part of the NASC structure is extremely well placed to make the link between contracting members’ changing needs, and the support provided by manufacturers and suppliers in meeting the consequent challenges. “Feedback is so often the impetus for product and design innovation, and we believe it is important that the NASC then provides practical support – often by acting as a catalyst – to enable all members to benefit,” says Sean Pike, Layher Ltd managing director and NASC Hire, Sales and Manufacturing committee chair. Committed to moving forward The availability of NASC Product Guides, and of practical health and safety and technical advice, is clear evidence of this commitment in practice. Alongside this, dedicated innovation and health and safety categories at the annual NASC Awards pay tribute both to the importance that the organisation attaches to equipment development, and its belief in acknowledging SCAFFOLDING MAGAZINE MARCH 2020 | 17

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Layher Ltd Scaffolding Information Modelling

“Innovation is a dynamic process and often solving a specific need can result in a universal solution available to all”

The Layher Scaffolding Information Modelling (SIM) tool has been developed to enhance scaffold design operations by providing a new and highly effective visualisation capability. The software offers a number of important options that range from an analysis of key material information to rotational viewing, and even installation ‘fly-throughs’ that bring each design to life on screen. Realistic rendering can be added while a library search and filter function, and the ability to hold pre-fabricated assemblies and template drawings on file, optimise and simplify the Layher SIM operation. Uniquely, Layher SIM is designed to work fully with BIM and provides full access for all enablers involved in the BIM process. No other system on the market has attained this full level of compatibility with BIM.

member companies whose own input is particularly significant. “Innovation is a dynamic process that never stands still, and often, solving a specific need can result in a widely available universal solution available to all,” continues Pike. “There are always challenges and opportunities on site which, once identified, can generate creative thinking that translates into forwardlooking design and manufacturing methods, with the focus always on sensibly-sourced and tested products. “From simple connection decks to purpose-designed components and structures – such as bridging designs, stair systems and weather protection products – each responds

TRAD Safety Systems Limited TRAD Loading Hatch The TRAD Loading Hatch offers safe access and materials handling within the housebuilding industry. It was developed to promote safe access and loading between different floor levels without the need to carry materials via an external scaffold. The TRAD Loading Hatch has a unique slotted design, to allow building materials to be passed from floor to floor without the need for large open holes and can be used in conjunction with the TRAD Decking system. Hatches are highly visible with a bright yellow external frame and a bright red cover door making it stand out from the rest of the floor.

to a question which the innovative thinking of NASC members answers time and time again.” Evolutionary process The construction industry has seen scaffolding come a long way in the past two decades and move well beyond facade and birdcage structures. Today, installations can provide solutions that range from simple domestic needs, to the provision of access for many of the world’s most iconic buildings and largescale industrial sites. The involvement of the NASC – and its full commitment to innovation – is at the heart of this ever-evolving process, to the benefit of contracting, manufacturing and supplier members alike. ●


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54,000 non-fatal accidents falling from height in 2018/19



Working at height is inherently dangerous and life threatening. In 2018/19, 15 people died from fatal falls from height* – several from scaffolding and access platforms. And of the 54,000 non-fatal accidents, 18% were from falls from height in construction (with a further 8% in other sectors, making up over a quarter of all incidents**). Even though the situation is improving year on year these are still shocking statistics. Historically, the construction industry has looked to the UK’s leading trade body, the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC), to help regulate the scaffolding industry – with the aim of boosting levels of safety and reducing the amount of accidents, injuries and deaths.

“The NASC's aim is to raise awareness of good scaffolding practice with a view to improving health and safety standards”

The NASC’s aim is always to raise awareness of good scaffolding practice across the construction industry, with a view to improving health and safety standards throughout the sector. Its solution was to produce and maintain what have now become industry-accepted safety (SG) and technical (TG) guidance notes – with its core publications SG4:15 Preventing Falls in Scaffolding Operations and TG20 Good Practice Guidance for Tube & Fitting Scaffolding. TG20 first came into being in 2005 in response to BS EN 12811-1:2003, a Eurocode that replaced the British Standard BS 5973:1993 which was fondly regarded by many the UK scaffolding industry. As such the

TG20 has continued to be updated including becoming a popular eGuide

first edition TG20:05 faced an uphill struggle for acceptance; only a few construction managers, health and safety professionals and scaffolding operatives welcomed the changes which were largely only understood by scaffold designers and temporary works engineers. The HSE withdrew its support for BS 5973:1993 on 31 December 2010 which forced the issue that tube and fitting scaffolds erected in the UK had to be constructed is BS EN 12811. The NASC continued to invest in updating and improving TG20 with TG20:08 and then working with structural engineering software specialists CADS TG20:13 which was launched in February 2014. Because it was underpinned by detailed structural research and effectively restored much of what had been established custom and practice under BS 5973 it soon became popular industry wide because it reduced the requirement for bespoke scaffolding design for many standard forms of scaffolding structures. At the time of its launch both Heather Bryant, the then HM chief inspector of construction for the Health &


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Safety Executive (HSE) and Stephen Ratcliffe, director of the then UK Contractors Group (UKCG, now BuildUK), applauded the work of the NASC towards safer scaffolding structures being installed and thus reduced scaffolding failures. TG20:13 was also the first edition to be supported by software known as the eGuide which most users preferred instead of reading the books. Fast and user-friendly the innovative software was specifically designed to reduce the amount of bespoke engineering design work required to demonstrate that a scaffold complied with the requirements of TG20:13. CADS also oversaw the research and testing on the performance of

fixed-end ‘Ready-Lok’ style transoms in un-sheeted and sheeted scaffolds. The CADS team behind the TG20 eGuide were led by Terry Roberts who authored the books and developed the eGuide. CADS will lead the NASC’s working group in the development of TG20:21 that will be published in February 2021. The range of standard designs will be extended to include several more scaffold types thus further reducing the workload of scaffold designers and freeing them up to focus on larger projects. It is expected that more standard designs will mean scaffolds that often ‘slip through the net’ will be more often justified by a compliance sheet and erected properly.

TG20:21 will be different: with no books it will be published via a web and mobile ‘portal’ that will provide access to NASC guidance along with a range of new apps, including the launch of a completely new eGuide. The guidance displayed in the NASC Portal will always be up-to-date and the latest versions of the apps will be available without needing to install them. CADS International's sales and marketing director, Ian Chambers said: “I have been delighted by the success of the TG20 eGuide and especially our ongoing relationship with the NASC. We are very proud of what we have helped the NASC to achieve and are right behind their ambition to take all their guidance into the digital age by next year.” CADS is a leading international specialist in structural engineering design, which has been serving the global construction with marketleading software solutions for over four decades. Its software systems and BIM services have been adopted by more than 10,000 customers worldwide with 70,000+ copies of CADS software in use in more than 70 countries. ●

The eGuide's userfriendly software was specifically designed to reduce the amount of bespoke engineering design work required to demonstrate compliance


“TG20:21 will be different: published via a portal with a range of new apps and the launch of a completely new eGuide”


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Off the scale: The size and scope of the scaffolding solutions at Hinkley Point C project is huge


Hinkley Point C is one of the largest and most complex construction projects in Europe. The mammoth undertaking – to bring the first of a new generation of UK nuclear power stations online – will eventually produce enough electricity to power six million homes. The scale of construction at the Somerset site is difficult to comprehend but is perhaps most easily appreciated by its £20bn cost. Every element of the build is super-sized. There are currently more than 4,750 workers on site; six million cubic tonnes of earth has been moved; more than 12km of construction road has been laid; more than 208,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement will be used – equivalent to 20 Eiffel Towers; and 1.6 million cubic meters of concrete will be poured. As you might expect, the scale of the scaffolding involved at Hinkley is in line with the rest of the project. A number of scaffolding contractors and suppliers are currently on site. They are all NASC members and this is no coincidence. Ashley Daniels, head of temporary works & lifting at Hinkley Point C, said: “We recognise that the NASC SCAFFOLDING MAGAZINE MARCH 2020 | 29

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more than 208,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement will be used – equivalent to 20 Eiffel Towers

“We have worked with a number of NASC members and have seen first hand the link between membership and the delivery of safe and secure scaffolding” Ashley Daniels, head of temporary works & lifting at Hinkley Point C H

Below: The HK column structure

is an organisation that proactively contributes to the safety of the construction industry. “We have worked with a number of NASC members and have seen first hand the link between membership and the delivery of safe and secure scaffolding. “At the outset of the project we recognised we had a great opportunity to promote best practice whenever and wherever possible. It’s for this reason that we made it a project standard for only NASC members to be allowed to undertake scaffolding at Hinkley Point C.” Constructing solutions PERI’s system scaffolding, PERI UP Flex, has been utilised for a number of purposes across the HPC site showcasing both its versatility and ability to make efficiency gains. For the HR Building, the system has been used as a base platform around the perimeter, to allow steel fixers safe access to the reinforcement. This has also been constructed to enable MEWPs to run across the platform. Around

the same structure, PERI UP has been constructed in to platforms lifted by cranes in to areas MEWPs cannot reach, incorporating access stair towers and working platforms in limited spaces. For the HK Column structure, a wraparound stair tower has enabled access to the working platform as it progresses up the tower. And for the HOR Building, the flexibility of the system is shown, being utilised for reinforcement fixing scaffolds to propping and shoring solutions. HAKI’s staircase systems, temporary work shelters, roofs and buildings have been installed across the Hinkley Point C site. The staircase systems provide routine and emergency access and egress to work stations site-wide, including the deepest pits. The temporary work shelters and buildings, ranging between 1-32 metres high, provide further safety for construction workers throughout. Construction at Hinkley Point C begain in December 2018 and the plant is expected to be completed in 2023 and to be operational for 60 years. ●

Above: The nuclear island


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Have you done anything about Off Payroll Working? If the answer is that you don’t know what I am talking about and think it will not apply to your business just think for a moment. Do you remember in the last recession when firms had to reduce their payroll costs that there were lots of people who took early retirement or were made redundant but reappeared soon after as consultants? Do you remember when there was a flurry of offers from ‘intermediaries’ to reduce payroll costs by taking a whole manual workforce from an employer and supplying them back to that same employer for a fee, the operatives being engaged

through their own limited companies or via chains of agencies? If you have people working in your business who are there regularly, you know their faces, their characters, they are workmates, colleagues but they are not on your PAYE system because they are paid via other routes, you must find out more and act because you may have a problem. It is true that NASC members will have less of a problem than many in the scaffolding industry because the NASC insists on the vast majority of workers being on the members own PAYE roll. But look carefully at consultants and designers – and cheer yourselves up that less


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“The first thing to do is establish a list of possible problem candidates then find out who pays them” responsible f irms will have far greater problems to handle. The first thing to do is to establish a list of possible problem candidates then find out who pays them and how your business pays the intermediary. If they come through an agency and the agency pays a wage that runs through PAYE, the problem is solved. If they work for their own limited company and the agency – or your firm – pays the limited company, you are square in the target of the off-payroll rules that start in April this year. These rules effectively say that the firm using the labour is responsible for any unpaid PAYE however long the chain of intermediaries and agencies and personal service companies – if no PAYE is imposed and paid in the chain. Take the test The next thing to do with your list of suspects is to CEST test them. CEST is 'check employment status for tax'. The CEST test can be found on the HMRC website by typing in CEST. A test can be done anonymously but if you test a worker and it shows that they are self-employed it is useful to log it with that person’s name and print a copy as evidence that you did the test. If the CEST test shows that the person is an employee you must notify the personal services company that they work for, or the agency or intermediary – and you must get their reassurance that PAYE will be applied to the payments. You need to be confident

that you trust this reassurance because your firm is on the hook for any unpaid PAYE that HMRC discover later. Therefore, there is a great deal of activity and many firms are bringing consultants back onto their own payroll. It is a difficult time for many because there is tax and NIC employers and employees to pay, which has previously been avoided. It is a costly exercise for the worker, who wants to retain the level of their take -home pay, and the employer who does not want costs to rise. The CEST website has a lot of guidance about off payroll working and is the best place to read up about the issue. Not all accountants agree that the tests online are correctly weighted but remember that the test shows where HMRC has drawn the line. You could ignore a result and argue that a worker shown by the tests as employed was in law self-employed, but you should be prepared to pay the accountancy and legal fees that would arise if HMRC challenged you (which it would if it came to its attention). Accountants can easily give ‘gungho' advice because they will be paid to defend you in a challenge. Take care and remember to keep the evidence of Off Payroll Checks you make so that you can demonstrate that you took proper care (even if you are ever found to be wrong). ● Liz Bridge is secretary of the Joint Taxation Committee (JTC).

Liz Bridge sheds much-needed light on complex issues

Expert hands Liz Bridge has a wealth of experience advising the constrution industry on tax matters

Liz Bridge began her career with HMRC on its fast track scheme training graduate inspectors to take charge of local tax offices. She managed a local office, moved to tax a major bank and then went on to work on international issues in a policy role. In 1990 she left HMRC to become head of tax at the then Building Employers Confederation (BEC) and to run the Joint Tax Committee as its secretary. Since then Bridge has become very well known to many in construction for her teaching on topical tax issues and her help to members of the JTC in trouble with their tax affairs.

As head of tax at the Construction Federation she has led the JTC in many negotiations and discussions with HMRC on legislative change. She has seen two major rewrites of the CIS Scheme, the introduction of the reduced rate bands for various construction work, the introduction of Landfill Levy and Aggregates Tax. Bridge is known for her common sense and friendly approach to those in the industry experiencing problems. Her guidance and help is aimed at a construction readership. It is easy to understand and clear to apply whenever the legislation itself makes that possible.


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A principal contractor received an eightmonth sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to pay £5,000 compensation and £2,000 in costs

“Many principal contractors are unaware of their legal responsibilities under The Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the penalties they face for breaching this legislation”


An operative is injured after falling off a scaffold. In legal terms, who is responsible? Most people answering this question correctly apportion liability to the contractor’s employer and the scaffolding contractor. However, many respondents completely overlook another party that could be held to blame; the principal contractor or developer. Worryingly, many principal contractors and developers are themselves

unaware of their legal responsibilities under The Work at Height Regulations 2005 – and the financial penalties they face for breaching this legislation. In April 2018, a principal contractor received an eight-month sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to pay £5,000 compensation and £2,000 in costs after a self-employed worker fell from height and suffered life threatening injuries. Leeds Crown Court heard how the operative fell approximately eight metres on to a paved floor, resulting in a traumatic brain injury, bruising, and damage to his left arm. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that scaffolding erected on the site did not extend fully across the intended area of works and did not provide a protective area along the ledge where the operative was working. The principal contractor failed to ensure suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent persons falling a distance liable to cause personal injury. This case demonstrates the need for developers and principal contractors using scaffolds on their projects to be fully responsible for managing this equipment. HSE regulations state that they should check that anyone they appoint has the skills, knowledge, experience and, where relevant, the organisational capability to carry out their work safely and without risk to health. But what does this mean in practice and how do organisations protect

themselves from the possibility of prosecution and potentially severe financial penalties? Scaffold inspections are undertaken weekly as required by The Work at Height Regulations 2005. The regulations demand that that all trades using the scaffolds are fully aware of how to work on the scaffold safely and have received appropriate training. It is also strongly recommended that the procurement process is robust. Principal contractors should be able to demonstrate that the scaffolding contractor they appoint has the necessary competence and experience to erect and dismantle scaffolding safely with skilled operatives and can prove they are health and safety compliant. One way this can be achieved is by ensuring they utilise the services of an NASC full contracting member. To gain, and then retain, NASC membership, the scaffolding contractor must prove they are experienced and meet all current health and safety legislation and their operatives are highly trained with an emphasis on directly employed operatives, as well as meeting additional stringent membership criteria. By adopting an NASC-only scaffolding procurement policy, companies can go a long way to protecting themselves against the likelihood of prosecutions and associated financial penalties or custodial terms under the recent Health and Safety Sentencing Guidelines. ● Stephen Allen-Tidy is the NASC health and safety advisor.


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We estimate there are somewhere in the region of 5,000 scaffolding contractors currently trading in the UK. That’s a lot of contractors and a lot of competition, with multiple businesses going up against each other to win work on a local, regional, national and sector level. From a main contractor’s point of view, an element of scaffolding


subcontractor competition is healthy – helping to drive working standards upwards while at the same time keeping costs in check – but it does throw up one significant dilemma; how to select the best contractor for their needs. On-site safety is of paramount importance, in terms of protecting scaffolding operatives, other trades working on site and the general public from injury. It's also vital the main contractor is protected from risk of prosecution under The Work at Height Regulations 2005 should any scaffolding failings occur . Given these issues procuring based on lowest cost alone is perhaps not the best course of action. Selecting a subcontractor that holds accreditations from a recognised H&S scheme, such as Safety Schemes In Procurement (SSIP), is one way of gaining a level of reassurance. However, many specialist contractors are registered with these schemes as they are not industry specific and so while it might help slightly in sieving subcontractors, the pool of potential service providers operating at this level may remain extensive. The next step up in terms of differentiation is trade body membership, at which independent audits are introduced. The NASC is the trade body for scaffolding and access in the UK and has been setting the standard for scaffolding since 1945. It’s for this reason that main contractors of all sizes and sectors – from the Isle of Wight Council to global construction giant Multiplex – specify NASC-only for their scaffolding needs, and many more specify ‘NASC or equivalent’. We would argue that there is no equivalent to NASC membership. T h a t ’s b e c a u s e t h e m i n i m u m requirements we have put in place for scaffolding contractors to attain

“The NASC audits members on a yearly basis. Its audit is unsurpassed. Attaining and retaining NASC membership is not easy. That's the whole point.” NASC membership are unparalleled in the scaffolding industry. They include: Training – all NASC members must h ave a m i n i m u m o f 9 0 % o f i ts scaffolding operatives registered with the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS). Direct employment – a minimum of 75% of all yard and site operatives must be directly employed Experience – members must have been trading as a limited company for at least two years Similarly, the NASC annual audit process is unsurpassed. Our audit process is the most in-depth and comprehensive available. The NASC audits its members on an annual basis and carries out site audits on a biennial basis. Audits include a review of the company’s premises and yard, and at least two live sites to check that scaffolders are working safely. It’s for these reasons that the NASC believes main contractors should adopt an NASC-only procurement policy for their scaffolding requirements. No other criteria provides such assurances in terms of a contractor’s demonstrable commitment to safety, expertise and compliance. Attaining and retaining NASC membership is not easy. For scaffolding solutions of the highest quality it has to be NASC. There is no equivalent. ● Jamie McGuire is the NASC membership manager.


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