Wednesday, July 11, 2012

British Standards And Scaffold Sheeting

There are many advantages of using printed scaffold sheeting, from protecting the construction workers on the scaffold and in the areas below to promoting your business through advertising, and sometimes even profiting from the advertising space sold on the sheeting.
One thing you really need to be aware of when using this form of sheeting is safety and the British Standards. These standards were setup by the British Standards Institute with advice from the Health and Safety Executive and the National Association of Scaffolding Contractors. Its aim is to protect construction workers and the general public from harm.
The BS 7955 details the requirements of the sheeting and the strengths of the various areas of the material. You will also find that most manufacturers of the sheeting and the accompany attachments will also ensure that if fitted correctly the sheeting will detach in very high winds so as not to act as a sail and pull the scaffolding down.
When purchasing your sheeting you should always check that you can see the BS 7955 mark printed on the edge of the sheeting. If it does not have the mark then it certainly does not pass the standard.
When attaching your sheeting you should make sure you do so in accordance with the BS 8410 Standard, this standard gives recommendations and guidance on how to install lightweight temporary cladding systems on construction sites.
By following the guidance in these Standards you can avoid nasty legal cases. It was only in July this year when two companies in Stoke-on-Trent had to pay over £30,000 in fines and legal costs after the sheeted scaffold they erected collapsed on a particularly windy day. There was some minor damage to some parked cars but no-one was hurt or injured in the collapse of the scaffold (fortunately due to the workers being on a break when it occurred), yet the fines and costs were still this high. It just goes to show that you should always follow safety guidance when it is being given. Interestingly it was the construction company that bore the brunt of the heavier fines, whilst the scaffolding company received fines of around a third of that of the construction company.
So, protect your workers, general public from harm and your company from legal claims by buying British Standard products and installing them in accordance with the guidance given by the British Standards Institute.

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