BM TRADA has launched its Q Mark Used Timber Scaffold Board Inspection Scheme, in response to recent incidents which have highlighted that the failure of a timber scaffold board can result in serious injury or even death.
Thousands of scaffold boards are used on construction sites across the UK, enabling workers to operate safely at height.
With failures often the result of used scaffold boards being inadequately checked after having been stored or used inappropriately, BM TRADA has launched its inspection scheme to enable certified companies to demonstrate that their inspectors are competent to determine if previously used boards are safe enough for use.
Whilst there is currently no legislative requirement for used timber scaffold boards to be regularly inspected, it is highly advised that boards are checked and assessed regularly to ensure safety on site.
It is also important that boards which have been checked are stored separately to those which have not.
As scaffold board inspection becomes more widespread, the BM TRADA Q-Mark Used Timber Scaffold Board Inspection Scheme provides a means of companies verifying that inspectors are suitably qualified.
Whilst most scaffolding companies will ensure its employees complete a scaffolders’ training course, the BM TRADA Scheme provides added confidence to contractors, since the competence of board inspectors is regularly checked by an independent third party body.
To achieve certification under the scheme, the scaffolding company must nominate individual employees who will be covered.
Nominated candidates will be required to demonstrate their competence to identify damage which is likely to reduce the strength of used timber scaffold boards.
Every nominated inspector is required to complete scheme-specific training, pass an examination and complete a competence assessment at the company’s premises.
BM TRADA will also undertake an initial audit of the company to ensure that a documented inspection process is in place.
The process must demonstrate that only approved inspectors carry out inspections and that only approved boards are released for use. The process will also ensure that all rejected boards are segregated.
Those who meet the scheme’s requirements will be issued with a certificate to enable them to demonstrate and promote their certification.
Certification is valid for two years, and is afterwards maintained through a programme of annual surveillance audits, with a recertification audit required in the second year before it expires.
In addition to the obvious safety benefits, the scheme offered scaffolders a competitive advantage when tendering and can increase repeat business, as contractors increasingly recognise the benefit of specifying used timber scaffold boards which are regularly inspected by third party certified competent inspectors.
Exova BM TRADA,
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