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    SCAFFOLDING STANDARDS

    NASC issue guidance on collective protection 

    Measures that provide collective protection for scaffolders have developed considerably in terms of technology, choice, availability, cost and usability in recent years. With a view to promoting ‘best practice’ the NASC has released interim guidance (ahead of the planned revision of SG4 in 2010) highlighting the availability and the benefits that can be derived when utilising collective protection measures.

    The Interim Guidance on Collective Fall Prevention Systems in Scaffolding is intended to provide an overview of new and developing technology and work methods available within the scaffolding industry. NASC wants to ensure that a balanced view of collective fall prevention methods is considered ahead of sole reliance upon personal fall arrest methods.

    This guidance has been prepared following the statement from HSE that the aspects of “traversing” or “tunnelling” contained within NASC guidance are no longer acceptable and that their withdrawal from industry guidance will be requested at the next update. The NASC are planning to issue a fully revised version of the guidance within 2010. The interim guidance has been produced with the assistance and input of NASC members and the HSE.

    Comment: This is a major step forward by the scaffolding industry designed to raise the standard of safety for both scaffolders and others who may be affected by such work. The interim guidance looks clear and practical. It is now up to clients, CDM-Cs, designers, principal contractors and scaffolding contractors to pick up the challenge and raise standards on individual construction projects. HSE will no doubt be using the guidance as a measure of what is now ‘reasonably practicable’.

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