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Building Products December 2017

ROOFING, CLADDING AND ACCESSORIES DECEMBER 2017 | BUILDING PRODUCTS 53 specification is a designer and so are manufacturers, if they develop a detailed design.’ The Safe2Torch guidance includes chapters on: • What ‘hot works’ are – detailing common hot work processes. • Responsible specification writing – explaining who has responsibilities to comply with the CDM. • Procedure for amending specifications – including what reasonable precautions should be made to ensure specifications are correct and how to rectify errors. • Advice on gas bottles, torches and fire extinguishers – detailing storage policies and appropriate types of extinguisher to have on site. • Pre-hot work checks and other pre-work checks – including assessment of the site and assessment of the substrate. • Drying roofs – including what to look at before the application of waterproofing systems to new and existing substrates. • Training – detailing how to comply with Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. This includes training in the methods which may be adopted when using work equipment, any risks this entails and the precautions which need to be taken. Education is key Training is an absolutely vital component of risk management and health and safety compliance and it goes beyond those using equipment to include those supervising or managing them. There is a need for roofing operatives and their line managers to have a clear understanding of the risks involved when undertaking hot works and the control measures required to make the work safer. We recommend project specific toolbox talks based on reducing fire risks should be encouraged as part of the Safe2Torch campaign. We are also introducing online training to accompany the guidance document and assist specification writers to adhere to a checklist which accompanies the guidelines. As well as this checklist, the document includes a Safe2Torch pledge to which designers and installers can commit. This gives a new level of peace of mind to people employing them or working alongside them and means that on all builds, reasonable precautions are taken to ensure work is of the highest quality and meets safety standards. Making promises The pledge states that a roofing contractor, designer or manufacturer will highlight and report specifications which do not conform to Safe2Torch and identify and reduce the risk of roof fires caused by gas torches Additionally, they promise to ensure all employees are trained in the use of gas torches and their associated risks and that all supervisors or charge hands have completed the Safe2Torch checklist prior to hot works commencing. Stay safe As well as keeping on top of the Safe2Torch guidance, there are other general precautions which should be taken to address health and safety while using hot works. These include: • Ensuring a robust hot works permit is implemented and adhered to during the proposed hot works • Ensuring the operatives have the relevant skills, knowledge and experience when carrying out hot works • Ensuring a trained fire marshal is available to carry out regular fire checks. • Setting up communication between the roof workers and the site management team. • Keeping flammable material, gases and/or liquids well away from the heat source. • Having suitable fire extinguishers available. • Making an emergency plan. • Knowing the escape routes. • Knowing the local emergency numbers for fire and medical services. • Knowing first aid for heat illness and severe burns. Making a positive difference In the last four months, the Safe2Torch guidance has been downloaded more than 1,000 times and 230 roofing companies have pledged to comply, meaning they are committed to promoting and implementing the campaign throughout their organisation. On top of that, 63 people recently attended a CPD workshop on building quality, safety and fire prevention, run at UK Construction Week, which was CPD Certification Service approved. The comprehensive programme allowed the industry to share knowledge and ask valuable questions from a range of industry experts including the NFRC’s Kevin Taylor, head of technical services. We have had a lot of positive feedback about our guidelines and are confident the campaign will continue to grow, making our industry safer across the board. www.nfrc.co.uk


Building Products December 2017
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