HOW TO CHOOSE A SCAFFOLDING COMPANY
When it comes to choosing a scaffolding company, it’s easy to believe that they are all very much the same. In fact, whilst each business may provide the same fundamental scaffold hire service, there are several factors that will determine the quality of your experience; namely safety, quality standards, insurance, training, experience and budget.
With most things in life, cost and saving money is of course tantamount when choosing whom to use, but we’ve put together this handy guide to choosing a scaffolding contractor that will not only help you save money, but also offers a safe, legal and reliable mobile scaffold hire provision.
(Marine Scaffolding Ltd prides itself on being the premier scaffolding hire service in the north east of England; supplying the ultimate in high quality, value for money and fully covered mobile scaffold hire, but we still feel its important to provide this guide so that our customers feel informed when making their decision.)
With scaffolding hire, safety is paramount. It is essential that you ensure that the company you use has a proven track record in health and safety management. The Health and Safety Executive publish all misdemeanours here, but some unscrupulous scaffolding hire firms may avoid being caught.
Whilst another thing to look out for is a scaffolding company providing valid mitigation for what was an unavoidable situation, something that can happen to even the best supplier.
The best way to check how serious a scaffolding contractor takes their health and safety policy is to check if, like ourselves at Marine Scaffolding, they are members of ‘Safety Schemes in Procurement’ or SSIP. To qualify, members have to adhere to the strict health and safety criteria set out by the SSIP. If the scaffolding company qualifies you can find out by entering their name here.
Marine Scaffolding Ltd is assured by the International Organisation of Standardisation with something called an ISO 9001:2008. It’s worth checking to see if your potential scaffolding company is to, because as the name suggests, this means the scaffold hire company adheres to a stringent set of standards set out by an internationally recognised body. This not only raises the bar when it comes to the quality that the scaffolding contractor aims to supply, but also provides the customer with a defined method of recourse if things don’t go to plan. Something that we believe is an integral part of the management system for any scaffold hire.
Scaffolding hire companies, such as ourselves, are legally required to provide suitable insurance cover and should be able to demonstrate this on demand. Any difficulty or reluctance to provide evidence that you may experience is a huge warning sign to steer clear!
The potential financial and legal ramifications of using an uninsured scaffolding contractor are huge, so please don’t allow anyone to erect any form of scaffolding tower without first ensuring that they are in possession of the correct cover.
SSIP members, like Marine Scaffolding, have to provide complete details of relevant insurance to be accepted onto the scheme.
At Marine Scaffolding each of our scaffolders is certified for competence by holding a registered CISRS (Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme) card.
The scaffolding field is rightly becoming one of the most regulated aspects of the construction industry, due to the high degree of risk that is involved. As a result, only fully trained personnel should erect, adapt and dismantle scaffolding.
It’s a good idea to check the CISRS status of your scaffolders here.
When it comes to experience, of course every scaffolding company has to start somewhere, but do you really want it to be on your project?
At Marine Scaffolding, we know that it’s our experience that allows us to successfully judge the needs of any job, as no two scaffolding towers are the same. So, in our opinion, we’d always opt for a scaffolding contractor with a proven track record.
Regardless of whether its for a large complex structure, or a smaller less complicated construction, all scaffolding has to comply with the Work At Height Regulations 2005. The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) have produced a checklist as a guide for their expectations.
It’s common practice when trying to choose a scaffolding company to get more than one quote to help your project stay within budget. However, there are quite a few things that could and should be included, which, when omitted, might make it difficult to compare.
First and foremost, make sure that each scaffolding contractor is providing a quote for exactly the same brief, even small differences can make it difficult to achieve an accurate comparison.
Secondly, make sure that each quote has the same inclusion. Just because you asked for something doesn’t mean it’s included in the quote. Here’s a list of common omissions:
- Are ladders included?
- Is there a cost saving for early completion?
- How much is the excess hire should the job run over?
- If the job isn’t ready when the scaffolders turn up, how much will I be charged?
- Are the scaffolding inspections included?
It’s very much in your interest to make sure these are committed to in writing.
Obviously, in addition to these quote guidelines, all of the other factors discussed in this guide would have to be assessed when determining ‘best value’. Hopefully though, what we’ve written will help you make that choice.