This year SAEMA celebrated 40 years representing the UK’s permanent and temporary suspended access industry. Member companies continue to represent 90% of permanent and 60% of temporary suspended access industry specialists.
SAEMA’s primary objective is to provide a ‘safe place of work’ for the end user. This may be other specialist contractors using permanent and temporary suspended access systems during the construction phase, or cleaning and maintenance contractors using systems to maintain a building envelope over its design life.
The ever-changing face of architecture, plus advances in building technology continue to present new challenges for the industry.
SAEMA encourages developers, architects and contractors to engage with member companies in the early stages of building design. Later engagement with specialist contractors results in the loss of opportunity to employ industry products with many years’ research and development behind them. Major projects continue to demand ever more complex suspended access solutions with unique specifications. Suspended access systems produced on a project by project basis run a high risk of under performing.
British and european standards
SAEMA’s Technical Committee continues to have input on new and updated British and European standards.
BS8560, the proposed new standard and guidance document for ‘Designing for Working at Height’ is expected to be published by mid 2013 and will provide guidance for designers in one document. It focuses on the post construction phase and the need to plan early in the design phase for working at height requirements.
BS En 1808: 2010 remains under review and is not expected to replace BS En 1808: 1999 until the autumn of 2013 at the earliest. This standard sets out the European design criteria for suspended access system equipment. The current standard will remain in force until the updated version replaces it.
Following two years of discussion with Construction Skills, the National Construction College will deliver a SAEMA ‘Testing, Inspection & Thorough Examination’ three -day training course from March 2013. The course will also be reviewed by Construction Skills for possible endorsement as an NVQ module.
The development of SAEMA suspended access ‘Duty Holder’ and ‘Operator’ training has continued to progress. The content of both training formats has benefited from HSE consultation and comment, plus support from the AIF and its membership. The Association is aiming to launch this SAEMA-approved training in the first quarter of 2013.