With the amendments to BS 5534 now taking hold, Redland is asking how many roofing contractors will be to be left behind the times?
Last year the British Standard Code of Practice for roof slating and tiling went through a major overhaul that will require an altogether new method of roofing. There are a range of training courses available, hosted by various companies across the industry for those keen to adopt the methods stated in BS 5534.
As of the 1st March 2015, BS 5534 became mandatory, and if contractors fail to comply with the new Code of Practice during a project, it could result in the roof being stripped and re-tiled at the cost of the company. Kevin Taylor, training manager at the NFRC said: “So much has changed with regards to roofing design in the last 10 years and the practices have been modified with the times. Now that the lessons of the last decade have been taken into account and made into a recommended Code of Practice, it is imperative that our members are on board and up to date, to protect not only themselves but also the customers they are catering for.”
Matheau Woodyatt, Training Manager at Redland said: “We’re finding that contractors specialising in the new build market are much more on the ball with BS 5534. They’re keen to adopt the new way of doing things and are actively seeking out training on the subject. Whereas those involved with the refurbishment sector work predominantly alone and may not even be aware of the new Code of Practice.”
The change is likely to affect some roofers more than others. Those in the north of England and Scotland have been following working practices similar to those proposed in BS 5534 for some time now due to the more extreme weather changes they face on a regular basis. In the south, where the weather is milder, the shift will be a much bigger leap.
Luke Jones, senior estimator for a leading builders’ merchants, said: “In my position, it is so important that I keep up-to-date on changes in regulations. My customers rely on me to provide the correct components for a job so if I don’t know the requirements of new legislation I am effectively giving them the wrong specification. Although the changes to BS 5534 have been publicised in the media for the last year, there are still pockets of people who know nothing about it and I will have to advise them. The training courses I have been on haven’t just helped me extend my own knowledge, they have helped me better serve the people I work with on a daily basis.”
When asked about how the new Code of Practice is being received by the wider roofing community, Luke said: “No one really likes change and although this comes at a cost, some aspects of the change will save time on labour. I think it will take time for everyone to accept the new way things should be done but I certainly believe it is a good thing.”
There has been a lot of work done within the industry to develop comprehensive workshops, such as those hosted by Redland and The NRFC but there is still further work to be done. It is clearly evident that those involved with roofing will no longer be able to carry on utilising outdated working practices, instead they need to move with the times and ensure they are doing the best job they possibly can for their customers.
Training is becoming increasingly important and is no longer something that contractors can ignore. It does not matter the size of the company or how many years of experience those working on the roofs have, there is training available through companies such as Redland on a wide variety of subjects from the basics of roof tiling to the more complex BS 5534 changes and everyone in the sector should be taking the opportunity to enhance their skills.
For further information on Redland visit www.monier.co.uk