BSGA Director David Catanach advises “Basically, LPS is an insurance driven standard devised by the Association of British Insurers, the Chief Fire Officers Association, the London Fire Brigade and Contractors Legal Group. It is a joint Code of Practice(COP)/compliance designed to reduce the loss levels for insurers in the event of a fire as well as cover Health and Safety issues. The Code applies to projects over a certain value – that’s the refurb/building costs not the banner/wrap costs”.
“Chiefly it boils down to any sheeting, netting or wrap material attached to the scaffolding being of an approved specification. The LPS standard will be insisted on by the Insurers who will use this as part of their terms of cover”.
The material and print must be approved and come with a certificate number confirming compliance. Suppliers claiming to be either ‘approved’ or selling material that is ‘tested to’ is not compliant without the certificate. Non-compliance will result in there being no insurance cover.
This situation was raised by a BSGA member sign company supplying and fitting a ‘building wrap’ using a printed PVC banner material as they have been doing for a number of years. This material complies with a DIN standard (Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. or German Institute for Standardization) considered relevant for the use in this application. The insurers have now advised that as this particular material does not have the LPCB certificate, they will not insure the building/scaffold that the material is attached to.
“Neither the sign company, the material supplier, the BSGA, nor the client were aware of this insurance condition” says David “but from my initial investigations, I found that this is not surprising as there is a lot of ignorance of these standards outside the insurance industry”.
There is a British Standard for wind loading on scaffolds which covers how materials are fixed so that anything attached to the scaffold falls away in strong winds preventing the structure from acting like a sail hurling off down the High Street.
BSGA Members will be able to find further details in the BSGA Guidance Note posted in the Members’ Area of the BSGA website along with links to the Code of Practice and the fact sheets for the material specifications for LPS conformity.
Whilst the BSGA does everything it can to be aware and pass on to Members information of standards such as BS or EN or ISO, it is impossible to monitor or have knowledge of standards devised by a specific industry for their own purposes. David sums up “All we can do at this stage is pass on the information we have to our Members so that they are kept informed and can make the necessary commercial decisions that will not put a potential conflict between their client and their client’s insurers”