The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) has issued a safety alert warning that a large volume of non-standard timber battens has made it onto the UK market. The conflict in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit and high demand for treated timber have had a big impact on supplies, allowing substandard battens to slip through.
Timber battens that don’t meet the required standard of BS 5534 present a safety hazard. They have the potential to cause roof failures, accidents including falls from height which can be fatal and may fail to provide adequate support if the roofer decides to use them as a substitute for a ladder.
HSG33 Health and Safety in Roof Work has clear guidance for the use of battens in roof work and the standards that they must adhere to.
“Where slated and tiled roofs are being covered, timber battens might provide a reasonably secure foothold, but only where the following criteria are adhered to and properly supervised:
Quoted from HSG33 Health and Safety in Roof Work.
If you’ve got any questions about how this safety alert could affect your business, you can call our Health & Safety advice line any time of the day or night on 0345 844 4848.
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