News / 29.11.21

NASC H&S Award Winner 2021

Trophy awarded to City Access Scaffolding Ltd

Spotlight on City Access Scaffolding Ltd, winner of the 2021 NASC Awards Health & Safety (1-66 Operatives) category, sponsored by Forgeco Ltd.

What Health and Safety activities, processes and initiatives have been adopted?

City Access Scaffolding Ltd: We developed a video of methodology for erecting scaffolding while maintaining social distancing. This video was brought to life following the NASC guidance. Developing this work practice from literature into an interactive video proved engaging for our workforce. This resulted in continuous adherence to the guidance.

The video demonstrates a typical three-man team erecting and dismantling a regular independent scaffold while adhering to UK Government social distancing measures.

This video was picked up by ISG PLC and shared within their subcontractor’s app nationally and by Build UK. We prepared and sent all existing clients detailed RAMS, procedures, audits, and a link to our video demonstrating how we erect and dismantle whilst social distancing.

City Access have collaborated with The Joshua Nolan Foundation – a charity that specifically works to combat suicide by providing funding towards counselling for those who are at risk of impacted by suicide. Although, the construction industry has moved forward with health and safety, such as protocols for preventing physical injuries and death.

There are still huge improvements to be made in protecting the mental health of workers. Since suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 and 49, we have taken preventative action to avoid such tragedies within our workplace. At CAS, we offer all staff the opportunity to reach out to our Performance Director, Kirsty, if they require support.

Kirsty connected with the JNF as a volunteer. Through this collaboration we have secured three members of staff connection with a trained counsellor for a minimum of 8 weeks. This programme develops strategies with the individual to cope with suicidal/self-harm thoughts.

Further to our dedication to mental health within our workforce, we currently offer all staff the opportunity to attend The Mindful Enterprise. This is an 8-week mindful course delivered by The Mindful Enterprises skilled practitioners.

Also, we offer a saving opportunity with Capital Credit Union. There is an array of different savings opportunities. Generally, our scaffolders will tend to invest in the Christmas Saver Account. Deducting a small amount, which they can afford each week to save up money for when they need it the most.

Since March 2021, we have upgraded our Near Miss Reporting system. We have always encouraged the reporting of near misses. However, we are now incentivising the process.

By realising that, there is a ‘don’t tell’ culture within the scaffolding industry we have looked to get around this. We do not have ‘who’ was at blame, but ‘what’. We want to know what system flaws exist so we can correct these and ensure our operatives are working in a safer environment through this reporting system. These incentives are squad wide to ensure we stay away from blame culture.

We have also developed our own near miss reporting form on an app. Although, we need to know what site it was, the app ensures anonymity for reporting. The Near Miss forms are then surveyed by our QHSE Manager, who develops an action plan to rectify the issues and ensure that these occurrences do not happen again.

We do this by either developing engineered controls and if this cannot be achieved, we look to develop or implement new administrative controls. This aggregate data is stored and continuously examined for any trends developing and ensuring that near misses are consistently being reported.

Work checklist via the app. We developed a form for all chargehands to run through before the start of work each day. This is generally a yes/no answer section with spaces for comments where necessary.

This checks that the operatives have their RA&MS to hand and are suitable for the job on hand. Things on site can change at a moment’s notice and this is one final check to ensure our operatives are working to a safe methodology. There is a check box for if a design is required and if it is in place.

A check to ensure all CAS employees have the correct PPE; additional safety wear; work equipment is in place; full scope of work has been discussed; RA&MS for job talked through with squad, signed and copy sent to our company group chat; the operatives know what hours they will receive; after completion checklist. It continues to offer space for images of the job. There is also a section available for the dismantle process.


Please provide evidence of how your senior management team has demonstrated safety leadership within the organisation.

City Access Scaffolding Ltd: CAS now implement weekly meetings. Although not only reserved for health and safety, but a large chunk of the meeting is. This is to ensure we are achieving the high standards which we set for ourselves.

Although restricted to one hour, due to the varying persons involved in the meeting. We then have further meetings solely for the pursuit of health and safety excellence with the Directors, QHSE Manager and Supervisors.

We have developed a design familiarisation programme run for all scaffolders and provided by our Principal Design Engineer and our QHSE Manager.

We now run a mentorship programme to build on that of what is taught at the COTS course. This programme involves how to stand gear, how to carry, how to stack, how to pass material in a safe and orderly manner. Through this progression we at CAS develop our operatives through the mentor programme, readying them for their progression within the CITB college training courses.

This invaluable mentor programme is to build a stronger and community within our company. Having our young operatives experience a caring workforce as opposed to the scaffolding of previous years mentality. Moulding our young operatives into mentors of the future and ambassadors of the scaffolding industry.

City Access were very proactive in communicating with and supporting their team from the beginning of lockdown, actively encouraging all staff to communicate their wins and struggles throughout lockdown.

We looked after the staff from a financial and practical perspective. Three members of staff didn’t qualify for furlough during the first month, due to them beginning employment with City Access on 3rd of March. They were kept on and paid in full by CAS before being placed on furlough once the scheme was extended to cover those affected.


NASC Awards Judges comments:

“City Access may be classed as a small contractor but there was nothing small about their commitment to health and safety! In a difficult year for all, the company grabbed the opportunity to embrace positive change and introduced tools that will support their team for many years to come.  Very impressive from City Access Scaffolding. Well done.”


Did You Know

The NASC has published more than 100+ guidance notes.

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