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RCI December 2017

SECTOR VIEWS Steve Durdant-Hollamby, Alumasc Water Management Solutions, MD www.alumascwms.co.uk The market for metal rainwater, fascia and soffits performed well in 2017 and we expect this to continue in 2018. We believe there are three key drivers of this growth: strong demand for colour and bespoke design, and a switch to metal products. Demand for colour is growing, particularly for new colours, such as Anthracite grey. Homeowners are increasingly using colour to enhance the exterior look of their homes and match the colour of their windows and doors. Demand for metal products over plastic is also strong, as specifiers and contractors realise the relative benefits in durability, long-term performance and colour choice. The flexibility of metal systems to deliver bespoke designs and factory-fit solutions is particularly important too, with strong demand among large contractors, driven by the skills shortage and creativity in design and architecture. We have also seen a surge in the demand for steel rainwater, especially in social housing and new build. Local authorities and developers are recognising the benefits of a metal system over plastic for appearance, choice and a long trouble-free life. With the cost of steel similar to plastic, it makes little difference to the overall cost of the project. We expect the trend to steel to gain momentum in the New Year. It is too soon to know how concerns and cautions driven by the media’s persistent focus on negative statistics and gloomy comments will affect public spending and RMI, but regardless, markets such as metal rainwater are uncovering strong growth opportunities. In challenging times like these, it’s important that manufacturers support their stockists with speed of delivery, a reliable service and technical support for everyone to make the most of new markets and stay ahead of the game. AWMS is well positioned to help achieve this. Graham Willmott, Kee Safety, group technical, risk management & quality director www.keesafety.co.uk During 2017 and moving into 2018, Fall Protection Standards around the globe are changing. In Europe EN 795 2012, “Personal fall protection equipment - Anchor devices”, has been a source of frustration for many manufacturers, member states and clients, and has led to a great deal of confusion. This standard is now due to be reviewed by CEN Committee members and no doubt many sections of this standard may change. In December 2015, information was published in the Official Journal of the EU, which includes clarification that within EN 795 2012 Type A (anchor devices with one or more stationary anchor points and with the need for structural anchors or fixing elements to fix to the structure), Type C (anchor devices employing horizontal flexible anchor lines) and Type D (anchor devices employing horizontal rigid anchor lines) are not considered to be PPE. Consequently under the provisions of Directive 89/686/EEC, there shall be no presumption of conformity. However, Type B (anchor devices with one or more stationary anchor points) and Type E (anchor devices for use on surfaces up to 5° pitch where performance relies on mass and friction) are considered to be PPE and therefore can be CE marked in accordance with the provisions of the Directive. In 2017, CEN/TC 128 formed a working group to produce a new European Norm under the um brella of the Con struction Pr oduct Regulations. At some time in the future, Types A, C and D will have to conform to new criteria under these regulati ons, and additi onally, still comply with EN 795 2012 criteria when install ed on non-constructi on st ructures suc h as ships, etc. This means th a t Type A, C and D produ cts coul d, in the future, be CE mar ke d in accordance with the provision of the Constr uction Produc t Regulati ons. Due to the uncertainty over the 040 DECEMBER 2017 RCIMAG.COM timescale, as well as the quality of the new European Norm, the UK, through BSI, has been working on a new Standard BS 8610. This standard will provide guidance and load requirements for both anchors and the substrates classified under the categories of Rope A ccess, Fall Arrest, Work Positioning and Restraint & Rescue, which w ill be publishe d in late 2017/ early 20 1 8 . Now that work on BS 8610 has been completed, the next task will be to r evise BS 7883. This work has alr ead y started to update the guidance in line wit h BS 8610 requi rements. In Germany, DIBt already requires manufacturers to test their product in every substrate they recommend it can be installed into. With all the suggested permutations, this can result in around forty tests per substrate, per anchor system, which is a costly exercise for manufacturers. All the approvals granted by DIBt will be published on their website for everyone to see. The new European Norm will take precedent over and above the DIBt requirements. No doubt, several manufacturers will be frustrated about having committed to the expense of achieving the DIBt requirements only to find that a new European Norm established under the Construction Product Regulations will no doubt take precedence and permit CE marking. Elsewhere in the world, in relation to horizontal life lines, we see the introduction of new Canadian Standards Z259.13, Z259.16 and in the USA, we see the development of ANSI Z359.17. A new edge protection standard for both temporary and permanent installations, Z259.18, will also be published in Canada next year. The changes to these standards across the world will represent a real step forward in providing compliant – but more importantly – safe systems, which perform as required when installed in or on structures to protect all workers at height. Shaun Revill, SR Timber, trading director www.sr-timber.co.uk At SR Timber, 2017 will be remembered for three things.The first is that the roofing industry is busy, very busy. All we heard at the RCI Show was how busy roofing contractors are – and there appears to be no let-up as we move into 2018. It’s no coincidence that we have experienced strong growth this year not just in our core roofing products, but also in scaffold boards. The second is that this was the year when the issue of availability overtook price as the first question roofers ask us in respect of roofing batten. “Have you got it in stock?” and “When can we have it?” were all they were concerned about. Although we don’t like it, I think there has been a general acceptance in the UK over the last 18 months that the cost of everything has risen – from the goods at the supermarket, to the raw materials used in industries such as construction. The final one was when The Who frontman Roger Daltrey sent us a personal good luck message ahead of our charity fundraiser in the Pavestone Rally. What a man! As for 2018, a key thing the roofing industry will rely on is suppliers like us to keep the industry moving with quality, compliant products. The issue of availability of materials will remain key, and it will continue separating the wheat from the chaff where suppliers are concerned. Global demand for timber is skyrocketing because of the likes of China and the US clamouring for as much raw material as they can get their hands on. This tests both the strength and mettle of suppliers and their supply chains. We work hard behind the scenes to ensure the robustness of our relationships with the sawmills in the Baltic states, and this is the reason we are confident in our ability to continue processing and delivering orders within 48 hours in 2018.


RCI December 2017
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