In this episode Miles talks to Debbie Farman of Tubes Scaffolding Ltd.

Debbie talks about David Farman, Managing Director of Tubes, and his lifelong ethos in encouraging young people to join the scaffolding industry.

Tubes work with young people, often school leavers, and support them right through their apprenticeships until they are fully qualified as scaffolders, and in some cases advanced scaffolders. This committed training and development builds young scaffolders’ understanding of their advancement but also the importance of working in a familiar team which is essential for their health and safety in a working environment.

Apprentices who join Tubes usually take 6 months to 12 months to understand whether the industry is right for them, and 95% them stay and continue their training. It’s a clear testament of the training and development that Tubes provide. Qualifications achieved through their apprenticeship programme include NVQ 2 and 3 – which are the standard levels recognised in the industry.

Miles asks  ‘Are there ever any cases where the public or health and safety board has had to take down scaffolding?’

Listen to Debbie talk about how Tubes get regular Health and Safety audits by NASC – and how they have to pass the assessment to remain members and legal. As members, Tubes follow standards laid out by the NASC – using their constant guidance and adhering to legislation – which ensures every scaffold is fit for purpose. 

Miles asks ‘How do you keep your employees safe?’  and comments further that enforcing regulation over the last few decades has led to huge reductions in injuries or fatalities – Miles talks through the difference in statistics.

Debbie talks about the importance of a good supervisor with scaffolding teams. She comments on how her scaffolding teams are compatible, they know each other very well – a team that are used to working with each other regularly with their supervisor is important to reduce risk for them. She adds – ‘You can’t throw a team together’. We have to make sure that our workforce and others are kept safe whilst scaffolds are in the public domain. Risk assessments and method statements are used but Tubes also have something called the ‘Take-Two’ which catches any risks overlooked or that may have changed during the assessment and the scaffolders arriving to start work. Debbie points out that risks change and develop all the time – so the ‘Take-Two’ is essential when teams arrive to work for their protection and the client’s. 

Tubes have an open-door policy – and Debbie comments on how important it is to Tubes to support staff who may be unwell, physically or mentally, and she actively supports staff when they are unwell or in a difficult position. Tubes also uses a third-party partner to support workers in difficult times.

Debbie finishes talking about how important planning is to Tubes with a clear vision of a five year plan, as well as managing the day to day running of the business. It’s important for Tubes to do this so they can understand what they need to do now, by way of bringing in, and developing new skills, to be able to achieve their expected growth and continued success. Miles adds, it all about managing risk – which is what VARTAN Consultants do!

If you have any thoughts or opinions on this topic Miles would love to hear from you and discuss some of your points in a later episode.

Disclaimer: At the time of recording the information in this podcast was deemed to be correct BUT please note legislation, deadlines and information can change on a daily basis – so please always check with Vartan Consultancy for up-to-the-minute information.

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