The British Woodworking Federation launches new UK Stair Installation Guide
The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Stair Scheme has launched a new Staircase Installation Guide, to help fill the skills gap and focus on safe, quality installations for both domestic and general access staircases.
Poorly-fitted stairs present safety risks – they remain one of the most common areas for accidents in the UK with more than 800 recorded deaths attributed to slips, trips and falls on staircases every year in the UK and a staggering 300,000 hospital visits per year in the UK related to falls on stairs. Accidents happen, but many could be avoided and some of these will be the result of not managing risks during construction works, when a part-finished or unguarded staircase is often used for access.
Kevin Underwood, technical director at the BWF, said: “A shortage in skills on site is now a real problem in the industry. Manufacturers are no longer able to assume that the necessary fitting skills and knowledge will be available at the point of installation and so are having to take more of a role in guiding the fitting process, which is where the BWF Stair Scheme Installation Guide comes in.”
The guide is produced by the BWF Stair Scheme, the only accreditation and certification scheme of its kind in the UK. Members design and manufacture domestic, common and fire-protected stairs to an extremely high standard to ensure quality and safety within the industry.
Kevin continued: “There are many elements that need to be adhered to when it comes to correctly installing timber staircases and a single mistake or missed fixing could render a stair unsafe. In simple terms, if a stair is not installed correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions it won’t be fit for purpose. We continue to get reports from our members of problems within the staircase market that undermine them as suppliers.”
John Slaughter of the Home Builders Federation who has supported this guide stated: “We at the HBF are delighted to be supporting the British Woodworking Federation in developing this essential guidance. Working more effectively with the supply chain is critical to improving productivity and quality in the home building sector and this kind of collaboration between manufacturers and our members is a great example of how this can be done effectively. The BWF Stair Scheme and the quality information that is produced from this group is a very welcome support to our industry and members.”
For more information or to download a copy of the BWF Stair Scheme Installation Guide visit www.bwfstairscheme.org.uk/stair-installation