10 things you should insist upon

10 things you should insist upon from any sign maintenance/sign servicing supplier:

1. Out Of Hours Contact Numbers

Ideally you should be provided with more than one contact number to ensure your call is answered 24/7, this will cover you in the event of phones being out of signal/battery.

2. Guaranteed Four Hour Emergency Call-out.

If you have multiple sites throughout the UK, you need to ensure that the company you employ to carry out sign maintenance offers a nationwide service. Check that any details you are given regarding this add-up, and investigate where the company’s teams are based.

3. Trained Teams.

Be sure to request proof that all teams who could potentially be sent to carry out sign maintenance work on your site have relevant and up-to-date training in place. Any credible organisation will be able to show you qualification certificates and training documentation upon request. The following are recommended (visit Qualifications and what they mean for further details):

  • PASMAPASMA - Prefabricated Access Suppliers' & Manufacturers' Association. (For mobile scaffold users) certification
  • MEWPMEWP - Mobile Elevated Working Platform. certification
  • Safety harness training
  • UK PIA safety passport
  • Manual handling training
  • Asbestos awareness training
  • First aid and fire-fighting certification
  • Job specific risk assessments
  • Use of clearance certificates
  • Job specific method statements
  • SlingerAppointed person in charge of lifting operations., signaller, banksmanAppointed person in charge of lifting operations or vehicle maneuvering. training if a crane is being used

4. Work At Height Checklists.

Sign maintenance work, whether planned or not, will often involve working above ground level and this is a key area of concern for you if the company employed 1) uses untrained staff and 2) does not have the required safety documentation in place. Should an accident occur on-site, both you and the contracted company will have to prove that a safe working environment was provided. Checklists not only give you an auditable trail demonstrating compliance with the Work at Height Regulations 2005, they also show that the company has a mechanism for constantly highlighting the importance of these regulations with employees.

5. Cost Transparency Of Remedial Work.

Before completing any remedial work during sign maintenance, an honest company may arrange an agreed financial mandate that empowers engineers to resolve low cost issues there and then. Larger, more complex issues should be recorded, photographed and quoted for so you are aware of the costs you will face. Depending upon the severity of the problem, some companies will offer to send photos immediately and quote directly over the phone.

6. Accreditation To The International Contractor’s Safety Rating System (ICSRS).

Sign maintenance involves many hazardous activities and responsible companies will attempt to reduce the risks. This accreditation commits the sign company to an independent annual audit, to ensure compliance, and protect you against risk or loss. 2,000 points is the minimum recommended rating.

7. Trained Electricians.

Any electrical work that is required during sign maintenance should be carried out by qualified electricians. If the company does not employee electricians directly, ensure that it has a reputable company with fully qualified staff at-hand. Engineers should not be doing work beyond their qualifications or expertise. Potentially, you, the customer, will be responsible in the event of a tragedy. Ensure that all electricians are accredited to C&G2382-10/2382-20. Test and inspection engineers should be accredited to C&G2391-10. All electrical work should be done to meet the IEE17th Edition Wiring Regulations.

8. Track Record.

A credible sign maintenance contractor should be able to provide you with evidence of previous work it has undertaken. This is especially important if you have multiple sites across which there may be a large demand on the company’s time. Customer awards are always a sign that the company is highly commended.

9. Vehicle Trackers And Sat Nav.

In case of an emergency you need the guarantee that all vehicles within the sign maintenance company’s fleet have sat nav facilities to reach you in the quickest time possible. Vehicles should ideally be traced by the company for extra reassurance that an engineer is on route to you.

10. Refusal To Work Procedures.

Any company employed to carry out sign maintenance work should have a comprehensive understanding of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007. In addition to this, it should have firm procedures in place should anything on-site be identified as unsafe and assert authority if necessary to close a site and ‘make-safe’.