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Compulsory scheme will improve steelwork painting

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A new national transportation infrastructure sector scheme has been published on the United Kingdom Accreditation Scheme (UKAS) web site.

The scheme (NHSS 19A) covers the quality management system requirements for corrosion protection of ferrous materials in transportation infrastructure assets using industrial coatings.

“Put simply, it applies to the painting of steelwork in structures such as bridges, stations, toll booths and interchanges,’ said Dr Derek Tordoff, BCSA Director General.

“It has been designed to enhance the quality and long term performance of the coatings used to protect steel assets,” added Dr Tordoff.

As the scheme has been drafted to be sector neutral it is suitable to be adopted by clients across the transportation industry and applies to new works and maintenance projects.

The Highways Agency and Network Rail are adopting the scheme as a mandatory requirement for suppliers contracted to them to undertake any painting of structure steelwork.

It includes specific requirements for contractors to achieve a skilled workforce and adopts the Industrial Coatings Applicator Training and Certification Scheme (ICATS).

Dr Tordoff said steelwork contractors and painting contractors undertaking work for clients who have adopted the scheme, should be working towards compliance to meet the implementation programme set out in the scheme’s document.

“Contractors should be taking action now as they should be working towards having 40% of their corrosion protection operatives certified to the ICATS scheme by 31 July 2007 and achieving full compliance by 31 January 2008,” he added.

On 27 March there will be a joint Highways Agency, BCSA, RQSC seminar on the above subject. See the diary section on page 10 for details.

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