Providing the safest possible working environment for hire and construction operations is crucial for sectors that play such a vital role in the UK economy. However, it comes at a cost – financial and time – which is why cross-recognition between member safety schemes is much more productive.
Hire Association Europe’s (HAE) membership with SSIP (Safety Schemes in Procurement) aligns its SafeHire Certification Scheme with government backed construction pre-qualification modules within PAS 91. This provides an improved benefit for those members that can not only demonstrate SafeHire compliance but also satisfy SSIP’s core criteria.
HAE will be promoting SafeHire and the new alliance with SSIP at this year’s Safety in Construction Show, the UK’s premier trade show for safety products in the construction and related industries, scheduled for Holywell Park Conference Centre in Loughborough on Wednesday October 6th.
SafeHire is in demand from the industry as it enables customers to approach tool and plant hire companies with confidence. It proves a firm’s competence in upholding high standards in health, safety, environment and quality of equipment as well as a highly-trained workforce.
Since its introduction, SafeHire has been a key feature of HAE’s support for members through thick and thin for over 10 years, especially through the turbulent transition of trading with the European Union after Brexit and then the significant disruption to business caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Now the association has aligned with an umbrella organisation that helps remove red tape in the supply chain.
SSIP reduces duplication and demands on suppliers who have multiple certifications to different schemes, saving them time and money and allowing more focus on day-to-day operations. As the construction industry is more regulated than ever, HAE says having SafeHire certification and SSIP approval is a simple way to prove hire businesses take health and safety assessment seriously.
Since its inception SSIP mutual recognition has facilitated savings to suppliers in excess of £280million (source: ssip.org.uk). SSIP is voluntary for HAE members but it recommends they get on board to make life easier for winning work from procurement departments.
HAE’s Director of Certification Services, Carl Bartlett, says: “SafeHire and SSIP are not just for large organisations, but also for SMEs. SafeHire is a robust industry-specific standard designed by the industry for the industry, and achieving SafeHire certification and SSIP approval will help businesses secure more opportunities.
“As all SSIP members agree to mutually recognise each other’s schemes, so procurement departments should as well. The whole purpose is to remove bureaucracy and reduce costs associated with the different schemes.”
HAE is pushing ahead with its SafeHire programme and achieved a record number of site audits booked in September and a steady stream of enquiries sustaining the momentum. SafeHire Certification is not a goal for the faint-hearted as standards are challenging, but once attained the benefits of the scheme are plentiful.
In order for hire firms to achieve certification, participation in SafeHire requires that businesses are inspected annually and everything from paperwork, day-to-day operations, staff training and environment is checked for continued compliance with the scheme’s rigorous standards. Achieving SSIP’s core criteria also demonstrates a supplier’s professional reputation for health and safety management systems.