The National Federation of Roofing Contractors – The Lowdown
The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) was first established in 1892 and is now the leading roofing trade association here in the UK, with more than a thousand trade contractors and nearly two hundred supplier members (manufacturers, suppliers and service providers) representing a massive 70% of the roofing industry by value. The NFRC offers three different types of membership:
Trade Members – this is for roofing contractors. Trade members enjoy direct access to technical guidance for the NFRC’s in-house experts, business advice and their profile is featured on the NFRC website.
Supplier Members – these are reputable companies that manufacture and distribute roofing products or provide market services to the roofing industry. All of the companies are checked and approved and must abide by the NRFC Constitution and Rules of Practice meaning that contractors who use these suppliers can rest assured that they’ll get a fair deal.
Affiliate Members – this type of membership is for roofing colleges and training centres. The NFRC Affiliated College Scheme was originally launched as a pilot scheme supporting college lecturers with technical information and materials in order to assist in training which will benefit the roofing trade and the NFRC’s member companies. Affiliate members enjoy the following benefits:
- Free listing on the NFRC website
- Free attendance at NFRC Health and Safety seminars
- Free downloadable NFRC technical bulletins
- Free advertising of courses on NFRC website
- Free CITB-CS Roof Training Manuals
- Free access to restricted areas of the NFRC website
- Free access to information on recent and future Skills Competitions.
- Help in obtaining free or discounted materials from a wide range of Supplier Members
The NFRC is dedicated to improving the reputation of the roofing industry by lobbying the government, identifying and providing specific training and the insistence on prescriptive installation standards. This is achieved by direct works inspections, training seminars and close liaison with suppliers, manufacturers and other third parties where necessary.
Flat roofs are on the increase here in the UK and the NFRC is a great resource for contractors who specialise in working on flat roofs. One of the most common problems when working on a flat roof is how to gain access safely. While the number of falls has decreased steadily due to stringent risk assessment and health and safety legislation, the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has voiced strong concern about the ongoing toll fragile roof falls have and encourages the roofing industry and the general construction industry to collaborate in order to reduce the number of falls through fragile roofs and skylights.
One of the most effective methods of ensuring safety when carrying out repairs and maintenance work on roofs is to use a demarcation barrier system to prevent falls from the edge of a roof. A sturdy and highly visible demarcation barrier should be installed at least 2 metres from the edge of the roof in order to prevent access to this dangerous area where most falls occur. With so many single-skin, fragile roofs on the UK’s stock of industrial and commercial premises, roofing work remains one of the most dangerous sectors in which to work here in the UK.