AMAC celebrates 13 years of British manufacturing

AMAC Celebrates 13 YearsAMAC celebrates 13 years of British manufacturing

AMAC Engineering Limited, a leading supplier of chimney inspection cameras across the UK and Europe, is celebrating its 13th anniversary this month. The firm is renowned for its commitment to British design and manufacture in the face of increasing competition from imported products.

The firm works closely with end users and industry bodies like The National Association of Chimney Sweeps (NACS) and The Guild of Master Chimney Sweeps to improve and develop the technology they use in their cameras. Customers benefit from an industry-leading two year parts and labour warranty and 24 hour support.

Speaking on the anniversary, Quaerina Chorley, AMAC’s Sales Director said,

“Thirteen years of successful trading is a tremendous milestone for AMAC. We are incredibly proud of the British design and manufacture of our inspection cameras.”

“When a customer invests in inspection technology, they need to be confident that it will serve them reliably for many years. AMAC’s quality manufacturing, CE marking and PAT testing provides the reassurance that they’re buying the best.”

The AMAC range of chimney cameras is HETAS Listed and can be purchased in the HETAS Shop or via AMAC directly.

HETAS Technical Bulletin 8

HETAS Technical Bulletin 8HETAS Technical Bulletin 8 Cover

Last week we published HETAS Technical Bulletin 8 with updates on hot topics, including an update on direct air guidance, system chimneys and distance to combustibles, commissioning records and the latest FAQ’s from the helpline team. All the Technical Bulletins are available in the HETAS Technical Area.

The eighth installment of the HETAS Technical Bulletin. In this edition of the bulletin we include updates on the following topics:

  • Complying with the Energy Labelling Directive
  • Revision of the HETAS Commissioning Record
  • Further Guidance for Direct External Air Supply
  • Latest from the Technical Helpline
  • Metal System Chimneys and Clearances to Combustibles

As well as giving our stakeholders this sort of support, HETAS is very much involved with standards setting in the UK and Europe. Part of our role is to support installers, retailers, sweeps and manufacturers by encouraging safe, but pragmatic standards and Building Regulations guidance that is fit for purpose but not over burdensome on our industry and we hope you find 5the bulletins informative.

Find out more

Click here to access the HETAS Technical Area where you can download each of the bulletins and much more information exclusively available to HETAS Registered Installers, Approved Sweeps and Retailers. Detailed guidance can be found on the following topics:

  • Direct External Air Supply
  • Energy Labelling
  • Support Documentation – risk assessments | complaints | quotation templates
  • HSE guidance links
  • All of our monthly e-newsletters

If you have a technical question you can contact the helpline team on 01684 278194 or email technical@hetas.co.uk.

Copies of the new External Air Supply Commissioning Record can be purchased by installers in the HETAS Shop.

The articles produced as a result of conversations we have with registrants, training centres and inspectors, but we are always welcoming of suggestions on articles that would be of benefit to our registrants.

Click here to get in touch with the HETAS team.

Introducing CSS Worksafe

Introducing CSS WorksafeCSS Worksafe Logo

HETAS has developed an exciting new partnership with CSS Worksafe to provide functional, cost effective control measures against falls from height when carrying out works on domestic properties. CSS Worksafe has supplied in excess of 50,000 systems and trained over 34,000 operatives in the use of its system since its introduction some 18 years ago.

 

Adaptable, cost effective protection for work at height

Providing functional, cost effective control measures against falls from height when carrying out minor works on domestic properties can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Work at Height Regulations (2005) requires that where work at height cannot be avoided, suitable and sufficient measures are taken to “prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury”. Where it is not possible to carry out the work from an existing place of work or using an existing means of access to that place of work (unlikely when working on the outside of a domestic property), the employer must provide “sufficient work equipment for preventing, so far as is reasonably practicable, a fall from occurring”.

Collective protection measures must be given priority over personal controls. However, when working at height on domestic properties, providing collective controls such as scaffolding, for relatively short duration tasks, can actually increase the overall risk. Someone has to erect and dismantle the scaffolding, which introduces an additional risk which needs to be controlled. Where tube and fitting scaffold structures are erected at the relatively low level heights associated with typical domestic housing stock, it is unlikely that standard control measures, such as a harness and energy absorbing lanyard will operate within the available clearance distance.

Where uneven ground, a lack of space, a flat roof or other obstructions are present, use of a mobile tower scaffold will be unsuitable. Use of mobile elevated work platforms also require a level surface and clear access to operate, and in the limited instances where they could be considered, hire and delivery charges are generally a prohibitively expensive control measure for a short duration, low risk task.

Where it is not possible or reasonably practicable to provide work equipment to prevent a fall from height occurring, we are required to provide sufficient work equipment to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall.

Often, the only practical option for short duration, light works on domestic properties is a portable leaning ladder. Where ladders are used only for access and egress, or for short duration, light duty tasks that allow the user to maintain ‘a secure hand and foothold’, provided the ladder is secured the risk is low and no further control measures are required.

Where the ladder is being used as work platform, for a task that requires the use of both hands, the risk is high. In addition to securing the ladder a means of either preventing or minimising the distance and consequences of a fall must be employed. As a means of preventing a fall from a portable leaning ladder has yet to be devised, we must use work equipment to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall.

Background

In the late 1990’s CSS Worksafe designed an innovative fall protection and work positioning system for use with a secured portable leaning ladder. The system was developed for the Aerial & Satellite Industry, where engineers are predominantly lone workers engaged in installing satellite dishes and aerials on domestic properties. The system provides fall protection from ground up to the work position plus support at the work position allowing the user to use both hands for the task. The system is designed and tested to be used with leaning ladders and roofer’s ladders, providing the ideal solution for controlling the risk of falls from height, where ladders are used as working platforms. Additional measures to control the risk of working around chimneys supplement the system and extend its capability.

Further developments of the system, during consultation with the Cavity Wall Insulation Industry, led to enhancements which allow the system to be rapidly moved between positions and the working height adjusted, without additional ladder securing fixings being installed. In essence, a whole elevation can be covered from a secured, portable leaning ladder with fall protection, from two small, removable fixings. Controls for accessing and working from flat roofs were developed creating a complete safe system of work for those carrying out minor works at height on domestic properties.

Today we see the system employed by a wide range of trades that work at height on domestic properties. A legal requirement for aerial & satellite and cavity wall insulation, the system has been adopted by many Local Authorities and Housing Associations, as well as roofers and installers of stoves & flues, solar energy collectors, security systems and central heating systems. CSS Worksafe have supplied in excess of 50,000 systems and trained over 34,000 operatives in the use of the system since its introduction some 18 years ago.

Find Out More

The system is available to purchase in standardised kits for ladder work, roof ladder work or flat roof work, and bespoke kits are often developed to meet a client’s specific requirement. Public and dedicated training courses are available, delivered at CSS Worksafe training centres or at client’s site.

To find out more contact CSS Worksafe on 01527 873850 , email info@county-safety-services.com or visit the CSS Worksafe website.

Additional information on Working at Heights and other HSE guidance can be found in the HETAS Technical Area.

Handbook Supplement

A HETAS Technical Handbook Supplement titled Safe Working at Heights, demonstrating use of the CSS Worksafe system, which can be used in conjunction with CSS Worksafe training courses is available from the HETAS Shop.

Stove Industry Alliance

Stove Industry Alliance

The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) has just released a series of leaflets, covering Ecodesign and its implications for the industry, Ecodesign Ready stoves and the importance of burning dry wood. The leaflets are designed to give stove retailers and installers the information they need to talk to their customers on these important topics.

The SIA is an association of stove manufacturers and distributors, wood fuel suppliers, flue and glass manufacturers and industry supporters like HETAS and Kiwa.

The following SIA downloads are now available:

Find out more…

Search for Ecodesign Ready appliances on the HETAS Appliance Search facility.

For more information about the SIA please visit www.stoveindustryalliance.com.

The range of HETAS advice leaflets are also available at www.hetas.co.uk/consumer/hetas-advice and can be ordered via the HETAS Shop.

Prompt Payer nears landmark

Prompt Payer nears landmarkPrompt Payer Debt Collection

Prompt Payer has now recovered nearly £100,000 on behalf of HETAS registrants. HETAS has a business relationship with Prompt Payer whereby Registered Installers will automatically receive FREE premium membership of Prompt Payer as part of their HETAS registration. Membership with Prompt Payer normally costs £250 and is one of the many benefits of HETAS registration.

Recent research has shown that small businesses are owed over £700m in unpaid invoices and the wait for payment is now 84 days!

It also shows that small businesses spend an extra 14 days chasing debts.  Nearly 50% of all invoice are paid late, yet 79% of business don’t charge interest that they are allowed under Law.

Prompt Payer is on your side and have helped many installer businesses receive payment for unpaid invoices and membership with Prompt Payer is free for HETAS Registered Installers. Here’s what Prompt Payer will do for you:

  • follow a debt collection procedure, as set out by the Financial Services Authority
  • where applicable, we calculate and add interest and charges as permitted by the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Act 1998
  • provide you with a paper trail in case of court action
  • they are on your side and have heard EVERY excuse
  • will help you through the court process if required
  • take the stress away
  • membership is already paid for by HETAS, Prompt Payer take NO collection fee

For further advice contact Prompt Payer directly on 0845 069 7000 or email info@promptpayer.com.

Click here to find out about the full range of benefits available to you through your registration with HETAS.

Summer Offer from Surefire

Summer offer from SurefireSummer offer from Surefire

Surefire offer free accommodation when you book both H003 and H006 courses this summer. Are you looking to develop your skills through further solid fuel training?

Study with Surefire Training Centre this summer and you will not only learn from the most knowledgeable professionals in the solid fuel industry who bring a wealth of experience and skills to HETAS courses but you will also receive FREE ACCOMMODATION when you book the following courses together:

– 4 nights FREE accommodation* when you book both H003 and H006 training courses

– 3 nights FREE accommodation* when you book both H003R and H006 training courses

*Available for courses between 1st May – 31st July 2017 at the Surefire Ripley centre only

The Training Centre

Situated in Ripley, Derbyshire, the training centre is easily accessible from the A38 and M1, Surefire Training Centre has the following facilities:

  • Dedicated training suite equipped with live appliances for practical training, flue and chimney displays
  • Trainers with 98 years’ collective experience in delivering solid fuel training bringing a wealth of experience and skills to our courses
  • Courses are never cancelled
  • Lunch and refreshments included

The Accommodation

The free accommodation is at the Derbyshire Hotel, 4-star bed and breakfast.

The Derbyshire Hotel is conveniently just located two minutes’ from Junction 28 of the M1. The hotel is close to both the Derby and Nottingham city centres.

For more information on courses and to take advantage of this summer offer from Surefire, contact the team by emailing info@surefire.org.uk or call 01773 570408. The Surefire team will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively visit the Surefire website to find out more about the full range of courses available and the facilities on offer at Surefire.

Click here to find out more about the full range of HETAS courses on offer.

Hearth & Home 2017

Hearth and Home 2017Hearth and Home 2017 Logo

The Hearth and Home 2017 Exhibition takes place from the 11th to the 13th June at the Harrogate International Centre.

The exhibition launched its new website back in December and the site includes details of all exhibitors and the latest floor plan to navigate your way around the many exhibitors. Click here to visit the new look website.

As with previous years, you will find HETAS in Hall C, stand 7. We will be supported during the exhibition by Woodsure and the team from HETAS Insurance Services.

If you haven’t already done so it is quick and easy to register to visit the exhibition. Click here to register now.

The team look forward to seeing everyone at Hearth and Home 2017 in Harrogate this June.

Easter 2017

Easter 2017 Office Closure

Easter 2017 PictureWith Easter fast approaching we wanted to let everyone know that the HETAS office will be closing at 5pm on Thursday 13th April 2017 and opening again on Tuesday 18th April 2017 at 8:30am.

The HETAS website has a wide range of information for you while we are closed over Easter.

Can’t wait until Tuesday? Get in touch using the Contact form below.

 

Approved Servicing scheme

Approved Servicing scheme

Hot on the heels of the launch of the H009 training course HETAS is delighted to announce the launch of the HETAS Approved Servicing scheme for service and maintenance businesses. There is a streamlined entry route for applicants to the scheme through the new HETAS H009 Service and Maintenance Course.

The HETAS Approved Servicing scheme is aimed at the needs of:

  • Maintenance engineers looking to extend their work into solid fuel
  • Property management businesses responsible for checking open fires or solid fuel stoves
  • Chimney sweeps extending their accreditation to cover appliance servicing
  • Former installers of stoves now switching over to servicing and maintenance visits.

There is a streamlined entry route for applicants to the scheme through the new HETAS H009 Service and Maintenance Course. This will be ideal for servicing technicians to demonstrate the relevant knowledge and practical skill to assess dry solid fuel and/or woodfuel installations. For applicants who will not be installing appliances or liners, for the first time there is now a solid fuel course focused specifically on pre-existing stoves and flues. HETAS Training Centres across the country have opened bookings for the H009 course.

HETAS is recognised as the specialist solid fuel and biomass certification body. Consumers and businesses look for the assurance of HETAS accreditation when choosing capable local contractors. The new HETAS Approved Servicing logo will be the mark of a specialist maintenance technician. The many thousands of visitors to the HETAS website will be able to search for servicing businesses approved by HETAS and based in their area.

For an application pack for the Approved Servicing Scheme, please call HETAS Registration on 01684 278170 Option 2 or email registration@hetas.co.uk.

FAQs

What range of services do I have to offer to get on the scheme?

All businesses wanting to register for HETAS Approved Servicing must have the competence to assess dry solid fuel installations and advise occupants/owners accordingly. The application form includes a list of core tasks that we would expect all solid fuel Approved Servicing businesses to be able to offer. Businesses may choose to add further activities for which they have the relevant competence. For boiler system maintenance, we will only accredit technicians who can demonstrate the relevant wet heating system background. Businesses choose, within their technical expertise, whether they want to focus on particular products or markets (e.g. which makes of appliance or what types of property)


Can HETAS Approved Servicing technicians assess and maintain gas fires?

No. The Gas Safe Register the only body licensed to certify domestic gas engineers in the UK. Some HETAS technicians may hold gas qualifications separately, and be dual registered with both schemes, but work on gas fires would be outside their HETAS registration.


 Will HETAS do inspections of my servicing work?

Yes. For those whose work has not previously been inspected by us, the joining process for the HETAS Approved Servicing scheme will include an on-site visit to observe and check servicing of an existing appliance. If there are any non-conformances, the business will get a copy of the HETAS report and any items of competence they need to address. Registrants will be subject to further periodic surveillance, as it is critical for all involved that high safety standards are met.


If I am already registered with HETAS as an installer but I am not doing new installations, how do I transfer across to the new scheme?

Businesses currently without installation competencies who are accredited for “Service and Maintenance” will be reassigned to HETAS Approved Servicing later this year. We will contact each business to confirm details. New registration certificates and operative ID badges will be reissued when you do your annual scheme renewal. Unless there are unusual inspection requirements, annual fees for HETAS Approved Servicing registration will be the same as for Competent Person Scheme installers.


What if my training qualifications are out of date?

HETAS has decided to apply a five-year re-qualification period to the servicing scheme. This aligns with what has been required by DCLG for all registered combustion appliance installers for some years and has now also been announced for the HETAS Approved Chimney Sweep scheme. With the availability for the first time of the new H009 Service and Maintenance Course, servicing technicians will have the option to re-qualify specifically on existing appliances, without having to take the full installation refresher course.


Will I do a notification to HETAS of every servicing visit?

No. The HETAS notification process (on-line system or by post) is for an installation which is a “controlled service” under Building Regulations. For servicing visits which do not include notifiable work, businesses will be required to issue a written record to the customer. For many, the HETAS Safety & Servicing Record would be a suitable form to use, and registered businesses may purchase these pads from the HETAS Shop. Every business should keep their own log of all visits they completed and any dangerous faults identified. You may be required to show HETAS your records periodically.


Will servicing technicians be able to replace flue liners?

No, that is outside the servicing scheme. A replacement flue liner is notifiable as an installation under Building Regulations in England and Wales (see Approved Document J paragraph 1.35). Only a HETAS Registered Installer (not a servicing technician) can self-certify the installation of a replacement flue liner through HETAS. If you are not registered as a Competent Person Scheme installer, you would have to notify a liner directly to Building Control, for which they are likely to charge a significant fee.


Can servicing technicians do chimney sweeping?

HETAS recommend that sweeping is carried out by a HETAS Approved Chimney Sweep. Our sweep scheme has been very successful, establishing the best standards of sweeping in conjunction with the three professional associations APICS, GMCS and NACS.

NACS Exhibition 2017

NACS Exhibition 2017NACS Exhibition 2017 Logo

The NACS Exhibition 2017 is just five weeks away and is taking place at The Crowne Plaza in Stratford-upon-Avon. The HETAS team will be there throughout the event and look forward to seeing you there.

The NACS Exhibition is being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (previously Holiday Inn), Bridgefoot, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6YR.  The exhibition will take place over two days, Friday 7th & Saturday 8th April. Opening times will be 9.30am – 4.30pm on both days.

Exhibitors

The event includes a range of exhibitors from across the industry, including chimneys, sweeping equipment, cowls, appliances, cameras and more. Exhibitors for 2017 include:

Come and meet the HETAS team during the exhibition. Our technical team will be on hand for all your technical questions. The team will also be available to discuss the new HETAS H009 training course. Come and meet the team on stand C10.

For hotel reservations, please ring the hotel directly on 01789 279923 and quote “The National Association of Chimney Sweeps” for the preferential rates. Click here for details on the hotel.

Visit http://nacs.org.uk/event to find out more about the exhibition.