Signmakers involved in producing wraps or banners to attach to scaffolding around buildings may be in danger of voiding the building insurance, the BSGA has warned.
Some insurers are now insisting that the materials used in such projects conform to a Loss Prevention Standard (LPS) certified by the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB).
The British Sign and Graphics Association (BSGA) has recently been told that some insurance companies are refusing to insure buildings that are ‘wrapped’ unless the materials used conform to the LPS.
BSGA Director David Catanach advises: “An LPS is an insurance driven standard devised by the Association of British Insurers, the Chief Fire Officers Association, the London Fire Brigade and the Contractors Legal Group.
“It is a joint Code of Practice designed to reduce loss levels for insurers in the event of a fire as well as addressing health and safety issues. The Code applies where the total project costs are above a certain value.
“In these projects any sheeting, netting or wrap material attached to the scaffolding must meet the approved specification and the standard will be insisted on by the insurers as part of their terms of cover.”
The material and print (i.e the inks used) must be approved and a certificate is needed to confirm compliance. Claims that materials are either ‘approved’ or ‘tested to’ are not enough. Suppliers must be able to prove the LPS certification. Non-compliance will result in there being no insurance cover.
This situation was first raised with the BSGA by member who was supplying and fitting a ‘building wrap’ using a printed PVC banner material, as they have been doing for a number of years.
This material complies with a DIN standard (Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V./ the German Institute for Standardization) and was considered appropriate for the use in this application. “However, the insurers have now advised that, as this particular material does not have an LPCB certificate, they will not insure the building or the scaffold that the material is attached to.
“While there is a British Standard for wind loading on scaffolds, nobody, including the sign company, the material supplier, the client or the BSGA, was aware of this insurance condition, ” said David. “This is not really that surprising as there seems to be a general lack of knowledge about these particular standards outside the insurance industry.”
BSGA Members will be able to find further details about the LPCB in a BSGA Guidance Note posted in the Members’ Area of the BSGA website along with links to the Code of Practice and the fact sheets with material specifications for LPS conformity.
“We do everything we can to keep members up to speed on standards such as BS, EN and ISO, but it is impossible to constantly monitor standards devised by specific industries for their own purposes,” said David. “In these cases all we can do is pass on the information we receive to our members so that they can take the action they feel is necessary.”