WFF aims for blue CSCS cards and standard contracts
Worktop Fabricators Federation (WFF) members, sponsors and prospective members from as far afield as Sheffield and Clacton converged on Dunstable, Bedfordshire, this month (October) for its latest face to face meeting, hosted by Michael Cohen’s natural stone and porcelain wholesale business of Imperial Stone.
Surrounded by some spectacular natural stones, several members felt the natural stone industry has a big education job to do, advising fabricators which natural stones can be used for worktops and what care and maintenance is needed for each.
Many felt it was of growing importance because of the trend towards a return to natural materials at the top end of the market, which is likely to remain buoyant even if the current cost-of-living crisis impact on mid-value sales starts to worsen.
Emerging from the general discussions and information-sharing, the WFF is now pushing ahead with several policy objectives:
- CSCS Cards – members were keen to press on with developing a qualification or accreditation process to enable installer teams to obtain blue CSCS cards. WFF is looking to convene a small group of interested members to review the work so far and check through the various National Occupational Standards. Any members interested should email WFF Administrator Chris Pateman if they would like to be part of this.
- Members were keen to pull existing best practice into a common Health & Safety “things you must address” policy framework which all WFF members could use to benchmark their own H&S policies – particularly helpful where H&S consultants lack specialist knowledge of the stone industry.
- There was a lot of support for a Best Practice method statement on main contractor sites for how to approach onsite working (who does the first site visit, who moves materials around, and so on).
- A live issue for several members was the question of free displays for kitchen showrooms. The idea of model terms & conditions for showroom displays (emphasising retention of title and creating a common process of, for example, invoicing in advance) was well received. The idea being that those using the document could always choose to waive their rights with any customer they chose to. But if there is no clear contract in place, the fabricator risks ending up in acrimonious disputes if the showroom later decides to sell the display – or, come to that, the business.
- Discussion then extended to model T&Cs for all clients – one for consumers, who are covered by the Sales Of Goods Act and other consumer legislation; one for the kind of sub-contract / brokerage agreement with showroom customers, to cover issues such as who-is-responsible-for-what-and-how-far in the event of consultations, samples, call-backs and disputes; one for housebuilders and commercial contractor clients. Volunteers to get this rolling are again invited to contact Chris Pateman on [email protected].
The next face-to-face meeting of WFF is on January 23 at Granite Tops UK in Preston, Lancashire. Any WFF members, or companies that would like to attend with a view to joining the WFF, should email Chris Pateman. If anyone has any items they are keen to be added to the agenda for the meeting, they too should be sent to Chris.