While BCSA steelwork contractors are required to have a fabrication facility in the UK or Ireland that meets stringent quality standards and undergo a competence assessment relating to the company’s work facilities, track record and technical and management experience, there are still some companies out there without the skills, experience and financial standing to be taking on structural steelwork projects.
Who are these companies? On paper, they might look like legitimate steelwork fabricators. Some have ISO 9001, CE Marking certification and have undergone well-known prequalification assessments. But incredibly, they don’t have a fabrication facility at all. These ‘desk and stool’ companies take on steelwork projects as if they’re an actual steelwork contractor that undertakes fabrication, and then they re-subcontract the whole lot out. Every last piece.
BCSA has even heard of examples where ‘desk and stool’ companies have passed off their subcontractors’ workshops as their own.
For all these reasons, BCSA has always excluded this kind of company from membership because it’s important to review the fabrication processes, personnel and quality.
BCSA does understand that subcontracting some steelwork out can be good business practice for many legitimate steelwork contractors. But these steelwork contractors manage their subcontractors tightly, holding them to their own high standards and mainly using fellow BCSA members to undertake the subcontract work.
So what should clients and main contractors do to reduce this risk:
To find a BCSA member company go to https://www.steelconstruction.org/directories/