A national trade body is taking pre-emptive action to help secure access to vital products used in the protection and preservation of UK buildings
The Property Care Association (PCA) says it is vital that protective chemicals are available to experts, to ensure properties suffering from timber decay and wood destroying insects can be repaired.
Without access to the biocides, the PCA says homes and buildings could fall beyond repair, with the outcome that properties could be permanently lost if structural failure takes hold.
To address these concerns, the PCA has established a training programme and professional-use register, which enables users of biocides in wood preservation products to demonstrate their specialist credentials in the safe and effective use of timber protection chemicals.
Steve Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA, said: “Over the past few years, restrictions over the use of biocides have been introduced, which have affected the availability of timber protection chemicals.
“Within this regulatory framework, many products used to control timber decay and wood destroying insects have now been withdrawn. Others can now only be used by professionals.
“If we lose the remaining formulas it will cost property owners a fortune as they face the significant consequence of their property being effectively ‘written-off.’
“Therefore it really is vital we protect these biocides by providing a route for home-owners and property professionals to seek out professional users who are trained, skilled and competent in the application of these products.
“It’s important those using insecticides and fungicides are safe and competent to do so.
“Our training and register provides evidence of this. We are pre-empting regulation and, as an industry body, taking the lead. It is the responsible thing to do.”
The PCA programme features a one-day course, covering the safe use of timber protection chemicals in buildings – combined with a professional users’ register managed by the Association.
The course teaches a range of topics including the safe and effective use of pesticides, as well as their storage, management and application.
The safe disposal of waste, emergency procedures and the importance of record keeping are also featured.
All candidates that pass an examination at the end of the training are recorded on a central register, providing a reference point for both suppliers and consumers who want to confirm if a contractor is a safe, trained and competent professional user.
The scheme also acts as a means for professional users to differentiate themselves in the marketplace, with the PCA issuing a ‘Professional Biocide User’ identification card to participants.