Retain land Silver ERS award

Retain Limited group of companies are extremely proud to receive the prestigious Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award, after gaining the bronze award earlier this year. Achieving this award reflects our continuous commitment to support the armed forces community in a manner that aligns with the values of the Armed Forces Covenant.

Through a three-tier approach of bronze, silver and gold awards, the ERS scheme recognises the different levels of commitment provided by employers and allows the Ministry of Defence to publicly thank and honour organisations for their support.

Retain Limited is dedicated to proactively working towards the ERS gold award, which we hope to achieve in the near future.

Retain Limited and the Royal Marines Charity

We are honoured to work closely with the Royal Marines Charity (RMA): a fantastic charitable organisation that aims to provide a lifetime of support to the Royal Marines Family by any means required.

With many of our own employees previously serving in the Royal Marines, including Founder and Director, Jamie Gibbs LLB (Hons) MIoR, we endeavour to provide employment opportunities to help other Royal Marines adjust to life as UK civilians. Retain Limited also strives to help educate, train and create bespoke career pathways tailored to individual skill sets to enable and encourage a successful and fulfilling life post-service.

We donate to the RMA and provide a direct donation link to the RMA on their website and in publications, so others can choose to donate with ease.

Further, the RMA got in touch with Retain Limited, making us aware of an individual who had to leave the military due to injury. To help get him back to work and secure an income at a time of uncertainty, we offered him a job on the same day and he was working the following day.

In response to being presented the ERS Silver Award, Director, Jamie Gibbs, stated; “Retain Limited are proud to have been recognised for our contribution in supporting the armed forces community. To have received both the bronze and silver awards within the space of a year is a great achievement. To show future clients and employees that we support the armed forces community and we are a safe and trusted employer, we are looking to go for the Gold ERS Award.”

Retain Limited

We are an award-winning three-in-one contractor for industrial and commercial roofing, scaffolding installation, safety netting and access solutions, and roof-mounted solar PV design and fixtures. We have expert teams with industry qualifications and experience in each of their respective fields. Retain Limited found a unique space in the market to offer clients a structured approach by eliminating the need for multiple contractors and streamlining the process by being a one-point, trusted contact. This approach both builds a strong client-contractor relationship and clear communication between project site workers.

Our key objectives are to achieve client satisfaction, invest in staff, and maintain and build upon their reliable reputations within the industrial and commercial sectors. By providing staff with excellent training opportunities, they can achieve career progression and ensure that the quality of work surpasses expectations.

In addition to receiving their recent ERS Silver Award, we hold multiple awards and certifications including, but not limited to our CITB accreditation, being Gold members of Constructionline and they have won the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) Gold Award for Health and Safety, six years in a row.

About the ERS

The ERS was launched in 2014 by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, to encourage and support the relationship between Reservists’ employers and Defence. Organisations have the opportunity to progress through the bronze, silver and gold awards by pledging, demonstrating and advocating their support to the Defence and the armed forces community.

To be selected to receive the ERS Silver Award, organisations must have:

  • Signed the Armed Forces Covenant
  • Have been awarded the bronze ERS
  • Proactively demonstrate that service personnel and the armed forces community have equality in the recruitment and selection process
  • Implement a positive HR policy for service personnel and the armed forces community
  • Support training by providing at least 5 days’ additional unpaid/paid leave
  • Not be subject to negative press or media activity

For more information about the ERS Award and how to get your business involved, see here:


Scaffolding Safety: Working at Height

Working at height poses many risks and it’s important to take the necessary steps to remain safe at all times, including following government guidance in the form of WAHR (Working at Height Regulations) 2005. In this blog, you’ll read some of the ways that Retain Limited keep our employees safe when working at height.

Retain Limited employs well-trained and competent individuals to carry out scaffolding jobs and we also provide our employees with ongoing training, to ensure that everyone has the knowledge to carry out their tasks professionally and safely. This is one of the first steps in creating a safe work environment when working at height, whether that is for roofing, scaffolding or installing solar panels. It ensures that the right safety precautions are taken and that the right equipment is used for the job. It is also important to check the suitability and condition of safety equipment before use as some situations may not require such drastic safety measures.

Preparation before carrying out work is essential and is carried out daily by our employees. Taking into account the expected weather conditions, the overall safety of the roof (if applicable), ensuring that falling materials are either mitigated completely or sufficient measures are taken to ensure no-one will be injured, storing materials safely and have a set plan for any emergencies that may happen.

Reporting any safety concerns before work is carried out is also important, which is why we provide our employees with up-to-date training when necessary. It’s also just as important for our employees to be well trained on how to use safety equipment properly and safely at all times.

Being accredited by SMAS (Safety Management Advisory Services) among many other organisations within our company, means that we have a responsibility to be leaders in Health and Safety procedures within our industry. Our employees are also trained to CISRS (Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme) standards.

These are just some of the ways we help to keep our employees and customers safe when carrying out tasks, from the start of the project to the very end. There are many other legislations that we work closely with, which forms the backbone of our business.

To learn more about our services or to enquire about anything else, please contact the Retain team.


Scaffolding FAQ: Looking to become a scaffolder?

If you’re looking to get into the construction industry as a scaffolder, keep reading.

What is scaffolding?

You’ve likely seen it during your lifetime. They are tall steel structures surrounding buildings, with wooden boards, harnesses and many other bits of equipment. They are essential in construction, making sure that workers can operate safely and efficiently. They do come in many other forms and designs, depending on the job they are required for.

What are different types of scaffolding?

Single scaffold – usually set parallel to a wall and is mainly used for brickwork on homes.

Double scaffold – usually used for stonemasonry. It uses two rows of scaffolding, the first row being roughly 20-30cm from the wall with the other about 1m away, connected with cross beams and braces.

Cantilever – used for when the ground can’t support scaffolding, like on a busy street/road that can’t be closed. It uses needles, mainly made of timber, that extend out from holes in the wall of the building being constructed.

Suspended scaffolding – sometimes used by window cleaners, these structures are suspended from the roof and hang over the building.

Steel scaffolding – the most common form of scaffolding you are likely to have seen. It’s fixed together with steel couplings or fittings. High strength, durability, fire resistance and safety for workers.

Patented scaffolding – readymade steel scaffolding which features an adjustable working platform. Easy to assemble and disassemble.

Trestle scaffolding – mainly used for indoor work up to 5 metres. Made up of tripods or ladders as the base with boards laid across the top.

Ariel lifts – there are 3 main categories: scissor lifts, boom lifts and tele-handlers. They are mobile, adjustable platforms that can lift heavy weight or workers without the need to build a scaffolding frame.

This list isn’t exhaustive and there are some variations of each type of scaffolding. The main thing is that they are checked by competent, trained individuals and that they are safe to work on. Not all companies will use all types of scaffolding either, so it’ll be important to research the company that interests you the most to see what scaffolding systems they provide.

When is scaffolding required?

A risk assessment is usually carried out by a trained individual to conclude whether scaffolding is needed or not. These are required by law where any workers are working at height, to ensure the job is carried out safely. Some low-risk jobs may conclude that a ladder is safe to use, such as painting a house. If the individual will be working at height for a long period of time or is required to move around, then an appropriately designed scaffolding system will be used.

What does a scaffolder do?

Scaffolders are essential within the construction industry, many construction crews require access using scaffolds, rigs, guard rails and planks to do their work. The main responsibilities of a scaffolder include: unloading scaffolding equipment on-site, ensuring a stable base for scaffolding, erecting scaffolding poles, fixing scaffolding to buildings or structures, laying planks for workers to walk on, fixing guard rails and safety netting, dismantling scaffolding when a project is complete, creating different kinds of platforms from simple scaffolding through to complex structures such as suspended scaffolding, cantilever drops and temporary roofs, and working on-site in all weather.

What are desirable scaffolder skills?

  • Here are some skills that a scaffolding company will look for in an individual:
  • Ability to work confidently at heights
  • Excellent hand-eye coordination
  • Good level of physical fitness
  • Awareness of health and safety
  • Ability to understand technical drawings and plans
  • Good written and verbal communication skills

How to become a scaffolder?

Here are some things that you’ll need in order to be an effective employee. You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site. It may also be beneficial to achieve your GCSEs in English and Maths, so that you can attend an apprenticeship or college for some more advanced learning, such as Construction Skills. There is funding available for certain types of courses and programmes. You can also apply directly to employers if you have some previous experience or your CSCS card already.

Hopefully this will have shed some light on the industry, especially if you are new to it or are looking to get into it. A scaffolders job is a dynamic role and can be very rewarding for the right individual. And there are plenty of options if you have been a scaffolder for some time and are looking to progress your career. Remember, there are rules and regulations to adhere to such as the Working at Height Regulations 2005 and Health and Safety at Work 1974, so it’s important to research these too, to make sure that you are an effective and safe scaffolder.

To learn more about our services or to enquire about anything else, please contact the Retain team.


New Study: Accidents and Illness in the Construction Industry

A new study by Herts Tools has shown that injuries and ill-health in the UK construction industry are now costing over £16.2 billion

In 2018/19, £3.6 billion of this was incurred by employers and £3.5 billion by the government. The majority of these costs, £9.56 billion, were incurred by the injured and ill individuals. In 2020, the total economic cost of construction industry injuries increased by 34% compared to 2018.

The data also suggests that some people are not taking days off when they are sick or injured, which could have adverse effects on their mental and physical wellbeing. Between 2015/16 and 2019/20, the industry lost 4.5 million working days due to illness or injury. This dropped to 2.1 million between 2017/18 and 2019/20, from 2.4 million between 2015/16 and 2017/18, a 12% decrease.

These statistics were taken from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports from 2018 to 2021 and compiled by Herts Tools.

There are ways that we can prevent accidents, however. At Retain Limited, we adhere to strict rules and guidelines set out by the government and trade associations, such as the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974). Some of these basic rules are as follows:

  • Plan any work at height and provide proper training
  • Use the right equipment for the job, including PPE
  • Make sure equipment is properly fitted and checked regularly
  • Keep surfaces clean and dry
  • Clear up spillages as soon as possible
  • Clean surfaces after working hours if possible
  • Check for loose or damaged flooring
  • Provide good lighting
  • Install safety guards, guard rails etc and supply safety goggles
  • Store heavy objects close to the ground and outlaw the throwing of objects/tools

There are certainly a lot more guidelines and rules than this list, due to the industry being more complicated and in-depth than most other industries. But it’s important to make sure that these basic rules are adhered to at all times, to create a safe working environment for your workforce and anyone else involved with a site project. Check out our Changes to PPE blog and our Gold Award 2021 blog to see more of the ways that we go above and beyond in health and safety.

To learn more about our services or to enquire about anything else, please contact the Retain team.


New Management and Supervisor CISRS Courses for 2022

Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) launch a new 5-day Management & Supervisor Course and 2-Day Refresher Course for 2022

Adding to the courses already offered, such as Construction Design Management Regulations, H & S Legislation, Contract Commercial Essentials, Toolbox Talk delivery and Rams and Employment Law, Temporary Works Supervision is now included in this bespoke list. An extremely useful addition for Supervisors in the scaffolding industry.

The latest CISRS course is comparable to the CITB SMSTS and is recognised by Build UK. After successfully completing the course, individuals will get a 5-year CISRS Management & Supervisor Card. The course is aimed at people who are providing management/supervision for access/scaffolding contractors (i.e., Contract managers, Supervisors and non-working Charge-Hands.)

The 2-Day Refresher Course is currently open to CISRS Management & Supervisor cardholders looking to renew. It is also available to qualified Scaffolder/Advanced cardholders who want to move into management, provided they hold a current SMSTS certificate.

To learn more about our services or to enquire about anything else, please contact the Retain team.


Changes to UK PPE Law: How Will it Affect You?

On the 6th April 2022 there will be a new update for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) regulations that will affect the way you distribute PPE to people who work for you.

At Retain Limited, we go above and beyond to ensure the safety of all people who work for us and with us.

Previously, the PPE regulations only affected limb (a) workers. These are the people that are officially employed by you, an employee. They will have an employment contract with a specific number of hours to work, a regular salary or wage and will have holiday and sick leave allowance.

The new PPE regulations now affect limb (b) workers. These are people who aren’t directly employed by you and are not self-employed. They may be an agency worker, freelancer or casual worker. They won’t receive the same benefits as your regular employees.

The new PPE regulations will not affect self-employed workers. Self-employed workers usually run their own business and are responsible for it, work flexibly and provide their own equipment and tools.

Alongside PPE, it is paramount to conduct regular risk assessments to make sure that all safety risks are reduced to a minimum. PPE works alongside your other health and safety measures, supplementing the overall safety of the work environment. Head over to this Peninsula blog to find out ways to assess your PPE needs.

To learn more about our services or to enquire about anything else, please contact the Retain Limited team on 0800 027 2244 or fill in our online contact form to request a call back.


Retain Limited and The RMA

It’s no secret that the Retain Limited Group are extremely proud to work closely with the RMA, an association that has grown professionally over the last few years but originally established via personal connections in the early days from our very own Management Team.

The RMA are a fantastic charitable organisation who aim to provide a lifetime of support to the Royal Marines Family, by whatever means required.

With many of our own employees previously serving in the Royal Marines, including Founder and Director Jamie Gibbs, we endeavour to not only provide employment opportunities to help other Royal Marines re-adjust into the lifestyle of a UK civilian, but also educate, train and create bespoke career pathways, tailored to their individual skillsets, to enable and encourage a successful and fulfilling life post-service. 

Take a look at the video in the link below to see Retain Limited and our former Royal Marines speaking about our association with the RMA, and their current career plans. 


Retain Join Forces With the Royal Marines Charity

Retain Join Forces with the Royal Marines Charity

Retain Limited is both proud and delighted to announce that they have chosen to support The Royal Marines Charity (RMA) on an ongoing basis

Commencing immediately, the partnership will concentrate on the membership, and those members of the RMA who may not be able to attend events or trips due to financial constraints or other issues being able to integrate with the Corps Family once again. 

The donation provided by Retain will allow the RMA to do more for its members to further enjoy the camaraderie and esprit de corps that they take pride in.

The RMA celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and marks the foundation of one of its predecessor organisations, the Royal Marines Association in 1946. The RMA’s main purpose is to provide a better quality of life to serving and retired Royal Marines and their families – this converts into some 125,000 potential beneficiaries.

Richie Puttock, membership operations director (East), stated: “This wonderful donation from Retain Limited will offer the membership team a wide range of options when it comes to utilising the money from enhancing events for the benefit of those who attend to allowing those who may not be in a financial position to attend to do so. 

“We will report back regularly to Retain on how and where the money is being spent and we are extremely grateful to them for their generosity and kindness and we look forward to working with them over the coming months.

“We would like to thank Retain, and Jamie, for their support, it is wonderful to see our Corps family choosing to make donations to the RMA even after they have left service.”

Founder and director of Retain Limited, Jamie Gibbs, who served in The Royal Marines said: “This is a very proud day for myself and my company to support the Corp family and help raise the awareness of the fantastic work that the RMA do year in, year out.

“I know first-hand of the hard work and dedication that the RMA provide to the Royal Marines extended family and the work they perform really does make a difference to the lives of cadets, serving Corps, veterans and their families.

“There is a cohesive sense of heritage and esprit de corps which is underpinned throughout the Royal Marines community and I’m thrilled to offer my support to the RMA to help them achieve their objectives.”