Monday 12 March 2007

Sign Industry’s Safety Record Under Attack

A leading figure in the UK sign industry has written a whistle-blowing book unveiling shabby practice in the UK sign industry, with detailed guidance for customers buying signs in hazchem areas (such as petrol forecourts).

In Safety, quality, tricks and lies: dirty tricks in the British sign industry, and 100 questions your sign company doesn’t want you to ask, author Steve Martin – himself the head of a sign installation and maintenance firm (Xmo Strata) – unveils a grim catalogue of seedy practices which may catch-out unwary customers. The book effectively arms customers with an “interrogation” for sign companies, which, the author says, is designed to penetrate the “veil of deceit” which some will erect in order to “grossly overstate their health and safety credentials”.

In addition to health and safety breaches, the book also exposes the frauds and scams which sign companies can perpetrate, and specialist ex-police corporate investigators who are “very familiar” with the industry share their experiences.  The book doesn’t pull any punches, and although the guilty are not named and shamed, the author and publisher have ensured that they are well protected – two legal chambers read and advised on the manuscript!

There are useful websites and checklists, and if you are having sign work done on a hazchem site it is a useful reference; much of the material would be helpful for anyone appointing any contractors or subcontractors to work in hazchem locations.  Safety, quality, tricks and lies is not a long book, and it is an easy read. It is published by Arima, and available from Amazon (and on special order from all good bookshops) at £14.95.

March 2007 © Minale Tattersfield

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