The Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS) has published a Best Practice Guide, Servicing Operable Walls, which comprises representation from key suppliers of operable walls. This Best Practice Guide is intended to help facility managers and owners of operable walls understand the importance of regular servicing to ensure the correct operation of walls and ongoing safety of everyone. It will also help by identifying the type of wall that has been installed, its performance, sound, fire and robustness, servicing required, and enable users to identify competent service engineers.
Widely used in educational and leisure facilities, offices, exhibition halls and conference centres, moveable walls are often operated by a member of staff or a maintenance crew where damage and undue ware can be caused through not fully understanding the operating procedure or even through incorrect maintenance such as applying grease to moving parts. Furthermore, acoustic integrity can also be compromised due to damaged or poorly working peripheral seals and as a result of a lack of servicing. A good service and maintenance regime, underwritten by a service agreement is key to the wall’s serviceability and the welfare of those operating them.
“The importance of this guide to ensure the ongoing performance and safety of everyone using or working around these walls is paramount. The Best Practice Guide, Servicing Operable Walls will help to identify the competence expected of the engineers and allow facility managers and owners meet their legal obligations,” commented on the launch of the guide, Julian Sargent, Chair of the FIS Operable Wall Working Group.
With some operable wall panels exceeding heights of 6M and weighing 100kgs to 500kgs, training in working at height and the competence to work with specialist equipment such as chain lifts is important to check and address any health and safety legislation, where the facility team could become liable. Building managers or owners of the business have a responsibility under current health and safety laws to ensure that these systems are properly maintained and recorded as being serviced.
“The FIS Operable Wall Working Group employers have developed a National Occupational Standard from which formal qualifications for service, maintenance and repair of operable walls will be derived. To get involved in this work, express your support or to see the details please go to: Interior systems reviews,” added George Swann, FIS Skills and Training Lead.
FIS is the representative body for the £10 billion finishes and interiors sector in the UK. The FIS has close to 500 members drawn from contractors, manufacturers and distributors of ceilings, steel framing systems, partitions, operable walls, plastering, drylining, and specialist interior fit-out and refurbishment businesses.