Builders merchants organisation the Builders Merchants Federation has warned that Norfolk Trading Standards is the first authority to resume full scale checking of the weights of bulk bagged aggregates being sold by merchants.
The authority used the BMF Industry Standard of 850kg as the target, investigating both National and Independent builders merchants and found that few were displaying a weight indication.
The BMF says it has been told that the range of weights being sold was “quite extraordinary” with variations of up to 400kg from the lowest to the highest. The authority says it was disappointed that many BMF members were not complying with the Code and will be looking to see if the BMF’s recent awareness campaign will bear fruit.
Other Trading Standards authorities have been watching the Norfolk investigation and it is likely that they will follow suit with their own checks.
The BMF-brokered industry standard for selling bulk bagged aggregates says that pre-filled bulk bags will be filled to 900kg with a variance of +/- 5% to allow for vagaries of filling and will then sold at a minimum weight of 850 kg to further allow for water content evaporation.
The BMF ‘s new marketing logo is available to help members promote the message to builders and the public when they are buying bulk bagged aggregates, that the merchant complies with the Industry Standard and that the customer can have confidence in knowing how much they are getting and what they are paying for.
Norfolk also found examples of unstamped linear measures being used and measures where denominations have been worn away. They said that ‘appropriate action’ had been taken in those cases.