BPA Requirements

Discussion in 'Professional Fireworks' started by Sonic Fireworks, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. Sonic Fireworks

    Sonic Fireworks Pro Firer/Crew

    Taking on board a current thread I thought it might be interesting to break out the BPA eliment.

    In an ideal world what would Pro Companies (anyone selling display services, despite your turnover or size) want from there Trade Body.

    At this moment in time the BPA is our only option so what would people want changed.

    I will then take this to a meeting (will need to get it on the agenda ) and let’s see what’s said.

    Let’s say the turnover entry is scrapped, what should the entry requirements be.

    Let’s try to make this thread a positive approach to what we all want from a trade body.

    Deflagration, Pyro Ed and Pyro Pete like this.
  2. Chesterfield Fireworks

    Chesterfield Fireworks Pro Firer/Crew

    Personally I think the whole thing needs tightening up.

    The way that anyone with a few quid in their pocket can access 175mm shells is frankly a ridiculous situation. A proper licence and register with minimum standards and background checks etc along with set standards with regards to safety distances etc.

    Now I now that the BPA wont (or at least haven't in the past) see that route they wanted to go down.

    Other than that, year round insurance and proper licenced storage should be both the minimum for access to Cat4 and also should be the requirements for a trade body membership (BPA or otherwise).
  3. Skydazzle Pyrotechnics

    Skydazzle Pyrotechnics Pro Firer/Crew

    I agree with Stu......

    Full 365 day insurance, licensed storage in the Company or individuals name, evidence of proper method statements, risk assessments and all documentation examinined for complience. Evidence of proper training in doing RAs and H&S and either BPA or other training specific to firework displays. I think ADR should also be a requirement, as it is very unlikely that you don't carry more than 50Kg of 1.3g at least a few times a year.

    I don't think you will ever get an agreement on an ACOP from the BPA members......there is just too wide a range of opinions on what is acceptable.
    Sonic Fireworks likes this.
  4. Chesterfield Fireworks

    Chesterfield Fireworks Pro Firer/Crew

    Oh I don't think for one minute it will ever happen, it's just something I think would help the industry overall (although I'm not sure many would agree)
    Firework Crazy likes this.
  5. Jon

    Jon Pro Firer/Crew

    Them not to plug software you have to buy in order to benefit/use from their training (cough shellcalc cough), feels a little like a sales pitch..
    Sonic Fireworks likes this.
  6. Pyro Productions

    Pyro Productions Pro Firer/Crew

    I think we can all agree safety comes first. So I'd like a trade body that reflects that and puts safety first themselves. Entry should be judged on safe working practices, training and documentation rather than a turn over figure.

    Over the past few years I have had a rare privilege in our industry of working for all sorts of companies big and small while filming/photographing for them. I've had access to all sorts of sites and I can 100% say that safety has nothing to do at all with the size of the operation. I'd like a trade body that recognises that fact and welcomes all that want to strive to improve safety standards and procedures across the industry.

    I think a tiered membership might be a good idea.


  7. Jon

    Jon Pro Firer/Crew

    The standard version is, but the far more useful plotting tool version is premium.
    Sonic Fireworks likes this.
  8. Dodgey

    Dodgey Pro Firer/Crew

    365 day Insurance, licensed storage, risk assesment examples and method statements for distances etc. Examples of previous display site layouts - we all have copies (or should have!). Perhaps key staff have PSK - it's cheap and shows willingness to train staff.
    Sonic Fireworks likes this.
  9. I'm with you there Chris. I'm sure as many are aware there are plenty of big, old school companies out there that will quite happily fire a 6" or bigger at 50 - 75m, some of which I am sure are BPA members. Now if something was to happen, would the BPA stand behind them?
    Sonic Fireworks, argentc and Jon like this.
  10. Dodgey

    Dodgey Pro Firer/Crew

    Yeah - I've heard this from many, many people in the trade. Old school companies firing huge shells at rediculous distances from the audience. I know for a fact I've lost jobs when I've explained they can't have shells and then find that someone else did a shell display for them - Youtube kind of gives it away :)
  11. starseeker

    starseeker Pro Firer/Crew

    I would quite agree as above ,but i suppose it depends who you are insured with, about 18 months ago we were assessed by industry expert on all of the above and more by our insurance company to insure we were a suitable risk ,pleased to say we passed with flying colours.
    Slim and Sonic Fireworks like this.
  12. Dodgey

    Dodgey Pro Firer/Crew

    Yeah - we had a similar assesment - guess the underwriters do it after a while to everyone?. (We use Precision)
    Sonic Fireworks likes this.
  13. gareth71

    gareth71 Pro Firer/Crew

    That's one example. Another one would be an insistence that BPA-qualified firers have to keep an ongoing record of their work on displays to prove that they're maintaining sufficient experience (extremely reasonable), insisting that said records are kept on paper in the 'official' BPA log book (not really reasonable - I'd much rather do it electronically), and then charging people a tenner to get a new log book when they fill their existing one (most unreasonable!).
    Sonic Fireworks, Georgeh and Jon like this.
  14. One of our firers designed an online log book which was amazing, however the BPA were not interested in it, possibly due to the European passport system that may be introduced.

    And if your company is charging you £10 for a log book I suggest you find someone else to fire for as your being mugged off my friend. Log books are free!
    toxic_pyro and Sonic Fireworks like this.
  15. alasdar

    alasdar Pro Firer/Crew

    Sonic Fireworks likes this.
  16. gareth71

    gareth71 Pro Firer/Crew

    I don't fire for one particular company, I supply my services to several on a freelance basis. Log books definitely aren't free if you request one directly from the BPA - Avril was quite clear that if I wanted a new one I'd have to pay. (I was very kindly sent a free one by someone on this forum in the end, so that was a few quid saved!)
    Sonic Fireworks likes this.
  17. luke

    luke Pro Firer/Crew

    My BPA has lapsed I suspect I will renew it at some point or do level 2 but more for ease of getting work than anything.
    Like gareth71 I work for several companies some are BPA registered, some are not.
    A company I’ve crewed for that In my view were not just unsafe but dangerous, and then accused me of being inexperienced are a BPA registered company.
    It took me three attempts to get the details right on my BPA card with incorrect name then a different date of birth, twice! To then be told I’d have to pay for replacement cards was a joke as my details were provided correctly more than once, so I left it as being incorrect nobody has checked it so it’s not been an issue.

    I can see the point of the BPA but in my view it does need to evolve, tired membership would help, as the BPA could be more benefit to the smaller operators.
    I think letting suppliers in would also be a good move.
    At the moment I see it as a bit of an old boys club.
  18. Skydazzle Pyrotechnics

    Skydazzle Pyrotechnics Pro Firer/Crew

    This is another area that needs clearing up and the BPA is not interested in doing it...........so called freelance firers. No such thing. You are all casual employees when you work for a Company. Unless you carry your own insurance there is no way you can be working as a sub contractor for a Display company. You may work for several Companies but you are an employee when doing so with that Company. Being trained as a firer does not give you Carte Blanche to go off doing mate's wedding displays and local village and other types of displays and get paid for it, even if it is just to cover the Pyro.

    There are some really dodgy practices going on in this industry and not just by small Companies. We are all on borrowed time, because eventually something is going to happen and the fallout will be severe. The BPA is not interested in cleaning up our industry and becoming an all inclusive trade body.........so where do we go from here I am not sure. We live in a very different world from 20 years ago.........!!
  19. Sonic Fireworks

    Sonic Fireworks Pro Firer/Crew

    we do have a A
    Well said, that was what I was trying to say.

    Should get you to write my posts from now on ;)

    Charlie likes this.