Scaffmag Issue 17

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As SG4 gets an update for 2022, find out what you can expect to see in NASC’s flagship guidance note

ISSUE 17, SCAFFOLDERS’SCAFFMAG.COM2022QUARTERLY PLUS No problems, just solutions –Layher UK on transferable skills Materials – the wonderful world of bamboo scaffolding PHD celebrates 30 years of incredible heritage stories scaffmag THE SCAFFOLDING MAGAZINE



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Safety advice for van drivers, and is The BOA the answer to an ongoing constricting transporting problem? PROJECTS


A rundown of company news from within the industry, including system news, plus training and recruitment updates. & AWARDS




Blue Moon recruitment and GKR Scaffolding Ltd share their insights on reaching potential new recruits. INDUSTRY OPINION

Contents SCAFFMAG.COM | 3


Layher Ltd UK’s new Operations Director, Katherine Fox, on transferable skills and tenacity. PICK

Millcroft continue to create opportunities for young people, plus the effects of 3D software in the industry.








Phil Royle, of PR and marketing firm Royle Media, offers up some top tips to win more work. & RECRUITMENT

SG4:22 preventing falls in scaffolding operations update, bamboo scaffolding, plus a Great British Success story.


Exciting wins for GKR Scaffolding, plus National Scaffolding Week 2022 is approaching. ON THE MOVE

Introducing FlexBeam, the world’s first underdeck scaffolding, plus how to attract quality clients with Gary Griffiths.


The industry pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, Centre Square helps businesses scale new heights, CITB funds mental health first aiders for construction apprentices, plus much more.

This issue we focus on projects at The Printworks in central Manchester, Hinkley Point C near Bridgwater and the rather unusual location of the Boomtown Festival, Winchester.

The recycling advantages of Welsh wonder Supadek, plus Skill Scaffolding joins with KEWAZO.






As I write this, the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s death is only just sinking in. At the grand old age of 96, as a nation we all knew the time for the Queen to pass would come, but for many it was still a terrible shock. For more than seven decades she dedicated her life to public service with dignity and devotion and inspired so many around the world. Tributes to the Queen have poured in following her death with many in our industry turning to social media to express their sorrow and offer condolences to the royal family.

Happy reading and stay safe!

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Now, to ensure this important guidance remains current and reflects the needs of the wider scaffolding industry, SG4:15 has been updated to SG4:22. On page 47 we speak to Alan Harris, chair of NASC’s Health and Safety Committee and head of the working party tasked with the revision. He gives us an insight into the changes and what we can expect to see in the new guidance before it’s launched in November.

Alan Harris Billy Jones Gary Griffiths Summer Rowswell Simon Boyes

As Britain’s longest-serving monarch, reigning for more than 70 years, the Queen visited hundreds of construction projects in her time as head of state. On many of those site visits she would have indirectly seen the positive impact and development of safety within construction and the scaffolding industry. Working at height still remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries, but the inception of SG4 by the NASC over 20 years ago really changed things for scaffolders. Over the years this flagship guidance note has progressively been adopted by scaffolding contractors across the board and possibly saved many lives.

Daniel Norton – Editor

Welcome SCAFFMAG.COM | 5


Prince Albert Gardens Grimsby DN31

Daniel Norton

Also, in this issue we have looked to focus not only on scaffolding guidance but also on scaffolding materials. Brent Scaffold Boards are celebrating 30 years in business this year and despite setbacks such as recession, a pandemic, and the rapidly rising cost of materials, the business continues to go from strength to strength. We find out more on page 54. Meanwhile, on page 50 we discover the wonderful world of bamboo scaffolding and its years-old traditions that are still used in Hong Kong today.

Elsewhere in this issue, the shortage of labour and attracting new workers continues to be a key problem for many scaffolding contractors. On page 34, Summer Rowswell at GKR Scaffolding Ltd explains how their company reached 70,000 young people with one post on social media and filled its apprenticeship programme quickly.


Also, the UK’s largest scaffolding trade body posted on social media: “The Scaffolding Association and its members are deeply saddened by the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was a constant in our lives who

Scaffolding and access contractors, trade bodies, suppliers and manufacturers from within the UK scaffolding industry have paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96

❖ As Britain’s longest-serving monarch, reigning for more than 70 years, the Queen visited hundreds of construction projects in her time as head of state.

The QueenpaysindustrytributetoElizabeth II

The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has written and sent a heartfelt letter of condolence to King Charles III on behalf of its members and the wider scaffolding industry.

Coventry Scaffolding, which has held a royal warrant since 2005, said: “The team at Coventry Scaffolding are deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II yesterday.

GKR Scaffolding Ltd posted their respects on LinkedIn. They said: “Wife, mother,

“As Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Her Majesty was a symbol of stability through times of great change, and leaves a lasting legacy as an extraordinary leader, who dedicated her life to duty and the service of her country.


“It’s not something I had considered


before but an apprenticeship in scaffolding, did appeal,” she said.


She said: “It is quite physical work, but it’s also quite a matey environment, so it doesn’t always feel like you’re at work. I did realise I would probably be working with all lads, but despite not knowing any women scaffolders or women in trades, I didn’t realise the numbers were quite so low.”

With only around a dozen female scaffolders qualified, Dave Mosely, Director of CISRS, said: “Hannah is joining a pretty exclusive club.”

❖ After a two-year Covid enforced break, SCP and ForgeCo has held its second Scaffolders Golf Championship at the prestigious Belfry Golf and Resort raising £600 for charity.

“Our condolences to His Majesty The King and the royal family at this difficult time.”

The popular golf event took place on the 12th September it was well attended by many from the scaffolding community. Scaffolders from all over the country had travelled miles to attend and play the testing PGA course.

While she is unintentionally breaking the mould when it comes to an industry traditionally perceived to be maledominated, she is loving every minute and says she would certainly encourage more women to do the same.

After a tremendous game, Andrew Hetherington of Abbey Scaffolding was crowned 2022 Champion, closely followed by Calum Baker of SWA Scaff in second place, Robbie Millar of Summit

But he added: “The numbers of new entrants, labourers and trainees are increasing, with approximately 50 at this current time. We very much look forward to welcoming more women into the sector.”

Marine took third place.

The golf day supported a local boy, 11-year-old Lee, who has a life limiting illness, by raising money to help have a motor fitted to Lee’s wheelchair and with any remaining funds buy a footmuff and rain cover so he can get about no matter the weather.

Scaffolders charity golf day success

Explaining her own career change, she explained: “Following the increasing demands of working in care through the covid pandemic, and at the point where I was working six or seven night shifts a week, I was ready for something different.”

Six months later she is working and building the skills of her trade with MJM Scaffolding Services Ltd and travelling to Stockton’s NETA Training to pick up her qualifications.

showed unwavering dedication during her 70-year reign. Our thoughts are with the royal family during this difficultLayhertime.”UK Ltd whose system scaffold was used by PHD Access on the recent renovation of Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) said: “Our thoughts are firstly with the members of the royal family, the peoples of the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and beyond. Thank you for your 70 years of devoted service to us all.”

SCP and ForgeCo were delighted to announce a total of £600 was raised for him and wished Lee all the very best. They said: “We would like to thank every player who made effort to travel distances to join this year’s event, we are very proud to be the sponsors of the UK Scaffolders Golf Championship!”

❖ A change in direction could soon see Hannah Watt hitting the dizzy heights. The 21-year-old has swapped work in complex care nursing for a career in scaffolding.


Work on the new multi-million-

CITB is investing £90,000 to fund a pilot scheme which will provide mental health support for apprentices from the start of their construction industry careers.

In the space of a year, they will have trained 464 tutors and 464 apprentices, as well as offered one-to-one support to around 100 apprentices.

CITB CEO Tim Balcon, said: “We need to make sure everyone is at ease talking about their mental health and this comes down to a culture of making it OK to speak up… giving apprentices the confidence to do that from day one, will hopefully make them feel supported in the industry. When staff are supported and happy in their work, and in my view, they will stay in the industry longer.”

JMAC Construction Director Aaron Kitson said securing the Centre Square contract represented a major breakthrough for his company: “We’d wanted to work with Bowmer+Kirkland for a long time and we were also determined to be involved in one of the biggest projects in

at the start of, and throughout, their career in construction. There will also be one-to-one support.

The team at Optima UK are all set to go and will begin training both instructors and apprentices in September. The courses will be run by trainers accredited by Mental Health First Aid England and deliver 29 courses, all with 16 delegates, to hubs of colleges across the UK.

The main contractor is Bowmer+Kirkland and the combined value of contracts awarded to sub-contractors, such as JMAC, is nearly £5m.


❖ The Stockton-based firm is one of a dozen north-east businesses involved in the construction of the four-storey 6 Centre Square in the heart of WhenMiddlesbrough.itisfinishedearly next year it will become the regional HQ of insurance giant AXA UK and 450 of its staff will move there.

pound building began in January.

JMAC Scaffolding says working on a new landmark development will both build its reputation and provide a foundation for its apprentices’ careers

The CITB investment comes after a study compiled by the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and CITB,

highlighted the toll poor mental health is taking.Research showed 26% of construction workers had experienced suicidal thoughts and 91% felt overwhelmed. Tragically, two construction workers take their own lives each day.


Optima UK Ltd will train further education construction tutors to be Mental Health First Aiders so they can support construction apprentices during their learning. Apprentices will also be given mental health awareness training in bite-size four-hour sessions. This will mean the apprentices have the knowledge and education during learning,


Middlesbrough, which is right on ourJMACdoorstep.”was founded by James McCarthy Senior in 1981. His grandson, Luis, is the current managing director for JMAC Group, which includes JMAC Scaffolding and JMAC Safety Systems. The group employs 170 people from the Teesside area, including five apprentices, and plans to recruit a further five apprentices later this year. JMAC are looking to increase the apprentice intake to 15 per year.

They will join around 1,000 office workers who are already based in Centre Square’s two completed buildings.

// News

“We’re proud of the ways in which the NASC and CISRS contribute to a safe and compliant scaffolding industry in the UK, and jointly with UEG in Europe, and were delighted to share this with other convention attendees whilst also remaining open to learning from them how we might further improve our outputs and activities in the future.”

Overadditive.aperiod of up to three months, Allsafe will use SulNOxEco Fuel Conditioner in three of its vehicles to see if they get more miles out of a full tank of fuel.

In the spirit of cooperation, copies of NASC guidance and CISRS scheme literature have been sent to the SAIA offices in USA.


❖ An Oxfordshire scaffolding business has begun trials using a groundbreaking fuel conditioner in a bid to reduce its fuel consumption.

During his time at the convention, David met with incoming SAIA President Tracy Dutting-Kane and Immediate Past President Mike Paladino and hopes to keep these new lines of communication between the NASC and SAIA open.

As part of a five-year ‘green mission’, Allsafe is taking steps to imbed sustainability in its business to decrease its social and environmental impact. The company believes working with SulNOx Group will have an immediate impact.

Allsafe trials moneysaving fuel additive

Ben Richardson, Chief Executive of SulNOx Group, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Allsafe as they look to reduce their environmental impact and improve the efficiency of their vehicles.”

DuringHotel.the four-day event, Gier Ghule, President of the European Scaffolding Confederation (UEG) on which the NASC sits, delivered a presentation on safety and training standards in Europe and the work the Confederation is doing to promote standardisation across member countries.


David Mosley, NASC Director of Training and CISRS Managing Director, attended the convention, one of the largest gatherings of scaffold and access industry professionals in the world.

On top of that, with fuel prices remaining high, we are actively looking at improving the efficiency of our ever-growing fleet. The SulNOxEco Fuel Conditioner ticks both boxes for us and we are excited to see the results of the evaluation and explore how it could benefit us in the long-term.”

He said: “It was a great event and an excellent opportunity to meet with members of the SAIA and other organisations, make new

Forward-thinking scaffolding and access firm Allsafe Scaffolding, which runs a fleet of 44 vans and HGVs, has partnered with fuel technology expert SulNOx to run and evaluate an innovative fuel

The NASC’s involvement in the development of a European minimum standard for scaffold inspection was lauded at the global scaffolding event that was held from August 21–25 at the Omni Boston

❖ UK scaffolding and access trade body the NASC and CISRS have recently attended the Scaffolding Access Industry Association (SAIA) Convention & Exposition in Boston, USA.

acquaintances, look for common ground, share ideas and hopefully work more closely in the future.

Andrew Simmonds, Managing Director at Allsafe, said: “As a large scaffold contractor we run a sizeable fleet comprising 44 vans and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), so we are always looking for new ways to minimise our environmental impact. Reducing carbon emissions is one of the ways we can achieve this. With so much scrutiny on the construction industry and so many of our esteemed customers working towards a greener way to build, we are trying to play our part and ultimately have a positive impact locally.

“Conferences like this enable delegates to advance skills, gain new knowledge, discuss issues specific to scaffold and access, learn about the latest industry innovations, and collaborate with peers.

SulNOxEco is a unique, advanced fuel additive made from natural, biodegradable ingredients that have been shown to improve fuel efficiency and reduce the production of harmful emissions including CO2 and fine particulate matter.

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“The evidence we have found of unsafe ladders being retailed in the UK is astounding. The majority of telescopic ladders we tested did not meet the minimum safety requirements designed to keep users safe. These ladders are dangerous and have the potential to cause serious injury.”

The aim of the report is to shine a light on the very real dangers of poor-quality ladders on the market, while calling for retailers, large and small, to take the responsibility to be more diligent when sourcing ladders to sell to Whilecustomers.thereare manufacturers producing ladders that meet the safety standards, the study

A report has found that the majority of telescopic ladders sold online fail safety regulations

❖ The new research, commissioned by the Ladder Association, has raised serious concerns that unsafe and potentially dangerous ladders are being sold to unsuspecting consumers in the, produced in partnership with the East of England Trading Standards Association (EETSA) and Suffolk Trading Standards Imports Team, found that over 80% of commercially available telescopic ladders tested in the study failed to meet the minimum safety requirements designed to keep users safe. Worse still, the research found that over half of the failed ladders were certified and sold as ‘compliant’ to standards such as CE marking, in a deliberate attempt to mislead consumers.

❖ One hundred and twenty-three workers were killed in workrelated accidents in Great Britain in the last year, according to figures published by the HSE.

The industries with the highest deaths were construction (30), agriculture, forestry and fishing (22), and manufacturing (22); though agriculture, forestry and fishing has the highest rate of fatal injury per 100,000 workers.

The three most common causes of fatal injuries continue to be falling from height (29), being struck by a moving vehicle (23), and being struck by a moving object (18).

// Health & Safety News 12 | SCAFFMAG.COM

The 123 worker deaths in 2021/22 is lower than the previous year, though it is in line with pre-pandemic figures.

showed that a significant number of ladders available on the market – and sold by some of the country’s biggest online and trade retailers – fall well below basic safety requirements. Many of these ladders appear fit for purpose and some even display fake labelling, giving customers false assurance.

123 yearkilledWorkerslast


Peter Bennett OBE, Executive Director of the Ladder Association, said: “Making sure consumers are safe is our number one priority, and we are committed to raising awareness of potentially harmful ladders. We are aware of below-standard ladders being sold across the UK to unsuspecting customers, and we are particularly surprised and unsettled to hear that some of our best-loved retailers are stocking potentially hazardous products.

The annual data release covers the period from April 2021 to March 2022, during which time most pandemic restrictions were lifted and the economy began returning to normal.

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Pre-qualification costs the construction industry up to £1 billion each year. Build UK is rolling out the Common Assessment Standard to improve efficiency and reduce duplication in the pre-qualification process.

Accepted by a growing list of contractors and clients across the industry

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Option to share your key pre-qualification data with other Recognised Assessment Bodies so it is visible to more contractors and clients

In preparation for deployment, personnel at Millcroft completed a Safe Working in Water (SWIW) two-day course, delivered by Rescue 3 Europe, which provided classroom and swimming pool-based safety training, offering self and co-worker rescue capability techniques for working in water.

Deploying its specialist HS2 team for the project, Millcroft has already successfully handed-over the scaffolding on the first of 10 piers of the viaduct; a project which is expected to finish in 2023.

Darren continued: “This is a challenging project as we are working in different shifts on various dates to complete the piers on programme. Our in-house design team has been heavily involved to provide tailored solutions that meet exacting safety

Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine and Volker Fitzpatrick.

supported by 56 piers resting on concrete piles, inserted up to 180ft (55m) into the ground.

The Millcroft team will be working on erecting 6ft-high scaffolds around 11 of these piers for the viaduct. These particular piers house tower cranes and required additional construction to extend the jetties allowing for construction of walkway access to the cranes.

Specialist partAlignbeingValleyoftobeguncontractorscaffoldingMillcrofthasscaffoldingworkssupporttheconstructionthepiersfortheColneViaduct–aprojectdeliveredbythejointventure(JV)asofHS2PhaseOne

// Company News 14 | SCAFFMAG.COM

The water-training course included modules in identifying hazards, rescue tools, cold water considerations, life jacket and buoyance aid safety.

The Colne Valley Viaduct will stretch for more than two miles, carrying highspeed trains 10 metres above water. In this section of work within the Colne Valley, the Millcroft team had to work in boats to erect scaffolding. The viaduct itself is being constructed by the Align joint venture, comprised of Bouygues Travaux

As part of the project, a total of 1,000 concrete segments will form the deck of the 3.4km viaduct, each one weighing up to 140 tonnes. The deck segments are

❖ Once complete, the viaduct will be the longest railway bridge in the UK at 3.4 kilometres, passing over a series of lakes and waterways across the Colne Valley.

“Ourstandards.commitment to HS2 is growing and this unique project builds on our proud track record in working with the HS2 delivery partners, in this case the Align JV. We continue to deliver a flexible and responsive service to the client while keeping our people safe.”

“Wearing a harness would, in fact, put their lives in danger if they were to fall into the water and become entangled within the straps, as it poses a drowning risk. We recognised the need for water training for this project as it was such a unique deployment for our team.”


The Senior Contracts Manager at Millcroft, Darren Hayward, explains: “This is definitely a unique project –it’s not every day you see scaffolders working out of a boat! And on this particular job, the health and safety risks we are normally presented with were unusual – as operatives worked with life jackets on instead of harnesses.

❖ Global scaffolding supplier George Roberts (NW) has launched a new e-commerce site, GR Plus.

❖ The business is the latest in a series of acquisitions made by RSK as they continue to expand their service offering in line with growing market demands.

The brand-new, easy-to-navigate online shop features George Roberts’ full product range that consists of over 2,000 scaffolding and construction products. GR+ Webstore replaces the firm’s original scaffolding sales online shop and it aims to ensure its customers have a seamless purchasing experience from online order to delivery or collection.

The scaffolding business, which employs 125 people, has branches in Gloucester, Oxford and Birmingham and services primarily construction, housing and civil engineering clients.

A George Roberts spokesperson said: “Our recent rebrand and the launch of GR+ is an integral part of George Roberts’ vision of providing exceptional service to all of our customers.”

The RSK Group has announced the acquisition of MG Scaffolding, a large contract scaffolding company servicing the Midlands and South East England.

MG Scaffolding was established in 2002 by Carl Fallon and has grown into one of the largest independent suppliers of scaffolding services in the region.


RSK Group owns over 150 companies, including fellow scaffolding business TBF Scaffolding, as well as several businesses

The webstore also offers a handy kit-builder tool that helps its customers plan and cost up various requirements across multiple projects, as well as ordering for an entire project in one easy step.

A new ‘Plus’ for George Roberts

Managing Director Martin Pritchard said: “We are delighted to be joining the RSK group. We see this as a fantastic opportunity to partner with a recognised leader in the construction industry who are well equipped to provide both consultancy and contracting solutions. This acquisition will help MG Scaffolding accelerate its growth and will enable us to offer a wider range of services to our existing, and new, clients.

working with housebuilders and the wider construction industry.

“We have a combined desire to grow the business further, and the commitment to MG Scaffolding’s

leadership and work together as part of the wider RSK business is a combination that provides a future that we very much look forward to.”


Alan Ryder, CEO of RSK Group, said: “MG Scaffolding have an experienced leadership team who have developed great relationships with large housebuilders and construction companies. Residential housing, by way of an example, is a sector that we expect to remain buoyant for many years as we continue to build homes for our growing population. I’m pleased to have the team on board and looking forward to helping the business move from strength to strength.”

it was for many years the tallest and largest stone square tower in the world, with a height of 98.5 metres (325 feet).


// Company News 16 | SCAFFMAG.COM

As an Irish, family-owned company, PHD Access regularly work in Ireland. We were

In 1992, Bernard Dwyer founded a scaffolding and temporary access company in London then called PHD Scaffolding Ltd. Thirty years later, we continue to work hard in delivering exceptional solutions and services to a growing list of clients

PHD: Celebrating 30 Years of Heritage Stories

Restoration of the tower was a fouryear process and required over 68 miles of scaffolding tube to provide access to replace 1,000 cubic feet of decayed stonework. The strict project criteria demanded no ties were to be used and the fabric of the building could not be touched. An innovative system of piles was therefore designed and strategically placed. The freestanding scaffold height was 126m high. At the time, PHD’s scaffold solution was the largest independent scaffold in Europe, and the highest temporary roof in the UK.

Although all our heritage projects are prestigious, our very first was the Victoria Tower and we’re incredibly proud of it. Named after Queen Victoria,

❖ Our journey has been one of continuous growth, innovation and change – all of which can be attributed to our ability to adapt and overcome new challenges through technological innovation and world-class processes.


As we celebrate this milestone anniversary, we hope to focus future efforts within the heritage sector. Our history is rooted in providing scaffolding solutions to some of the UK’s most iconic structures, including Victoria Tower, Cutty Sark, Chancery Court Hotel, Elizabeth Tower and, most recently, HMS Victory.

Platforms were built surrounding the ship, allowing visitors to see specialist shipwrights at work and view Victory from a brand-new perspective. This scaffolding installation phase took nine weeks to install a free-standing 33m x 33m temporary roof and visitor experience.

We provided full external access for the masonry work, which included stone cleaning and stone repair, decorating, and replacing leadwork. The entire building

Our latest heritage project is definitely an exciting one! After a very rigorous tendering process, PHD Access were chosen to work with the National Museum of the Royal Navy for the conservation of HMS Victory.


invited to design and install scaffolding for the restoration of the Palm House in Dublin’s Botanic Gardens. The project was of heroic proportions as the building was taken down piece by piece, then, after usable elements had been repaired, put up again. PHD’s scaffolding framework was used as a reference grid, ensuring the refurbished glasshouse was re-erected exactly as before.

The scaffold erection was completed in May 2018 and started being removed after the completed restoration in 2020.


Over the last 30 years the scaffolding industry has gone through a fundamental shift, with new, innovative technologies at the forefront, and ever higher expectations for exceptional standards and solutions. We have been privileged to work on some incredible projects alongside a diverse range of clients, and we believe that it is our ability to build strong, lasting relationships and offer award-winning services that attracts new business. Moving forward, our focus continues to be on technological investment, and the development of our award-winning safety standards to remain an industry leader.

Overall, 9.5 miles of Layher scaffold was used, plus a temporary roof, which was installed at 98 metres high. The heritage nature of the building meant that no invasive ties were permitted, and no permanent loadbearing of the scaffold was allowed onto the structure.

While the full project is likely to take

We pride ourselves on offering solutions to any access challenge, while ensuring that safety is top priority. At PHD, we are not only a team, but fundamentally a family, so we would like to thank our clients, our supplies, and our employees – who are the best in the business! Without them all, we would not be where we are today.

PHD were chosen as the specialist scaffolding and access provider for the St Marylebone Parish Church. This project saw the 1817 church, which gave the surrounding Marylebone district its name, taken off Historic England’s ‘Buildings at Risk’ register.

In 2010, PHD were asked to provide access to for the Grade-II listed Marylebone Station. The works included replacement and strengthening of the steel roof, removal of asbestos and installing three times more glass to improve the light and aesthetics of the building – all while the station remained open and fully functional with commuters.

Our most famous works has been the temporary access scaffolding on the Grade-I listed Elizabeth Tower. In 2017, a four-year schedule of restoration works began to repair and conserve the tower, upgrade facilities as necessary and ensure its integrity for future generations.

10 years, the current phase has put HMS Victory under wraps and fully enclosed the ship. This made the ship weathertight so the conservation work could begin.



was covered by a temporary roof system so the whole roof could be replaced with Welsh slate. We also designed and erected a birdcage scaffold, which was bolted to the internal walls of the church to offer access to the plastered ceiling. The scaffold birdcage spanned 18m with no support from the ground at all.

The church remained open to the parish throughout the project, not only for church services but also as an NHS walk-in centre. This was all considered throughout the design process and the construction phase.



❖ Composite scaffolding solutions have gradually emerged on the European market over the past eight years and are progressively entering mainstream use and application as ESG considerations increasingly influence corporate procurement strategies and decision-making.Glasgow-based StepUp Scaffold UK, a subsidiary of the StepUp Scaffold Group in Memphis (US), has successfully been testing and participating in the development of an emerging market for composite equipment in Europe for severalTheyyears.have now entered a strategic partnership with Danish composite pioneer Nordic Platform in order to bring innovative and sustainable solutions into StepUp’s home market in the US as well.

System scaffolding supplier StepUp Scaffold has revealed that it’s entered a strategic partnership with Danish pioneers Nordic Platform to launch composite scaffolding solutions to the US scaffolding market

The majority stake opens a new, worldwide ‘industrial scaffolding’ business segment, and positions Doka as a single source for formwork and scaffolding for the global construction community.“AT-PAChas 25 years of experience in manufacturing high-quality scaffolding and is a major player in various sectors. With AT-PAC, Doka will be able to focus on the industrial sector worldwide, besides supporting

“With a single request, clients now have access to a comprehensive formwork and scaffolding portfolio, consistent customer support, and expanded access to Doka services across the globe. The ability to source comprehensive construction solutions from a single supplier serves to increase operational efficiencies and reduce project material lead times. The customised solutions support streamlined operations and simplify administrative processes.

Doka acquires majority stake in AT-PAC scaffolding business


our current customers according to the one-stop-shop principle,” says Robert Hauser, CEO of Doka.

❖ AT-PAC has galvanised its partnership with Doka, a worldleading formwork, solutions and services provider headquartered in Amstetten, Austria.Doka has acquired a major stake in AT-PAC. AT-PAC and Doka formed an initial partnership in 2020 to deliver comprehensive global constructionsite solutions and have been expanding their footprint ever since.

// System News

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how best to find and fund the training most appropriate to them.

business work better, whether that’s a construction skill; a health and safety course; a business skill; or a future skill need, such as net zero.

Through the support of established and experienced delivery partners, the pilot enables employers to recognise their training priorities and receive guidance on

As part of this new model, construction businesses will not need to access the grant scheme, as CITB is supporting the employer network to help organise and fund training directly.

This transformative way of working provides a huge opportunity for employers to not only voice their training requirements, but also play a fundamental role in deciding how funds are used in their local area.

Tim Balcon, CITB Chief Executive, said: “I’m really excited about this pilot – this is about putting employers in the driving seat to identify and address their local skills challenges and how best CITB can align our funding and resources to support their skills needs. I would encourage employers in the pilot areas to get involved and use their voice to shape and engage with the local training provision.“Thepilots are being funded by CITB and delivered by local organisations with a pedigree in finding and delivering training in their area.”

Over 3,800 levy-registered construction businesses will be eligible to benefit from the pilot, offered across five locations in England, Scotland and Wales.

❖ CITB has announced an investment of more than £800,000 for the launch of a new employer network pilot project, which could revolutionise the way the construction sector accesses and receives funding for training in the future.

While the pilot is open to businesses of all sizes, there is a primary aim to simplify the process for small and micro businesses, helping to place them at the heart of local training provision.

Many of the current requirements around training being ‘in scope’ will also be relaxed to ensure the pilots can be as reflective of the employer’s needs as possible. Therefore, training can predominantly be in anything that helps a


// Training & Recruitment News 20 | SCAFFMAG.COM

❖ On 22 September 2022 event organisers at SIMIAN are aiming to host a day that provides an excellent networking opportunity for attendees and share the ‘inside word’ on all that’s currently hot in the industry.

The event is also set to feature a Grants in Construction update by the CITB and a digital pull testing demo highlighting the highly innovative means for testing scaffolding anchors.

said: “The official opening of our centre in Coventry has been a long time coming, and we have coronavirus to thank for that.

CISRS offers another series of £50 CPD courses

SIMIAN, the UK’s largest privately owned scaffolding training provider, is marking the formal opening of its newest training centre in Coventry with an educational open day

❖ CISRS has announced it will once again, with the support of a group of their approved training centres, be offering a number of subsidised CPD courses across the UK costing just £50.

The funded courses are set to coincide with the launch of CISRS CPD Phase 2 which went live on Monday 1st August 2022.


People attending the event will hear an update on the forthcoming NASC guidance SG4:22 by SIMIAN’s Simon Hughes, who is the Technical Author of the flagship industry guidance.

Sarah Cockell, SIMIAN’s Midlands area Business Development Manager,

The centre is now very well established, and we look forward to showcasing what we can offer to both old and new customers, in terms of scaffolding and construction training, and our ever-expanding portfolio of consultancy services.”


For more information on subsidised CPD courses visit:

In the five years since its launch, CISRS, and its participating training centres, have offered a series of subsidised courses which allow the delegates to attend for only £50, a saving of around £300 per course.

The requirement to successfully complete the CPD refresher course started in July 2017, when it became mandatory for all scaffolders and advanced scaffolders wishing to renew their cards. Since its inception, over 20,000 operatives have now renewed their CISRS status after successfully completing the two-day programme.

Spanset will also be attending, highlighting its work-at-height rescue, and a flurry of industry supplier stands will be on display at the event.

OPEN LIVE MODEL BUILT BY INDUSTRY LEADING SCAFFOLDERS & TEMPORARY WORKS ENGINEERS Word class 3D designs Inbuilt engineering calculations Live sharing & mark ups 100% accurate gear lists Handover certificates 3D fly throughs & more Elevate your business with never-before seen levels of professionalism & efficiencies. Taking the old out of scaffold l INTELLIGENT SCAFFOLD SOFTWARE

Luis McCarthy, managing director of Middlesbrough-based JMAC Group, took part in The Big Mountain Challenge, reaching the summits of Mera Peak (21,247ft) and Island Peak (20,210ft), both of which stand opposite the majestic Mount Everest.

With temperatures plunging to minus 40 degrees, and suffering from acute altitude sickness and blinding headaches, the JMAC boss had to push himself out of his comfort zone to complete his mammoth challenge.

“I’ve always believed in pushing the limits of my own abilities,” he said. “As a person who is blessed with good health and a supportive family, two weeks of discomfort was more than worth it to raise money to help those in need.”Luis, who enjoys keeping fit but had no prior experience of mountainclimbing, chose the Teesside Family Foundation charity as beneficiary of his JustGiving page, setting £15,000 as his fundraising goal.



Judges also noted some of GKR’s challenging and high-risk mega projects on iconic buildings like its Battersea Power Station project. It was, at the time, theconstructionlargest project of its kind in Europe, and GKR Scaffolding was contracted by Mace to provide specialist scaffolding and access, to restore the main power station and renovate the iconic building into commercial, retail and high-end residential space.

Scaffolding and access specialists GKR Scaffolding Ltd has scooped the award for Specialist Contractor of the Year at this year’s CN Awards

JMAC fundraisingheightsscalesbosstheof


// Events & Awards

he multi-award-winning business based in London picked up the highly desired accolade at a glitzy event at the Grosvenor House Hotel in central London. A huge panel of esteemed judges from across the constructionUKindustry picked scaffoldingbecomingScaffoldingGKRforthefirstfirmto be certified as carbon-neutral (set to achieve net zero by 2023) and for relaunching its training academy in a bid to be neuro-inclusive, to reflect different

learning styles.

JMAC Group’s managing director has successfully completed a self-funded gruelling mountain odyssey, raising £15,000 for a local charity, the Teesside Family Foundation.

help make the best of your social mediaRobertposts.Candy, Chief Executive of the Scaffolding Association, said; “It’s no secret that the scaffolding and access sector is struggling to garner the interest of young people as a potential career choice, or for those looking to change careers in later life. NSW aims to firmly establish scaffolding, and the diverse range of roles available, as a rewarding and viable career.”

he campaign, being run from 26th–30th September 2022, will provide a much-needed platform on which to showcase the diverse range of career options within the scaffolding and access industry to inspire a new generation or those looking for a new challenge to take up a role in the Notindustry.onlywill NSW promote scaffolding as a viable and rewarding career option for those from all walks of life, it will also provide a platform on which to highlight some of the great achievements of organisations and individuals already operating within the sector and showcase best practice,

// Events & Awards 24 | SCAFFMAG.COM

innovation and determination.

There are plenty of ways to get involved with NSW, whether you currently work in scaffolding, are looking to change careers or are about to embark on your first role after leaving school – there’s something for everyone.



The Scaffolding Association, the UK’s largest scaffolding trade association, has officially launched National Scaffolding Week, a one-of-a-kind campaign to raise the profile of careers and achievements within the sector.

During the course of the week, NSW will be bringing you a first-hand experience of what it’s like to work in the industry, skills and training resources as well as the chance to nominate your ‘Scaffolding Star’ – an individual that has gone above and beyond in their role. There are a whole host of digital assets you can download to show you support the campaign as well as tips and tricks to

To stay up to date with everything happening during National Scaffolding Week, visit

Find out how we could work together at: Sustainability is key to HAKI’s strategy for long-term growth. We are committed to being a pace-setter for sustainability in the workzone safety industry and are working towards being carbon neutral. By 2030, we’ll aim to have reduced our direct greenhouse gas emissions by 50%. LEADING THE WAY IN BEING A PARTNER.ENVIRONMENTALRESPONSIBLE

Layher Ltd UK’s new Operations Director Katherine Fox, on transferable skills and tenacity

More importantly, though, she’s taken up the role as a fresh arrival in the construction world, entering at a senior level thanks to past experience garnered in very different environments. And that knowledge brings clear advantages to the company.

As the new Operations Director at Layher Ltd UK, Fox is tasked with delivering the scaffolding giant’s shared leadership strategy. Key to this is UK logistics, operations, stock ordering, depot functions, accounts, credit control, HR and internal sales.

Cutting a long story short, while studying at university Fox actually dreamed of being a museum curator, but soon found herself drawn to a management programme at Marks &

More and more people are approaching work listlessly, and if Katherine Fox’s story is anything to go by, the most forwardthinking firms in our industry should embrace the opportunity to take in staff from other fields.

From there, there were successive years at John Lewis, first as National Installations Manager and then within a discreet team focused on internal start-up activities – essentially, bringing staff up to speed on new niche consumer offerings that required particular skills, points of delivery and knowledge. Or, as she puts it, developing, piloting and rolling out “innovative concepts grounded in customer research, helping to augment the portfolio of services across both John Lewis and Waitrose”.

ow linear has your career been, to date? Did you enter the industry at an early age and then take a traditional developmental path, rising through the ranks via a combination of in-house and external training, qualifications and promotions? Or can you still recall a former life lived in another sector?

“I’m a prolific ideas generator – there are only ever solutions, no problems,”  Fox says, explaining that her last role with John Lewis was Vice President of Business Transformation, before diving into the skills she possesses as a result of that storied

“I amresumé. passionate about creating a vision that others can buy into. I think it’s very important to be interested rather than interesting, asking questions and really listening has been a key skill I’ve learnt to help me become an effective leader.

“I can lose a whole day listening to my team and seeking to understand what we can do differently to help them be more


Spencer. Half a decade on, she moved to Homebase, gradually ascending to roles including Learning & Development Advisor, and then KBB Installations Specialist.

// People On The Move 26 | SCAFFMAG.COM

No justproblems,solutions

“The homefound.sector has always felt like a distant cousin of the construction sector, so it didn’t feel alien when I first researched the opportunity at Layher Ltd UK,” Fox says.

“Layher Ltd UK have been extremely open to new ways of working, implementing new ideas and changes in process. Call it ‘transferable skills’, call it a ‘corporate mindset’ if you like, but at the end of the day, it’s about employing the right person for the right role,” Fox adds.

Fox also points out that, in an industry that’s used to high risk, being risk averse when it comes to shaking things up seems misguided. And, if one thing is for sure, there have never been more reasons to consider the benefits of employees from other walks of life.

According to Construction Skills Network’s forecast from last June, the sector needs almost 217,000 new recruits by 2025 just to meet domestic demand. Since then, the world has changed dramatically, and the task of keeping the scaffolding up – literally and symbolically – has only become moreWithcomplex. thatin mind, while there’s a clear need for more specialised skills on-site, as ScaffMag has addressed in the past, there’s also an urgent shortage of people with top-level management and logistical nous, many of whom can currently be found treading different paths.

// People On The Move 28 | SCAFFMAG.COM

“I think the most important step is to be open to change and engagement with other sectors. Being open-minded and not accepting the norm will help you to discover the wealth of experience, skills and diversity that are out there to explore.”

“Sean was transparent at my interview that he was recruiting for someone outside

As is “a restless tenacity for improving the customer

productive and feel valued. I’ve developed my skills as an agile practitioner and progressive change leader who is passionate about unlocking commercial and people potential.”

“I looked at the role and immediately thought ‘I can add real value to the development of this company’. The size of the international business that operates from the head office in Germany is very impressive, and I was attracted to the concept of working within a worldwide business but with the autonomy of being a national

“Failuresexperience”. havebeen few and far between over the years, but that’s not important. Instead, it’s the way we learn from those wrong turns, move on, and apply that knowledge to the next challenge that really counts. Because when your job is rethinking, that’s the only logical approach, and the only way to guarantee solutions are

of the scaffolding sector and was looking for someone who has the right leadership behaviour to support growing the business,” she says of how open construction feels to those from other industries, before we move on to how the sector can improve external intake.

“Withinsubsidiary.fiveminutes of my first interview, I knew this was the role for me,” Fox replies, when we ask what made her feel construction was a logical sector to move into. “I’ve had the warmest welcome from both the UK and International team – it already feels like home. A real testament to how Sean Pike, Layher Ltd UK Managing Director, has engaged and developed the team.

Suffice to say, you don’t achieve any of Fox’s success without making an impact, and she’s keen to point out that calculated risk-taking, and being brave enough to try out new ideas, is ingrained in her ethic.


Blue Moon Recruitment is a leading talent specialist to the UK Scaffolding & Temporary Access sector. D a y s o n a v e r a g e f o r u s t o f i l l y o u r v a c a n c y 21 R e t e n t i o n R a t e o f h i r e s s t a y i n g 2 + y e a r s 90% Attract. Hire. Retain. Let us take control of your recruitment. 01472 825675 H e a l t h & S a f e t y E n g i n e e r i n g & D e s i g n C o m m e r c i a l F i n a n c e , I T & A d m i n i s t r a t i o n H u m a n R e s o u r c e s O p e r a t i o n s

Have you heard of PERI UP Scaffolding?


We all have our specialities, our areas of expertise. Fine-tuned over decades of sharpening skills – the sort of skills you end up taking for granted, that become second nature, like breathing, so you tend to overlook. But they’re special. If you’ve been erecting scaffolding for two or three decades, chances are you’re going to be pretty handy at it. Same goes for us with marketing and PR.

PR. MARKETING. SOCIAL MEDIA. IT WORKS. DONE RIGHT… And done right means done by a professional. I mean, I can erect a bit of scaffolding (well, a lift or three of Layher anyhow). But should I? And maybe you have got the Twitter app on your phone. But should you be the one to tweet about your business?

e get this a lot. To start with anyway. Then, as their business phones ring hot and email inboxes explode, they realise people all over their industry are talking about their brand – and more and more pricing-up turns into wagons loading up in the yard and structures being erected – the penny drops and we get replies to our demanding emails faster, and with genuine positivity.


I haven’t got time for all that social media BS and marketing fluff. I’m a scaffolder. What’s the point?”

// Editor’s Pick

Phil Royle, of leading scaffolding specialist PR and marketing firm Royle Media, offers up some top tips for your access businesses to win more work – with increased exposure on social media, by boosting your brand and ultimately, standing out in the crowd, so you’re anything but standard

Looking for a simple solution to getting better representation and communication of what you do? Greater business brand

Same principles apply for any advertising or whatwhoandworthwhilegreat,lookingthembrochuretraditionalschooloverlooked,powerful,flyersmaterialspromotional(flashyorthetoooftenoldtoolthatisacompanyetc).Getallbrandedup,consistentlyfullofcontentrepresentingyouareandyouaredoing.


awareness? More work? Hire us… or someone similar (although we are the UK’s only scaffolding and access specialist PR firm… #justsaying).

When was the last time you put yourself out there to your clients and the construction industry? There are loads of great events, open days, demo days and other sector-specific networking events out there – which you could be/should be part of. Again, with the right look, messages and killer content – or it’s not worth doing at all. Plan carefully. Trade shows too expensive/too much hassle? Haven’t got the time or frankly, the inclination to suck up the borefest that are trade shows? Fine. I hear you. How about running your own event? Get your yardies new brooms and put them to work sweeping up extra hard, stock up on fancy bacon rolls and a pretentious coffee barista wagon and get folk coming to your place for some direct action marketing with a ‘this is my scaffolding firm and I’m proud to show it off’ (or something far more catchy) open day. That’ll get them talking. AndJustordering.afewideas folks. Nothing definitive. We don’t want to give all our trade secrets away gratis. #Micdrop

// Editor’s Pick 32 | SCAFFMAG.COM

How’s your website doing? Honestly. Take a proper, hard, stone-cold, brutal look. Get your mates, co-workers and randoms to check it out and offer an honest opinion. Does it tell the story of your business, as it is right now? Does it work – on a computer, phone and a tablet? It is full of well-written and quality visual content? I’ll be honest, 90% of scaffolding and access-brand websites I look at are terrible. And if your website isn’t an accurate, attractive window display for what you’re up to, then now is the time to sort it out. Not DIY. Or via a mate’s mate’s brother’s uncle’s son, who ‘is a whizz with computers’. It’ll be trash. Hire a proper, pukka, swish industrial office, poncylooking web agency. It’ll cost a frankly unjustifiable amount of money, but it’ll set your stall out, your clients will properly respect it and it’ll end up paying for itself, eventually. But make sure you hire a pro who gets your industry to write the content for it and PM it, or it’ll end up just looking pretty and offering not much conversation – great for wives and waitresses, not so good for websites.



You’d be amazed how many brands get the look all wrong. And if your logo is rubbish, bite the bullet and sort it out. With a proper graphic designer, not Canva. This stuff matters.

You’d be amazed how many brands get the look all wrong. And if your logo is rubbish, bite the bullet and sort it out. With a proper graphic designer, not Canva. This stuff matters.

Your business is quality, right? So, get some decent images, photography and film –maybe even some pro drone footage – to represent it well. Hire a decent photographer, videographer or drone operator (some do all three). Shoot every facet of your business. Get a bank of professional images that will offer a marketing library, a visual identity of what it is you do. A (good) picture tells a thousand words. But if you’re too cheap to hire a pro (budget a grand a shoot for anyone good), I’ll wager at least one of your scaffolders is a half-decent snapper with his jazzy iPhone 13… Find him, beg him, bribe him and put his girlfriend-snapping Insta skills to good use for your brand.

a funny video that is genuinely amusing, an honest story that relates. Keep it professional. Keep it on point. But make it count. Read it back out loud. Does it make sense? How’s the flow? Would anyone actually care or be even toanyoneno,it?wantinterested?slightlyWillfolktoengagewithIftheanswersarewhydoyouthinkelsewillstopcareandengagewith your business babblings? Delete and start again. And remember, if you are using social, use it regularly. It’s publishing/broadcasting… and we all need to know when you’re going to be putting it out there. Don’t photodump, bulk upload, then leave it for an ice age. Think metronomes.



Want to know a secret? PR is almost free. And it works. Pretty much everyone has a front-page story in them, they just don’t know it. Find your business stories –human-interest people-stories – that project that’s so cool everyone will want to hear about it (if the main contractor will let you brag about it!), dig about the company for genuine news, what’s going on, what’s new and why you’re doing it all differently, better and brighter. Then tell ScaffMag. Voila. Instant brand exposure. Read all about it. Extra, extra!


Contact Royle Media | | 07946 610193 | @roylemedia

You could cut your cloth and save yourself another business bill by following these top tips for DIY PR and marketing in the scaffolding sector.

Social media is full of dull, lifeless, boring, time-sapping ‘content’ – for all the phone zombies to endlessly doom scroll their screen-obsessed, miserable way through. Slap them in the face with something fresh, vibrant, genuine and worthwhile: a show-stopping, great image of your gear in action (keep it clean at the back!),

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He told us: “Our personable and thorough approach to recruitment enables us to attract, hire and retain talented individuals aligned to business requirements. Always focusing on quality not quantity.



ounded in 2016 by Dion West, Blue Moon Recruitment emerged because of his growing disillusionment with a saturated recruitment market, where mediocre customer service had become the norm.

“We believe recruitment is more than just filling a vacancy –we kick-start and nurture careers creating long-lasting business partnerships to get the best results.”

// Training & Recruitment 34 | SCAFFMAG.COM

Blue Moon Recruitment have become the trusted ‘recruitment partner’ of choice to the UK scaffolding and temporary access sector. ScaffMag takes a closer look at this dynamic and visionary company

Dion is right to feel proud of their recent achievements as he explains the firm’s involvement with Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services UK Limited, supporting Lyndon SGB, Taylors Hoists, UK International, Corporate & Shared Services: “Over the past 24 months we have hired circa 40 professionals from different backgrounds and our retention rate is sitting at 90%. This is quite some achievement, and we were delighted to launch the operation in Grimsby.

• Training and development

Candidates often receive multiple job offers, as well as their current employers trying to offer more for them to stay on as their employee. It’s not just about salary, but the whole package. Jobseekers can command more competitive salaries, flexible working patterns, stronger study support and a full career development plan. If a client can’t offer what a candidate is looking for, they’ll ultimately lose them to a competitor that can.



• Diversity and inclusion.

Commenting on this special partnership, Emma Patmore, UK HR Director, added: “I would like to take the opportunity to pass on my thanks to Dion and Blue Moon Recruitment, Dion is integrated into our business and ensures thorough pre-vetting of all candidates, only promoting those truly meeting the job requirements. Dion removes the stress from our recruitment allowing us to focus attention on other operational business requirements.”

• Benefits and perks

• Progression

In fact, they really do create an extended arm for any business building a close relationship with company teams and learning about their aspirations.

• Positive working environments

In today’s recruitment industry we see a candidate-driven market. Passive candidate attraction. Remote recruitment processes utilising technology. Bolder employer value proposition. Longer notice periods and a focus on retention.

• Flexibility and hybrid working arrangements

• Competitive salaries

Strategic planning is everything as employers will at some point be asked to deal with things like maternity leave, absences, sabbaticals, and bereavement. It’s why Blue Moon operate a diverse pool of talent.

What are workers looking for?

The channels used by teenagers are different to what we typically use in the industry.

he way we promote careers in our industry hasn’t changed since the 1970s.

, Marketing Apprentice at GKR Scaffolding Ltd, explains how the company reached 70,000 young people with one post and filled its apprenticeship programme quickly



Young people are not actively looking for you. You need to find them and ‘get in their faces’.

For example, we create content for a TikTokorientated audience and then repurpose it for a different audience on other channels. TikTok gets the best response for us at GKR.

In the marketing sector, ‘youth marketing’ is a specialism. There is a complex system of mindsets, environments, influences and life stages that marketers mustAndconsider. thesame is true for recruitment in this sector.

// Training & Recruitment

The other platforms can be used but should not be central to your planning (but are important for different audiences – see next section!).


Careers fairs have their place, but the ‘return on effort’ ratio is tiny. One day out of the office in the hope that you can inspire young people with a short conversation so they apply for a job with you is usually a waste of valuable time.

to speak to young people to know that the mainstream social channels they really engage with are TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. Twitter is also popular at certain times, such as during exams.

The right marketing is vital when promoting the amazing opportunities in the construction industry.

Unfortunately, construction has a perception issue.

The results are clear. We have seen a significant increase in enquiries for apprenticeships. We now have our largest intake ever this September!  So, our tips are...


DON’T FORGET THE INFLUENCERS   We don’t mean social media influencers. We are talking about good old-fashioned parental influence. Young people still listen to their parents!

Be careful looking at stats that say large numbers of young people are on mainstream social channels like Facebook. They might be registered on the platform, but are not heavy, engaged users.

However, for those of us without a specialist marketing division, we have found some easier and more efficient ways of getting in front of significantly more young people using the right social media channel.

So, LinkedIn and Facebook should not be core to yourYoustrategy! justneed

Last year we created a TikTok account which we have utilised within our strategy. TikTok is THE platform to use to get in the faces of young people.

• Supportive environment – friendly teams and mentoring

both a safe and supportive environment for a young person and has a recognised training route with excellent career potential.

There is a lack of understanding about apprenticeships as an alternative career path which also needs to be tackled.


Once you have found your audience, make the enquiry process as simple as possible.

This had more of an impact than any careers fair or advertising we have done!

• Know who you are trying to communicate with

• Stand out from others

• High earning potential very quickly.

• Use the right hashtags

If young people are open-minded about joining the industry, parents may not be.  Being able to reach parents in their environments, such as Facebook, will be an important secondary objective.


• Qualifying in an NVQ Level 2, moving on to higher and supervisory qualifications

Young people like visuals – they need to see the environment they may be working in.  Any text should be short and scannable so you can quickly read and get the main points across.

Use exciting visuals to initially intrigue your audience. Then you can create online brochures that help to distribute longer-form information that future apprentices and parents will want to see.

• Be creative

For example, we saw that Twitter became extremely popular during the exam season. Annually, students use the platform to post memes reacting to the exam that they Usingsat.the same trending hashtags associated with these posts, we created our own memes to get the attention of students to attract them into our apprenticeship scheme. The use of the right and trending hashtags across all platforms is crucial to get onto the feeds of your target audiences.

Our first apprenticeship-orientated TikTok got over 70k views and we had tens of calls come in with applications within the first week of the campaign launch.

As any parent knows, only the very best will do for their children. So, the messaging around apprenticeships needs to show a rewarding career path and remove any fears or misconceptions they have.


We are continuously looking at what is trending on each platform and responding to each.

Have a landing page on your website specifically for apprentices to apply on, with short-form information that they can skim through. Then give them the opportunity to find out more about the scheme.

Use photos and videos to get messages across. These are much more attention-grabbing forms of content.  Show you understand the decisions they are making at that time by reflecting it in what you visually represent or Remembersay. that parents may see your messaging or ads. They will worry about their children going into their first jobs. So, showing the messages that can reassure them is vital.   We also need to consider the perceptions of the industry we need to change. Show our safe and friendly working environment and remind them of the qualifications and career opportunities available.

Don’t be too corporate. And obviously not too far the other way either. Carefully consider your tone of voice, what messages your audience wants to see and what they will respond to.

• Use trending content

• Use the right platforms for your audience

These key messages will ultimately be similar to those used to target young people themselves. They will need to be armed with info that gets their parents’ buy-in when they announce that they want to begin a career in construction.



• Earn while you learn

This reassures parents and school leavers that this is

Our messaging included:


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sk any recruitment consultant and they will tell you; it’s a candidate’s market at the moment. It’s an issue that’s facing employers right across the construction sector, as we all compete for the skills we need to drive growth and deliver high standards for our customers.

Over the past year and a half, we have also participated in the Kickstart scheme, which was specifically introduced to help young people find a pathway into a career following the pandemic, with governmentfunded training for 25 hours a week. As usual, we went beyond the baseline requirement and not only topped up our Kickstarters’ hours and wages to full-time levels, but also offered structured training

Scaffolding and construction experts, Millcroft, are continuing to create opportunities for young people. helping them to see that the industry offers them a path to fulfill their potential


on the other; the challenge is in joining the dots to connect the two agendas effectively.

and help with the cost of travelling to work to enhance the value of the scheme for our candidates and our business, as well as providing special Kickstart-branded Millcroft kit. The result is six new, permanent, full-time trainee roles at Millcroft, and a bright future for the young people we’ve employed.

But this is not the only initiative that Millcroft has engaged with to encourage new talent and inspire the next generation of scaffolding and construction professionals. We also work with the Construction Youth Trust, who collaborate with schools and colleges to inspire young people about modern career options and challenge their perceptions of what a career in construction might look like, helping them aspire to roles that match their interests and abilities.


Our activities with the Construction Youth Trust include taking part in careers fairs and helping young people formulate

At Millcroft, creating opportunities for young people while investing in the future skills needs of our business has been central to our commercial strategy for a number of years. We have always ‘shopped local’ for new members of the team, always trained homegrown talent with apprenticeships, and many of our staff are secondgeneration ‘Millcroft family’ members, who have joined us on the recommendation of a relative.

There is a clear synergy between the need for skills on the one hand, and the need for training and careers with purpose

// Industry Opinion


Meanwhile, in every school up and down the country, there are concerns that the impact of the pandemic on young people will be far-reaching and prolonged. Not only have many found it hard to keep up with the curriculum after repeated lockdowns, gaps in their learning and the challenges of home schooling, but the isolation of the past two years has also affected confidence and ambition, with many young people feeling uninspired and confused about the future.

Trust, fed back to us that it was fantastic to watch the final presentations and see how much the students had taken on board. Obviously, feedback like this gives us a great feeling that we’re using our success as a force for good within our community, but this type of initiative has benefits beyond the positive impact on those students’ lives too. With Deptford Green School located just a stone’s throw away from our headquarters, it’s also an investment in creating our own pipeline of potential future employees.

industry offers a variety of roles, many of which do not rely on academic qualifications but on the right attitude and willingness to learn, is an important step in helping them understand their potential. It was clear that much of what Mike said in his presentation struck a chord with many of the students, giving them food for thought about their future ambitions. The students were also given a tour of the yard, with an outline of the careers available in the scaffolding sector, the equipment we use and what it’s used for. This gave them the chance to ask questions and get more of an understanding of what we do day to day, and it was wonderful to see theirFollowingenthusiasm.their visit with us, the students gave a presentation at school to summarise what they had learned from the day. Emma Barnes, the Programme Manager from the Construction Youth

their CVs, as well as taking an active role in the organisation’s World of Work programme, which teaches young people about the diversity of roles in the industry.

Our most recent involvement with the Construction Youth Trust was when we welcomed a group of 45 students to our scaffolding yard in Greenwich as part of the World of Work initiative.


The year 10 students from Deptford Green School were accompanied by six teachers and had already taken part in a number of activities at school.


Helping young people to see that the

Our Group Head of HSEQ, Mike Wright, took them to our training centre first of all, giving them a presentation about Millcroft and the scaffolding business. He included a summary of his own career history, which began when he left school with no qualifications, before his journey on to a successful and fulfilling career path in construction.

Paper-based drawings have long been used for design and communication between clients, engineers and the onsite team, without actually considering the real cost to your business or theWorkingramifications.in2D not only restricts access to visualise critical areas onsite, it reduces the ability to clash check or develop accurate estimates or gear lists. It also limits the ability to manage or share data easily between teams.

Due to the wide and rapid adoption of building information modelling (BIM) around the globe, companies are naturally adopting a process that is free of 2D drawings, and are ‘wowing’ the world in theAsprocess.anexample, Norway’s Randselva Bridge –the world’s longest bridge – has been designed and constructed with almost no traditional paperTakedrawings.aminute after reading this, to Google it.

Scaffolders are able to easily work with almost

Why 3D models are the future of safety and efficiency, is because they contain precise data associated with your gear and site, ready to be shared and interpreted. Once converted to 2D the detail becomes lost, and suddenly your accuracy is left hanging by a thread.

Simon Boyes explains

The rapid digitalisation and adoption of 3D software in the construction industry over the last decade has resulted in increased pressure on scaffolding projects to follow suit.


// Industry Opinion 42 | SCAFFMAG.COM

Modern, intelligent 3D CAD design offers solutions to improve workflows and bridge the gap between different processes and improve construction outcomes.

What’s more surprising is hearing from companies who model in 3D but still print out the 2D version. WHY?

Just think, if a build interpretation from a PDF isn’t an exact replica of your 3D plan; your engineering is jeopardised, your available gear is incorrect, and you will probably have to pull it down and start again; causing significant delays.

Now, by the time the section goes wrong, it’s hard to attribute fault because the 2D plan did not reflect the detail that exists in the 3D version.

There are few modelling packages available for scaffolders that accurately capture the modern requirements of BIM. Unless businesses have developed a custom solution for their own scaffolding, many companies are still working the might be thinking that you don’t often get 3D models from a client, but nowadays there is always a 3D model that exists somewhere, scaffolders need to start asking for that and not accept the highlighted printout.

Are PDFs killing your scaffolding business?

espite temporary works playing a key role in modern construction and maintenance, scaffolders can’t seem to move away from 2D drawings.

When something goes wrong in your business, it seems easy to lay blame – but have you ever thought that, in fact, it was likely attributed to how your plans were put together?

Those who have already adopted the right scaffolding software understand how huge the time and money savings are. Here are a few reasons why it’s taking our industry by storm:

It enables designers to verify critical dimensions, clash detect against other reference models and use point cloud data to ensure the scaffold goes into the exact place according to the onsiteCompaniesconditions.are experiencing huge time savings with instant sharing between teams and

It seems backwards when the detailed data in 3D models is available, ready for sharing, but gets lost when translated into 2D.


and data referencing allows construction teams, and trades to have total clarity on specifications and erection requirements both on and offsite, identifying hazards in advance and improving safety outcomes.

We are already seeing scaffolders at the forefront of this technology providing unparalleled success through their design and execution accuracy – helping create a safe and efficient work environment for the wider industry.

Although solutions to developing a 3D scaffolding model exist, an embedded industry legacy has normalised downgrading 3D to 2D drawings for communication and erection stages of the project.

any client file and model with the exact digital twins of their scaffolding gear, inbuilt with the full manufacturer’s data specs.

communication on live models. There is next to no paper trail, and everyone is working from the most up-to-dateRealisticplans.simulation

The sky’s the limit with 3D scaffold design; it’s time to get ahead, or get left behind.

In essence, there is no doubt that a 2D drawing-based approach will eventually be phased out, but to make that happen we need to continue to work to change the status quo.

It allows scaffolders to generate totally accurate reports, gear lists and estimates for tendering and makes it simple for engineers to sign off on work.

B ilfinger was tasked to deliver a fit-forpurpose solution which would provide safe access to the underside of the platform to remove and replace the underdeck oily drains pipework.

“We were, therefore, very excited to play our part in support of the whole team at Bilfinger UK, from the procurement departments, technical and TA management team, through to the

Engineering and maintenance contractor Bilfinger UK, in collaboration with Layher UK, has designed the world’s first underdeck scaffolding system using FlexBeam to provide safe access to the underside of an oil rig

Sean Pike, Managing Director at Layher UK, added: “We are delighted to have been involved in and to have supported Bilfinger UK in this flagship underdeck system with our FlexBeam. It is the first use of our FlexBeam offshore on the underside of an oil rig, not only in the UK, but also in the rest of the world.

Ryan Clegg, Bilfinger Scaffold Technical Authority, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Bilfinger are the first to bring this fantastic access innovation to the offshore industry.

accomplishment from everyone involved.”


By utilising FlexBeam, Bilfinger installed the access system six days ahead of the initial estimation and 15 days ahead of the time estimated if utilising tube-and-fitting scaffolding. This equates to 246 work hours ahead of schedule and 601 work hours ahead of what would have been required if using traditional tube-and-fitting scaffolding, providing a labour saving of around £30,000.

As Scaffold Technical Authority, it has been great to be part of this project, from planning through to successful execution. This is a huge step change for an alternative access method that we are excited to bring to all our onshore and offshore operations.”

// System

Bilfinger partnered with Layher Scotland’s technical team to design the system scaffold configuration using Layher’s cutting-edge aluminium scaffolding FlexBeam, reducing construction time by 40% when compared with traditional conventional tube-and-fitting scaffolding.

David Cruickshank, Project Manager at Bilfinger UK, said: “As we continue to support operations within a maturing basin, innovation has never been more important. Layher FlexBeam is a step change in the way we offer access solutions to our clients; this collaborative project has gone some way to showing what can be achieved when you have a fit-for-purpose solution, a forwardthinking client and an engaged workforce.

“Having watched this project progress from the early engagement sessions with Layher, all the way through to our scaffold foreman carrying out its first scaffold inspection, I am extremely proud of what our team have achieved. This project was delivered on time, within budget and, most importantly, with zero HSE concerns; an outstanding




“We were also delighted to assist in product familiarisation and hands-on training onshore at our Livingston depot so as to ensure, as best as possible, that the scaffolders were as prepared as they could be on a dry run, prior to the real installation out at sea.

“From our point of view the final realisation is superb, and with Bilfinger UK we now look forward very much to achieving the same success and time and money savings on several more offshore rigs. I would especially acknowledge the hard work and positivity of the scaffolding crew in particular, and all of the Bilfinger UK team involved, without whom this level of project build and delivery success would have been harder to achieve.”

scaffolders that had the job of turning the scheme into reality.

The simple answer to that question is yes – but only as one element of a carefully considered business plan: as a company we will never put all our eggs in one basket. Though significant, public access projects are just one facet of our business which also encompasses infrastructure, civil engineering, commercial, naval and many other sectors.

It’s an approach that creates its own challenges: if you promise added value, you have to deliver. That invariably means taking on the most challenging jobs and finding innovative solutions. It means taking on the tightest deadlines and not letting people down. It means ensuring that your entire workforce buys in to the philosophy of excellence.

The more detailed answer is that, when UKSSH was founded 10 years ago, we realised that our unique selling proposition wasn’t in the product itself, but in the knowledge and experience of system scaffold – and in particular HAKI system scaffold – that we could bring to projects.Inother words, we distanced ourselves from being a ‘scaffold supermarket’ and focused on building relationships with clients who would appreciate the added value that our experience would bring.


When UK System Scaffold Hire received a call for help from the organisers of the Wireless Festival in London they didn’t have a moment to lose.


The staircase – a mightily impressive 31 metres wide and scaling a 4.5-metrehigh bank – was needed to provide the main access point for 150,000 concert

K System Scaffold Hire hit a sweet spot on the first weekend in July with no fewer than three simultaneous prestigious public access staircase projects in the capital.

In one weekend, UKSSH built a massive public access staircase for the Wireless Festival at Crystal Palace, an innovative public access staircase for Elton John’s ‘farewell concert’ at Watford Football Club, and a PAS for the Red Bull Soapbox Race at Alexander Palace in London.


// System

Developing a ‘quality first’ culture is the best way to attract quality clients explains Gary Griffiths, MD of UK System Scaffold hire

It led one customer to ask whether UKSSH was concentrating on developing business in the ‘public events’ sector.

The acid test of whether you are delivering on that promise is whether you are building long-term relationships with your clients. If you do, then you not only

achieve organic growth, but you find that your growing reputation attracts the best Thoseclients.three public access staircase projects in London demonstrate the caseAlthoughperfectly.each project involved the same product, each posed their own unique challenges; and although we won each contract for different reasons, their success boiled down to adhering to the same core values.

Responding to a last-minute change of plan, the event’s organisers needed to find a company that could erect a massive public access staircase in double-quick time.


While the third project of the weekend –installing a staircase at the Alexandra Palace in London for the Red Bull Soapbox Race 2022 – was a relatively modest build, it demonstrated the benefits of developing client relationships that are built on trust. The client had total confidence that it would be built on time and comply with the strictest safety standards.

goers expected at the event (London’s largest festival).

and from their seats on the Vicarage RoadAlliancepitch.

In short, while our expertise was invaluable, it was our logistical strength that (literally) saved the day.

BELOW: The Elton John concert organisers were in need of a temporary public access staircase to provide concert goers with easy access to and from their seats on the Vicarage Road pitch.

UKSSH realised that the adaptability of the HAKI system meant their solution was relatively straightforward… until it reached the ‘hallowed turf’, when



The event organisers needed to install a temporary public access staircase to provide concert goers with easy access to


In just 48 hours UKSSH and Tamworth Scaffolding designed the massive temporary Public Access Staircase, shipped lorry loads of components from their Tamworth base to Crystal Palace and erected it.

LEFT: The staircase at the Wireless Festival in London was a mightily impressive 31 metres wide, scaling 4.5-metre-higha bank.

The Elton John Concert at Vicarage Road (the home of Watford FC) shone a spotlight on UKSSH’s problem-solving skills and on our willingness to develop innovative products to get the job done.

Intelligent Scaffolding approached their usual system scaffold provider to help them deliver an 8.5-metre-wide staircase to carry people above the permanent seats in the lower stand to the grandstand’s usual access points, but were told that it couldn’t be achieved – so they approached UKSSH to see whether the HAKI public access staircase offered a solution.

standard system scaffold components couldn’t easily deliver the four steps required to take people from the lower platform to pitch level.

From experience, the organisers knew that UKSSH had the stock, the expertise and – with the help and support of Tamworth Scaffolding – the best scaffolders to do the job.

Refusing to settle for second best, UKSSH worked alongside HAKI to develop a four-step stringer for their public access staircase to further increase its adaptability and to deliver a solution that optimised user comfort and safety. We knew that going the ‘extra mile’ would not only deliver the perfect solution for this client but would also help us to develop an additional product which will be invaluable in future applications.

Telephone: 0800 304 7670 or E-mail: Midlands: Magnus, Tame Valley Industrial Est, Wilnecote, Tamworth B77 5BY North: Meadow House Way, Buttermilk Lane, Chesterfield S44 6AE UKSSH: The UK’s leading Haki Systems Specialists Hire or buy with total confidence THE HAKI SYSTEMS SPECIALISTS UKSSH are there to support you every step of the way. With over 150 years of collective knowhow and experience, substantial stocks and a commitment to excellence, you can trust UKSSH to get it right every time. To find out more visit PUBLIC ACCESS STAIRCASES PUBLIC ACCESS BRIDGES WEATHER TRIPODSSITESUSPENDEDHAKITEMPORARYTEMPORARYPROTECTIONBUILDINGSROOFSSYSTEMSTAIRCASES HIRE PARTNER

One of the ongoing aims of the NASC is to ensure its guidance remains current and reflects the needs of, not only its membership, but the wider access and scaffolding industry. As an objective we try to ensure all of our safety guidance is reviewed and, where necessary, updated at least every five years. We also made a commitment to the Health and Safety Executive to continually review industry practices and ensure the guidance remains current. This review started back in 2019 and has unfortunately been delayed through the pandemic.

To ensure the guidance remains current, obsolete products and methods of working that are no longer in common use have been removed. New sections have been introduced or further guidance provided to protect scaffolders and support employers in establishing safe systems of work.

Alan Harris is the chair of the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) Health and Safety Committee, and also heads up the working party tasked with the revision and update of the NASC’s flagship safety guidance note number 4 ‘Preventing Falls in Scaffolding Operations’. Like most of the volunteers who give up their time to support the confederation, Alan is the owner and managing director of a scaffolding contractor, Pro-Fix Access Limited, based in Titchfield, Hampshire, and is very much an operational scaffolding contractor. Alan was pleased to share the background into the ongoing revision of SG4 and give ScaffMag’s readers an insight into the changes we can expect to see, ahead of its launch later this year.

SCAFFMAG.COM | 49 // Scaffolding Guidance


Does the guidance need updating?

The aim of the review is to ensure that the guidance features methods of work and equipment that reflects current industry good practice. The working party have considered accident learning, legal cases, enforcement action, good industry practices and new technology for fall prevention and protection.

You have worked your entire career in the access trade. How has SG4 changed the industry, in your experience? Having worked for the biggest scaffolding contractors through to owning my own SME scaffolding business, I have experienced most aspects of our industry, from large, industrial sites through to town and street works. Over the last 20 years I have seen a major difference and increase in professionalism by our trade. I am pleased to see the gap between the professional scaffolding contractors, who are trying to do the right thing and, let’s say, the others, grow significantly and it is now becoming a chasm. I genuinely believe that SG4 has played a significant part in changing the culture of our industry and raising the standards of safety. The accident statistics within the NASC membership speak for themselves and we have seen an 87% reduction in the number of falls since 1999 and that is despite an increase of nearly 50% in the number of scaffolders working for our members.

Sadly, we are still seeing fatalities and life-changing injuries in our trade as a result of falls from height, and many of these tragic accidents are absolutely avoidable. As a result of fatal accidents to scaffolders since the last revision particularly, we have added specific guidance for working on traditional temporary roofs erected in situation and working on or near fragile surfaces.


// Scaffolding Guidance 50 | SCAFFMAG.COM

Preventing Falls in Scaffolding OperationsSG4:22

NASC has yet again entrusted the writing of the guidance to Simon Hughes of SIMIAN, as technical author. As chair of the working party overseeing the revision, I would be pleased to explain some of the key changes and new guidance we are hoping to introduce.

What can our readers expect to see changed in the forthcoming edition of SG4? When we set out on this revision and assembled a representative group to oversee the processes, the consensus of opinion in the group was that SG4 is working and would potentially be a lighttouch revision. Although the main guidance remains principally the same, we were surprised how much had actually changed in a relatively short period of time since the last revision in 2015. I believe that is a reflection of how industry practices are evolving and how scaffolders are embracing the most effective methods of working, innovation and seeking to improve.

November 2022 978-0-9934076-3-5

Safety Guidance 4: 2022 A guide to good practice for tube and fitting and system scaffolding NATIONAL CCESS SCAFFOLDING ONFEDERATION Whilst effort has been made to provide reliable and accurate information, we would welcome any corrections information provided by Writer which not be entirely accurate, therefore and for this reason, NASC or indeed the Writer, cannot accept responsibility for misinformation posted NASC 4th Floor 12 Bridewell Place LondonEC4V6AP 020 7822 NATIONAL ACCESS & SCAFFOLDING CONFEDERATION SG4:22 PreventingFallsinScaffoldingOperations 9 8 93 40

How has accident-learning influenced this revision of SG4?

We have updated the guidance with some new case studies, although some of the original case studies remain, as they are still very powerful lessons that should not be forgotten.

Of course, you don’t have to look very far in many of our towns and cities to see examples of unsafe practice. So, as an industry, we can’t rest on our laurels, and the confederation and other industry stakeholders, like the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS), still need to keep promoting good practice. Our clients now have a heightened awareness of scaffolding-industry good practice through the publication of guidance such as SG4 and often play a major part in changing attitudes towards unacceptable risk-taking by scaffolders. The marketplace for scaffolding contractors who ignore good practice is gradually getting smaller, in my opinion. And, as a business owner, the frustrations of losing work to competition who cut every corner in the book is still a factor, but is getting smaller.

The guidance continues to follow the principles set out in the hierarchy of prevention and protection embodied in the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The best way to prevent falls is to avoid work at height altogether. Unfortunately, by virtue of the fact that someone has decided to employ a scaffolding contractor, this usually means the opportunity to avoid work at height has been missed. However, we continue to see innovation by scaffolding contractors and designers enabling modular building and therefore avoiding more complex work at height. However, for the majority of the industry, work at height can’t be avoided and is an inherent part of our trade.




Scaffolders continue to innovate and devise safer methods of working, one area where we reflected industry good practice is the example of safer working with beams. The revised guidance includes more applications for working with beams using temporary boarding and collective protection, including the erection of gantry scaffolds.



Since the inception of SG4, the guidance has recommended that suppliers and manufacturers of proprietary system scaffolding are responsible for providing instructions for the safe erection and use of their products. NASC has recommend that the principles of prevention and protection in SG4 should be adopted by the manufacturers. One area of concern that the working party were asked to consider was the installation and removing of system decking on partially boarded structures. This edition will include guidance on systems of work for handling decking whilst avoiding the need to climb the structure relying solely on personal fall protection equipment (safety harnesses).

Following two fatal accidents involving scaffolders falling through fragile roofs, we have expanded the guidance for working on or near fragile surfaces.

When are we likely to see the new SG4 launched and when will our readers see the guidance in full?

The HSE continue to support the working party and have provided input throughout the process. One area of particular concern raised by the authority was related to the construction of traditional temporary roofs, following fatal falls from height during these scaffolding operations. SG4 now includes some basic principles that should be embodied into the design of such temporary roofs and planning of safe systems of work by Otherscaffolders.additions to guidance include the benefits of using climbing-type helmets in scaffolding operations and guidance for third-party contractors installing sheeting to scaffolding structures.


We are close to completing the management guide and work has started on the pocketbook user guide. Following feedback from the NASC Council, it is hoped that the recent changes will be ratified and then we can start the process of seeking support from the HSE with a foreword. We are aiming for completion and publication in time for the NASC AGM in FollowingNovember.thelaunch, the management guide will be added to the suite of guidance notes accessed through the NASC ePortal. Hard copies of the guidance will be available to purchase via the NASC.

The guidance has been updated to reflect changes brought about by the revised NASC technical guidance TG20 last year. Examples include updated illustrations such as TG20 loading bays.

This includes information for employers and scaffolders for assessing and controlling the risks associated with potentially fragile surfaces.


One area that has seen an opportunity for avoiding work at height is the use of technology. The use of drones, digital mapping and 3D modelling of buildings is making surveying and temporary works engineering more accurate and much safer.


Just imagine creating scaffolding using a technique thousands of years in the making with a material six times easier to erect and 12 times easier to dismantle. Think about the possibilities of this being stronger than steel, cheaper to utilise and emerging from the ground to rise more than 40 metres into the air, Grahame Anderson shares his findings

Did you know bamboo scaffolding helped to build The Great Wall of China? Other structures include the Yu Lan Ghost Festival and Cheung Chau Bun Festival. Bamboo scaffolding is also famous for building temporary Cantonese opera theatres.

Looking more closely at this remarkable material, bamboo carries quickly growing thick roots called rhizomes, with the ability to emerge metres away. More importantly, it can withstand great compression, making it ideal for any type of Moreover,scaffolding.when erected properly, all that’s required is the skill of the scaffolder and a set of nylon ties, far away from a

While metal is used across most of Asia and mainland China, both pole and hair bamboo are sacred to Hong Kong, producing walls of scaffolding 10mm thick. No surprise then, to see the huge role bamboo has played in construction right across China. Steel has a tensile strength of 23,000 per square inch while bamboo is 28,000 per square inch.

ould this be a revolution in the art of construction? Something produced from the world of technology or even a futuristic man-made product? In fact, travel to Hong Kong and you’ll discover one of the last places on earth where this wonderful component is used to great effect.

Welcome to the amazing world of bamboo, where buildings can be covered within a single day, creating a safe and cost-effective framework built entirely by highly skilled professionals. In every sense they are the spider-men of the east.

52 | SCAFFMAG.COM // Scaffolding Materials


Bamboo scaffolding on a office building in central Hong Kong, China.


Thedynasty.proofis clear then, scaffolding has always been an art form. But when it comes to harnessing material provided exclusively by nature, Bamboo will always construct some of the strongest scaffolding on the planet. It’s simply poles apart.

We may lament the passing of so many ancient skills in our modern world, but in terms of Asian scaffolding, generations spanning hundreds of years have been taught the art passed down from their elders. Now, there are 2,479 registered bamboo scaffolders in Hong Kong.

may recommend a ceremony to help cast out negative influences. In fact, it’s possible workers will hold a ‘baisan’ ceremony before erecting scaffolding on a new site.

Wah Kwong is a patron saint among bamboo scaffolders, especially those who erect Chinese opera theatres. It’s thought he defied the Jade Emperor, who demanded all bamboo theatres be destroyed after an opera he found insulting was staged.

lorry load of accessories used elsewhere. It’s versatile because it can be modified very easily. This is perfect for places like Hong Kong where buildings are close together and space is limited. And we mustn’t forget, it’s easy to cut, meaning better access to those problematic areas. Whether it be bracing, platform building or horizontal support, three-year-old bamboo, emanating from Guangdong province bordering Vietnam, offers the perfect solution produced in seven-metre lengths.

Middle-ranking scaffolders can then erect scaffolding under the supervision of ‘masters’, the highest rank in the industry. These in turn work closely with engineers to produce the perfect scaffolding structures.

And while basic harnesses were used just a few decades ago, workers must now be trained to both wear and licence proper safety equipment. The regulations also decree scaffolding must be taken down immediately after construction or repair work is completed. It should be dismantled from the upper level to the lowest level, from the outside to the inside, and non-loadbearing parts before load-bearing parts.

Carrying such intricate skills means living with traditions, especially if you’re an apprentice. It’s expected you find out if there’s a risk of misfortune – in this case a feng shui master

Yau Chao-shi is the legendary sage regarded as the original creator of bamboo scaffolding. Workers pay homage to him on his birthday, the 19th of the first month in the lunar calendar.


// Scaffolding Materials 54 | SCAFFMAG.COM

Newbies must undergo year-long training given by the Construction Industry Council in this part of the world before earning their licence. This includes learning to tie a proper knot, which can take a long time to master. They face a two-year apprenticeship involving the basics, including how to safely pass on bamboo poles. Yes, it really is this thorough.

Along the River During the Qingming Festival is a famous Chinese work of art by imperial artist Zhang Zeduan who lived between 1085 and 1145. It depicts day-to-day street life along the Bian River in Bianjing, the capital of the Northern Song

Booth GEDA 1500 Z/ZP Frankreich, Paris Your official sales partner in the UK: Mace Industries Limitied Units 1-3 Macadam Road Earlstrees Industrial Estate GEDA Construction Hoists – Professional Hoist solutions Made In Germany The best-read quarterly magazine in scaffolding At the very heart of the scaffolding and access industry, ScaffMag has been serving the industry since 2009 by championing best practice, raising awareness of safety issues on-site and promoting business excellence. ScaffMag delivers its mixture of news, views, trends and product updates through digital channels and in print. ScaffMag gives businesses and brands an unrivalled opportunity to advertise their products or services 24 hours a day, seven days a week to a highly targeted audience. THE SCAFFOLDING MAGAZINE scaffmag WANT MORE? GO TO QUARTERLYSCAFFOLDERS’SCAFFMAG.COM2022ISSUESCAFFMAG ISSUE 16, SCAFFOLDERS’SCAFFMAG.COM2022QUARTERLY PLUS Todd Scanlon: Britain’s first Down’s syndrome scaffolder Mythbusting: A case against internal design teams How Avontus brought technology to the scaffolding industry scaffmag THE SCAFFOLDING MAGAZINE Raise the roof WellMax Scaffolding helps restore millennium glory at the O2 after Storm Eunice causes severe roof damage To find out more about advertising, contact Jessica Norton on 01472 476024 or email

// Scaffolding Materials 56 | SCAFFMAG.COM

“We’ve got a fantastic supply base and we’re very close to our clients,” added Dave who is enjoying taking a back seat as his two sons take over the wheel.  Ollie, 39, and Jon Appleby, 37, moved into new roles as directors three years ago and they haven’t looked back.

Jon says: “We are working really well together, looking forward to the future with great optimism even after all that’s happened in the recent past. It just makes you stronger and able to meet any challenges with much more wisdom.”

The timber generally comes from the Czech

The company operates from a 10-acre site in Yorkshire with excellent links to the East Coast ports and the motorway networks. Five fully automatic endbanding machines are continuing to push efficient production up to more than 45,000 banded boards per week. What’s more, their shrewd buying approach, especially in the early years, certainly paid dividends much later in terms of theVeryequipment.muchafamily affair, as previously mentioned in ScaffMag, they owe their emergence in 1992 to Dave Appleby who told us: “I hated school and just couldn’t wait to get a job right back in 1972, getting employment in a sales office for a company in what was their northern depot but with headquarters in Essex. It was great just to be on the ladder of life, and to be honest I fell in love with the industry within a short space of time, working outside the office with some of the guys at nights and weekends.”

Dave went on to gain valuable experience in the early part of his life before suffering eventual redundancy, driving him on to launch the enterprise we know and love today.

Road Successto

The guys at Brent fully believe you need to completely understand the market in order to be a long-term success.

rent Scaffold Boards are celebrating 30 years in business despite setbacks such as recession, a pandemic and the rapidly rising cost of materials.

In what is currently a turbulent and confusing world there is one Great British success story proving good news does still exist


Dave said: “It can be a strange business as, when we started off, some contacts we thought would be interested weren’t and others were. But you quickly pick things up and we got off to a good start to high British standards.”


// Scaffolding Materials 58 | SCAFFMAG.COM

“The pressure’s coming off now, though; we’re basically ticking over and, of course, like many other businesses, find we have more than enough stock.”

“We looked after a lot of people and were quite busy to a point because we have a good, reliable supply chain. Every week proved to be a huge test and we didn’t want to lose our best long-standing customers.

“As for the past couple of years, I put my heart and soul into it and it’s where my four decades of experience proved priceless.

years had paid off. Mind you, they admit the recession around 2009 was a massive hurdle to overcome.Daverevealed: “We ploughed a lot of money back into the business as that helps growth and, of course, there are highs and lows in any operation, but we got through it and it made us stronger.

They have 20 staff at Brent and there’s a magical atmosphere here, which is why people love coming to work so much. And Dave’s wife, Linda, is still a rock to the boys and the business, overseeing vital admin on a daily basis. “It’s a labour of love,” she admitted, “and that’s one of the secrets of our“We’vesuccess.had our ups and downs over the years but always had a great team behind us and you can’t succeed unless everyone is pulling in the sameThisdirection.”isoneanniversary we should all be celebrating as, once again, Brent Scaffold Boards are showing the world that Britain can play a leading role on the world business stage regardless of any challenge.

“The pressure’s coming off now, though; we’re basically ticking over and, of course, like many other businesses, find we have more than enough stock.”

Brexit, the family feel it’s more important than ever that British firms show just how good they really are. But then came the challenge of a world pandemic and rapidly rising material costs. So how did this hard-working firmOlliecope?explained: “In truth, last year was probably the most challenging due to the long-term effects of the pandemic and we suddenly saw crazy prices. It was demand we’d never seen before, and this was driving the price of materials up incredibly quickly, especially when it came to scaffold boards.

A real family affair spreading the love right across the industry.


“You couldn’t get hauliers for love nor money and now we’re getting five or six calls each day asking if we have any work. For all of us, it wasn’t just a case of selling a product; the main focus and priority was managing production, looking after our long-standing customers’ needs and overseeing a huge pandemic.”

Republic, Austria and Germany but the company have an impressive grading lines system, manned with qualified and fully trained graders hoping to reach a 90% target. It all adds to their reputation for Followingquality.

It enabled Brent to gain reward for their amazing reputation, proving all the hard work of the previous


“The products are designed and tested in accordance with BSEN12811, and provided they are used in accordance with specified use, they will provide many years of service.”

next stage to take the business and the industry forward.

he day of the plastic scaffold board has finally arrived, performancestrengthconsistentboastingheight,andthroughout

For more information go to



Supadek is a Welsh wonder, carrying several distinct recycling advantages over more traditional timber and steel alternatives, as Grahame Anderson explains

In every sense, Supadek boards can represent a top-quality asset to any company. With a full range of performance reports and certification, the product also brings great peace of mind. The vision and intelligent approach by this dynamic company is proving to be a superb example of a product benefiting everyone.

Whichever way you look at it, this is a real Welsh wonder.

“Our recently installed second machine will increase production by 150%, and though it’s been 18 months in the works, we are finally ready for the

This all adds up to more excellent use of modern technology and the will to help the environment around us.

is easier to use, cleaner and safer than timber and steel decking boards. What’s not to like?

A company spokesperson explained: “With wood increasing in price, carriage cost from overseas, longevity of wooden boards and recycling at the top of everyone’s agenda, we feel the time is now for the industry to look at composite scaffolding.

its working life. But get this – it’s made from fully recyclable material, easy to clean and maintain with a textured, high-grip surface for sure footing and impermeable to water. It will never warp, splinter or need replacing for more than 10 years and is quality assured to ISO9001:2015.What’smore, these revolutionary boards can be used across a range of sectors from nuclear decommissioning to pharmaceuticals, food processing to offshore oil and gas. In fact, everyone can benefit from this amazing product produced by Tilcon CG in Ebbw Vale.

There’s little doubt that being lightweight, durable and strong, Supadek

// Products & Services

“With a big push toward to a greener environment, Supadek will help companies reach their carbon footprint in the future. We currently use 1,000 tonnes of poly and 416 tonnes of glass saving them from going to landfill or oceans. With the second line, this will increase to 2,500 tonnes of poly and 1,200 tonnes of glass.


Our specialist kit for ensuring peace-of-mind when erecting and building scaffold systems. The M2000 is a light and portable tester which is an essential scaffolding tool for any scaffolder wanting to comply with current health and safety practices incorporating NASC TG4:19. See details of our in-house calibration service and state-of-the-art training facilities at T: +44 (0)1675 430 370 | E: SURE IT’S SECURE OVER 30 YEARS PIONEERI NG SAFET Y TRUSTED WORLDWIDE with Digital Gauge PLUS 12 Months Free APP use SPECIALOFFER Only ~899 +vat Quote ‘SCAFFMAG08’ when ordering Record your test results digitally, manage your test schedule and generate reports online Compatible with the Hydrajaws Digital Reporting System SERVICES AND ANCILLARY PRODUC TS NEW for 2022  We’ve revamped our website   check it out:

Scaffold Tie Tester Kit

LIFTBOT has since proven to be success on a number of projects across the south of England, including a project at London Heathrow. Recently, the system has returned to its flagship project at Poole Harbout to support the second and third phases of subsequent site work.

a considerable reduction of accidental free-falling objects. Time savings: LIFTBOT accelerates erection time, enabling hand-over of scaffolds to clients sooner, which leads to overall construction programme advancements.

The project was a unanimous success. Accordingly, Skill Scaffolding – as industry leader and pioneer – became one of the first scaffolding companies in the UK to acquire their own LIFTBOT (now aptly named the ‘SKILLBOT’). It was clear for Skill that LIFTBOT would be a key asset on high-rise building projects across the South Coast and beyond.

Safety focused: As the material transport is automated, the chances of falling objects as well as operative injuries decrease significantly. Additionally, the task of lifting equipment outside of a scaffold is removed entirely from human hands, resulting in

only a few days of operations, Skill Scaffolding could learn about the main advantages of LIFTBOT: Solution against labour shortage: The number of operatives on-site required to complete the project is significantly reduced – by up to 70% - allowing disengaged scaffolders to focus on further projects.

n the current post-Brexit, post-Covid, inflation-ridden landscape, 2022 has proven as difficult to navigate as any of the tough years of the past. Such times serve as a brutal reminder to all businesses on why it is so important to remain focused, flexible, and ahead of the game. When looking for ways to do just that, Skill Scaffolding engaged with KEWAZO from Germany and their LIFTBOT – the first robotic material hoist for scaffolding.

Data analytics: The data analytics platform behind LIFTBOT, called KEWAZO ONSITE, enables in-depth analysis of work progression and performance. This guarantees enhanced forecasting and scheduling of work sequences as well as early identification of labour requirements and transportation.


During introductory meetings, Skill Scaffolding learned that up to 80% of projects in industry are still executed completely manually, relying on an especially tedious and physically demanding process of manual vertical material transport. To mitigate this, Skill’s management team and KEWAZO looked at opportunities of automating vertical material transport within upcoming Skill Scaffolding projects. As result, the companies identified a flagship project in Poole Harbour for a trial with LIFTBOT. The project setup was ideal for the robotic system: erection job, system scaffold, and higher than



62 | SCAFFMAG.COM // Transport// Products & Services

KEWAZO has been supporting Skill Scaffolding in all aspects related to LIFTBOT – with training right after the delivery, and with annual and emergency maintenance supportKEWAZOtoday.

Skill Scaffolding joins with Germany’s KEWAZO to work alongside LIFTBOT – the first robotic material hoist for scaffolding

added from their side: “We are extremely glad to be able to count on such motivated innovators as Skill Scaffolding. We are already looking forward to seeing LIFTBOT deployed on further trial and pilot projects across the UK.”

Of the 21 police authorities that responded to the request for information, Leicestershire was the UK’s number one van break-in or theft hotspot, with 10,494 crimes recorded between 2018 and 2022.

n alarming number of UK van drivers are neglecting to take the security of their vehicle and its contents seriously, a new study has found, as over three in four (77%) confess they don’t have an alarm or immobiliser installed within their vehicle. A further 45% fail to lock their van when it’s not in use.

According to the findings, a staggering 64% admitted they fail to

The research, conducted by the experts at iCompario, surveyed 1,000 UK van drivers who use their vehicle for work purposes about the actions they take to secure both their vehicle and contents when not in use. Three quarters (76%) of those surveyed said they knowingly leave themselves at risk by not taking sufficient care to protect their property and deter thieves.

When quizzed about previous break-ins and theft experiences, a secured compound or workplace car park, a locked garage at home, or the van owner’s driveway were found to be hotspots (32% combined), despite appearing to be some of the most secure options.

According to the study, the most likely times for van-related crime to take place is between 4am and 8am (22%), or between midday and 4pm (21%).


Over three quarters of van drivers (77%) don’t have an alarm or immobiliser installed on their vehicle


iCompario also sent out FOI requests to police forces across the country to find out how many vans were stolen or broken into between 2018 and 2022.

// Transport & Equipment

Furthermore, just a quarter (24%) ensure they park their van somewhere extra secure at night and just three in ten (31%) have a dashcam fitted for when they’re out on the road.

remove their tools and other valuable items from their van when it’s not being driven, despite the role these items play in theirAlmostlivelihood.allofthe UK van drivers surveyed (95%) are yet to secure the catalytic converter on their vehicle too, despite thefts of this part increasing significantly since the first Covid-19 lockdown began in March 2022¹.

Leaving themselves open to further vulnerability, a substantial eight in ten (81%) UK van drivers also said they don’t park their van in a way that could stop a thief from being able to open or break the lock, such as parking against a wall.


However, when looking at percentages, overall, Cumbria police force are leading the way having recovered a fifth (20%) of the vans or their contents that had previously been stolen in their area.

returned to their owners.


Other areas of the UK that have experienced high numbers of van-related crimes included Hertfordshire (9,740), Avon and Somerset (6,832), Surrey (5,145) and South Wales Comparatively,(3,919).theWelsh counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys have seen the lowest numbers of van crimes, with just 50 recorded since 2018.

2. Cumbria – 86


The Ford Transit is the most-targeted make and model of van by thieves across the whole of the country, according to the FOI findings.

3. Cleveland – 550

10. Dorset – 2,591


9. West Midlands – 2,974

Other van makes and models that have proven most popular with thieves

On the opposite end of the table, Sussex Police have the lowest recovery rate – just 3% (46) of the vans or contents stolen here between 2018 and 2022 were

include the Mercedes Sprinter, Vauxhall Vivaro and the Citroen Berlingo.

14. South Yorkshire – 1,226

3. Avon and Somerset – 6,832

Of all areas compared as part of this study, Leicestershire also boasted the highest number of vans or items that had been stolen from vans that were later recovered 463 (4.4%).

“Much like the regular vehicle maintenance checks that should be made, like topping up your oil or checking your tyre pressure, taking the time each day to ensure your van is parked safely and securely when not in use should be at the forefront of every van driver’s mind.”

4. North Yorkshire – 654

1. Leicestershire – 10,494

6. Derbyshire – 3,724

11. Cheshire – 1,830 Staffordshire – 1,448

1. Welsh counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys – 50


Kerry Fawcett, Digital Director at iCompario, said: “As experts in van insurance, whether using your vehicle for work or leisure, we recommend taking plenty of precautions to protect your vehicle. By failing to do so, you risk not only leaving yourself open to potential thieves, but you may also invalidate your insurance when having to make a claim.

5. Cambridgeshire – 783


5. South Wales – 3,919

7. Northamptonshire – 3,523 Sussex – 3,180

In Hertfordshire alone 4,685 were targeted between 2018 and 2022, whilst in the number one area for reported van thefts and break-ins, Leicestershire, a total of 1,874 Ford Transits were targeted.

15. Nottinghamshire – 1,130

4. Surrey – 5,145

2. Hertfordshire – 9,740

13. Gwent – 1,362

Is The BOA the answer to an ongoing constricting transporting problem? Grahame Anderson finds out more

// Transport & Equipment 66 | SCAFFMAG.COM


He told us: “We have revolutionised the ratchet strap as you know it, keeping your employees and the public safe  from the incidents that can develop from ratchet-strap debris and shed loads.


But get this – according to Highways England, a mindboggling 33,391 incidents of lost straps on UK roads has been recorded in the seven years from 2013 to 2020.

Was it possible to invent a fail-safe strap to eradicate what could also be a niggly challenge? Could the security of any load be fully strengthened? There were many more questions to answer – until the world’s safest ratchet strap finally appeared designed here in the UK.

he emergence of the ratchet strap in the early ‘80s brought a safe solution to keeping those heavy loads secure. But in the years since, one frustrating problem was enough to drive hauliers and carriers to distraction. The straps could loosen, posing a safety threat to everyone both on and off major roads – including the public.

Vastly experienced HGV driver Paul Whyman knew all about the problems loose straps can bring, so he set out to find the ultimate solution, eventually patenting the BOA system and getting it on the market cost effectively.

“The BOA strap is our solution to a global issue. We do this through our patented technology, solving the problem of loosening ratchet straps – a problem since the ratchet strap was introduced back in the 1980s.”

able to fix the pendulum and settling effect. This all means the load stays secure from pick-up to drop-off. The driver gets total peace of mind as the need for regular stops to tighten straps is eradicated.


What’s more, everyone can forget about having to extend their budget as a reasonably priced, visionary and innovative solution means the industry can feel the benefit of this amazing and versatile product.

The all-embracing BOA strap is indeed completely fail-safe

It’s only right the final word should go to the man who should be celebrated by the industry for his ingenuity, Paul Whyman, who says: “Our BOA STRAPS do exactly what they say they do – NEVER COME LOOSE.” It’s clearly the world’s safest ratchet strap. for more information

The straps come with differing hooks and sizes.


The past, present and future of system scaffolding | VGS-L 1007 PZ-8.22.64 and Z-8-22-64.1FS 554413Approved Training Provider

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For more than 75 years, Layher has focused on innovation not imitation. It’s why we remain the past, present and future of system scaffolding.

● The Printworks, Manchester ● Hickley Point C, Bridgwater ● Boomtown Festival, Winchester


72 | SCAFFMAG.COM // Projects

As if that wasn’t enough, there was just the testing of the client’s brief to confront, stating it would have to be business as usual for the 5,000 plus daily visitors. Working time would be limited across an eight-hour period from Sunday to Thursday. What’s more, a scaffolding solution to both external and internal ‘street scenes’ was required to give a working platform to the 900m 2 ceiling.

Scaffold to the internal area couldn’t overload the four suspended floors. Propping was not an option due to a large pub and nightclub below the area, and the scaffold footprint was to be as minimal as possible, to keep tenants’ signage and access clear at allAstimes.Victoria train station is opposite the building, it meant the city’s tram system was in close

T here’s a certain Manchester entertainment venue everyone knows well. This lively city slicker offers up charismatic clubs, colourful cinemas and excellent eateries to the masses.


Keeping up with modern vibe is all important, of course, which is why the Printworks building has gone for a £22m refurbishment including the installation of Europe’s largest LED digital ceiling screen. There’s also the little matter of a large interactive screen with social gaming capabilities.


Eccles-Based Connolly Scaffolding’s nocturnal nous creates perfect Printworks in central Manchester as Grahame Anderson explains

“In terms of spreading the scaffolding-imposed loads across the suspended floors, we used steel plates so the scaffolding towers founded to the ground could be kept to a small area. This was so a bierkeller and night club could remain operational. Specialised spreaders set along the floor were incorporated into the design because of this.

“An ‘air gap’ within our design satisfied the fire department, allowing sufficient smoke to escape unhindered to the area above the bespoke designed

74 | SCAFFMAG.COM // Projects

“We provided a bespoke scaffolding solution, utilising a series of towers along the footprint of the inner courtyard linking them at 4m high with multiple beams. At the 20m level we also used specialised bridging panels spanning the ‘street scene’.


proximity to two sides of the construction. Any scaffolding solution had to incorporate the complex’s fire and smoke ventilation plan, and there was no storage area available for equipment. In fact, all health and safety guidelines had to be met fully at all times.So,which contractor could meet all these challenges while getting the job done on time?

“Simon Taylor, who started his apprenticeship with Connolly’s 18 years ago, was the lead build supervisor. Andy Barton, as construction director, headed up the construction team and our in-house Health & Safety department supported the construction and design team whilst also liaising with the client, the owners of the complex and the individual businesses affected by the build.

Alongside Buckley Design, Connolly Scaffolding set about creating the perfect programme able to meet and overcome any hurdle in their path.

“The bridging panels created a working platform across the internal courtyard and minimised labour times. This facilitated the installation of new steel supports, the digital ceiling, operatives and materials, while keeping the footprint of the scaffolding base to a minimum. All this meant we could provide clear pedestrian access underneath.

A scaffolder who could facilitate the best possible solution for the project requirements, based on current guidelines and regulations. The company chosen was Connolly Scaffolding from nearby Eccles, well versed in major schemes like this.

A Connolly Scaffolding spokesperson takes up the story: “The team tasked with supporting this ambitious Printworks project consisted of a mixture of some of our most skilled workers, including scaffolders highly experienced in building bespoke bridges and those skilled in major heritage schemes.


ABOVE: PrintworksTheproject consisted of a mixture of skilled workers, scaffoldersincludinghighly experienced in building bespoke bridges and those skilled in major heritage schemes.

“This has been one of the most challenging projects we have been involved with and, of course, it meant working right through the night.”

It was opened by Sir Alex Ferguson and Lionel Richie two years later. In fact, its 365,000ft 2 facility is set over four floors, and houses a 23-screen Vue cinema, fitness club, Hard Rock Café restaurant, an Eden nightclub, and 20 eating and drinking establishments. It’s piece of cake for the pride of Eccles.

In 1998 the building underwent a £110m conversion to transform the property into an entertainment venue.

“Wesituated.provided a solution for erecting scaffolding to areas that interacted with the tram network, working under a ‘shutdown’ scenario to the network with strict hourly parameters to complete the build, at weekends.

platform, where the automatic openings were

The Printworks entertainment venue was the former business premises of the 19th-century newspaper proprietor Edward Hulton, who soon created the largest newspaper printing house in Europe. The site housed a printing press until 1986

when Robert Maxwell bought the property and subsequently closed it down. The building was left unused for over a decade and fell derelict.


n completion, Hinkley Point C will be the first of a new generation of nuclear power stations and the first to be built in the UK for more than 20 years. It will provide much-needed lowcarbon energy to almost 6 million UK homes.

The structure is the second of four ‘intake’ heads being connected to five miles of tunnels, which will supply Hinkley Point C’s two nuclear reactors with cooling water. The two ‘outfall’ heads have already been lowered into position.

Working with the multinational infrastructure group Balfour Beatty, SRK Scaffolding has recently been involved in Hinkley Point’s biggest lift at sea. This spectacular engineering achievement saw the precision placement of a 5,000-tonne intake head on the seabed of the Bristol Channel.

76 | SCAFFMAG.COM // Projects

South-west-based SRK Scaffolding Ltd is one of just five specialist contractors currently providing access scaffolds, temporary roofs and protection structures at Hinkley Point C – Europe’s biggest construction project, Daniel Norton reports

However, it wasn’t all plain sailing, as Graham Sims, SRK Scaffolding Regional Director, explains the challenges the company had to overcome. He said: “Due to the time pressures on the project and weather windows for the head’s installations, I only had around five weeks to train and mobilise nine scaffolders to take part in the offshore works. This also included getting the business in a position to be able to conduct offshore“Also,scaffolding.thevessels are only over here for a few months due to the bad weather out in the channel, so all damage to vessels are time-critical to the project and serious delays could push the project back months,” he explained.

The work to install the system is regarded as one of the world’s most complex marine engineering projects –as the Bristol Channel has the second-highest tidal range on the Teamsplanet.  ofskilled scaffolders from SRK provided first-class support to Balfour Beatty’s lifting team during the operation.


SRK scaffolding, which is one of the south-west’s largest privately owned scaffolding firms, was employed to provide vital access scaffolds and structures when the massive project started in March 2017. Since then, their scope of works has expanded from the main site in west Somerset, which covers a colossal 430-acre site at Hinkley Point C, to Avonmouth docks and even offshore in the Bristol Channel.

“Hinkley Point C safety requires that all scaffolding must go through a strict approval process including the temporary works departments, meaning each design has to be bespoke

Hinkley Point C has a 5,000-tonne intake head on the seabed of the coolingnuclearwhichfivebeingofChannel,Bristolthesecondfour‘intake’headsconnectedtomilesoftunnels,willsupplytworeactorswithwater.


The company works in many sectors, including asbestos removal and power station decommissioning. It also covers many other sectors including construction, rail and marine.


SRK Scaffolding Ltd has been operating for over 20 years after being formed by two brothers, Robert and Karl Trott. Originally the business operated from small premises at Bathpool close to Taunton, then moved to larger premises at Durston in 2003, operating there until moving into a purposebuilt office and yard at Chelston in 2016. In 2022 the company expanded its operations to the south of Wales, opening a new distribution yard in Cwmbran.

Graham Sims concluded in saying, “Being on Hinkley Point C is an excellent achievement and something the company is really proud of. Having been named as one of the five access providers alongside some of the biggest names in scaffolding makes me extremely proud.”

// Projects 78 | SCAFFMAG.COM

to the vessel and go through multiple checks before the construction drawing can be issued.

Then 24-hour working is required to build the scaffold as quickly and as safely as possible; this is to enable the vessels to get back out and complete the works in the channel.”

// Projects TICK, BOOM!TICK


PERI worked alongside event scaffolding company Talk Media, providing scaffolding from its PERI UP range to build the unique structures, mimicking buildings, castles and post-apocalyptic debris. Several of these structures were used as stages to support artists performing at the festival.

his Boomtown festival, based near Winchester, Hampshire, was the first to take place since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in pressure to create a striking visual atmosphere for its 75,000 visitors. The festival this year featured eight new ‘street venues’ which required numerous theatrical structures used to support music artists and DJs and add aesthetic value to the site.

Tara Sharp, Director of Talk Media & Event Scaffolding, said: “We were asked by Boomtown festival to construct AREA 404 for this year’s event, which was our first year in doing this. We approached PERI to assist us with this and, without hesitation, they responded to our request.

For the first time ever, PERI has supplied scaffolding for the renowned music festival Boomtown, which took place between August 10 and 14 this year


The versatility of the PERI UP system allowed for a diverse range of interesting structures to be built to match the festival’s distinctive dystopian theme. The scaffolding consisted of PERI UP Flex and PERI UP Easy which were integrated to achieve a strong foundation for structures across the site. There were tight time constraints with this project leading up to the festival which were overcome through the ease and speed of assembly of both scaffolding products.

We do a lot of events and have spoken to our customers in regard to this system all of whom are keen for us to use it in the future. We will definitely be working with PERI in the future.”

// Projects 82 | SCAFFMAG.COM


PERI is looking forward to working on scaffolding projects and providing access staircases for UK festivals and events in the future.

Some of these temporary structures were also fitted with internal PERI UP Flex access staircases as staff members and actors needed access to the top of the structures. The lightweight yet strong PERI Flex 75 staircase was ideal for this requirement as its compact design took up minimal space inside the structures and gave performers secure access to the roofs of the builds.



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