scaffmag THE SCAFFOLDING MAGAZINE
ISSUE 10, 2020 SCAFFMAG.COM SCAFFOLDER’S QUARTERLY
LIFE AFTER LOCKDOWN
Phase two is underway at St. Patrick’s, and with an industry in recovery, businesses embrace a new way of working as they plan for the future
TRAD Hire & Sales and Safety Systems join forces
New fitting designed by a scaffolder for scaffolders
Lee Marley on how it all started for his aspirational company
SETTING THE STANDARD FOR SCAFFOLDING The NASC is the national trade body for access and scaffolding in the UK and has been setting the industry benchmark for nearly 80 years. Our full contracting members are among the best in the business, accounting for the vast majority of the UK’s scaffolding spend – with a total annual turnover in excess of £2 billion – and are independently audited every year. For demonstrably safe, skilled and compliant contractors it has to be NASC.
RAISING THE STANDARD
GET CISRS TRAINING, GET SMART FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.CISRS.ORG.UK
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NEWS ROUNDUP The latest industry news including the impact Covid-19
has had on businesses and staff, phase two at St. Patrick’s,
LEE MARLEY INTERVIEW We meet the Lee Marley Brickwork Ltd founder, who
tells us how it all began and what the future holds for his
Trad Group’s merger news and a new MD at Lyndon SGB.
aspirational and successful company.
Training providers adapt to a new normal and the CITB
slashes levy bills.
MODULAR System scaffold designers and manufacturers,
Layher brings environmental focus to the fore plus news from Peri Up.
How does the scaffolding industry recover from the
seismic disruption caused by the pandemic?
HIRE AND SALES TRAD Hire & Sales and TRAD Safety Systems have
joined forces to offer a complete scaffolding and safety
BUSINESS Opportunities to grow your wealth during periods of
world crisis and economic downturn and good news for small businesses with a new business finance report.
systems package plus George Roberts’ plans for the future.
PEOPLE We explore Paul Corfield’s scaffolding archive plus
speak with Apex Commerical Director, Matthew Cousins.
How one company in the steel city has been leading
the way when it comes to secure scaffolding.
Growing digital adoption in scaffolding management
with Rochester based company Alltask.
NEW PRODUCTS New innovations from Julian Bland, JMAC and ScaffFloat. PROJECTS This issue focuses on HAKI Bridge Systems, Stellar
Scaffolding and Controlled Scaffolding.
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Welcome It’s been a crazy few months since our last issue to say the very least. The industry has been on an unfortunate, disruptive and somewhat chaotic journey. The construction industry seemed to just stop dead in its tracks when lockdown was announced, with firms enduring weeks of lockdown limbo and companies unsure whether to close down or carry on due to sketchy and contradictory government advice. Further added pressure was felt by scaffold businesses as it became clear that many sites hadn’t closed. This left bosses in a precarious position - expose its staff to possible infection or walk off site and risk legal action for breach of contract from principal contractors. Fast forward a couple months and although the once-in-a-generation virus is still with us, the time now is ‘life after lockdown’ - but how will the industry as a whole bounce back? As the easing of lockdown restrictions provides relief to everybody, it’s been humbling to report throughout on the many businesses within our industry responding positively to the crisis. A number of scaffold companies made contributions to the global fight against the virus by supporting our great NHS by donating masks, PPE and even anti-virus air cleaners. Others provided scaffolding services on important key projects throughout lockdown. However, at the time of writing more turbulent times may still lie ahead with the chance of a second and more harmful wave of the infection always on the horizon. Let’s hope the scaffolding businesses within our industry and the scaffolders they employ can prevail and continue to recover. Happy reading, and stay safe! Daniel Norton - Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORIAL Editor Daniel Norton T 01472 476024 M 07776 218831 E email@example.com @ScaffMagDan Features writers Grahame Anderson Richard Trenchard Simon Boyes Design Demot Rushe Dermotrushe.co.uk
CONTRIBUTERS Robin James Des Moore Matthew Cousins Ty Wilson
ADVERTISING Manager Jessica Norton T 01472 476024 M 07776 218831 E firstname.lastname@example.org
PUBLISHED BY ScaffMag, 4 Town Hall St, Grimsby, North East Lincs, DN311HN
facebook.com/scaffolders twitter.com/ScaffoldingNews Cover image: courtesy of SHANWEB / Layher UK Ltd
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News AN INDUSTRY IN RECOVERY
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on business, with both construction and scaffolding industries feeling the pain. Many firms, in the light of encouragement from the Government, attempted to keep working right through its darkest days – others had no choice but to furlough or even lay off staff. So what has been the impact of COVID-19 in general terms? Grahame Anderson has been taking a closer look ❖ In late June the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced that as a nation we’ll build ourselves out of trouble; although there’s little doubt the coronavirus pandemic will continue to have lasting repercussions for the economy. The construction and scaffolding industries
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were back in the spotlight, not that they’d been out of it long given the arguments over how the crisis had been managed across both sectors. Some sites stayed open despite social distancing warnings, other firms laid off their workers, and many more joined the much documented furlough scheme.
ADMINISTRATION FOR SOME
The sad news is that life begins after lockdown without 18 construction companies who fell into administration in June. And then the city of Leicester developed a second spike of the virus and again, in line with the national lockdown, construction work that could not be done from home was permitted. Build UK has received lots of enquiries regarding the Construction Leadership Council’s site-operating procedures under local lockdown rules. It said: “The site-operating procedures clearly state that government guidance must be followed, and it is expected that sites will assess the local conditions and respond accordingly. These should include maintaining the social-distancing practices in place prior to
the easing of the national lockdown.” Guidance on social distancing was offered with ‘one-metre-plus’, whereby workers were asked to stay two metres apart if possible, but otherwise maintain a distance of one metre. Needless to say, that can sometimes be a difficult thing to maintain on a building site. Wearing a face covering or avoiding face-to-face contact are still recommended. We’ve also seen the installation of screens in certain areas, improved hand-washing facilities and staggered breaks for workers in many cases - all to keep contact down to minimum levels. Sites with canteens not operational prior to the latest easing of the rules were advised to keep them closed. Build UK said strict hygiene and cleaning regimes must be enforced. THE UPSIDE
A COVID-19 economy recovery plan by Dr. Steve McCabe and Mike Leonard of Birmingham City University’s Institute for Design and Economic Acceleration, argues an £11bn investment in the construction sector could create significant employment and produce a £33billion return. For a success story, how about Wates construction? Back in April the company announced it was furloughing 4,000 staff. High-paid staff on the scheme earning more than £2,500 per month had their salaries topped up to at least 70 per cent of their usual levels. Three months later everyone returned to full time working. Wates chief executive, David Allen said the decision to reinstate full pay had been made possible by the “amazing efforts” of staff to “keep the show on the road”. He added “Because of their efforts and professionalism, we have been able to take the positive decision to return people to full pay in July. “We are now focused on accelerating into the second half of 2020 and on playing our part in responding to the government’s call to ‘build, build, build’.” Cambridge and Hertfordshire based company Royston Scaffolding were recently on hand to help the NHS by providing essential work for St Michael’s
hospital in Bristol during the COVID-19 lockdown. With social distancing restrictions and the understandably tight on-site measures put in place by the NHS, it meant scaffolding work took longer to construct than usual. But it proved, even in these extreme conditions, it was still possible to continue. The team had to adhere to the two metre social distancing rule and follow a one-way system, which made logistics very tough. In addition to wearing normal PPE, the team also wore face coverings that were reportedly difficult to wear initially, as they would steam up restricting visibility. But once the team got the hang of them, this was no longer a problem and they were able to continue working at height safely. Following the Government’s guidance on easing the lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic, Marine Scaffolding Ltd began to accept new work from mid June. They said “Of course it won’t be business as usual because as an employer we have a responsibility to keep our staff safe. So we need to take additional steps to maintain distancing and encourage operatives to increase their personal hygiene regime by providing antibacterial hand cleansers.” It’s also clear some workers will still have a sense of feeling tense and nervous, especially about coming into contact with anyone who may have COVID-19 symptoms. Indeed, employers should stay aware of potential mental health problems. The NASC website carries lots of information aimed at breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health within the access and scaffolding industry, supported by the Lighthouse Club. The construction industry charity has new guidance to help employers understand mental health better, and to create an action plan for employees to thrive at work after coronavirus. www.nasc.org.uk The scaffolding industry will bounce back from the pandemic – but it’s a slow and sure process needing everyone to play their part.
NEWS IN BRIEF ❖ HSE ISSUES SAFETY ALERT OVER DODGY FACE MASKS The Health and Safety Executive has issued a safety alert over dodgy Chinese face masks which are flooding the UK market. The HSE has stated that these substandard face masks should not be used as PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in the workplace. Within the HSE’s safety alert, titled ‘Use of facemasks designated KN95’ it said: “A substantial number of face masks, claiming to be of KN95 standards, provide an inadequate level of protection and are likely to be poor quality products accompanied by fake or fraudulent paperwork. These face masks may also be known as filtering facepiece respirators.” The government agency continued to explain that KN95 is a performance rating under the Chinese standard GB2626:2006, the requirements of which are broadly the same as the European standard BSEN149:2001+A1:2009 for FFP2 face masks. However, there is no independent certification or assurance of their quality and products manufactured to KN95 rating are declared as compliant by the manufacturer.
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PHASE TWO UNDERWAY AT ST. PATRICK’S ❖ The easing of lockdown restrictions has allowed the second phase of scaffolding works to proceed on Ireland’s oldest church. The building, which dates back to 1220, is currently undergoing a conservation programme with the replacement of its 19th century roof slates. Scaffolding and access specialists, Ainscaff Scaffolding, is utilising the world-renowned performance of Layher Allround scaffolding and its lightweight roof system to encase this iconic place of worship. As previously reported in Issue 9, the first phase saw Ainscaff complete the complicated and innotive scaffold
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structure to temporarily cover the nave roof of the cathedral. Phase two, which is now underway, involves the further installation of Layher’s Keder Roof XL and supporting structure to the cathedral transept roof. Sean Pike, Managing Director of Layher UK & Ireland, takes up the story: “The design of phase two was complicated but also offered several advantages. The temporary Layher Keder Roof XL and supporting structure of phase two had to straddle the duo pitch on phase one, but at the same time allow for the phase three construction works.” “As phase two was over the transepts of the cathedral, large spine beams were
required, using our deep Aluminium HD beams built in clusters side by side with thin wedge head couplers, six on the east and four on the west elevation.” “The east elevation make up a 19 metres span, with the four beam configuration spanning 14 metres.” Simon Ainscough, Managing Director of Ainscaff Scaffolding added. “One of the biggest constraints of the project is that the cathedral had to remain open to the public with an average of 500,000 visitors per year. In addition, there is a tunnel and statues to protect in the ancient graveyard. The works are largely carried out during the day and under public scrutiny, so safety and logistics have to be paramount.”
NEWS IN BRIEF ❖ FIRM FINED £5K AFTER SCAFFOLDER FELL EIGHT-METERS A scaffolding company has been fined £5000 after one of its workers fell from an eight-meterhigh scaffold. JR Scaffolding Services has claimed responsibility in court after a cantilever scaffold collapsed leaving a scaffolder with serious injuries in September 2016.
TRAD GROUP TO CREATE SIX ‘SUPER DEPOTS’ ❖ The TRAD Group has announced that it will be restructuring TRAD Safety Systems and TRAD Hire & Sales to become TRAD UK. The move will create six super-depots in major conurbations across the UK – in London, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Andover. This new development will bring increased technical and sales expertise, as well as catering for increased levels of online services. They will also be providing an extended range of products from the ALTRAD Group giving customers an even wider online choice as well as simplifying online payment.
Des Moore, TRAD Group CEO told ScaffMag “We had already planned to combine both companies’ operations in Glasgow and Stockport before the COVID-19 lockdown. “Like most of the construction industry, we have experienced a reduction in business over the past three months, which has necessitated us considering ways to reduce operational costs. “However, we feel that this move will enable us to increase our offering and levels of service and support to customers by combining the products, knowledge and expertise of both companies.”
The 47-year-old scaffolder sustained a collapsed lung, a ruptured spleen, and multiple rib and shoulder fractures. His spleen was also removed as a result of the incident. The Paisley based company pleaded guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to failing to make suitable and sufficient risk assessments. The firm also admitted failing to provide a safe system of work to be followed by employees. And it failed to ensure the tower scaffold was attached to the building The court heard there were not enough anchors to secure the scaffold to the building in Glasgow’s Alexandra Parade and instead used a friction tie.
New MD at Lyndon SGB ❖ Stuart Robinson has joined Lyndon
and office schemes in Bahrain, casinos in
commitment to safety and the wellbeing
SGB as Managing Director with effect
Macau, the 2012 London Olympics,
of everyone we come into contact with.
from 1st June. He takes over the role
leading Mace’s consultancy business in
Our plan is to make Lyndon SGB the
from Rob Lynch who is stepping down at
India and most recently Tiffany’s 5th
scaffolding contractor of choice on a
the end of June after 20 years.
Avenue flagship store in New York and
national basis. Our ability to offer all
Heathrow’s expansion programme.
types of scaffolding while being
Stuart joins the business after 15 years with construction firm Mace and
Stuart Robinson said “I am definitely
supported by mast climbers and our
before that Taylor Woodrow. He has a
joining at an interesting time, but I am
market leading hoist provider, Taylor’s
wide experience of civil engineering
very excited by the massive potential.
Hoists, means we can provide clients
projects and large scale developments
Lyndon SGB has some great foundations;
with a unique integrated service.”
across the globe including major retail
I have been impressed by the
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Supervisor saves life of Stanlow Refinery colleague Altrad Scaffolding supervisor Paul Thomas has been praised by the company for saving the life of a colleague at the Stanlow Refinery ❖ Working on-site for Essar, Paul Thomas became concerned when a fellow worker seemed to be feeling unwell. He quickly suggested his colleague go to the medical facility to get checked out, and although the operative explained he was fine and would be able to continue with his duties, it was clear to Paul something could be wrong. Being genuinely worried about the employee, he insisted they went to the centre together so his friend could get professional advice.
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There was certainly nothing wrong with Paul’s intuition as from the moment they arrived at the centre, his colleague took a turn for the worse. In fact, it soon became obvious the man was suffering a major heart attack. Together with Chris Walsh, Paul was called on to perform CPR, eventually re-starting the man’s heart. Medical professionals were called to the scene to provide the necessary care and treatment. They later confirmed the actions of
both Paul and Chris saved the life of their colleague. Paudie Somers, CEO of Altrad`s UK, Ireland & Nordics business told Scaffmag “I’d like to take the opportunity to commend Paul on his proactive actions, which proved to be instrumental in saving the life of one of his colleagues. It’s our strong safety culture and our brilliant people that make Altrad the smartest choice, and we are proud to have Paul as part of our team.”
NASC Update COVID-19 Guidance ❖ The NASC has updated its COVID-19 guidance, titled ‘Scaffolding Operations During Coronavirus Pandemic’. The latest guidance from the NASC comes after the Construction Leadership Council updated its own Site Operating Procedures, and to ensure the NASC remains inline with the relaxing of Government guidance – ‘Working safely during COVID-19 in construction and other outdoor work – Version 4’. The twelve-paged updated COVID-19 guidance published by the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation is currently at version 3 and mainly covers the ‘relaxed’ social distancing rules. It now allows a one metre distance with risk mitigation measures when two meters is not viable, and a few other relatively minor additional requirements. The latest version is available here.
DEATH RATE IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ON THE RISE
❖ Latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive reveal the death rate in construction has increased. The figures show 40 construction site workers were killed as a result of injuries sustained while at work in the year to
31st March 2020. The sector is one of the few industries that saw an increase, and is 22% above the record low of 31 deaths seen in 2019. Although construction has the largest share of deaths, the HSE says that over
the last five years the number has fluctuated and the annual average for the past five years is 37. But the annual average rate over the last five years in construction is around four times the all industry rate. The three most common causes of fatal injuries continue to be; workers falling from height (29), being struck by a moving vehicle (20) and being struck by a moving object (18), accounting for 60 percent of fatal injuries in 2019/20. Following the release, HSE’s chief executive, Sarah Albon, said “No one should be hurt or killed by the work they do. In these extraordinary times, we have seen many workers risking their lives to help others during the coronavirus outbreak. Although these statistics are not a reflection on Covid-19 related loss of life, it is a pertinent time to reflect. “Every workplace fatality is a tragedy and while we are encouraged by this improvement, today’s statistics are a reminder that we cannot become complacent as we look to continue to work together to make Great Britain an even safer place to live and work.”
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// News: Training
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Training providers adapt to a ‘New Normal’ UK training providers are adapting to a ‘new normal’ after cautiously reopening their doors post lockdown ❖ Scaffolding training is now underway at over 18 locations around the UK (at time of writing), with many more to follow suit in the coming weeks. Providers are showing real resilience after swiftly adapting to overcome government restrictions. The Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) has been working tirelessly with training providers throughout the lockdown to get them back open and COVID ready. Before reopening, CISRS said that all centres were required to submit detailed risk assessments and method statements with supporting documentation and photographic evidence showing restrictions and precautions put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19, whilst delivering training. Providers had to cover each step of the training experience from arriving at the centre, moving around the site, getting to classrooms, practical training areas,
welfare facilities and getting back home safely. Although the reduced centre capacity restriction is causing a strain for a number of providers, the industry demand for CISRS training is unfaltering. So much so, Scaffmag understands that several scaffolding training providers are laying on extra courses, in particular short duration ones like COTS and CPD. David Mosley, CISRS Managing Director said “The Coronavirus pandemic has hit the whole industry hard; scaffolders, employers, clients as well as the training providers. There is still a lot of uncertainty ahead, but the sector has responded very positively and looked for ways to move forward in a safe and productive manner.” Centres that are currently open are initially dealing with courses which were cancelled due to the lockdown, but are also slowly taking general bookings. Dave Mosley added “We appreciate
that we are not out of the woods yet and that the ongoing commercial uncertainty may prove fatal to some centres, which will be a real blow for the industry. “That said, the response to date from providers has been excellent, the feedback from the delegates has been very positive and the demand for training continues; as such we will press on with training following all the relevant procedures and like everybody else aim to get through this safely.”
THE PANDEMIC HAS HIT THE WHOLE INDUSTRY HARD, THERE IS STILL A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY AHEAD, BUT THE SECTOR HAS RESPONDED VERY POSITIVELY AND LOOKED TO MOVE FORWARD IN A SAFE AND PRODUCTIVE MANNER
CITB Slashes Levy Bills ❖ CITB has announced its plan to help
payment holiday on the Levy until
to August this year and then take
employers recover from the impact of
September and then up to a full year to
advantage of spreading the costs – £100
Coronavirus, including a substantial
pay the 2020/21 Levy.
per month up to February 2022, paying
reduction in Levy bills. The CITB has published its Skills
They also propose a 50% discount on the 2021/22 Levy rate, meaning
£1,800 overall. According to the CITB, the changes
Stability Plan 2020-21 which protects
employers will pay 18 months’ Levy out
will see their forecasted Levy income
apprenticeships and provides direct
of 24, with an overall saving of 25%
drop by £166m across two financial
funding to employers to adopt new
across two years.
years. However, despite this large drop in
ways of working needed in the wake of Covid-19. The training board have announced that employers will continue to have a
For example, an employer with an
income, the CITB stressed that its Skills
average annual Levy bill of £1,200 would
Stability Plan will protect
normally pay £2,400 over 2020-22.
apprenticeships, and direct funding to
Instead, they will pay nothing from April
employers and the Grants Scheme.
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// News: Covid-19
ROAD TO RECOVERY How does the scaffolding industry recover from the seismic disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic? Robin James, NASC Managing Director investigates ❖ To do so there must be an acceptance that Covid-19 has changed our world permanently. Lockdown has had such an impact on us all that we can’t simply go back to pre-Coronavirus times. To recover and grow, we must adapt and embrace a new way of working. It’s worth reminding ourselves of the chaotic journey the industry has been on for the past four months. When the lockdown was first announced and the UK economy was brought to an immediate halt, the construction sector was told to continue… but only if it was safe to do so. What followed was weeks of lockdown limbo, with scaffolding industry businesses unsure whether they should shut up shop – in line with government advice at the time – or continue to operate – in line with government advice at the time! The picture was further muddied by contractual complications, with main contractors threatening, either directly or indirectly, to penalise any subcontractors for not attending sites, doubts about the furlough scheme, cash flow headaches, equipment hire issues and countless other problems. For its part, the NASC did its best to provide updated guidance and assistance to its members and the scaffolding industry as a whole. This saw us establish a dedicated Covid-19 information page on the NASC website that featured a range of advisory
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topics – updated on a daily basis and sometimes many times on the same day – providing information on working on site, the Job Retention Scheme, loan schemes, grants, sick pay and much more. A daily Coronavirus news bulletin was then issued to members, keeping them informed of the latest changes and updates. As the Government’s stance on how to work safely during the pandemic became clearer, the NASC published its Scaffolding Operations During the Covid-19 Pandemic guidance and associated toolbox talk, both of which were made available for free download. There was also a great deal of working going on behind the scenes. The NASC worked closely with partners such as Build UK and other trade bodies to push the Government for greater clarity and support. Additionally, the NASC kept in close contact with its members and canvassed their views to see in which areas we could provide further assistance. It’s been a rollercoaster ride – and there are difficult bumps ahead – but it seems that some things are now almost as they were before Coronavirus arrived on our shores. On a practical level some semblance of normality has returned. As the Covid-19 restrictions have been relaxed, business has started to pick up. Sites have reopened and scaffolding operatives have returned to work, albeit with the need to adhere to new
Coronavirus working practices and procedures. Scaffolding training has also recommenced, thanks largely to the efforts of training providers in adapting their facilities and course provision to meet strict social distancing requirements. But on a deeper level, the pandemic has fundamentally altered how we operate. Throughout the Covid-19 crisis we have seen how NASC members of all shapes and sizes have risen to meet the multitude of challenges they’ve faced and this will continue. This includes an increased focus on cash flow prediction and financial modelling, with businesses becoming even more aware of their key costs and business structure. With the introduction of reverse charge VAT looming we’re sure this will carry on long after the Covid-19 crisis is behind us. The way we’re working has also changed significantly. Employers have been examining employment contracts and making value changes, aiming to reward the most efficient/productive workers not just experience or training. The Government has also attempted to boost productivity by extending site opening hours with staggered starting and finishing times to help with transport overcrowding, site arrival checks and overcrowded welfare areas (toilets / lockers / canteens / lifts). In the longer term, this may benefit
those seeking flexible working hours (parents, those with caring responsibilities etc...) because workers may have the opportunity to choose hours that better suit their circumstances. In turn this may expand the available workforce, encouraging more women into the industry. More available workers leading to a higher quality workforce. Additionally, more office workers have been forced to work from home, and may be encouraged to continue to do so in the future. More people working from home
will help with transport issues and allow offices to reduce the size of their facilities. This has largely been possible due to a greater use of technology – with people forced to develop new IT skills quickly. Fewer face to face meetings meaning less time taken in travel. Geographical location is now less important, since, as long as there is good internet / wi fi / phone coverage, all people are equally able to attend meetings and be part of the discussion. The pandemic has forced the scaffolding industry to adapt to survive.
There’s no going back now. And while Covid-19 continues to affect countless businesses, the message is that we can build back better. This includes seeking better working practices – such as putting greater emphasis on recycling and the sourcing of sustainable materials. There is undoubtedly a long and uncertain road ahead for us all but through accepting that ‘normality’ is neither achievable nor desirable, we can guarantee that the future is something to look forward to.
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RECESSION IS AN OPPORTUNITY IN WOLF’S CLOTHING There are more opportunities to grow your wealth during periods of world crisis and economic downturn than any other period in history. Simon Boyes asks the question… are you ready to take advantage of it?
020 has hit the scaffolding industry like a dropped ledger! The construction industry has not yet felt the same force of the pandemic as the retail, tourism, and hospitality markets, but the flow on effect is forecast to hit the construction sector in late 2020 and into 2021. Following this, some of the world’s leading business strategists are predicting that the period between September 2021 and September 2031 will see a business growth period on a scale none of us has ever experienced before. The question is… are we ready for it? What we do today and the way we think about our approach to solving our customers’ problems is going to shape the way we live and how (or if) we come out the other side. If we don’t change our mindsets and our approach to what we do, we are going to be left behind. You can guarantee that our competition is already strategising about how to take full advantage of the upcoming opportunities. During periods of financial discomfort, people are forced to think differently and find new ways to solve old problems. Take the Global Financial Crisis in 2007, for example. College students who couldn’t get jobs or were working from their garage for minimum wage changed the world forever by inventing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Netflix. The same is going to happen as we move out of the COVID-19 crisis. Between September
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MY ADVICE TO ANY SENIOR LEADER OR DECISION MAKER IS TO BE OPEN WITH YOUR TEAM AND MAKE SURE EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS WHAT YOU ARE TRYING TO ACHIEVE
2021 and September 2031, we are going to experience more innovation than society has ever seen before. We have already seen some of the early impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as businesses have been forced to pivot and change the way they operate to survive. We have proven that businesses can operate just as efficiently working remotely as they can working from the same office. We have proven that a video call is just as effective as a face to face meeting. We have shown that it no longer matters where you live or the country you reside in because we can all collaborate through the internet. So what comes next? Are scaffolding companies going to shift from owning expensive offices and storage facilities to working from home? Or move from owning all their own equipment to cross-hiring from another supplier? Or moving away from having their own staff to using labour contractors? The next 18 months is going to change the way we live, work, and play forever. The key to surviving such a period is to take a deep dive into our businesses to really understand the key metrics and the critical drivers to our success. What overheads do we have that are luxuries that we can no longer afford? Having open and honest conversation between your team will help everyone understand the current economic situation and keep everyone’s vision aligned. It is important for the site team to
understand what is going on in the office and vice versa. For as long as scaffolders have been connecting tubes together, the site team has had the perception that the guys in the office sit around all day doing nothing, and the guys in the office think the site team should work harder and faster. But in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s changing climate, it is more important than ever before to keep the entire team on the same page and working towards a common goal. My advice to any senior leader or decision maker of a scaffolding business is to be open with your team and make sure everyone understands what you are trying to achieve. Without buy in and help, everyone is going to fall short of their goals. We all need to stick together through this turbulent time, and together as an industry we will make it out the other side and be stronger for having been through it.
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SMALL BUSINESS CONFIDENCE BOUNCES BACK Business finance study reveals predictive growth for UK small businesses has almost doubled in just three months.
esearch carried out by Hitachi Capital Business Finance shows the proportion of UK small businesses predicting growth has almost doubled in just three months from 14% to 27%. It could be one of the first tangible indications that the Government’s easing of lockdown is having a positive impact on a key area of the UK economy. The quarterly tracking study goes beyond sentiment and confidence, says the business finance company. It examines the percentage of small businesses that actually predict growth in the next three months. Following last quarter’s report, which saw the percentage of small business owners predicting growth plummeting from 39% to just 14%, the new findings show the highest quarter-on-quarter rise in five years. With 27% predicting growth overall, there were significant rises in the percentage of small businesses predicting moderate expansion over the next three months (up from 10% to 23%) or no change (26% to 43%). This meant there has been a huge reduction in the percentage of businesses that fear contraction (down from 31% to 19%) or collapse in the next three months (down by almost two thirds from 29% to 11%). By sector, the IT/telecoms sector had the highest proportion of small businesses that predicted
growth for the three months to 30th September (44%). The biggest rises in confidence since lockdown were evidenced in transport and distribution (up from 8% to 34%) and manufacturing (9% to 30%), where the resurgence of growth forecasts was striking. There were also significant rises in sectors hardest hit by lockdown: In retail, the percentage of small businesses predicting growth rose from 21% to 27% and in hospitality growth forecasts rose from 11% to 16% in the three months since April. The research also suggests that smaller, more agile enterprises will be the fastest to adapt to the UK’s re-emergence from lockdown: Small businesses that had been trading for less than five years (35%) and those that employed 10-49 employees (37%) were most likely to predict business growth for the next three months (to 30th September 2020). Gavin Wraith-Carter, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance commented “The latest Hitachi Capital research findings are remarkable for both the scale and the speed of the revival in small business confidence. We knew last quarter that small business confidence would fall as lockdown started and the scale of the fall was a concern, particularly the steep rise in the number of business owners fearing for their survival. Our new research - just in - shows what an immediate and positive impact the easing of lockdown has had on the small business community. Whilst bigger businesses are having to adjust and adapt at a slower pace, small business confidence across the UK has bounced back and as the engine room of the British economy, today’s figures can give us confidence that small businesses will lead the nation’s effort to rebuild the economy and secure growth.”
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// Business spotlight
SECURING THE FUTURE We live in an age when health and safety is more important than ever in the field of scaffolding. We have been discovering how one company in the steel city has been leading the way when it comes to secure scaffolding
s a forward-thinking company, Scaff Security Alarms pride themselves on their exceptional levels of customer service. One happy customer posted on facebook: “Absolutely superb service, responds in minutes, installs first time every time and knows his stuff.” A CARING COMPANY
This very special Sheffield-based family run business cares deeply about the end results of every client project whether large or small. They are, in every sense, fully committed to customer satisfaction, and at a time when some businesses are going to the wall, their welcoming approach is crucial in every sense. What’s more, they carry an impressive range of professional accreditations and certifications with a strong focus on flexibility and environmental responsibility. Everything a 21st century company needs to compete in the scaffolding market. And here’s a thing – they recycle 92 per cent of
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scrap materials making them one of the greenest operations around. CUSTOMER CARE
ABOVE AND RIGHT: Some of Scaff Security Alarms’ successful projects in scaffolding and security, putting extra steel into systems across the UK.
A spokesperson from the company said “With more than 20 years combined experience in this specialised service we are able to offer excellent customer care, expert equipment knowledge and installation techniques at very competitive prices. “We are now offering construction & demolition site monitored CCTV security systems, providing 24 hours a day high quality video recording and out of hours monitoring by a leading remote monitoring station.
“This is a low cost and more effective alternative to manned guards, not only providing video evidence of the event but the system cannot be open to corruption and fraud.” FEELING THE BENEFIT
With scaffolding alarms becoming more in demand due to theft, insurance claims and personal injury, clients are beginning to recognise that securing the scaffolding is a key priority in today’s society. Not only does the alarm protect the building from theft of expensive materials, it also carries the increased benefit of health and safety. With highly qualified engineers across the UK, Scaff Security Alarms’ impressive list of projects comes as no surprise. On any scaffolding, sensors are installed at the first vulnerable lift creating an active alarmed perimeter around the building or structure. Being open to the elements, anything from inclement weather to loose construction materials and even birds can trigger a false alert on some alarms out there – but not with the product offered by Scaff Security. The sensors used here are almost completely immune. THREE GOLDEN RULES
When it comes to totally safe scaffolding there are three golden rules to be mindful of. Initially the scaffold must be built under the supervision of a competent person. Secondly all workers should be trained by a qualified person before they use the scaffold. Thirdly, the scaffold should be checked and properly tagged at the beginning of each shift to ensure its integrity. Following all of these guidelines is vital at all times, but it’s also very important for everyone’s safety to secure the structure. Any scaffolding alarm should act as a deterrent against intrusion. If security measures aren’t taken into account, such a structure could provide easy entry into a property. In truth, some insurance providers won’t pay out on compromised scaffolding that wasn’t alarmed. Clearly, benefits include safeguarding against the theft of potentially expensive materials, ensuring the highest health and safety standards, as well as demonstrating complete professionalism on-site.
WITH MORE THAN 20 YEARS COMBINED EXPERIENCE WE ARE ABLE TO OFFER EXCELLENT CUSTOMER CARE, EXPERT EQUIPMENT KNOWLEDGE AND INSTALLATION TECHNIQUES AT VERY COMPETITIVE PRICES
As a minimum requirement the SSAIB Code of Practice SS2006 stipulates the entire first vulnerable level of scaffolding is fully protected by the way of Infrared Photoelectric Beam Sensors and Dual Tech PIRs. This includes the ends of the scaffolding. However depending on the size, shape and other factors including flat roofs, neighbouring high walls etc., additional sensors may be required for complete protection Once an alarm activation is triggered, a 110db siren will sound instantaneously for a duration of between two and 15 minutes depending on the client’s specification. At the same time as this, a grade two encryption DualCom signalling device will send a signal to an NSI Gold Approved Alarm Receiving Centre (or ARC) complying with BS EN 50518, which in turn contacts the designated key holder. The alarm will reset and re-arm automatically after the predetermined period, even recording the date and time of any activity causing activation. ESSENTIAL DAILY LIFE
There can be little doubt securing any scaffolding is now an essential part of daily life in the industry. Scaff Security Alarms Ltd are doing all they can to put extra steel into systems across the UK – in terms of technology the city of Sheffield, it would seem, now has a cutting edge of a different kind. www.scaffsecurityalarms.co.uk
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Removing equipment supply inefficiencies to achieve operational excellence and profitability, meet Rochesterbased firm, Alltask
s a key economic driver, the UK construction sector is expected to lift the country’s financial performance in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. However, concerns over systemic productivity challenges, specifically in workflow management and labour shortages, must be addressed up front. To accelerate industry growth, construction firms - scaffolding contractors included - are investing in new technologies. Firstly to ensure project predictability, especially in these turbulent times, and maximize equipment utilization; and secondly, to strengthen operational excellence to service the upcoming wave of projects. In today’s volatile market, a scaffold yard can be desperately short of gear one day and overburdened with costly, unutilized equipment the next. By deploying digital technologies, scaffolding companies can take control over critical business aspects, such as equipment operations, with accurate real-time data. This approach grants businesses greater insight into their stocking needs and schedules, improving planning of equipment purchases, hire, and logistics to maximize productivity on site while minimizing administrative and procurement costs. By embracing a data-driven approach to stock control, scaffold teams can stay responsive to the needs of their customers, providing the business with competitive advantage and improving profitability as well. We spoke with Alltask, a Rochesterbased scaffolding firm, to learn about their
digital transformation journey and how technology helped them build a sustainable business. THE COSTS OF INEFFICIENT SCAFFOLDING MANAGEMENT
Like many other scaffolding firms, Alltask used to rely on spreadsheets to track materials as they travelled between the yard and work sites. Every day, each of its 25 trucks was loaded twice, hauling a total of more than 250 tons of materials to and from the yard. As a result, staff juggled up to 400 active work sites at a time, which caused a huge capacity gap in their workforce. This constant movement also posed major challenges to stock-level monitoring. The company had implemented an internal system to track basic stock movements. Despite the hefty investment in software development, it failed to provide a global view of stock holdings, and, worse, it became outdated due to a lack of maintenance. “We got to the stage that none of us had any idea what we were sending or receiving,” said Doug Shearer, Chairman of Alltask. “There were so many anomalies and mistakes that there was no real appetite for cross-checking.” Mistakes led to inefficiency. When trucks went out without all the requested materials, not only would customers complain, but the company would also have to dispatch a second vehicle and keep workers on the job longer. “That’s double the labour cost and double the transport cost. It starts adding up. Getting it wrong on a simple delivery could cost an extra 40%,” Shearer shared. In the current climate, an average 20%
THRIVING IN CRISIS:
GROWING DIGITAL ADOPTION IN SCAFFOLDING MANAGEMENT 26 | S CAFFMAG.COM
productivity loss could translate to a 32-week project delay and a whopping $738,200 increase in preliminary costs, according to a report by research consultant Turner & Townsend (T&T). Fortunately, realizing the damage of legacy methods, Alltask was among the early digital adopters. After their internallydeveloped system proved insufficient, they implemented Avontus Quantify, a leading scaffold inventory management software in 2015 and continue to enjoy the transformative impact today. IMPROVING ASSET MANAGEMENT TO GROW PROFITABILITY
With Avontus Quantify, it’s extremely easy to monitor the movement of individual components and check stock balances across the business. “It came as quite a shock how much we were losing, and the only way we know that is using Quantify,” Shearer commented. When materials didn’t make it back from a job, Quantify immediately flagged missing items and who was responsible. Alltask could now use the data to prove when customers were at fault and charge them for missing materials. Avontus Software fundamentally addresses the gap in scaffolding life cycle management, specifically between the back office and job sites, as well as in client communications.
Furthermore, by adding on Quantify Web, Alltask was able to give supervisors in the field access to stock data using tablets. Instead of phoning in requests for materials, supervisors could themselves create a pick list for the following day and send it straight to the yard. Shearer mentioned that this new workflow has cut down on mistakes and wasted time significantly. Now, every quarter the company uses Avontus Quantify to create a report showing stock value, expenses, and losses. This has allowed Shearer’s team to provide solid evidence for the company’s books, including depreciation of assets. And Alltask executives couldn’t be happier. What used to be guesswork is now single-source data collection, readily available anytime. That means the company is now able to immediately check current stock for real-time asset valuation. On all fronts, more visibility has meant
greater efficiency and productivity. A streamlined process also helps to allocate strategic resources to service projects, while freeing up on-site crews from manual material tracking and sparing yard teams from the disruption of last-minute requests. “Boosting construction’s productivity is key to supporting the UK’s wider economic recovery,” said Stephen Gallagher, a T&T principal, pointing to ‘smarter working practices’ that address reduced resources. Beyond improving equipment operations efficiency, an integrated scaffolding management platform enables you to digitize your scaffold design, proposal, and execution processes as well. Avontus Quantify works seamlessly with Avontus Designer to give you complete visibility into your projects, enabling frictionless collaboration across trades, especially critical in this age of remote working and social distancing.
REACH NEW HEIGHTS WITH AVONTUS SOFTWARE Avontus Quantify
Easily monitor inventory, ship
Avontus Designer makes scaffold
materials, generate invoices and set
planning and presentation a snap. Start
reminders. Plus it is very simple to
from scratch or import a plan, then create
manage cross-hire, and oversee all
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and instantly generate materials lists.
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Brick by brick Lee Marley Brickwork Limited has a mulit-million pound turnover and and sits comfortably in the Sunday Times fastest-growing annual profit companies in the UK. We meet Lee Marley, who tells us how it all began and what the future holds for his aspirational company
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ids often say the funniest things, but sometimes they really do know what they’re talking about. For example, if you asked a seven-year-old Lee Marley what he wanted to be when he grew up, you could forget fireman, footballer or film star. The young Londoner was clear his future would involve construction. Inspiration might have come from watching the ongoing development of the housing estate he lived on. His grandfather being a builder definitely had an impact. Today, Lee is in charge of Lee Marley Brickwork Limited, the company he founded in 1997. Turning over £47.1million last year alone, that number earned the firm a spot on the Sunday Times Profit Track 100, which ranks UK companies in terms of fastest-growing annual profit. That success has been long winded, too. Within five years the core business was bringing in work to the tune of £5million annually, so in 2001 Lee took a chance on the acquisition of a scaffolding business. A veritable one-stop shop was created, and now the Lee
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Marley portfolio of landmark projects includes Olympic villages, Eton College, Belmarsh Prison, Reading Railway Station and Nottinghamshire’s National Rehabilitation Centre. Lee is quick to point out the impact Dan Clarkson has had on this ever-expanding client base, his business partner since 2011 and longtime right hand man before that. “Watching a building grow, it’s something that still excites me and grabs my interest,” he replies when asked about that childhood spent dreaming of building a construction empire, before explaining one of the biggest challenges in realising that goal was being taken seriously up against established firms in the early days. “When I was 23 I did have a lack of confidence and belief in myself. At first things felt like old school generations were looking down on me, but my confidence soon grew as people saw I could deliver.” In many ways this mirrors Lee’s experience setting up in the scaffolding market, despite the main business long cementing solid credentials. Different specialisms have different market leaders, so the new side of the firm was very much a challenger brand and needed to prove itself. “I’ve always worked alongside scaffolders and appreciated how technical the job is,” he says. “I knew two really good scaffolders I’d worked with but
WHEN I WAS 23 I DID HAVE A LACK OF CONFIDENCE AND BELIEF IN MYSELF. AT FIRST THINGS FELT LIKE OLD SCHOOL GENERATIONS WERE LOOKING DOWN ON ME, BUT MY CONFIDENCE SOON GREW AS PEOPLE SAW I COULD DELIVER
could see them struggling; whilst they were great scaffolders, they just weren’t good businessmen. “At the time it was very difficult to be taken seriously. Even now, despite the fact that we are turning over £12 million in this sector and have 150 scaffolders on board, we still have to prove ourselves because we have brickwork in our name and not scaffolding. “It took me a long time to build the right team and I have a great deal of respect for this industry. At first I totally underestimated the amount of equipment needed, finding the right staff, project management, safety and design. “It takes a massive amount of investment and these contracts are huge, it’s so important to build the right team.” Lee is right to be proud. The ‘brickwork and scaffold’ meal deal completed its first 20 storey tower five years ago, and has been going from strength to strength since inception. He is currently working on a 27-floor high rise in Park Royal, and The Embassy Gardens project in Vauxhall — two statement builds even among London’s notoriously bold and uncompromising modern cityscape and landmark undertakings that, earlier this year, were under threat from the outbreak of COVID-19, resulting global pandemic and economic fallout. “Initially it was very scary,” Lee says, quickly revealing his remarkably upbeat outlook for the mid and long-term future, and belief confidence in construction will continue to return. “We are bedded back in and things are returning to some sense of normality, tenders are being let and won and confidence is setting in, especially in the residential market. “For me this is a completely different scenario to the previous recessions when we were concerned that things just wouldn’t recover. With COVID-19 our concerns have been about when we’re going back to work, not if.” Given his firm’s history — surviving two devastating recessions — Lee’s confidence is understandable. But he’s also shrewd enough to understand that resilience is always dependent on being able to secure the right talent. Hence the highly respected post graduate programme currently running at Reading University and partnership with Surrey’s Brooklands College, something of a payback for the leg up he received from his own apprenticeship. Keen to instil skills and talent in a new generation, we can only hope they also pick up the work ethic. After months in which talk of tomorrow has been largely dominated by worst case scenarios, it’s reassuring to see the future of UK construction involves such inspiring selfstarting leadership.
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GREEN LIGHT System scaffold designers and manufacturers, Layher brings environmental focus to the fore
he importance of safety, versatility and cost effectiveness relating to the use of scaffolding is quite clearly not in dispute. Every installation – from building and construction to specific sectors such as offshore, rail and industrial maintenance – has to meet the highest standards in these key areas. “There is, however, a further dimension which is invariably being highlighted by manufacturers, contractors and end users alike,” says Sean Pike, UK Managing Director of system scaffolding, access and weather protection specialist, Layher Ltd. “Optimising environmental performance has now become a factor that is not only called for by our customers but one which, vitally, we demand of ourselves.” Layher’s view reflects today’s greater emphasis on the achievement of greener performance. This, the company believes, impacts not only on the broad need to ensure that its methods always take account of environmental effects but also on the advantages that can then be realised from a competitive point of view. “Every aspect of our activity now accommodates this consideration – from manufacturing and production processes to optimising our broad association with local, national and international communities,” adds Sean Pike. This philosophy at Layher extends to both economic and ecological sustainability. The organisation ensures, for example, that it not only utilises resource-preserving production processes but also focuses its commitment on areas such as facility construction and transport. “For example, we have created a dedicated Energy Management Team at our manufacturing plant near Stuttgart,” continues Sean Pike, “which uses the international standard ISO 50001 as the basis for all activities and processes that call for the use and consumption of energy.” Layher has identified several areas where the obligations associated with environmentally responsible activity should be applied. The
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sustainability of its production processes, the means of measuring performance and the design of the products themselves – all come under the green spotlight. “We have committed to a 10% reduction in energy consumption across our production processes over the next ten years,” explains Sean Pike by way of example. “This includes a move towards optimising movement between manufacturing locations to help reduce CO² emissions, the acquisition of raw materials that themselves are ecologically sustainable and the use of machinery which operates within the highest energy efficiency class.” The use of new production technologies and processes that look to ensure the preservation of resources can also be seen through the company’s focus on utilising innovative technology such as combined heat and power and heat recovery facilities. “It is vital that this approach is continually subjected to a reliable means of measurement,” continues Sean Pike, “not just in order to demonstrate our performance, but also to identify areas where further improvements can be made.” Targeting building refurbishment plans – ranging from regular roof repairs to the use of new innovations such as roll-up door products that provide faster, more energy efficient operations – are cited by the company as good examples in this context. “Replacing diesel forklift trucks with electric alternatives, installing photovoltaic systems and incorporating green spaces in new building plans are all factors that we apply and adhere to wherever possible,” adds Sean Pike. The reduction of waste materials, often to create an alternative energy source, is a further demonstration of this principle in practice. Apart from steps taken to optimise environmental performance at its manufacturing plant – its new galvanising facility, for example, creates emissions that actually have a beneficial effect on its surrounding woodland location – Layher also believes that product design should itself reflect the green imperative. For example, being able to combine new equipment with
ABOVE: Layher’s impressive headquarters situated in Letchworth, Herts will form the basis of their environmental push to becoming a greener company.
existing materials and stocks can help to optimise the long-term use and versatility of scaffolding, weather protection and access solutions. It is a view that is echoed by the organisation’s commitment to ensuring equipment approvals remain applicable across successive design generations. “The use of lightweight materials also plays an important role not only by helping with operations on site but also because they can contribute to minimising transportation needs – with, again, a beneficial impact on emissions,” continues Sean Pike. Perhaps one the most dramatic recent developments by Layher has been its Scaffold Information Modelling (SIM) software and, here too, environmental gains can be noted. “The design tool, which interfaces directly with BIM, provides a highly versatile planning method which offers enhanced presentation opportunities, communication with mobile devices via cloud-based mixed reality and even VR-modelling,” explains Sean Pike. “In turn, this can reduce the need for multi-party meetings and operations which, once again, can help cut down on travel requirements and consequent emissions. “The focus on environmental performance – in all its aspects – is, today, high on the agenda of all responsible companies and, in our sector, we believe
WE HAVE COMMITTED TO A 10% REDUCTION IN ENERGY CONSUMPTION ACROSS OUR PRODUCTION PROCESSES OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS we take a committed and proactive approach to the issue,” says Sean Pike. “This year marks our 75th anniversary since we began the production of ladders in little more than a small hut and throughout that time, our belief in quality, innovation and working closely ‘in partnership’ with customers has been well recognised. This is now being enhanced by our belief in meeting our green obligations. “In the UK, through our head office in Letchworth and satellite depots in Yorkshire, the West Midlands, Scotland and Ireland we demonstrate this approach on a clear basis and believe it goes hand-inhand with, for example, maintaining stock levels and support during the current challenging times. The added emphasis we place today on optimising our, and our customers’, environmental performance will be recognised and appreciated, I am sure, by all concerned,” concludes Sean Pike.
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Whether it is the need for more skilled workers, more efficient systems, or the requirement for digitalisation, the demands from the industry do not appear to be slowing down as Peri Up welcome a new member to their team
he appointment of Charles Stratford, Business Development Manager for PERI UP, is a bold step for PERI towards developing a scaffolding proposition that is more aligned to meet these demands, now and in the future. Charles joins PERI with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. The balance between his practical knowledge as a scaffolder early on in his career, coupled with his strategic acumen in recent senior roles made him the right candidate to navigate this new journey for PERI. One of the overarching objectives of this journey will be to ensure customers receive the true benefits of system scaffold. “System scaffold is and will continue to be imperative as the demands of the industry continue to change,” says Charles Stratford. “The features of system scaffold are inherently aligned to the productivity and safety measures that are expected on-site today.” PERI knows that system scaffolding adoption will deliver greater continuity on site. The business’s expansion of its scaffolding production plant last year demonstrated its understanding of how the industry is changing, and its capacity to fulfil a growing demand all over the world.
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A lot of this investment involves a new galvanising and metal processing plant in Gunzburg, Germany which is double the size of the existing floor space at the site. “The plant will mean that vital components are readily available when required, ensuring that we keep up with our formwork capabilities. Having the full manufacturing processes fully automated in one location will present our customers with faster lead times, delivered to the highest standard,” says Charles. “Our customers will be able to see the full process under one roof from raw material intake to the fully galvanised product. This new facility at Gunzburg really is state of the art manufacturing at its very best,” he adds. Investment in skilled staff is on par with the development of the company’s facilities. “We have the largest design capability in our industry,” says Charles. “This translates to greater flexibility, more choice and an array of solutions from experts. Something I am excited about is working with our designers on larger, more bespoke scaffolding solutions for our customers. We have the right people, the right solutions and the right product for any scaffolding-related service our customers require, giving us the confidence to fulfil any requirement here at PERI.” “We are also aware of the benefits of early engagement with contractors,” he adds. “With the diverse workforce we have, we can build those crucial relationships from the start, enabling us to come up with the right solutions much faster, no matter where the project is in the UK.” Of course, PERI’s engineering talent work with some of the most advanced technological resources. By producing virtual builds and animations, designers can work with this data to demonstrate integration into the built environment. “Increasing our work with 3D/4D/5D data can only reassure our customers further. We can really get to the finer details and tailor the solution to avoid issues throughout the build prior to arriving on-site, something that our customers have seen the benefits of already on complex sites like Hinkley Point C and Thames Tideway Tunnel,” says Charles.
WE HAVE THE RIGHT SOLUTIONS AND THE RIGHT PRODUCT FOR ANY SCAFFOLDINGRELATED SERVICE OUR CUSTOMERS REQUIRE, GIVING US THE CONFIDENCE TO FULFIL ANY REQUIREMENT
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BRENT SCAFFOLD BOARDS LTD
MANUFACTURER AND SUPPLIER OF TIMBER SCAFFOLD BOARDS A well established family run business that has been a major supplier and manufacturer of timber scaffold boards and system battens to the scaffolding and construction industry since 1992. Operating 5 fully automatic endbanding machines outputting 50,000 banded boards per week.
All boards are manufactured in the UK to BS2482 under the BSI Kitemarked quality assurance scheme.
Personalised banding, branding and Fire retardant treatments to Euro class B & C. Worldwide export service.
www.brentscaffoldboards.co.uk Tel 01757 289199 Email email@example.com Brent Scaffold Boards Ltd Breighton AirďŹ eld | Bubwith | Selby | YO8 6DJ | United Kingdom 36 | S CAFFMAG.COM
// Hire and sales
SAFETY IN NUMBERS TRAD Hire & Sales and TRAD Safety Systems have joined forces to offer a complete scaffolding and safety systems package
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// Hire and sales
RAD UK is the new brand name for the combined TRAD Hire & Sales and TRAD Safety Systems companies. The companies, which were recently amalgamated by TRAD Group, now offer a complete single-source supply for all scaffolding and safety systems hire and sales needs, resulting in a nationwide network that gives exceptional coverage and service. “This move will create six super-sized depots in major conurbations across the UK: London, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham and Andover,” says TRAD Group CEO Des Moore. “The new company will deliver enhanced technical and product sales expertise, and will be reviewing and extending its online offering and online payment systems, adding products from the Altrad Group to give customers wider online choice.” Bringing the two companies together means that customers across the UK will benefit from access to some of the most experienced scaffolding experts in the business. Everyone – drivers, yard support, admin and leadership teams – have years of experience in the trade, helping to make sure that customers get what they need when they need it. And with such a strong brand name in the sector, along with the backing of the international Altrad Group, customers of all sizes can be confident that they’re getting the best. “This has always been a business that’s focused on health and safety,” comments Colin Dobson, Managing Director at TRAD UK. “Many of us have come from the trade, and we know how important site safety is for everyone, whether they’re transporting, erecting, working on or working around the scaffolding. Our range of innovative products is designed with critical safety in mind, and we’re always working towards enhanced safety for contractors and visitors to any site.” BECOMING A ONE-STOP-SHOP
Alongside all its own innovations, TRAD UK stocks and delivers a huge product range – soon to be expanded with additional products from the Altrad Group. This means that customers across the UK can access all the scaffolding products they need, and benefit from technical expertise, in-house transport and trained operatives.
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THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A BUSINESS THAT’S FOCUSED ON HEALTH AND SAFETY
“Combining our teams means we’ve created an incredible hub of technical and product knowledge,” says Jim Gorman, Deputy Managing Director. “We can offer agreements on a national basis, offer a faster response across the country and help our customers ensure they get the products, training and support they need at the right time for their project. As we bring new products on board, open up our online systems and provide additional resources to customers, we aim to be the go-to hire and sales company in the industry.” TIME TO GIVE BACK
Part of the restructuring and re-branding of the business is focused on making sure TRAD UK is a great company to work for. Making diversity and
A HISTORY OF INNOVATION TRAD UK’s forerunners have an enviable track record in product innovation. Since the 1990s, the company has introduced a number of industry-leading products that have led the way:
1990s: TRAD Edgeguard System Edgeguard is a market-leading permanent edge protection system that has been selling successfully for more than 20 years. Customers ordering Edgeguard today benefit from a design and wind loading service, installation support and full training UK-wide for installers and inspectors.
2007: TRAD Internal Stair Designed in collaboration with housebuilders for the developer market, the lightweight access stair offers full temporary access between floor levels. This prevents damage to the internal staircase, and allows developers to work flexibly inside and out.
2008: TRAD Deck Moulded Panel System This unique moulded panel system is fully manufactured in the UK and has proven its worth over the past 12 years. 100% recyclable and with three different panel sizes available, TRAD UK has around 400,000m2 of this product on hire every week. Available for platform heights ranging from 1.5m to 3m, the panelling doesn’t need any back propping at all, and TRAD offers full installation and training.
2015: Tradguard 2015 and TRAD Lift Shaft Gate Tradguard is TRAD’s own design barrier with suitable fixings for both steel frame and concrete structure markets. This product can be branded to customers’ corporate colours and the company offers a design and engineering service for customers who have special requirements. The Lift Shaft Gate uses lightweight aluminium design to cut down on manual handling, and also comes with a full design and manufacture
equality matter has been a priority for the whole TRAD Group, and the company is focused on giving opportunities to all as it starts this new phase. What’s more, the company is committed to sustainability, both in the materials used in its products and in reducing the waste associated with the business. This reflects the Altrad Group’s commitments to having a positive impact on the environment. “It matters to us that we are about more than profit,” concludes Moore. “We aim to be a ‘mission’ business, giving back to our local communities and always looking for a better way to do things. Part of our motivation for the new TRAD UK brand is to ensure that we’re as respected for our attitude to people and places as we are for our passion for our products and service.”
service if needed.
2016: Trad Mini Catch Fan TRAD brought the unique design of its Mini Catch Fan to market four years ago, and it has been widely used to improve site safety. Built from aluminium and with no loose fittings, it can be installed without the use of a crane, making it ideal for busy urban sites with difficult access.
2019: Trad Loading Hatch TRAD’s latest product innovation is the first ever loading hatch, which has been designed in conjunction with the Health and Safety departments of several leading housebuilders. The company can also design and build bespoke loading hatches for your site. In December 2019, TRAD’s loading hatch was winner of the Altrad Presidents Award.
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// Hire and sales
BRAVE NEW WORLD 40 | S CAFFMAG.COM
Change comes with time, as the old adage goes, and this has never been truer than in the age of coronavirus. The world as we knew it altered beyond recognition in the blink of an eye, and only businesses that moved fast to adapt to the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;new normalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; were rewarded with anything like a stable ride. Businesses such as George Roberts Ltd.
e adapted quickly to the changing environment, which we were better placed to do than some of our larger group structured competitors,” replies Dan Wood, sales director at scaffolding supplier George Roberts Ltd, when we ask about the immediate effects of the pandemic. Staff and client safety were of paramount importance, with swift decision making and the introduction of new on-site policies meaning the firm could continue trading during lockdown. “We seem to be coming out the other side now and we have been seeing, in the past couple of months, a sharp rise in business activities, so we feel a great degree of confidence in the recovery of the construction sector,” Dan adds. “Clearly there remain some challenging periods ahead of us and we feel confident that the operational changes we have made internally will serve us well, to ensure we sustain and continue to support our customers.” We ask for figures, and he’s quick to pull some impressive numbers out. “Critically we have seen a 70% uplift in tendering for new business in the past few weeks since coming out of lockdown, which shows some very promising signs for the future of the company,” he says. An increase in business activity is a welcome relief for everyone involved in the scaffolding and construction sector; and for George Roberts Ltd the bold decision to focus major investment towards marketing and branding in recent and subsequent months during a period of adversity appears to have been a worthwhile strategy. “We wanted to showcase a totally new look that was more aligned to the changing world and the global business that we have become, whilst at the same time retaining our traditional core values, which remain integral to the DNA of this company,” Dan tells us. “It’s more of a refinement of our core message rather than a change in direction, as we wanted to use the new platform to solidify our positioning and demonstrate where we stand in the marketplace,” he continues, explaining that in addition to this clearer positioning, skill sets will be improved or added to the current offering. These include product branding and security stamping services, with the overall goal being to improve value at the customer end — increasing satisfaction levels that are already high among the client base following 25 years of trading. “Our vision for the next 25 years, in the words of George Roberts himself, is to maintain our strong customer relationships whilst driving improvements throughout the business, in both health and safety, as well as consistently delivering on the quality of products that benefit our customers every time,” he adds, citing goals like adding more blue chip
companies to the existing client list while maintaining the strong local ties the firm was founded on. The preceding quarter century also saw some seismic shifts and major developments. George Roberts Ltd has gradually built its international activities, for example, with the firm now capable of supplying products across the globe, from the Far East and Australia to North Africa and North America. Investment in infrastructure, not least to allow on-site container loading, along with the geographical location close to Liverpool’s docks, helping this no end. “Product evolution, with more systemised scaffolding solutions, has also proved to be a fruitful and natural progression for the company with the inclusion of the K-lok system followed by the Uniscaff stair tower system around 15 years ago, and subsequently the latest generation of system scaffolding with the market leading Layher Allround in 2010,” he says, before continuing to explain the elements that have played an integral role in the company’s growth to date, revealing that corporate attitude has also been important. “We have a reputation for collaborating with our customers and developing solutions to solve their problems.” This collaborative approach works in two ways. Not only does it expand on the talent and knowledge available for a specific project by including the client’s expertise, it affords the opportunity for contractor to learn from client, not just the other way around. Within the context of 2020, a year in which we’re told to pull together and use all available resources, this practice almost seems revolutionary. For George Roberts Ltd, though, it’s just business as usual, suggesting the firm is set to enjoy a brighter future at a time when adaptability is everything.
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Find this image upsetting? We do too. But with two construction workers taking their own life EVERY single working day, we need to act now. You and your business can change the life of a construction worker today by simply providing an annual company donation. You choose the amount that suits you, starting with a minimum of £250. Here’s what you’ll receive in return; A helpline pack of cards for you to distribute to your workforce and posters to display throughout your business and sites Discounted Mental Health First Aid courses A letter and certificate of thanks for participating in our Company supporters Programme Publicity of your logo on our website if you pledge a £1,000 or more per annum ‘ Thank you’ message on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Publicity of your logo and link through to your website on our monthly E-Zine Bespoke graphics so you can promote our partnership to your customers and colleagues
Save the life of a construction worker today, Visit;
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SCAFFMAG.COM | 42
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hey used to play ‘thanks for the memory’ whenever the great Bob Hope took to the stage – but it’s a tune Paul Corfield could easily have in his head any day on-site. There’ll be no jokes from him of course, because his colourful hobby is a serious business. From an old Big Ben spanner to documented ships scaffolding, Boulton Tubular Structures to The illustrated Carpenter and Builder, Palmers Travelling Cradle to the most glorious images from a bygone age, Paul has assembled a unique industrial collection. If you love your scaffolding history, this is the place for you. Paul explained “I started working weekends and school holidays with my father, Ian, when I was 12 or 13. The day
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after I finished school I was full time on-site. It should have been Palmers Scaffolding in Manchester but the depot closed it, so officially it was Ace Scaffolding.” Across the years Paul sub-contracted to a number of large firms such as SGB, Deborah Graystons, Kwikform and, like any decent scaffolder (his own words), TRAD in London around the turn of the century. He now finds himself working for Lyndon Scaffolding in both London and Manchester. My collection started around six years ago when my father gave me his old Big Ben spanner and a couple of books. From there I went onto old newspaper advertisements, mainly SGB ones. So if Paul found himself on a desert island, what would he keep with him? “Hands down the SGB adverts, he says. “In particular the “SGB DOES THE
JOB” close-up of the band and plate, as their strap line is “the originators of tubular scaffolding”. “The fact we still use the band and plate today is a testament to the company and a big reason why this is one of my favourites. I still have an original SGB podger on my belt some 100 years after they were first used.” And if you thought car phones were still relatively new, think again. Did you know the SGB two-way car radio telephone was working successfully in the 1930’s? Paul has the proof. And if he had to throw a spanner into the works, how about the Big Ben Collection of three original tools. You wouldn’t really want to clock off, but if you did there’s always a couple of playing cards to pass the time and an advert. He told me “It says a lot about the company that Leach’s Scaffolders
Supplies have a full line of products named after the Big Ben Scaffolding Company.” As for a third favourite choice he adds “I love the two Military Engineering booklets, very detailed with weights and measurements, images of fittings and fold out ‘plates.’ These are drawings for specific scaffolds such as observation towers and heavy duty trench supports.” “I actually have well over 50 individual pieces which I plan to frame in my Covid lockdown-built man cave, aptly called “the band and plate”, amongst the music and darts paraphernalia. Anyone who is interested in the contents of the individual books and brochures is more than welcome to get in touch as I will scan and share the contents.” There’s also a superb array of TRAD project reports lovingly put together.
I ACTUALLY HAVE WELL OVER 50 INDIVIDUAL PIECES WHICH I PLAN TO FRAME IN MY COVID LOCKDOWN BUILT MAN CAVE, APTLEY CALLED “THE BAND AND PLATE”
ABOVE: Paul Corfield has assembled a unique industrial collection rich in scaffolding history.
Paul has no idea how much the collection could be worth. “It’s not something that has ever crossed my mind, it’s a very niche collection, I don’t envisage me looking stunned on Antiques Roadshow any time soon. The truth is all of this collection and my knowledge and appreciation of the scaffolding industry would not have happened if it wasn’t for my father, Ian. I will be ever grateful because he taught me all he knew.” He laughs “My Mrs on the other hand is always told not to bend any envelopes arriving from ebay.” Bob Hope raised plenty of smiles of course, and this is where both men have a lot in common. When it comes to the scaffolding industry, this amazing collection comes with a beautifully constructed message. ‘Thanks for the memory’.
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FIVE MINUTES WITH…
Matthew Cousins The award winning South West based Apex Scaffolding (Exeter) Ltd has become the supplier of choice on many high profile projects with Blue Chip contractors. It’s Commercial Director, Matthew Cousins answers our questions HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE SCAFFOLDING INDUSTRY?
complete the orders we had in place for
Ah… erm… well – lets just say it was by
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER?
happy accident! I was training to be a
There are quite a few from when I was on
Box Talk were a great help to reassure
teacher, and was spending the summers
the tools that make good stories, but
both our clients and our staff that we had
working on a Greek Island, came home for
probably shouldn’t make it to print! I was
their best interests at heart. The
the winter and met a scaffolder’s
so pleased when Alan and Sarah Hogg
scaffolders we had on were great, and
daughter and we got on very well. Things
offered me the Directorship at Apex, it
showed true loyalty and commitment.
progressed VERY rapidly and I had to have
showed that all those years of hard work
a bit of a rethink to support my new
had paid off. That and being acknowledged
family – so her dad got me a job at the
by the NASC for our attitude to H&S, for a
company he was working at. 19 years later
small local company to be recognised
IF YOU COULD GIVE SOMEONE ADVICE ON STARTING OUT IN THE INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
we are still together and I am a director at
nationally shows that we are doing
Keep asking, listening and learning. Any
the same company!
decent chargehand will want to teach you
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
WHAT’S BEEN THE WORST MOMENT?
there is no limit to how far this job can
Getting a phone call to say that our
take you, but remember – even when you
I think that working at height is a bit of a
apprentice had been in an accident and
are the boss, you will never be as good as
privilege – we as scaffolders get to see
was waiting for an ambulance. Those
the oldest bloke on the firm.
the world from a different angle to
moments before you know the full story
most, and some of the views are
are always horrible as you think the worst
incredible. I love being able to take
about what has happened and how badly
WHAT DO YOU DO OUT OF WORK FOR HOBBIES AND INTERESTS ETC? I play
panoramic photos of the city that not
they are hurt. Luckily he came away
first base for the Exeter Spitfires Baseball
many people would get to see in person.
without serious injury, but that feeling will
Team, which is certainly a bit of a
Especially when it is from the sort of
never leave me.
conversation starter as not many people
the summer. The regular updates coming from the CLC and the NASC-issued Tool
the job. Keep pushing yourself, because
historical landmarks we get to work on.
know there is a league in the UK! It is a bit
WHAT CHALLENGES HAS YOUR FIRM FACED DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC AND HOW HAS THE COMPANY OVERCOME THEM?
niche, but I love it, and would encourage
We were quite lucky to be in the position
the children are all a bit more grown up,
WHAT DON’T YOU LIKE ABOUT IT?
that a lot of our clients are in the public
the garden is something we can take back
When you have to let someone down,
sector so didn’t really slow down much.
and it’s great just to sit back and relax.
either because of a programme or an HR
All of our local authority and NHS work
issue. We have always tried to do better
continued or increased. We were able to
FAVOURITE TIPPLE AT THE BAR?
than others. Scaffolders have always had
use the JRS to keep everyone employed,
Being from the west country, and a
a bit of a reputation, and if we can’t
and as of mid-July we are back up to full
season ticket holder at Exeter Chiefs,
improve that then we are failing.
numbers and looking to take on more to
it has to be cider!
That, and the thrill of the chase of a high profile job and the subsequent groans from the contracts department when we have to squeeze it in.
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anyone to give it a go. I also enjoy growing my own veg and have commandeered a large section of the garden for it. Now that
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// New products: Exclusive
KLASPING INNOVATION Julian Bland is certainly something of a scaffolding innovator both designing and bringing to market a fitting guaranteed to help revolutionise the industry. Scaffmag has been finding out more
lastic armadillos could become a thing of the past thanks to an innovative fitting developed by Julian Bland from Bland Scaffolding in Barnsley. In an area steeped in scaffolding folklore, it comes as no surprise to find such a cutting edge accessory emanating from experience of working in the industry. In fact, as the century moves on at pace, this is yet one more product set to raise the bar of health and safety even further. And that of course can only be to the benefit of workers the length and breadth of the UK. Julian explained “Things have really moved on in health and safety but I have seen some areas for improvement and decided to design a fitting that removes the need for clumsy, annoying, expensive plastic armadillos. I never liked the process and knew I could make something better. I knew it had to work well and be strong enough to take any hammer a scaffolder would throw at the fitting. And of course it had to carry a usable weight. Around six years ago I started working on this design and I’ve seen it evolve into the most beautifully-
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designed fitting out there and I’m very confident it will be a great asset to the scaffolding industry.” ‘The Klasp’ holds the tube in place creating a totally safe erection process. It also wraps around the tube to leave zero catchment areas and is tied with safely hidden nut recesses. Julian added “Plastic armadillos are expensive to install and remove and maintain. If they get pulled off they need to be replaced and pass seven day inspections. When sheeting or netting or power cladding are applied to a scaffold, our design eliminates the need to replace the sheeting due to the bolts ripping holes in the sheets as the wind blows. Any scaffolding company knows it’s very expensive and annoying to re-sheet a scaffold due to this damage.” THE WONDER OF WOMBWELL
Bland scaffolding was formed in the early 80s by Julian’s father who was well known in the area. Along with his brother Jason, the boys did something of their own thing in learning the ropes. After years of working on both the railways and National Grid they have seen health and safety go from strength to strength.
Julian joked “No longer is it like the early days where if you were doing a 200ft hanger with a harness you were classed as a pussy. When my dad Terry Bland started scaffolding at 18 he went on to help build companies like Deborah scaffolding along with Turners and Whitlam scaffolding back in the day in the formidable Wombwell area of Barnsley. To be honest, it was a fantastic area in which to learn the art of scaffolding, and there were some real characters working in the industry as well.” WORKING WITH CHINA
All of this has gone into the creation of The Klasp, and it’s not just confined to these shores, says Julian. “We are working with one of China’s largest manufacturing plants with this product and currently on the 3rd mould design, close to obtaining Class B certification. Currently the design team are making the final changes to achieve Class B and hope to have the final fitting tested in China, ready for the market place here in the UK next year.”
STANDARD double can be used to allow double-on-double erecting where the transom sits on top of the ledger. This allows the lift to be boarded-out, saving lots of time and money for any company – a potent combination of course. In terms of price, the company hope to achieve around £5 and less for high numbers along with a fall in price once manufacturing numbers are met. They currently have patents on a swivel design which will follow production of The Klasp. And you know what they say in business - ‘momentum is everything’. HIGHLY DRIVEN
Julian Bland is certainly highly driven and determined to put something back into the industry he clearly loves so much. What’s more, other impressive designs are on the way. It seems the only bland thing about scaffolding is genuine ingenuity.
SAVING TIME AND MONEY
And the message from Julian is clear to every scaffolding company across the land when it comes to affordability. He added “I know every scaffolding company out there will be wondering what the price point will be but when you factor in what this fitting does, it will soon be the best investment you made.” Once Class B certification is met, The Klasp can be used as a ledger fitting and a
THINGS HAVE REALLY MOVED ON IN HEALTH AND SAFETY BUT I HAVE SEEN SOME AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT AND DECIDED TO DESIGN A FITTING REMOVING THE NEED FOR CLUMSY, ANNOYING, EXPENSIVE PLASTIC ARMADILLOS. SCAFFMAG.COM | 49
// New products
HATCH A PLAN JMAC Safety Systems have launched a new product to add to their market leading range of health & safety products
heir latest offering, the MacHatch, has been introduced to the market to solve the issue that there is currently no suitable, tested and safe means of access and egress between floor levels during the construction phase of new dwellings. The MacHatch solves this problem and is available across the UK immediately. Stating that their product is ‘the future of safe access between floors’, the MacHatch is three years in the making and has been trialled, tested and further developed during this time, to ensure quality is of the upmost importance and the best on the market. During this period, JMAC have worked alongside some of the UK’s largest housebuilders to ensure they have a product which meets all requirements from an operational, commercial and health and safety perspective on site. The multi-door loading hatch has been
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specifically designed to overcome any issues which may arise on site. For example, if a safety decking platform leg lands on one door, operatives are able to use another door to safely gain access to the upper floor levels. The hatch design has been carefully thought out, to ensure speed and productivity is maintained on site with safety in mind. Another great USP is the fact that one size fits all. The dimensions of the safety hatch allows the frame to sit within 550mm - 600mm width joist layouts and can be used anywhere within the floor joist layout. The hatch is screwed into position using the four holes situated in the frame. In addition to this, the non-slip multidirectional super grip profiled mesh is tested to BS7976 Part 2, a standard used by the Health & Safety executive, giving users added confidence in all weather conditions. Made in the UK using locally sourced materials and a local supply chain, the MacHatch is available in two types: a cost-effective steel option and an ultra-
lightweight aluminium option too. Speaking of his newly launched product, JMAC Group MD, Luis McCarthy, said: “I know this product is going to be a fantastic addition to the construction industry, we’ve been working on it for over three years now and have worked closely with site teams, operatives and suppliers throughout the process to ensure we have it right. JMAC were the first to identify that access and egress between floors for safety decking installers was not suitable on most sites, and it would have been great to be the first one to solve the problem. Our standards are so high, and we strive to achieve perfection, therefore we have taken our time to launch a product that we’re completely satisfied with. The great thing is that we already have a list of pre orders for this product, as the house builders who have watched and worked alongside us to develop it know the benefit it will bring. I’m delighted with the end result and looking forward to seeing the impact it makes within the industry.”
Would you like to offer floating access to your customers?
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// New products
PUSHING THE FLOAT OUT An award-winning Cornish based start-up has developed and patented a new product that allows UK scaffold firms to offer floating access solutions
he product, called ScaffFloat, is a set of tough plastic floats that have been specifically designed to integrate with standard scaffolding parts to make floating pontoons, rafts and versatile floating structures. The company has been testing the system in the field over the last few months and now their initial R&D work has been completed, they are starting to introduce the product to the market, take bookings and actively look for UK scaffolding companies that are keen to offer floating access solutions to their customers. Toby Budd, Founder and MD said “We are already speaking to a number of scaffolding companies who are interested in becoming Approved Delivery Partners. After a signed agreement has been put in place, and we have provided the necessary training, they can hire floats from us and use them to start building pontoons for their customers. The interest has been much stronger than we expected.’’ He added, “We appreciate that most scaffolders are not familiar with floating structures, so, as well as hiring them the floats, we provide an in house design
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service. All our pontoon designs come with full structural, buoyancy and stability calculations and we are happy to produce renders and drawings FOC to help our partners bid for and win tenders, we are also always on the end of the phone to offer advice. Category 3 checks can also be
WE ARE ALREADY SPEAKING TO A NUMBER OF SCAFFOLDING COMPANIES WHO ARE INTERESTED IN BECOMING APPROVED DELIVERY PARTNERS
provided for larger projects.’’ The company says that safety is key, so to help make sure all ScaffFloat pontoons and structures are professionally built to an approved set of drawings, they are currently only hiring their floats. It’s understood that float hire prices start at £1.90 per day on long-term hire or £3.90 per day on short-term hire. The floats are designed to integrate with popular 450 and 750 lattice beams, and then use standard tube lengths, forged double couplers and scaffold boards. The smallest pontoons start at 4m x 4m and can scale to almost any size. Uses for ScaffFloat span several sectors including survey, drilling, geotechnical, renewables, oil and gas, civils, events, disaster relief and access. As well as standard flat top pontoons the company is currently testing a range of ‘bolt-on’ modules that include spud legs, propulsion, welfare huts, lifting A-frames, deck cranes and loading ramps. A spokesperson for ScaffFloat told Scaffmag that particular interest has also been shown for bridge projects, where pre-built structures can either be floated underneath and lifted into place, or a ScaffFloat pontoon can be lifted up
ScaffFloat pontoons and structures are professionally built to an approved set of drawings, designed to integrate with standard scaffolding parts to make floating structures
under the bridge to provide access for repair works, or for scaffolders to install scaffolding. Roger Tice, Managing Director of Richter Associates, said “We are a firm of consulting civil, structural and geotechnical engineers that specialise in temporary works and construction sequences. We are actively working with the ScaffFloat team and offer design solutions to our customers using this innovative system. We can see all sorts of exciting applications for this within the industry we serve, and in most cases, there are very significant cost savings to be had. 48.3 Scaffolding Design Limited – a Richter group company dedicated to the scaffolding market is proudly working with ScaffFloat, and bringing this system to its existing client base. We endorse this system created by ScaffFloat.’’
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Ty Wilson from G-DECK discusses the design and fabrication features that contribute to safer construction decking systems
What makes a safer decking system?
hanks to their ease and speed of installation and their flexibility on site, construction safety decking has become a popular alternative to traditional birdcage scaffolding for many construction projects. Far from being a generic, one-size-fitsall solution, however, safety decking systems vary considerably in design, materials and strength; all of which can affect their safety. All decking systems are used to provide access throughout varying stages of the build and fit-out, but safety is also a primary element of their purpose, which is why itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s essential to understand what makes a decking system safer and to choose one with safety built in. STRONGER IS SAFER
Across all kinds of industries, including construction, steel is the go-to material for strength and impact resistance. Traditional scaffolding tubes are made from steel, and, despite the availability of lighter weight alternatives, it is still the material of choice for strength and impact resistance. For construction safety decking, the strength that steel offers, both as the deck material and in the legs that support it, is a critical safety feature. Not only does it increase the load-bearing capabilities of the deck installation, it also avoids the
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risk of the system failing, either from overloading or from the impact of falling materials. It creates a robust platform to break the fall of any operatives working at a higher level too, becoming an important safety feature. This imperative to build strength into decking systems lay at the heart of the design philosophy when creating G-DECK systems. The core G-DECK system is entirely fabricated from steel, with a zinc coating for corrosion protection, which enables it to support loads of up to 590kg/M2 and retain its integrity following the impact of weights up to 200kg from a height of 3m. Meanwhile, the G-DECK Lite system uses the same slimline steel decks and has plastic outer legs with a metal web inner support inside the legs for increased strength and rigidity. This unique hybrid of plastic and metal legs means that G-DECK Lite can support loads of up to 200kg/m2 and withstand falling weights of up to 100kg from 2m. SAFETY FEATURES BUILT IN
The ultimate safety feature for construction decking systems is ease of installation, because correct installation is essential to the safety of the system; that’s why G-DECK provides safety training for all installers. Indeed, the G-DECK systems have only five core components per/M2, reducing the potential for installation errors. Versatility is also important. The easier
IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT, JUST BECAUSE A CONSTRUCTION DECKING SYSTEM LOOKS STURDY, IT DOESN’T MEAN THE INSTALLATION IS SAFE a system is to reconfigure, the more likely the site team is to adjust the decking as the project progresses, rather than ‘making do’. G-DECK can be used in three ways – as a working platform, a trestle or tower - encouraging site-based personnel to convert the system to their needs. Where required, use of a system with options such as handrail, stairs, internal access points can also be an important safety feature, reducing the risk of falls from height. MAINTAINING SAFETY
It’s important to remember that, just because a construction decking system looks sturdy, it doesn’t mean the installation is safe. Alongside potential installation errors and the build quality of the system itself, users need to consider how well the decking performs over time. Overloading is an issue for any decking system, which is why it’s important to select a system that matches site requirements. The difficulty is that continuous overloading may not result in
a catastrophic failure immediately, but could lead to cracks in plastic supports over time. If these go unnoticed, the system is not safe because the integrity of the supports has been compromised. Moreover, continuous UV exposure on site can make plastic more brittle and prone to cracks. Only the inclusion of a metal support within the plastic leg of a decking system safeguards against this potential hazard. TESTING & COMPLIANCE
A key indicator of system quality and safety is proven compliance with industry standards. G-DECK meets BS EN 12811-1:2003 and BS EN 13374:2013 and the materials used throughout the system are BS EN 12811-2:2004 compliant. Test data is also useful if providing an indication of durability and safety and any testing should have been carried out by an independent third party, rather than the manufacturer, to provide a credible assurance of quality and safety. DUE DILIGENCE
With projects under pressure to complete, it’s important not to lose sight of the need to keep everyone safe on site. Choosing the right construction decking system not only reduces the risk of falls from height but can actually help to speed up construction progress with faster installation and improved loading capabilities.
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Just think what we can do The past, present and future of system scaffolding
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HAKI bridge systems, Denmark/Sweden ● Stellar Scaffolding, London ● Controlled Scaffolding
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BUILDING BRIDGES When it came to providing the temporary access solutions for a programme of works on a busy ferry terminal connecting Helsingborg, Sweden and Helsingรถr, Denmark, HAKI was able to step-up and accept the challenge
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his popular ferry route, which crosses the Øresund strait, is used widely by Swedish and Danish nationals and visitors to Helsingör; a city famed for its connections to Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. With ferries setting off for 20-minute journeys up to four times an hour, it was essential to use a cost-effective, quick-to-install scaffold and temporary access solution that causes minimal disruption to the terminal’s tight schedule. As time was of the essence on this project it was vital for the client, scaffolding contractor Sydställningar, to select a company it could trust. Offering the best technical solution on the market, together with a sophisticated scaffold structure, HAKI was well poised to deliver a safe, solid bridge support solution that would reinforce two 18-metre suspension bridges. This design would enable a secure, public access walkway for the residents and ferry travellers moving between a new district called Oceanhamnen and the port entrance to Helsingborg. The concept and solution were presented to PEAB by HAKI’s Senior Technical Sales Engineer Dennis Ragnar, who calculated and tendered for the work in cooperation with Sydställningar’s Daniel Nilsson. To assure safe access, HAKI’s market-leading temporary bridge system with public access stairs were the orders of the day. The HAKI Bridge System is perfect for creating crossings and walkways on both small and large infrastructure projects. Designed in accordance with leading British and European standards, the system can handle impressive loadings of up to 7.5kN/m2; likewise, so can the HAKI Public Access Stair. The system can be erected in a way to best reflect the demands of any project, using roll-out, crane or built in-situ, and can be executed quickly and securely to keep disruption to a minimum. Part of the Universal range, HAKI’s shoring scaffolding was also implemented to relieve the load on permanent structures. Commenting on HAKI’s pioneering services and systems, Daniel Nilsson, Site Manager at Sydställningar said: “HAKI provided no end of technical support on this project. We required a high-performance temporary bridge system which delivered on quality, performance and most
importantly, safety. We were able to meet these high demands by selecting HAKI, who played an essential role in the successful delivery of this time-sensitive project.” The HAKI Bridge System will be in-situ for up to a year, until the permanent bridge is completed. HAKI’s solution can last multiple years, dependent on footfall, with routine checks performed throughout the project lifecycle. With the presence of HAKI’s temporary access solutions providing safe access to and from the Helsingborg terminal, residents and travellers are able to move freely and securely between the port and the emerging district of Oceanhamnen; causing minimal disruption to the ferry journeys that maintain important connections between Sweden and its eternal neighbour, Denmark.
HAKI PROVIDED NO END OF TECHNICAL SUPPORT. WE REQUIRED A HIGH-PERFORMANCE TEMPORARY BRIDGE SYSTEM WHICH DELIVERED ON QUALITY, PERFORMANCE AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, SAFETY SCAFFMAG.COM | 61
Fulham road has gone Stellar The stars are always out in a trendy part of West London and that includes a bright scaffolding company quickly building a stellar reputation. Grahame Anderson has more
ampshire based Stellar Scaffolding are adding to the class associated with the much loved and colourful Fulham Road in London. A CHARISMATIC ROAD
Here you’ll find numerous antique dealers and specialist interior furnishing shops, designer couture outlets and many more impressive establishments. The section nearest the cinema is known as The Beach, home to various trendy bars, pubs and clubs. It’s a wonderful place to live, which is why prized property is highly sought after. Now, Karradar Developments, specialists in construction and refurbishment works within the residential and commercial sectors, are creating impressive new apartments with help from the highly skilled staff at Stellar. And while this particular project is very much a learning curve for the two-year-old company, their work is certainly eye catching in terms of efficiency and innovation. Mind you, as a rapidly expanding scaffolding contractor carrying extensive knowledge of scaffolding erection, it’s been a challenge to bring the best out of their workforce, as Joe Carr explains.
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“We actually began work on the project back in January but frustratingly there were a number of early hold ups. And then of course, the pandemic kicked in. We’ve been working of sorts throughout, taking all the necessary precautions, though understandably we’ve had to be careful with some of the guys who have young families. Thankfully it all worked out very well. “It’s exceptionally busy on the Fulham Road of course, so we’ve had to carefully plan walkways and drop off points to ensure everyone is kept safe at all times. All jobs come with challenges though most of our work has been fairly standardised and linked to homes and various other sites. This job, however, is certainly a bit more complicated, but keeps us all on our toes which is a good thing of course. “On the whole back side of the scaffold nothing is touching the floor and it’s all sat on beams drilled into brickwork. For this reason alone it’s definitely the most complex task we’ve had – but it’s all great experience.” CHALLENGING PROJECT
Life is never dull in this part of the capital, but with a site that’s 100 metres round and 80 feet in height there’s no
room for complacency. The scaffolding system has been thoughtfully designed by RGD Engineering, experts in highly technical projects. The whole job will be shrink wrapped thanks to a unique design. “We are really proud of what we’ve achieved in just a couple of years and word of mouth is a powerful tool of course. In truth, we’ve just hit the £1 million turnover mark, but our overall ambition is to reach the premier league in terms of a turnover at the £20 million mark. QUALITY ADVICE
“We can advise you on the most suitable method to complete your project and provide you with a free quotation simultaneously. All our operatives are professional, well qualified and ensure full PPE is worn at all times. It’s so important to work to the highest standards these days – and that’s something we take pride in. “The industry is changing rapidly but it’s all for the good, and we’d like to be a big part of that. We are able to cater for any scale of project from small repair works to multi unit development sites and have an impressive portfolio of doing so.” As for the present challenge, though there’s no absolute deadline given the pandemic, it’s hoped the job could be done
within 12 weeks all told. The team at Stellar has more than 50 years experience in the industry, managing projects for some of the largest companies in the UK, so as young as they are there’s a wealth of experience to call upon. BRIGHT FUTURE
The company also has projects coming up relating to hotels at Paddington in the UK and a property in Spain. Here at home, they provide erection and hire services throughout Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and Surrey covering a 60 mile radius from Basingstoke. So Fulham Road is going Stellar – but then there’s a very bright future ahead for a scaffolding company who certainly know where they’re going. www.stellarscaffolding.com
IT’S EXCEPTIONALLY BUSY ON THE FULHAM ROAD, SO WE’VE HAD TO CAREFULLY PLAN WALKWAYS AND DROP OFF POINTS TO ENSURE EVERYONE IS KEPT SAFE AT ALL TIMES SCAFFMAG.COM | 63
ROLLING WITH THE FLOW When it came to a certain school of engineering, Controlled Scaffoldingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own brilliant design and problem solving skills would surely have impressed the students. Scaffmag rolled with the flow to learn more about their challenge
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ontrolled Scaffolding, based in the West Midlands, could certainly use ingenuity as their watchword. Nothing if not versatile, they pride themselves on being able to find the right kit for each individual job. From Lloyd House Police Headquarters in Birmingham to Bloxwich and Oak Park Leisure Centres in Walsall, their portfolio is both wide and varied. Established in 2002, they have more than 15 years’ experience serving some of the biggest names within the construction industry on a wide range of projects carrying an extensive range of scaffolding solutions. A company spokesperson told us “We’re committed to providing our clients with innovative solutions to every individual project requirements. This includes overcoming on-site challenges, from protection of the public to making sure there is minimal disruption to surrounding infrastructure. “We take pride in our experienced work force and currently employ more than 40 full time staff. You can rest assured all our operatives are CITB/ CISRS registered. We aim to keep all our operatives’ knowledge and skills up to date, ensuring they are consistently working above industry standards, enabling us to deliver safer and more efficient projects.” They were approached by a client to create access so another trade could install their plasterboard walling to the exterior of their containment on the fourth floor of the building. The brief stated the
scaffolding couldn’t come off the ground floor, and as this was outside of the programme, they needed to keep costs down to suit the budget. It was also necessary for other trades to work on the third floor area, all working to COVID-19 guidelines set out in May. In fact, a suggestion was made to cantilever everything off the third floor but it was classed a main thoroughfare with coronavirus in mind. The out-programme scaffold requested would have been 22m high x 50m long and weighed 42.5 tonnes, bringing a number negative impacts to the job. For one thing, it would have caused disruption to other trades due to it either being in the way or not suitable for all. It would have also taken longer to erect as more labour and materials would have been required, adding considerably to the cost, as well as requiring more vehicles. As well as a delay in completing the programme, ties to the fabric of the building would have caused issues to finishing works. Previously doing a rolling scaffold with his Dad back in the 80s, Gerard Kelly, Contracts Director, used the knowledge passed down to create this new rolling track scaffold to overcome these site challenges. “Speaking with our suppliers and using past experiences of our Contracts Director the rolling track scaffold was designed to create a more effective system which does a number of things apart from being cost effective. Only three scaffolders
would be needed to work on a single delivery of materials amounting to just 5.5 tonnes as opposed to 42.5. It goes without saying this would reduce time on the job greatly. “Coming to an agreement with our client and other trades, we made the structure 6m long giving adequate room to install 6m of wall on an 18m track. Once complete, the structure could then be rolled across the track to use on another section of the wall to be installed. “When reaching the end of the 18m track we have then dismantled the first section and added this to the end, enabling the track to be carried on, allowing continuation of work further along the wall.” All of this enabled the main thoroughfare on the third floor to remain free-flowing. What’s more, everything was erected on a Saturday morning so exclusion zones could be put in on the ground floor during erection, causing little disruption. Ingenious, versatile, flexible and effective are all words we could use to describe this very clever piece of controlled scaffolding. Or maybe we could say this gives ‘rolling with the flow’, a brand new meaning. www.controlledscaffolding.co.uk
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It was a pleasure to do business with Approved. We have recently been inundated with new contracts and to keep up with demand we have for the ﬁrst time used an asset ﬁnance company to help us purchase the kit we require. We currently now have over 120 scaffolds in the air and some huge meetings ahead that will secure even more projects!
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