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THE INTERVIEW: MOHED Following the NEWS of Altrad’s acquisition of Cape Plc, Mohed Altrad speaks to ScaffMag industry news SM PRODUCT INNOVATIONS SM PROJECT REPORTS


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EDITOR Daniel Norton dan@scaffmag.com 01472 476024 www.scaffmag.com facebook.com/scaffolders twitter.com/ScaffoldingNews ADVERTISING Email: admin@scaffmag.com DESIGN & PUBLISHING Royle Media info@roylemedia.co.uk 07946 610193 www.roylemedia.co.uk facebook.com/roylemedia twitter.com/RoyleMedia

CONTENTS #1 8 INDUSTRY ROUNDUP Catch up on all the top stories in the scaffolding sector in one big hit.

24 TRADE ASSOCIATIONS Scaffolding Association & NASC updates. What’s new in the world of scaffolding compliance?

16 ALTRAD FEATURE Born in a Bedouin tribe, now CEO of Altrad, Mohed is a man on a mission.

26 TRAINING We all need it. Gen up on the latest from CISRS UK & OSTS.

21 LIFESTYLE Spannertime: BBC gear up for scaff sit com.

30 CONTRACTOR SPOTLIGHT MR Scaffolding Services re-brand breathes new life into the Croydon business.

22 BIZARRE Insurance companies are brewing up schemes to protect you from a bad (or no) cuppa. Seriously.

35 PROJECT REPORTS Speaks for itself really! 3

40 INNOVATIONS The latest products in scaffolding unveiled. 44 Female SCAFFOLDER Vicky Welch‘s must-read story of how she got into scaffolding. 47 fancy a JOb in SCAFFOLD DESIGN? Ben Beaumont extols the virtues of a career as a scaffold designer and shows you how to get started. 54 BYGONES As major temporary works start on Big Ben, we wind back the clock. 60 TECHNOLOGY How VR is making its mark in scaffolding.




elcome to the very first quarterly issue of the long awaited ScaffMag Magazine. Finally, after eight years of ScaffMag being established, we have ourselves a proper magazine for our great Scaffolding & Access industry, that I am so very fond of. As you would have already noticed our magazine is strikingly different from comparable B2B publications, with a modern edgy slick design that makes a profound statement. Our quarterly magazine will be the new home for showcasing and profiling the very best the Scaffolding & Access industry has to offer. As a scaffolder myself I wanted to fill the magazine with stories and articles that I personally would want to read about. Looking to the future every three months expect to see and read exclusive interviews with industry leaders, special features, industry innovations, reviews and much, much more.

Ben Beaumont of 48.3 Scaffold Design Ltd shares his in-depth guide on how to become scaffold designer. Lastly as major scaffolding works continue on one of the worlds most iconic buildings that is London’s Big Ben. But due to national security reasons we are not allowed to talk about in depth, just yet. However, on p.54 our regular Bygones historian writer Colin Waters takes a look at Big Ben’s history and scaffolding works over the years. Enjoy. Finally.. I would like to send thanks to Phil & Bonnie of Royle Media for their great design and publishing skills, for the support from our great sponsors in this issue of the mag, please go check them out! And to all of our regular contributors and our guest writers who have helped make the ScaffMag Magazine a reality. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank my wonderful wife and children who have stood by me and endured the crazy hours I have spent whilst creating the mag.

In This Issue.. I am really excited to share with you some fantastic features and stories packed into our winter issue. As you will have already seen, kicking off our first ever cover story is an exclusive in-depth interview with none other then the CEO of the Altrad Group. On p.16 The multi-billionaire, Dr Mohed Altrad shares his views on a number of interesting topics including Altrad’s recent acquisition of the industrial giant Cape plc, Brexit, and even President Donald Trump. The UK’s skills shortages has been a hot topic across the industry of late, on p.44 Vicky Welsh tells us her story of why she became a scaffolder and her mission to get more women involved in the industry. Additionally, If you are fed-up of spanner twirling day-in day-out check out p.47 as the great

Daniel Norton, Founder & Editor ScaffMag


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The past, present and future of system scaffolding H LAY ER

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CITB National Construction College Training Set To End Unions worried about possible job losses from Bircham Newton

not going to simply make a bad situation worse. The Government must step in to ensure these vitally important tutors and training facilities are not lost and training is not downgraded.”


he construction industry’s largest training vehicle is set to jettison hundreds of jobs in a major overhaul prompting a furious response from unions. Former RAF base Bircham Newton in Norfolk, has been used as the CITB’s top facility for more than 25 years, enabling thousands of scaffolders to be taught valuable skills in plenty of space.

The Apprenticeship Levy It seems the government’s apprenticeship levy introduced this year has created some confusion. The larger construction companies are now having to pay two charges. One levy to the CITB and one to the government. This has led to employers pressurising the group to cut costs in search of greater efficiency, hence plans for streamlining the organisation.

A Constant Battle The centre in the West of the county has always been fighting a constant battle however, against ageing buildings difficult to update. According to details released by the body, the centre is set for a move to Peterborough as part of a new strategy to end direct training via the National Construction College. This decision will almost certainly lead to job losses amongst the 1,300 staff at the site, due to close by the end of 2019. Previously funded by a levy on building firms, it’s thought private sector providers will provide external tuition in future.

The Vision Simplified Its three main priorities of providing Careers, Standards and Qualifications and Training and Development, will stay at the forefront. But it’s significant reforms through ‘Vision 2020: The future CITB Strategy’, have also been driven by a need for a skills body helping it to meet major challenges such as Brexit, productivity and future skills. The Future body will use Levy money to ensure a sustainable training and development market. Changes also include ‘proposals to exit direct delivery of training through the National Construction College, and cease services such as administering the card schemes.’ There will be small co-located offices in London, Scotland and Wales to help deliver sector partnerships. Around two-thirds of the workforce will remain mobile in order to be closer to CITB’s customers. They are committed to being more relevant, representative and responsive to the industry’s needs, from SMEs to major contractors.

Union Reaction Britain’s largest trade union, Unite, has said it intends to seek the views of members, to see what action could be taken to safeguard a loss of jobs. Unite national officer for construction Jerry Swain, said: “These plans are a hammer blow for the construction industry and for the workers within the training body. Thousands of construction workers owe their careers and their livelihoods to the unique training they have received at Bircham Newton. It appears the ‘reforms’ being proposed by the CITB are all about increasing profits for individuals and companies and not what is in the best interests of the construction industry. Construction is already facing a skills crisis and it is quite impossible to see how the decision to end its role in providing training is

Important Pledge The organisation has also pledged to adapt its governance bodies to accurately reflect and represent the modern construction industry. The group are determined to develop a strong evidence base through research and market intelligence to deter8


Rilmac Scaffolding Highly Commended at Business Awards Lincolnshire based Rilmac Scaffolding have been Highly Commended in the Fastest Growing Business category at the annual Midlands Family Business Awards. mine the industry’s current and future skills needs, the supply of training and what interventions CITB needs to make. “Construction needs to modernise and we are no exception,” said Sarah Beale, Chief Executive of CITB. “I understand this strategy will bring about big changes to the employees here, and we will be supporting our colleagues as much as possible throughout this process. These are tough calls to make, but needed if we are to meet the future demands and make the greatest impact to construction. We have worked hard to develop robust, well thought-out plans which meet our industry’s needs whilst building a solid foundation for our future. We now have a clearly defined path, and we see a bright future for a modern, engaged CITB. We look forward to working with our industry and Government to build a better Britain. The proposals outlined today will be phased in over the next three years, and with our customers always in mind it’s business as usual.” CISRS Scheme Manager Dave Mosley added: “It’s the end of an era and a great shame. CITB has played a huge role in establishing the CISRS scheme and Scaffolder training over the years. It’s a real blow to the scaffolding industry, although we are being assured by CITB/NCC that they will not pull out of training until there is alternative provision, I can only see this having a negative effect whilst the requirement for a skilled labour force continues to increase”.


he announcement was made during the gala awards ceremony at the Derby Velodrome on Thursday 9th November. The Rilmac Group (comprising of Insulation, Asbestos Services, Fabrication and Scaffolding divisions) were also shortlisted to be a finalist in the prestigious Family Business of the Year Award. Paul Walker, Group Chairman and, second generation family member said, “There is a lot of hard work in putting together applications, creating suitable presentations, and preparing for the challenging interviews. Whilst only a smaller team was responsible for the award entry, it is the effort and dedication of everyone at Rilmac Scaffolding that has been rewarded with the Highly Commended recognition.” Steve Baxter, Group MD, added. “This is a team endeavour and every employee at Rilmac Scaffolding has played a part in achieving this success.  Thank you to everyone for their positive involvement.  It is wonderful to see everyone’s hard work recognised in this way.” “As a Lincolnshire based business it was great to see how many fellow companies from the county had also been shortlisted this year.  The event further outlined  how successful and buoyant the Family Business community is across the Midlands. Every entry was of a very high standard and there were some fantastic business success stories told.”

The Next Three Years The proposals outlined will be phased in over the next three years, though the CITB insist at the moment it’s business as usual.



Safelinx Inventor Dies Suddenly Industry shocked after news of well known industry pioneer and inventor dies.

Never short of a happy word or joke, often at his own expense. He was one of the genuinely nice people within our industry. Most of his LinkedIn friends will know him best for his belief, and dogged determination, to see every scaffold board in the world being held down by a Safelinx. We’ve felt honoured that Nick chose to share that dream with us and that over the past year or so we’ve begun to make that dream a reality. Along with his family we will continue in his Memory.” Lee Rowswell – GKR Scaffolding Ltd said: “Taken far too young., I had the pleasure of meeting him this year; a guy that wanted to make a difference in the challenging industry we work in. He will be truly missed.” Adam Riley – Angelwest Ltd said: “Nick’s comments & appreciation towards others was second to none and that was just on Linkedin, thoughts go out to the family & friends.”


ioneering inventor Nick Flynn sadly passed away suddenly from a heart condition on 15th August 2017. The father of two children was an Advanced Scaffolder turned inventor, who was very well known and liked within the scaffolding and access industry for his innovative Safelinx Board Retainer that he was so incredibly passionate about (and more recently the popular Tamer toe board fitting). Nick was a rarity; he was one of the industry’s nice guys who always offered help and encouragement to others. For many his personality and passion for making a difference shone through within the Linkedin community where he could be found daily participating in industry debate. Hundreds of tributes had poured in across social media networks since the news broke of Nick’s sudden death. Matt Shore – Metal Spraying/Forgeco Ltd said: I’d only had the privilege of knowing Nick for about two years, but in that time he became an almost daily part of our lives at Metal Spraying/Forgeco, and Dale and I have been proud to be his partners in Safelinx Ltd.

10K Fine After Scaffolder Fell Three Meters


Scaffolding company has been fined after a worker fell three metres and lost consciousness. Peterborough Magistrates’ Court heard how, a scaffolder of HI-Pro Scaffolding Ltd was dismantling a temporary roof scaffold when he fell about three metres through the temporary roof, onto the fixed roof below. The scaffolder was knocked unconscious, spent two days in hospital and suffered a broken thumb which required metal pins to be fitted. In total, he was off work for two months. An investigation by the HSE into the incident found that Hi-Pro Scaffolding Ltd had not planned the work properly. There was a lack of communication and the employee was not trained or experienced in this type of HI-Pro Scaffolding Ltd was fined £10,000 for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and been ordered to pay costs of £3621.00. 10


CN Specialist 2018 Finalists Revealed

Claudia Ferguson of Interlink Scaffolding has been shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year, while GKR Scaffolding and TRAD Southern are in the running for a Health, Safety and Wellbeing Excellence Award. In addition, CN Specialist Awards double winners GKR Scaffolding are shortlisted for Innovation of the Year (Contractor), Specialist Contractor of the Year (turnover over £25m) and the Training Excellence Award. Project of the Year by a Specialist Contractor subcontract up to £1m category sees, Chris Sedgeman Scaffolding, Interlink Scaffolding and Modern Access all shortlisted. The judges will reconvene for the final stage of the judging process, where they will interview finalists face to face before weighing up their achievements and deciding on a winner. The awards take place on the 8th March 2018 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.


he Construction News Specialist Awards has announced it’s 2018 finalists. Now in it’s fourteenth year, the Construction News Specialist Awards celebrates the outstanding achievements of the very best specialist contractors in the UK. Topping the list is the Access & Scaffolding Specialist Category that has been shortlisted to just eight companies. • Chris Sedgeman Scaffolding • Controlled Scaffolding • GKR Scaffolding • JECS Offshore Scaffolding • PHD Modular Access Services • Premier Technical Services Group • QFS Scaffolding • WellMax Scaffolding The scaffolding sector has also been very well represented in other CN Specialists Awards categories.


The ALTRAD Takeover Altrad Buys Cape for £332 Million


ltrad Investment Authority has agreed to buy industrial services company Cape Plc for about £332 million pounds. The merger would create a “multidisciplinary” industrial services company operating in a wider range of markets, Altrad said in a statement. In the UK, Altrad’s trail of acquisitions include Baromix, Belle Group, Beaver 84, NSG, Generation Hire & Sales, MTD Scaffolding, Trad and Hertel. Mohed Altrad, Chairman of the Altrad Group, said: “We are very pleased to announce this proposed acquisition that is fully aligned with our growth strategy, to become the world leader in the provision of industrial services, scaffolding solutions

and light construction equipment in the civil and industrial sectors. “Altrad and Cape have strong complementarity in geographic and product mix enabling the creation of a multi-disciplinary industrial services leader in key markets around the world. “We believe the proposed acquisition can bring together our respective strengths to create a powerful global platform with a strong competitive edge to meet customers’ requirements.” Founded in 1985, French headquartered Altrad has rapidly expanded through a series of strategic acquisitions to provide industrial services and scaffolding solutions. See more in our cover feature P16. 11


Allround FW System Launches at Layher Open Day Layher UK announces the launch of a new product at 2017 “innovations open day”


lobal system scaffolding giant Layher has just announced the UK launch of its innovative Allround FW System. at a packed innovations open day at the UK HQ in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. Open day attendees consisted of industry leaders, customers, clients, Layher Germany shareholders including joint Directors, Georg Layher & Carolin Langer, who were all wooed by the colourful launch and practical demonstration of the Allround FW System and presentations. Utilising just three additional components, the Allround FW system has been designed to offer widespan bridging arrangements that are entirely compatible with all components of the company’s flagship Allround system. Layher say the Allround FW system is intended to close the current load-capacity gap between their various lattice beam configurations and the Heavy Duty Allround Bridging system. Speaking to ScaffMag at the superbly-run open day Layher UK Managing Director Sean Pike said: “We were delighted and privileged to have welcomed such a large group of over 140 people to the innovations open day, and appreciated very much the close customer support from our clients.  “Our intention was to make the day informative, enjoyable and an experience to remember as well as

a platform from which we could launch a major new innovation – Allround FW. “At Layher, through customer feedback, we strive to always improve our materials, and make available new business opportunities in other industries for our clients. “With the new innovations we always base them around our core product, original Allround scaffolding.. We believe that the new Allround FW system compliments the existing range and offers our customers more possibilities…” Additionally Layher also updated attendees on multiple product advancements and other new products that included the Allround Steel Toe-Board, U-Transom, Lattice Beam Suspension Shoe Kit and a U-Corner Deck for Circular Scaffolding..



phenomenal success story for AIS Training.â&#x20AC;?



IS Training has become fully accredited by the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme. The news means scaffolders across North East England can get all the training they need in one place. Despite a national scaffolding skills shortage, there are currently no other scaffolding training centres across Tyneside, Wearside, Durham and Northumberland, and only a handful of centres across the North of England. Now, everything is set to change as the final piece in the scaffolding course portfolio of AIS is put firmly in place. The highly reputed trainer with a world class facility based in North Shields (with branches in both Aberdeen and Grimsby), can now deliver a full package of courses, ranging from Part 1, to apprenticeships, NVQs and advanced level scaffolding and inspection programmes. AIS has invested ÂŁ1million into its scaffolding training provision in the past year, to create the very best in scaffolding tuition. Paul Attrill, head of training and education at AIS Training, said:Â â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are delighted to receive this approval from CISRS. Recent reports show the construction sector is suffering huge skills shortages with scaffolding cited as a key area. Our scaffolding centre is tackling these shortages by providing high quality, industry approved training from basic through to the highest levels. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve delivered hundreds of commercial courses for businesses across the region and have also successfully trained 39 scaffolding apprentices with another 78 on our books. Scaffolding really is a

Meeting The Demands Of Modern Construction In an age where safety and efficiency is of paramount importance, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s little doubt quality specialist training can meet the demands of modern construction. AIS Trainingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation as a leading provider of scaffolding training across the North of England is growing rapidly. This can clearly be seen in the number of scaffolding companies approaching the company. From our state-of-the-art industrial training facilities throughout the UK, their courses are endorsed by the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading trade associations including IRATA, OPITO, SPRAT, MCA, IOSH, ECITB, CompEx, GWO and RenewableUK. CISRS Accreditation Auditor, Trevor Donoghue said:Â â&#x20AC;&#x153;AIS Training has developed a fantastic facility for scaffolding skills here in the North East. The centre is now accredited to deliver the full suite of CISRS scaffolding courses from basic through to advanced qualifications and inspections. This is a fantastic asset for local companies, where they can get all the training they need to keep their teams safe and competent.â&#x20AC;?















THE Interview: Mohed Founder and CEO of the Montpelier-based Altrad Group, Mohed Altrad is a man on a mission to make a real difference in the world. Named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2015, the high standards, quality ethos and deep integrity the man born into a Bedouin tribe has brought to the business world is cited as a beacon for others to follow. ScaffMag was given an interview with one of the world’s biggest movers and shakers, In order to find out more about this most enigmatic of business leaders. Grahame Anderson takes up the story.


f ever there was proof people can succeed whatever their background in life, Mohed Altrad is the perfect example. Born into a Syrian tribe he moved to France as a 17-year-old with little money and studied hard to secure a phD in Computer Sciences. He took the plunge with a partner in 1985 to buy a scaffolding maker close to bankruptcy. The rest as they say is now history with the Altrad Group now a global leader in the industry with more than 39,000 employees in 130 world-

wide subsidiaries. Given their recent acquisition of Cape, I wondered how big a step forward this was in real terms. He told me: “The acquisition of Cape is another very important milestone for the Altrad Group. We truly respect and admire their achievements. Our ambition for our Industrial Services division is to become a global industrial solutions provider, offering a range of complimentary services to our customers. Cape complements our existing geographies, customers and services, also 16

A. Hampartzoumian



Cecile Mella

number of jurisdictions including our respect for Safety. Our shareand never been subject holders are long-term to any conditionality, which reinforces our investors. The Altrad view of the strong Group is just over 30 competition in the years old, but is made market.” up of businesses with This is of course histories exceeding a growing period of 100 years. So, just as uncertainty given the the businesses existed ongoing Brexit negotiabefore I came along, tions. As a large comthey will survive long pany I wondered what after I leave. My longer effect this might be term view is to provide having on the business, a stable and sustainable and what its legacy business, for the benefit could be. Mohed told of our employees, cusme: “The impact of tomers, shareholders Brexit is still very difand all other stakeholdficult to judge. Unforers.” tunately the European It’s clear looking at and British politicians the achievements of Altrad will continue to grow, seem to be playing a both Mohed and the both organically and through very fragile game of cat group, meticulous planand mouse. I sincerely ning is part of everyday acquisitions. We see this growth as hope common sense working life. So what’s essential to our survival. will prevail. Whilst our the strategic rationale UK operations are relfor the company going atively contained, the supply chain  is international, forward? He added: “Altrad will continue to grow, and Brexit may impact this.  Likewise, the impact both organically and through acquisitions. We see this growth as essential to our survival. It will enable on exchange rates is impossible to predict. Given our very significant activity in the UK, with turnover us to penetrate new markets, attract a diverse and of approximately €950m and EBITDA of €115m, talented workforce, expand our service offering exchange rate fluctuations could have a material and, better meet our customers’ needs and expecimpact.”   tations.” So what would be the answer to those Looking at his Syrian background, I was particuwho’d say your business is beginning to monopolize larly interested on his thoughts toward the United the market? “Our ambition is to become best in States President.  “His protectionist agenda in toclass and we think this can be achieved through growth, consolidation and sharing of resources, peo- day’s modern world is not constructive. So far, I am ple and knowledge. However, we do not believe we not convinced that many of his ideologies will be implemented, as there seem to be divisions within are monopolizing any market. There are a number his own ranks about their economic roadmap. of markets in which we have a stronger presence, Only time will tell.  In terms of foreign policy, I think but this has no adverse impact on competition. These markets have healthy competition with large there is potential for these to create very significant and smaller operators able to compete, and sophis- repercussions to business worldwide. Having said this, I do agree in principle action is required – the ticated customers who select their suppliers based global community has for too long been reluctant on many factors including safety, performance, productivity, quality and, of course, price.  We have to move beyond diplomacy to resolve conflicts. Take Syria or Yemen, for example, where we see humanibeen through competition authority reviews in a 17


tarian disasters with little prospect for resolution. The consequences of a new nuclear arms race also concern me, and it will be terrible for business if we were to go beyond the tipping point.” several commentators have made the claim, but is there really an over supply of oil, and how would this affect the markets? He added: “It is not for me to say whether there is an oversupply of oil in the market. There is a complex relationship between oil supply, alternative energy sources, markets, growth, inflation, sovereign debt, etc all of which impact business and our economy. The Altrad Group has survived various economic peaks and troughs and retains a structure, with built in agility.” This is clearly a highly driven man, so what spurs him on having already recorded significant achievements in his career? “I am very optimistic for what more we can still achieve and am driven by a desire to create, to innovate and to challenge both myself and my colleagues to dig deeper. We all have capacity to learn and develop. It gives me great pleasure to see people exceed their own expectations. I also feel a deep sense of responsibility towards stakeholders, who rely on our success and sustainability for their own security. The Altrad Group now turns over in excess of €3bn. Some €2.7bn of this is paid to our employees and suppliers. It is hard to put a number to it, but I imagine our Group contributes to the livelihood of 500,000 people or more, once families are factored in. I have seen the Group grow over 32 years to

what it is today – this is an exciting human adventure, in which we are creating a business built by its people, for its people. We each have our unique strengths and weaknesses. If sharing my past and providing insights into my work and life philosophy inspires other people to achieve their full potential, then I am delighted and truly humbled. My ambition was never to succeed in business. It has been to succeed in whatever I do, to the best of my abilities – whether in business, with Montpellier Hérault Rugby club, my literary projects… There is always more to achieve.” Mohed had previously said the object of life is to help humanity - what role can entrepreneurs play in this sense? “Helping humanity comes in so many different shapes and sizes,” he explained. “From the dedicated and selfless work of charitable organisations, to the impact of sport and the influence of community, political and business leaders. Somewhere within this spectrum is the entrepreneur. As I have mentioned above, building successful organisations provides financial security to countless families and communities. I hope my legacy will be to inspire humanity – to demonstrate anyone can achieve their ambition by pursuing their goals, facing and overcoming difficulties and challenging themselves.  The biggest thing is to remain true to yourself, your beliefs and your values – and take pleasure in what you do, or aspire to do.” SM

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Scaffs Sit Com Set To Take Centre Stage T

he BBC are working on a situation comedy aimed at the scaffolding industry in the hope of taking over from where Only Fools and Horses left off. John Sullivan’s much-loved sitcom about Del Boy, Rodders and co is now firmly ensconced in British Television history. The basis and message of the show is often discussed in universities these days, and it’s felt the world of the working class scaff would make for perfect new material in the hope of constructing another comedy classic. We can reveal it’ll be set in Frinton-on-Sea on the Essex coast, and written by Rhys Thomas, the voice of Brian Bellamy in Radio 4’s Down the Line and creator of comedy rock legend Brian Pern. Rhy’s told the media: “The plan is a little bit Only Fools and Horses but set now. There aren’t many things that re-

ally represent working class life on telly. That’s why I want to do it. It would be quite nice to make something that the whole family could watch that doesn’t have any swearing but isn’t naff.” Though still in the early stages it’s foundations have already been laid with the help of what Rhys describes as a ‘healthy development budget’ from the corporation. Readers of a certain age of course will remember how well auf wiedersehen pet, following the adventures of a gang of British workmen abroad, was received in the early 1980’s. The Channel 4 station is currently working on a sit com about a pair of dodgy cockney builders, Lee and Dean, for its on-demand service All 4. It’s being written by Mark O’Sullivan and Miles Chapman. The BBC of course are renown for creating classic comedies, and it’s a tough job to



fill the boots of John Sullivan. But Rhys Thomas actually welcomes the comparison with all things Peckham, and has a good idea of who he’d like to play some of the leading roles: “I would love to pair Christopher Eccleston and Michael Kitchen up in it because they are my favourite actors. In Brian Pern, Kitchen played the rocker’s unscrupulous agent John Farrow while Eccleston was taciturn ‘Madchester’ rock producer Luke Dunmore who produced Pern’s awful LP Shelf Life.” Given Kitchen’s brilliant performance as the constantly swearing agent, he’d be favourite to revel in such a role. The versatile and down to earth Christoper Eccleston certainly wouldn’t be out of place. The scaffolding industry of course represents real every day life in more ways than one. It seems a fitting choice therefore for a sit com packed with great one liners and lots of funny situations. It’s not the only new show that Thomas is currently developing with the BBC. He’s also working on a comedy drama set in a caravan park full of divorced men. It’s modelled on the experience of Thomas’s own father, who moved into a caravan site on a temporary basis and remittance 18 years. Thomas is developing the idea with Fifth Fathoms, the production company behind recent hits Fortitude, Marvellous and The A Word. In terms of Only Fools and Horses, Seven series were originally broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991, with sixteen sporadic Christmas specials until its end in 2003. Watch this space! SM


Brewing Up Unique Insurance For Tradesmen S

when it comes to being kettle shy. A shocking 13 per cent of people in Scotland’s largest city say they never make their tradesmen a brew. Wolverhampton is the best city for parched builders with two thirds of workmen receiving a hot drink on the job. Given all of this, a bespoke insurance policy is bring designed that not only would allow tradesmen to insure against clients who don’t make them a hot drink, but also those who serve them unacceptably weak brews. It currently offers three levels of cover, ranging from poor taste and temperature to an absence of biscuits, costing £18.50 a year, £4.12 a month for 11 months with a £5.46 deposit. This would guard against failure to be provided with a hot drink, or the provision of an acceptable number of hot drinks relative to the length of the job. It would also offer protection against failure to be provided with a hot drink of acceptable strength, or failure to be provided with access to a kettle. Tradesmen interested in the policy can claim by providing visual evidence of a bad brew. To ensure the policy is fair, Trade Direct has developed a tea chart detailing the different acceptable levels of ‘brew’ strength, tradesmen can print out and take to jobs and give to customers. In short, builders would be able to outline accept-

caffolders and other tradesmen are now being offered insurance – protecting against a bad cup of tea. The move comes in the light of results from research carried out by Trade Direct, who discovered 55% trades are not offered a hot drink by customers. Research was based on 1,000 adults across the UK who’d employed tradesman. Being offered a cuppa by a customer has always been an unspoken rule. But in recent years this tradition has slipped, with too many builders, plumbers or electricians failing to be provided with a brew. Those people thinking they were just being polite in offering a drink should now be aware it’s looked upon as a necessity by workmen in and around your property. Being made a hot drink that was too milky or not being made one at all was one of the things that annoyed tradesmen the most, affecting 10 per cent of all those in the trade. In fact, 36 per cent of customers leave the tea bag brewing less than 60 seconds.Yorkshire Tea recommends brewing the tea bag for four to five minutes. It was also found customers admit they actually brew tea for less time if it’s for a tradesman. Despite this, more than half of customers rate their tea-making skills as good or excellent. Trade Direct discovered customers in Glasgow are the worst offenders 22


able brew-strength to customers. Andrew Marlow, Sales and Service Manager at Trade Direct, commented: “We pride ourselves on the service we offer tradesmen and we’re always looking at things we can do to keep them protected on a job. It may sound trivial to someone outside of the trade, but to not be offered a hot drink or, even worse, be made one that is effectively a mug of tepid milk is a big deal to tradesmen – it’s called builder’s tea for a reason after all. If there was no tea on offer at every site across the UK the downturn in productivity would be huge, along with the damage to morale. We’re stepping into help our tradesmen insure themselves against these non-decaffeinated situations and hopefully educate clients along the way. We expect this to be an extremely popular policy when it’s launched and can envisage extending it outside of trade to cover office workers in the future.” Currently in development stage of the policy, Trade Direct, is appealing for customers and tradesmen who have been on both sides of the hot-drink relationship to get in touch and provide feedback on their experiences to inform the final policy. SM




NASC Offers FREE Downloads on all Guidance Titles N

ASC has shcoked us all by announcing FREE downloads on all guidance titles. From now, all NASC Health & Safety and Technical guidance titles in PDF format – other than pocket guides and the TG20 suite – will be available to download free of charge from the NASC website. In a statement, NASC say they publish a comprehensive and expanding range of industry guidance titles, all of which are regularly reviewed and updated by its Health & Safety and Technical committees. Copies of these titles have always been available

to purchase in hard copy format from the NASC website: www. nasc.org.uk. Until now, free downloads have been restricted to NASC member companies only. NASC President Alan Lilley commented: “By continuing to refine and develop new and existing guidance titles the NASC recognises its responsibility to raise industry standards, not just for its membership, but for the scaffolding industry and the construction sector as a whole. “By making this Health & Safety and Technical guidance freely available to the industry


the confederation is again demonstrating its commitment to making the industry a safer place in which to work.”

NASC Becomes SSIP Registered Member


he NASC has announced that the confederation is now a Registered Member of Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP). NASC say, earlier this year they made the decision to apply for SSIP accreditation as they felt this would add real value to their membership. NASC President Alan Lilley said: “There is no doubt about it this is another feather in the confederation’s cap. As former chairman of the Audit Committee it was a wish of mine to have the NASC audit process recognised by SSIP which will save our members a lot of time when it comes to completing PQQs”.


Scaffolding Association appoints first President R

ussell Maxwell-Smith has been appointed as the first President of the Scaffolding Association – the fastest growing trade association in the access sector which now represents more than 250 contractors active within the specialist access and scaffolding industries in the United Kingdom. Mr Maxwell-Smith established Chelmsford-based WellMax Scaffolding in 2008 and has grown the company into a £7 million business that works with leading contractors operating in the London area. Mr Maxwell-Smith said: “I am delighted to be appointed to the role of President. The Association has a growing reputation for

delivering high quality advice and support, and against the backdrop of membership reaching 255, this is an exciting time to be leading the organisation. “I look forward to working with the executive team and members to make a positive difference in improving services for access and scaffolding businesses in the UK.” Robert Candy, chief executive of the Scaffolding Association, said: “Russell brings considerable experience in the scaffolding sec-

tor which will be invaluable as the Association continues to grow and champion issues that are important to access and scaffolding businesses of all sizes. “We look forward to working together to develop an exciting, positive future for both the Scaffolding Association and its members.”


Aviva recognises Scaffolding Association’s Audited Membership status


nsurance specialist Amicus has confirmed that the UK’s largest insurer, Aviva, will now regard an Audited Member of the Scaffolding Association as being comparable to an NASC member when looking to provide insurance. Robert Candy, chief executive at the Scaffolding Association, said: “This significant decision will see Aviva widen its acceptance criteria to include audited Scaffolding Association members and entitle them to discounts on specialist insurance schemes in which Aviva participates – fantastic news for existing Audited Members and those already in the process or considering the audit.” Paul Beck, director at Amicus, commented: “We

are delighted that Aviva has recognised the benefits of the Scaffolding Association’s audit process and are confident that with Aviva leading the way, other insurers will soon follow.” Audited Membership is the Scaffolding Association’s highest level of membership and sits at Level 1 in the PAS 91 Three Assurance Level Model, which is the highest and most comprehensive level. The Association’s Audited Membership category has been designed to enable scaffolding contractors to demonstrate their high quality operating practices. Members wishing to become audited go through an independent two-stage audit undertaken by a UKAS-accredited certification body. 25


CISRS say the courses proved to be a huge success and attracted delegates from across all sectors with those in attendance working for large companies such as Cape, Wood Group and Interserve, to those working for smaller roofing and scaffolding companies, to those who were self-employed. Dave Mosley, CISRS Scheme Manager said: “It was really positive to see such a diverse group of scaffolders attending these courses from both large and small, National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) and non-NASC companies, the feedback has been excellent.”

CISRS CPD Gets Underway


ollowing its launch on 1 July 2017, CISRS Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training has got off to a flying start according to reports. With the help of four accredited training providers – LTC Training Services Ltd, National Construction College, Safety and Access Ltd and Simian Skill Ltd – six funded courses were offered across the UK at training centres located at Inchinnan (near Glasgow), Immingham, Warrington, Bircham Newton, Erith, and Plymouth. Places were offered free of charge on a ‘first come, first served basis’ to scaffolders and advanced scaffolders who need to renew their CISRS cards before the end of this year, and around 70 operatives snapped up the places.

AIS Training Wins Wood Group Skills Contract



to more than 75,000 delegates annually from all over the globe. It is also at the leading edge of industry developments such as virtual reality and tailored-apprenticeships. In acknowledgement of this success, AIS Training has won a string of awards for its work including the coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise, British Chambers of Commerce Exporter of the Year and an OBE awarded to its managing director for services to the offshore sector. The deal with Wood Group is the latest in a number of high profile contract wins for the company, which has also won multi-million pound training agreements with several other oil and gas and industrial giants in the last six months. Managing Director at AIS, Paul Stonebanks OBE said: “This is an outstanding achievement, for everyone at AIS Training, who have worked so hard. Winning this contract is testament to our people and the processes and systems we’ve put in place. Wood Group clearly recognises our customer orientated strategy to deliver world-class solutions for all of our clients. As a result of the contract we will now train thousands more delegates annually across our three UK locations in Aberdeen, North Tyneside and Grimsby.”

ndustrial training specialist, AIS Training has secured a three year contract with Wood Group to manage and deliver the company’s UK training. Under the contract, AIS Training will provide over 800 industry-accredited technical and safety-critical skills courses and a competence management system, as well as associated management services for booking enquiries, course scheduling of delegates and certificate expiry and renewals. AIS Training owns and operates four state-of-the-art industrial training super-centres in the UK, including a flagship 20-acre facility in North East England. Winning this training contract has allowed the business to invest in a new £1m purpose-built centre in Aberdeen’s Westhill area. It also has an international presence in 19 territories including Australia, China, Canada and the Middle East. Since its inception, a decade ago, AIS Training has experienced phenomenal business growth and success rising to become one of the world’s leading training providers.The company has invested more than £10m in its training infrastructure and now boasts the world’s largest portfolio of industry-approved courses for the oil and gas, wind, construction and heavy engineering sectors and has the capacity to deliver skills training 26


Aecor/Safety & Access set the standards with Overseas CISRS scaffolding training in Kathmandu, Nepal


afety & Access have announced after a further CISRS independent audit that their certified training centre in Kathmandu, Nepal has renewed its approval to deliver scaffold related training in the region. Safety & Access report they have delivered training resulting in over 300 successful CISRS card holders and have extended the centre to accommodate 24 trainees.They’ve also gained accreditation to deliver the CISRS Advanced Scaffold Inspection Course. The ability to gain CISRS qualifications for experienced Nepalese scaffolding operatives assures employment for the citizens in the Middle East with a five valid year qualification. 2017 has seen major clients in the GCC engaging the services of Aecor/Safety and Access Nepal to provide training for operatives before their arrival to the Gulf and to provide the further reassurance that their employees arrive with established scaffolding skills. Rick Statham, Joint MD of Safety and Access commented: “We’re pleased the Kathmandu centre has not only been hugely successful in its first year of operation but also that there are confirmed business opportunities that will see the business in Nepal expand massively in the coming months.The oil and gas clients in the GCC are now recognising the value and benefits of stringently delivery scaffolding training in this high risk area and we are here to assist with benefits including major cost savings by providing training at source to a high standard of quality and and safety. Dave Mosley, Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) Scheme Manager recently completed the annual accreditation audit at the Aecor/Safety and Access Ltd Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme (OSTS), centre in Kathmandu and was very impressed with the progress that has been made in only 12 months. He said: “The practical facility here is excellent, it is a credit to Aecor/Safety and Access Ltd and is a showcase for CISRS Overseas training.The layout, materials and general housekeeping at the centre are all to the highest standards which creates and great environment for training.”

Simian Partner with NTI to Open Oman CISRS Training Centre


imian Skill International and National Training Institute (NTI) part of the Babcock International Group have joined forces in order to gain CISRS Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme (OSTS) accreditation for their new centre in the Sultanate of Oman. CISRS Manager Dave Mosley traveled to Oman back in April for a pre-accreditation visit, Simian/NTI took the decision to source a new location for their new CISRS OSTS practical facility, which is adjacent to another of NTI’s training establishments in the Ghala Industrial Area of Muscat. NTI Business Development Manager Mohammed Atif Uzzaman commented: “NTI Oman are proud to be working in association with Simian Skills and to become the first CISRS approved training centre in the capital (Muscat) which can offer scaffolding programmes that meet PDO’s revised criteria. We are committed to offering world class learning solutions to the Omani market,” said NTI Business Development Manager Mohammed Atif Uzzaman. In a press release CISRS say, The training centre has been fitted out to a very high specification, Simian/NTI has gone to considerable expense to provide new materials and equipment for the centre audit which took place on 9th/10th of August. The new centre boasts newly fitted out air-conditioned classrooms and an on-site restaurant ensure that delegates will enjoy a very comfortable training experience. The investment in the facility has paid off as the centre has gained approval to deliver the following CISRS OSTS courses Level 1, Level 2, Basic Scaffold Inspection and Scaffolding Supervisor training.








MR Scaffolding Services thrives after successful re-brand A rapidly expanding Croydon-based scaffolding firm continues to prosper after having gone through an exciting major rebrand.


he second generation family owned business MR Scaffolding Services Ltd was originally established by Michael and John Trayfoot in 1974. Due to retirements of the founders, management responsibility was transferred to the founder’s sons, Matthew and John Jnr Trayfoot alongside Frank Pickford as Contracts Director. Over the past two years, MR Scaffolding Services has grown rapidly, doubling in size under an innovative new management team. MR Scaffolding say, the rapid growth phase is attributed to a new modern management style, and the major company rebranding undertook in 2015. The business has also benefited from a public safety inspired upgrade to

a new fleet of high specification trucks and other vehicles. The recent growth validates the firms innovative new management style and creative vision of the present directors. MR Scaffolding Services, MD, John Trayfoot said: “The fundamental management changes, new vehicles and re-branding have collectively established a platform which not only served to re-invent the company, they now ensure that it can continue growing and remain successful in a competitive and volatile market.” John also believes that their rapid growth is fundamentally a result of the company pursuing and acquiring major new contracts, hiring a complement 30


of highly trained staff, and undoubtedly a recent boost in the construction industry economy. John added: “we have won a number of new contracts recently which has helped boost the growth of the company. For example, we have made sure our staff are highly trained with PTS and LUL cards as one of our contracts is with Transport for London.” On his feelings on the new company brand, John went on to say: “we decided to rebrand the business to give it a more up to date image, and we also wanted to reflect that a new modern and innovative generation can grow an established business successfully.” The branding also includes new vehicle designs and a new company logo. “Our new fleet of vehicles look modern and stunning,” adds MR Scaffold-

ing Services Director, Matthew Trayfoot, “we have also named the trucks as a gesture in recognising our parents and other family members who started this before us. The drivers and staff really like this, as many of them have been with us for years and worked for our parents too. This gives them a feel-



ing of community and makes them feel part of a big family.” The new company position means that they are now competing for bigger contracts. Frank Pickford believes that this success is down to a number of factors, Frank said: “we have worked really hard, and smart, allowing us to win a number of new major contracts. This has meant that we have taken on

new staff to cope with the work.” Frank added: “we are also commercial fit-out specialists. We provide the appropriate design and planning solutions, as well as passenger and goods hoists, a range of beam hoists, scaffolding staircases and temporary roofs. All of this means we are able to respond to a variety of requests from clients which has contributed to our expansion.” SM



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Building A Safe Platform For Success PROJECT 1

Allied Group extends its reach with new Mast Climbers and Hoists


llied Scaffolding has added another string to its increasingly diverse service bow. The scaffolding experts have developed a full-access package dealing with the various interfaces between scaffolding, mast climbers and hoists. And now the service is being rolled out across the North, with two initial huge projects in both Liverpool and Manchester. This new service is the latest in a natural progression for a company boasting more than 35 years experience in the sector. Allied has become a byword for safe, reliable construction and access services. The company concentrates on providing a comprehensive access and logistic planning service for external mast climbing work platforms. This includes ‘passenger/goods or goods only’ hoists to the construction industry. They also supply, install, maintain and service platforms and hoists.

This includes providing a range of innovative, reliable and economical solutions to help keep construction workers safe on the job. Moreover, their ability to act as a single point of contact between the sometimes disparate mast climber, hoist and scaffolding disciplines, has earned them new clientèle. Investing In Safety Not only has the firm made a multi-million pound investment, it has also gone to great lengths to source the best quality plant available. The ultimate goal is to deliver, ‘The most robust solution available in the marketplace.’ There are already plans to build upon this new offering, as Tony Stickland, Manager of Allied Mast Climbers and Hoists explains: “We intend this arm of the business to grow as more investment is earmarked over the coming years, and we expect the disciplines to complement each other perfectly to deliver a ‘one stop shop’ to our clients. Ultimately, we want people to benefit from a fully joined-up approach, giving customers access not only to the best products, but also impartial expert advice on what the most suitable access product is for their particular requirements. It’s an exciting time at Allied, and we’re looking forward to what our new service will do to help our clients’ businesses.” This forward thinking innovation is without doubt construction a strong platform for further success. SM

Large Scale Projects Of the large-scale projects already benefiting from the package, ISG in Lime Street, Liverpool, sees the service being used on a £39m mixed-use development. This includes a 101-bed hotel and student accommodation comprising of 412 flats. The second project, with Bardsley Construction, is part of the redevelopment of Great Ancoats Street in Manchester. Here, Allied products will be used as part of an £18m PRS scheme comprising 128 apartments. A View From The Top Allied Chairman John Bracken, told us: “This new service will allow customers to access the service that’s best for them. The idea is to be flexible, and use our expertise to guide customers to the ‘best fit’ mast climber and hoist product for them. Obviously, depending on the individual height, location, hire periods or users for their own individual project.” The company has earned its high reputation by helping to create safe workplaces at high levels. 35


The Art Of Scaffolding PROJECT 2

With little noise from Mercer Scaffolding And Plant Hire


magine servicing a property in a busy London street. There’s little room for manouvre and heavy scaffolding is needed. Pedestrians, all manner of vehicles and everything the capital can throw at you are continually hovering around the project 24/7. Just how do you go about the erection service, with potential problems all around? The answer is simple. By constructing a temporary scaffolding master piece. The bods at Mercer Scaffolding and Plant Hire Ltd, did just this to great effect. In fact, this was a scaffolding master class for everyone to appreciate. Month’s of meticulous pre planning went into the project with 48.3 Scaffold Design Ltd to ensure everything ran smoothly with little interference to the public. Supervisor David Norman said: “We integrated the Klawz fittings due to the loads, as it reduced the number of cheque fittings by 50 per cent on the front elevation.” Each side of the

building presented a different challenge on site. It’s been a challenging project, but a pleasure for the team and myself to be given the opportunity. Bring on the next one.” The Bedford Street front was a busy street with high pedestrian footfall. Ben Beaumont, Managing Director of 48.3 Scaffold Design Ltd explained; The pavement had vaults below, and both the restaurant and travel agent in the ground floor units were to remain fully open and undisturbed for the duration of the work. The side provided a main access route to St Pauls church who had events and congregations most days, requiring continuous access to be maintained. The rear was the most straightforward with the scaffold based in a lightwell. The return down the southern elevation however, was occupied at ground level with the adjacent property so this had to be entirely bridged over. As for the 36

technics, the scaffold provided a full protection and loading gantry to the front with complete access to the front elevation above, two staircases, a two tonne lifting beam and an electric winch. It continued upwards to provide support to the high eave of the temporary roof. The scaffold only came to ground in seven locations, they were typically 0.40m x 0.60m towers strategically positioned on the pavement, with back propping installed below. The side had a narrower protection gantry supporting the full height scaffold, and the rear scaffold was generally ground based without the need for propping. The challenge to overcome was installing a mono-pitch roof high above the existing structure. The developer and main contractor, Q-Hotels, wanted to be able to build another storey of the building, and fit it out under the weather protection of the roof. To add to the complexity, the last


feasible tie location, where fixings capable of supporting the large roof-generated tie loads could be located, was some way down from the top of the building. This meant the scaffold had to freestand around 11.50m from the last tie point, making the stiffness and rigidity of the scaffold critical. During construction we made several visits to site. We were thoroughly impressed with how well the scaffolding team at Mercer had done erecting the complex scaffold in the challenging city centre environment. Getting the 1250mm deep main gantry beams in exactly as drawn, was the only time they had to tweak the design, avoiding the building that was slightly different on site to the survey drawings. The Mercer team made thoughtful suggestions when making those updates as they had been active in the design process from the outset, so what could have been difficult problems, were overcome quickly and easily in a collaborative team effort. Operations Manager Adam Millgate added: “It has been a pleasure to head up such an interesting project, as a team we strive to always deliver nothing but 100 per cent whatever the weather. Managing Director’s of 48.3 Scaffold Design Ben Beaumont and Jay Lamb from ADS Security Installations also provided major input. Jay provided the super flush hoarding, di-bond and security system with CCTV to every lift. The whole team displayed impressive skills to the limit. It all made for a capital triumph with Bedford Street being the overall winner. And little noise made the project a true example of scaffolding at it’s artistic finest. SM


Layher Scaffolding Helps to Keep History Alive


he range of structures, new and old, that have benefitted from Layher scaffold systems is extensive – but few can match a 1,000 year-old location in the heart of England. Warwick Castle, which dates back to the 11th century, undergoes an ongoing schedule of repair and maintenance with the programme currently including stonework restoration of Guy’s Tower, the Castle’s largest, which dates back to 1526.  By contrast, the modern Layher Allround system has proven ideal in this historic environment, enabling optimum access for the specialist stonemasons to be achieved.  Steven Pickard, Project Manager at Sky Scaffolding Midlands Ltd, who have undertaken the installation of the Layher system for Warwick Castle managers, Merlin Entertainment Ltd, explains – “Understandably, a structure such as this presents major challenges, not least severe limitations on tying the scaffold into the stonework,” he says.  “Opting for the Layher system meant we were able to utilise a lightweight, wide bay design which not only meant the need for extensive ties could be avoided – only non-intrusive ties fixed into the mortar were utilised where necessary – but which also allowed a buttress design to be used.” The Layher scaffold comprised 13 lifts to raise the main working platform some 25 metres – almost to the full height of the tower.  It is at the top of the structure that the main refurbishment activity has been focused but, once accessed, the stonemasons were also able to inspect other areas that needed attention – extending the project, as a result, to complete the additional work. The Layher Allround design was erected quickly and safely, while also optimising security to the working area.  The company’s Protect panel system was connected to the first three metres of the scaffold, with access limited to a single, lockable door.  “This was an important safety factor given the proximity of the work area to visitors in the Castle grounds,” comments Andy Gee, Area Sales Manager, Central UK, at Layher.  “Additionally, a loading platform was built to full height with a landing platform every eight metres inside the scaffold for materials to be hoisted and stored, with our Stairtower system also rising to the full height of the scaffold.” The buttress design, which comprised a stepped back configuration, itself created a visually impressive aspect to the scaffold installation – perhaps fitting in such a dramatic location, which will continue to impress visitors for many years thanks to the management’s commitment to ongoing restoration, and the use of high quality access systems. SM 37

48.3 are experts in scaffolding and temporary works design. OUR DESIGN SERVICES 48.3 have offices based in Reigate, Leeds and Glasgow and are able to offer a nationwide service to the UK and Republic of Ireland. In addition, we have clients across Europe, in the Middle East and in Asia; we can provide a design service wherever you need it. SCAFFOLD DESIGN DRAWINGS


Our drawings are typically created as 2D in 1st Angle projection

We complete design compliance checks to ensure an erected

with 3D detailing as necessary, produced to British draughting

scaffold conforms to its design. This is accompanied by a

standards ensuring they are clear and accurate. Our designs are

detailed report with constructive feedback and action plan

created using the latest Autodesk products in a range of sizes to

as necessary.


If you are unsure of the best access option for your project

Our scaffold design calculations are clear, precise and accurate

we can help. There are many things to consider, and not just

and completed in accordance with current British and

scaffolding! We will work with you at planning stage or once you

European Codes of Practice and produced and presented

have started on site to assess your access requirements, phasing

electronically. We value engineer every design, checking multiple

and sequencing with other works, to create the best possible

load cases to ensure we have the most efficient and economical

access package for your project.


Formulating an accurate design brief can be difficult and BS 5975

Our Design Risk Assessments are individually produced for each

requires that all temporary works design start with one. Where

and every design and are directly linked to the design using

our clients are not used to producing them we will do it in a

an integrated reference system. Our commitment to eliminate

collaborative and inclusive way, to ensure that the problem is fully

hazards at the design stage has driven us to create our own

understood and all necessary information is available to complete

unique 4 step process for hazard identification that we use on

the design. The process often includes a visit to site, which we

every project.

carry out all over the UK and abroad as required.



We can provide an impartial design checking service for designs

This involves the production of a design for an existing scaffold

produced by other design companies, including the production

and verification that what has been built, is structurally sound and

of category 2 & 3 Network Rail checks. We create and complete

compliant with all relevant codes of practices. If any additional

F002 and F003 forms as designers and checkers as part of a

work is required, we will work diligently to minimise its impact on

Network Rail submission process. We also produce Highways

on-going work.

Agency AIP (Approval In Principal) and London Underground CDS (Conceptual Design Statement) documentation.


Working closely together on a complex project with a lot of restrictions, 48.3 provided an excellent service with an in depth knowledge of their field. I fully trusted their work and would definitely use them again if the opportunity arose and would recommend them to any contractor.


Peter Doody | Senior Engineering Manager.


OUR ETHOS MAKES US DIFFERENT 1. We believe that scaffold design is not just about producing a drawing; it is about a complete service. We create a great solution. We de-risk and provide certainty, through professionalism and delivery.

2. We focus on the needs and challenges of the scaffolder. We provide buildable solutions that use materials efficiently – value engineering every step of the way. Scaffold designs are primarily for the scaffolder. Everything works from this starting point.

48.3 Core Values: Buildability | Commercial Viability | Safety Through Design | Collaboration

WHY SHOULD YOU USE OUR SERVICES? 1. We provide a ‘Fast Track’ service with a guaranteed start within 24 hours for time critical projects. 2. Our typical turnaround time is 5-10 working days, and guarantee no more than 10 working days. 3. When we agree a delivery deadline; we meet it. If we don’t, then the design is FREE

Layher UK have been working with 48.3 Scaffold Design Ltd since their inception in May 2010. During this time they have produced some fantastic designs using our Layher Allround system, Keder temporary roofing systems and our heavy-duty propping systems. They have extensive knowledge of the Layher product range and regularly work along side our own technical department producing innovative design solutions for a range of clients in the UK scaffolding industry. I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of 48.3 Scaffold Design Ltd and I look forward to working with them for many years to come.

Working with 48.3 Scaffold Design has been like a breath of fresh air. Not only do they provide high quality designs and accurate and concise design calculations but they also provide a design risk assessment, something I have not received from other scaffold design companies in the past. I have been delighted with the service they have provided over the past 16 months on the Heathrow Terminal 2B project and would highly recommend them to any future clients.

John Milton | Contracts Manager

Sean Pike | Managing Director.

Call or Email us today to find out how we can help your business Contact us: Reigate: 01737 244 047 Leeds: 0113 39703 Glasgow: 0141 416 4183 E. info@483scaffolddesign.com www.483scaffolddesign.com


Sureguard is Born For Safer Scaffolding T

hey say necessity is the Mother of invention. In the case of Suregard Scaffold products this was certainly the case. As a result, scaffolding companies are now benefiting from reducing costs associated with waste, labour, brickguard replacement and all round improved site safety. It all came about when the company were  looking to replace their current stock of plastic coated wire brickguards. These were always difficult to handle and not attractive on the eye. They also needed them to stack comfortably and easily, to reduce gaps along the edge of scaffolding, cope with severe weather conditions and save costs. This may sound simple enough, but their search proved fruitless within the industry. What’s more, other firms were experiencing a similar situation, and it was costing them money in the long run.   So the experienced bods got to work and slowly but surely their innovative and thoughtful approach paid off. They produced something very flexible, incredibly hard wearing and fully replaceable thanks to their strong nylon makeup. If any of the hooks were damaged in testing, they found there was no need to replace the whole piece. In fact, they achieved a wind tunnel test of 78mph without any-

thing falling off or flying away. The mesh at the bottom of each panel and the two independent toe clips, were designed to facilitate interlocking, eliminating all gaps between brickguards and the risks they cause. Sureguard was born, to follow the shape of any scaffolding while being fully secured to both sides of the toe boards. And those fiddly zip ties weren’t needed, saving vital time. What’s more These amazing brick-


guards proved easy to handle and are very stackable. The unique moulded shape makes them compact to transport palletised on vehicles and around the yard or site by forklift truck. This all makes for a tidy safer site. All of this, designed and manufactured in the UK of course to an extremely high standard. But get this? They are made from fully recyclable materials in seven standard colours – black, blue,


red, green, pink, grey and yellow. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also the option of having your company logo moulded into the plastic for added security when manufactured. For quantities over 2400 units additional colours are available to match individual branding. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a brilliant concept, superbly designed and impressively manufactured. What more could you want from a brickguard? Necessity is clearly the Mother of invention.

GKR & VR Access Solutions Collaborate On New Multi Use Fitting


ondon based GKR Scaffolding and VR Access Solutions Ltd are said to be working together on a new patented multi use fitting. VR announced the collaboration on LinkedIn in August with some teasing promotional posts.The new fitting has a long list of impressive uses, that include the use on load bearing scaffolds, a viable replacement to the structural Aberdeen transom and can be used as a one piece tie.




N I 42








What made you want to be a female scaffolder ? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the question seemingly on everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lips. With only 12% of construction workers being female and less than 2% working manually on construction sites, dramatic gender imbalance exist within the UK construction industry. Scaffolder Vicky Welch tells us her story. 20



must have been asked this about 1,000 times over my friend, offering me a trial at the stadium of light the eight years I’ve been in the industry, and over as they were doing the stage for an Oasis Concert. 1,000 times I’ve roiled my eyes and sighed. It’s one This was 2009, the same year I started an apprenof the most complicated questions to answer with- ticeship with Citb, going on to gain my blue scaffold out either going into a long winded story or sound- two years later. Explaining all of that to people takes ing like a total bitch with a serious attitude problem. some time so I’d normally just reply “I didn’t want to be a scaffolder, I just fell into it”. To be honest it’s The question can come from Site managers, the man sitting next to you in the pub, other people on the best decision I ever made, I can’t begin to explain how rewarding the hard work feels. the SSTS course, college tutors, ground workers in My life didn’t change dramatically in those two the bait cabin, any new scaffs and even labourers years. In fact it took a long time and a lot of hard you work with. It could also be a friend of a friend your introduced to, or most people you meet really. work to sort myself out. It was when I nearly lost my job because of blowing a Monday shift I realised I get the impression everyone thinks you’re out how much I cared, and how much I wanted to there chasing your dreams, because your dad, succeed. To finish what I’d granddad or favourite uncle started. I now have a beautiare scaffolders and you’ve ful home my partner and I been brought up as a tomI get the impression have bought, and we’re also boy really. Why else would everyone thinks you’re out getting married next year. you do this to yourself right? I’ve not had to face anything There’s bound to be a really there chasing your dreams, on my own now for six inspiring story behind it. Well because your dad, grandad years. I was also short-listed it might be the case for othfor Tradeswoman of the Year ers but not for me. or favourite uncle are making the final three at this The story goes, I was toscaffolders and you’ve been years’ Woman in constructally off the rails as a teenbrought up as a tom boy. tion awards. I was so proud ager, struggling with a council to be part of it. I went on to flat full of ageing hand me Why else would you do this, work in Admin, Operations, downs including a 50-yearright? Finance and now Contract old sofa, ugly burgundy floormanagement for North East boards and un-decorated company James Inglefords walls. I could go on forever describing the downbeat place I was in, but the top Scaffolding. I didn’t just take a job back in 2009, I and bottom of it was I was on my own without the took on a career. money to get someone to come and sort it out. Raising Awareness I was on the ‘rock and roll’, and one day I went to Is it just me? Do others feel how I feel? Is it really meet a friend and she asked me for an ‘open interthat rare? I’ve always wondered this, but it wasn’t view’ for an office job at a scaffolding company. until I was approached last year and asked to help As I had nothing better to do I made the effort. raise awareness of the lack of woman in the indusThe director was there describing the job, he gave try. The aim was to promote getting more woman a speech about scaffolding being good money, the healthy outdoors, and the possibility of sending scaf- involved. that I took action and came up with the facebook page ‘Females in Scaffolding’. Within those folders to work abroad. “Can lasses do it”, I said. I couple of months, I discovered Claudia Ferguson, had to ask as it sounded more adventurous to me. I’d tried seven other jobs from McDonalds, call cen- from Sunderland, was an apprentice at Newcastle College. She’d transferred the second year of her tres, door to door sales etc, and nothing interested specialist course over to AIS training centre, which me to keep me there longer than three months. just so happens to be on my doorstep, so I made He waffled on a bit and somewhere amidst the waffling I heard the words ‘equality and diversity’ be- contact. I found Carlene Brookes, a part one scaffolder ing good for the company. Later that day they rang 45


from London, then eventually Farren Williams. Eventually I was getting answers, and yes there are other woman in the trade. But how many? It was then I turned to CISRS who provide some fascinating information. There are only six part two’s, eight trainee’s, and 17 labourer registered. They couldn’t really tell me anymore about who they are or who was first, though I was secretly hoping it was me. They did confirm I was third to qualify. Top three, I’ll take that! All of this research has really awakened a fire in me and although I downed tools almost three years ago to train as a QS, I’m ready to challenge myself again. I’m ready to get practising and go for my Advanced. It’s going to be so hard as I’m out of practice. I don’t scaffold every day now and haven’t for a couple of years, but I’m using the others as role models. It’s like riding a bike, you’ll never forget how to turn a spanner. I can’t wait to learn more and expand my skills. The secret about scaffolders is we’re all insane, but in the best way possible. We are life savers, the purpose of scaffold is so people can work at height, safely. I really don’t think the scaffold industry gets enough credit, what would construction READ MORE ONLINE do without it? SM









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Thinking of a career in Scaffold Design? Ben Beaumont, Managing Director of 48.3 Scaffold Design gives honest and open advise on how to enter the world of scaffold design.


am writing this article as a response to the many enquiries received by 48.3 from people asking “how do I become a scaffold designer?”. Over the course of the past 12 months alone, 48.3 have received well over 100 enquires of this nature, from many different people in many differ- Ben Beaumont ent positions, generally all wanting the same thing; a career in scaffold design.  I will cover all the main aspects to consider when weighing up whether this profession is for you. There 47

are many misconceptions, but I believe, as I said to one gentleman recently “I would prefer that you go onto this knowing all the facts at the start, than starting, only to find out the hard truths later on!” The only caveat I will place on this at the start is that these are only my views on the subject; there are people out there that will disagree or have done something different. In the 14 years I have been designing scaffolding, I have personally trained 21 people and provide mentoring


to around a dozen more. That’s not hundreds, but it’s a few, and more than most. They range from graduate engineers to ex-scaffolders. I have also written a complete training programme for Draughtsman and Engineers that 48.3 deliver to our own staff and external training clients. It is the results of this programme that gives me the confidence to speak with authority on this subject, as the results have been spectacular.   The aim of the article would be to encourage new people into the profession and raise awareness of what great scaffold design involves. (Like all industries) Scaffold Design has its share of ‘chancers’ and incompetent people, if this article exposes those people then great, if it encourages them to improve, even better. If anyone reading this would like my help then please ask - that is my duty to this industry and how I am committed to making a difference.   So what is Scaffold Design? The first thing to get straight is that scaffold design engineers are (or should be) professional engineers. They are civil or structural engineers that specialise in the design of temporary works, and within the field of temporary works, they specialise in the design of scaffolding - a niche within a niche! This is important

as it governs your mindset and your actions when carrying out your role and the importance of completing CPD (Continued Professional Development).  The design of scaffolding is similar to most other engineering professions - we solve problems. In this case, the problems involve providing access, support, propping, encapsulation and a whole host of other things, in a safe and cost effective way. In creating those ‘solutions’ an engineer could visit site, survey, create design briefs, risk assess, plan methods, draw, calculate, assess, check and plan. They have to communicate excellently, liaise with many other people and trades, all with their own priorities, be diligent and professional, and most importantly, create a solution that is fit for purpose, build-able and commercially viable. These last three are critical.  Do you need to be an ex-scaffolder to design scaffolding? No. However understanding the practicalities of scaffolding is key skill for any scaffold designer… in fact, its more important than that, it’s critical. If you don’t understand how the scaffold will be built, and be able to built it in your own mind as you design it, you will invariably create a design that cannot be built, or be unnecessarily difficult, complex or time consuming,



practical scaffolding to scaffolding design must get this mindset right at the start. “So what did you do at the start to get the practical experience?” I hear you ask. Well, when I started as a graduate engineer with Alwyn Richards in 2004 the first thing I did was read BS 5973 cover to cover - twice. Then again after I had asked a huge number of questions to Alwyn (he was very patient!). Next I went and carried gear around in a local clients yard for a week or so to learn what the materials and components were and also go for a ‘long stand’, a ‘glass hammer’ and alike. Then I went and did my Part 1. That’s when I realised how hard it is to top out a 21’ at chest height (very valuable lesson for staggering joints and specifying tube lengths!). That’s when I developed a healthy respect for the challenges of erecting scaffolding competently, compliantly and quickly. Alwyn has many years of scaffolding experience, and I was very fortunate to learn from him, he was a great teacher and I was very lucky (Thank you Alwyn). In conclusion, no you don’t have to be an ex-scaffolder to design scaffolding, but you must be able to build the scaffold you design in your mind.You must understand the challenges scaffolders face erecting scaffolding generally, and in compliance with SG4, and then at a sufficient speed that makes it commercially viable. Apply that understanding to your design solutions and you’ll be better than most - that’s what I think.

usually making the scaffold commercially challenging. One of the most valuable experiences of my career to date came when working as the design manager at Tone Scaffolding. Up to that point, I had never worked for a scaffolding contractor. One of my designs was being critiqued by the owner, Andy Needham (link), he asked me if, during the production of the design, I had considered every possible option for a particular beam fixing, and in doing so, was I absolutely sure that it could not be done with less fittings? I thought I had (or at least, done my best in the time I had available), but the truth is, I hadn’t considered everything. After a 30 minute discussion, it transpired that, for a large section of the scaffold the beam anchorage could be done with one less fitting, and on a smaller part within that, two less! “Whoooa!” I hear you say. Well, the truth is, it mattered. Adding up all the fittings over the whole job meant a big saving on labour time and cost. At that point, the ‘commercial’ penny dropped.  The reason I shared that story is because it’s obvious for scaffolders - that’s the basics. But I can assure you it’s not obvious to a design engineer that does not understand the practicalities of scaffolding. The following day I went into the yard and built that beam fixing. I checked it, I saw the tight space to turn the spanner against the wall, I saw what a saving going from six to five fittings was. I learnt a valuable lesson that day; my designs, and my team’s designs, have not been the same since. Lets consider this in a different way. To design structural steelwork do you need to have spent time fixing it and bolting it together? To design concrete do you need to have spent time mixing it or fixing rebar? To design timber do you need to spent time as a lumberjack or in a mill? No, No, No. So why is there this misconception that you must have to have ‘done your time on the tools’ to design scaffolding (or any job in scaffolding for that matter)?  I’m not underestimating the importance of practical scaffolding knowledge, every scaffolder has a story of getting a design that couldn’t be built, and that, I find very embarrassing for the scaffold design profession - that fact that this mistake is so common.You must understand it, you must appreciate it, but you don’t have to spend years doing it. It comes back to the definition of what scaffold design engineers are professional engineers, not scaffolders who can draw. Therefore, anyone who wants to make a move from

I am a scaffolder and want to get into design STEP 1: Start with the end in mind. Know what you want to do: have a goal to work towards, do you want to be a Technical Design Draughtsman (TTD), Design Engineer (DE) or a Senior Design Engineer or Principal Engineer?  To provide an understanding of what is involved with each role, here are some common tasks associated within each one in a scaffolding design office:

m Technical Design Draughtsman (TDD): site survey, hazard identification and risk assessment, brief creation, solution creation, development and appraisal, production of design drawings and modeling, checking of all previous. 49


m Design Engineers (DE): site survey, hazard identification and risk assessment, brief creation, solution creation, development and appraisal, production of design calculations including 2D and 3D frame analysis, foundation design, design checking. 

If you don’t have any academic qualifications then you will need to look at local colleges and universities and see what courses they offer, in what format (part time, full time, day or evening etc.) and how much they cost.The first step is likely to be an HNC or HND. I would recommend studying Civil Engineering or Structural Engineering. Avoid other watered down subjects. Check that the course you are looking at is accredited by the JBM (Joint Board of Moderators) to meet the academic requirements for membership of the ICE (Institution of Civil Engineers) or IStructE (Institution of Structural Engineers) through the Engineering Council. Its is my recommendation that Technical Draughtsmen target Engineering Technician (EngTech) membership of the ICE or IStructE, and Design Engineers target Incorporated (IEng) membership.There is also nothing to stop you working towards Chartership in the future if that is where you want to go. The minimum academic qualification for EngTech membership is an HND.The minimum academic qualification for IEng is a Bachelors Degree (BEng). If you want to pursue Chartership then you will have to complete a masters degree (MEng).There are other routes to membership that you can pursue if you have significant industry experience, and if this is of in-

m Principal Engineers (PE): site survey, hazard identification and risk assessment, brief creation, solution creation, development and appraisal, production of design calculations including 2D and 3D frame analysis, design checking, overall design responsibility. All these roles have commonalities, a great mindset, positive attitude, motivation, patience and the right academic qualification are must have’s. You are likely to find that a draughtman will spend the majority of their time drawing, similarly a senior engineer may spend a lot of time doing calculations, checking designs and mentoring. Once you have established what you want longterm then there is nothing better than to talk to people, read codes of practice and industry guidance, find out exactly what is involved with each role, and then decide which one you want to go for.There is nothing to stop you becoming and TDD and then progressing into a role of a DE during your career. 50


terest, I would suggest contacting the ICE or IStructE and discussing it with your local membership officer.

you were a Part 2 or Advanced Scaffolder, chargehand or foreman.You will be competing for jobs with graduate engineers in a different job market and the pay is different.

STEP 2: “Walk a mile in another man’s shoes” (or women’s shoes!) Ideally before you enroll at college or quit your job or do anything drastic, try and find somewhere to get some work experience or do some shadowing. If you can arrange a work trial, placement, internship or secondment and you can fit it in with existing commitments, then this would be ideal.The reason I think this is important is so that you see what it’s actually like working day-in, day-out in this role.There are plenty of misconceptions out there about scaffold design and many people will be in for a reality check.

m Your working hours may change and that could affect your routines at home or with family. Once you have seen what it’s really like, then you can make an informed decision.You may see that design isn’t for you, and better learning that now than after spending thousands of pounds on education and years of study time. If that happens to you, see it as a positive, not a negative - you’ve just avoided a big waste of your time.  STEP 3: Enroll at College or University The next thing to do would be to enroll at college or university and start your studies. Scaffolders that I know who have made the transition generally did one of two things:

Here are some of the considerations to make:

m You are moving from a professional scaffolder to a professional engineer - they are entirely different. m You will be going from a manual, outdoors job to an office based, indoor job. If you like doing things with your hands, or being active all day, the change could be difficult. m Your mindset and motivation will have to change not necessarily increase, just change.You will have new motivating factors that drive your work ethic and new challenges that will test your mindset and attitude.

m Option 1: Studied part-time at a local college or university, usually evening classes, whilst they continued to work during the day. Open University or institutions with distance learning courses could be a good fit also. Often people have to tighten their belts now and save money to pay for their studies and in preparation for a potential pay cut when they have finished.

m You will probably have to take a pay-cut initially if

m Option 2: Find a scaffolding contractor with a



in-house design team, or an independent design consultancy (like 48.3) who are recruiting for trainee positions. This would have the benefit of getting straight into the role and getting valuable experience, whilst studying part-time. It is likely that the company will pay for your course, however this would be a trainee / assistant role, and attract a relatively low salary.

and improvement in terms of quality and process. Quality of the end product takes preference over everything else - that is one of the cornerstones of our operating principles. At 48.3 there is no difference in importance between roles. Every role has different key result areas and areas of responsibility, and if one is not completed perfectly, the project isn’t delivered perfectly. This means the work done by a draughtsperson is no less important than the work done by a principal engineer and vice versa - we are a team, and every player is critical.  Some companies believe that all staff should be design engineers (or fulfil this role) and then do everything in the delivery of a project. 48.3 very occasionally work like this, but not often. We focus on strengths and deliver projects based on the strengths of people within roles. If you are a sole trader or working alone, then you have no choice - do everything and anything that needs doing. 

Usually, scaffolders with few dependencies (young families to support or mortgages to pay) can afford to choose option 2. The costs of part-time courses vary by institution, location, and course type and delivery method. Student loans are available to anyone going into further or higher education.  How 48.3’s team operates 48.3 operates a distinct design process from an initial enquiry through to delivering a fantastic solution. Our technical staff are in three main groups: technical draughtsperson, design engineers and principal engineers. Resources and delivery is managed by a design manager or team leader. Our project teams are made up of combinations of people from these three groups, and they depend on the size, complexity, and deadline of a project. Resources are combined across the business and people are working daily with other team members in other locations by leveraging modern technology for communication, file sharing and project management.  All roles have responsibility for design compliance

Final thought I hope this article has given you an insight into what a career in scaffold design would be like and what the journey would be like to get there. If you want something enough, you can achieve it. As Mark Twain said “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than the ones you did.” Good luck to everyone of you scaffolders and nonscaffolders who want to give it a go. SM


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BIG BEN As scaffolders begin a long-term refurbishment project on Big Ben, Colin Waters takes a look at the history of the famous London landmark.




he Houses of Parliament’s iconic clock tower is one of London’s most famous buildings. Though commonly known as Big Ben, the name strictly applies only to its great bell which weighs more than 13 tons (13,760 kg). The ‘Clock Tower’ previously known as St Stephen’s Tower during the Victorian period was renamed the ‘Elizabeth Tower’ following the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

London based ‘Steel Scaffold Company’ who were also recruited to supply scaffolding for a number of major Royal events.    The following year the bells became silent for two months whilst further repairs were made. On Wednesday the 4th January 1934 a newspaper reported:“  In connection with the work of restoration of the Houses of Parliament, the Big Ben tower has  been partially hidden under a scaffolding for the past  few months, and the  clock itself which is one of the most accurate in the world,  has been undergoing overhaul. The familiar chimes will be resumed to-morrow and the scaffolding will, be removed during the present week.” The 1940’s saw more repairs, some more serious than others. For example in 1941 Big Ben’s clock suddenly stopped without warning. At first, investigators suspected air-raid damage but

REPAIRS It’s not surprising that this mammoth structure has required constant maintenance since its completion in 1859. On Saturday 1st December 1877 the clock was stopped at midnight. When Londoners noticed the following morning, rumours circulated that it signified the death of the monarch or an impending enemy invasion. The truth however was less dramatic as it had been stopped to allow workmen to erect a scaffold in the clock-room to repaint and repair the clock.  The tower was repaired and cleaned again during 1933 using Scaffold  provided by 55

an inspection revealed one of the hands had become wedged behind a heavy hammer that a workman had left behind whilst repairing the face of the clock the previous day In October 1954 the Ministry of works announced major repairs would be undertaken to ‘make good, war damage’ including repairing the cast iron roof. “The work, will be done in stages, starting with the erection of a wooden gantry on the west side of the Tower... followed by the erection of scaffolding of the four sides of the tower. The following year saw the Ministry of Works architect Mr Worricker assisted by a Mr Payne climbing the scaffolding to remove the gilded orb. At the same time cracks in the stonework, some of them substantial were repaired. A Pathe newsreel of the repair work including some great shots of the scaffolding itself can be seen online.


During 1983-85 cleaning of the stonework took place together with painting and repair work on the roof. TIMELINE The first clock tower built at the Palace of Westminster stood opposite the Great Hall. It was built between 1365 & 1367. The clock was replaced in 1427.  A fire destroyed much of Westminster Palace and it wasn’t until 1530, that the clock was renovated and repainted. The unstable muddy ground upon which the clock tower stood proved a problem throughout the years, so much so that in 1698 it was decided to demolish it. 1834 saw plans to redesign the Palace of Westminster and to construct a new clock tower. The work was given to contractors, Grissell and Peto a civil engineering firm run by Thomas Grissell and his cousin Morton Peto. The firm began construction in 1843 but not without a number of major problems caused by the wet muddy land upon which it was to be built. Piles were driven into the quagmire with the intention of stabilising the land around it on which stood a workman’s cafe called Oliver’s Coffee House, owned and lived in by  Oliver Mansfield and his family. Unfortunately the unstable mud couldn’t support the weight of the cafe building and at ten o’clock one evening the building began to sink slowly into a hole dug by the builders. Mansfield and his family escaped in their nightclothes to the delight of some, and the horror of others. Mansfield did well from the disaster and was

awarded almost £247,000 in compensation, quite a tidy sum for the time. Firming of the ground proved immensely difficult but eventually the tower was placed on deeply dug foundations. Despite this, movement continued over the years and a recent survey found that the top of the tower is now leaning one-and-a-half feet from a level position, meaning that it’s continuing to sink imperceptibly into the mud below, year after year. CONSTRUCTION


Unusually, scaffold wasn’t used at all on the exterior of the present tower, leading some printed reports to conclude that it was built without the use of scaffolding at all. In reality the roof and upper parts of the building above the clock did require scaffolding even though the tower was essentially built from the inside out with builders using a steam hoist to haul up construction materials. Scaffolding was also used in the construction of the clock faces and internally within the bell chamber where it was used to


Unusually, scaffold wasn’t used at all on the exterior of the present tower support a windlass being turned by a team of 8 men in order to bring the bells to the top of the tower. In October 1858 after 30 hours of continuous back-breaking use of the windlass, the main bell was eventually ready to be put in place. Even though the foundation stone for the clock tower was

laid on 28 September 1843 delays plagued the construction work and it wasn’t completed until 1859. By this time the general public had totally lost interest in the project. Consequently it was decided to dispense with an official opening ceremony Major works are now underway which are planned to take 57

around three years, in which time the whole of the tower is expected to be covered in complex temporary works and scaffolding. Planned work includes the provision of a lift to replace the 700+ steps that provide internal access at present. You can find out more details online and Scaffmag.com.











The Evolution to Virtual Reality for Power Plant Scaffolding W

ith coal-fired power plants still generating nearly 40 percent of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s electricity, and with more than 2,300 of

these plants worldwide, the effect of maintenance is significant. Scaffolding for coal-fired power plant maintenance have usually been 60

designed and approved using traditional engineered drawings, but the evolution did not stop there. In the 1980s, two-dimensional


CAD began replacing the drafting board for creating such drawings. Since then, three-dimensional visualization has become increasingly common, but the result is still a drawing on paper that doesn’t help identify potential problems before the structure is built. However, virtual reality (VR) can greatly alleviate the unique challenges and problems of scaffolding design in this industry. Virtual reality, a computer-generated environment that allows a design to be fully explored, is proving to have applications beyond entertainment. Business applications, such as scaffolding and industrial services, and with regard to power plants in particular, are offering efficiencies in approvals and troubleshooting

even before staging begins. Some of the key areas of efficiencies specifically for power plant boilers (starting from the bottom up) include the V-Bottom, Dance Floor, Pendants, and External Staging Areas. V-BOTTOM Given the incredible height of most boiler scaffolds, the loads transferred to the beams in the v-bottom can be tremendous. At times the scaffold legs will be welded to the floor to alleviate these forces from being transferred to the main supporting members, but often a ladder type 61

of system is used. The intricate details of this part of the structure is very difficult to see in 2D, and in 3D there are only so many pre-defined views that you can print and view. VR opens the ability to fly though this area of the scaffold. DANCE FLOOR Commonly referred to as a ‘dance floor’, a full deck is assembled in the bullnose area. Visualizing the location of this deck can increase safety, as its main purpose is to prevent debris from falling down into the main boiler structure.


PENDANTS Often, the scaffold in the pendants is very complex and requires a sort of improvisational build with what will fit in there at the time. While a VR tool will not completely eliminate the need for flexibility, it can now be navigated through and can help determine difficult areas before the scaffold is built. EXTERNAL STAGING AREAS The ability to place large amounts of scaffold throughout the boiler exterior can result in tremendous labor savings. The individuals that will be constructing the scaffold can review and approve these strategic areas, enabling unprecedented labor planning during the review stage. Virtual reality is a game-changer in scaffold design, especially in power plant environments. With


the ability to see your design from all angles, you potentially reduce problems that would only be found at the staging point. Moving through your design in VR gives 62

you a way to see your designs as close to reality as possible. Learn more at www.avontus.com or by searching for “Scaffold VR” on your smartphone’s app store. SM






Next issue #2: Early 2018 Want More? facebook.com/scaffolders twitter.com/ScaffoldingNews READ MORE ONLINE

Profile for ScaffMag

ScaffMag The Scaffolding Magazine Issue 1  

ScaffMag the scaffolding magazine, showcasing and profiling the very best the Scaffolding & Access industry has to offer. Each issue has exc...

ScaffMag The Scaffolding Magazine Issue 1  

ScaffMag the scaffolding magazine, showcasing and profiling the very best the Scaffolding & Access industry has to offer. Each issue has exc...

Profile for scaffmag