ScaffMag The Scaffolding Magazine Issue 3

Page 1






DRONES rise up P20

The next treat to the scaffolding industry?

TRAD HIRE & SALES TURN 20 P22 We speak to CEO Des Moore on Trad’s successful two decades.


Andrew Kitley gives his opinion on system scaffolds available.


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EDITOR Daniel Norton 01472 476024

8 INDUSTRY ROUNDUP Scaffolding Association growth, CPD one year on, London scaffolder heroes & HAKI launches a new global website.

ADVERTISING Email: DESIGN & PUBLISHING Royle Media 07946 610193

19 ANALYSIS Is being a scaffolder putting your health at risk? Are drones a threat to the industry? Find out... 22 INTERVIEW 20 years of Trad Hire And Sales, in the words of Des Moore. 26 OPINION As system scaffolding

continues to grow in popularity, Andrew Kitley takes a look at the main players. 30 LAYHER Editor Dan takes a trip to Germany, to meet the Layher team and find out what’s going on. 34 BIG BEN The world’s most iconic scaffolding job is attracting global attention. We get the lowdown post topping out from PHD. 39 DESIGN We look how working at height is being

factored into the design phases to save lives. 42 METRIX Trad’s Plettac Metrix Ring System is being tipped for a very bright future. Why? 42 INNOVATIONS Meet the new products that are transforming the way we work. 52 PROJECT REPORTS Scaffmag cherry pick the best of British scaffolding on show right now. 61 KNOWLEDGE BASE ‘Adapt or die’ is the unique mantra of GKR Scaffolding. Summer 2018 | 03

04 | Summer 2018



he use of modular scaffolding (or system, as it’s better known) is rapidly becoming more and more popular within the UK’s developing access and scaffolding industry, mirroring its far wider use in Europe. An increasing number of scaffold contractors are now frequently opting for the use of system over traditional tube and fitting scaffolding – from small domestic contracts to major multimillion pound projects like our cover story, Big Ben in central London. With a high load-bearing capacity, enhanced safety benefits and faster erection and dismantling speed there is no wonder why system scaffolding is so popular and is without doubt driving change within our sector. To find out more, I recently travelled to Layher in Germany –the world’s largest system scaffolding manufacture to see first hand the stringent manufacturing processes and the mind-boggling global demand for this popular iconic system (see page 30). And in June we visited the UK’s most visible system scaffolding project encasing one of the worlds famous iconic landmarks that is Big Ben in Westminster to get the lowdown (see page 34).

Kitley ‘cracks the system’ as he shares his own opinions on the offerings available from the system scaffolding giants (see page 26). 2018 sees TRAD Hire & Sales turn 20 and we speak to CEO Des Moore (see page 22), discovering more about Plettac Metrix – the relatively new kid on the system market (see page 42). Also in this Summer issue is the increasing use of drones within the construction industry. They have taken off in a big way (pun intended), but are they the next threat to our sector? Read the article on page 20 to find out. Want to be featured in the next issue? Drop me a line: Happy reading!

Also in this issue As well as our regular informative sections, ScaffMag’s new technical expertise writer, Andrew

Daniel Norton, Founder & Editor ScaffMag

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The past, present and future of system scaffolding

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Rilmac bags major University project Rilmac Scaffolding has been awarded the access contract for the redevelopment of Cryfields Student Village at the University of Warwick. Rilmac will be onsite for up to two years. Wates Group awards £1.5M contract to Elite Scaffolding Elite Scaffolding have signed a further £1.5 million order with Wates Group to cover works for the next twelve months. The order will see Elite providing access across the London Borough of Brent, on behalf of Brent Housing, to both residential blocks and street properties for maintenance works. Teekay Offshore awards new contract to Bilfinger Leading maintenance, modifications and operations specialist Bilfinger Salamis UK has been awarded a multi-million pound contract from Teekay Offshore, building on a positive first quarter for the industrial services firm. The new three-year contract, with the option of two one-year extensions, continues a successful relationship between the companies, which began in 2014.

Scaffolding on Big Ben now complete after ‘topping out’ T he 98-metre high scaffold surrounding the Elizabeth Tower, better known as ‘Big Ben’ has now been completed after the final piece was slotted in place at a rooftop ‘topping out’ ceremony. In just over a year, with the world’s media watching, 800 tonnes of Layher has been expertly installed by PHD Modular Access on one of the worlds most iconic landmarks. The Uxbridge based PHD began erecting the fully bespoke awe-inspiring structure in May 2017. A mind-boggling 23,500 Layher Allround components have been used to create the impressive scaffold. Interestingly, if all the scaffold standards, ledgers, transoms and bracing were laid end to end this would reach almost 20 miles. With 47 working lifts and a temporary roof at the top, the scaffold is now fully in-place to allow urgent and vital conservation works to continue. The scaffold will encapsulate the world famous clock until 2021 when works to the Big Ben Tower are due to be completed. The upper section of the Tower however, will be uncovered as the project progresses. As the scaffold is dismantled, close inspection will take place of the finished works. In a ceremony marking the achievement, main contractor Sir

Robert McAlpine Special Projects attached an evergreen bough to the scaffold – a centuries-old ritual celebrating the highest point of building work being completed. The Director General of the House of Commons, Ian Ailles, attending the ceremony thanked the team of experts managing the huge task of restoring the Grade I listed building to its former glory. Ian Ailles said: “The steel structure encasing the Elizabeth Tower consists of nearly 24,000 elements, weighs 800 tonnes and has taken just over a year to complete. Despite a complex programme and challenging weather conditions earlier this year, we are on schedule, to the credit of all those working on this much-loved landmark and we look forward to welcoming visitors back to the Tower.” Paul Hamer, Chief Executive Officer, Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd. added: “As one of Britain’s most iconic buildings, it is a privilege to be entrusted with the preservation of the Elizabeth Tower. We are proud to help keep this landmark a centrepiece of our country’s rich heritage through our skills and technical excellence and celebrate this milestone in the conservation work.” See page 34 for more, Ed.

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08 | Summer 2018


New website goes live

Hero Scaffolders chase off London moped robbers targeting mum and child


eading global scaffolding manufacturer HAKI has a brand new website: The multi-language global website features advanced functionality and is fully optimised for an enhanced user experience, regardless of the choice viewing device, also showcases the growth of the brand, its proud 60+ year heritage, latest news, project reports from across the globe and a plethora of product information from the rapidly expanding range. Brand new system scaffolding products like the HAKI Bridge System (HBS), Public Access Staircase (PAS), UTV slim stair tower and the MK2 of the world-famous HAKI Stair Tower system take pride of place online. And the busy HAKI #Gethooked social media streams and useful films are integrated into a central ‘social hub’ on the home page – allowing HAKI clients, new and old, to stay up to speed with the many developments within the global Swedish brand in one place. The site also features a packed downloads section – offering a wealth of useful user material, technical data and product information for HAKI’s clients. And there is a simple to operate contact section, allowing users to locate the HAKI sales, training and technical/product support networks nearest them. Chris Stokes, VP Marketing and Business Development for HAKI said: “Developed across the HAKI network and marketing team, the website has been over a year in construction and offers the very latest in website design. It’s a superb ‘shop window’ into the expanding HAKI product range and worldwide brand. “We’re confident the new site will be a great asset for customers of the business and the HAKI brand, as well as receiving wide use across our global sales network as a useful, modern sales tool. Most of all, we are sure it will help people understand why HAKI Scaffolding, weather protection and stair tower systems are the safest, fastest and most productive and adaptable choice for all their access needs, whatever and wherever the job.” See it at & #Gethooked!


caffolders are being named as heroes after CCTV shows them chasing off a moped gang of theives/muggers who targeted a mum and child in broad daylight As the gang made their escape, a red scaffold lorry pulls up and scaffolders jump out to give chase without a second’s thought of their own safety. These scaffolding heroes have yet to be named but sources have told us they work for DSL Scaffolding Ltd, South London. The met said: “They threatened her and a young child. No injuries were reported. No weapon was seen, although it was intimated. Members of the public went to the woman’s assistance and the suspects fled empty-handed.” Go on lads!







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SAFETY SPY Two men arrested after child is seriously injured by falling scaffolding in Brighton A three-year-old girl has suffered serious injuries from a piece of wood that fell from scaffolding. Two men have been arrested in connection with the incident. Police are appealing for witnesses after a large piece of timber fell on the toddler’s head. The girl was being pushed in a pushchair by her mum in Brighton at around 10.45am on July 6. A large piece of timber is believed to have fallen from scaffolding surrounding a building. The toddler, from Lancing, was taken to hospital with serious head injuries, where she remains at this stage. A 32-year-old man from Hove has been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and a 39-year-old man from Brighton was arrested on suspicion of failing to discharge general health and safety duty at work. Police are working with Health and Safety Executive who will be investigating Kent Based Scaffolder Given Suspended Jail Sentence A scaffolder from Surrey has begun a suspended jail sentence and placed under curfew after breaking safety regulations and verbally abusing an HSE Inspector. Steven David Connolly was sentenced to 24 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, tagged and ordered to pay £2,000 costs by Medway Magistrates.

New Lay Flat Fitting Launches


resco and MyInstall collaborate in creating The Lay Flat Fitting eradicating the process of lapping boards on scaffold returns. It’s always intriguing when two companies join forces in the industry to work together to finalise any advances in the field. So when MyInstall Ltd based in West Yorkshire and Presco Components Ltd from Walsall joined up recently, ScaffMag was keen to discover the result of their collaborations. Revolving around the area of a scaffold fitting called the Lay Flat Fitting, their aim was to secure the success of a specialist fitting created to make life much easier for scaffolders across the world.

Lay Flat Fitting MyInstall Director Phil Holdsworth takes up the story: “During the last 12 months we have developed a fitting to omit the need for lapping boards on scaffold returns. This takes out any tripping hazard this causes, and overall safety on the scaffold is increased, which has to be a good thing for everyone involved. “I approached Presco Compo-

nents Ltd with the idea for the fitting. They thought it was a good one and told me they were willing to work with myself to manufacture and test it.” The company says the Lay Flat Fitting is yet another first-class move forward in terms of the enhancement of safety in the workplace. The scaffolding and construction industry of course views the safety of both its employees and the public, as paramount. This easy to use fitting is now tested to 9.1 KN with a Class B certification complete with EN74 – 1 BM. Phil and his company recently undertook several demonstrations at a number of scaffolding companies to show just how effective this new fitting can be.

Lay Flat Fitting Advantages MyInstall told us, There are many advantages attached to the use of this flexible fitting including the fact it works with double-arm transoms as well as traditional tube and fittings. The use of the fitting allows all scaffold boards to lay flat on a return thus taking out

12 | Summer 2018


the potential tripping hazards. The structural integrity of scaffold on returns is actually increased, and it’s both affordable and cost-efficient. More importantly, overall safety is improved. Phil added: “Health and safety is always the most important thing as far as my company is concerned, so we hope this fitting will make a real difference and it’s great to be able to offer something new to the industry.” Presco is one of the leading driving forces in the market for

scaffold fittings, couplers and ancillary items. Their fittings are used with complete confidence worldwide in construction, refurbishment, power stations and petrochemical and oil-related industries. Their mission statement encompasses maintenance leadership of the market, and to expand into new markets and territories. All of their components are manufactured to the highest British and International standards, so their endorsement of the flat fitting is clearly a major step forward.


HSE Issue Access Safety Alert


he HSE has issued a new safety alert expanding on existing scaffold guidance – aimed at enhancing current procedures to offer greater protection to construction workers and the public. Key issues centre around site access points of a construction site including scaffolding and ladders. Preventing unauthorised access onto scaffolding or other work platforms is crucial in this sense. Children, for example, can view building areas as a potential playground, not having a grasp of the dangers they could face. With this in mind, gaps between gates and the ground, and between fixed and moveable fencing should be minimised to limit access. Clients and contractors must ensure unauthorised access onto scaffolding is prevented, not just outside working hours, but also at times when workers are present but out of sight. These are principles long-established and set out in HSG151. All such routes may need to be secured by a combination of perimeter fencing, local fencing and ladder removal out of working hours. Or by securing ladders using a suitable ladder guard to make them un-climbable. Site risk assessment should also carefully consider a range of appropriate controls to prevent or deter access. Examples in situations where the risk of unauthorised access is high are the use of: Closed Circuit TV (CCTV); CCTV with active monitoring to detect the presence of persons; CCTV with active monitoring and loudspeakers allowing remote security monitoring and verbal intervention, and; Visiting patrols/on-site Security personnel The level of security needed/options available are affected by location/nature of works. HSE also remind the public, parents have a responsibility to take note of safety signs and other information regarding construction sites in their vicinity. Read in full at:

Brogan Group scores scaffolding near Arsenal’s Stadium Brogan Group are providing scaffolding for Chapter Highbury II, a 12 storey student accommodation building on Holloway Road in Islington. The new build will provide 212 equipped bedrooms for students of several surrounding London Universities. The Group are providing the design, erection and dismantlement of scaffolding at 295 Holloway road, which is expected to be open for use in time for the next intake of students this September. Record growth reported by Altrad The Altrad group has reported strong growth in revenue and earnings from the Group’s expanded and diversified platform for the last fiscal half year. Up to February 28th, they achieved record group revenue of €1,678 million with a full half-year contribution from Cape Altrad. Summer 2018 | 13


SAFETY SPY Companies Fined 65K After Subbie Falls Through Scaffolding A contractor and scaffolding firm must together pay out almost £65,000 after their safety failings led to a worker plunging five metres from a roof. Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how in December 2015 a subcontractor working for Centreco (UK) Ltd, was installing solar panels to the roof of Firth Steels in Brighouse, West Yorkshire. The subcontractor slipped on the roof, sliding down to the edge protection. The toe board of the edge protection snapped and he fell through the scaffold, landing on a sub-station flat roof. He suffered life-changing injuries. ScaffOLDER suffers broken leg after falling from scaffolding A scaffolder fell from scaffolding at a housing development in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire fracturing his leg in the accident. According to reports the scaffolder in his 40’s fell from a height on to the 3rd lift of scaffolding at the St Michael’s Hurst development. Up to 490 homes are being built by developer Countryside at the site. An air ambulance, along with firefighters from the Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, and police officers, were called to the development

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NASC Host Future of Safe Scaffolding Breakfast Event The National Access & Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) hosted a breakfast event in a bid to share what the NASC is doing to further improve working practices across the scaffolding industry.


he Future of Safe Scaffolding event was held at the UK Chamber of Shipping in London last week. Attendees to the event included Health and safety personnel, procurement representatives from major house builders and local authorities. They heard how the NASC aims to streamline their procurement process and create a safer and more effective and accountable supply chain. Furthermore, the confederation also discussed the advantages involved in only using scaffolding contractor members. The NASC also expressed how keenly they were to actively collaborate with principal contractors and the wider construction industry much more closely in the future – with a view to further increase standards both in scaffolding and construction in general. Expert speakers at the event included Des Moore, TRAD Group CEO and NASC President, Bob Whincap, former Chair of the Access and Scaffolding Industry Training Organisation, and Lee Roswell, GKR Scaffolding Group Director and NASC Chairman for London and South East Region. Attendees at the breakfast event also heard from motivational safety speaker Dylan Skelhorn.

Dylan suffered a serious accident a few years ago while working for a now-defunct company who took safety very lightly. He spoke from experience about how the accident affected himself, his family and work colleagues, and of his daily struggles after being forced to work unsafely. Speaking after the event Des Moore, CEO of the TRAD Group and NASC President, said: “This event gave us the opportunity to talk directly with procurement and health and safety professionals from a wide range of principal contractors. “It was fantastic to be able to share what the NASC is doing to further improve working practices across the scaffolding industry with delegates and also learn what challenges they face. “It was clear from the feedback during the Q&A session there is a lot of common ground between principal contractors and the NASC and its members and a strong will to collaborate more closely in the future. “We look forward to further discussions exploring how the value of the services provided by our members might help these contractors achieve their goals in a safe, and efficient manner.”

14 | Summer 2018


Scaffolding Association Move to Larger Offices After Boost In Membership Levels The Scaffolding Association is celebrating its increasing membership levels by moving into larger office premises.

Candy said: “This continued growth is extremely encouraging and our success demonstrates the sector’s absolute commitment to achieving the very highest safety standards, something we’re passionate about. We’ve made significant progress in our efforts to drive standards across the industry. “The fact that we have now moved to larger offices due to the latest membership figures makes it clear that we’ve created a business framework that scaffolding contractors and clients of all sizes can benefit from and help us in our


he Association is one of the largest of its kind in the UK – with over 300 members and growing. It was established to represent scaffolding and access contractors, client organisations, manufacturers and consultants. Chief Executive of the Scaffolding Association Robert

quest for a safer, stronger and more professional industry.” “The last six months has seen us strengthen our campaigns and industry collaborations with organisations such as the SEC Group. We also submitted a response to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Working at Height Safety and in so doing have organised a panel discussion about it on the Keynote Stage (directly following Sir Clive Woodward’s inspirational Keynote speech) at the Safety & Health Expo in Excel on the 21st June.” The Scaffolding Association is a not-for-profit organisation that offers various levels of membership including Audited membership that exceeds PAS91. It works closely with trade, government and accreditation organisations to provide a robust support network designed to help its members deliver the very highest quality services across all processes.


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CISRS CPD One Year On Since CISRS introduced the Scaffolder CPD in July 2017, more than 2,500 scaffolders have now completed the mandatory two-day course.


he industry recognised scheme announced their controversial intent to introduce the CPD requirement around 12 months ahead of its launch

date although not all within the industry welcomed the news with open arms. However, CISRS have said in a recent press release that feedback

from those who have completed the CPD to date has been overwhelmingly positive, with the vast majority of attendees stating that it was constructive and beneficial.

16 | Summer 2018


Talking to CISRS Joe Freaney, Contracts Manager at GKR Scaffolding Ltd, said: “Before attending the course to renew my advanced ticket, I thought it was going to be two wasted days of my week. How wrong was I. “I found the course to be very informative and learned many things about TG20:13 that I thought I already knew but didn’t. It’s always good to refresh the massive amount of technical data that we use on a day to day basis. “The inspection module of the course is a valuable extra, allowing me to inspect scaffold up to an advanced level, look at scaffolds from a different perspective and examine them closely. The only part of the course I felt was of no use to me personally was the alloy tower aspect, but it may have been useful to some of the other candidates. “It was surprising how much information was delivered in the two days and the instructor was outstanding. The technical package

handout was also good with all the latest SG4 and TG20 regulations enclosed, all in all a very good course.” CISRS have stated that they will conduct an in-depth review of the current CPD programme soon, during which feedback from the industry will act as a main focus. Comments will be taken on board and the next cycle of CPD will look to address any common themes raised, they said. Wherever possible CISRS has looked to work with training providers to offer value for money. With the help of a number of organisations and to mark the one-year anniversary of the introduction of CPD, a series of heavily subsided courses (£50) are currently being run across the UK. This coupled with the original pilot courses and an initial launch offer of free courses means that more than 20 courses have been delivered either free of charge or for £50 in this 12-month period. This is something that CISRS is

likely to repeat in 2019. Chris Churcher of QCF Developments, Cardiff, said: “The recent subsidised CPD course carried out at the Centre proved to be a great success. The interactive content of the course gave the delegates time to reflect on their job roles and helped to show where they could make improvements.” The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) is currently offering a CPD cashback payment to its members, with £125 available for each operative that they put through the programme. The completion and payment of CISRS CPD has been written into the NAECI Agreement with a similar statement is likely to be included within the CIJC Working Rule Agreement. David Mosley, CISRS Scheme Manager, said: “Despite some reticence it has been a very busy and successful 12 months for CISRS CPD, courses are full and feedback is positive. There will always be some resistance to changes, when the card renewal and Health and Safety Test requirement was introduced into Industry training schemes in 2000, there was a much bigger backlash from the sector. “However, the majority of people involved in scaffolding accept that the introduction of CPD was the right thing to do.” For more information on the mandatory courses, visit the CISRS website CPD section at: www.

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Do Physical Jobs Increase Risk of Premature Death?


ver been told that too much exercise is bad for you? Well, in a way, they might have been right. Researchers have found new evidence to suggest that males who have highly physical jobs – such as scaffolders – are at in increased risk of dying earlier than those that do not have to undertake physical activity during their working day. The general guidelines suggest that everybody should complete at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on a daily basis. However, these guidelines have never considered the general amount of physical activity that is done over a (working) day and therefore the distinguish between what constitutes your required 30 minutes a day is ambiguous. The research was conducted by Dr. Pieter Coenen of the medical

department at the Free University of Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).They conducted a meta analysis of 33 other studies involving just under 200,000 subjects by using their data to get a big picture of the consequences of highly physical jobs – or ‘’occupational physical activity.”Their findings indicated that males who work in manual and physical jobs are 18% more likely to die young than those that do not. In practice, this means that due to the amount and/or intensity of physical activity that scaffolders put their bodies through in a working day could cause complications in the not so distant future. Interestingly, the same was not found to be true with female workers and actually pointed to the opposite being true. This would mean the recommended amount of physical activity

should be offset for those working in construction, factories, and even healthcare to accommodate their working exercise i.e. those with physical jobs should have a lower recommended amount of weekly exercise than those that do less strenuous jobs. It could even suggest that it is possible that too much exercise is not just bad for us, but could be fatal. However, the study has received a bit of a battering within the academic community and academics have pointed to numerous other reasons why this finding may be misleading. One argument against the results was that jobs such as construction include a lot of risks and potential accidents. Accidents can occur from factors other than the required physicality of the job such as working at heights and using machinery which can lead to poorer health. Another argument against the study was that such roles are occupied by working class people who may be under other stresses such as financial worries, or worrying about their job security. It is nothing new to test the health consequences of specific jobs and plenty has also been suggested about low amounts of physical activity within the workplace may also lead to health complications.The full study can be found in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. SM Summer 2018 | 19



The Next Threat To The Scaffolding Industry? D

rones have taken off in a big way (no pun intended) and are now having an impact on a number of industries – both with positive and negative con-

sequences. When it comes to the construction industry, drones have already started to have an effect on the way in which operations are carried out, and

these changes look set to be long lasting. While some of the ways in which drones are starting to be used are extremely beneficial to the industry as a whole,

20 | Summer 2018


could be a common sight on the building site within the foreseeable future. A report released by Goldman Sachs has revealed that the construction industry is leading the way when it comes to the expected take-up of commercial drones, with mapping and surveying being the primary uses. It has even been estimated that $100 billion will be spent on commercial drones over the next 2 years, and around $11 billion of that spending is likely to come from the construction sector.

other potential uses are causing concerns within the scaffolding industry. The Evolution Of The Drone Until relatively recently, drones had a reputation of being merely a toy, or a fun diversion for hobbyists, however over the last couple of years their potential has started to be recognised and it is beginning to look more likely that this sophisticated, flexible devices

A New Form of Land Surveillance Rather than having to rely on scaffolding when carrying out inspections, drones are now opening up the possibility of gaining a “birds eye view” over a work site. While this will reduce the amount of time, labour and expense involved in producing an accurate survey, it could also signal potential losses for the scaffolding industry as UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) replace more traditional methods and eliminate the need for scaffolding during the inspection process. As drones can also access dangerous locations where workers would be put at risk, they represent a valuable alternative to traditional manpower, and while this is good news for construction companies who can reduce the number of workplace accidents while increasingly safety onsite, it isn’t such good news for scaffolding companies, who will lose out financially in the long run. A Pioneering Approach Construction companies that are

keen to get ahead of the competition are already adopting drones into their practice. GallifordTry has already pioneered their use in carrying out site surveys, having conduction an analysis of an old school building’s roof before it was converted into a care home. Using a drone to capture HD images of the roof ’s structure took less than an hour, and required no employees to even be on site with the images being sent directly to the office. It is precisely this convenience that looks set to put drones at the forefront of innovation in the construction industry. By providing high quality information in real time without putting any workers at risk, drones can not only manage resources more effectively and keep projects running to schedule, but it can also save a huge amount of time and effort. Transportation Of Goods With drones being capable of transporting goods aerially, companies can use these unmanned vehicles to move equipment and materials around the job site without the need for so much scaffolding. While this will save construction companies money, it is bad news for scaffolders who may lose out in the long run. Innovation is moving on apace in the construction industry, and with these changes to the traditional way of doing things comes a demand for higher efficiency across every element of the industry. While drones may represent good news for construction as a whole, they certainly represent uncertainty for the future of the scaffolding industry SM Summer 2018 | 21


22 | Summer 2018


Trad Hire And Sales A 20-Year Success Story Solutions, systems and people are still the driving force behind the ethos of a group celebrating two decades of excellence in service.


he scaffolding industry may have changed considerably in the past 20 years with a much greater emphasis on health and safety. But in terms of Trad Hire And Sales, much remains the same in the most positive fashion imaginable. This of course, is the secret of their success according to CEO Des Moore (pictured) who told me: “As well as offering some innovative products and systems, we can also give clients first class advice based on our in-house depth of knowledge and experience. This is why the vast majority of our customers return.” Des Moore has brilliantly guided the company for more than 25 years. And what’s more,TRAD

Summer 2018 | 23


sional Directors have more than 75 years’ service testimonials and the provision of a service that still between them and 100 years’ combined experiremains second to none. ence in the access industry. Des added: “Our diversity is a key strength, as it’s Their hire and sales department has the renot good business sense to be overly reliant on any sources and capability to meet every demand from one area of the marketplace. The staff and clients under pressure clients. It’s this attention to detail are a company’s greatest assets so we continually that really makes the company invest in our people, stand out from the rest. Since “Being the President of the ”There’s been a constant joining the ALTRAD Group alNational Access and Scaffoldmost five years ago, the TRAD ing Confederation ( NASC), drive to modular Group has received substantial is a great honour and I aim scaffolding systems, and investments totalling £10 milto drive increased mentoring this will certainly continue lion, resulting in a staggering 70 and training for staff and opper cent growth rate to date. well into the future,” TRAD eratives within the scaffolding They began life as a small sector, while also encouraging CEO & NASC President, concern with depots in Lonmore women into senior podon, Stockport and Cardiff, sitions within the industry in Des Moore with the latter eventually being general.” closed down. But new deTrad Hire and Sales refuse pots emerged in Scotland, Leeds and Birmingham, to stand still in an ever changing world, and it seems enhancing their presence across the UK. The rest the next 20 years promises to be even more excitas they say, is history. Two decades of continual ing as technology advances further. It’s also clear, this progress, a strong client base and the emergence of is a people company with an ethos held up as an some world class products. industry beacon. SM Des explained: “There’s been a constant drive to modular scaffolding systems, and this will certainly continue well into the future. And of course, health and safety is getting much better all the time, though we still have a way to go. Our industry has many more highly skilled workers, and stronger confederation membership has ensured standards remain at their highest.” This forward thinking CEO has also been instrumental in the push for greater emphasis on both mental health, and a strategy to get more women into senior posts. ‘Inspiration’, is the key word here, and something felt by the company workforce on a daily basis. “Taking the whole group into consideration and not just the sales and hire area, we actually have a small but knowledgeable team overseeing a large organisation. In real terms, there’s a small group of people managing everything. But it works, largely because we’ve been able to retain the staff who have grown with the company.” It’s true to say you don’t become of the highest reputable names in the business over-night. The winning formula for the success enjoyed by Trad Hire and Sales lies in returning clients, wonderful 24 | Summer 2018




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Cracking the System By Andrew Kitley

Andrew has been working in scaffold and temporary works for 18 years and has built his reputation as a highly sought after engineer. His deep passion for scaffolding and engineering and has allowed him to work with the leading companies and complex projects. Andrew will be sharing his expertise and insights of all areas of scaffolding


s tech powers on, we ask ourselves, where is it going to fit into the scaffold world? Of course, we understand the role it takes in the pre-tendering/preplanning of our work, in transport and communication, but where is the future for our operatives? What’s the application to the practical world of scaffolding? System scaffolding is now so widely used in Europe and around the world that our continued use of tube and fitting seems to baffle most people I speak to from other European countries. British contractors choose system so infrequently, the likelihood of you having used it will depend on the companies you have worked for. Geographic location also seems to influence which system you use. I first encountered system scaf-

folding whilst working for Tone Scaffolding back in 2007. Their system of choice was Layher Allround and I’ll admit, my first impressions were underwhelming. I couldn’t see the point, or the advantage it gave over tube and fitting. Until, that is, I witnessed the erection of an event scaffold at ExCeL London, ready for a ski show. The entire thing went up in a weekend and the result was flawless. Things have moved on since my Tone Scaffolding days. Then, the system future didn’t quite seem like reality. Now, a new player arrives on the market yearly, heralding a seismic shift in attitudes and the beginning of an industry-wide adoption of system scaffold. For those new to system, here’s my shortlist of the key players and a nuts-and-bolts snapshot of each brand based on my experience of working with them. All options include their own roofing systems. Layher Layher wears its German Engineering with pride. There is little this system hasn’t considered, and it’s backed up by stellar technical support both here and in Germany. Completing the scaffold using all Layher components gives

an unbeatable finish – it will leave your client extremely happy with the result. The one issue I’ve heard voiced about Layher is that, to achieve the perfect fit around a building, you either have to be very lucky or use an adjustable bay. An adjustable bay is exactly what it sounds like – a component that flexes for various sized buildings in order for the scaffolds to join correctly. Once you’ve identified the need for an adjustable, you’d require one on all elevations. The downside here isn’t the component, it’s that it falls under the category of “non-standard” or “special.” Specials are made to order and come at a higher cost. On a personal note, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Georg Layher at the product launch of Layher Allround Lightweight Components. I was looking at the Layher roofing system when the man himself came over and spoke to me. I am a simple man, and I believe that relationships and passion are the key to success. Mr Layher displays these qualities in spades; he is a true gent. If you have the opportunity to attend a Layher open day or visit them at their warehouse, do it.You won’t be disappointed.

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HAKI We Hoover (but we don’t Dyson). We Google (but we don’t Bing). Some of us apparently “Netflix and Chill” (which is potentially not safe for work, so please Google it if you don’t know what it means). Some brands are so synonymous with getting the job done, we verbify them. Which explains why just about everyone in this industry has been on site when the project manager asks for a HAKI (and not just a staircase). HAKI’s climb to the top of the site staircase world – pardon the pun – is well earned. The staircase of choice for access and egress on low-volume traffic areas, it feels reassuringly rigid when in use and there are few out there that give the same level of comfort. The other jewel in the HAKI crown lies

in their roofing system. In a market saturated by copycat systems, so not much stands out, the consensus is that HAKI has that extra capability. The one challenge HAKI faces as it eyes the big league, is that its access independence is completely underused compared with its beams, roofing system and staircases. Most people I have spoken to don’t realise that HAKI, like Layher, provide a complete product range of components – Universal. As such, they remain completely loyal to Layher and haven’t considered purchasing HAKI stock for an independent... Cuplok Cuplok is as famous as the company that created it. SGB’s flagship system scaffold was once widely used across the U.K. and popular

amongst scaffold contractors for its incredible ability to work with tube and fitting. Unlike other systems that are all-or-nothing, you could erect the scaffold with the time-and-material savings that system offers, while retaining the flexibility that traditional tube and fitting offers. To my mind, that’s a major win. Over the past 17 years, I have watched the use of Cuplok decline to the point where it continues only through the hands of die-hard loyalists. The question is, will SGB return this once flourishing system to its former glory? Plettac Metrix The new kid on the system block, Plettac is quickly making waves. It’s owned by the Altrad group and with the power of TRAD hire and sales behind it, along with the

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flexible finance they offer clients, I reckon the company is onto a winner. Plettac looks almost identical to Layher but don’t let that put you off – it’s no copycat. Rather, the system carries its identity well with different applications of components and roofing systems. Being so young, there are still some problems to overcome. Plettac is not quite there yet with the full product range and they’ll have to build their component suite up quickly if they’re going to grab market share. I reckon this is one to watch. Kwikstage One of the original system access solutions, Kwikstage continues to benefit from RMD’s formidable presence in the temporary works arena and maintains a strong repu-

tation with its staging, formwork and system scaffold. It has cracked a number of geographies and is widely used around the world. Except, interestingly, in England. Despite the reputation, off all the systems, my experience is that Kwikstage needs a lot of improvements. It seems to be popular in Scotland and Ireland but in my 12 years of engineering and design, I have only completed five designs using this system. Against these strengths and weaknesses, how do you choose a system? As always, it’s in the individuality that you can find the best fit for you, your team and your business. All the major companies hold regular open days. Whether you are in the market for system or not, I would urge you to do some research and have the conversations that will help you to

make an informed choice. The Future is System I sit in a lot of pre-tender meetings with main contractors and the same question keeps popping up: can we build this in system? My answer is always yes, although some projects lend themselves to tube and fit better. The conversation that inevitably follows is the shrinking of the tender pool. The reality is, not all scaffold contractors will carry system …. yet. Like most things in business, innovation starts with a whisper, then progresses to a shout. For all us diehard tube and fitting supporters, there’s an uneasy transition ahead. System scaffolding is coming faster than you think and it’s not a question of “if ” but “when.” Are you ready to crack the system? SM

28 | Summer 2018

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Layher – A classic case of good business


e see our role not only as a manufacturer that supplies material when they are asked to, but we are there to assist our customers in many other respects,” says Georg Layher, managing shareholder of Wilhelm Layher GmbH & Co kg. Even if you weren’t concerned with the ins and outs of the world’s largest scaffold manufacturer, it’s difficult not to feel inspired by the man at the top. After all, Mr Layher clearly understands the first rule of business is viewing every client as a partner. “We also offer technical support, training and financial in some cases,” he continues. “And we work very hard to develop new components and auxiliary systems and provide solutions that nobody else can. And that gives our customers a competitive edge over users of other systems or other materials.” Proof, if it were needed, that to get to the top you need to deliver exceptional product and bespoke service.The company now employs more than 1,700

people in 40 countries from the USA to Poland, and its name is used on sites across the globe.These include the current restoration work being carried out on London’s Elizabeth Tower, aka Big Ben, with the work proving the firm continues to provide solutions to complex projects (see the next feature, Ed). Buildings and monuments, especially one of the planet’s most iconic, never formed part of the original plan, though. As with most good business stories, this one is catalysed by circumstance and needs, rather than concrete plans laid at the outset. Founded in Germany in 1945 by Wilhelm Layher, it first specialised in the production of wooden agricultural implements. In many ways the polar opposite of what it does today – typical images of metal scaffold usually involve urban and industrialised landscapes – the transition nevertheless makes sense. The company grew and developed to match changing times, with Europe’s post-war need to rebuild,

30 | Summer 2018


paving the way for boom decades both economically speaking and in terms of innovation. Ever more complex structures, requirements and solutions, in construction terms, means ever more demand for steel, scaffold and revolutionary systems. Skip to the modern day, and the proof is in the second galvanising plant that was built 10 years ago. A major milestone, the idea is, like much of the company’s history, a case of logic.The materials needed to produce Layher products must be galvanised, so why not have this done at the point of production, saving on shipping, slower delivery times and labour? As demand grows, why not contruct a new plant and third galvanising facility? “Now demand is so big we are working three shifts, more or less six and a half days in both galvanising plants,” explains Mr Layher. “And since last year the capacity is not enough any more, and this is why we have decided to build Plant III and a third galvanising

unit, which will be operational in 2019.” The reasons for this are self evident in many parts of the world. While the globe isn’t exactly balanced out, both on an international level and within individual nations, there is huge demand... where demand exists. Steel scaffolding is no exception to this universal rule. In fact, if anything it’s a prime example of a product that is on the up and up. A fundamental part of the construction process when designs for development grow ever larger. It’s not just the financial recovery spurring on increasing demand for Layher, though. Much as towers keep going up, centres continue to sprawl out and maintenance work is in need on an increasingly regular basis. And the current success of the company is as much a result of the company itself as the climate in which it operates. All market leaders are number one for a reason. We ask what the key differentiator is between Layher and its rivals and are told in no uncertain terms it’s about more than the physical product. While the firm’s systems have long been considered the most innovative available, what these systems represent is even more valuable to customers. Put simply, with Layher you invest in the ability to improve your own sales because of the solutions now available to your customers, thanks to Layher’s equipment and products. And, with the world in a far more stable position than it was 10 years ago, demand to be at that cutting edge has rarely been greater. “The economy has picked up in countries like Holland.They were in crisis,” says Mr Layher. “We do quite well in the UK, gaining market shares. Spain is also picking up. We are gaining new market shares in different places, and markets are recovering.” That this recovery comes stems from a crash which hit a decade ago this year is all the more telling of how

Summer 2018 | 31


devastating that crisis was.You might assume that now it’s back to business as usual in many countries the future would look more certain.This isn’t quite the case, though, and there may yet be more trouble ahead. Since the UK’s EU Referendum vote, the term Brexit has taken on a kind of court jester role within the European political system. Or, more accurately, a will-they, won’t-they get ready in time drama void of romance.The repercussions of a ‘bad exit’ – taking no sides – could be catastrophic for both the British Isles and the bloc’s remaining members. And this isn’t the only challenge Layher, and others in its sector, face. “The upcoming Brexit and the aftermath brings with it a degree of uncertainty which may or may not cause some projects to delay, no one can accurately foresee this and as we know, our industry does not like uncertainty,” says Sean Pike, Layher’s UK MD. “One always looks to the positives.These projects need to be started and completed one way or another. “The shortage of skilled labor and scaffolders is of course always a talking point and this most likely permeates into the wider construction sector. “A wider problem is attracting young people, from all backgrounds, male and female into our industry, and we all have a shared responsibility in ensuring this bigger issue is adequately dealt with.” An understandable concern, nevertheless optimism remains the defining outlook at both Layher’s German HQ and the UK office Pike is based in.The company’s reputation is only getting stronger, and in turn this makes the job of promoting and selling the name increasingly straight forward. A self-fulfilling prophecy in the best possible way. “From my part, the case to use and embrace system scaffolding in the UK gets easier, acceptance of what the Layher system solutions bring grows year on year, and we listen to what our clients say they need, the industry is of course weighted towards tube and fittings, but each year that changes,” Pike says. “It is, therefore, a matter of keeping on spreading the word, meeting main contractors and highlighting the considerable

benefits of system scaffolding solutions.To keep innovating, improving existing product ranges, create new solutions and markets and thereby always stay several steps ahead, refining our strategy to suit the changing opinion towards system solutions.” Realistically, then, it’s a case of growth as status quo, and the near-future looking likely to continue in the same vein as those recent years. It’s hardly a bad place for any firm to be in, even if some circumstances outside its control – Brexit, for example – are still hanging in the balance to some extent. “When I look at the growth and development of Layher in the UK over the past five years and since the London 2012 Olympics, which we were also very fortunate to have been heavily involved with, Layher has grown year-on-year,” says Pike. “We have a healthy and diverse customer base, who are all good at what they do and we grow strategically with them, and always in support of them.They get repeat work and so do we. We adopt a very personal service with our clients and work closely with them, always in support and never in competition with them – we manufacture and supply, they erect, alter, dismantle and support their clients. “This strategy has maintained our success and with our very recent organic expansion into the West Midlands, our proximity to our clients allows them too to also grow, with the confidence that we are by their side with materials readily available and local to them.” Every business story is unique, and yet so many share the same plot lines. In many ways the Layher narrative supports this notion. It’s a classic case of one company rising to the top of its industry based on 360-degree merit, the ability to think carefully about the future, and adapt its model and offering to suit the changing demands of customers. A yarn seemingly older than time, or at least as old as business, it’s the result of a model many other companies should familiarise themselves with, because it can be applied to every industry and sector. Deliver what people need... and more people will ask you to deliver. SM

32 | Summer 2018

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PHD Rises to the Top on Big Ben Project

It is without doubt the UK’s most visible scaffolding project – encasing one of the world’s famous iconic landmarks that is the Queen Elizabeth Tower at the Palace of Westminster. ScaffMag’s Editor Daniel Norton visited the prestigious PHD Modular Access and Layher project to find out more.


magnificent International symbol of democracy, standing at 96 metres tall, the Elizabeth Tower or better known as Big Ben is the focal point of the Palace of Westminster, which forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.The world-famous landmark has chimed through the reigns of six monarchs, and is said to be the most photographed building in the UK. However, years of decay have taken their toll on this

world-famous clock tower, with £61m worth of renovation works now underway.The work will involve urgent repairs to cracked and crumbling masonry, restoration and repairs to its leaking roof and a major overhaul of the 159-year old clock itself. The last time Big Ben had a major overhaul to this magnitude was over 30 years ago, in the early 1980s – although scaffolding was last seen creeping up the

34 | Summer 2018



tower in 1996, for work to stabilise the structure after it was found to be leaning, thanks to the construction of the underground Jubilee Line extension. In November 2016, main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, was awarded the renovations contract who swiftly employed Uxbridge-based PHD Modular Access Services Ltd (Heritage Division), to supply and erect the bespoke 98-metre high, free standing, fully encapsulating scaffold with a temporary roof. PHD are no strangers to working on challenging high-profile projects, as they were recently awarded the ‘Access & Scaffolding Specialists of the Year’ title by Construction News.

life On site Scaffolders got underway on site in April 2017.The highly experienced PHD team opted for the exclusive use of the Layher Allround System Scaffold to provide unobstructed walkways at every level to access the tower. Additionally Layher’s HD Aluminium beams, Public stair access and Protect panel design, were all key elements PHD utilised on the project. Layher’s modular system was chosen over a traditional tube and fitting scaffold for a number of reasons. PHD Heritage Divisional Manager & Design Engineer Chris Berry told me that the Layher System was chosen primarily for its capacity: “The loading capacity of Layher far exceeds any other modular system or tube and fitting scaffold,” he said. Other notable reasons why PHD chose the German system was the speed of the erection and dismantling processes, fewer components required (“so safer by design”) and the steel decks used with the Layher system meeting the fire regulations. During the build, the high profile project has had clear objectives and challenges as Danny Dwyer, Managing Director of PHD, explains:

Summer 2018 | 35


trades that will now work off the structure. The scaffold also accommodates a bespoke passenger and goods lift to move both men and equipment to the full height of the tower structure. Stonework and cast iron roof conservation, together with improvements to make the structure more environmentally friendly, alongside interior repairs and re-decoration, with a focus on fire protection and safety, are all key elements of the project. The recent ‘topping out’ ceremony has marked the completion of the scaffold access installation – finished on time in just over one year – and has now cleared the way for the specialist stonemasons and refurbishment experts to begin their work.

“All four faces of the Queen Elizabeth Tower have been scaffolded to provide access to the stonework for specialist repairs, importantly, without tying to the fabric of the building itself,” he says. “Because the layout of the adjacent structures meant only one face could be scaffolded fully to ground level, structural steel sections designed and supplied by Sir Robert McAlpine were built up from the ground by PHD to span the adjacent building and roof areas.” He adds: “From this solid base, further scaffold was punched upwards to the full 98-metre height of the tower and ultimately to provide support for the temporary roof at the top.” The lightweight structure has enabled PHD to effectively ‘embrace’ the tower with the scaffold to ensure its stability – each façade consists of a series of compression ties against the stonework to eliminate the need for physically tying into and damaging the building. Particular challenges for the scaffold was to provide gap free access, allow decorative elements of the clock tower to pass through the platforms, yet be protected from damage, and be as close to the working face of the building as possible for the various

Team work makes the dream work To erect such a substantial, complex scaffold consisting of nearly 24,000 individual components a specialist collaborative design team was required to work on what is said to be the tallest freestanding scaffold anywhere in the United Kingdom, if not the world. Both PHD’s in-house design team and the Layher UK team worked tirelessly from concept to reality. Chris Berry explained: “Although I designed the scaffold there was a massive team involved in the design. I drew the scaffold from several detailed concept schemes produced by Nick Geddes team at Layher UK then upon Parliamentary approval we produced the calculations. The team at Layher UK that included Nick Geddes, Anita Singh and Dave Rogerson then created a 3D model in Graitec and analysed the structure with PHD’s in house design team headed up by Raul Bandera with Kalil & Fernando, like I said a massive team.” Interesting facts PHD have produced some interesting facts about this 800 tonne beast of a scaffold – they discovered that if all the standards were laid end-to-end, they would reach 9.5 miles! Additionally if all the ledgers, transoms and bracing were added the whole lot would reach 20 miles! Also, if all the decking on the scaffold was added up this would cover almost three average-sized football pitches. Massive eh? PHD’s impressive scaffold will continue to be seen by the millions of visitors to the capital.The complex renovation works to this iconic landmark are set to continue until 2021. SM

36 | Summer 2018


Summer 2018 | 37

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Design comes before a fall Falls from height remain a significant challenge for the construction industry. Real progress has been made in recent years to minimise the risk of falls from height, including advances in equipment, training and general awareness. But perhaps the biggest advance of all can be made in the design and planning stage, by thinking about fall protection before building foundations have even been laid. Here, Matthew Bailey, Inspection and Certification Manager from fall protection specialist HCL looks at the issues and explains why safety in design should always come first.


ompleted in 1890, Ulm Münster in Germany soars to 161.5 metres, making it the world’s highest cathedral. Meanwhile in Morocco, the Hassan II Mosque – competed in 1993 - features the world’s tallest minaret (210m).The fact is, tall buildings have always been a part of every culture, and they remain part and parcel of everyday life. Sadly, so are slips, trips and falls. As construction of stadia for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar gathers pace, we’re hearing horrendous tales of

workers exposed to dangerous conditions – and we all have a role to play in resolving this. In the UK, HSE statistics show that ‘slips, trips and falls’ cost employers some £500million per year, with falls alone making up almost a third of workplace fatalities. Thankfully, we’re beginning to see a gradual decline in workplace fatalities in the UK (25 in 2016-17, compared with 37 in 2015-16). Several factors are contributing to this, not least the initiatives introduced by the 2005 Regulations on working at height. Improved risk assessment, better safety procedures as well as training and technological advances in equipment are all playing a part. The more safety becomes a focus, the more workers will demand it, and so there will be further and stronger pressure to therefore improve the culture around working at height. In answering this demand, technology and training have a continuing role to play, but they can only go so far.To date, designing safety into buildings has enjoyed a relatively low profile, despite the best inten

Summer 2018 | 39


tions of the BS 8560:2012 Code of practice for the design of buildings incorporating safe work at height. Safety should be designed into buildings formally, and from the beginning – rather than as an afterthought. Clearly, there are risks inherent to working at a height.Take tall buildings, during construction, there are deep basements and open structures and lift shafts, to mention just a few potential hazards. Post-construction, there’s the need for on-going maintenance of exteriors, roofs and facades.Yet it isn’t uncommon to find buildings where the only access to upper areas is via an exposed vertical ladder – sometimes without fall protection - which are notoriously difficult to negotiate, especially with tools. The introduction of suitable access facilities like stairways into the initial designs would make life safer and easier for everyone. However, the question of future-proofing safety in design is a far bigger issue than simply access to roofs and facades, and covers everything from gutters and air conditioning units through to lighting installations. Architects know that at some point, each of these – major and minor - will need to be inspected, cleaned, repaired or replaced, so why is it often so hard and chal40 | Summer 2018


lenging to do so? It’s true that ultimately the safety of the building is for the end-user, and designers often focus on the aesthetics. But equally, someone needs to ensure that these ‘aesthetics’ are effectively maintained. Besides, these workers – installers, roofing contractors and even school caretakers – are also end-users of the building and their needs should be considered in the design.This isn’t just about designing ‘in’ safety features such as anchorage points for roof or HVAC maintenance.There’s also the matter of designing ‘out’ potential issues in repairs and refurbishment. For example, introducing LED or fibre-optics on lighting installations can minimise or all but eliminate the need for regular bulb replacement. Clearly, all of this calls for the early identification of issues so that they can be addressed in the design stage. And if safety isn’t enough of a reason for architects and specifiers to plan ahead, there’s another compelling reason for doing so: cost. Retrofitting safety can be more expensive in comparison to including safety measures at the beginning of a building’s design.Take Building Maintenance Units (BMUs) and Mobile Elevated Work platforms (MEWS) for example, they cause numerous problems including causing delays, with consequent knock-on effects for budgets and completion as well as ruining precious views and damage in high winds. Compared with these, rope access – with the appropriate anchorage points – provides a safe, simple and cost-effective solution. Moreover, adding anchorage points after the build introduces unnecessary engineering and structural challenges, while if there was ever a serious problem on the roof, and no equipment had been put in place to maintain it, there could be significant cost implications, not to mention liability risks in the event that an accident occurs. Working safely at height is better achieved with the benefit of foresight. Developed by experts from RIBA, HSE, the access industry and RICS, many of these issues and points are highlighted in the BS 8560:2012 Code of practice for the design of buildings incorporating safe work at height. It is important key stakeholders evaluate challenges as early as possible, and incorporate practical and efficient solutions in their designs. Within the regulations of the Code of practice, there is a reference to clearly marking safety hazards on the actual plans, so that everyone – especially contractors and installers – have full clarity on safety issues which isn’t currently the case. This recommendation has not been universally

”HSE statistics show that slips, trips and falls cost employers some £500 million per year, with falls alone making up almost a third of workplace fataliities... “Working at height needs to be factored into design plans from the outset...”

adopted, nor has the code had far-reaching impact. It seems that there’s a combination of factors standing in the way of progress, not least the different priorities and perspectives of the key parties. Everyone wants safety of course, but while it’s the primary consideration of the HSE for example, contractors are also thinking about cost, owners about building ROI, and architects about design aesthetics. In this mix of interests, perhaps the question of safety itself is being juggled between many different sets of hands, with the potential that it, too, might occasionally slip between the fingers. And it’s here that an answer might lie. Safety is not the sole responsibility of any one party. The 2005 Regulations make this clear, identifying figures such as Architects, Facilities Managers, Contractors and Building owners as ‘duty-holders’ responsible for ensuring that all work at height is properly planned and organised and that the risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled. ‘Properly’ planned and controlled isn’t compatible with hasty last minute measures. Working at height needs to be factored into design plans from the outset and safety considerations should bring specifiers, contractors, installers and the industry together in a more considered and collaborative approach. By thinking about fall protection early and incorporating it in designs, there will be savings in terms of time and cost – and, presumably, lives. To find out more about the most suitable equipment and procedures for working at height, as well as training options specific to the job in hand, visit SM

Summer 2018 | 41


Plettac Metrix A real tower of strength The revolutionary Plettac Metrix ring system available through Trad Hire and Sales is proving to be a real tower of strength. Designed and produced from German engineering, it’s ground-breaking igenuity for the 21st century.


sing the latest technologies, including 3D modelling, stress analysis software and state-of-the-art manufacturing, this metric cutting edge product is both NASC compliant and CISRS approved. It exceeds all necessary British and European standards, carrying many more advantages than other industry standard systems. It’s a highly adaptive modular system completely tubular in construction offering bay lengths and breadths totally divisible by one another. It also facilitates up to eight connections at differing angles, with The Plettac rosette creating an incredibly strong and rigid joint. In addition, there’s an exclusive optional Permanent Advanced Guardrail system, allowing scaffolders to work in complete safety from the level below, while complying fully with the NASC’s guidance note, SG4.The system’s unique features lead to significant benefits, including reduced equipment levels, labour savings, decreased assembly times and improved safety. Given the structure’s performance on what without doubt was a challenging proposition in the form of Reading’s Station Hill project, Plettac Metrix is set to take the industry by storm.TRAD Scaffolding drew on years of experience and expertise, both to meet the client’s expectations and timescales, recognising speed, divisibility, strength would be vital. Given its low component weight, it was clear the Plettac Metrix system was the only answer.The first phase of the £5billion scheme involves extending the building by another four floors. A spokesperson for the company explained: “On a daily basis the concourse area directly in front of Reading Station is extremely busy. With a number of vaults surrounding Thames Tower underneath, the brief became even more complicated.

“Adding in the limited time-frame to erect the scaffold, a safe scaffolding design solution was required to quickly deliver in a high-risk environment. With on-site storage being a concern, a neat, palletised system was preferable, one which is easily loaded and unloaded quickly and safely by truck-mounted cranes.The scaffold was completed and handed over after only a 12 week build period, well within the planned deadline.” Reading station of course, is one of the busiest in the UK, but the Thames Basin provided another major challenge for the Metrix system 27 miles along the A4074

42 | Summer 2018


at Oxford’s New Westgate Shopping Centre. Laing O’Rourke needed to draw on TRAD’s strength and capabilities for a £450m refurbishment and new build. With more than 100 shops, 25 bars and restaurants, and a10 screen multiplex cinema, the project is spread over 3¾ of a mile from one end to the other.TRAD has a full time project manager with four foremen and an average of 25 operatives.The Plettac Metrix System Scaffold, together with tube and fittings here, totals 764 tonnes at any time during the project.TRAD were more than capable of resourcing such a challenging project, which only has a two-year build programme from start to finish. And there’s the added pressure of its busy location right in the heart of Oxford city centre, with more than seven million tourists visiting each year. Yet again, the efficiency and versatility of this innovative scaffolding system proved second to none.TRAD’s experienced sales team can offer guidance to customers through on-site surveys and estimating.There’s full engineering support in the UK, and they can offer a suite of AutoCAD Blocks, a component capacity manual and various data sheets to help clients reach the optimum solutions in design for their access requirements. The Plettac Metrix Ring System is now being tipped for a very bright future as a quality 21st century product for the construction and scaffolding industry. SM

Summer 2018 | 43

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THE NEW SUPER GLOW RESCUE HARNESS by RIDGEGEAR Height safety innovations should never become stagnant. Over the past 2 years, RidgeGear has undergone dramatic improvements to its products and brand, making it one of the leaders in the height safety manufacturing industry today.


his year, RidgeGear developed the Super Glow safety harness - the first of its kind.The Super Glow has been specifically designed for those carrying out work in low light areas, such as underground and in confined space with its special features of phosphorescent and reflective yarns that provide the user with extra visibility.The phosphorescent yarns work by absorbing light energy which make the yarns ‘glow’ for several hours at a time, and work in coherence with the high-visibility fibres that reflect light. Additionally, this luminous rescue harness also benefits from an improved rescue strap that has been upgraded to provide ease of use in certain fall arrest situations. With this, it features a new, steel alloy D ring for rear attachment, longer webbing and a refined fastening that is easier to disband in the event of a rescue. The Super Glow has been developed in succession of the RGH5 Glow harness that was launched by the company in the summer of 2016.The new harness replicates features of the rescue strap and

reflective fibres, but also includes quick connect buckles (for a fast, easy fit) and luminous glow in the dark webbing. Super Glow has attained feedback from both UK and European markets and the new innovation has already been well received.The European market has been looking to improve the way communication is maintained when working in low light conditions, underground or in confined spaces, so by making the first ever glow in the dark and hi-visibility webbing, RidgeGear has helped to create a safer working environment. RidgeGear was founded in 1998 and since that time, the manufacturer has established itself as a lead-

ing innovator in the height safety industry. All of the advanced products are developed and produced at the factory in Leek, Staffordshire, making them proud members of the Made in Britain campaign. After the manufacture, the products go on to be extensively tested to the highest specification. Innovation is one of the core values prided by RidgeGear who continue to launch new advances within the industry, whilst constantly improving the performance and design of all of their products. Celebrating 20 successful years this coming September, the company looks forward to further achievement and development in the future. SM

Summer 2018 | 45


Bay Safe End Panel The latest innovation in the scaffolding industry has been receiving plenty of positive feedback – great news for its creator, Rapid-EPS and its inventor, John Curley.


he Bay Safe End Panel has addressed a need for standardisation within the industry when it comes to erecting Loading Bay side protection, and thanks to its innovative approach, the Bay Safe End Panel presents a more robust and simple alternative to the traditional protection. An Inspired Design The inspiration for the Bay Safe End Panel arose when a scaffolding company discovered that each time they employed a new scaffolder with experienced gained elsewhere, they erected Loading Bay side protection in a variety of different ways. While all of these ways were acceptable to the construction industry, the innovation’s inventor, John Curley, thought how much better the system would be

if there was a standardise way of erecting this protection. At present, the protection takes the form of a brick guard, toe board and double guard rail which, although adequate for general scaffolding purposes, may not be robust enough for the high impact area of a loading bay. In response to this, he began to work on

his design so that this could be achieved in an easier way. The Inventor With almost four decades of experience within the scaffolding sector, Curley comes from a strong construction background, and has used his in-depth knowledge together with Rapid-EPS’s

46 | Summer 2018


help to develop the Bay Safe End Panel over the last three years. The result is a high quality system which saves time and effort within the industry and looks set to become the standard for every loading bay. How Does The Bay Safe End Panel Work? The Bay Safe End Panel is used as a template which allows correct measurements to be set out for the loading bay without the need to use a tape, resulting in a time saving of 30% over the standard method. There is also no need for the erection of an advanced guardrail, since this panel can simply be fixed onto the inner guardrail and then swung into position providing edge protection. Again, this results in a 30% time saving. Once the side panels have been put into position, it’s possible to fix the temporary guardrail onto the front of the bay with outside

fittings being secured in just a few seconds – an enormous time saving over the 10 to 15 minutes which would be required to fix the brick guards, stop end tubes and toe boards, and all the cutting and manual handling that this would require. Once the side panel has been fixed, the front loading bay gate can be installed, fixing onto the side panel’s frame at one of two different levels. The final result is a bay safe area with a minimal time saving of at least 50%.

Positive Feedback The Bay Safe End Panel has been received very positively by its main clients, St Modwen Homes and Lovell, while the scaffolders who have used this system have commented on its ease of use. As Rapid-EPS is a proud manufacturer of British Edge Protection Solutions, the company is delighted by the positive feedback about this product’s quality and is delighted to include it in its line of innovative British products. SM Summer 2018 | 47


New Heights For Lynch Scaffolding System The recent launch of a unique product has further enhanced the innovative Lynch Scaffolding System that is also improving safety in the workplace.


heir advanced double handrail and kicker board component works not just with this system but also with traditional tube and fitting scaffolds. What’s more, the designed patented coupler attachment of one fitting on top of the other allows for bay sections to be inserted level over the plain tube. Bay sections then need to be set to the required advanced double handrail and kicker board measurements. This simple but effective piece of kit is expected by the makers to revolutionise how scaffolding is constructed in the future. It

can be inserted from the working lift below without the need for scaffolders standing on steps. Given the dangers involved in the erection or dismantling of scaffolds, the take up is certain to be

popular with companies across the board. Paul Lynch told ScaffMag: “Our advanced double handrail and kicker board works with tube and fitting scaffolds by simply attach-

48 | Summer 2018


ing a fitting also designed by the lynch scaffolding system, which then allows for the advanced double handrail and kicker board to be inserted before the transoms are positioned in place. On lots of other scaffolds you will see bolts or holders sticking out from the upright standards. It’s a common problem especially on new development sites when lifts are stacked with materials and walkways are then narrowed creating a greater safety risk to everyone involved. “Because this reduces the risk of impact-related injuries, it’s perfect for a whole range of media and entertainment events where restrictive access is necessary. It’s excellent for both barrier and roof protection, and it also means no adjustable jack plates are required on ground surfaces as standard base plates will suffice. And let’s be honest, the stability of all structures starts from the base.” The benefits of the product are certainly impressive beginning with the fact no leveling is required, as the component just sits on top of any single fittings. There are no dead men, and you simply tighten bolts with an extended ratchet spanner. It’s also worth remembering this innovative product introduction reduces time-scales hugely, which can also have a long-term knock-on effect on business profits. Paul added: “There are three different sizes of the advanced double handrail and kicker board bay sections, and they can be purchased with an extra added brickguard if required which is welded permanently to the handrail. They all carry a galvanised

steel finish.” According to Paul the handrail and kicker board component has been thoroughly and professionally tested that has been proven to be an excellent product for handrailing, during the process of erecting high scaffolds. Scaffolders just move the bay sections up on the scaffold lifts whether erecting or dismantling. Paul says, there is also a reversible stop end double handrail and kicker board component which has an optional inside board attachment. This all means no restrictions are needed on correct levels of working platforms, there are no costly upright standards required, and no complete restocking of materials. You just add to existing stock.

• 1m.245mm length x 1m high bay section: £44.60 • Reversible stop end 990mm x 1m 90mm high with an extended inside board attachment: £45.70 “More products will become available with the system in the coming months to improve the safety of scaffolders when erecting or dismantling of scaffolds and also improve access for all users of scaffolds” Paul added. The Lynch Scaffolding System is certainly on the way up in making an impact in the world of scaffolding, and it seems their advanced double handrail and kicker board component is another interesting timesaving product.

Whats it Cost? • 2m .385 mm length x 1m high bay section: £51.50

To find out more please visit: or email: lynchscaffolding@gmail. com

• 1m .935mm length x 1m high bay section: £48.00

You can also call: 01792 920211 Mob: 07875239216 SM

Summer 2018 | 49

Service It’s in our DNA Layher is the world No.1 for proven performance, advanced systems and efficiency in use. But to us, that’s only half the story . . . check out our comprehensive service package • In-house technical services • In-house CISRS-approved training centre • In-house financial support solutions • On-site product support services • Unmatched stock support with fast, off-the-shelf availability • Depot network, nationwide • Original product innovation • Quality engineered products • Original permanent advanced guardrail option • Strategic customer partnership

Get the full story. Contact us now.

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


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Summer 2018 | 53




hen an innovative new access solution was required for a major office accommodation development in Cambridge, construction access specialists SGB was quick to answer the call and provide a solution which combined mastclimber units with

a special monorail system. The resulting access solution provided maximum flexibility for the site construction personnel, while helping reduce both costs and installation times. “The Station Road development comprises two eight-storey

blocks which now offer luxury office accommodation,” explains SGB site manager, Mark Newton. “We were approached to become involved by façade installation specialists Dane Architectural. Their teams were going to be installing glass reinforced


“Proper” Scaffolding on the runcorn Silver Jubilee Bridge


he Grade II listed Silver Jubilee Bridge in Runcorn is currently undergoing a major £3M restoration project – with top firm, Lyndon Scaffolding providing the scaffolding and access, as they did the last time the bridge was worked on a decade ago. Lyndons are providing access for painting and grit blasting on the bridge for Balvac, a subsidiary of the multinational infrastructure group Balfour Beatty. Originally opened in 1959 (known simply as the Runcorn Bridge or Runcorn–Widnes Bridge), at the time of construction the bridge had the third longest steel arch span in the world. Between 1975–77 it was widened, after which it was given its official name in honour of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The image here (and there’s loads more to enjoy on the Lyndon Facebook page) shows the sheer scale and extent of the current scaffolding works being installed on the steel arch of the bridge by Lyndon Scaffolding, all designed in-house. The UK’s largest independent scaffolding contractor is already six months into the project, saying it’s

one of the most complex and challenging projects they have ever undertaken. Lyndon Scaffolding’s CEO Rob Lynch said: “Over the course of the next year, the 330m steel arch bridge will be repainted and refurbished, using our temporary access.The scaffold was designed by our team of scaffolding design engineers, with the main spans erected using 1.3 metre deep heavy duty alloy beams. Over the next few months, the scaffold will be stripped and re-erected climbing to the top of the arch, some 87 metres above the river.This is a ‘proper’ scaffolding job and one for which only the best scaffolders are suited.” SM

54 | Summer 2018


concrete columns and large areas of external glazing, and so would require an access solution that combined maximum flexibility with maximum safety.” Responding to the challenge, the SGB team worked closely with Dane Architectural to develop a bespoke solution that would satisfy Dane’s specific requirements. The result was a system based on a series of mastclimber base units surrounding each building, which were then connected together at the top to create a unique monorail system. This allowed the Dane teams

to use hoists positioned on the working platforms to raise materials up. The individual platforms were then able to move horizontally along the monorail, thus providing the teams with far better access to the building’s facades than would have been the case with alternative solutions. “The flexibility and enhanced level of access made the installation process far easier and faster than it might otherwise have been,” adds Mark. “By providing simultaneous access to different parts of the buildings the system shortened the installation sched-

ule and so helped reduce costs. Having hoists positioned on the platforms also meant that façade materials could be lifted into position without needing to tie up any the main site cranes.” “The SGB solution proved to be both innovative and very effective,” adds Gary Redhead of Dane Architectural. “One of the main attractions was that it offered access to multiple areas of the facades at the same time. That degree of access speeded up the proceedings and it certainly made life easier for our installation teams.” SM

Summer 2018 | 55



Raising the Bar on Bespoke Scaffolding Skyline Scaffolding Ltd (Tipperary, Ireland) has created a unique scaffolding design to tackle a most challenging project.

THE PROJECT PX Flow (who were awarded the contract to construct the dryer in Waterford, Republic of Ireland) identified a requirement for a temporary structure which would be used for the prefabrication of the dryer in a weatherproof environment. A further requirement was that the structure would have a rolling roof. This was to enable dryer


components to be craned in, the dryer to be removed from the structure when completed and craned into position and also to accommodate various engineering works associated with the dryer. The structure dimensions were to be 42mx25m and 20m high to accommodate the dryer and a crane which was to be placed within the structure.

Skyline Scaffolding Ltd. (Tipperary, Ireland) Skyline Scaffolding Ltd were selected for this project based on their knowledge and experience of operating in the civil engineering and pharmaceutical sectors. Using layher scaffolding, Skyline erected a structure to the required dimensions including a Kader rolling roof which allowed flexibility in where the roof was

56 | Summer 2018


opened. This was then shrinkwrapped to ensure that the building was weather proofed. Liam Fanning was the site supervisor and with a professional team of certified and experienced scaffolders was responsible for the delivery of this project. Additional training, delivered by a Layher specialist on Kadar roofing , was completed by the team in advance. This unique and impressive structure was completed on schedule and without any safety concerns or incidents. Production and Safety Benefits By constructing the dryer within this temporary roofed structure, there was no requirement for scaffolding around the dryer itself. This reduced working at height risks for the client and as access and egress were no longer issues it simplified the construction. As the structure was weatherproof, there were no delays in the fabrication timeframe due to weather. Conclusion This innovative approach has proven to be so successful that Skyline Scaffolding Ltd will be replicating it as part of another project for their client SPX Flow. Looking to the Future The most experienced and talented Irish designers and scaffolders are currently undertaking a series of similar projects as and the Irish scaffolding industry is now competing with the very best teams across the globe. This is being backed up and supported by the initiation of the upcoming Scaffolder Apprenticeship Scheme complete with an

improved training syllabus to continually develop their practice in Ireland. It is evident that the standards of Irish based scaffolding is set for a bright future due to the structure and designs they have put in place today. Personnel and Organisations Involved Scaffolding Contractor: Client: Project Management:

Designed by: Dennis Greenall bespokescaffoldingdesign@gmail. com System supplied by: Layher Ireland Engineer’s calculations produced by D’O’Sullivan Engineers SM Summer 2018 | 57



Coventry Scaffolding collaborates with artist on major work in Hyde Park C

oventry Scaffolding, leading independent scaffold contractor and Royal Warrant Holder to Her Majesty The Queen, has revealed its partnership with world-renowned artist, Christo, in his first major work in Britain – the majestic ‘Mastaba’. Floating on the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park until 23 September 2018, the enormous structure, formed of 7,506 horizontally stacked barrels, required the expertise of Coventry Scaffolding to deliver an infallible structural solution. “This was a very special and exciting opportunity for Coventry Scaffolding,” says Coventry Scaffolding’s Managing Director and Project Manager, Paul White.

“We have worked on large art installations before at the Tate Modern but when I said yes to ‘a project in Hyde Park’, I had no idea it would be floating on the Serpentine.” First contacted by Christo’s team in February 2017, Coventry Scaffolding was required to spend a month in Bulgaria (the artist’s native country) to work on a third-sized version of the ‘Mastaba’ on the Black Sea to trial the soundness of the design before beginning on its larger counterpart in London. The weight of the scaffolding originally caused the floating platform to sag in the centre but White and his team resolved this issue by placing a

steel grid on top of the floating piers and this resulted in a firm and durable structure on which they could erect the scaffolding. As part of a 100-strong project team from Austria, Belgium, Switzerland as well as England and Bulgaria, Coventry Scaffolding began to build the ‘Mastaba’ on the Serpentine on 23 April 2018. It took two months to complete and scaling up to the full 40m x 30m x 20m of the structure required additional rigidity by bracing every line of scaffolding along the length and breadth of the steel frame. “It was most impressive how a team from all over Europe worked together to overcome the project’s many challenges,” comments Paul. He continues, “There was a lot of maths involved. Because the dimensions of the barrels as well as the 4x3x2 proportions of the structure, were fixed, tolerances were down to the very last millimetre; it was doubly difficult because of course, the barrels had to go in after the scaffolding was erected. Plus, Christo wanted the barrels to look like they were floating on the water, so the scaf-

58 | Summer 2018



Godiva provides platform for Guinness World Record success C folding couldn’t be visible above the water line.“ Jerome Szeemann, Project Master for the ‘Mastaba’, says, “We approached Coventry Scaffolding because of their excellent reputation and were especially impressed with Paul’s enthusiasm for the project.” He continues, “Despite the enormity of the installation and its challenges, Coventry Scaffolding’s skill and determination have ensured the ‘Mastaba’ is a great triumph.” Hailing from Ancient Egypt, a Mastaba was a tomb-like funerary monument. Christo’s 650 tonne structure in Hyde Park is open to interpretation by visitors and will remain free to view for the public. The ‘Mastaba’ flaunts stunning red, blue and mauve hues, complementing the park’s greenery and embellishing the West London skyline SM.

oventry-based, Godiva Access and Scaffolding has supported a successful Guinness World Record attempt by Warwick University students for building the world’s largest blanket fort. The scaffolding specialist, which is also currently responsible for providing scaffolding solutions to Coventry’s tallest new build, provided the framework on which the blanket fort was based at cost to allow a considerable amount of the funds raised to go to charity. The record attempt, organised by a team of volunteers studying at the university, aimed to raise money for Leamington Winter Shelter (LWS). The LWS was set up by Warwick University students in order to provide shelter to homeless people during the harsh winter conditions but is now open all year round, offering accommodation to up to 40 people per night. 250 volunteers worked on the shelter which covered the entire Oculus field on the university campus. The final shelter was covered with more than 200 blankets and stood 30.4m x 14.53m x 2m high. Godiva provided 7,000kg of scaffolding which was erected in just one day by four members of the Godiva team. With Godiva’s support, the record raised £6,000 for the shelter with the funds going towards building a new permanent premises when the current residence gets converted into student flats. Karl Degroot, managing director at Godiva Access and Scaffolding, said: “We pride ourselves on being an integral member of our local community and already have strong ties with Warwick University having been recently appointed to its approved supply chain. We jumped at the chance to support this record attempt and help raise money for such a worthy cause and we’re delighted the record attempt was successful and generated such a significant amount of money.” SM

Summer 2018 | 59


Adapt or die

5 steps to managing change By Lee Rowswell - Group Director, GKR Scaffolding


f there is one thing for certain in the construction industry, it’s that the pace of change and innovation is accelerating. Those that don’t build businesses with an agile ability to change and drive improvement will have a shorter lifespan. We all remember businesses in our industry that struggled to grow after a boom period. The challenge for all of us is to not only grow but also maintain our place in the market. At GKR, we adopted the adapt or die mentality early on in order to win business. We won the Shard project because we demonstrated that we could take on the problem of tools falling from height for our client, Mace. As many know, this project was a game changer for us and defined our approach to change, problem solving and innovation, which drives our success today.

So when I get asked about the ‘secret’ behind GKR’s growth, many people expect me to tell them about how we market ourselves to win business. But ultimately, our growth has been driven by our ability to drive and manage change, and build a well trained workforce that is comfortable with this. It’s the only way we could have grown… and survived. Like all businesses, keeping up with the market is an ongoing challenge. As the business has grown organically it has presented growing pains that we hadn’t planned for. So, for the first time we are consciously addressing change management internally at

GKR. So how are we managing change and how can you do it too?

1 2

Ban the phrase ‘we’ve always done it this way’. It’s a pet hate of mine when this is said in relation to introducing something new. New or different isn’t always better, I know. But unless we test new ways of doing things we cannot learn about how to improve.

Share your vision, strategy and company values Ensure that everyone in the business understands your vision and

60 | Summer 2018


strategy. Have a common set of values that are threaded through everything the business does. Keep talking about your values and give examples of how you expect them to be demonstrated in attitude and behaviour. This drives your culture.


Encourage open communication Be open about the challenges and opportunities that the business faces, and encourage everyone to talk about solving problems and making improvements. A psychologically safe culture means that everyone can feel comfortable sharing ideas or calling out

thing that isn’t working (or is unsafe) without fear of reprisals. This encourages learning and innovative thinking.



Include people from all parts of the business Involve everyone in building new initiatives and feeding back on what the company is doing. Good ideas don’t just come from the top of a business’ hierarchy. We have an Employee Advisory Group and active working groups that feed into core business initiatives such as VR training and mental health. Scaffolders, managers and office staff all work together and share ideas.

Reward improvement Even a simple acknowledgement that efforts have been made to do things better reinforces the importance of embracing change and improvement. Embracing change shouldn’t go unrewarded. Innovation should be encouraged with credit given to the right people. Growth comes from winning business where you can prove you solve problems for and meet your clients’ needs. Maintaining this growth requires an ability to change, adapt and innovate if needed. Adapt or die needs to be your mantra too. SM Summer 2018 | 61

Palmers Scaffolding UK Ltd. is one of the industry’s leading access, scaffolding and related industrial services providers. Since 1880, our people have made a difference using their skill, experience and dedication – providing creative solutions to the most complex issues of our clients. We offer bespoke scaffolding & access solutions for the following industries: n Petrochemical n Power Generation n Construction n Steel Manufacture n Rail n Airports Infrastructure n Industrial n Marine Palmers Scaffolding UK Ltd. // 331 Charles Street, Glasgow, G21 2QA, UK // P +44 141 553 4040 // F +44 141 552 6463 // //


Famous Buildings

A Scaffolding Estimate


f you are a scaffold designer or scaffold estimator, you’ll almost certainly have travelled with friends or family and estimated the cost of scaffolding on some of the most famous buildings around the world. Whether at home or abroad, there are some iconic buildings that present a fascinating prospect for any scaffolder when it comes to calculating the price of covering their façade with scaffolding. So, just for fun, the guys from Avontus have created some estimates for scaffolding some of the world’s best known structures.

The White House – Washington DC, USA One of the most iconic buildings of them all, the US White House stands at around 70 feet in height and nearly 170 feet in length, with unique parapets and columns that present their own special challenge for scaffolding engineers and designers. Designed and built under George Washington’s personal supervision, there have been numerous incidents during its history when scaffolding has been required for this famous structure, so here is a quick guide for scaffolding the building in its current form: • • • •

Number of pieces: 12,357 Maximum Height: 72 feet Volume: 155,060 cubic feet Total weight: 273,847 pounds

Notre Dame – Paris, France Let’s move across the Atlantic to the oldest building on our list, Notre Dame de Paris. Since construction on this iconic cathedral began back in 1163 there have no doubt been numerous times when scaffolding was required for this unique structure, and at 400 feet in length and 300 feet in height, it needs a pretty impressive line-up of scaffold engineers and designers to create a structure big enough to cover the entire façade • • • •

Number of pieces: 74,037 Maximum Height: 227 feet Volume: 1,064,912 cubic feet Total weight: 1,835,989 pounds Summer 2018 | 63


Big Ben – London, UK This structure is closer to home but no less impressive, and in fact, Big Ben is having construction work carried out on it at the moment, so you can see scaffolding across its famous façade right now! Measuring 320 feet in height, Big Ben needs a scaffold that has an exceptionally strong base as well as protection barriers to protect workers against the loud pealing of the bell which sounds at an impressive 118 decibels. • • • •

Number of pieces: 17,000 Maximum Height: 321 feet Volume: 235,155 cubic feet Total weight: 410,696 pounds

Buckingham Palace – London, UK We couldn’t resist putting just one more British iconic structure in this list, and which of the UK’s famous buildings is more iconic than the Queen’s London residence? Buckingham Palace has seen some major additions over the last three centuries, so scaffolding has been a common sight here over the years. • • • •

As a scaffolding professional, you probably spend a surprising amount of your time appraising the cost of scaffolding structures wherever you go, but at least now, armed with this information, you’ll be able to tell your friends just how much scaffolding would be required to cover the facades of these famous historical sites.

Number of pieces: 34,250 Maximum Height: 80 feet Volume: 467,059 cubic feet Total weight: 831,223 pounds

64 | Summer 2018



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