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SCAFFOLDER’S QUARTERLY

ISSUE #5 WINTER 2018/19

CASPIAN INVESTMENTS SECURES STRONG FUTURE

DEAL OR NO DEAL?

UKSSH systematically MEETING THE CHALLENGE

PLANNING FOR BREXIT

CEO INTERVIEW

PHD GROUP CREATE NATIONAL SCAFFOLDING NETWORK

BRAND SAFEWAY LYNDON SCAFFOLDING BUYOUT P8 Two of the UK’s oldest and most respected scaffolding brands merge into Lyndon SGB

building a team culture P30

The best managment tips to get the most from your employees

top tech trends in 2019 P28

We take a look at the hottest tech trends in 2019 – from BIM to AR & VR


NATIONAL ACCESS AND SCAFFOLDING CONFEDERATION

SETTING THE STANDARD FOR SCAFFOLDING NASC full contracting members operating across the UK are audited and accredited every year – so you can rest assured that their operatives

www.nasc.org.uk

are highly skilled, professional and reliable. For more information and to find an NASC scaffolding contractor visit www.nasc.org.uk


CONTENTS

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Editorial Editor Daniel Norton T 01472 476024 M 07776 218831 E dan@scaffmag.com Sub Editor Phil Royle T 07946 610193 E info@roylemedia.co.uk Specialist Writer Andrew Kitley E andrew@scaffmag.com Reporter Grahame Anderson E grahame@scaffmag.com Feautures Writer Richard Trenchard E richard@rt-comms.co.uk ADVERTISING Ad Manager Jessica Norton T 01472 476024 M 07776 218831 E admin@scaffmag.com DESIGN & PUBLISHING Royle Media W roylemedia.co.uk E info@roylemedia.co.uk

REGULARS 05 Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Note 08 News Roundup Lyndon SGB merger, new East London training centre opens, mental health app and Vicky Welsh aims to be the first female offshore scaffolder. 14 Trade Associations Latest news from the NASC & The Scaffolding Association.

18

15 Training - CISRS CISRS pilot new onsite CPD training.

18 Interview PHD Group set to create a national scaffolding network.

SPOTLIGHT 22 Deal or No Deal: Planning for BREXIT What does a no deal Brexit mean for scaffolding companies? Lee Roswell looks at what businesses need to consider. 24 Layher Investment Signals Full UK Commitment â&#x20AC;?Despite the current turbulent time... Layherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment - to customers and ongoing growth - will continue to be clear-cut.â&#x20AC;? ANALYSIS 28 Construction Technology to Look Out For in 2019 From VR/AR to Robotics and Drones, HAKIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Emily Taylor shows us what to look out for this year.

22 OPINION 30 Building a Successful Culture in Your Business Andrew Kitley gives his opinion on how to create a success culture in your business. FEATURES 34 Systematic: UKSSH

Meeting The Challenge The Derbyshire HAKI hire firm is excelling in system scaffolding. 37 Caspainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Investments Secures Strong Future Now the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading manufacturer of scaffolding boards, we find out what the future holds for the company.

CONTRIBUTORS HEALTH & SAFETY HAKI - Emily Taylor 41 Minimising Work Simian Risk - Ian Fyall GKR Scaffolding Ltd - Lee Roswell Disruption During Snow and Bad Weather Actavo Direct - Chris Pendrey

Chris Pendrey, SHEQ Manager at Actavo Direct, suggests ways to minimise disruption to projects if bad weather strikes.

56

PRODUCTS

PROJECT REPORTS

KNOWLEDGE BASE

45 Gridmesh Anchor 46 Layher FlexBeam 49 Inspect7 Labels

54 Burflex 56 Palmers Scaffolding 58 PHD

60 The High Rise And Fall

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EDITOR’S NOTE ‘B

REXIT.’ Are you tired of hearing about it..? Me too! But in all fairness, as March 29th is now within touching distance (or even happended as you are reading this!) many within our industry are still unsure on what the implications of leaving the European Union will be. A skills shortfall is one concern – and with our country already amidst a construction skills shortage – the removal of EU migrant construction workers due to the UK’s exit will no doubt exacerbate this situation further. The availability of scaffolding materials post-Brexit is also a major concern. However, scaffolding businesses can still plan for the unknown... Lee Roswell, Group Director of GKR Scaffolding Ltd airs his opinion on Brexit and what scaffolding businesses need to consider when planning (see page 22). Meanwhile Layher – the world’s largest system scaffolding manufacturer – has firmly stuck its UK stake in the ground and is clear about the company’s confidence and belief in a post-Brexit world (see page 24). Both are interesting essential reads right now...

model (see page 34), achieveing great success. And at the end of 2017, Caspian Access & Plant Hire became the UK’s largest scaffolding board manufactures after acquiring the scaffold boards operation from Marley Eternit. Fast forward just over 12 months on from the purchase and we find out exactly what the business impact was and how the Lincolnshire-based company benefited. Read the article on page 37. Do you what to be featured in the next issue? Have you got an interesting story to tell? Drop me a line: dan@scaffmag.com

Happy reading!

Daniel Norton Founder & Editor ScaffMag

Also in this issue In an interview with Alan Brockhouse, CEO of The PHD Group, we learnt that the multi-award winning company is setting its sights on expansion at a national level. PHD is establishing a multi-skilled network of scaffolding firms across the country (see page 18). Our reporter, Grahame Anderson speaks to the Derbyshire company UK System Scaffold Hire who have a unique HAKI hire-only business ScaffMag.com

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WHEN SAFEGUARDING OUR HERITAGE, NONE ARE MORE INNOVATIVE THAN LAYHER. From loading factors and restrictions on tying-in, to maintaining public access and installation appearance . . . scaffolding and access for heritage restoration and maintenance can bring its own specific requirements. Because specialist knowledge is vital in this field, we are able to supply solutions that, quite simply, stand alone. From village churches to globally-recognised iconic structures â&#x20AC;&#x201C; our track record proves that no-one comes close to Layher.

The past, present and future of system scaffolding 01462 475100 info@layher.co.uk www.layher.co.uk

FS 554413

Z-8.22.64 and Z-8-22-64.1

Approved Training Provider

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NEWS

BrandSafway Lyndon Scaffolding buyout By Richard Trenchard

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ou have to speculate to accumulate, as the saying goes. And it’s a phrase that rings true on all sides of any business deal. US construction giant BrandSafway’s December 2018’s purchase of Lyndon Scaffolding, along with its own subsidiary Taylor’s Hoists, is a case in point. It represents an American firm investing heavily in buying a UK company at a time when the future of the latter country’s economy hangs somewhat in

the balance, with Brexit looming. A calculated risk, at the same time the business that has itself been purchased is placing its future in the hands of new owners. It therefore expects the same standards and principles to be maintained going forward, and that the deal will improve an already wellrespected name in the construction sector by extending the list of associated products and services. If the move is as successful as all

those involved hope, it should consolidate the market positions of the respective parties. Whatever the final outcome, moving forward there’s a new #BiggerBetter name in the sector – Lyndon SGB by BrandSafway. Which is a logical decision, considering the wider BrandSafway family also includes SGB, a BrandSafway unit which will now provide the perfect partner to the newly acquired Lyndon business. “This is an exciting combination,”

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NEWS

Dave Witsken, president of Energy and Industrial at BrandSafway, said at the time news of the deal first broke. “It will allow us to bring together a full range of scaffolding solutions – plus deliver the excellence in a suite of other access technologies for our customers. By combining the assets, expertise and reputation of Lyndon Scaffolding with SGB, we will be able to expand our service solutions in key major cities in the UK.” Lyndon already enjoys an enviable position in the British construction landscape. With locations in London, Birmingham, Manchester, the Scottish

capital of Edinburgh and Barry, Wales, its reach covers the fastest paced and most rapidly-expanding regions of the country in terms of property development and the construction market. Meanwhile, its staff base – in excess of 600 people – have a stellar reputation for delivering both exceptional products and incredible service. Hence the £50million in annual sales The company’s portfolio speaks volumes about its status. High profile projects such as Jubilee Bridge at Runcorn, BBC Broadcasting House, Tate Britain, Severn Bridge, Birmingham Gateway Station, Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, and the Scottish Parliament Building impress. And it’s this level of work that we should expect going forward –some of the biggest and most prestigious public builds in the UK. All of which is before we come to start referencing private new builds, renovations and restorations. “We look forward to being on the same team with SGB,” Robert Lynch, CEO of Lyndon Scaffolding, said. “SGB is one of our industry’s best-known and well-respected names. By working together and sharing our expertise and best practices, Lyndon SGB will be able to offer more products and services and improved solutions.” If there’s strength in numbers (and this new partnership boasts some significant numbers, like 1,000+ staff & $4.2 billion in global assets) then it should go without saying that the future looks strong for all involved. And it needs to – given the massive competition currently out there. The Altrad Group is one such name: A major player in both the manufacturing and distribution of construction equipment, facilities and services, its exponential growth over recent years can be largely attributed to a conscious decision to expand throughout

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Europe by way of acquisitions, taking ownership of various companies and groups already considered to be experts – and in some instances market leaders – within their own sectors. Effectively buying a reputation and established customer base along with the businesses themselves, and their assets. BrandSafway’s history proves the power or a good partnership, as the company was only formed from the merger of Brand Energy and Infrastructure Services (BEIS) and Safway Group (Safway), which took place in 2017. The end product being a behemoth of a business, currently accounting for more than 35,000 employees across 8,000 job sites in 30 countries. Evidence that unifying interests is usually a far more effective means of bolstering and raising the status of all parties. Not that they really need it. After all, Lyndon’s history dates back to 1968, while BrandSafway’s story dates back even further, to the mid-1930s. This means that both entities have individual pedigree, so to combine the two effectively creates a powerhouse that spans either side of the Atlantic. So what does this mean for the future of the businesses themselves? For one thing, the merger will expand the overall reach of the brands, introducing them to other markets through association, if not active sales. The combined profitability of the group should therefore increase, along with its visibility in the market, a key factor that can determine the potential for any company to match its projections and expand, no matter what sector it does business in. Needless to say, then, we’re keen to see what the next few years bring.

GET THE LATEST NEWS Read the latest industry news at >> www.scaffmag.com

Winter 2019 | 09


NEWS

East London Scaffolding Training Centre Open for Business C heshire-based scaffolding safety and training experts, Simian, has taken over the running of the scaffolding training element of the CITB’s former National Construction College in Leytonstone, East London. Partnering with Dudley College of Technology and the London Borough of Waltham Forest Council, Simian is now providing high-quality scaffolding tuition required to address the needs of an ever-evolving industry in a growing number of geographical locations. Dudley College of Technology is one of 20 Outstanding FE Colleges in the UK, and is considered to be a national leader of training in modern methods of construction. Waltham Forest is a former NCC training site, that was leased by CITB from Waltham Forest Council, to run construction skills training courses in the area. As part of CITB’s programme of reform, ‘Vision 2020,’ the training

board gave notice to end its contract and exit the site from July 2018. This was delivered on the understanding that both parties would work together on the shared goal to find a new tenant-centre manager, to continue offering high-quality construction skills training to those working in and around the south east. As part of its drive to improve the use of technology in the construction sector, Dudley College delivers virtual reality and modern methods of construction training from their world class facilities in the Midlands and their intention is to replicate these methods in the Capital.  As ‘the UK’s largest private provider of world-class scaffolding training,,’ Simian will ensure the East London centre continues to assist the industry to fill crucial skills gaps in the scaffolding sector. It is their intention to significantly increase scaffolding apprentice output, in addition to

providing increased levels of system scaffolding training and all other core CISRS courses and to integrate the use of technology into CISRS scaffolding training. Simon O’Donnell, Simian’s Senior Business Development Manager, said: “The Waltham Forest Centre is a very exciting opportunity for Simian, local scaffolding businesses and the London workforce as a whole. As part of our commitment to the London Borough of Waltham Forest Council, we are looking forward to liaising with scaffolding contractors in and around London to establish their current and future aspirations, in terms of upskilling their workforce. To ensure that our dialogue with employers is maintained, we have employed a Business Development Manager, who is dedicated to the Waltham Forest site and who is already actively meeting employers in the area. Existing users of CITB’s services in the south east may find our new man to be a familiar face, and we are delighted to announce that Iain Corcoran, former CITB Key Account Manager,  has joined our growing team.” Speaking after his appointment, Iain Corcoran said: “I am delighted to take this very exciting role and I am very keen to start engaging with local employers to find out how they view the future of the scaffolding training industry. The feedback we collect will be used to tailor the provision of scaffolding training to the needs of the industry. Further to this, we will very shortly be announcing a series of breakfast seminars, which will take place at the Leytonstone site and which will feature two-way dialogue between local employers and Simian, and which will be the ideal opportunity for employers to have their say and shape the future of scaffolding training. Those wishing to attend the seminars, contact: by email: icorcoran@simian-risk.com.”

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NEWS

New App launched to support workers mental health

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he statistics are grim – two construction workers take their own life every single working day and stress, anxiety and depression currently accounts for a fifth of all work-related illness. A new collaboration between the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity, construction software firm ‘COINS’ and ‘Building Mental Health’ aims to address this sensitive subject with a new ‘Construction Industry Helpline’ app. This free mental health app will provide vital information, advice and guidance on many wellbeing topics including stress, anxiety, depression, anger and suicidal thoughts. The app, which is 100% confidential was launched in December 2018 at the Charity’s annual Christmas Lunch at the Westminster Park Plaza Hotel in London. Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Con-

struction Industry Charity said: “The app complements our existing 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline and is aimed at construction workers and their families. We recognise that not everyone feels comfortable talking about their feelings or personal situation, so the ‘Construction Industry Helpline’ app is aimed at people who would like to find out more information about how they can perhaps help themselves or if necessary, take the next step in seeking professional help. It is a preventative tool and provides support at the initial stages of a situation so that the problem does not reach a life critical stage.”

HAKI Provides CISRS System Inspection Training

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lobal scaffolding system manufacturer HAKI has qualified to offer CISRS System Inspection Training at their dedicated training centre in the UK, with course dates now available in February and March 2019. HAKI, who already deliver the CISRS System Scaffolding Product Training Scheme (SSPTS), is adding the CISRS inspection course to their growing training matrix to help standardise the approach to systems training. Following CISRS guidelines, the one-day course will include a theory test based on general inspection and HAKI system product knowledge, as well as a practical exam based on drawing of the structure and faults provided by HAKI’s qualified trainers. All delegates who successfully complete practical and theory assessments of the course will receive a CISRS certificate and an endorsement on their CISRS card. www.HAKI.com

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NEWS IN BRIEF

Beaver84 Merges with Generation Scaffolding specialist Altrad Beaver84 has merged with Generation Hire & Sales. Both Beaver84 and Generation were acquired by Altrad in 2011/12 and had until now traded independently.

New Magazine From NASC NASC has announced they are to publish a new annual magazine called ‘Scaffolding a CM Professional Guide’ in conjunction with Construction Manager magazine.The publication will include NASC member projects, NASC Award winners and scaffolding related content. Due out in April’s issue of Construction Manager magazine, it is intended to complement the NASC yearbook, published in November each year. Simon Robinson, NASC Marketing Manager, said: “We believe CM readers will welcome a professional guide focusing on the potential use of NASC members’ products and services.”

Scaffold Contractor & Steel Giant Face Trial Rowecord Total Access based in Swansea & Tata Steel are to appear in court accused of health and safety failings after a scaffolder was seriously injured in a fall at Port Talbot Steelworks back in 2014.The trial is due to take place in June 2019.

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NEWS

Impressive CV The freelance, fully-qualified Part 2 scaffolder has worked for Concise Scaffold Solutions on the London King’s Cross refurbishment, Canary Wharf ’s Crossrail and the Pall Mall Deposit Building. As one of only half a dozen lady scaffolders, her work has won high praise across a seven year career. Vicky has recently passed all her mandatory offshore training at AIS Training’s 20-acre-flagship training village including combined BOSIET and MIST.

World Leaders

An Historic First For Tyneside Scaffolder V

icky Welch from North Shields in Tyne and Wear is certainly made of the right stuff when it comes to the oil and gas industry. Now, the 29-yearold is set to become the first female offshore scaffolder – subject to successfully completing her training. Mind you, in truth that’s just a question of time for this highly talented and very determined lady. It’s rare to find female oil and gas workers, let alone scaffolders. But Vicky hopes to combine both roles with the best possible schooling from Advanced Industrial Solutions (AIS) on Tyneside.

A Right Ambition “I’ve always wanted to go offshore. But to be honest the water aspect of the

training scared me,” said Vicky. I couldn’t bear of the thought of being submerged underwater upside down. Now I’ve finally come to terms with this fear I’m determined to get all my certs. The idea of working offshore really appeals. As well as better pay rates, the lifestyle is perfect for me as I’m used to working away from home and I’m attracted by the strict health and safety regime. “There are only six female scaffolders in UK construction so I doubt there are any working in the offshore oil and gas industry – I would be the first. This doesn’t bother me in the slightest as I’m used to working in a male environment. The banter is great and, once you prove yourself capable, men tend to treat you with respect.”

Advanced Industrial Solutions (AIS), owned by parent company 3T Energy Group is an award-winning manufacturer and service supplier to the global offshore oil & gas, wind energy, construction and industrial sectors. Delegates from across the globe visit the company in Newcastle for specialist training.

Living The Dream Vicky added: “My dream is to become an advanced scaffolder and expand my skills, eventually going into teaching and counselling to help others. For now, I really want to take on a new challenge in an offshore scaffolding role and AIS Training has been brilliant in helping me. The instructors really know their stuff and the facilities are first-class. Even my biggest fear – the underwater survival training – was OK with AIS. The instructors ensure you’re fully briefed beforehand and know exactly what to expect. Whatever happens with my offshore career, I’ll certainly be coming back to AIS for all my training needs in the future.” With high demand for off-shore scaffolders,Vicky will surely be welcomed with open arms to meet what will be a whole new series of challenges. There’s little doubt she’s made of ‘the right stuff.’. Good luck Vicky.

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NEWS

NEWS IN BRIEF

PASMA MD Awarded OBE P

ASMA, has announced that the Association’s Managing Director, Peter Bennett (59) has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List for his services to business in the access and work at height sector. Managing Director of PASMA since 2006, Peter is also Chair of the Access Industry Forum (AIF), a founding trustee and current chair of the No Falls Foundation charity, and, most recently, was instrumental in establishing the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Working at Height. PASMA’s MD also serves on a number of national and international standards-setting committees, sits on various advisory groups at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and contributes to the work of the Better Regulation Panel at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). In 2007 he was appointed executive director of the Ladder Association. He has also served as a Council member, Training Committee chairman and president of IPAF, the International Powered Access Federation. Comments PASMA chair, Gillian Rutter: “This honour is richly deserved and reflects the huge contribution that Peter has made, not only to the growth and success of PASMA, but to

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the development and recognition of the work at height industry in general.” “He is passionate about height safety as evidenced by the fact that PASMA alone now trains upwards of 75,000 people a year – an increase of 2,500% compared with 1999/2000.” Says Peter: “In accepting this honour I am deeply conscious of the need to acknowledge the unstinting help and support I have received, and continue to receive, from the PASMA secretariat, PASMA members and, of course, my colleagues in the Access Industry Forum and the wider work at height community.” “I would also like to pay tribute to those individuals who willingly give up their precious time to serve as PASMA officers and committee members to advance the work and role of the Association. This honour is as much for them as it is for me.”

GET THE LATEST NEWS Read the latest industry news at >> www.scaffmag.com

Qatari Government Backs CISRS OSTS CISRS have announced that the Qatari government has placed an insistence for CISRS-trained operatives in all its major construction project scaffolding tenders. he procurement announcement was made by representatives from Ashghal, the department responsible for overseeing large-scale infrastructure, buildings and public utility developments across the country, during a visit to London.

HAKI.COM

OFFSHORE

Mastering scaffolding and access solutions for offshore projects Improve cost-effIcIency, productIvIty and safety

HAKI Launch New eBook HAKI has launched the first in a series of industry-focused eBooks, to help contractors and end clients understand how HAKI’s unique modular systems can safely overcome common challenges faced in specific project environments.

Scaffolder Falls Five Meters Through Skylight While erecting guardrails around a roof a scaffolder sustained life-changing injuries after falling through a five-metre high skylight. Solar Scaffold Services were found to have failed to prevent the fall and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £3,666.80 in costs.

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NEWS

New Update to Handover App S

caffolding software developers SMART Scaffolder have launched a mobile app to track variations. SMART Scaffolder Software has a full programme of product development in 2019 – adding functionality to both their market leading design, estimating and TG20:13 compliance software ‘SMART Estimator’ and to their mobile apps: SMART Inspector and SMART Handovers. SMART Scaffolder Software launched their SMART Handovers mobile app to streamline and automate

the issuing of Handover Certificates and to ensure extra hire was always logged and billed. They recently made this app even more useful by adding the ability to record variations. The ability to add photos and a digital signature means any possible disputes over what, when and by whom instructions were issued are resolved more quickly and easily than ever before. A simple to use ‘web console’ gives managers clear reports including sites that are on hire, variations requested and the percentage built while banishing the

need for paper forms that need to be rekeyed at best or lost at worst. Commenting on the update Ian Chambers, Sales and Marketing Director at SMART Scaffolder, said: “Having the ability to track what scaffolds are on hire in one console gives a great overview and this new functionality clearly logs any variation requests and ensures all work is invoiced appropriately”.

GET THE LATEST NEWS Read the latest industry news at >> www.scaffmag.com

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TRADE

BSI Discount Now Available To Scaffolding Association Members T

he Scaffolding Association (SA) has become a BSI distributor to offer its members access to 50,000 standards and related publications at substantially discounted prices. According to the trade body, the standards are widely accepted and are a tried and tested way of working more efficient and effectively. Organisations implement British Standards to improve their performance, reduce risk and help them be more sustainable. In a recent Access Point article it says the move is

beneficial with the forthcoming release of BS 5975:2018 Code of practice for temporary works procedures and the permissible stress design of falsework, which will supersede BS 5975:2008. SA members will be able to purchase this new code through the association at a discounted rate. www.scaffolding-association.org

GET THE LATEST NEWS Read the latest industry news at >> www.scaffmag.com

NASC Members Qualify For PQQ Service Discount

T

he NASC has gained a PQQ-service discount for its members after becoming a Builder’s Profile Supporting Trade Association. Through this connection NASC members are able to secure Builder’s Profile premium membership at a reduced price Builder’s Profile provides compliance and PQQ information to the construction industry, enabling subcontractors and suppliers to easily maintain and share information. Robin James, NASC Managing Director, said: “We are pleased to provide our members with discounted Builder’s Profile membership, something we believe will save them a great deal of time and effort when bidding for new projects.” www.nasc.org.uk

The HA Design Safety Harness The HA Design Safety Harness offers unparalleled comfort with the special design leg straps.

࠮ 2 point - Front and Rear Anchorage ࠮ Elasticated Shoulder Straps ࠮ Fully adjustable leg, chest and shoulder straps ࠮ Atrium D Rings for added comfort ࠮ Integral record system and identity system ࠮ 2 x Integral Tool Tether Connectors ࠮ User weight up to 140kg. ࠮ BS EN 361 Certified. Also available in 1 point only, please speak to Leach’s on 01432 346800.

Contact Leach’s on: 01432 346800 | sales@leachs.com | ScaffMag.com

www.leachs.com Winter 2019 | 15


TRADE

Onsite CPD Training Delivered at Fawley S

caffolders working at Fawley Refinery received CPD training on site as part of a pilot CISRS scheme. The operatives underwent the twoday training at the Hampshire oil refinery last week. The pilot scheme was organised by CISRS and run by AIS Training. It came about following a request from Altrad Cape made during an Access and Scaf-

folding Industry Training Organisation (ASITO) committee meeting. With no approved training provider in the local area and high demand for the course from the hundreds of Altrad Cape and Bilfinger scaffolders working on the refinery, CISRS sought to bring the training to the site rather than require operatives to travel to different centres across the country

for CPD training. David Mosley, CISRS Scheme Manager, said: “The logic is sound; why force large groups of operatives to travel far and wide for training when we can bring the training to them? “We’ll now review the pilot with a view to rolling CPD training out at large projects or sites when and where similar supply and demand scenarios emerge. We’re constantly looking at improving the CISRS scheme and are happy to respond to requests from industry so long as quality and standards are maintained.” The pilot CPD training course met CISRS guidelines relating to classroom and instructor training area criteria. The rules relating to the number of delegates and course duration were also consistent with existing CPD course frameworks. In a press release, CISRS have said the course was well received by the scaffolders on site. Scaffolder Matthew Weir said: “It was a very informative course that was well delivered by the instructor. I’d recommend it to the other scaffolders on site.” Instructor Gary Burke of AIS Training added: “The course went really well and I found both the delegates and management very professional. I look forward to continuing our relationship with both the Altrad and Billfinger team at Fawley in the future and would like to thank in particular Dave Burchett and Luke Chorley from Altrad Cape and Terry Whitby from Billfinger for their support.” Demand for CPD courses continues to be very high and feedback from attendees is very positive, CISRS are currently considering ways to make more courses available.

GET THE LATEST NEWS Read the latest industry news at >> www.scaffmag.com

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INTERVIEW

F

ounded in 1984 by Bernard Dwyer, London-based PHD has established as one of the go-to construction access firms in the country, providing scaffolding solutions to a broad range of projects. In recent years those have included One Hyde Park, the London 2012 Olympics, the Cutty Sark’s restoration, Victoria Tower at the Palace of Westminster, and both Kings Cross and Marylebone stations. Expanding from an entirely scaffold and modular access business to now include a range of other solutions,

in 2019, PHD is looking to create a national network of firms across the UK. All of which would be held to the same standards, with contracts distributed to the best in their respective fields within the respective regions. Localised work on a national level. Keen to learn more, we asked Alan Brockhouse, the firm’s CEO, what this means for the company and end customer alike. “Our clients are important to us, and we want to be able to service them on a national scale. Many of the

firms that we service are national and multi-national companies, that have access requirements across England and Wales,” he explains. “Having established excellent relationships with these firms and produced cost-effective, high-quality access solutions for them, they inevitably want to use our services further afield. This is where our concept of our national network originates from. “By setting up key hubs across the UK, we are looking to acquire businesses in other regions of the country,

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INTERVIEW

Interview with CEO PHD Group Alan Brockhouse PHD is one of the go-to construction access players in the UK. We get to dig deeper into the company’s confident, successful strategies with a conversation with its dynamic CEO.

with focus across the infrastructure, commercial and residential sectors. “We have already established an office in Manchester, and are looking for another in Cambridge, where we are currently providing access solutions to the AstraZeneca campus. We believe Cambridge’s ever-expanding technology sector means it will act as an excellent base for us to establish new sources of work.” It’s a logical idea. Strength will always be found in numbers, and while the world continues to become more

globalized, specialist knowledge of particular locations and areas is growing in importance. That goes for everything from leisure and recreational services to property development. At the same time, by expanding to incorporate, rather than replace regional counterparts, local economies can be bolstered, as oppose to it simply being a case of job creation during a project’s lifespan, and employment depletion when that project ends and the company charged with delivery moves on to the next, perhaps in the

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opposite end of the country. And when there’s less upheaval, costs can be reduced. “The network will also allow us offer cheaper solutions for our clients. With access equipment being sourced locally and less transport costs, we can offer a faster, greener and more efficient service,” Mr Brockhouse added. “Another benefit of providing regional hubs is guaranteeing work for local labourers for sustained periods in identifiable geographical areas. We will be able to give workers financial stabil-

Winter 2019 | 19


INTERVIEW

ity and the reassurance that they can work in their preferred locations.” Change is certainly a hot topic in the UK right now, as uncertainties over Brexit and the future of a country attempting to pave its own way forward continue. Conversely, PHD’s plans boil down to unifying and pooling resources in order to safeguard its future, and the great unknowns of Britain postMarch 29 are precisely the reason why now is the time for this to happen. “Strangely, it is the current uncertainty in the industry which we feel makes it the right time for expansion,” Mr Brockhouse explains. “We are confident in our ability to create cost-effective solutions for clients based partly on the fact that we already have an efficient, streamlined business model. “It’s my belief that as the market tightens others won’t possess the same confidence in their business and will be looking for a way out. The continuing uncertainty caused by Brexit is another reason that many access firm owners may be willing to cash their chips in now. It’s a cliché but the uncertainty can bring opportunity.” If the idea proves to be successful the next five years could be transformational for PHD and its partners, with eyes firmly set on cementing the brand name as the gold standard for cost-effective access solutions domestically, while also expanding beyond the current territories into more overseas locations. A courageous step forward that evidences both determination and a clarity of vision, we wouldn’t be the only ones to point out the irony of a company acting in this way as a direct response to circumstances brought about by a government that seems unable to follow suit. Exciting times for all involved, it’s a welcome example of industry confidence at a time when we need it most. SM

20 | Winter 2019

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SPOTLIGHT

Deal or No Deal? Planning for Brexit Lee Rowswell, GKR Scaffolding Ltd

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e are hurtling towards March 29th and like me you are probably still unsure what Brexit means for our country, our industry and indeed, our respective businesses. Currently the industry is contingency planning. A recent Construction Leadership Council conference addressed how the industry should prepare for a No Deal Brexit by putting the spotlight on some of the main issues. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s obvious that a No Deal would be economically challenging in the medium term. But what does it mean for those of us running scaffolding companies? Of the themes highlighted at the CLC conference, this is what I think our businesses need to consider:

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SPOTLIGHT

group, is that dealing with non-EU cargo is not new. Many of the changes needed to keep goods flowing through ports can therefore be anticipated and planned for. However, it is worth engaging your own supply chain to see how they are planning for Brexit. Timber, for example is an obvious material sourced from the EU that will be affected with some sources already citing price fluctuations due to stockpiling.

Retaining skilled workers

Dynamics of your market A No Deal Brexit puts the already conservative market growth forecasts in a more challenging light – impacting us more strongly through 2020. Medium term uncertainly is affecting decision-making and market sentiment. Concerns focus on the potential impact of slow movement of imports, tariffs and stockpiling, layered on to an already palpable skills shortage affecting our supply chains. In reality it could be different for many of us depending on our existing pipeline of work and the type of clients we have. Work with your clients to understand the potential impact on the sec-

tors you work within – private or public residential, infrastructure, commercial, all the above… There will be areas of investment, but programmes will inevitably be affected.

Availability of materials For many of us running scaffolding businesses, we may be less impacted by the ease of imports. With many materials sourced from outside the EU, and our main materials used on site not being consumable, we are in a better position that many other trades. But as a largely reactive trade, we may be held up on site by other trades in the supply chain. The good news from Port of Tilbury – the country’s third largest ports

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This is an issue we need to address regardless of Brexit, so anything that impacts availability of skilled labour from any country is a concern. For those of us with valued members of staff from the EU, we need to encourage them to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme that will protect current EU citizens. As an employer we can direct them to information and reassure them of their current rights to work here in the UK. For the future, there are two proposed routes for categorizing workers from the EU post Brexit. One is the skilled workers route where there will be a qualification and salary threshold, and a cap on numbers. The second is the temporary workers route that will apply to all levels of worker. However, there will only be a 12-month stay permitted with a 12 month cooling off period. So Deal or No Deal, we can only prepare the best we can. Our focus needs to be maintaining business as usual for our staff and our clients. But it’s certainly a time when the industry needs to work together and collaborate on any short to medium term solutions that gets us through this transition period. Either way, the UK is very much open for business. SM

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SPOTLIGHT

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SPOTLIGHT

LAYHER INVESTMENT SIGNALS FULL UK COMMITMENT “O

ur commitment to investment – in terms of manufacturing and worldwide support – has been at the heart of our success and growth in the UK in the past and remains so both now and in the future.” Sean Pike, Managing Director of Layher Ltd.’s UK office, is clear about the company’s confidence and belief in the future – “despite the current turbulent times.” Layher’s head office in this country, in Letchworth, is supplemented by a network of regional depots, the latest example now opening its doors in the West Midlands. “We have always taken the view that our customers’ decision to utilise our modular scaffolding and access and protection systems is not based solely on proven designs, safety and performance, but also on the ability to access a full range of support services at a local level. Our growing depot network demonstrates this with the new facility in West Bromwich adding to our operations in Eggborough near Doncaster, Livingston in Scotland and Dublin in Ireland,” adds Sean Pike. “This now brings us a total of five strategic locations from which the full range of Layher materials are readily available, with also our range of recognised support services addition-

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SPOTLIGHT

ally accessible at each local location” The company has also made strong investments in its manufacturing facilities near Stuttgart in Germany and, in particular, points to the opening of an additional manufacturing unit alongside a third galvanising shop.These are moves that will strengthen the organisation’s role in the UK – “irrespective of the outcome of the current Brexit negotiations,” continues Sean Pike. And, on the point of Brexit, positive and early steps have been taken with regards to material supplies. “The UK is a key market for us and the growth that we have been able to achieve, particularly in the last decade, reflects on both the suitability and design innovation of our products and also the accelerating move away from traditional tube and fit scaffold,” adds Georg Layher, Principal Shareholder. “The efficiency, versatility and safety benefits associated with our systems, and our ongoing belief in using customer feedback to drive innovation, will be as relevant and important in the future – whatever the associ-

ation between the UK and Europe. Our belief in continuing success and growth in the UK remains as strong as ever.” Layher has taken positive steps to ensure that considerable ‘Brexit buffer-stocks’ have already been stockpiled in the UK in early anticipation of likely problems at the UK ports and in readiness, so that stockholding and supply obligations are fulfilled in all circumstances, while the support available from Germany, both directly and via Letchworth and the satellite depots, will remain unaltered.

“A quick assessment of the type of projects with which we have always been involved in this country – from simple façade installations to projects that achieve genuine global recognition – makes it clear how the advantages of Layher equipment are being widely accepted in all fields. It is an involvement in the UK of which the company is extremely proud and which its commitment – to customers and ongoing growth – will continue to be clear-cut,” concludes Sean Pike. SM

26 | Winter 2019

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ANALYSIS

Construction technology trends to look out for in 2019 Once seen as a traditional industry, now the construction sector is rapidly embracing tech and reeeping the benefits. By Emily Taylor, HAKI Scaffolding

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echnology is having a greater impact on the construction industry than ever before. With new applications emerging at a rapid pace, the way we plan, design and execute construction projects is continuously being disrupted. This new era of digitalization is going to affect almost everyone in the industry; from manufacturers like us at HAKI and our contractor customers, through to designers, project engineers, and on-site labourers. Here are some of the hottest construction technology trends you and your business should be on the lookout for in 2019:

Virtual and augmented reality Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have both seen their fair amount of hype over the past few years, and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re set to disrupt the construction industry even more in 2019. Many of the issues faced by architects, designers and engineers are linked to the inability to fully experience a project before completion. Although CAD and other modelling systems are beneficial during the pre-construction phase, faults related to design often materialise during once the construction has begun. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the

same when designing and erecting scaffolding solutions. Integrating VR into modelling systems will help detect flaws at the design stage, by allowing users to visualize and understand the real-life, true-to-scale environment. And, AR will also start to improve workflow and accuracy, by projecting designs on-site so structures can be created exactly as intended. It will also ease troubleshooting in the field. Some construction software developers have already recognised these benefits and are starting to include the technologies within their offerings. For

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ANALYSIS

instance, our BIM partner Autodesk, has teamed up with Unity Technologies to offer customers ‘one-click’ access to a 3D, AR & VR platform to enable users to visualize and correct design errors, with ease, from almost anywhere. In addition to issue detection, AR and VR will also benefit collaboration between construction project teams. For example, our clients will be to see 3D models of access solutions in project environments from the outset – something that is difficult to achieve with today’s 2D drawings and verbal/written plans. By bringing these to life, it opens the door for sharing ideas and making alterations during the pre-planning phase.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) Like we saw in 2018, one of the hottest technology trends for the construction industry for this year is Building Information Modelling (BIM). BIM is a way of creating and managing information on a construction project across the project lifecycle, outputting a digital description of every asset. Adoption of BIM is making project delivery more collaborative; allowing for sharing and versioning that paper drawing sets don’t. In fact, construction proj-

ect owners recently cited better team coordination and delivery as the single greatest benefit of BIM to their projects, with tools reducing project error, time required for communication and increased client satisfaction. On top of this, BIM is enabling modelbased cost estimation by automating the time-consuming task of quantifying and applying costs to designs. This is a key advantage of our new HAKI BIM software, which allows us to focus on higher value factors that play into our customers’ access solution designs. BIM also has a role to play in the visualization of designs during the preconstruction phase. As previously discussed in this article we expect to see more modelling tools begin to incorporate VR and AR during 2019 – including HAKI’s own.

Robotics The most common construction robot for some time has arguably been the mechanical arm. HAKI has used these to manufacture the Universal system components in a state-of-the-art facility for years now – in a movement to ensure the highest-quality products for our customers, 24:7:365. Moving forward, we’re likely to see these robotic arms being adopted away from factories and assembly lines, to carry out repetitive and labour-intensive activities on construction sites like moving materials and building masonry walls. Autonomous rovers are also likely to become more commonplace on construction sites. Equipped with HD cameras and sensors, the rovers will be able to navigate themselves round areas, carrying tools and materials for labourers. Rovers will also be used more for inspection and monitoring purposes in the coming year. Kier recently started trialling the robotic technology to automate onsite progress tracking and hazard monitoring, and AI robots like the Droxel

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LiDAR rover have been developed to help compare real-time progress with design models to ensure projects are progressing as designed.

Drones Drones have emerged as highly valuable commercial tools over the past couple of years, most notably in the construction industry. In fact, there’s been a 239% growth in drone use year-over-year in construction – a higher increase than any other commercial sector. They are already being used by surveyors and contractors for inspecting entire sites in just a matter of minutes; a task that used to take several weeks or months. For example, GallifordTry was able to conduct an initial analysis of a roof of an old school building through a set of high-resolution images captured by a drone, from the comfort of the office within no time at all. As we move into 2019, we can see drones being used on more sites to collect real-time data about ongoing projects, to understand what is happening during the construction phase from remote locations. Project managers will no longer need to consistently be onsite to monitor progress, and an aerial insight into a project will help with catching problems earlier on, to avoid delays and ultimately save money. Furthermore, as drones become more precise, the more tasks they will be able to tackle for complex projects; so, we can expect to see the use of them on construction sites continue to skyrocket over the next year or so. HAKI also plans to start utilising drone technology within the next 12 months. Scans of buildings will be taken by drones to allow us to create 3D models and design scaffold structures to the exact requirements of a project.This service will be particularly beneficial to customers where an existing site drawing or model is not readily available. SM

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OPINION

The Key to Building a Successful Culture in Your Business By Andrew Kitley

Andrew is the Managing Director of Kitall Ltd. He has been working in scaffolding and temporary works for 18 years and has built his reputation as a highly sought after engineer. His deep passion for scaffolding and engineering 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. here in SM.

T

o build a business that truly thrives, you need to create a successful culture. As a business owner, you’ve probably heard this kind of thing again and again. While it might sound like pretentious business jargon, it’s anything but. It’s about creating a culture and environment that not only facilitates teamwork but encourages it. As Steve Jobs said, “Great things in business are never done by one person; they are done by a team of people.”  If you want to create a successful culture in your business, start by focusing on these six critical areas.

1. Delegation is key There’s only so much you can achieve on your own, regardless of your industry. The first step to creating a winning culture is finding the right people and delegating to them. Consider a multi-industry business owner like Richard Branson. Virgin Group comprises an airline, gym chain and healthcare providers to name just a few. Branson himself isn’t a pilot, personal trainer or a doctor. But he is a great leader. By building a team of talented people, he has the ability to delegate without compromising on quality – increas-

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OPINION

products and services, and how you make them or provide them. Most importantly, make your purpose clear to your team. The power of purpose can push you when the chips are down, giving you the courage and determination to dig deeper. It can also do the same for your team. Empower them with your mission – share the goals and you can foster an environment where everybody is pushing in the same direction, with the same laser focus.

3. Why safety matters

ing it, in fact. This eliminates any barriers when it comes to growth, as there’s no need for Branson, for instance, to invest more time and effort for his business to take on a new project. You have the same opportunity to do this with your business. What’s stopping you, over time, building your own team of experts?

2. The importance of purpose Purpose, beliefs and values are fundamental to creating a strong culture. Take them away, and you’ll soon realise that you and your competitors are

very similar. You work in the same industry, offering similar products and services, with equal access to the same workforce, training and resources. Of course, it’s almost impossible to create a positive culture based on being just another scaffolding company, for example. So, what sets your business apart? “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction,” said John F. Kennedy. Think about why your business exists and what you believe in. Why did you start on this path? Got it? Let your purpose guide everything you do, starting with your

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Another vital aspect to a successful culture is making people feel safe. Why? As a society, we work best when we’re safe. We drive to our jobs, relatively certain that nobody will speed through a red light and into our car. We spend the day working, safe in the knowledge that our homes won’t be burgled. In other words, we succeed because we can concentrate on what matters. The same is true within the workplace. But this doesn’t just mean cleaning spillages and wearing protective equipment. Employees work best when they can work together, safe from any risks, danger or threat from those around them. It’s up to you, as a leader, to eliminate those threats. While some leaders think that employees thrive under fear, this will only drive people against one another. Eventually, you end up with a toxic environment, where people spend more of their energy protecting themselves from other colleagues or leaders who they fear, trying to avoid the consequences and pass the buck.

4. Foster trust Service is another central concept when it comes to a successful culture. Consider how things work in the military. People are awarded medals when they put themselves forward. They’re

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OPINION

rewarded for their ‘service’. But what is it that makes them put themselves forward? In most cases, it’s the idea that “anyone else would have done the same for me.” This approach can be invaluable for your business. The question is, how do you achieve it? Put simply, it’s about trust, cooperation and reciprocation. Good leadership is about making employees and your team feel that you would do the same for them. Only then will they take a step forward and take on key responsibilities.

5. Managing different groups The way you manage employees is key to many of the points above. But with an increasingly diverse workforce, managing employees effectively is often easier said than done. For me, one of the most important aspects is where your focus lies – is it on the strengths of your team or their weaknesses?

To exemplify this, consider Millennials. Roughly speaking, this refers to people born after the mid-80s. They’re generally considered as some of the toughest people to manage. Why? Millennials are stereotyped as impatient, low on self-esteem and lacking in face-to-face communication skills. However, by typecasting and purely focusing on negative labels, you’re missing out on all of the potential positive skills people can bring to your team. As another US President, Abraham Lincoln, said, “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” Millennials are the first generation that are naturally proficient with technology – and in a world that’s run on technology, this is a massive plus point for any employer. It’s up to you as a leader to give them the right environment, with the roles and responsibilities that allow them to work to their strengths. This is a specific example of course,

but it reflects an empathetic approach that more employers should be taking. Rather than blaming employees for weaknesses or failures, try to empathise and ask “why”. What has caused this weakness or failure? And how can I help? Over time, this will be reciprocated by employees, creating a culture of empathy. Rather than playing the blame game, people can understand each other, work to their strengths and build on their weaknesses.

6. It takes time The final ingredient to a successful business culture is time. Delegation, purpose, safety, service and empathy are all vital, but they can’t be implemented overnight. If you’re prepared to invest the time with all of the above, you can expect to see a strong, successful culture manifesting in your own business – and reap the rewards that come with it. SM

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FEATURE

Meeting The Challenge Unique HAKI hire company UKSSH are excelling in the system scaffolding sector

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FEATURE

or anyone with an out-of-the-ordinary challenging job there’s one compact company at the cutting edge ready to deliver – UK System Scaffold Hire (UKSSH) – which has built a high reputation not just for regulation work, but for successfully meeting the demands of modern 21st century construction solutions.The Chesterfield-based innovators are passionate about delivering on promises and thinking outside of the box to deliver impressive outcomes for their clients.

ness in North America and Europe. He takes up the story: “During the first five years the business has developed strongly in the general market place based on exclusive use of the excellent HAKI product range, and a first class hire service in supplying nationwide. “Around the start of 2017, we recognised the need to expand but wanted to differentiate from the general, ‘run-of-the mill’ scaffold suppliers. With the addition of exciting new products such as the HAKI footbridge system (HBS) and Public Access Staircase (PAS) we then decided to set our sights higher. “I enlisted the help of former senior colleagues from HAKI to help create and carry through a strategy to achieve a successful move into higher profile markets, and we are now starting to see the results with several wins under our belts. In addition to a young and energetic staff, our dedicated consultants can boast more than 150 years experience at the highest levels.You can’t go to a supermarket and buy this! “Our approach is to look at each application on its own merit and look to provide the most effective solution in terms of productivity, safety and any other feature that adds value.”

Visionary Leadership

Attention To Detail

Gary Griffiths is the visionary Managing Director who launched his dream in January of 2012. His record prior to this had taken in 25 years of working for HAKI, latterly as a senior manager involved in major UK projects and developing busi-

Consultant Paul Brunt whose been in the business since 1964 added: “In terms of more challenging projects we work on around four to five each year. We are unique because once our designers have come up with a strategy, we’ll put every-

F

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FEATURE

thing together at our base, so we know it works before going out to complete the full project. When we get clients we rarely lose them. We have an MD available every day with his finger on the pulse, so decisions tend to be made quickly and efficiently. Get it right first time and everybody wins.” Managing run of the mill work also receives the best care, attention to detail, safety coverage and all the combined experience of a versatile team of 15 people. Each one brings quality know-how to the table. In fact, in terms of working with HAKI they are extremely well qualified with a personal and intelligent approach.There’s a real family feel here and a great sense of working as a strong team. From logistical to financial benefits, working with UKSSH means tapping into advanced systems and unrivalled know-how, not forgetting the highest compliance requirements.This all helps clients work faster and smarter to win more contacts and increase their overall profitability. From petrochemical to marine, housebuilding to construction, events to infrastructure, they’ve been proven to deliver both consistently and on time.

Standing Out As a company they were never going to be a scaffolding supermarket – they believe there are already plenty of those out there. What makes UKSSH stand out from the crowd is a willingness to be an effective organisation in the more testing higher profile industries. Both well funded and stocked, supply is never a problem – in essence the message is they are moving to develop an impressive product offering, designing

and producing components all the while to further improve performance. In terms of high profile projects their handy-work has been utilised at the Tower of London, Royal Albert Bridge and Dover Castle amongst other iconic landmarks.

Blueprint For Success The saying, ‘success breeds success’ is certainly true when it comes to one of Derbyshire’s finest ambassadors. And it’s only fitting the last word should go to an MD carrying a real passion for his business: “The Key to success in this is to have the knowledge and experience to handle the challenges, and be able to support our customers with the right level of technical and practical expertise. We have access to the very best designers who fully understand our values and work closely with them to ensure the brightest outcome.” There’s little doubt UKSSH have the strength of knowledge and expertise to make things happen – they are in every sense building a bridge to the heart of the industry. SM

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FEATURE

Caspian’s Investments Secures Strong Future By Richard Trenchard

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t has been just over 12 months since news hit of the major acquisition of a scaffold boards operation by a firm that already claims the title of the UK’s leading manufacturer of said essential equipment. Plenty of time for things to bed in, and for the industry to see exactly what the business impact of that purchase would be. Just in case the story passed you by, allow us to recap. In November 2017, Caspian, the purchasing company, took control of the entire scaffold boards offering of Marley Eternit, formerly known as John Brash and Co, a move that would bolster the former business’ already enviable position at the top of the market leaderboard. The decision was then followed by the opening of a new state-of-the-art site in Scunthorpe, the location of the company’s first ever depot. This has significantly improved efficiency and increased capacity. “This investment will reinforce and further develop our core value of supplying the very best quality timber scaffold boards, ensuring full complicity to BS2482:2009,” Caspian CEO Neil Garrison told us at the time. “We share the same values as John Brash in customer service, innovation and integrity, and will continue to strive

for nothing but excellence in all aspects of our operation,” he continued. “This acquisition will complement our ever-growing scaffolding equipment hire and sales business, providing comprehensive scaffolding packages throughout the UK and overseas. Needless to say, the investment did not come cheap. And that’s a clear sign Caspian predicts demand for its products to continue climbing, both among its UK customer base and clients across Europe, the Middle and Far East. Clear opportunities for further expansion, Mr Garrison has his and the company’s sights firmly set on a prosperous future, as the 30-year-old firm looks to further consolidate its position, and cement its already-incredible reputation. “The opportunity to acquire the scaffold boards operation arose out of the blue but fit perfectly into our ongoing expansion plans and our planned move to take the business to the next level,” says Mr Garrison when we ask how the acquisition came about, before continuing to explain the importance of being able to offer more boards to UK and overseas construction firms. “As an organisation we have always been up to date with the changes to the sector and have held both BSI Kitemark

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FEATURE

and ISO9001:2015 accreditation. Since the acquisition we are now fully PEFC accredited,” he says. “The industry is suffering from an influx of scaffold boards entering the market from outside of the UK and these boards do not meet the actual standards of BSI. It is important to us to maintain the highest standard and quality of scaffold boards that meet the exact specifications and standards required, this is exactly what our facility prides itself upon.” As for the Scunthorpe site’s output, Mr Garrison is quick to refer to the numbers, with Caspian now capable of making a staggering two million boards per year thanks to the new

address, and the additional machinery therein. “Our previous site was simply too small for our long-term expansion plans,” he adds. So what does this mean for the future of the business, and, in turn, the future of the scaffolding sector here in the UK, given Caspian’s role as leader of the pack? “Our main goal at the new manufacturing facility is to ensure that we offer the best standard of scaffold boards to the market. Be this standard boards or bespoke boards to the customer’s needs. We can offer personalised named endbands, customer detailed branding, board reinforcement plates and also various treatments including fire retardant to

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FEATURE

Euroclass C & B and also preservative treatments,” says Mr Garrison. “The scaffold boards complement our existing range of scaffolding equipment including tube, fittings, system scaffolding, access towers and all accessory items, allowing us to offer the complete scaffolding access package for hire and sales.” This is certainly the right time to have made such a large scale investment, and for bets to be hedged. According to a recent report by Transparency Market Research – ‘Scaffolding Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2018-2026’ – the worldwide industry is booming. Growth is expected to hit 6.1% over the next eight years,

bringing the total value to $78.4billion. Being able to tap into not just the growing demand for the basics of scaffolding, but also all other elements involved in the set-up of this equipment, therefore, puts Caspian in a very strong position, making it difficult to imagine the firm losing its market leadership. After all, it has a long history of being first off the mark, with the company’s roots lying in a client base largely focused on the then-emerging Middle Eastern construction sector during the mid-1980s. A focal point many competitors didn’t pick up on at the time, which proves Caspian’s innovative and forward-thinking approach to doing business. SM

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HEALTH & SAFETY

Minimising work disruption during snow and bad weather

Chris Pendrey, SHEQ Manager at Actavo Direct

When a ‘beast from the east’ freezes or floods the yard over and the risk of slips, trips and falls rises exponentially, what should your scaffolding business be doing...?

I

n 2018, the UK was hit by extreme weather, with snow and freezing temperatures causing irreparable disruption to the construction industry, with many scaffolding firms struggling to make up for delays and recoup lost income. This Winter, Chris Pendrey, SHEQ Manager at Actavo Direct, suggests ways to minimise disruption to projects when the bad weather strikes again.

Safety first Project delays cause havoc for scaffolders which means some workers may consider skipping some steps in processes, as an attempt to catch up on schedules. However, despite disruption, the number one consideration must

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always be the health and safety of staff. Time-stretched workers may skip tasks like risk assessments or preparing areas with full safety equipment, but this will leave themselves and any site visitors in danger of accidents. Managers need to stress the importance of health and safety procedures as involuntary, even when time is at a premium. There are proactive steps you can take to prepare for when the bad weather strikes. Think about how rain or snow could affect the site, flooding areas and compromising grip on surfaces. Some examples include laying stone or gravel flooring instead of mud, so vehicles and pedestrians won’t be sliding around the site when rain hits.

Similarly, covering equipment like scaffolding boards in foam matting or polythene sheeting protects them from frost and ice. So, when the project resumes, they’re safe and ready to use straight away. Protective clothing should be worn year-round, but it’s even more important during Winter. Not only do dipping temperatures pose their own health threats, but daily tasks also become more dangerous during Winter months. Thick socks, waterproof boots and thermal clothing are vital in keeping staff warm and dry during long days on site, while gloves and gripped-sole boots are also key in providing greater control when walking and handling scaf-

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HEALTH & SAFETY

folding equipment.

Plan ahead Using forecasts to plan projects means you can prioritise weather dependent tasks and complete others during less favourable conditions. This means you continue to make progress on site, rather than losing whole days at a time. A recent study analysed sine wave patterns from over 100 weather sta-

tions to predict upcoming weather. The findings revealed a 16% reduction in project duration, plus cost savings as a result of planning around predicatble weather patterns. There are online tools available which provide detailed weather and geolocation data, like the MetCheck Construction Forecast. Metcheck provides an overview of the next fortnight’s weather and beyond, including informa-

tion on expected rainfall, wind speed and drying time to help workers plan their schedule. As we continue to harness similar data sets and technologies, construction managers will be able to gain accurate weather forecasts for long periods, allowing for more efficient project planning. However, the key for now is adaptability. Weather forecasting tools provide useful information, but unless you have an agile structure in place, which allows staff to switch between tasks and follow a clear plan even when there’s disruption, the information is useless.

Making do Sometimes, disruption is simply unavoidable. On these occasions, it’s important to work on what you can. Consider how you can adjust tasks to avoid weather problems. For example, using a prefabrication technique to erect scaffolding structures in factory conditions, then delivering them to the site when the weather clears. It’s also possible to reduce the negative impact of poor weather by diverting traffic – and where possible diverting water – to minimise disruption. Visitors and delivery drivers can’t afford to wait around because a site is flooded, so plan how you can adapt to avoid access issues. Temporary traffic routes can be quickly created using traffic cones, so use your site map to highlight the safest and most efficient route for vehicles to navigate around site without encountering flooded or icy areas. For zones hit by heavy rainfall, why not consider creating temporary draining solutions to reduce flooding as much as possible? Installing a downpipe on areas hit by surface flooding can direct water away, protecting equipment and reducing potential risks. SM

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PRODUCTS

Gridmesh Anchor Protects Workers from Fall Risk

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unique new product designed to protect workers from fall risk without any need for tools or complicated set-up has just been launched in Australia. Designed and manufactured by the Gridmesh Anchor Company, the new product is an anchorage point that sits over the top of grid-mesh covered work platforms. “As far as we’re aware, this is the first pre-engineered, temporary fall protection system to utilise the building structure to protect workers,” says Stephen Linton, head of sales for Gridmesh Anchor. “For too long, workers have relied on either under-strength or make-shift anchors that can place them at considerable risk during set up. In contrast, this new Gridmesh Anchor (GMA) system utilises the underlying steel structure

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from the platform supporting the gridmesh to remove all static or fall arrest load from the work surface.” The first production of the patentpending device has landed in Australia and is now available for sale. It offers three key advantages over traditional methods of access: (1) Simple installation process doesn’t expose workers to any fall risk, doesn’t require tools and can be assembled and disassembled within minutes. (2) The device is pre-engineered, removing any need to set-up a temporary, improvised anchor system. (3) It’s portable and made from highvisibility materials that have been designed to reduce/remove trip hazards.

to the simplicity of the installation process, saving the end user valuable time that will result in huge cost savings. “It is ideal for short-term, temporary access as it can significantly reduce the time required to complete tasks, whilst retaining a high level of safety.” Linton explains that the new anchor system is ideally suited to industrial environments where traditional methods of access such as scaffolding, elevated work platforms and rope access systems may previously have been used. “The GMA does not replace the need for traditional access methods, however it is an important supplement as a safe means of access for fall arrest, limited free-fall and suspension applications.” www.gridmeshanchor.com

“Gridmesh Anchor has a distinct advantage over other anchor systems due

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PRODUCTS

Layher launches Cutting Edge Aluminium FlexBeam T

he world’s largest system scaffolding manufacturer – Layher – has developed a revolutionary aluminium FlexBeam to help create safe and economical quality structures. In the past, constructing suspended & cantilevered access, elevated site cabin and pedestrian gantry walkway types of scaffold structures would involve an array of heavy steel lattice beams requiring time-consuming installation, – and the use of further materials for lacing, bracing & tying the structure. This new Layher innovation does all of this in a single product facilitating rapid assembly. The high load capacity Aluminium FlexBeam enables surface scaffolding to be efficiently assembled both suspended and upright. Layher UK MD, Sean Pike said: “The product carries a 40% higher bending load capacity, with 40% lower height. There’s no need for compression chord bracing when compared with other steel lattice beams. Faster assembly is possible thanks to a U-shaped upper side of the section, enabling direct suspension of system decks and an easy to build lift off preventer. Technical support comes in the form of information sheets with structural details. It’s great flexibility is key of course.

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“Further expansion using standard Allround components is also possible. In the case of use as suspended scaffolding, both the anchor plate and the suspension shoe are available for receiving the beam. The anchor plate is intended for direct wall-plug connection to the structure.”

Advanced Design This well-designed product comes with a number of options making it extremely flexible in a range of different situations. The suspension shoe can be directly connected to the tie rod adapter, meaning the suspension itself can be extended in length by Allround standards using the standard adapter, male or female adapter. A standard connector is used for expansion within the Layher system dimensions. What’s more, the lift-off preventer can be inserted anywhere and moved in the longitudinal direction of the beam, fixed in place with a special bolt. To extend the length of beams, the FlexBeam spigot is available, which is inserted into the hollow chamber of the beam section and then pinned to it. The timber beam support permits lateral fitting of an extra beam. For example, it can act as a basis for providing

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PRODUCTS

fitted bays in curved sections.

Ringing Bells This forward-thinking company is already well known for their ‘original Layher Allround modular scaffolding system’ – regarded as one of the best scaffolding system in today’s market – complete with unique 360° connection technology. Construction sites, power stations, chemical plants, shipyards and public arenas are just a few applications in which the Layher Allround scaffolding system can be used. By using state-of-the-art design software, on-going installation help and direct liaison, they have worked and continue to forge strong links with some of the top contractors in the industry. Extensive resources and experience from the UK local Layher subsidiary, further backed by the head office in Germany continues to further enhance customer confidence. The term, ‘scaffolding with possibilities’ certainly applies to a design set to become very popular across the industry at large. For more, information visit: www.layher.co.uk

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PRODUCTS

SafeTime launch New Inspect7 Labels

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he digital scaffolding inspection company SafeTime has launched brand new hardware for scaffolding inspections –the Inspect7 Label. The Inspect7 Label is a new passive inspection system from the London based company. The label works in the same way as their traditional inspection device Inspect7 but with no digital display. SafeTime say this will help their customers reduce hardware costs whilst keeping all the benefits of the Inspect7 cloud system. The double-sided label allows inspectors to show the assignment has been failed by displaying it’s red “Do Not Use” side when the structure becomes unsafe. Inspectors still inspect the label digitally using SafeTime’s award-winning Inspect7 app, which uses NFC (Near Field Communication) – The same technology as contactless credit card

payments – making it a completely paperless solution. For more information visit: www.safe-time.co.uk

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PROJECT REPORTS

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PROJECT REPORTS

PROJECT REPORTS BURFLEX: P54 PALMERS SCAFFOLDING UK: P56 PHD MODULAR ACCESS: P58

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PROJECT REPORTS

PROJECT 1

An Industry Tower of Strength Burflex helping create a little bit of luxury in Sheffield

T

hey have greatly experienced scaffolders who have a high reputation for working on small and simple projects to more complex structures. But

now and again a challenging job comes along to test their creativity and push the standard bar even further. Sheffield is a special place built on seven

hills â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they take pride in their city and love to see new architecture blending in seamlessly with the old. So when Burflex were charged with scaffolding a vacant office building as it transformed into luxury accommodation, company inspiration came to the fore. The nine-storey tower in Furnival Square had a clear brief from the

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PROJECT REPORTS

Broadley Group Limited involving redeveloping and converting the existing vacant office building into high-end accommodation and luxury apartments. There’d be a completed residential apartment block with an additional two floor extension creating a development of sixty-nine residential units, as well as business management facilities. And all of this needs to be completed by August of this year. A busy but extremely safe site was called for with this innovative team of scaffolders leading the way. The best possible scaffolding system of work would be required to meet the building refurbishment involving, brick slip and window repairs, the cutting out of new windows and the facilitation of a two-storey extension from the existing roof. So what about the challenges?

A Testing Assignment Testing assignments are what Burflex thrive on, so this latest puzzle certainly wouldn’t go unsolved in terms of their approach. They were required to scaffold internally on the North West elevation on level four. This was in order to beam out of the windows to bridge the span oversailing Redevers House, to negate the need for any scaffolding to come from the neighbouring building’s roof. This particular property is actually quite complicated as all other elements of work on the project need to be taken into account at every turn. A Burflex spokesperson takes up the story: “We weren’t able to put standards on the ground in certain areas due to the ground works that would follow on later in the programme, whilst the scaffold would still be in place. Considering this early in the tender process has saved the client money on re-designs, potential variations and additional visits.” The Broadley Group added: “The complete renovation, including a twostorey extension clad in copper, will

take a total of forty-five weeks. We will supply the client a bespoke, high end, modern, studio living accommodation and office suite which is designed by Box Architects. This project will be presented to the client YPP Lettings ready for their rental purposes in August.”

Marrying All Skills Of course, the architects play a leading role, so in every sense this is all about team work as all necessary skills are married together. Angela Newton, Associate Director at Box Architects, explained: “Overcoming the challenges of redefining the building’s complex structure has not been easy. Collaboration has been key to this project’s success. “The Tower is yet another landmark

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project for both the Box Architects and YPP Investments teams that will see us venture further into South Yorkshire.”

A Striking Tower Box Architects believe the Tower will be a striking upgrade for this well-known landmark, and its prominent copper rooflight will remain. A new entrance and rooftop extension will unify both old and new buildings. The building itself was originally constructed in the late 1960’s. boxarchitects.co.uk The nation’s local scaffolding company have come up trumps as usual with an intelligent and well designed system. Burflex are helping create a little bit of luxury in Sheffield.. www.burflex.co.uk SM

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PROJECT REPORTS

PROJECT 2

Palmers Special Access Solutions At Euston Station P

almers are providing large-scale special access solutions and scaffolding for the prestigious St James Park London Euston Station HS2 enabling construction works. The scaffold consists of a huge 10,000m² temporary roof – supported below by 15 towers and 300m of bespoke Palmers special access spine beam – with a large-scale privacy

screen around St James Gardens, to house CSJV’s archaeology programme to carry out a number of operations in a cemetery that is buried underneath the park. The temporary works began in early July 2018 and the scaffolding structure is remain erected for approximately 18 months, whilst the massive archaeology works (biggest in Europe) take place.

There are 30+ experienced Palmers Scaffolding operatives on the site, installing the large temporary roof spans (of over 37m), the multiple scaffolding towers and complex access spine beams which complete the 10,000m² temporary roof, access and scaffolding structure. The vast majority (90%) of the works will be completed from the confines of

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PROJECT REPORTS

a safe working platform (fully boarded and hand railed) and then be traversed into position, to avoid the risk of working at height. Palmers Managing Director, Donald Morrison said: “This is a marvellous project in every sense. The design process has taken a long time to perfect, but the solution is proving to be ideal for purpose – with the 15 support towers running the entire length of the site and the spine beams allowing the temporary roof sections to be rolled out into position, creating a mobile weather protection system to suit works below.” Ian McFarlane, Palmers Director of Business and Project Development said: “It is fantastic to be working at Euston station on such large-scale, high-profile construction works, within the rail sector. It is an specialised piece of scaffolding requiring specialist knowledge to erect and manage and Palmers are proud to be providing the modern special access here.” Palmers Operations Director for Special Access, Paul Duggan said: “The design has involved months of planning and constructing demonstration rigs for the client at our base in Chester, prior to installation on site. We are all proud of the works. We believe Palmers are unique at producing something with a design this innovative.” SM.

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PROJECT REPORTS

PROJECT 3

PHD at Deptford Foundry M

ade up of eight buildings and one tower, Deptford Foundry houses 276 private homes in total made up of a selection of one, two and three-bedroom homes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all boasting balconies or terraces. Its residents will have access to a beautiful, communal landscape garden and the development will also become home to artists, designers and small businesses thanks to its work spaces. Set in a thriving local community, the rest of the city is also within easy reach via the nearby stations at New Cross and Deptford.

What PHD Supplied PHD were chosen for this project due to their vast experience in the newbuild residential sector. Layher scaffold was selected by the client for all external facades because it is aesthetically pleasing and quick to erect & dismantle. PHDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in-house design team worked collaboratively with John Sisk to valueengineer the programme of works. Space at ground level was limited so cantilever loading bays were used to allow access for materials into the buildings and progressive loading bays were used for brickwork.

PHD supplied Layher staircases to all blocks which not only provide safe and easy access for contractors but also have the added advantage of providing a fire escape. Protection fans were installed as added measure to protect workers on the ground from the risk of falling debris. Traditional tube and fitting scaffolds were used for internal brickwork to allow access for the contractors. On this project, six passenger/goods hoists were provided for the taller buildings providing vertical access and transport for building materials and

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PROJECT REPORTS

workers. The benefits of the hoists include reducing worker fatigue and fewer anchor points â&#x20AC;&#x201C; so there is much less repair work to the façade when they are removed.

CHALLENGES The Deptford Foundry site had a small footprint in relation to the scale of works being undertaken in the space This meant that storage sites were also limited. But PHD managed this issue by careful planning of the complex logistics required to service the site. This project site was very close to the train lines and PHD had regular stakeholder engagement with Network Rail and London Overground to ensure that stakeholders were satisfied with the scaffold designs, build methodology and the programme of the works being delivered SM.

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KNOWLEDGE BASE

The high rise and falL Ian Fyall Simian risk international

Risk management for working at height. Ian Fyall, a member of IOSH Middle East Branch, covers the important steps any company can take to improving work at height safety.

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reventing injuries from work at height requires a practical approach, based on sound knowledge of regulations that are designed to keep people safe and healthy in the workplace. Working at height is defined as work in any place from which, if measures were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. Accidents typically happen where people don’t recognise the risks they face, or are stuck in a behavioural rut and need re-educating, or adopt an “It’ll never happen to me” attitude. UK and European companies and

employers must comply with the Work at Height Directive, which says they must assess the risks associated with working at height, including the possibility of people and objects falling. To mitigate against those risks, methods of protection that rely on mechanical and physical processes, rather than personal protective equipment (PPE), such as safety harnesses, should be used. Regulations also state that training for operatives working at height should be carried out, materials and machinery inspected, PPE provided and scaffolding and platforms put in place where work

at height takes place. One fundamental area in the regulations is rescue of people from falling, and it’s this section that is most misunderstood and the least adhered to across the UK and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Two of the sectors that carry out a vast amount of working at height are the construction industry and the industrial sector for maintenance. Over the last eight years, most fatal falls in the construction industry have resulted from roof work and falls from scaffolding – of the latter type, very few have in fact been scaffolders.

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KNOWLEDGE BASE

In the UK, industry body National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) represents the scaffolding sector. Its members include over 200 companies, representing 15,000 workers and around 40% of the total UK scaffolders. It’s important to note that at the time of writing there have been no scaffolding fatalities across NASC members for seven years – part of which must be down to the membership criteria regarding training, regular auditing of member companies and production of industry guidance notes to make the job safer. They have also reduced recorded falls over a 10 year period from 93 to 20. Work carried out at Simian Risk Management shows that the people most at risk from working at height are construction and maintenance teams. However, problems often stem from the design phase, where an architect designs a building without explaining clearly enough how it is to be built in a way that minimises risk. The main contractor takes over the building from the design and commissions other trades to carry out various roles. With the pressure on to stick to tight budgets, main contractors are inclined to use the companies who tender work offering the cheapest price – the flip side of this being that modern safety methods can often end up an afterthought, leaving protection for work at height reliant on older methods such as ladders, harnesses, or in the worst cases, nothing. During this global recession prices are being squeezed on all projects and while clients are trying to work to gold standards, margins are so tight that it’s mostly health, safety and training that gets put on hold. Furthermore, in the UAE there are so many high buildings that cleaning windows and maintaining building facades is a fundamental issue under construction and design. Instead, we should be

looking at completely avoiding work at height altogether, using revolving windows or self cleaning glass to save having to use cradles and rope for access. It was only on 4th January when two operatives were killed in the UAE following a scaffold platform collapse, and, just last year a scaffolder in Dundee fell and died from a scaffold. In the UK, fatalities from falls from height have recently reduced, but this could well be because less work is being undertaken. Once out of our recession, figures are likely to creep up again and coupled with the cuts to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) personnel and proactive inspections, contractors will have less incentive to employ best practice techniques to improve safety in this area. The UK and UAE has excellent contractors, but in Simian’s experience, the larger the contractor, the more safety is taken seriously as a poor record seriously affects reputation. In the UAE, it appears that the larger contractors are more safety conscious. In working with Simian, we see scaffolders working on sites for major oil and gas companies such as Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO), Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Abu Dhabi Gas Industries Ltd (GASCO) in full PPE and safety harnesses, all carried out under a permit system. There are others where people put up scaffolding by the side of the road wearing no PPE. Many large UK companies also enforce the highest standards, such as Shell, BP, National Grid, and British Gas/Centrica.

How can we improve? Our advice to our clients and main contracts is to assess the risk, plan correctly, have competent, trained staff on site to manage and carry out work at height. We advise our customers not to just jump to what they think is the easiest option – or attempt a task in a

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certain way just because that’s the way it’s always been done. We encourage people to think outside of the box.

Design Design is a major factor, as a key part of that role is asking how it can be designed in a way that is safe to build and safe to maintain when complete. The architect should be working to the hierarchy, which is always to try to eliminate it in the first instance, rather than build in a need to wear PPE. They should be trying to avoid the need for people to work at height, rather than going straight to the bottom and involving harnesses to enable maintenance work to go ahead. As stated above, the UAE is a world leader in the construction of high buildings and pushing the envelope in design – such as Al Dar HQ in Abu Dhabi, or the Burj Khalifa. Careful design isn’t just about buildings, but scaffolding and framework. We advise companies not just to design scaffolds, but design them in a way that is safer for people to use.

Planning The construction main contractor must make sure it has trained supervision and operatives in place to carry out work. We quite often get enquiries for one day scaffold courses to enable operatives to build tube and fitting scaffolding – in the UK it takes a minimum of 18 months, including 21 training days, to become a scaffolder. Not only that, we get companies from the developing world reporting that they are all scaffolders and have been trade tested in their country, yet on site they do not know how to distinguish between components. Trade testing in countries prior to exporting workers to the UAE should be standardised, with all companies carrying out the same standards of assessment before staff are brought in.

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KNOWLEDGE BASE

Selecting Contractors

Equipment

Both clients and main contractors have to select contractors and as part of this they should be asking,: Are they competent? Are their operatives trained? Do they have certificates? They need to employ contractors with method statements, risk assessments and rescue plans for working at height – not only that, people who understand them. All contractors need to be monitored, with their service appraised and given feedback, with toolbox talks included.

In the Work at Height Regulations 2005, much attention is paid to preventing falls and mitigating against those accidents. In particular, there is much on the use of powered access, such as the use of cherry pickers and scissor lifts to reach heights. Scaffolding companies used to think this equipment was a threat to their businesses survival, but they have now embraced them, so much so that many operatives are trained under the International Powered Access Federation, also available in the UAE. This equipment is invaluable when installing edge protection or working on the outside of a building where scaffolding cannot be provided. As for scaffolding equipment itself, companies in the UAE use a lot of system scaffolding such as Cuplok, HAKI, PERI and Layher, but they need to make sure their operatives are well-trained on using these systems. Manufacturer’s instructions for the system scaffold should always be used, as they state

Supervision Supervisors need to be leaders with proper training that enables them to do the job – this is no different whether working in the UK, the UAE and the rest of the world. There are international supervisor courses such as Construction Skills, IOSH, CISRS, Scaffold Supervisor and Nebosh that will help to make an operative a more knowledgeable, well-rounded employee, who understands the bigger picture.

where it should be braced, tied, stabilised and how high it can be built before design. Organisations should be checking whether the material they are using in scaffolding is fit for purpose and can withstand the loads. Rescue equipment is required where complex work at height is being undertaken requiring rope access, slung scaffolds, cradle work and powered access. Employers need to be able to answer how an operative could rescue one of their colleagues should he fall and what equipment there is in place to do that. Employers must prepare a suitable rescue plan.

Inspection Companies need to ensure their inspector is qualified and has a certificate to prove this. Scaffolds should be inspected every seven days – this may increase if it has been significantly altered or exposed to adverse weather conditions. If the scaffold is complex and designed, the

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KNOWLEDGE BASE

Ladders also need inspecting before use, with a ladder register on site covering all stepladders and normal ladders. Thorough inspection must take place of lifting equipment on hoists, mobile elevating work platform (MEWPs) and mast climbers.

Medically fit to work at height

design should also be available on site for inspectors to view. Inspections need to be registered, with the record kept on site for the lifespan of the scaffold, rather than in the company office or the inspector’s car. A Scafftag is only a visual method of showing the scaffold is safe, but nevertheless it should be displayed and the number on it should match what is written in the register. It’s surprising how many people on our UAE courses believe the scafftag is the same thing as the register. Safety harnesses can be the difference between life and death. Any frequent use equipment must be inspected prior to use, but they also need to be formally inspected and recorded every three months by a competent person. Companies should not just make sure their own equipment is inspected by a competent inspector with a certificate to prove he is qualified, they should also check the inspection records of their contractors.

Staff need to be medically fit to work at height, with records showing whether they have conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy, including information on whether they are prone to blackouts. If employees carry out physical work, employers need to be sure they are fit to be lifting and carrying. There are a host of things to think about when it comes to people being fit for the role they are employed to do. For instance, if a member of staff has just come from a sub continent country where they are accustomed to hot temperatures, if they work at the top of a high building within the first seven days, the employer needs to make sure they have the right clothing until their body adjusts. Companies should be giving their staff medicals and keeping a log of their health using records such as medical checklist forms.

Training At Simian, we place training near the top of the hierarchy of importance for working at height. If people are to work at height, they must be trained, whether in building scaffold, alloy towers, or working off a scaffold or in powered access. If an operative has been seriously injured or killed at work, it’s important to take a look at the training they had, including the trainer and the course syllabus. Courses need to be evaluated. If people are learning in one day what takes 18 months in the UK, it’s likely

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that the person won’t be qualified and competent. Language is a key part in effective training. Trainers might need interpreters if they are teaching a course in the UAE to make sure the training understood. Inspectors, supervisors and designers must all be trained to do their respective roles. After all, if you surround yourself with a good team it pays off.

To Conclude Working in line with all of the points discussed will have a big impact on a company’s ability to improve working at height on their site, making it a safer and healthier place. We’d urge employers to remember that the cheapest price is not always the best – pushing the price down may not produce the right quality of work or workers they seek. Technology that exists in the UK is all available in the UAE and the same safe systems of work for erecting scaffolding can also be put in place. We can increase safety in working at height by effective monitoring of sites by safety teams and supervision which challenges poor practice. A major factor in current failures is poor safety behaviour, but training can help to improve operatives’ perception of risk. Falls from height continue to kill, maim and stop people from working for the rest of their lives. In a recent presentation, a gentlemen called Jason Anker talked about how a fall from height left him paralysed from the waist down – it hits home the importance of safe work from height as a way of avoiding a life changing injury that can affect someone in so many ways. We all want all of our staff to leave home in the morning and return in the same state that they left. Proper risk management and training seems a small price to pay to make sure that happens. SM

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