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SCAFFOLDER’S QUARTERLY

ISSUE #6 SPRING 2019

INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS ACORN GIVES STRUCTURE TO THE BIGGEST EVENTS

THE SPIRITUAL ART OF SCAFFOLDING INDUSTRY HIGHLIGHTS FROM

SUSTAINIBILITY OR HOW NOT TO PAVE PARADISE P22

Construction accounts for 10% of UK CO2. Can the humble scaffold board offer salvation?

BRITISH IS STILL WHEN SCAFFOLDING BEST WITH BRENT P26 BECOMES ART? P40 The family-run British board business meeting global demands.

An MK scaffolding firm helping artists realise their visions in tube.


STAY ON SITE WITH SCAFFOLDER CPD

CISRS Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a mandatory requirement prior to the renewal of all CISRS Scaffolder / Advanced cards. Operatives whose cards expire in the next six months should look to book a course now to ensure they do not lapse. For more information visit www.cisrs.org.uk

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 CONTRIBUTORS Gilray Plant - Sarah Wilson SCP Forgeco - R Dale NASC - Robin James HCL - Roger Boulter

REGULARS 05 Editor’s Note 08 News Roundup The exciting Balkan Scaffolding Championships, a new HAKI App, goes live, Welsh mental health pledges & female scaffolder Vikky Welch goes offshore for Stork. 16 Trade Associations Latest news from the NASC & The Scaffolding Association.

08

17 Training - CISRS CISRS increases CPD training

availability, OSTS continue to expand in the UAE

OPINION 20 Reasons To Be Positive Andrew Kitley gives his opinion on the next five years in the UK. 22 Sustainability In Scaffolding Is the humble scaffold board the ultimate eco tool? 25 Quality & Innovation Drives Our Sector One substandard product can mean life or death in scaffolding. Quality counts. , SPOTLIGHT 26 British Is Still Best With Brent Scaffold Boards A known name in scaffold boards since 1992, proudly British.

26 30 UKSSH PAS System Takes Heavy Footfall In Its Stride HAKI’s latest Public Access Stair at the Tower of London with UKSSH & big crowds. FEATURES 32 Scaffolding Highlights From Bauma Munich What’s hot in our industry?

36 Acorn Gives Structure To The Biggest Events 2006 saw the brith of Acorn Event Structures – never bigger in a packed 2019 events calendar. 40 When Scaffolding Becomes Art? I don’t always get it. But it doesn’t matter – because it looks cool!

HEALTH & SAFETY 44 NASC Adopts Dual Approach To Raising Safety Standards MD Robin James talks about the annual Safety Report & more. 46 Quality With Fall Protection Training With falls accounting for 28% of industry fatalities, we look at why fall protection training is so important.

62 PRODUCTS

49 Layher LW 54 CAT Phones 56 Nordic Platforms 58 QuikDeck ScaffMag.com 60 Rhino Hook

PROJECTS 62 SLS Scaffolding 66 NTRix Spring 2019 | 03


04 | Spring 2019

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EDITOR’S NOTE I

n this, yet another jam packed issue we look to focus on an often-unsung area of our industry, the events sector. For most people this sector means audio and lighting rigs, props, effects, portaloos and security fencing. However larger structures, staging and seating calls for highly skilled specialist firms to install. To gain an insight into the world of scaffold based event structures we spoke to one of the UK’s largest providers, Acorn Event Structures. With 20 years experience in erecting structures at major festivals such as Creamfields, Boomtown and Carfest the Leedsbased firm consistently delivers premium solutions to world-class events (see page 36). However, the events sector is not just all about festivals and popular events like the above suggests. Now the highflying art-world is tapping in to the versatility of traditional and modular scaffolding methods to create major art installations at some of the worlds biggest art exhibitions. To find out more we held a Q&A with Matt Bowler, the Managing Director of Vantage Event Structures who has collaborated with some top artists on numerous scaffolding art projects (see page 40).

on page 8). In Munich, Germany we also joined the other 620,000 attendees at this years Bauma the worlds largest construction trade fair to find out what’s going to be hot in the industry in the coming years (see page 32). Closer to home in our Spotlight feature we find out British is best with Brent Scaffold Boards (see page 26) while Sarah Wilson shares her interesting opinion on the sustainability in scaffolding, an essential read on page 22. Plus much more.. Do you want 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 It’s been a busy few months for us at ScaffMag, we have clocked up some extra air miles over the last quarter after visiting Vilnius in Lithuania to witness a country on a journey to promote a professional scaffolding trade with the first International Scaffolding Championships (see my report ScaffMag.com

Spring 2019 | 05


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Strength in partnership. It’s in our DNA. At Layher, we believe that strong bonds between manufacturer, scaffolding and main contractor are central to on-time, on-budget results. By creating ’strategic partnerships’ that have common, agreed goals from the outset, strength comes from far more than our globally proven scaffolding, access and protection systems. In-house technical services In-house CISRS-approved training centre In-house financial support solutions On-site product support services Unmatched stock support with fast, off-the-shelf availability Depot network, nationwide Original product innovation Quality engineered products Original permanent advanced guardrail option Strategic customer partnership

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NEWS

First International Scaffolding Championships ScaffMag’s Editor, Dan Norton, travels to the Baltic state to witness a unique event

S

caffolders have competed in the first-ever international scaffolding championships held at RESTA the country’s largest trade fair in Vilnius, Lithuania. In a bid to promote a professional scaffolding trade – whilst showcasing the improved safety standards within the Baltic region – nine teams from some of the leading scaffolding contractors within Lithuania, Poland, Estonia and Russia took part in the exciting, unique competition. The international event was organised by the recently established Baltic Scaffolding Association (BSA) – a nonprofit organisation that unites scaffold production, hire and sales companies and scaffold contractors in Northern Europe. The fundamental aim of the BSA is to promote the safe use of scaffolding and provide qualified training for scaffold installers in the region. It is not surprising (if deeply shocking) to learn that many workers in Lithuania and its bordering countries are killed while working at height. Last year the country recorded the deaths of six workers and the serious injures of 17 operatives working at height. The BSA is taking the first steps to tackle these terrible statistics by working closely with the Lithuanian State Labour Inspectorate to help improve their situation.

“We as an association think that scaffolders must get proper training before beginning to work. To show and prove that scaffolding can be completed efficiently and safely we decided to organise the International Scaffolding Championships,” said Žaneta Baltrnien Head of Training at the BSA. “Being a young association we have the ambition to grow and represent all scaffolders rights in all levels – first of all – to be trained before work. “Safety first” is the slogan of the association - so many young men die or get injured every year at work while working on scaffolding.”

The Competing Teams Adelante Tellingud - Estonia Arad - Poland Globalita - Lithuania ITCC - Lithuania Lesavik - Russia Litana - Lithuania Pastolinis - Lithuania Storent - Latvia

The Main Event The championship was divided into three rounds with each team of five scaffolders having a total of two hours to erect and dismantle a designed free standing system scaffold, which is commonly used in Lithuania and its neighbouring countries. Each competing team was against

08 | Spring 2019

the clock and under the scrutiny of industry expert referees who would impose time penalties for any safety breaches or construction inaccuracies. The teams had to complete to the construction as quickly as possible and raise their flag, the timing was stopped once completed. Referees then walked the scaffolds to check for assembly correctness. The clock was then restarted when the dismantling process got underway.

The Champion of Champions Skilled scaffolders from the interna-

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tional firm HOTrema headquartered in Lithuania were awarded the 1st place accolade. Established in 2012 the company has many projects in a number of European countries. Judges and referees deemed the team’s safe erection and dismantling procedure was the fastest on the day. HOTrema Project Manager Robertas Gedutis said: “It’s a huge honour to be nominated as a champions in this competition. Our guys are proud to be on the top in the first international championship, especially keeping in mind, that such experienced teams from Poland, Estonia, Russia, Latvia and

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Spring 2019 | 09


NEWS

Lithuania left behind. “We received many greetings from all over the Europe, from our clients, partners, competitors, our ex-colleagues and friends, and every time it reminds and obligates us, as a scaffolding company, to keep scaffolding safety and quality as our top goal. We see a big interest in this championship, and we believe, that next year we will meet even more teams and organizers will surprise us with new challenging exercises.” Speaking after the event Žaneta Baltrnien told me: “The championship was a big challenge. To have nine teams from five different neighbouring countries and to make everything run smooth was not easy. We are proud to host such event for the first time in Baltic states. “The popularity of the championship was big. Just a day before the event one team wanted to take part in the

championship. We are happy that teams showed a good proficiency and demonstrated good safety skills. What is more, people who visited the exhibition for the day and had a chance to see how the scaffolders work, how physically demanding the work is, and how the scaffolders needed good team work and strategic skills as well. “For the teams it was a good chance to check their strengths and weak-

10 | Spring 2019

nesses and maybe for the future – to improve them. The aim of the championship was fulfilled – to show that scaffolders can work not just efficiently but also safely,” With the completion of the inaugural international scaffolding championships in the Balkan state, the proud organisers hope it will be an annual event, with more countries involved next year, as do we.

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NEWS

News in Brief PHD bags two top CN Specialist Awards NEWS IN BRIEF

HAKI LAUNCHES NEW MOBILE APP

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AKI has launched a new iOS mobile App that brings to life the product range through interactive user guides and augmented reality (AR). The HAKI App is a free, one-stop service that provides customers 24/7 access to information about HAKI equipment and applications, irrespective of their location. Simple navigation allows users to easily find component lists, mounting and loading data, and videos on products like the market-leading Stair Tower, Universal system and HAKI Bridge System (HBS) – all at the click of a button, via the Apple Store. Complemented by AR, the App allows users to take a closer look at core HAKI systems and components in 3D. Rotation and zoom features also give a detailed view of structures. Additionally, customers can book training courses and view the latest HAKI news and case studies. VDC and innovation manager, Mattias Kuduk said: “We developed the App to help our customers find the information they need, quickly and easily.”

Trade body selects new vice president T he NASC has selected its Contracts Committee Chairman to serve as its next Vice President of the scaffolding trade body. David Brown of IBN Scaffold Access Ltd based in Barnsley and Manchester was chosen by his fellow NASC Council members to succeed current NASC Vice President, Lynn Way. Mr Brown has been a member of the NASC Contracts Committee since February 2012 and became chair of this committee, and as a result a member of NASC Council, in 2016. He also represented the trade body on the Contractors Legal Group (CLG) for several years and now sits on the Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT)

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Council on behalf of the NASC. Mr Brown will take up his two-year tenure as Vice President on the same date that Mrs Way begins her Presidency – November 22 – the date of the NASC’s AGM, Ball & Awards. He will duly become President himself from November 2021 to November 2023.

UPHD x b bags r i d g etwobtop a s eCN d P H D Modular  Access was announced wSpecialist i n n e r s o f Awards the Access and SUxbridge c a ff o l dbased PHD i n g S p e cModular  ialist 2019 category for the second  year Access was announced running. The companywinners also picked uofp the t hCN e PAccess r o j e cand t oScaffolding f t h e Ye a r (subcontract between £1m to £3m) Specialist 2019 category for the award.

second year running. company The firms work onThe the  Elizabeth Tower, better known as  Big Ben  in also picked up Project of the Year London was highly commended as (subcontract £1Mand to £3M) award. to being innovative paid tribute the company for  “setting the pace The firms work on the Elizabeth in what can be an incredibly tough Tower, better known as Big Ben in sector”.

London was highly commended as being innovative andlive paid cable tribute is £45K fine after to the company for “setting the fitted to scaffold pace in what can be an incredibly A Jersey scaffolding firm has been tough£45,000 sector”. after putting workers fined

at risk of electrocution and burns. Jubilee Scaffolding Company was £45K finetoafter live cable contracted erect scaffolding at a property in St Lawrence, is fitted to scaffoldJersey in August 2018. But the owner of the A Jersey scaffolding firm has been property was surprised to discover that an uninsulated mains electrical fined £45,000 after putting workers cable had been secured to the at risk ofusing electrocution andfitting.

burns. scaffold a scaffold Jubilee Scaffolding The Royal CourtCompany in Jerseywas heard tcontracted h a t T h e toHerect e a l t hscaffolding a n d Sat a f ae t y Inspectorate was contacted and property in Stthe Lawrence, in in investigated matter,Jersey calling the company’s directors August 2018. But the owner offorthean i n t e r v i e w i n D e c e m b e r. T h e property was surprised to scaffolder responsible fordiscover erecting the said thatelectrical workers that scaffolding an un-insulated mains had believed the wire was a cable had been secured to the telephone cable not an electrical cable.

scaffold using a scaffold fitting.

The Royal Court in Jersey heard that The Health and Safety Inspectorate was contacted and investigated the matter, calling in the company’s directors for an interview in December. The scaffolder responsible for erecting the scaffolding said that workers had believed the wire was a telephone cable not an electrical cable.

Spring 2019 | 11


NEWS

Welsh firm reaches new heights with mental health pledge N

eath based Absolute Scaffolding Wales (ASW), recently pledged its commitment to ‘Time to Change Wales’ – a social movement aiming to improve attitudes and change behaviour towards mental health in society in Wales. Some 30 guests including Wales & Ospreys player, Paul James and representatives from Hafal and Mind Cymru – the two mental health charities behind the campaign – attended the event which saw ASW’s MD Carl Hendy make and sign his pledge on behalf of the firm. ASW joins Neath Port Talbot Council and scores of other businesses around Wales in announcing their commitment to the initiative which is funded by Welsh Government alongside Big Lottery and Comic Relief. According to Time to Change Wales, mental health problems are extremely common, with one in four of us affected at any one time; yet they are often misunderstood and people with mental health problems can be subjected to stigmatising attitudes and discriminatory behaviour. Karen Roberts, Programme Manager for Time to Change Wales says: “We are delighted that ASW have signed our organisation pledge and are taking positive steps to help tackle mental health stigma and discrimination. Our campaign message is simple; we want to get people talking about mental health in order to normalise conversations with friends, family and in the workplace. We have worked with ASW to develop a

comprehensive action plan which we hope will help give everyone in the organisation the confidence to talk about mental health in the workplace, and are very much looking forward to engaging with their Employee Champions in the coming months.” ASW is one of south Wales’ leading scaffolding businesses and part of the Welsh Government’s Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP) which supports high growth businesses in Wales. With its HQ in Resolven and employing around 15 staff, it is the principal contractor for a number of high-profile companies and organisations including SSE (Rail Works),Tai Tarian,Trivallis, Cadw and Trinity House. “I am proud to make our pledge to Time to Change Wales and pleased so many people were able to join us today,” says Hendy. “Changing the way we think and act about mental health problems is extremely important especially in the workplace where without empathy

12 | Spring 2019

and understanding from employers, the problems are unlikely to go away and may even get worse.” Hendy explains that mental health issues are particularly prevalent within the construction industry where men, predominantly young, can find themselves struggling to cope with family and relationship issues as well as financial concerns. “At ASW we regard good mental health just as important as good physical health and so without prejudice or discrimination, encourage openness and make it clear that help is available,” he adds. “We are delighted to welcome ASW Scaffolding on board and thankful to Carl and his team for making this commitment – which is particularly timely as it coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week,” comments Roberts. For more information on the mental health campaign ‘Time to Change Wales’ visit the website: www.timetochangewales.org.uk/

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News in Brief

News in Brief

NEWS

PHD bags two top CN Specialist Awards

Scaffolding Company Fined

HAKI offers CISRS COTS courses NEWS IN BRIEF

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scaffolding company has been sentenced after a 12-year-old boy slipped off a scaffold ladder, falling 10 metres. Cardiff Magistrates’ Court heard how, in May 2017, two boys were able to climb the rungs of a ladder within scaffolding erected by Doncaster based placing P H D HAKI offers CISRS U x b r iWestdale d g eServicesbLimited, a s eby d COTS courses their feet either side of a ladder guard System scaffolding provider, HAKI, Modular  Access was announced that did not cover the rungs of the ladSystem scaffolding provider, HAKI,popular will will start delivering the 1winners of the Access and der completely. start delivering the popular one-day day CISRS Operative Training S c a ff o l dOne i nboy g climbed S p etocthei atopl iplatform s t 2 0 now 1 9has no bladder or bowel control CISRS Operative Training Scheme Scheme (COTS) to customers from category for the second  year of the scaffold and climbed the upperand is only able to walk short distances (COTS) to customers from June 2019 onwards. The COTS running.most The company also picked ladder to a height of approximately due to being unstable on his feet. June 2019 onwards.The COTS course, accredited by CISRS, u p t h e10 metres. P r oThe j eladder c t slipped, o f causing t h e Ye aAnr investigation by the HSE foundcourse, accredited by CISRS, enables people enables whoto learn are new to the boy tobetween lose his balance£1m and fall toto the£3m) the security arrangements for preventwho people are new to scaffolding (subcontract ing access to the scaffolding, especially about basics the industry and howbasics of scaffolding tooflearn about award. ground. by children from a nearby school, were The boy suffered life-changing injuries to work safely with scaffolding acthe industry and how toandwork safely The firms work on the  Elizabeth requiring multiple operations.The boy inadequate. cess equipment. with scaffolding and access Tower, better known as  Big Ben  in All delegates who successfully comequipment. All delegates who London was highly commended as plete the practical & theory assesssuccessfully complete the practical being innovative and paid tribute to ments of the scheme will receive a & theory assessments the company for  “setting the pace CISRS Certificate. And HAKI will also of the scheme will receive apply on their behalf for the CISRSa CISRS in what can be an incredibly tough Rise Scaffolding Group was involved ScaffolderHAKI Trainee orwill CISRS Scaffolder Certificate. also apply on sector”. eading Bristol based scaffolding company, Scaffteq West Limited with the acquisition, drawing on his t h e i r Labourer b e hcard, a l fallowing f o them r ttohtake e CISRS was recently sold to the Safe Rise significant commercial construction further training and progress their Scaffolder Trainee or CISRS Scaffolding Group, with the aim of projects experience and expertise in scaffolding career. Scaffolder Labourer card, allowing growing Scaffteq’s services to clients in corporate finance and management them to take further training and Bristol and the wider West Country. consulting as a former Partner, KPMG Contractor jailed for progress theiron scaffolding Scaffteq West is the largest provider in New Zealand. skimping scaffolding career. services to the house Adèle from Safe Rise Scaffolding A Salford builder has been given a A Jerseyof scaffolding scaffolding firm has been building market in Bristol and the West Group commented: “We are thrilled suspended sentenced for his corner fined £45,000 after putting workers Country serving a strong blue-chip cli- to have acquired Scaffteq West. It has cutting approach to health and safety. at risk of electrocution and burns. ent base of residential house building a proud history of serving leading conManchester Magistrates’ Court heard Jubilee construction Scaffolding Company was struction companies in Bristol and the companies. how, in July 2018, whilst carrying contracted to erect scaffolding at a Adèle McLay, Director of Safe Rise wider West Country area, and we look out re-pointing work at a house in propertyScaffolding in St Group Lawrence, Jerseyforward in to continuing to provide exled the transaction Altringham, Kenneth Morris allowed A Salford builder has been given a for the acquirer on her sig- of the cellence in scaffolding services to our his employees to work on unguarded August 2018. Butdrawing the owner sentenced for his existing and new clients, building suspended on advisory, accountancy platforms six metres in height.The propertynificant wasbusiness surprised to discover cuttingworkers corners and investment banking experience. the phenomenal success the company were alsoapproach not provided withto health that an uninsulated mains electrical a n d adequate s a f eprotection t y . from Ma chester Adèle’s business partner and husband, has enjoyed to date under the ownersilicandust cable had been secured to the ship of Nigel Harris.” David Hayde, also a Director of Safe during the removal of mortar. Magistrates’ Court heard how, in

Scaffteq West acquired by Safe Rise Scaffolding Group

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£45K fine after live cable is fitted to scaffold

Contractor jailed for skimping on scaffolding

scaffold using a scaffold fitting.

The Royal Court in Jersey heard t h a t T ScaffMag.com h e H e a l t h a n d S a f e t y Inspectorate was contacted and

July 2018, whilst carrying out repointing work Spring at 2019 a house in | 13 Altrincham, Kenneth Morris allowed his employees to work on


NEWS

Stork’s first female scaffolder undertakes her inaugural trip offshore I

ndustry demographics within the offshore oil and gas sector traditionally paint a picture of gender imbalance; particularly within disciplines such as scaffolding. But now, one of Stork’s newest scaffolding recruits, Vicky Welch, is proud to lead the way – as the first female scaffolder in the North Sea for Stork. Vicky, 29, is one of only six qualified female scaffolders in the UK and started her career in the onshore scaffolding industry in 2009 as an apprentice in the North East. The apprenticeship came about by chance after being offered a small job for a couple of days’ work on a construction site, but led to Vicky becoming qualified in tube and fitting within two years, where she then worked closely with different types of system scaffolding. Although she enjoyed the work, after a few years on the tools she moved into roles that are more corporate and became office-based, completing a BTEC Level 3 in Construction and a Built Environment qualification whilst undertaking a trainee Quality Services role. While Vicky enjoyed successes in these roles, she came to realise she

needed to follow her preferred career path in a more ‘hands on’ role and returned to the tools, working on tube and fitting projects in London. Never one to shy away from a challenge – and with 10 years’ experience in the construction industry – the fully qualified Part 2 scaffolder Vicky saw the demand for scaffolding skills in the offshore oil and gas industry rising. And although she was working on prominent projects in London, she took her chance and set her sights offshore. As the working environment on an offshore installation poses different hazards from the construction sector, Vicky had to undertake her Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) and Minimum Industry Safety Training (MIST). Although Vicky was at first apprehensive about the helicopter escape and sea survival components of the training course, her mental resilience helped her conquer her fear of being submerged underwater. Vicky commented: “Although I was fearful of the water elements of the training, I understood how important the training was and knew it would be

14 | Spring 2019

worthwhile as it would keep me safe offshore. I actually enjoyed the course in the end and successfully passed all mandatory training in early 2019. I would encourage anyone who’s only obstacle to going offshore is the training to just go for it. It’s all about mind over matter.” With all the relevant certification and offshore training, Stork were delighted to welcome Vicky as their first female scaffolder, setting a new precedent for other females to follow. Vicky has now completed her first trip offshore on CNOOC International’s Scott platform and has already been mobilised on her next scope to company’s Buzzard asset. Vicky recalls her first trip: “I was nervous as to how I would be accepted in the offshore environment and worried that people may change their behaviour around me. As the only female scaffolder offshore, I knew people may be intrigued about my skills and experience but I’m no different to other scaffolders. “Nobody I worked with made my gender an issue. I proved I am capable of carrying out the job so they treated me the same as every other scaffolder

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on-board.You will always have people with more technical knowledge, others with more physical strength, but the industry itself is a mix of different people and I just felt like part of the mix, regardless of my gender.” While on her first trip offshore Vicky was pleased and encouraged to encounter other females on-board undertaking such roles as geologists, chemists and stewardesses. The offshore industry is changing and Vicky is a fine example that gender doesn’t dictate position. Going forward, Vicky is passionate about obtaining and developing knowledge of the offshore assets that she visits and how each component works. As scaffolders often work so closely to all the main equipment offshore, she’d like to learn more about the working environment so that she could easily identify hazards or issues that occur. Safety is very important to Vicky. And her goal is to become a Safety Representative offshore and focus on mental health first aid. She wants to encourage an open door policy for counselling and create a platform for supporting her offshore colleagues with health issues, which are typically difficult to address. She hopes to break down barriers and address the stigma associated with mental health issues. She truly believes gender is irrelevant and it is about the right person for the job: “I would only recommend a male or female to join the offshore industry if they are the right type of person.You have to be used to working in a harsh environment where the weather can change quickly and you can be working in confined and restricted spaces. The job is demanding but very rewarding and I would encourage anyone who is right for the job to choose a career in scaffolding offshore.”

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

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Spring 2019 | 15


TRADE

NASC Publishes Annual Safety Report N

ASC members recorded 113 accidents and injuries on site during 2018 – equating to one incident for every 150 operatives. The figure was revealed in the NASC 2019 Safety Report, which documents and analyses accident and injury statistics for its full contracting members in the previous calendar year. The 113 injuries recorded means that more than 99% of all NASC member operatives – a total of 16,645 employees – went through 2018 accident and injury-free.There were also

no operative fatalities last year, for the sixth consecutive year. The NASC report shows that the most common cause of accident and injury was ‘Slips,Trips and Fall on the same level’ – representing more than 43% of all accidents reported.There were 22 falls from height, up from 14 in 2017, and four falls of materials, down from 12 in 2017. Des Moore, CEO of TRAD Group and NASC President, said::“The report shows that NASC members and their operatives continue to work incredibly safely at height.”

Scaffolding Association joins the TWF A

s part of its continuing strategy to improve the standards of scaffolding and access within the construction industry, the Scaffolding Association has become a member of the Temporary Works Forum (TWF). The TWF is a not-for-profit company that was established for the benefit of the construction industry, and aims to promote best practice and encourage open discussion of any matter related to temporary works. The Scaffolding Association has a membership of almost 400 companies and has been building partnerships with a wide range of industry organisations over the last 12 months. It views the TWF as a valuable platform in which to influence future practices within the industry, and represent its members to key industry stakeholders. Following their attendance at the

first open TWF meeting Robert Candy, Chief Executive said: “One of the key aims of the Scaffolding Association is to ensure that industry standards are continually being raised, and the Temporary Works Forum seeks to promote best practices and improve

16 | Spring 2019

standards. There is a synergy between the organisations and we look forward to being active members of the Temporary Works Forum.”

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TRAINING

CISRS OSTS Continues to Expand in UAE T

he Overseas Scaffolders Training Scheme (OSTS) is growing in the UAE – both in terms of both availability and demand. CISRS management was in Abu Dhabi recently to carry out a pre-accreditation visit at Safety & Access and Aecor’s new training centre.The facility will deliver Level 1, 2 and 3 scaffolding training, Basic Scaffold Inspection, Supervisor training and CPD courses once operational. Whilst in the region, CISRS Managing Director, Dave Mosley held meetings with two major construction companies to promote the CISRS Overseas Scaffolder Training Scheme (OSTS) and the

new Abu Dhabi centre. CISRS officials met with Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC), the largest engineering and construction company in the Middle East with more than 110,000 employees, and Target Engineering Construction Company, which is involved in projects in civil, mechanical, marine construction, electrical – power and instrumentation/control works and MEP works for both onshore and offshore-based oil and gas sectors and the commercial sector. Also in Abu Dubai, Simian Skill passed the CISRS OSTS annual accreditation visit “with flying colours.”

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Training numbers are up year-on-year at the facility, which delivers Level 1 and 2 scaffolder training, Basic and Advanced Scaffold inspection, Scaffold Supervisor training and even a CPD course for UK ex-pats. David Mosley, CISRS MD, said: “It is great to see increased interest in CISRS OSTS both in the UAE and further afield. It is a really positive step that major clients are becoming more aware of CISRS OSTS and looking to implement it for their workforce training. “I look forward to seeing the new centre in Abu Dhabi up and running when work has been completed.” Safety & Access and Aecor currently operate training centres in Nepal and Qatar. As well as Dubai, Simian Skill instructors are delivering training around the globe, including in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Nigeria.

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

Spring 2019 | 17


TRAINING

CISRS Increases CPD availability D

ue to industry demand, the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) has increased the availability of its CPD courses. The scheme says the increase in CPD training will be generated by now allowing core scheme centres (those that offer Part 1, Part 2 and Advanced Scaffolder CISRS courses) at their main training centres.These will be able to deliver CPD at their network of facilities across the UK. According to a CISRS statement the centres “must have sufficient space to house the inspection structures and carry out the mobile access tower module, suitably qualified instructors, and approval from CISRS prior to any training taking place.’ ”

The availability increase comes after a recent review of course availability and centre capacity – in which a shortage of CPD courses was identified in some

areas in the country.The scheme says this increased availability is expected to alleviate this issue. However, CISRS will continue to review the situation.

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OPINION

Reasons to Be Positive about the next 5 years in the UK By Andrew Kitley

W

ith Brexit an ever-present but still mysterious prospect on the horizon, more and more column inches are being devoted to predicting the economic consequences of the upcoming shift in the UK’s position – often with a pessimistic slant. The falling value of the pound, fears of a shortage of labour and general uncertainty surrounding the transition have contributed to a lot of doom and gloom with regards to the UK economy and its future prospects. But despite the fear mongering, foreign direct investment (FDI) into the

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.

country has continued to flourish. In fact, recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) demonstrate ongoing year-on-year growth. FDI rose by 12.6% in 2017 to £1,337 billion, before jumping up another 10% to £1,473 billion by the end of 2018. That increase has cemented the UK’s place as the most sought-after European destination for FDI, with as much inward investment as Germany (£717 billion), Spain (£513 billion) and Poland (£178 billion) combined. On the global stage, Britain is third only to the USA and China in terms of attractiveness to foreign investors. That stat goes some way towards dispelling the myth that the country’s economy is in tatters following the perplexing Brexit process. With that in mind, here are five reasons to be positive about the future of the UK economy in general and the construction and building industries in particular, with a special focus on FDI and inward investment:

London resurgent While average house prices in London might have fallen 3.8% from last year, that downturn could actually prove

20 | Spring 2019

an attraction for FDI. The depreciating value of the pound (which has fallen by 12% against the US dollar since before the referendum) has incentivised overseas investors to snap up a bargain in the British capital. London has always been a magnet for FDI and the current situation has only made it more attractive, with prime real estate in the city’s central boroughs enjoying the lion’s share of the benefit. In the second half of 2017, over half of all properties for sale in London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods were bought by overseas investors. This has contributed to a corresponding rise in house prices in some parts of the city, offsetting the losses sustained elsewhere.

Regional growth It’s not just in the UK capital where the gains are evident. Manchester – recently named one of the fastest growing cities in Europe – showed more robust house price increases than anywhere else in Britain in 2018, with the average cost of a home climbing by 6.6%. Despite this, the city still offers investors relative affordability, alongside stable employment levels and the added attraction of the imminent construction

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OPINION

of the HS2 railway between the city and the capital. North of the border, Scotland has consistently proven itself as an inviting alternative to London for outside investors, second only to the UK capital in terms of FDI. In 2018, the overall number of construction projects funded by overseas investors rose by 7%, accounting for a quarter (24%) of the UK total. Elsewhere, Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham and Sheffield have attracted interest from foreign buyers as well.

the USA (with 51) and the UAE (with 32). Recording overall growth of 255%, Indian interest in the UK housing and construction market looks set to bolster the economy for years to come.

High demand

A large part of this overseas interest can be attributed to the booming

Another key factor which has contributed to the ongoing growth of FDI despite the shadow of Brexit is the UK’s blossoming technology sector. Perhaps ironically, much of the overseas investment into British tech has come from the EU, with European funds jumping to nearly £2 billion in 2018. Over two-thirds (70%) of that figure went to projects based in the so-called

Finally, the steady demand for housing has remained unwaveringly strong over recent years, prompting the government to pledge to build 300,000 new homes year-on-year by the mid-2020s. In order to do so, it has indicated that the current planning permission system will be accelerated. On top of that, the government plans to investigate how it can optimise the use of land and vacant buildings to meet the modern demands of communities in dire need of more housing options. Taken in isolation, this can only spell good news for the construction industry. More demand means more work,

economies found in Asia. In total, the continent poured more than £4 billion into the UK economy in 2018, with 90% of that capital concentrated in London. However, Manchester and Liverpool both showed impressive surges in interest from Chinese investors in 2018, as enquiries about buy-tolet properties in each city shot up by 255% and 160%, respectively. Meanwhile, Indian investment in the UK reached an all-time high last year, with London the number one choice for investors from the country ahead of rivals such as Singapore and Dubai. Some 52 projects were funded by Indian companies in 2018, ahead of

Golden Triangle of universities between London, Cambridge and Oxford, involving a record total of 161 deals. Once again, though, it wasn’t just the south enjoying impressive performance. Manchester also showed its worth, earning a £2.3 million investment into the regional arm of Dutch software creator TOPdesk. Cumulatively, the British tech sector earned £6.1 billion in FDI in 2017 (double the previous year) and £6.3 billion in 2018, with new hubs and hotspots springing up all across the country as tech companies look to scale up their operations and expand into bigger properties.

more jobs and more profit, regardless of how negotiations with the EU pan out over Brexit and beyond. Of course, there is the possibility that Brexit may deter or even prevent workers from coming across from the continent, which is why more emphasis must be placed on training a homegrown workforce capable of carrying out the necessary construction projects. With employment in the industry to reach an estimated 2.79 million by 2023, 168,500 jobs will be created in just five years. As long as the country is equipped to supply that shortfall, the sky is the limit for the construction industry going forward. SM

Asian influence

Tech boom

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OPINION

22 | Spring 2019

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OPINION

Sustainability in Scaffolding or How Not to Pave Paradise By Sarah Wilson BA Hons

W

hen, in 1970, Joni Mitchell sang about how “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone/They paved paradise/and put up a parking lot,” she was way ahead of her time. The world’s economies plough on regardless in a headlong rush for ever greater development. Here in the UK, we have now reached the stage where the construction industry is directly associated with 10% of the country’s carbon dioxide emissions; and is the generator of 32% of all landfill waste. Only now, nearly half a century after Joni’s lament, is the realization dawning in the construction world that buildings and the processes used to create them – such as scaffolding – need to be sustainable i.e. we need to be able to meet current demands for housing and office space whilst at the same time supporting the environment in the long term. Websites abound give advice on strategies as how to reduce the level of CO2 that is produced during construction. And there is research into exciting technical innovations such as self-healing concrete. But optimising the use of less polluting existing materials is an obvious step that can be taken immediately to aid in greenhouse gas removal. The Government’s Clean Growth

Strategy states it will work with industry to “increase the amount of timber used in construction, creating a conveyor belt of locked-in carbon in our homes and buildings.” And therein lies the clue: when it comes to scaffolding and responsible procurement, your best eco-friend is the humble scaffold board. Sustainability, rather than exploitation and depletion, is a key factor in the timber industry. In his book ‘Sustainable Use of Wood in Construction,’ Jim Coulson points out that in the managed softwood forests of Europe and North America, trees are planted on a ‘three for one’ basis. Thus, for every one harvested tree, three more are planted. And indeed, in the Czech Republic – a source of high-quality lumber – the principles of renewable forest management have been applied since the 18th century. During its life cycle, a European spruce spends its growing life absorbing carbon dioxide. When it is felled to become a scaffold board, three other trees get planted and the board becomes a store of locked-away carbon. And at the end of its use on a scaffold, it can recycled into furniture or raised garden beds; or chipped and used to generate biomass power. To check that your boards are coming from sustainably managed forests

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is easy: they need to come with ‘Chain of Custody.’ Your supplier should be able to give you their certificate and you can check its validity on the PEFC and FSC websites. But please note – to meet the UK government’s Timber Procurement Policy, purchasers of wood must not specify one or other of these schemes – they must simply stipulate ‘Chain of Custody Certified Timber’ because both PEFC and FSC are deemed to provide equal and valid proof of sustainable sourcing. Having satisfied yourself that you are buying a carbon-neutral material from a regulated source, the next consideration is the safety of your scaffolders and other site workers. Have the scaffold boards – that workers will be treading on at height – been made to BS 2482:2009? And have they been strength-graded, not merely X-rayed? The boards should be being passed through a Cook-Bolinder or Computermatic stress-grading machine. These machines, unlike an X-ray machine, will detect any problems with slope of grain or compression wood and reject the boards accordingly. If you follow the steps outlined above, you will have a safe and sustainable platform from which to work. And your company will have helped in a small way to save, not pave, paradise. SM

Spring 2019 | 23


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OPINION

Quality and innovation drive our sector T

here are many great brands in the scaffolding industry, but when they loose focus on delivering what customers want and need, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll wither away and become confined to history. Dale, Managing Director of SCP Forgeco sees innovation as an integral part of brand performance... In our sector, whether you are a contractor, manufacturer or distributor, what differentiates brands is safety, quality and trust. And to build on this success and remain at the top of your game, you need to innovate so that customers benefit from new products and services that improve performance and are more cost effective. Lack of innovation will expose any business to greater competitive pressures. Within our business, product innovation comes at a high price and can be hard to justify in a marketplace where orders are lost to cheaper, often inferior, untested products â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for the matter of a few pennies. Sourcing from new suppliers, either in the UK or outside, comes with a warning. It may be a cost-effective option, but it may not offer the same levels of quality that in-house manufacturing gives. Verification of quality control, audits and certification all help to confirm and maintain rigid quality standards. The fittings used by our sector are often safety critical. So having the confidence to know that what is being delivered does what it says is important.

When something goes wrong because a product did not perform or it was wrongly installed, designers, contractors and manufacturers are at risk of facing the consequences. The Grenfell Tower disaster has seen quality and performance of other building products being questioned. Without question, cost has to be the right cost; however, quality is absolutely fundamental. Forgeco was formed to satisfy growing demand for quality equipment. Two decades later, we still manufacture fittings at the same plant, to the same rigorous standards, and we are now the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s oldest independent fitting manufacturer. By working with our clients to innovate, specialist contractors can improve performance and profitability. This approach has led to the development of new products, such as the KLAWZ,

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Tamer and ScottiClip range of fittings along with the Safelinx board retaining system. Access and scaffolding products demand the highest integrity. Having trust in component quality gives contractors the confidence to select and use the components that they know are fully tested and manufactured to a safe standard. With millions of individual components in use across the sector, it is critical that steps have been taken to ensure that tube, fittings or system are fit for purpose. Innovative brands spend many thousands of pounds on auditing and testing to demonstrate that what they are manufacturing and erecting meet the standards required. A substandard component, or a poorly fitted one, can lead to catastrophic results SM . Spring 2019 | 25


SPOTLIGHT

22 | Winter 2019

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SPOTLIGHT

British Is Still Best With Brent By Grahame anderson

W

ith Brent Scaffold Boards Ltd you know exactly what you’re going to get. Not a sales slogan but a basic fact of life. Personal service, quality timber and a no nonsense honest approach to life in the industry. Maybe this is why they’ve got clients going back to 1992 when the company began life back in Selby. And in every sense, this is a real family affair. One to celebrate as both Ollie, 36, and Jon Appleby, 34, move into new roles as Directors.

and system battens to the scaffolding and construction industry, they carry a greatly respected and hard earned reputation for excellence right across the sector. They are also PEFC and BM TRADA certified, armed with five fully automatic endbanding machines pushing production up to a staggering 45,000 banded boards – each week. Brent have recently invested in a new machine to the tune of £150,000. Jon joined Brent Scaffold Boards in

June 2014 after a decade working as a plumber and heating engineer. The career change saw the dad of two girls take over the running of the accounts department with mum and business co-founder Linda. Naturally he’s now excited and positive about putting on a Directors hat. “It’s certainly been a learning curve to get to this point,” he said. “We have really high standards here, and part of the challenge will be retaining those standards going forward.

A Fresh Approach Ollie told me their parents, Dave and Linda are still as much involved as they were in the early years, but recognise the benefits of bringing in a team of Directors for the future. He said: “I left school at 16 to work in our factory, so I could learn from the bottom up. I must have been 20 or 21 when I began running the office on the sales side mainly. The learning process continued working with Dad. And mum knows the accounts department inside out and also works closely with Dave to secure timber contracts.” The is a visionary business set on a 10-acre site with superb links to both the east coast ports and network motorways. As a major supplier and manufacturer of timber scaffold boards

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Winter 2019 | 27


SPOTLIGHT

Both of us are committed to keeping the business in front of our competitors regardless of any changes in the market.”

British timber boards are the way forward, and with only two or three manufacturers here in the UK, it’s vital we keep providing world class service.”

Four Decades In The Industry

Impressive Clients

Dad to Ollie and Jon, and founder of the business, Managing Director 64year-old Dave Appleby has been in the industry for more than 40 years, forging excellent relationships on the way. He’s also seen a lot of changes and supervised some challenging orders as he explained: “A few years ago we received a request to provide 90,000 fire treated boards to a company in Khazakstan. It was a huge job but also demonstrated we can cater for most requests in any part of the world.” His son’s may be moving seamlessly into their roles as Directors, but Dave has no intention of calling it a day any time soon. “I may slow down a touch but having put so much into building up the business across the years, I’ll continue to contribute as much as possible. To be honest, it’s always been a real labour of love for me, and we’ve constructed an excellent network across the industry.

Generally, Brent can boast impressive regular long term clients like Burflex, Altrad. George Roberts and many others. They also undertake a lot of important North Sea work, and no challenge seems to be beyond them. But how has the Brexit saga affected the business? Ollie said: “Last year was actually quite exceptional. This year has begun more slowly probably due to Brexit. There are plenty of jobs out there, but people are holding off a little until things get sorted. Leaving the EU won’t affect us long term at all as there are no tariffs on timber.”

for volume to match the significant investment we’ve made, and I’ve managed to bring in several new customers. The truth is we need a British manufacturer, and we’re determined to drive forward the business and keep it going.” With a compact but incredibly experienced fully qualified workforce, and not forgetting hard working Joyce, it’s not difficult to see why Brent Scaffold Boards are renown just here in the UK but across the world. As for Ollie and Jon, there’s no doubt the ship is being steered in the right direction. SM

The Best In Timber With timber in mind, the business buys the very best from The Czech Republic, Austria and Germany. There are two first class grading lines, manned with qualified and fully trained graders. It’s probably why they have such a high reputation for quality. Ollie added: “We’re generally going

28 | Winter 2019

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SPOTLIGHT

UK SYSTEM SCAFFOLD’S HAKI PAS SYSTEM TAKES HEAVY FOOTFALL IN ITS STRIDE at tower U

K System Scaffold Hire has become the ‘go to’ specialists for companies requiring public access staircases (PAS). UKSSH’s unsurpassed product knowledge combined with HAKI Scaffolding’s superb and recently updated PAS have provided fully compliant access solutions at sports and leisure venues including football stadia, major flower shows and boat shows as well as at railway stations and historic monuments and provided emergency exits at schools and shopping centres. Features of the temporary staircases include non-slip treads with GRP covering, Disability Discrimination Act compliant handrails and unique tamper proof locking devices to ensure maximum safety on site. One example of the system’s ability to take very heavy footfall in its stride was when UKSSH was asked to provide a temporary staircase for pedestrian access to the world famous White Tower at the Tower of London whilst the installation of new, permanent, steps took place. Unique Scaffolding chose UK System Scaffold Hire to specify and supply the HAKI Public Access Staircase.

and lead them up to the temporary entrance on the west elevation. It also had to provide a safe, comfortable and steady walkway for tourists visiting the historic building. Also, due to the historical importance of the building, the stair could not be tied to it and therefore had to be free standing. The permissible load for a tread width of 1.6m and loading from one side is 7.5 kN/m2. The stair was designed to be capable of taking a maximum load of 189 people, more than adequate for the required access of 100 people at any one time. The aluminium treads provided with the stair delivered the perfect slip resistant steps and landings without any additional GRP covers even throughout the cold, icy winter months. UK System Scaffold Hire provided

on-site support and on-time delivery in the very heart of the Nation’s capital, helping the Tower to maintain visitor numbers throughout the renovation. SM

THE BEST SOLUTION The temporary staircase had to cope with large numbers of visitors queuing on the staircase during busy periods

30 | Spring 2019

ScaffMag.com


FEATURE

Highlights from Bauma 2019

Thousands of brands from across the globe descended on Munich, Germany, for the world’s biggest construction trade fair in April. This year Bauma, now 65-years-old, attracted a some 620,000 attendees, representing the industry in no less than 200 countries, giving stand-out exhibitors a chance to impress delegates from almost every nation on the planet.

A

s per usual at Bauma, the scaffold and access industry had its own dedicated area, which offered an insight into the present and— perhaps most importantly— the future of this sector.There were some impressive systems, products and materials on display, from brands such as Switzerland’s AMMANN Group (celebrating its 150th anniversary during the expo) to China’s Sany Group and LiuGong, making any attempt to succinctly summarise the best of the best rather difficult. But we’re always up for a challenge, and when you have something as unique and ground-breaking as Nordic Platform’s

range of scaffolding accessories, the job of choosing what to write about becomes a little easier. The Danish company specialises in making products from recycled fishing nets salvaged from the world’s seas. Given oceanic pollution is one of the gravest causes for concern in the battle to save the planet, with nets responsible for killing countless fish and marine life, the idea couldn’t be more welcome. “We use discarded fishing nets as the main sources – depending on the final product we add stabilisation, UV-protection and so forth to meet the demands of the final products.

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FEATURE

These materials become part of our Airsteps Ocean products, which include fall protection, spacefillers, support plates, safety clips, toeboard clips and safety caps,” Nordic Platform’s Per Mose Jakobsen says, going on to explain that – to his knowledge – the firm’s approach is unique within the industry. “Plastic is brilliant for recycling as it saves approximately 2kg co/kg plastic that is recycled compared to virgin materials. In the case of discarded fishing nets it is even more beneficial as there are huge volumes of plastic removed for the oceans,” he continues. “Also all products in plastic we are taking to the

market we ensure are able to be re-used, re-furbished and recycled themselves, so they are part of a circular economy.” Equally revolutionary is the new LayPLAN system from German giant Layher.This software is impressively powerful, allowing companies to visualise solutions to complex projects in greater detail than ever before.Two core versions are available, LayPLAN Classic and LayPLAN CAD.The former modules for Allround Scaffolding and SpeedyScaff, automating the planning of standardised scaffolding structures. It provides real time material lists, automatically renders 2D drawings and can export to LayPLAN CAD, which plugs-in to Autodesk AutoCAD and is made for incredibly complex work. From realising the bigger picture to far smaller details, we were also really impressed with the Controlock – a product that could make a huge difference despite being something that many people, particularly those outside the industry, probably wouldn’t even notice. Put simply, this is a new magnetic scaffold tie system, the first of its kind on the market. Using this could save money on buying additional locking equipment, alongside assembly time. “The reason that magnetic anchoring of scaffolds was not possible before is that it wasn’t safe enough. A traditional magnet was a kind of black box in terms of strength. It was not

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Spring 2019 | 33


FEATURE

possible to determine the strength of a magnet on a certain spot,” says Edwin van der Heide of McNetiq, the company behind this potential game-changer. “A magnet is designed for a certain force but the specifics of the location influence the way a magnet can be burd— the force we can put on the magnet.The thickness of the steel plate, paint or rust all influence the strength of the magnet,” he continues. “Our patented Controlock technology solved this problem: a Controlock magnet can be measured on every spot.Testing and defining the sliding and pulling force is vital to anchor in a safe way. Because it is possible to measure the strength of the magnet in a secure way our system is certified by Dekra and Lloyds Registered.” BRAND SAFWAY’s QuikDeck was also pulling in huge

crowds, and not without good reason.The Suspended Access System is designed for rapid assembly, providing a versatile and safe solution to accessing hard-to-reach areas of off-shore structures – from bridges to oil rigs.This means a potential cost-saving on projects including painting and maintenance, installation and even new construction, increasing efficiency and therefore lowering completion timeframes. Taking all this into consideration, it’s not hard to understand why Munich 2019 is being heralded as the most-successful Bauma in the event’s illustrious history.The fascinating products on display – which we’ve only really scratched the surface on – and exceptional networking and sales opportunities surpassed previous editions, re-affirming the expo’s place in the list of must-attend dates in the industry calendar. Not that we really needed reminding. SM

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FEATURE

Acorn gives structure to the biggest events By 2017, the UK event equipment hire market had reached an annual value of £600 million, according to AMA Research. For most people this sector means audio and lighting rigs, props, effects, portaloos and security fencing. But larger structures, staging and seating accounts for one of the biggest proportions of industry spend. By RICHARD TRENCHARD

I

t’s understandable, really. Britain, particularly in the summertime, is awash with large-scale events that require significant investment in structural assets to pull off – from Glastonbury to Wireless. And music festivals are just one side of the story.  Acorn Event Structures has been delivering world-class stages and other structural equipment to clients across the globe since 1996. Last year alone, the firm’s expertise helped make a bespoke stage for Pope Francis, a specialist theatre for Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, and worked at major festivals such as Creamfields, Boomtown, Summertime Ball and CarFest, to

name but a handful of premier jobs. Demand continues to grow in 2019, as the events calendar becomes ever-more packed with dates. With this in mind we contacted Emma Petty, Acorn’s Marketing Manager, to gain a better insight into the realities of this often-unsung end of the scaffold and temporary structures game, and learn a little about what the future might hold.  “From its inception, Acorn received enquiries from event companies to supply temporary scaffolding solutions and consequently, in 2006, took the decision to launch a stand-alone

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FEATURE

event-oriented company to service this activity,” she explains how the Leeds-based Acorn Scaffolding came to give birth to Acorn Event Structures. “Since then the operation has grown from strength to strength and now has sub-divisions dedicated to scaffold, staging and bespoke structures and continually invests in developing and refining products for the event industry.”  Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects to Acorn’s work is not simply the fact that they create public-access scaffold for a wide variety of sites, but by nature they are also involved in

the creative process of event development. Organisers may have a vision, but only the experts understand whether that can be achieved, and how. Functional industry meeting design-led thinking; a combination that isn’t as commonplace as many might think. “Acorn’s unrivalled creative expertise and forward-thinking engineering solutions surpass those of other temporary structures providers in the market,” she adds. “We are continually chosen ahead of other suppliers because of our ability to translate our clients’ visions into reality

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FEATURE

and lead into new territories of structural design.” Petty cites a number of examples to evidence her point. Europe’s first ever pop-up Shakespearean theatre is arguably the most revealing. Inspired by the London Rose Playhouse, which was built in 1587 and as such predates the world-famous Globe by more than a decade, Acorn was tasked with developing and delivering a modern interpretation of the 13-sided, 16th Century structure, in scaffolding. More challenging still, they had a threeweek timeframe in which to complete... The company responded with a design offering 600 seats on triple-tiered balconies and space for a further 350 people at ground level. No seat was more than 15 metres from the stage, with the overall site replicating the original building while also updating it.  “We were delighted to be part of such an important local project, which created a cultural legacy for our community and supported local industry.  We worked closely with our client to design and engineer a unique and functional performance area,” says Andy Nutter, Acorn’s Managing Director.  Pope Francis’ Papal Mass in Ireland is another example that shows the level of innovation involved in Acorn’s builds. Set the task of conceiving a stage that could completely surround

the location of the event, Papal Cross, the solution was a 60m Mega Dome structure, which itself included another internal domed roof offering weather protection for His Holiness, complete with 120 linear meters of glass balustrade.The brief also required a plaque commemorating Pope John II’s 1979 visit to the site remained in place and visible. As with many of Acorn’s efforts, Layer scaffold systems were used to achieve the best possible results, with the firms having been partners for over 15 years.That special relationship shows no sign of changing any time soon either given Acorn’s commitment to continue providing the level of service it currently does.  “Our events clients are continuously pushing the boundaries in staging, production, lighting, sound and visuals to provide a unique visitor experiences and Acorn is proud to be instrumental in helping our clients meet their objectives with scaffold event structures capable of underpinning increasingly ambitious production specifications,” says Petty.  The coming years look bright for the events industry right now, both in the UK and beyond, and the same can be said for Acorn’s specialist team. With that in mind we’re keen to see what the firm’s future endeavours and accomplishments might involve. SM

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FEATURE

Q&A With Vantage Event Structures MD Matt Bowler ScaffMag caught up with Matt Bowler MD of Vantage Event Structures to find out more about his trajectory into the world of fine art and collaborations with artists such as Graham Hudson, Carsten Holler and Eyal Burstein, with whom he’s worked on numerous art projects.

M

att, you run a scaffolding firm and events company, yet you’ve collaborated with some big names in the art world – how did this come about? “To be honest, by saying ‘screw it, let’s do it!’ and saying yes to projects that I think most scaffold companies would have shied away from. But it’s not like marketing to event companies or festivals. With artists they tend to come to you, not the other way around.” You’ve worked with British artist Graham Hudson several times, can you tell us a bit more about that?   “The first time I met Graham was at the Milton Keynes Gallery in 2009, when Graham was building an art installation ‘A

Considerable Extension in Time and an Insignificant Extension in Space, ‘ which was a multi-level scaffold structure that the public could walk around on and that filled the entire gallery. “It featured artefacts such as record players, bits of sticky tape and played records and stuff on monitors. We were asked by the gallery to help Graham. Me and him got along, on a personal level, plus I was young and keen and willing and he responded to that and it just developed from there.” And you’ve worked together quite a bit now? “Yes, we’ve worked together on seven projects over the past 10 years, the most recent being last year for Burberry, where we built a giant scaffold artwork in their flagship store in London.” Using scaffold to create art is very different; what was your first reaction to Graham’s work?   “I liked it, I thought it was great. Since I’ve got to know Graham and worked with him, I’ve become a big fan of his work. I don’t 100 % get it, but it doesn’t matter, because it looks cool. He’s different to work with, he’s not blue collar, he’s not the standard customer, so, it’s refreshing to work with an artist, rather than a Project Manager or safety official for example.” And you’ve been abroad for projects, right? “Shortly after the project at MK Gallery, Graham asked us to go to Switzerland, where we rebuilt a conceptual Elephant &

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FEATURE

Castle pub, based on the one in London. My design team and I picked out the key features from the original; then designed, engineered and delivered it to Art Basel in Switzerland, which is one of the biggest Art Festivals in the World.“ Did you encounter any challenges abroad? “Not in Switzerland, but after Art Basel we went with Graham to Milan where we built a catwalk and a scaffold art installation for the brand Fendi.There was an issue with the scaffold poles we sourced, which were from a local supplier and were either odd lengths or very rusty and pitted. As we didn’t have any scaffeze, we used Italian olive oil, which worked really well! Graham would sit in front of a pile of rusty fittings dipping them in olive oil.That was character building and was a good example of embracing resistance, working around problems. In the end we came out with something which looked better than pristine scaffold poles would have.” Scaffolders and artists are quite different; do you clash? “Graham and I are like chalk and cheese. He finds me highly amusing and thinks I should be censored, as I just say it how I see it. He uses words in his vocabulary that I didn’t even know existed. We are poles apart, but if he was scaffold minded and I was art minded we’d be telling each other how to do each other’s jobs. I try not to influence him in a creative way and he doesn’t try and resist me in an engineering and practical way. That’s why our working relationship has been a success.” Would you say working with artists is easy? “I wouldn’t say so no, it’s a mentality thing.  Working with artists can be a tedious process. For instance, Graham might spend half a day holding his chin, then changing things.  You have to have patience and understand that’s the process. I think a lot of scaffolders would be like ‘come on make your mind up.’ However, I don’t influence his creative process, otherwise I’d have influence over something I shouldn’t have credit for. Often I will take kit to jobs I don’t know what for and I don’t put boundaries up or obstacles, but I find solutions, which is what you need working with creative people. A lot of scaffolders are traditional minded, too pragmatic, which can hinder the creative process.” So it’s your ability to get around obstacles which is key? “Working on art projects, you have to know scaffolding and what the capabilities are; public access, safety and compliance is equally important and I know the codes of practice inside out. Also you have to use other methods such as pre-fabrication and different materials. Just because it can’t be done in traditional scaffolding doesn’t mean it can’t be done. So I use fabrication and multiple scaffold systems.You have to really understand the engineering side and understand multiple systems; Layher tube and fitting, and pre-fabricated and how to combine them.”

So you like re-writing the rule book? “I love the challenge, working on art projects is a challenge in a good way.  You have to accurately engineer something that hasn’t been tried before. I think a lot of scaffolders would see obstacles and challenges and think forget it.” You worked with Israeli artist Eyal Burstein at the Victoria & Albert Museum, how did that come about?   “Again it was through Graham, I met Eyal whilst at Art Basel and we got on well.  Then in 2011 Eyal called me up and asked us to help him with an art project Scaffold Brut for the Victoria & Albert museum in London.  That artwork was like a Devil’s Causeway of stepped interlinked scaffold towers all different sizes and levels, which turned into a dragon’s tail.  It was pressured because we had to work through the night to get it finished, but Eyal and the V&A were pleased.” Another interesting project you did was with German artist Carsten Holler Decisions I and II at The Hayward Gallery, yes?   “We did two structures for Carsten both quite ambitious. The first one he needed to provide access to the roof for the public, so they could access his slide via the roof of the gallery all the way to the ground. He needed two stairs and two slides in total, so at the foot of the staircases, a decision as to whether you go left or right, had to be made.The staircases

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FEATURE

zigzagged up and through a hole we had to cut into the Hayward Gallery roof. Because of the British weather we also had to an encapsulation. But the real challenge was having a compliant staircase that could fit within the confines of the space provided and be suitable for public access. How did you get that commission? “We were contacted by The Hayward Gallery because three other companies they’d approached said it couldn’t be done. I visited the site and said it can be done and went to our supplier. Carsten told us he needed two entrances so we designed them and gave Carsten a video of how the staircases would look. I designed and engineered it.The concept and slide was his, but we brought it to life and came up with a design, which fit with his concept. Decision II was a room full of giant ducting, which looked like a giant snake. We had to build the substructure to support it so the public could walk through it.“ And you’ve recently won an award for your design & creativity. “Yes, from the Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards this year.  We are thrilled obviously.” So, deep down you’re a frustrated artist?   “No, a happy scaffolder. I’d say I’m definitely creative as far as a director of a scaffolding firm can be: Vantage allows me that. I’m more of a designer than an artist and I love a challenge.” What advice would you give to a scaffolding firm who are thinking of collaborating with an artist?  

“Artists are the kind of people who approach you, not the other way around and in many ways, you have to be in the right place at the right time. But if you have the opportunity, keep an open mind and be as malleable and flexible as possible. Go with it and if it works well, your reputation will grow and they’ll tell other artists about you.” SM

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HEALTH & SAFETY

NASC ADOPTS DUAL APPROACH TO RAISING SAFETY STANDARDS ON SITE By Robin James

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HEALTH & SAFETY

T

he NASC has a long and proud record of increasing safety standards in the scaffolding industry. The confederation was established in 1945 with the aim of promoting high standards of safety within the industry. Nearly 80 years later, raising and maintaining safety standards remains at the heart of the NASC’s objectives – driving every activity it undertakes. The industry has inarguably changed – for the better – in that time. NASC members and non-members alike are using NASC safety guidance and operatives are undergoing formal CISRS training including a mandatory CPD requirement.

The impact can be measured to some degree through the annual NASC safety reports, the latest of which was published last month. In 1978, the 6,772 operatives employed by NASC members suffered two fatalities and 700 incidents, equating to an incidence rate of 103.37. Over the decades these accident figures have fallen dramatically, largely thanks to the creation, dissemination and adoption of NASC safety guidance, including the iconic SG4 Preventing Falls in Scaffolding Operations. In 2018, the 16,758 operatives employed by NASC members suffered zero fatalities and just 113 incidents,

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equating to an incidence rate of 6.74. The number of incidents recorded each year and the incidence and frequency rates have reached a plateau in the last five years, which presents a new challenge. It’s clear that the NASC has played a huge role in making what was an unsafe industry safe. Now the NASC’s focus has shifted to making a safe industry safer. The NASC has adopted a two-pronged approach to achieving this goal. Through its experienced and active committees, made up of representatives from NASC member companies, the NASC continues to update and expand its library of safety, contractual and technical guidance, the vast majority of which is available for free through the NASC website. This activity is vital in ensuring scaffolding contractors have access to relevant and fit-for-purpose guidance relating to a broad range of topics. The NASC is complementing this ongoing task with a programme of reminder toolbox talks, which can be delivered by NASC members to their operatives and made available for free download via the NASC website. These toolbox talks will serve as safety refreshers, ensuring that safe working practices remain at the front of operatives’ minds when they’re working on site and at height. Talks will be created on a range of issues, such as the dangers of ‘low risk’ complacency, so often the cause of a ‘slip and trip on the same level’ – the most common cause of incident recorded in the NASC safety report for the last 14 years in a row. The NASC has also identified falls from height as a topic for a toolbox talk reminders. It is hoped that by implementing this combined approach of top level guidance and regular on site reminders the NASC will be able to make the scaffolding industry safer still. SM

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HEALTH & SAFETY

Quality fall protection training: why it should be taken seriously F

or those working at height, providing suitable fall protection equipment is just the start. Operatives must be fully conversant with the risks present, be able to help ensure safe working practices, and understand the performance of the system, its intended use and any limitations. Roger Boulter, Training Manager for HCL, explains how creating competent end users starts with quality training.

Falls: still a real danger Almost all falls from height can be prevented, but they still remain the leading cause of workplace fatalities. A fall of 3.05 m (10 ft.) takes only 0.8 seconds. There’s virtually no time to react. The velocity reached on impact with the ground is 7.74m/s (17.3 mph).  The most recent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics show that in 2017 alone, falls accounted for 35 (28%) of all UK fatalities in the workplace. Fatalities are only part of the picture. Falls from height also contributed to 43,000 non-fatal accidents. Over 60% of deaths when working at height involve falls from ladders, scaffolds,

working platforms and roof edges and through fragile roofs. It goes without saying that both competency and safety awareness are inextricably linked to these figures. Under health and safety legislation (Health & Safety at Work Act 1974) employers have a duty to provide suitable and sufficient information, instruction and training for their employees. Users of fall protection equipment who are welltrained and confident will be far less likely to inadvertently place themselves, or their colleagues, at risk. 

Clear protocols Since 2005, mandatory working at height regulations (including BS 8437:2005 and BS 8454:2006) have set out clear protocols for organisations to help ensure competency when working at height. The standards cover provisioning appropriate best-practice training, keeping a register, user assessment and evaluation. It is no coincidence that, in the event of an investigation following any accident, the first documents to be scrutinised will be the record of competency training, and the

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risk assessments in place.

Confidently safer The more prepared users are to deal with a potentially dangerous environment, the less likely they are to make poor judgements and increase the likelihood of injury. Just as manufacturers have clear expectations about how their systems should be used and maintained over time, employers have a responsibility to ensure operatives have the necessary safety awareness and training to use systems correctly. But quality training isn’t just about using the system; it must also cover safety awareness in the widest sense. As well as exploring the theory and practice behind safely working at height, training should also highlight the applicable legislation and the legal ramifications of non-compliance.  

Theory and practice While interactive training is fundamental, it’s important to understand the theory behind working at height. The best training puts both safety and fall protection in context and focuses on

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small groups of people at a time - giving the opportunity to share learnings and get a full experience. Ultimately, a classroom session followed by practical training is what will give the best results.

Wider benefits The benefits of adopting a rigorous approach quickly permeate across the workforce. Employees who are properly trained and prepared to apply the appropriate control measures to safe working at height are more likely to be engaged, diligent, efficient and ultimately loyal to their employer. If operatives feel at risk on a roof, they will inevitably become more stressed. By provisioning detailed training that equips workers with the skills and knowledge to deal confidently with any situation, companies can improve workforce wellbeing and build esprit de corps.  The confidence has a further benefit. Operatives become empowered to

raise potential issues they encounter and propose solutions to improve safety and working practices on-site.

Knowledge is power. By choosing quality training to deliver a good competency level, operatives

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become aware of their own limitations and can avert situations that may place themselves or their colleagues at risk. Historic complacency and ignorance is eradicated, and workers can operate safely with a heightened sense of awareness. SM

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PRODUCTS

Light And Strong - Layher highlights clear benefits for the scaffolding sector

“W

ith scaffolding, access and protection systems, there is no reason why lightweight and ease of handling should reduce strength and performance – indeed, this is one of the key drivers behind our ongoing commitment to innovation.” says Sean Pike, UK Managing Director of Layher Ltd., the world’s largest manufacturer of modular systems, who believes the industry’s move towards equipment that is light yet strong has much to offer. Always at the heart of Layher’s success – established in 1945, the company opened its first UK depot in Letchworth in the 1980’s – is the design of its rosette connection system. This creates multiple choices of installation layout and, because it does not require

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separate clamps, produces both operational and safety benefits. “This early innovation has been followed continually by further improvements and developments that have all focused on greater site efficiency, installation versatility and, of course, safety,” continues Sean Pike. “Today, the focus in many areas is on lightweight designs which, thanks to modern methods of manufacture – including the greater use of high tensile materials – go hand-in-hand with improved strength and performance, and thus better handling for the users themselves.” From a project and site management perspective, this produces clear-cut, tangible results. Reduced transporta-

tion and storage needs arise from less material requirements providing a wide range of structural options and opportunities. “Crucially, this trend towards lighter components also brings major benefits to the scaffolding workforce,” adds Sean Pike. “Because so much equipment can be manually handled with comfort, there is less physical stress on manpower with clear gains in terms of, for example, musculoskeletal complaints, output and therefore time savings.” Mr Pike also draws our attention to two recent developments from the company that have resulted directly from this approach. Layher’s improved steel deck LW completes the lightweight range. Made

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from high tensile steel but with a reduced thickness to just 1.3mm and a weight reduction of 2.2kg, it optimises the cross section via special processes and intelligent concentration of material, where needed. With improved longitudinal reinforcement for optimal load transfer and surface cross reinforcement for higher stability when walking

across the deck, it has the same load class and bending stiffness as current steel decks, but with much improved handling. “Generally, the Allround lightweight scaffold system has built on this principle and is now our best-selling system option worldwide,” continues Sean Pike. “It delivers some 24% greater bending strength than Allround K2000+, while the design also includes an ‘auto lock’ feature that makes the most of the fact that workers can handle and undertake key elements of a scaffold structure’s erection by themselves.” He explains that Layher’s wedge design, which links into the built-in rosette connector on each standard, simply drops into position as it is offered up to

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the rosette to create sufficient stability before it is permanently fixed in place. “Speed of erection is enhanced while, once installed, the same lightweight materials enable 100mm extra headroom to be created on each lift – a further safety feature in each case.” The take up of modular system scaffolding in the UK is now well established with benefits in terms of performance and project scheduling widely in evidence. It is a growing sector of the market that has, over the years, prompted Layher to build on that initial depot and head office location with facilities now in the north of England, Scotland, Ireland and, most recently, the West Midlands. “We always point to the opportunities that our philosophies create for innovation. A developing list of tailored components that fulfil specific needs while still integrating with our proven connection system clearly endorses this view,” concludes Sean Pike. “The greater use of lighter weight materials now builds on this to the benefit of project management and workforce alike.”

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PRODUCTS

Cat Phones Constructing A World Class Reputation E

ver changing smartphones seem to be a necessity for everyone in our pressurised fast paced modern world. In the construction industry. However, they take on a whole new challenge, needing to be tough, hard wearing, powered and versatile. This was certainly demonstrated at the world’s largest trade fair recently, where ‘Cat’ mobile products proved extremely popular.

Perfect For On-Site Tim Shepherd, Director, Product Team at Cat Phones, explained: “Our Cat phones are tailored particularly to the needs of those in industries like construction. They are tough, robust and waterproof, dust proof, drop tested, and backed by a comprehensive warranty. They all offer big batteries to ensure you can get through a tough working day with battery life to spare – so important for those working in locations where power sockets aren’t always readily available. And they offer lots of features honed through years of experience, such as touch screens bright enough to see in sunlight and can be controlled with wet hands or while wearing gloves. “Modern mainstream smartphones are elegantly designed, with very small bezels and lots of glass. But that renders them fragile, and this is a real issue for many in industries such as construction where mobile devices have to survive in conditions that are tough on phones. For many, the modest protection offered by a case is insufficient, and more and more customers in these kind of situations are turning to products engineered from the ground up to with-

stand tougher conditions and uses. Cat phones offer market leading rugged credentials, perfect for use in the tough conditions of a building site.”

Power To The People The message is very clear such products need to meet far sterner criteria than for every day normal use. For example, the powerful 4,500mAh battery of the Cat S61 offers power for more than a single day of use. The Cat S41 comes with a 5,000mAh battery to give you up to 38 hours talk-time and 44days stand-by-time. The Cat S31 also boasts a large 4,000mAh battery to help you stay connected even in isolated places.

Tough Terrain As for life on site, Cat’s Corning® Gorilla® Glass screens are equipped with glove-on working and wet-finger tracking technology – so you don’t waste time fumbling to answer your phone. The ultra-bright screen is perfect for trying to read your phone in direct sunlight, and the loud and high quality audio will help when you’re working in noisy environments. In fact, designers have created a world class product to work even in the toughest conditions at any time of year. But how about, a state of the art laser measuring device to complete the perfect work communications package?

Measuring Up The Measure App on the Cat® S61 uses the device’s in-built laser and rear camera to establish depth and calculate distances. It can be used to

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measure the distance from the device to a surface, and to estimate areas on the same surface. It can also be used to calculate quotes or the materials needed for wall tiling, wallpapering or painting jobs, flooring or skirting board fitting, running piping or cable, or for preparing floor plans. The Measure App helps to capture images on site used later to estimate sizes and dimensions. It’s a convenient way to take on-thejob measurement estimates, without a tape measure. It’s the perfect tool for tradesmen, DIY enthusiasts, interior designers, estate agents or realtors, home insurance assessors, and many other professions. There’s little doubt for communication purposes – vital in today’s construction and scaffolding industries, – Cat Phones provide the perfect modern solution. Visit: www.catphones.com/en-gb/

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Scaffolding Creativity As Deep As The Ocean

By GRAHAME ANDERSON

I

nnovation comes in many forms – especially when it comes to products created to enhance safety in the construction and scaffolding industries. Nordic Platform are a Danish based company with an invaluable goal born in 2012 – to produce an alternative to scaffolding decks made of wood, aluminium or steel. The result was ‘AIRSTEPS’ composite, an incredibly light, strong, flexible, and last but not least, cost-effective solution.

At the same time, buyers have the opportunity to advertise their own business by having AIRSTEPS scaffold decks produced in any colour and customised with a logo.Three years of research was necessary to meet the high standards demanded by customers, national authorities and the owners of Nordic Platform.

Turning To The Ocean The brilliance of Nordic Platform has

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also resulted in a number of visionary scaffolding accessories made from recyclable materials from the ocean.

Perfect Products The products include the Toeboard Clip required to secure toeboards mounted comfortably on the scaffolding frame via clips.There’s also a Safety Cap designed to minimises risk of head injury. It can easily be applied to all 48.3mm tubes, produced in ocean plastic or polypropyl-

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green and black.They even have support plates for base jacks made of heavy ocean plastic.They can avert damage to the underlying surfaces. All of these products are made without compromising on quality and strength.

Bauma Boost The company stand proved popular at the recent Bauma Trade Fair in Munich, where a selection of the products were used hands on.Thomas Strømsholt, Board member of the Danish Scaffolding Club. Said: “It’s easy, it‘s simple and it works. It is not rocket science, but neither should it be.The products are outstanding.” A company spokesperson explained: “Purchasing these products makes a difference by pulling plastic, fishing nets, etc. up from the ocean and re-manufacturing it into a new product.This Helps our oceanic animals as humans move towards minimising the intake of microplastics, as they aim for clean oceans – benefiting all on this earth.”

Composite Re-use

ene. In addition to this, a Safety Clip used to lock the beams and frames together, again made from composite light and strong ocean plastic. And then there’s the revolutionary Spacefiller, created to close the gap occurring between the scaffolding platforms. It has an incredibly low weight and is simple to install.The product is easily customised by cutting it into required lengths. “It may seem like a very small thing, but in our industry is huge.The Spacefill-

er weighs one kilogram per metre and is the easiest ‘transition piece’ available on the market, and has already generated considerable international interest,” says Per Moses Jakobsen, Managing. Director of Nordic Platform. AIRSTEPS fall protection is used as a shield on the scaffold when working on roofing. It measures 110x115 cm and comes with a strong handle.The product weighs 10.5 kg and is made largely of ocean plastic. It can be produced in

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When it comes to re-use, composite is actually very difficult for nature to break down.This means the products can be granulated, to be used as filler in concrete, asphalt and as part of the base of a road structure. Larger amounts of ends can be used as valuable recyclable plastic in several other production facilities. So it’s clear everyone is a winner including the environment.

A Wave Of Approval It’s certainly not surprising to discover just why these products are proving such a hit – at Bauma there was a wave of approval from the trade.The problem of plastic in our oceans has already been tackled by the scaffolding industry it would seem – given a world class Danish platform. Further info: http://www. nordicplatform.dk/uk/index.php

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QuikDeck A Platform Of Success W

hat do both the Japanese Bullet Train and the wondrous Longfellow Bridge in Massachusetts have in common? The answer is ‘QuikDeck’ – a revolutionary suspended access system offering the advantage of safely working on an open, modular platform. Both have had refurbishment work utilising this special piece of kit very much on show at the recent colourful Bauma Trade fair in Munich. Quikdeck facilitating benefits include: n Components easily handled by one person. n Requires no special tools or skills to assemble. n Load capacities range from 25 psf to more than 75 psf. n Can be built in the air or on the ground, and then hoisted into position. n Equipment can be leapfrogged and relocated as work progresses.

The QuikDeck Secret Quikdeck’s secret is being able to adapt to fit almost any shape or size, utilising access to those hard to reach places. It can be assembled and lowered into position or even built in the air, or built out from an existing platform. Specially designed trusses are attached to pivot points at the edge of the existing deck surface. They are swung out and secured in place, with solid four-by-eight-foot plywood decking panels set in position over them. The new area is clamped into chain

supports from above, and the process repeats. Each QuikDeck component can be easily handled by one person and requires no special tools or skills to assemble.

system, and with land area so precious, Toshibababa Nakagiri, Brand Safway’s QuikDeck representative in the country, explains why the kit was so invaluable to the project:: “Those miles of

Improving Access QuikDeck was developed more than 15 years ago – aimed at locations where scaffolding couldn’t be built up from below, either because the access location was too high, or a viable base below wasn’t possible. Oil rigs are a perfect examples of this of course. In fact, BrandSafway’s innovative offshore access solution has been a huge success on rigs across the world, because of its ease of use and efficiency. Equipment can leapfrogged and re-located so work can still progress without any hindrance to the project. Three-person crew can erect 1,600 square feet of QuikDeck in a day. And it comes apart just as fast. Impressive eh?

QuikDeck Basic Components n Joists: carry the load n Nodes: connect joist and suspension Pins: connect joist to nodes n Deck Supports: support the decking panels n Beam Clamps: connect platform to structure n Chain: suspends platform n Plywood Decking: provides solid work surface n Guardrails and Toe Boards: ensure safety

The Japanese Case Study Given the nature of the 10-year $7billion refurbishment of the Japanese rail

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track are elevated for a reason. Underneath are roads, businesses, canals and access routes for adjacent farmland. Just as they can’t be obstructed for passing trains, they can’t be obstructed by scaffolding either. “We needed a temporary floor which could cantilever out to safely reach well beyond the overhead structure. The QuikDeck platform was about 50-feet wide. This is key.”

Ideal For Large Projects QuikShield is especially well suited for large or long-term projects. Plywood decking in galvanized steel frames is lightweight, replaceable and stacks for easy shipping. Flat, non-slip decking minimizes slips, trips, and falls making it easier to remove grit and keep its surface clean from debris. Dual, galvanized, seven-sixteenths wire rope provides redundant suspension and prevents

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tendon failure when coupled with three-eighths-inch galvanized and powder-coated chain The world of scaffolding and construction is changing at pace with cutting edge innovation – vital for efficiency. QuikDeck has been at the forefront for many years now, and will surely lead the way for a long time to come. www.quikdeck.com

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Getting A Hook On Impact Wrench Holstering I

t’s a wonderful thing when any innovative designer listens to industry gripes over the durability, maintenance and security of their essential tools and comes up with a product to fully meet those needs. Getting a hook on the next generation in impact wrench holstering, has seen one Northampton-based company responding to those serious issues encountered and come up with a winning result. There are other safety holsters on the market, but professional users believe that the manufacturers have ignored their complaints regarding weaknesses in the existing products. Enter ZZION Ltd who have ironed out reported weaknesses and come up with a new, stronger version. And all of this because they were ready to take in the advice of skilled workers from scaffolding and construction sites across Europe..  

United States. They are now highly regarded across the industry. Visionary in outlook and committed to saving people time and money, their approach is an outstanding example of how business can put something creative back into the industry.

Research Brings Results Given a great deal of research and development testing the company has now come up with what they believe is a far superior product, carrying some vital advantages including:   n Tether points for extra safety on-site. n A rubber lined base to prevent handles on drills wearing away when dropped into the hook. n An almost unbreakable internal spring mechanism with secure and strong housing.

Listening To The Issues Charles Bruen, Director at ZZION Ltd told Scaffmag: “We listened to the issues that were being encountered and set about rectifying them. As retailers surely that’s what it’s all about? Offering the best possible product you can and putting your name to it? ZZION have a strong sourcing, manufacturing and retailing pedigree, actually beginning commercial life by importing racing car parts from the

the niggles and complaints from workers in the industry – outperforming other competing products on the UK market, the makers claim. Colin Moore, Director at ZZION Ltd said: “After three years of design, hard work and site testing, we feel we have produced a drill holder that will stand up to the daily abuse ‘tradies’ can throw at it. We feel we have produced a product offering value, unrivalled strength and protection.”

A Bright Future n Important belt loop modifications facilitating extra grip and reducing movement. n A much stronger latch with a stopper to eradicate movement when closed.

Consistent Performance The Rhino Hook™ performs outstan dingly on every level by addressing all

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ZZION have already had large a number of enquiries about The Rhino Hook™ and customer feedback has been excellent. The uptake is extremely promising. As we've reported in Scaffmag on many occasions recently, the bar for products is steadily rising – helping revolutionise both scaffolding and construction. The Rhino Hook™ is already racing to success..

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PRODUCTS

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PROJECT REPORTS

PROJECT REPORTS SLS SCAFFOLDING: P64 NTRix SCAFFOLDING: P67

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The Spiritual Art Of Scaffolding C

harismatic St Botolph’s Church in Boston – also known as the ‘Boston Stump’ – looks pretty spectacular at any time of year, especially from the air. It’s persona however, takes on a different yet fascinating front when lovingly wrapped in scaffolding. But this isn’t any old scaffolding. This is brilliantly designed modern access – created especially for a wonderfully historic construction, not only to keep it safe but also to aid vital restoration work. The team at Creator Scaffold Designs, based in Rotherham, was responsible for coming up with an ideal system to keep both workers on-site and this magnificent building completely safe. Every lift on the scaffold is fully boarded, and rises up 80m to the top lift, it makes for a fascinating vista. SLS Scaffolding Contracts Manager James Brown explained: “The project began for us in April 2017, when our Contracts Director and myself were asked to advise on access solutions for the original architect. From there we suggested our preferred scaffold designers ‘Creator Ltd’. They were asked to produce a set of working drawings for all scaffolds needed. We were lucky enough to win the contract late on in November 2018.

Finding Solutions “A ground scan was completed prior to work commencing showing areas of possible voids. The solution was to bridge the voids using steel joists both provided and fitted ourselves by the company. On-site work began in early December of last year. “One of the main challenges during the project was the lifting of materials. This was done in two ways. Firstly we

used a traditional rope and gin wheel to manually lift materials, and secondly a mechanical hoist within a purpose built hoisting bay. “Using the hoist meant we could reduce the number of operatives on site. The number did vary during the project but there were mainly six operatives during the higher phases, with less during the basing out phases. We built ourselves a purpose built loading bay at the foot of the scaffold where materials were lifted in place using a Hiab crane mounted lorry. The loading bay was another addition made by ourselves to the original design and this was encased by a five metre high steel hoarding for protection and security.”

Impressive Scaffolding SLS opted to use a traditional tube and fitting scaffold for the project which is 21m wide at the base, rising up 10 lifts to the first drop off where it becomes 15m wide for the next 20 lifts. Those remaining up to lift 38 are around 8m wide with a couple of no return splays at both sides. The internal protection deck is situated within the tower built out of a 200mm walkway using x-beams. This scaffold is approx. 28m above a café area closed during the temporary scaffold works. James added: “The internal lantern scaffold is situated above the belfry roof. This posed some design problems as the roof would not withstand the 8m x 8m x 11 lift scaffold needed to access the lantern roof and walls. “The original solution was to build out of the belfry, through the belfry roof and up to the lantern roof. After taking the contract we were asked if there was a method of scaffolding the

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lantern without altering the belfry roof enabling water tightness throughout the project.”

Belfry Solution “Our solution was to bridge the belfry from the external scaffold through the lantern windows down to the east elevation viewing platform some 8m below. This meant we would build a 20” wide four lift scaffold tower to catch the opposite end of beams – to tie the tower through louvres into the belfry. Creator Ltd were consulted on the method and new drawings were made to incorporate this. “We completed works on the 5th of April, including the external scaffold to the top of the church, an internal protection deck and a scaffold within the church lantern.” The whole project lead in conjunction with James Brown by scaffold supervisor Simon Wilkinson, was erected without damage to the external façade with no bolt holes or ties, or even any windows removed. Instead the original putlog holes were utilised, and where this wasn’t possible reveal type ties were used.

A Team Effort James told us: “We would like to thank and acknowledge Creator Scaffold design Ltd, for their help and co-operation throughout the project, we feel we have a strong relationship with them and look forward to working with them in the future. We’d also like to thank Stone Edge Ltd, especially their on-site manager Stuart Furnival for their first class assistance.” Thanks should go to Directors: Peter Churchill and Trevor Cook. And Scaffolders: James Brown, Simon Wilkinson, Daniel Jellis, David Forinton, Mark Diamond, Craig Dobinson, Mikey Luckham, Will Robinson, Liam Powell, Alex King, Brendon Pulford. SM.

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It’s Sun Up For Waterloo Mansions Thanks To NTRix Scaffolders N

ot far from the White Cliffs of Dover, you’ll find the magnificently elegant Grade 1 listed Waterloo Mansions. And there will certainly be blue skies over this wonderful construction soon, thanks to extensive renovation and visionary skill provided by an innovative scaffolding company. Waterloo mansions is a fully occupied working and residential building. And more than 25 NTRix scaffolders have been involved in a project erecting the buttress, gantry’s, kentledge, hoist, staircase and 1920m2 system roof.

An Important Brief The brief was for the “repair to balcony steelwork, railings and surface finish including associated repair and redecoration to surrounding façade with new breathable mineral based paint. Removal of bitumen balcony surface dressing and replacement, with a new tiled surface finish.” Once planning permission was granted by Dover District Council it was clear a specialist scaffold firm was required, and they didn’t have far to go. NTRix Scaffolding Ltd were appointed as main contractors for the enabling

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works access for inspections and tenders at the Grade 1 listed property.

Premier Company The company has become known as one of the UK’s premier providers of commercial scaffolding hire. In fact, they have Blue chip clients all across the country, including many around Putney, Wimbledon, Wandsworth and Battersea. Whenever anyone needs complex scaffolding to develop and deliver a project, their highly experienced team of commercial scaffolding hire specialists are always on hand to give free, no-ob-

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ligation advice. And this is one organisation who thrive on being able to deliver bespoke scaffolding solutions for even the most challenging of projects.

An Exciting Challenge NTRix Commercial Director Ricky Mackintosh told us: “From the outset this multimillion pound project required a large amount of time, review and reflection. The external envelope of the building isn’t quite as it seems, being of ‘local interest’ and recently upgraded in terms of ‘listing’ the conservation team providing consultation to the client, stipulating under no circumstances is the scaffolding to be tied to the building structure. “NTRix encouraged the client to involve early engagement with the design engineers Prime Scaffold Design (PSD), as the process of this design required innovative ideas, time and plenty of revisions to keep everybody happy.” There’s little doubt given the intricacies of creating a free standing temporary roof and all the complexities that brings, the result was truly outstanding. Managing Director Neil Rix added: “It’s been a fantastic project for NTRix and really has been a project I have enjoyed seeing going up safely, NTRix have scaffolded this building several times before but this is the first time a free standing temporary roof 26.00m high has ever been required. It’s great for NTRix as a company and great for the men as they have really enjoyed this one, keep up the good work guys very proud of this project!”

Dover Delight Jonathan Dryer Dover Port Projects manager was happy to sum everything up by adding: “The building is classified as a grade 1 structure and located within an architecturally significant area of the Dover seafront elevation. The requirement to gain access to under-

take detailed investigation and surveys commenced swiftly and NTRix were able to adapt to requirements not to undertake physical intervention with the structure, which restricted ties to the building façade. NTRix were able to absorb these requirements and reactive positively and creatively to find solutions to the site requirements and constraints. The scaffold team worked extremely well with the construction team to provide safe and reliable access

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to a difficult building. “It’s been a great project from the outset, and the proactive approach from NTRix on this project has been a breath of fresh air. We are in the final stages of renovation with a main contractor and we feel sure NTRix will continue to support them with all site operations.” No Waterloo sunset here – just a bright new dawn for a famous construction. SM.

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