ISSUE #7 2019
THE FUTURE OF SCAFFOLD DESIGN SKILLS SHORTAGE STRATEGIES
HOW TO GET OFFSHORE n OIL & GAS
ON THE rise
SCAFFOLD LIKE CLOCKWORK AT LEEDS TOWN HALL MENTAL HEALTH: SIMIAN’S 3 PEAKS CHALLENGE P38
Scaffold trainers’ 24-hour blitz of the highest peaks in the UK, in the name of mental health.
INNOVATION IS KEY TO SUCCESS P22 Want to deliver projects on time and to budget? Get innovatve.
GKR BUILD HIGHEST SCAFFOLD IN EUROPE P21 Sixty two floors high measuring 278m... this is extreme work at height.
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
SETTING THE STANDARD FOR SCAFFOLDING The NASC is the national trade body for access and scaffolding in the UK and has been setting the industry benchmark for nearly 80 years. Our full contracting members are among the best in the business, accounting for the vast majority of the UK’s scaffolding spend – with a total annual turnover in excess of £2 billion – and are independently audited every year. For demonstrably safe, skilled and compliant contractors it has to be NASC.
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Editorial Editor Daniel Norton T 01472 476024 M 07776 218831 E email@example.com Sub Editor Phil Royle T 07946 610193 E firstname.lastname@example.org Specialist Writer Andrew Kitley E email@example.com Reporter Grahame Anderson E firstname.lastname@example.org Feautures Writer Richard Trenchard E email@example.com
REGULARS 05 Editor’s Note Our man Dan has his say.
19 Training - CISRS LTC Training Services help CISRS South West expansion.
08 News Roundup BGB Scaffolding’s offshore growth, SIMIAN’s Ian Fyall retires, Europe’s highest scaffold & is there a recession coming?
21 Training - Women Overseas Safety & Access report on the reversal of male dominance in scaffolding careers abroad.
18 Trade Associations NASC goes global with its new international membership.
OPINION 22 Training Strategies Simple skills shortage strategies.
DESIGN 26 Tomorrow’s Scaffolding Solutions, Today Expert scaffold designers 48.3 look to the future of design. 31 New Scaffold Design Software Launched SMART Calculations effortlessly aids tube & fitting designs. SPOTLIGHT
42 MENTAL HEALTH
ADVERTISING Ad Manager Jessica Norton T 01472 476024 M 07776 218831 E firstname.lastname@example.org
32 Innovation Is Key To Success UKSSH’s use of innovation leads to another new product launch..
38 SIMIANS’S 3 Peaks Challenge An incredible 24-Hour charirty effort to raise funds for CALM.
DESIGN & PUBLISHING Royle Media T 07946 610193 E email@example.com
36 Cooperative Refurbishment Crossway Scaffolding build & brand-up a Manchester icon.
41 Scaffolding Association Partners Up With Charity Mates In Mind gets UK’s largest scaffold trade body backing.
CONTRIBUTORS 48.3 - Ben Beaumont AIS Training - David Adams Millcroft - Billy Jones SFS - James Gooder
FEATURES 42 How To Get Offshore Fancy challenging work & up to six months off each year.? 49 Offshore Scaffolding Boomtime The oil and gas scaffolding sector is booming – with 45% of operatives getting a rise in 2019.
HEALTH & SAFETY 52 Taking Design & Safety To New Heights How can Fall Arrest Systems work best for your working life? 55 MP’s Call For Action PROJECTS 58 IBN Scaffolding 60 Multiscaff 62 Ultimate Access Solutions
ISSUE 7 2019 | 03
04 | Spring 2019
EDITOR’S NOTE W
elcome to another instalment of our quarterly magazine, in this our seventh issue we have looked to base our main features on the offshore oil and gas sector of our industry. For many experienced scaffolders the idea of living and working in an offshore environment with the benefit of up to six months off every year, seems an attractive career option. However, how do you actually get to work offshore, and what training is required? David Adams, head of scaffolding at AIS Training gives us the low-down on what it takes (see page 42) And, It would seem getting work offshore wouldn’t be a problem according to Oil and Gas Job Search, as a recent survey showed employment and salaries in this vibrant sector is looking very positive (see page 49).
the future of scaffold design by integrating all aspects of temporary and permanent works design. But Is it a more time-effective, cost-effective and safe solution? (see page 26). With two construction workers taking their own life every working day the mental health crisis is something we all need to raise awareness on. We find out about SIMIAN’s epic 24 hour 3 peaks challenge in aid of the mental health and suicide prevention charity CALM (see page 38)
Also in this issue Our cover image this quarter shows the magnificent and iconic Leeds Town Hall in all its scaffolding glory. We caught up with IBN Scaffold Access Ltd to find out the challenges the firm faced while erecting this impressive structure in our featured project report (see page 58). We have also had some great contributions of content from industry leaders in this issue, Billy Jones Director of Millcroft shares his opinion on the scaffolding skills shortage and discusses the benefits of training in-house (see page 22). While 48.3 Managing Director, Ben Beaumont introduces
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Norton Founder & Editor ScaffMag
ISSUE 7 2019 | 05
Approved Training Provider
Z-8.22.64 and Z-8-22-64.1
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
Layher UK email@example.com www.layher.co.uk
The past, present and future of system scaffolding
Layher Ireland firstname.lastname@example.org
SCAFFOLDING company plans to double in size and continue making its name in the European offshore windfarm industry G
rowth. That’s the vision of Ben Badham, Managing Director of record-breaking North Wales firm, BGB Scaffolding. Previously a roofer and tower crane operator, Ben later became a trainee scaffolder and was named in the top three Apprentices of the Year at CITB National Construction College in Birmingham, before deciding to set up on his own in 2007. It was just Ben, a labourer and a van, with a shipping container for storage, yet he grew and grew the organisation through word of mouth and by building a solid reputation for quality and safety. His enthusiasm and knowledge also played a major part in their initial success, and a passionate approach to all projects. Twelve years on and based in Kinmel Bay, BGB Scaffolding employs 26 people, 18 of which are GWO (Global Wind Organisation) and HUET (Helicopter Underwater Escape Training) qualified. The business has also become an international player having signed major contracts with Orsted (the global leader in offshore wind) to supply and erect scaffolding on the world’s two largest windfarms – Walney Extension off Barrow-in-Furness, and Hornsea One off the east coast of Yorkshire. This has secured their place among the UK’s major players, and they look
set to grow even further after opening a new office and yard space on Grimsby Docks in Humberside – the world hub for green energy – along with associates Offshore Painting Services. The 38-year-old, originally from Rhyl, says BGB Scaffolding is on an upward trajectory and expects that to continue, but never at the expense of the health and safety of his employees, in what he admits can be a challenging job. “I think how seriously we take safety is vital as it is important to know we have done everything within our power to ensure colleagues arrive to work and get home safe each and every day, ensuring that we are working to our industry best practices and also that we as a company are fully aware of our duties under the Construction
Design and Management Regulations (2015),” said Ben. “Within the company we continue to professionally develop our work force and safety is paramount to all of this; some of the training courses completed by our team includes NEBOSH in Construction, IOSH Managing Safely and Site Management Safety Training Scheme, to name just a few. “This has enabled us to enhance our safety culture within the workforce and ensures our clients are supported by a professional contractor.” He added: “I was only 25 when I started the company but from day one the ethos was the same, to always develop and learn and to stay ahead of the curve. “As with any trade within construction, scaffolding can be a very
8 | ISSUE 7 2019
PREVENTING DROPPED OBJECTS
Leach’s work with many scaffolding contractors to help in solving dropped object instances and are privileged to have many products specified for use offshore. Please contact Leach’s today to discuss any requirements on 01432 346800 | email@example.com
dangerous industry if work is not planned and coordinated correctly, then mistakes and incidents happen, especially when we are working on offshore platforms in difficult weather and an ever-changing environment.” Despite these pitfalls, since BGB started recording its working persons hours three and a half years ago, they have amassed a staggering 175,000 person hours without a single lost time injury. The company’s profile as a leader in its field has also seen them write their name in the record books as the first company to ever erect scaffolding on a floating wind turbine, and the first to ever work on four platforms simultaneously on the same project in UK waters, on Hornsea Offshore Windfarm Project One. An innovative approach is what sets them apart – inland or offshore – using the latest technology to plan where scaffolding and materials will be placed before even visiting the site. “Companies using the correct technical guidelines have made the biggest strides. We can map out the whole project from our computers here in the office and pre-design every job we do. You shouldn’t really be erecting any scaffolding up without design, but sadly there is still a vast majority of firms who are working outside these practices, which is an archaic mentality,” said Ben. With the UK Government pledging 30% of green electricity will be provided by offshore energy by 2030, lots more windfarms are to be built. While BGB continues to acquire contracts on home soil, including St Bueno’s spiritualist retreat in Tremeirchion and a new build housing estate and office blocks in Tattenhall and a solar panel project throughout North Wales and the North-West, he is confident a blend of onshore and offshore
schemes will sustain and push the business onto even greater things. Next up is completion of their ISO accreditation and further professional development of his workforce, notably in health and safety and within our industry, and cementing their place among the giants of the sector. “The future is green, so I envisage more work offshore while focusing on both sides of the firm,” said Ben. “Our ultimate vision is to at least double the size of the business and our workforce in the next five years, opening the Grimsby site and looking at more work in Europe. We already cover all areas within the UK, Belgium, Denmark, and Germany, but have plans to reach further afield.” He added: “When I started out, I never dreamt it would be like this, working with such huge organisations and employing so many people, but I always wanted it to be a success. “Doing so means we have witnessed first-hand how to grow and raise our profile, and as a result we have just introduced an internal App so our teams can complete and update risk assessments, method statements, inspections and more key aspects required for scaffolding.”
As a new dad with a young daughter, Ben revealed it can be tough being away for several days or weeks at a time, but with the support of his family he has been able to continue to commit himself to building up a client base while focusing on company growth. “As well as my family, I must thank Dave Abraham and Jen Wood from Fulcrum Scaffolding Safety and Training Ltd, who’ve been a huge help and resource for all our training, policies and procedures and guidance,” he said. “And thank you to all of our staff, who take pride in their work and have enabled BGB to provide a service of the highest standard to UK and Europe. Without them buying into our safety-first ethos then none of this would be achievable.” Ben added: “It’s good to take a step back and look at where you’ve been and where you’re going. When you’re busy you don’t always take time to reflect, your aspirations just grow steadily in line with the work and the people you work with, and that’s helped us to get to this position – long may that continue.” For more information on BGB Scaffolding, visit the website: www.bgbscaffolding.co.uk
10 | ISSUE 7 2019
Scottish scaffold firm moves to Layher with £1M investment
JR Group Solutions has switched to become an exclusive user of the Layher system scaffolding on all aspects of their contracting and erection business. MJR Group Solutions Ltd, based in Kilmarnock, Scotland has seen significant growth over the last few months and has already invested around £250,000, in Layher with a further £750,000 planned within six months. Founded in 2017 by Managing Director, Ryan Orr, MJR Group Solutions has grown to have strong relationships
with some of the largest housing contractors in Scotland and the UK. Ryan said, “We want to provide our clients the best possible service and solutions that are available, and after extensive market research and testing, we were left with a clear leader in Layher. Our scaffolders absolutely love working with the Layher product due to the lighter weights and speed it goes up. The clients equally appreciate the quality and appearance of the product. It really has been a great move for our business.”
Brogan Group bags scaffold package on former Fulham Gas Works
ccess firm Brogan Group has been awarded the scaffold package on a former gas works in Fulham. Nearly 2,000 new homes will be built on the site in a series of high rise towers of up to 37 storeys. The project also includes leisure facilities and commercial space. Brogan Group will be providing a tempory roof encapsulated scaffold to two heritage buildings on the site that has been renamed Kings Road Park. Scaffolders from the firm will erect scaffolding for the protection and security of the buildings. “We have been asked to wrap two of the listed buildings in scaffolding to protect them from deterioration until our client is ready to begin work on them”, says Brogan Group. “We will be using Cuplok System scaffold around the façade of these buildings and corrugated steel sheets for the temporary roofs. “One structure will be Buttress as it cannot be fixed to the building, while the other structure will be fixed. We will also be building a hoist landing platform into the scaffold to allow for hoists to be added to the package at a later date.”
NEWS IN BRIEF
Simian’s Director Retires A founder Director of the international scaffolding training firm Simian has retired at 55. Simian’s founder Directors Ian Fyall and Simon Hughes established the company in 2005.Their names combined created the business name SIMIAN and has become a leading international scaffolding and work at height safety consultancy and training provider. Ian has spent a lifetime in the industry and has made the decision to retire from the UK business to take on new challenges both in the UK and abroad.’
Scaffolder Seriously Injured After Fall In London A scaffolder received multiple broken bones after a fall from height in London’s West End. On Friday 16 August Emergency services were called to Denmark Street, London after reports of a man had fallen around 30ft to 50ft from scaffolding on a construction site.The London Ambulance Service and Fire Brigade attended the scene near Tottenham Court Road tube station. London’s Air Ambulance was also dispatched
ISSUE 7 2019 | 11
Highest Scaffold In Europe
London-based GKR Scaffolding has successfully completed the build of what is currently the highest scaffolding in Europe on the construction of the UK’s second highest skyscraper.
onstruction of 22 Bishopsgate in the heart of the City of London, will complete this year. And GKR Scaffolding has been working with principal contractor, Multiplex, at every phase of its construction. Now, 62 floors high, measuring 278m (912ft), GKR are currently supplying scaffolding to access the top ring beam, roof steels and façade brackets to be welded on level 61 and 62 After GKR successfully developed safe methods for working at extreme height when working on The Shard, these operational processes are now industry standard and applied to the work at 22 Bishopsgate.
Located in the busy financial district, the challenge at this height is to guarantee the safety of the general public below – as well as those working on the project. Additionally, weather conditions and restrictions from the Civil Aviation Authority at this height needed to be taken into account. GKR’s 100% tethering methodology using the Elimin8 tethered fitting may be time-consuming, but was necessary during the construction. All materials and tools were fully tethered until secured, minimising the risk of falling objects. The scaffolding also had to withstand turbulent weather with wind
speeds up to four times stronger than on the ground. GKR Project Manager, Vincent Turner has led the programme of works without incident. He said: “Our experience is in complex and high risk works, and we have the right calibre of operatives to safely deliver a project at this level. Working at the upper levels has to be painstaking, but when the client can see not only an incident free job, but also the quality of work that is delivered despite the constraints of the environment, it’s work that we are proud to deliver.” Peter Cullen, GKR Health & Safety Director added: “Due to the processes we have developed for working at height on these specialist projects, we have zero incidents due to the use of Elimin8 tethered fittings and 100% tethering policy. Our operatives are trained to perceive the risks in this environment and work to mitigate them. When we developed these processes for The Shard, many in the industry thought they were damaging to our sector as they impacted on our pace of works operationally. However, as the number of high rise, higher risk construction projects in London has grown, these process have become industry standard and benefitted the safety and reputation of the scaffolding industry as a whole.” The finished building will house a gym and wellness centre, London’s biggest bike park, a market, viewing gallery and event space. As well as restaurants and bars there will be 1.275 million sq. ft of high specification office zones.
12 | ISSUE 7 2019
Fears Of Construction Recession Looming Large
ew orders in the construction industry saw their biggest drop in a decade last month. In fact, August saw output across the sector drop for a fourth successive month, according to the latest monthly survey of purchasing managers. They believe the data both points to possible recession, and the lowest optimism from key players since the crash of 2008. Commercial work was again noted as the worst performing area of activity, with survey respondents citing delayed decision-making among clients in response to domestic political uncertainty. At the same time, construction firms indicated business expectations for the year ahead weakened sharply since July . Lower volumes of construction output were attributed to worsening order books and a lack of new projects to replace completed contracts. All three broad categories of construction work decreased in August, led by commercial building. Even house-building fell slightly, with its rate of decline the least marked since the downturn began in June. Tim Moore, economics associate director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey, said: “Domestic political uncertainty continued to hold back the UK construction sector in August, with survey respondents indicating that delays to spending decisions had contributed to the sharpest fall new work for over 10 years.” Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, which sponsors the survey, added: “As Brexit creeps closer and confusion still reigns, this will undoubtedly heap more pressure on the UK government to create much-needed clarity in the market. The commercial sector particularly has been devastated
by reluctant clients fearful of taking a wrong turn in a confusing landscape and delaying project starts, resulting in the fastest drop in new orders since March 2009.” Jonathan White, UK head of infrastructure, building and construction at KPMG, said: “Another consecutive month of declining outputs paints a bleak picture of the sector. “It’s likely we’re going to see a muted pipeline of projects until we have a clearer vision on what the country’s economic and political future will look like, given some large-scale plans are
being halted, preventing shovels from going in the ground. “There is still a pool of eager investors and demand for new work, but it’s currently a case of hanging fire until the mist clears. “Only then, when people feel more sure about the months ahead, will we see some momentum build.” On a positive note, this serious loss in momentum has not affected employment trends. Market experts say this might have a lot to do with the ‘Builder Brexodus’ of EU workers heading home.
ISSUE 7 2019 | 13
Enigma Industrial Services have been providing Access & Industrial solutions throughout the UK since 1935. We offer a full range of Services that can be delivered individually or integrated as multi disciplined packages for new build, refurbishment, project, outage and maintenance contracts.
The services we provide range across; Contract Scaffolding, Thermal Insulations, Protective coatings, Scaffold Hire & Sales and Industrial Cleaning. Affording the very best support to our clients, we drive quality and safe delivery of a high standard of service.
We are an industry leader in the provisions of scaffolding services with one of the UK’s largest scaffold asset bases comprising of; Traditional Tube & Fitting, KwikStage, HAKI and K2 systems. Our branch network is never far away with 14 fixed locations across the U.K.
Our sector experience is significant and we are proud to be working across: Agrochemical, Construction, Energy & Power, House Build, Industrial Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Pharmaceutical, Petrochemical and Food & Beverage Production
Visit us at: www.enigma-is.com Or call on: 01925294970 ‘Let Enigma raise the standard with you on Health & Safety, Quality, Excellence, Innovation and Collaboration’
Scaffolders call off strike on Drax
caffolders on the iconic Drax Power station in West Yorkshire have cancelled their strike action. The 29 workers from Altrad-Hertel who are members of Unite the union have reached an agreement with their employers. The dispute was over Altrad-Hertel’s apparent refusal to register the workers under the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction Industry (NAECI). The series of 24-hour strikes were set to take place during a maintenance shutdown on Drax throughout September. This period would have had major financial consequences for Drax’s operators. However, following fresh negotiations, Altrad-Hertel has agreed to the register the scaffolders under the NAECI agreement from 1 November 2019.
Unite regional officer Chris Weldon said: “Unite is very pleased that this dispute has been resolved through negotiations and strike action has been avoided. “If strike action had occurred it would have caused major disruption at the Drax power station. “Now that an agreement has been reached, Unite hopes that we can develop a far stronger relationship with Altrad-Hertel, during periods of shutdown and standard repair and maintenance work at the power station.” Originally, Unite had called for two 24-hour strikes, on the 5th and 12th September, with continous strike action to be commenced from 18th September. Workers were also set to form picket lines at entrances.
NEWS IN BRIEF
Enigma Industrial Services invests ANOTHER £2M in HAKI SCAFFOLDING Industrial service access provider, Enigma Industrial Services Ltd has purchased a further £2million of HAKI Universal scaffolding, for forthcoming large-scale projects across the UK. The first phase of the order, valued at £1.4million, was supplied to Enigma during May and June, with the remaining £600k delivered in July and August, according to project timelines.
GET THE LATEST NEWS Read the latest industry news at >> www.scaffmag.com
Scaffolders set to tee off at Charity Golf Day S
CP Group UK are holding a Golfer Of The Year event and are inviting scaffolders from across the industry to join them. The event is taking place on 1st October 2019 at the world-famous Belfy Golf Complex, a former venue of the Ryder Cup. The event aims to crown the first ‘Scaffolder’s Golfer Of The Year’ with prizes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place. There will be special prizes for nearest to the pin, longest drive, along with many others. On the day participants will be supplied with breakfast, 18 holes of golf, and a prize presentation followed by a buffet dinner. Entry is entirely free and applications can be found online at: https://www.forgeco.co.uk/golf-day-2019
‘Culturally Appropriate’ PPE Now On Offer BCS Group has launched a range of culturally appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) designed to support religious diversity, in what it claims is a UK first. BCS Group which is a subsidiary of Civil Engineering firm Barhale says the collection of workwear, is recognition of the fact that women now make up 14% of the construction workforce. The new PPE includes culturally-appropriate tunics made to allow women of all religions to feel comfortable at work.The company has also created maternity wear designed to reflect the physiological changes women undergo during pregnancy.
ISSUE 7 2019 | 15
SCAFFOLDING TITLE FIGHT
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%BO4VMMJWBO %JSFDUPSBU1SP4DBGGPMEJOH4PVUI8FTU, came to Approved Business Finance as his business was going through a period of growth and wanted to restructure a current finance agreement, as well as secure further equipment. Scaffolding businesses often hire equipment, which can prove expensive. Approved refinanced DanÊ¼s current hire agreement to a purchase agreement, which means he will now own the equipment outright. This was at a monthly repayment which was half of the original amount thus enabling the business to facilitate a number of bigger projects.
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Trade Body Offers International Membership
he National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has launched an international information membership category in response to a growing demand from firms based overseas.
The scaffolding trade body has said the new category recently launched is open to any non-contracting scaffolding industry organisation trading outside of the UK. The new category is open to train-
ing providers, health and safety consultants, scaffold designers, insurers and other service providers to the access and scaffolding industry. Robin James, NASC Managing Director, said: “In recent years we have found that more and more businesses involved in the scaffolding industry overseas have been looking to forge closer relationships with the NASC and enjoy the wide range of benefits already afforded to their UK-based counterparts through the NASC Information Membership. “We are delighted to address this demand and look forward to welcoming international information members from across the globe into the NASC fold.”
GET THE LATEST NEWS Read the latest industry news at >> www.scaffmag.com
Safe Scaffolding Charter T he NASC has launched a Safe Scaffolding Charter to recognise the ever-growing number of organisations that place NASC membership at the heart of their scaffolding contractor procurement policies. The Charter is open to any organisation that has specified ‘NASConly’ in their scaffolding-related tender documents and/or has had an established commercial relationship with a full NASC member for at least a year. Signatories already include Nuclear New Build Generation – the company behind the development
and eventual operation of Hinkley Point C – construction specialists DE Construct and principal contractors Knight Harwood. These organisations are featured on the NASC website’s dedicated Safe Scaffolding Charter webpage. Robin James, NASC Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to launch our Safe Scaffolding Charter. We feel it’s incredibly important to celebrate the various organisations that recognise the value of specifying NASC-only for their scaffolding requirements. “Signatories clearly understand that NASC members are demonstrably
safe, compliant and independently audited every year to ensure the high standards demanded in order to gain NASC full-contracting membership are maintained. “They also understand how this benefits their business; including the reassurance and peace of mind gained by using experienced and expert scaffolding contractors.”
18 | ISSUE 7 2019
CISRS Training Expanded In South West C ISRS training in the South West has been boosted following investment by LTC Training Services. The training provider has expanded its Plymouth training centre, enabling the firm to convert old offices into three extra training rooms. These facilities have already played host to CPD, COTS, Basic and Inspection courses. LTC Training Services Ltd’s Managing Director Neil Gray has said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the new facilities at our Plymouth Training Centre and are now exploring the option of expanding the practical training area. This is further evidence that LTC is
continuing to invest for the future.” The company has also added CPD to the range of courses delivered at their depot in Cullompton and employed an additional CISRS Instructor to help meet increased demand for training in the South West region. Following a recent accreditation visit to LTC’s Plymouth facility, Trevor Donoghue, CISRS Auditor, said: “LTC has obviously made significant investments in their facilities in Devon. The training delivery at the centre has always been of a very high standard, the specification to which they have fitted out the new classrooms and meeting areas are
now equally impressive. “It is really positive to see CISRS providers looking to develop their centres increasing capacity whilst improving the training delegates experience.”
GET THE LATEST NEWS Read the latest industry news at >> www.scaffmag.com
ISSUE 7 2019 | 19
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The increasing role of women in scaffolding overseas
ollowing on from the positive recent ScaffMag news that UK women are becoming more involved in historically male-dominated roles – like scaffolding – it is encouraging to see that UK and overseas training firm, Safety & Access have seen similar trends occurring internationally. During a recent visit to South Korea to deliver CISRS Overseas Training. Safety & Access instructor, John Hall was delighted to welcome Ms Aekyoung Jung, who is employed by Samsung Heavy Industries at their huge shipbuilding facility at Geoje on the south of the island. In a rapidly advancing career, Ms Jung has attended her CISRS OSTS Level1 (in 2017) and has gone on to attend her CISRS OSTS Level 2, CISTS OSTS Basic Scaffolding Inspection and has now passed her CISRS OSTS Advanced Scaffolding Inspection, via
Safety & Access training. Join MD, Rick Statham said: “It is great to see women involved in scaffolding at all stages – from the practical side, operational aspects, planning, logistics and safety inspection. In the Far East there has been a growing trend of women attending practical scaffolding courses with us and we are delighted to have been able to support this.”
ISSUE 7 2019 | 21
Training Strategies to Ease the Scaffolding Skills Shortage Billy Jones, director at Millcroft, discusses the benefits of training in-house 22 | ISSUE 7 2019
ensure a sustainable industry thatâ€™s able to replace retiring professionals with new skills and experience.
or anyone working in any element of the construction industry, it feels like weâ€™ve been discussing skills shortages for decades. But with an ageing skilled workforce and a lack of investment in training down the years, the issue is now at a crisis level. Scaffolding is one of the industryâ€™s most acutely affected by the skills gap, with the unpalatable accolade of ranking within the top five sectors in the UK for skills shortages. The physical demands of the job mean that we can-
not rely on older, more experienced members of the site team indefinitely, and our over-reliance on skilled migrant workers from the EU is likely to be untenable after Brexit, as some of our current imported skills base is likely to return home and we can expect fewer migrant workers to join the pool of potential talent in the future. These factors add up to a constant need to bring new skills into the industry and create a pipeline of trained scaffolders at all levels. Only then can we
Developing a skilled workforce is a challenging task, even for a company like Millcroft that has a 40-year track record of training a retained team of scaffolders, providing opportunities for continued training and career development and promoting from within. Firstly, the sector has an image problem, widespread across construction disciplines, that makes recruitment of young people difficult. The physical demands of the job are not a natural choice for many school leavers, but it is important that we promote the diversity of roles and attract a diversity of candidates by highlighting the opportunities for career development and offering a varied and credible training journey. At Millcroft, our strategy has always been to recruit people who are looking for a career in scaffolding, not simply a job. In that way, we bring people onto the team who want to be part of our culture of taking pride in what we do and offering a best practice approach. Our emphasis on training and in-house career development also helps with staff retention and, as competition for skilled scaffolding professionals continues to grow, we believe investment in training will be an increasingly important differentiator. The other key challenge is the crisis in apprenticeship funding in the scaffolding industry. Plans for apprenticeship funding for non-apprenticeship levy paying scaffolding companies have been put on hold by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) until at least March 2020, which means that most companies in the sector have to fund any training requirements entirely on their own. Industry-wide, this has dis-incentivised companies from recruitment
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NEW HEIGHTS #FUTURO
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through apprenticeships, which affects the pipeline of new talent coming into the sector for us all.
Taking Training in Hand In-House At Millcroft, we specialise in more complex and demanding scaffolding projects, including jobs in challenging sectors such as rail and heritage refurbishment, so having a higher proportion of advanced scaffolders on the team is central to our business model and the service we can offer clients. For us, having a retained team and an in-house training facility not only means that we have the right mix of skills to answer the needs of our projects and our clients, but it also means that we are in control of the quality and frequency of the training our staff receive, which extends much further than core scaffolding skills and qualifications. From a business model perspective, this makes Millcroft more resilient to skills shortages and the threat of increased skills challenges in the future. Recruitment of the right calibre of candidates with the right attitude and workplace behaviours is never an easy task but developing our people in-house means that we’re confident of the real skills and experience they have and are less vulnerable to the wage inflation that happens as a consequence of a competitive recruitment market. These were all factors in our decision to invest in a dedicated training centre, which provides facilities for both classroom learning and practical training across all disciplines, including scaffolding installation and scaffolding design. Carrying out training in-house not only enables us to control the frequency and quality of training, it also enables us to ensure inter-disciplinary competencies from our team, which benefits both the company and every individual member of staff by ensuring everyone
“The physical demands of the job are not a natural choice for school leavers. It’s imptortant we promote the diversity of roles.” understands their role in the success of a project. Some companies might consider our team to be top-heavy with senior scaffolders but, for Millcroft, that advanced skill set is not only integral to delivering the types of projects we attract but it is also a natural progression for people who are loyal to the company. Career development plans can be flexible to suit the needs of the individual and the company and the scheduling of training time can also be managed around the demands of our active sites and site-based training and testing. The advanced skills within the business also provide a valuable resource for sharing skills and experience with newer recruits too.
Core Competency and Beyond Our in-house training facilities allow us to begin the training process with our own team from the very first day a new recruit starts with the company. We run our own health and safety
competency course to prepare new recruits to apply for their CISRS card and begin their career and on the job training. Safety training is then one of the core disciplines taught in our training facility both for our own team throughout their career and as a service we offer to clients. In addition to regular health & safety training up-dates, we provide a number of safety courses, including asbestos awareness, manual handling and abrasive wheel training. We also train our own fire marshals, first aiders, and mental health champions. As our site-based members of staff rise through the ranks, we also upgrade their safety training. Both site managers and site supervisors undergo relevant CITB Site Safety Plus training along with CITB Achievement & Behaviour Change training and our site supervisors receive risk assessment training. Because training is so fundamental to our business strategy and we have the training facility available for use, we also go beyond mandatory health and safety training requirements and core competencies with additional courses that support the wellbeing of the team and contribute to business continuity for the company. These courses include substance abuse and mental health awareness training, which are designed to ensure that our teams recognise the risks and warning signs in themselves and others.
Compliance and Continuity Ultimately, every company has an obligation to ensure all members of their team are competent and compliant with current health & safety legislation. For Millcroft, the benefits of an in-house training facility and commitment goes beyond compliance to ensure we have continuity in our team and consistency of quality project delivery. SM
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48.3 and Mercer Scaffolding working collaboratively with an intergrated design approach. Edwardian Hotel, Leicester Square, London. 26 | ISSUE 7 2019
Tomorrow’s scaffolding solutions, today. 48.3 is driving the evolution of scaffolding by integrating all aspects of temporary and permanent works design, which results in a much more time-effective, cost-effective and safe solution. 48.3 Managing Director, Ben Beaumont, proudly introduces the future of scaffolding.
lbert Einstein once stated that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This is exactly the case when it comes to processes and procedures in the temporary works sector of the construction industry as we know it today. We are continuously going through the process of instructing scaffolding contractors without considering the scaffolding design, or designing scaffolding without taking into consideration any other temporary works, and continuing to the end of the scaffolding part of a construction project without taking a step back and considering the bigger picture (i.e. the permanent works and surrounding interfaces). The process is arduous and generally unsatisfactory, and yet the industry continues to work this way.
The need for change Scaffolding is often the first thing people need, and the last thing people think of. The result? A round-the-houses solution which usually ends up incorporating multiple aspects of temporary works. This has more risk due to the combination of said temporary works, increased miscommunication between
all the different interfaces (the strife of a Temporary Works Coordinator) and, ultimately, unbelievably high contract growth (I’m talking 75-80%). Seems ludicrous – and yet on it continues. Why? There’s potentially an element of habit and tradition (i.e. that’s how it’s always been done) and probably something to do with the principal contractor not necessarily knowing what they will ultimately need (scaffolding is a skilled niche after all). But with the update of BS 5975 published in May this year, this code of best practice has significantly updated its Section Two on the procedural control of all temporary works and how all involved parties should operate their procedures.
The first step to change The first step in 48.3’s evolution came to fruition around two years ago, with the introduction of its commercial and management services offering. This provides principal contractors and tier 1/2 sub-contractors with an effective scaffolding procurement strategy, where we take full responsibility for scaffolding and access requirements. As mentioned earlier, the ‘usual’ process of scaffolding design is to incorporate the design re-
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48.3 and Mercer Scaffolding working collaboratively with an intergrated design approach. Edwardian Hotel, Leicester Square, London. quirements into the scaffolding contractor’s package. There’s no upfront design as is expected with other temporary works. A scaffolder’s scope of works is understandably focused on the scaffolding, therefore other temporary works or permanent works are not usually considered. This culminates in the Temporary Works Coordinator needing to manage the integration of multiple interfaces, designs and design checks. It’s a chaotic approach which becomes very consuming of time, cost and resource. We have been encouraging principal contractors to remove design from the scaffolding package, to make design an up-front requirement of a scaffolding project and to improve the visibility and understanding of a project (i.e. how much it will cost and how long it will take). It’s a shift in habitual behaviour, but ultimately, it provides more time and more opportunity to provide a much better scaffolding solution in a much safer way.
Integrated design services In July, 48.3 announced that it has joined the Richter Associates group of companies. The combination of scaffolding and access design expertise from 48.3 and Richter’s civil, structural and geotechnical know-how means that there is now a provider of fully-integrated design services to the industry. The benefits that this brings to principal contractors and scaffolding contractors are extensive. Being able to provide principal contractors with a full circle design service, which includes both temporary and permanent design from one team, means that all requirements from the start to the finish of a construction project are considered at the very beginning. It removes the need for multiple contracts and removes any conflict of interest or miscommunication. For example, instead of scaffolding being designed on a concrete slab that requires backpropping, we’ll consider how
to reinforce the slab more effectively (permanent works) so it can safely support the scaffolding without the requirement for additional temporary works (the backpropping). We can consider all requirements to create a much more cost and time effective solution. If it is decided the backpropping is the best solution, then we design that too, along with checking the ground and foundations. We want to put an end to “design by others” or “design by principal contractor” notes on the drawing. That way, it is as simple and easy to manage for the TWC (temporary works co-ordinator) as possible. We recently presented our proposition to a principal contractor, who spends £10 million a year on scaffolding (with an average contract growth of 74%). By managing their scaffolding packages from tender stage and providing an integrated design service, thoroughly planning and establishing what is actually needed, taking into account the
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requirements of both the temporary and permanent works, we committed to reducing their average contract growth to around 35% (an annual saving of £2 million). No changes to what they need to do, no revision of any internal procedure – just a pure saving. Even more importantly is the positive effect this approach has on safety. ‘Slips, trips and falls from the same height’ and ‘working at height’ are two of the most frequent causes of accidents. Scaffolding, or working from scaffolding, is a significant contributor to both categories. Our approach to scaffolding design and management means that we provide the right solution, the first time, with scaffolding going up and down once, and with few unplanned modifications or updates. The reduction that this has on Accident Frequency Rates is fantastic, which drives us even more to transition the industry into well-managed procurement and planning combined with an integrated design mindset. For scaffolding contractors, the benefits of an integrated approach are also significant. Whilst the scaffolding contractor doesn’t have to take any more responsibility than they typically would now, the responsibility of the surrounding interfaces is taken by 48.3. For example, 48.3 will design the scaffold as per the scaffolding contractor’s requirements to satisfy the design brief, but then also check the ground (or any supporting structure) upon which it is standing and if necessary, design suitable footings and foundations. 48.3 will check the structure to which the scaffold is tied, both locally and globally, under the temporary load case imposed by the scaffold. We can include all aspects of civil, structural or geotechnical design. All other things being equal, this will give a scaffolding contractor a significant competitive advantage over rivals in tender; significantly easier and
more straight-forward design delivery and temporary works management for the principal contractor.
The future of scaffolding One of our fundamental values at 48.3 is ‘See the finished structure before you start.’ This means planning, vision, direction, understanding, reverse engineering and foresight. All of these components are what makes our integrated design approach a success. Incorporating temporary works and permanent works all into the original, up-front design ensures no unnecessary integration requirements of multiple temporary
works, safer working environments due to thorough planning and considerable saving of time, cost and resource. It gives scaffolding contractors quite the competitive edge and equips principal contractors in a unique way. It is the future of scaffolding design, driven by 48.3. Towards the end of 2019, the Temporary Works Forum will be releasing ‘The Management of Scaffolding’ - a guidance document on how to satisfy the procedural management requirements of the updated BS 5975. Ben Beaumont of 48.3 is convenor of the working group creating this. SM
48.3 and Mercer Scaffolding working collaboratively with an intergrated design approach. Edwardian Hotel, Leicester Square, London.
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CHANGING OUR WORLD #STRENGTHINOURNUMBERS
SMART Scaffolder launches new scaffold design software TG20:13 co-authors, SMART Scaffolder has just launched SMART Calculations – designed to make tube and fitting design work super simple, avoiding complex inputs or training.
MART Calculations is a brand-new desktop software package that allows the rapid calculation of leg loads, tie duty and bridge beam checks for tube and fitting independent scaffolding as well as the TG20:13 wind factor for sites in the UK and Ireland. It can be easily used by any competent person with an understanding of TG20:13 and requires no specialist engineering knowledge as it avoids complex inputs.
Go beyond TG20:13 SMART Calculations goes beyond TG20:13 and can be used on its own or as an ideal companion to SMART Estimator Check IT TG20:13 or the NASC TG20:13 eGuide when a client needs calculations or drawings.
Bridge beams The software checks scaffold bridges of up to 20m span including: moment and shear capacity, deflection, coupler slip and standard capacity, with an option to double the standards. The user can define their own beam or pick from a library of the most popular.
Leg loads and tie duties Leg loads are calculated precisely and include lateral loads such as the wind. Unlike the eGuide, which conservatively treats the scaffold as fully boarded, the leg loads allow for the number of
boarded lifts and can be supplied to the client to check the foundations. The tie duties are also calculated exactly and the reduced loads can allow you to use fewer ties where permitted by TG20. These optimised loads will also make it more likely that your proof tests (sometimes known as pull tests) will pass in accordance with TG4. Ian Chambers, SMART Scaffolder Sales & Marketing Director, said: “As the authors of TG20:13 and the NASC’s
eGuide we have considerable expertise and experience when it comes to scaffold design. We have used this knowledge to create a simple to use interface to produce detailed reports, including calculations and drawings, that contractors often require. SMART Calculations will save scaffolders time and money whilst optimising the scaffold design for safety.” For more information please visit www.smartscaffolder.com SM
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UK System Scaffold Hire
Innovation is the key to success O
ne important element of successful scaffold contracting is the ability to adapt: No matter how well you plan a job there are often ‘unexpected challenges’ such as moving deadlines and accommodating changing needs of following trades. As the country’s leading system scaffold hire specialists, UKSSH concentrates on providing a service that is specifically designed to reduce the ‘unknowns’ to a minimum – helping customers to deliver projects on time and within budget. It’s a process that often starts at the very beginning of the planning/design
stage where UK System Scaffold Hire’s unrivalled experience comes in to play in finding the most efficient solutions. “We don’t claim to be supermen,” explains MD Gary Griffiths, “but the truth is that the team at UKSSH has collectively spent over 200 years working with HAKI systems on all kinds of projects around the world. “This experience means we can bring an entirely new perspective to many of the excellent scaffold designers who are charged with the task of proposing the most effective solutions”. Gary continues: “It is vital that designers fully understand the capabilities of
our systems and we don’t take it for granted that everyone does”. “Often it is a combination of our experience with the designers’ technical abilities that helps to arrive at the optimum solution.” UKSSH say it’s a matter of having the opportunity to get involved from the outset that allows the “UKSSH knowhow” to come in to play. And once all parties are satisfied with the concept, UKSSH often prepares a trial erection of the scheme at its’ Chesterfield HQ to ensure that everything is deliverable in terms of safe systems of work, buildability, time scales etc. This enables
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UKSSH to ‘take the drawings off the page’ and test them out – a vital experience for all concerned. The same trial structure provides an important training platform for site operatives prior to work commencing. Ongoing site support is also central to UKSSH’s commitment. Gary proudly claims to have the most experienced team of HAKI experts in the country, if not the world, and even the industry’s most seasoned professionals appreciate what his organisation can bring to a project. This team has just been strengthened by the arrival of Steve Huntley who
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adds 20-plus years’ experience.
Why didn’t I think of that? UKSSH’s Gary Griffiths says the art of planning future projects is also the ability to analyse those jobs that have gone before: “UKSSH may boast an impressive stock of genuine HAKI components (here Gary emphasises the word ‘genuine’ – as he’s a passionate advocate that traceability is a vital and largely ignored consideration in ensuring the highest safety standards) and we may be immensely proud of our product knowledge, but we are always on the
lookout to develop our own specialist products to enhance the HAKI range.” Such drive for continual improvement has resulted in the recent launch of one new product and the imminent launch of another. The UKSSH SECURITY GATE SYSTEM is one of those ideas that is seemingly so obvious that you may well ask why no one had thought of it before! Designed to control access to all types of HAKI site stair towers, the security gate system is quick, easy and safe to install on all HAKI site stair towers whether they have staggered or in-line
standards or are the new Mk2 stairs. The UKSSH security gate system is equally effective on HAKI’s sector-leading Public Access Stairs (PAS). The product provides a totally enclosed security system, lockable from both sides of the gate and features cladding panels which can accommodate signage and advertising. Extremely robust, UK System Scaffold Hire’s security gate system provides the perfect security solution when site staircases are accessed from pavements and other areas that are used by the public and provide event organisers with a cost effective way to ensure that Public Access Staircases (PAS) and HAKI Bridge System (HBS) can only be used by visitors during public opening times. It’s such a neat solution that you really wonder why scaffold companies have put up with the ‘bodged solution’ of security fencing/padlocks for so long!
Watch this space. The security gate isn’t the only innovation that the team at UKSSH has been working on. UKSSH’s experience in the provision of suspended access systems has inspired the need to find faster, safer methods for this very challenging requirement. Researching the world market for solutions proved fruitless, therefore the team has decided to develop one of its own. Gary Griffiths explains: “We are already at the prototype stage and over the coming months will be conducting tests and field trials for overall evaluation – we hope to present the market with a very exciting product by the end of the year.” “In scaffolding, as in all businesses, if you are standing still you are really moving backwards. We are an ambitious company with a real vision for the future – that’s why we are always striving for ways to do things better” concludes Gary. SM
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A Cooperative RefurbishmenT T
he Cooperative Bank, an historic company with long established ties to Manchester, is well known locally and internationally. So, the refurbishment of their headquarters in Balloon Street in the city centre presented an opportunity to promote the organisation’s key messages—one that was exploited to the full by Crossway Scaffolding. The company, now in its 23rd year, is one of the UK’s leading scaffolding specialists. Crossway Scaffolding approached Industrial Textiles & Plastics (ITP) to provide both printed and non-printed sheeting for the project. The challenge
was to balance three key messages on the printed section of the installation. Powerclad FR Premium Sheeting, digitally printed in-house at ITP’s print facility, was used for the upper part of the installation, while Powerclad FR Standard unprinted sheeting was installed on the lower half of the scaffold structure. Both Powerclad FR products are third-party tested and certified to the highest FR standards for both plain and printed sheeting. Another requirement for the project was air-permeable FR sheeting, suitable for covering the ground level perimeter
fencing on Balloon Street. Powerclad FR Vented Sheeting was used, also digitally printed to promote the Cooperative Bank name. Powerclad scaffold and temporary containment sheeting is produced by Industrial Textiles & Plastics (ITP), a North Yorkshire firm with more than 25 years expertise in flame retardant technology. Offering both flexographic and large-scale digital printing in-house, ITP provides maximum, high-impact site branding that is both cost effectiveness and fire-safe compliant. www.itpltd.com SM
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Simian’s 3 Peaks Challenge hit with ‘triumph and disaster’
IMIAN’s attempt to tackle the highest mountains in England, Scotland and Wales in under 24 hours, took place recently between Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th of July. A team of 13 participants and support crew, set off from their HQ in Warrington on their epic journey to not only conquer the peaks, but also to raise much needed funds and vital awareness for mental health and male suicide prevention charity, CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
CALM are an organisation set up to provide advice and guidance to vulnerable individuals, who may be suffering with depression and suicidal thoughts, also to the bereaved loved ones and those coming to terms with the loss and devastation often left in the wake of suicide. As lifelong scaffolders, and with members of their team whom are able to personally relate to overcoming the pain of losing loved ones to suicide, along with overcoming many of life’s
other challenges, and attribute this to the networks and opportunities afforded to them through the industry, it seemed fitting that when seeking sponsorship for the attempt, that they would call upon the wonderful readers of this magazine and, to the wider scaffolding industry for support. The heed to that call was overwhelming. As part of the promotion leading up to the challenge, members of their team vlogged, blogged, baked cakes and held raffles, one of which saw a brand
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new fully equipped Big Ben toolbelt donated by one of SIMIAN’s clients anonymously. These heart-warming and generous contributions saw the fundraising climb to over £500 before finally asking for corporate sponsorship on a shirt that the participants would be wearing on the day. Things began to take off. Access Solutions Scaffolding in London donated a humongous £1,000 – more than 10 times the amount they had asked for, enabling the team to shatter their early expectations. Next was our ScaffMag Editor, Daniel Norton, who explained that male suicide prevention was a subject close to his own heart. And with his support, word of the attempt spread like wildfire. Summit Marine Scaffolding from Liverpool, followed by Star Scaffolding in West Bromwich, both offered to double the £100 recommended contribution. Donations came in from some of the stellar names in the scaffolding industry, such as SpanSet, as well as from close friends of SIMIAN’s Isaac Morrison, Stephen Haslam from CS Haslam Scaffolding Solutions and Carl Agana from Elite Scaffolding Solutions in Manchester. Another good friend, Lee Woods from Woods Scaffolding Ltd along with Amber Scaffolding Ltd from Sussex were also quick to show their support. £200 came in from Connect Scaffolding Ltd in Hertfordshire, who with the shirts in print, narrowly missed out on the final spot (sorry guys!), by which time the total had soared to over £3,500! The day of the attempt was hit by thick fog, nationwide yellow weather warnings due to persistent driving rain, injuries to personnel and road closures lasting for several hours. Despite all of these setbacks, despite well intentioned advice to call off the attempt, the 23 mile, 11,178ft course was eventually conquered.
Of the 13 strong team of dedicated SIM-ountaineers taking part in the challenge only one was able to stand atop the peak of its third and final mountain, leading to the nickname, ‘Machine.’ In a story published on the company’s website, SIMIAN’s Isaac Morrison, the founder of the event and passionate supporter of CALM, describes the events leading up to and taking place on the day in what he has called, “a perfect metaphor for overcoming any of life’s adversities.” This was the first of 10 challenges and events that Isaac and co have planned over the coming 12 months,
which aim to take their total which currently stands at £4,454.03 + £396.25 Gift Aid, up to an amazing £10,000. These events will be promoted using the hashtag, #SADS (Scaffolding Against Depression & Suicide) and form part of a wider project which Isaac calls “The Man in Black.” For updates on all of this and to read the full story, head over to SIMIAN’s website. And ayone wishing to show their support for this superb charity, can do so via a bespoke Just Giving landingpage at: www.justgiving.com/Isaac-Morrison
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THE Scaffolding Association Partners With Mental Health Charity S
caffolding trade body the Scaffolding Association (SA) has joined the mental health charity Mates in Mind to drive awareness across the scaffolding and access industry. The SA has announced it has become a supporter of Mates in Mind, where they will be joining a growing community of more than 270 other organisations across the UK working in partnership to help to tackle the important issue of Mental Health. Mates in Mind is a leading UK charity supporting employers to improve men-
tal health by providing the skills, clarity and confidence on how to create supportive and mentally healthy workplaces for workers. James Rudoni, Managing Director of Mates in Mind said: “We are delighted that The Scaffolding Association has now joined us in raising awareness and understanding on this important issue. “It is increasingly recognised that mental ill-health is a widespread issue across UK workplaces, with the Health and Safety Executive reporting that 44% of work-related ill health cases in 2017
were attributed to stress, depression or anxiety. “Working alongside our partners, sector leaders and growing community of Supporters, Mates in Mind is delivering support to organisations of all sizes, to enable them to not only raise awareness but importantly improve the way they are working to address this issue in their workplaces. Importantly, through our work with employers and partners, our approach enables individuals within workforces to understand how, when and where they can get support.”
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How to get offshore With up to six months off every year, working offshore can seem an attractive option for many scaffolders. But before you reach for the pen to apply for your first offshore position, there are a number of important considerations. David Adams | Head of scaffolding at AIS Training
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eople with a trade have a better chance of securing offshore work – so holding a scaffolding card is a given. As well as a CISRS COTS Course, you’ll need CISRS Part 1 & 2 scaffolder, NVQ level 2 and a CISRS skills test but as a minimum you must have a CISRS Basic Scaffolder’s card.
Mandatory training To work offshore there are a number of mandatory safety certificates required by the oil and gas sector and approved by OPITO, the industry’s official training body. First off, you’ll need a valid and in-date Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) medical certificate and a valid and in-date Fit to Train certificate.These certificates are prerequisites for basic training and show you’re medically fit to work in the offshore sector and OK to use an emergency breathing system (CA-EBS). After that you’ll need the Basic Offshore Safety Induction
and Emergency Training certificate (BOSIET).This three-day course is compulsory for everyone working offshore and covers the specific safety issues and regimes on offshore installations, including travelling offshore by helicopter. During the course, you’ll learn how to deal with an emergency helicopter ditching and how to survive at sea, so be prepared to get wet! Anyone travelling by helicopter to an offshore installation, needs to have their shoulders formally measured by a specially trained person as seats are allocated according to size. If you don’t have your shoulder-width measured, you’re automatically classified as Extra Broad (XBR) which means you might not be allowed on certain flights, restricting your work opportunities. In addition to a BOSIET, many offshore oil and gas operators require new entrants to have OPITO Minimum Industry Safety Training (MIST).This two-day training course provides the basic knowledge and understanding of the key safety elements of
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working offshore. For those looking to work in the North Sea or in Norwegian waters, you’ll need a Norwegian Escape Chute course to learn how to use this particular evacuation system and an OPITO Compressed Air Emergency Breathing System (CA-EBS) certificate to show you are competent to use the CA-EBS system. For all these mandatory training courses expect to pay anywhere between £1,100 to £2,000 plus VAT. Most training companies bundle these into a package for you.
Top tips Scooping your first offshore position can seem like a Catch 22 situation with many employers asking for existing offshore experience, as well as your certs, before they’ll take you on. Luck and timing can play a big part in success so make sure you contact recruiters regularly to make sure your name is high on their radar. Being successful can be as simple as being in the right place at the right time.The more course certificates you hold also pushes you up the pecking order, making you more employable.
for heights but the distances offshore can be eye-watering with work often taking place 400 feet plus above sea level. After your shift, you’ll hand over to the next team and enjoy some much-needed downtime. Oil platforms have everything from gyms to TV rooms, saunas and reading rooms with wi-fi commonplace, so there’s always plenty to do when you’re not working. One of the biggest draws for offshore work is the amount of time off you get. Although day rates are generally slightly lower than onshore work, expect to earn between £40-£65k basic a year for six months work, giving you lots of quality time to spend with the family. However, there can be a flip side and offshore life isn’t for everyone. Being away from friends and family for extended periods of time and living in close proximity to dozens of men can prove challenging for some. Just make sure you’re well aware of the pros and cons beforehand. SM
The work Depending on your employer and the platform, offshore shift patterns tend to be two weeks on, two weeks off or threeweek rotations. A typical day starts at 6am and finishes at 6pm and may include night-shifts as rigs operate 24 hours continuously.You’ll work in a gang of four and could be doing anything from towers to outboard and overside structures. Scaffolds tend to be more complex and take longer due to the demanding environment. As a scaffolder you should already have a head
Case study After completing his offshore training with AIS Training in Newcastle, experienced scaffolder, Jordan Lovell from Edinburgh, scooped a job with Altrad working on the Grangemouth Refinery Shutdown. Jordan was able to transfer offshore in the North Sea with Altrad and recently completed his second offshore trip. Jordan said: “I love it offshore.The money is great and when I’m home I can spend loads more time with my partner Leanne and our two kids. I’ve worked in the construction sector since I was 21, but had always been interested in working offshore. Although I miss the family when I’m away, the experience has been everything I hoped for.” AIS Training is part of 3T Energy Group, the UK’s largest energy training group, and delivers more than 450 skills and competency courses from four locations in Aberdeen, Newcastle, Grimsby and Wales, as well as global operations in key oil & gas hubs including China,Vietnam and Europe.To find out more or to book a course visit www.training.aisgroup.co.uk or call 0844 800 1810.
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Offshore Processing Brings Scaffolding Capability Into Sharp Focus The challenges presented by the offshore environment need little emphasis. From factors such as weather and significant limitations on space, all operations must be undertaken with clear commitments to safety and efficiency at the top of the agenda.
ccess challenges are never more challenging that in the harsh, hardcore offshore sector – with the need to accommodate both structural and functional objectives, both offshore and back on dry land at associated petrochemical facilities underpinning all procedures. “Clearly the design of such installations calls for innovative and versatile access solutions during construction but, equally, ongoing maintenance operations then remain a key factor throughout a facility’s operational life,” says Sean Pike, UK Managing Director of Layher Ltd., who have extensive experience in this challenging field. “Our scaffolding, access and protection systems are now
proven worldwide to provide not only an effective means of enabling works to operate efficiently and safely, but to do so in a way that reflects many of the specific characteristics of the offshore and onshore petrochemical environment.” Layher are quick to point out that the benefits associated with the use of its systems throughout building and construction are not only applicable in the offshore industry but, in many respects, offer very specific gains. “The lightweight, modular design of our equipment is a prime example, not least because this translates into minimising workforce requirements,” adds Sean Pike, “and, with offshore accommodation so cost critical, this is a factor.”
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He also points out that important storage benefits can be realised. For example, because the modular Allround system incorporates the company’s celebrated rosette connection system, there is no need to use valuable space to house separate clamps and fittings. Being modular in design, smaller lengths are easily combined to make the required length, thereby eliminating the need for long tubes – particularly important on offshore rigs, where space is at a premium. Moreover, the strength and loading capability inherent in the company’s designs means that fewer components overall are required, optimising storage needs further still as well as safety – the frequency of individual components being handled and the associated risks are lessened. Maintenance activity in this industry – from blasting and painting to refurbishment and structural replacement or enhancement – can require a wide range of access and protection needs to be addressed. “Factors such as steel decking and wide bay configurations are widely specified as are selected weather protection systems including our Protect panel design used to create the safest possible containment of sparks produced within temporary welding shelters,” continues Sean Pike. Significantly, suspended scaffolds can also be readily utilised which is of particular importance given, for example, the fact that offshore platforms and onshore processing plants can feature so many irregular layouts and, of course, extensive pipework or no ground from which to base-out. The need for minimal cross-bracing also impacts directly on optimising ac-
cess and safe unimpeded passage through the scaffold. “There are few industries worldwide where greater attention is paid to the characteristics of the operating environment and thus specific safety needs,” concludes Sean Pike. “All aspects of operation call for a combination of expertise, innovative design and, of course, close cooperation between all parties. Provision of access and protection systems is no different. We’re proud to be involved in this most demanding of environments and to provide solutions to the industry.” SM
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Oil And Gas On The RISE E
mployment in the oil and gas industry is looking very positive for 2019. In a biennial international survey hosted by www.OilandGasJobSearch.com and supported by NES Global Talent, the data showed that all areas of the oil and gas employment industry were positively on the increase since the last survey was published in 2017. The 2019 Outlook survey found that the industry is in vibrant good health.The size of the global workforce has increased in the past 12 months, as well as annual salaries. Furthermore both of these measures of business performance have increased faster than the last time the employers were surveyed. 45% of oil and gas workers have received salary increases in the past 12 months, and based on the current market, more than three quarters of bosses expect salaries to grow in the year ahead, up from two-thirds in 2017. With these positive results in mind, both employers and employees feel that the international growth prospects for jobs and salaries will continue to improve more quickly in the year ahead.There are also signs of more fluidity and flexibility in the market than ever before. Although there is a larger, more confident, and better-paid
workforce, there are still a few skill shortages across the board, particularly in engineering and design, operations, maintenance, and production area.The good news is that many businesses across the globe are taking active steps to address these skill shortages and to move forward in a positive way by investing more money into training and development. Our survey shows that one area that the industry could look towards, to help to close the gap is through employing more women in to roles across the sector. Currently, there are very few women working in the field or in engineering, but the good news is that more women answered the survey than ever before so this is changing in the right direction, as the industry looks to modernise and embrace new working practices. Tig Gilliam NES Global Talent CEO comments: “This year’s results provide a tangible increase in positivity and opportunity among employers and those working in the industry.This is certainly consistent with our experience in the last year and our expectations for the coming year as the volume of projects arriving at Final Investment Decision continues to rise, generating new opportunities for skilled workers – employees and contractors.” The biennial Outlook survey from NES Global Talent and www.OilandGasJobSearch.com (which this year, more than 33,200 people from 22 different disciplines and 171 countries took part) is the most comprehensive study of employment, salaries, and prospects in the global oil and gas industry. Its results help to narrate the Oil and Gas Outlook 2019/2020, which is distributed to oil and gas employers and employees globally. For more information or to download a copy of the guide, please visit: www.nesgt.com/oil-and-gas-outlook-report-2019 SM
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The past, present and future of system scaffolding
HEALTH & SAFETY
Taking design and safety to new heights While everyone understands the dangers of working at height, not everybody is familiar with the challenges or solutions on offer. Understanding how protection works, and what’s best for each situation can improve the safety of workers, the aesthetics of the building, and the efficiency of the build. Here, James Gooder of SFS explains how.
ost architects and construction contractors commit people to working at height – either during the building phase, or in maintenance and repair. An essential part of any building project, it’s also fraught with risk – from exposed edges and damaged tiles, through to open lift-shafts and fragile skylights to potentially fall through. Then there is worker fatigue and the weather, – with high winds, rain and ice presenting particular challenges. Add in slippery algae and moss, plus the sheer range of roof coverings, types and designs and it’s clear that there’s an issue. Roofing specifiers and contractors are sending out people to work at height with countless variables, where any slip, trip or fall could have disastrous consequences. Clearly, with human life at stake, there is a large amount of legislation in place to protect workers. In addition to the Working at Height Regulations 2005, the 2015 CDM (Construction Design and Management) regulations stipulate that any new building which has guttering that needs servicing must have a protective lifeline system installed. CDM has also established RAMS – Risk Assessment Method Statements. RAMS are designed to ensure that health and safety risks are fully considered and identified in order to ‘reduce
the risk of those who build, maintain or use structures’. Generally, best practice advice says avoid working at height if all possible. If not, measures must be installed to minimise risk. Already quite stringent – in the UK at least – regulations will only become tighter. Right now, a new standard, BS EN 17235, is being drafted to co-ordinate the efforts of companies that manufacture systems for roofing and safety systems, so there’s a concerted industry-wide effort to improve safety standards. Anyone involved with working at height therefore has a responsibility – moral and legal – to stop people
from coming to harm. Despite this, specifying the optimum fall protection systems isn’t always front of mind. Many architects, for example, are primarily focussed on aesthetics and using new materials to push the boundaries of design. While they’re aware of the need for protective systems, the detail often isn’t specified out and is left to the contractor’s discretion. However, faced with multiple pressures – including an increasing skills shortage and the complexity of project management – these contractors are often unable to keep abreast of the many specialist solutions on offer. As a
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HEALTH & SAFETY
result, there’s a potential for provision to fall short of optimal.
Fall protection - Knowing your type Essentially, fall protection systems divide into temporary or permanent. Installed for repairs and removed when the work is completed, temporary protection includes scaffolding, cranes and mobile platforms. Often costly and unsightly - as the scaffolding currently covering Big Ben demonstrates – they can also potentially damage the roof or structure. Temporary solutions are often the only option for older buildings. On the other hand, new builds tend to incorporate a permanent system which can be used to support future works. These fall into two categories: collective restraint, and personal lifeline. Collective restraints include handrails, walls and even glass parapets around the perimeter of the building. Best practice suggests using restraints that are at least 1.2m high to ‘fence off ’ the highrisk areas. They have merits, but they often break the aesthetic lines of the building. Nor do they offer protection for hard to reach areas. With personal lifeline systems, workers wear a harness connected by wire rope to a fixed anchor point, allowing them to move safely around the roof. Systems offer either work restraint or fall arrest. Work restraint systems guide workers within pre-defined limits to prevent them from getting into high risk areas where a fall is possible. However, whenever a fall becomes even a remote possibility, fall arrest systems (FAS) become mandatory.
Arresting the fall FAS allows workers more freedom to work on gutters, windows and walls. Should they slip, the systems’ mechanics
kick-in to break their fall. There are many personal lifeline systems available. Here at SFS, for example, the market leading Soter™ II offers an integrated fall and restraint solution, with a discreet low-profile suitable for a wide range of applications. Soter™ II uses a patented energy absorbing coil to break falls and dissipate the energy, helping minimise damage to both worker and roof. It also features a CE-marked Slyder device which allows up to four workers to move freely without the risk of entanglement. There’s more to specifying a fall arrest system than just the technology. For example, within the RAMS, there should be a clear instruction of how to rescue a worker who has fallen This should be done within a time limit of three minutes, otherwise the PPE harness can start to cut off blood circulation.
Make the right choice With so much to evaluate, it is understandably difficult to pick the right system. However, there’s really only one factor that matters: ensuring maximum protection for workers. This is the single most important consideration and should be the one at the centre of decision-making. After that, it’s a question of evaluating the factors – roof type, access requirements, even wind load calculations – and customising a solution to each requirement. On retrofit projects, which were built without the benefit of foresight or legislation, the building itself will largely dictate the approach. Fall protection systems should also look at the potential obstacles on the roof. Skylights are particularly hazardous, due to the fragility of the glass. On new builds, there’s more scope to shape the decision. The key here,
perhaps, is to ensure full and proper freedom of movement for workers in a way that supports the future maintenance needs of the building, as well as the integrity of the design. In addition to these physical factors, specifiers and contractors should look for added value features, including the expertise behind the protection systems. For example, it’s always good practice to use manufacturers who can provide advice and support at every stage, from design through to implementation. This helps streamline processes and can even deliver cost-savings over the lifecycle of the project. Also important is their investment in research, development and testing. Roofing is ever evolving and fall protection systems must also continuously evolve to accommodate these advances. Manufacturers have an unwritten responsibility to vet the installers that use their systems. This includes auditing and training them properly. This not only ensures the system is installed safely and correctly, but also efficiently. A sign of a quality manufacturer is their ability to reach out not just to installers but to every influencer in the construction process. This can even start with CPDs or similar approved courses aimed at contractors and architects. These are all features of SFS’s offer, but it’s not a given across the industry.These aspects of the service are every bit as important as the quality of the product. Like the components within the systems themselves, everything works together to ensure the right outcome. In summary then, safety at height isn’t just a question of handing a lifeline to the workers on the roof. It’s also about the line of support that extends from the supplier. In other words, the complete support package. For more about SFS, please visit www. sfsintec.co.uk.. SM
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HEALTH & SAFETY
MPs call for action to tackle increase in deaths at work The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height has expressed concern at the latest statistics from the Health and Safety Executive, which show that fatal injuries in the workplace have risen in the last year.
he dark statistics show a total of 147 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2018/2019 – a rise of six fatalities from 2017/2018. Also, 40 people suffered a fatal injury as a result of a fall from height – making this the single biggest cause of workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain. This represents an increase from 2017/2018, when 35 workers died due to a fall from height. These statistics come after the publication of the APPG’s first report in February this year, ‘Staying Alive: Preventing Serious Injury and Fatalities while Working at Height’. The report made several recommendations including the introduction of enhanced reporting, the appointment of an independent body and an equivalent system to Scotland’s Fatal Accident Inquiry process. Speaking about the statistics, Chair of the APPG and MP for Glasgow Central, Alison Thewliss said: “These statistics show that this issue is not going away. “It is imperative that the Government takes forward the recommendations made in our report which have been devised with input from industry and key stakeholders.
“We have already had a positive response from Government and the HSE but time is of the essence when it comes to safety in the workplace, and we need to ensure these actions are taken forward as quickly as possible.” The Group is sponsored by the Access Industry Forum (AIF), a group of 11 trade associations and federations covering working at height. Commenting on behalf of the AIF, PASMA’s Managing Director, Peter Bennett OBE said: “Whilst we welcome that the UK continues to consistently have one of the
lowest rates of fatal injury across the EU, the figures released today are still too high. There should be absolutely no question or doubt over workers’ ability to return home safely to their families every evening. “We know that data collected does not accurately represent the true scale of ‘near misses’ in the workplace which is why we are calling for enhanced reporting methods, and an independent body who would confidentially collect data to inform industry and Government.”. SM
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PROJECT REPORTS IBN SCAFFOLD ACCESS LTD: P58 MULTISCAFF: P60 ULTIMATE ACCESS SOLUTIONS: p62
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quality service with safety at the forefront of works.
Combination Thinking This is a building where state of the art modern conference and meeting facilities meets the splendour of vibrant Victorian architecture. In terms of restoration, the project has involved a new heritage trail around the Victorian cells, work on the courtroom, Victoria Hall and clock tower, alongside the strengthening of the roof, improved acoustics and a 21st century bar. IBN Scaffold Access Ltd Called in the services of Creator Scaffold Designs to come up with a combined plan to create the perfect system for the task. In short, this amazing scheme was all about access solutions and temporary roofs. This was their brief: • No ground based scaffolding • No public disruption • Wind loadings on the clock tower • No supported scaffolding from existing roofs • Complete safety around the site
The Pride Of Leeds Is An IBN Delight Meeting a big city challenge is all in the planning, Grahame Anderson reports
s the pride of Leeds, the histoiric and charismatic Town Hall was opened back in September 1858 by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Today it’s a live venue hosting concerts, civic functions and world famous organ recitals. An icon of this effervescent city, imagine the responsibility of any scaffolding company asked to erect a system so much needed refurbishment
work can be carried out as the building stays live? Add to this, the fact ground based scaffolding is not an option, and a major challenge quickly emerges alongside a strict time-line. In essence, all works would need to be completed on time to meet concert dates. No pressure then? Certainly not for IBN Scaffold Access Ltd, working for Bermar Building Company Ltd to provide a
And naturally, the temporary works had to look aesthetically pleasing, from hoist supports to beamed support walkways. Weight was crucial, as all scaffold would be erected from supporting beam work or gallows brackets. Every step of the way excellent management combined with great skill and continual flexibility, offered up a perfect demonstration of how scaffolding in the modern industry is accomplished.
Red Letter Day Sunday June the 16th was a red letter day for the company when a team of 10 highly skilled operatives began work erecting trusses at ground level, before they were lifted by a temporary crane to cover the roof of the town hall. The nearby road was closed as every
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single truss was lifted and put into place on the same day. Having reviewed all roof options they discovered a rolling roof system wasn’t possible due to a restriction of imposed loads on the roof structure itself. Everything went according to plan thanks partly to the efficiency of the Generation Uni Roof design. In fact, the timing was superb. In terms of the famous clock tower, both Asterix and Deep X Beams were used for support work on the base of the clock tower. Taken overall, the project has involved 145 tonnes of scaffolding – it was 36 metres from the support work to the top of the lift of scaffolding. Stuart Smith, Surveying Director for Bermar Building Company Ltd told us: “IBN were the scaffolding company of choice on the major re-roofing project we undertook with Leeds City Council on the listed buildings of both the Leeds art gallery and library. The project was successfully completed in no small measure thanks to IBN’s exceptional services.
“When we were awarded the recent re-roofing project of the grade 1 listed Leeds Town Hall, we were keen to use them again.” Managing Director of Creator Scaffolding Design Ryan Berry added: “Through forward thinking IBN instructed Creator to attend regular visits to ensure compliance with design and to assist the site team with engineering complexities. This, ultimately ensured a safe structure.”
A Go Ahead Enterprise IBN Scaffold Access Ltd is an independent Scaffolding Company offering an extensive range of scaffolding services from Depots based in Barnsley and Manchester. The company has grown to be one of the leading Scaffolding Companies in the North of England, offering clients a bespoke service, from initial design advice right through to a successful completion of the works on site. Success is measured by clients choosing scaffolders like IBN Scaffold Access Ltd because of their belief in their abil-
ity to meet or exceed expectations when it comes to safety, price, service and experience. All deadlines and expectations were indeed met and even exceeded in some cases. All staff involved on this momentous project could rightly feel very proud of the result.Yet again, the scheme proved there’s much more to scaffolding than the public think. With everything due to be dismantled in mid autumn, it seems IBN have as usual, exceeded expectations in delivering another first class job. 21st century innovative scaffolding at its best – Original designer Cuthbert Brodrick and Queen Victoria would have surely been impressed. SM
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Multiscaff’s Indian Ocean Challenge M
ultiscaff is showing the world that British scaffolding is still the best – following a commission to work on a highly technical project by the Indian Ocean. What’s more, their £1million brief is continuing to spread the word about the fabulous flexibility of the Layher system. And of course, working on a huge challenge 5,000 miles from home demands meticulous preparation and planning. The company were approached in January 2019 to look at providing access and encapsulation for sandblasting and painting several fuel storage tanks internally and externally, in Diego Garcia. Multiscaff were selected because of their vast experience involving global challenges – and also impressive expertise in the importing/exporting of materials from the UK on a regular basis. Director Gary Hayes takes up the story: “Multiscaff were formed in 1994
to provide all types of scaffolding using Layher around the world, so we’ve been used to high profile contracts both in the UK and abroad. We also erect bespoke aircraft dockings on a regular basis for the RAF and to the world’s major airlines. We have a company in Switzerland where we provide aircraft dockings for the VIP sector ranging from individuals to governments across the planet. “Our clients were invited to our HQ in Manchester to discuss requirements and what products we could offer. We use traditional tube and fitting, Layher All-round and Layher Star Frame. We calculated weights and speed of erection for each product, setting up different mock-ups representing the shape of the tanks. These also demonstrated speed of erection allowing the client to walk onto the scaffolds to see what would best suit their needs.
“Next step in the project was between Layher UK and ourselves to discuss the job location and designs. This was carried out at Layher’s Letchworth office along with designers and staff, where we discussed various set-ups to aid encapsulation. Our method was submitted to our client along with a full set of designs and calculations. “Because of the location of the project, and being one month away by ship, methodical planning was essential. In truth, 23,000 components had to be accounted for in the event of changes on site etc. This also coincided with all our operatives having to be vetted for the US Navy before being allowed to travel abroad. “We looked at what materials would work best for the project so we opted to use Layher’s Star Frame. As the largest stock holder of this system in the UK,we could utilize its full potential. Multiscaff loaded materials from our Manchester depot in 25 ton containers, shipping 15 via Singapore to Diego Garcia.” “We had discussions with our shipping company and planned numbers and orders of containers for shipping. Containers had to be loaded in build
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sequence, so should one be lost at sea this would not bring the project to a complete standstill, allowing time to react should such an event occur. Diego Garcia is an island of the British Indian Ocean Territory, a militarised atoll just south of the equator in the central region. It’s the largest of 60 small islands comprising the Chagos Archipelago. First discovered by Europeans and named by the Portuguese, French settlers arrived in the 1790’s before it
was transferred to British rule after the Napoleonic Wars. It was one of the “Dependencies” of the British Colony of Mauritius until the Chagos Islands were detached for inclusion in the newly created British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) in 1965. The population is composed of military personnel and supporting contractors. It’s one of two critical US bomber bases in the Asia Pacific region, along with Andersen Air Force Base and
Guam, Pacific Ocean. Gary added: “Around one month later our team of operatives flew via Bahrain on military aircraft to commence work, the contract is ongoing at present and due to complete in May 2020. “Due to the shape of the tanks and looking for ways to reduce the amount of materials needed for shipping, Multiscaff produced a scheme using ratchet straps to create temporary roofs. We invited Prime Scaffold Designs to produce a full design, as we’d worked with them in the past and feel they have a similar ‘think outside the box’ view as ourselves. The scheme was submitted with a full design and calculations, saving the client money on shipping and again would improve the speed on site.” Work commenced and Multiscaff were able to erect the first two tanks internally and externally ahead of program. The contract is ongoing at present and due to complete in May 2020. Celebrating 25 years in the scaffolding industry, this was to become one of the most high profile and challenging contracts ever faced by the company. SM
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The Ultimate In Scaffolding Kent based innovators shooting for success
t’s not every day you get to erect a birdcage with 762 Apollo X beams and more than 7,000 boards. In fact, in terms of Ultimate Access Solutions, the right name has been applied to the task. Mind you, it could also find its way into the credits for a major film. Why? Because feature length scaffolding was constructed in the form of a unique birdcage spanning across three sets. In short, this is not your usual project, as this is the first time this type of scheme has ever been attempted in the UK. Details were sketchy at first, so there was nothing else to do but arrange brainstorming talks with the company’s engineering department. It was only when ideas began to fly in, the sheer scale of the platform fell sharply into focus for those involved. The question – what do you do
when running out of studio space? Utilise a new warehouse of course. In truth, this is a superb pilot for what could be a series of new projects within the media sector.
Meeting The Challenge Lee Graham from Ultimate Access Solutions Ltd, told me: “We began work placing independents around the perimeter. Half of these were removed however, as the client kept going back to the drawing board. We previously looked at dolly towers to pick up the bridging beams in the central open spaces – again this was not possible to build due to the width of these towers. They required to be minimal to hide the set within! So, we needed to find a smaller alternative. “We came up with the introduction of steels creating a support frame small
enough to encase and hide the set inside. After a lot of juggling, design and phone calls, further meetings (and even more meetings!), we managed to hit the floor point loads required., which was sent off with the designs for the client for approval. Then, once everything was agreed, the real challenge began.”
Zooming In On Reputation Sadly both the film and client can’t be named, but the fact Ultimate Access Solutions Ltd, were approached for such a complicated project, speaks volumes for their reputation inside the business. As for directing the job, Lee added: “Independents were erected to the perimeter walls with twin outside legs to accommodate beams and spread the leg loads evenly. The steel frame was installed and chemical tied in the floor, once fully installed it was ready to take our bridging beams. “The central independent is double width built around the centre columns, enabling the beams to pass through and over to the next steel fame, finally meeting with the far independent.
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They’ve been built to allow inner wall installation using sliding transoms. Each column is encased – so in theory, these have been built free-standing.”
New Designs Many exciting design ideas have come out of the job. One – suggested by the scaffolders – is a niko track system connected to the underside of the crash deck, providing a fully electronic controlled lighting system for the production company... something else not achieved previously. (& the clients are seriously considering taking Ultimate Access Solutions Ltd, up on the idea). The company have two lots of four men on rolling 24-hour shifts in order to get the mammoth job done. And in true Ultimate style, all deadlines and requests have been fully met. Lee said: “The logistics and time frame have changed daily, from originally being a 12 week program to a six week campaign. But this is why we always strive to deliver a first class job on time. This is the ethos of our company and the reason we continue to service our valued clients.” SM
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