New Guidelines to be Published on Appointing Scaffolding Contractors

The UK Contractors Group (UKCG) has teamed up with the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) to co-write a new publication which will be entitled a Guide to Appointing and Managing Scaffolding Contractors.

The publication is meant to be a useful guide for construction contractors who are employing or managing scaffolding contractors, to ensure that they adhere to the strict standards set for scaffolding in the UK.

NASC is the trade body which promotes high levels of standards within the scaffolding industry and so it is of no surprise that they want to issue new, updated guidelines on appointing scaffolders. The UKCG say that they are more than happy to help promote the guide as they aim to “aspire to world class standards of best practice for UK construction” according to UKCG director Stephen Ratcliffe.

NASC want the construction industry to take seriously the risks involved in scaffolding. No doubt the increase in scaffolding incidents have called for a better guide for those involved in the industry to prevent any further injuries or loss of life.

Just recently a badly constructed scaffolding tower collapsed on the high street in Balham, Surrey narrowly missing a female motorist and a firm in Corby, near Liverpool were fined £50,000 when supporting scaffolding that had been holding up a wet concrete floor collapsed, injuring 7 workers who, it was described, were lucky to escape with their lives. The company was later investigated by the HSE who found that design drawings were not detailed enough to allow for the safe erection of scaffolding needed to hold the concrete and that the scaffolding had not been inspected before use.

Such incidents damage the reputation of professional scaffolding companies and this new guide will indicate that not only do scaffolding companies themselves need to adhere to strict health and safety policies, but that the industry which employs those firms also need to take responsibility to ensure that the company they are appointing do adopt a good working policy.

Sussex Scaffolding Ltd is one of those companies who regularly send trained scaffolding foreman to inspect scaffolding once it is constructed and carry out risk assessments. They also follow very stringent health and safety rules, even down to employing their own external health and safety advisor.

The new NASC guidance document is available on request from their website.

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Scaffold Hoist’s, Alarm’s, Design, Shoring & Haki Staircases!

Here at Sussex Scaffolding Ltd we offer the following specialist services with qualified scaffolding operatives to carry out the works.

Design Scaffolding
We can provide full design and calculations for any type of scaffold structure or shoring that requires an imposed load to be achieved whether that is horizontal or vertical. Vertical loads are structures that are to carry heavy loads imposed directly to the ground level like dead shores, raking shores and buttressing. Horizontal loads are imposed to scaffolding by wind such as a temporary roof structure or a scaffold structure with plastic monaflex sheeting installed for protecting the works whilst in progress. With our scaffold design service we can visit site to ascertain exactly what is needed and provide a colour layout of the proposed scaffold to scale for approval prior to the installation. The drawings will also include a specification sheet showing all the necessary information to the client on how the scaffold will be installed and the regulations that will need to be adhered to.

Scaffold Hoists
Lifting hoists are a service we offer for moving heavy materials from ground level up to the working platform. The smallest scaffold hoist we offer is an electric hoist fitted to the outside uprights of the scaffold capable of lifting 150kg. This type of scaffold hoist is suitable for lifting many types of materials with a hook that can have strops or chains connected to and if required we can include in our hire package lifting chains to connect to a wheel barrow for lifting or lowering larger items. The larger hoist provided is a 300kg mast hoist that is erected at the base of the structure with a platform of 1.5m x 1.5m and includes sides 1m high. With this option we can provide lifting equipment to a height of 30m. We install electronic gates to each working level and we can also provide training for the use of up to six operatives free of charge.

Scaffold Alarms For Sercurity
With all our scaffolding installations we offer a scaffold alarms service for any projects that need protecting from intrusion. With this service offered by us we can provide a free quotation for the supply, erection and removal of a sensor based alarm system with call back features to a provided number or direct dial to the local police station. The alarm system comes with a keypad that is placed inside the building and a code provided to activate/de-activate the system as of when works are being carried out. A sensor is placed at the end of each scaffold elevation and linked to the main keypad box with a maximum length of 30m to each elevation. If the length of an elevation is longer than 30m additional sensors are installed. We also provide full signage displaying the scaffold alarm is installed included in our service free of charge.

Temporary Staircases
Haki and Layher staircases are now more commonly used for access and we provide hire and purchase solutions to clients requesting this service. The Haki staircase is a prefabricated system with adjustable feet and varied lengths of stair treads to allow us to install a platform at the correct height to access a scaffold lift or floor level of an existing building. Edge protection handrails are included with the system and if required we can also install kick boards if the staircase is to be used by the general public. We can provide a fully approved temporary fire exit staircase if the existing fire exit is being renewed or repaired and if required a full design can be carried out prior to installation for approval.

With all the services listed we have provided full training for all our operatives and Sussex Scaffolding Ltd is currently training a further six operatives this year in scaffold installation including manual handling and working at height.
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Government Beaten on Solar Panel Tariffs – Good News For Scaffolders

This has not been a good week for the government, what with the welfare caps rejected by the House of Lords and then the Court of Appeal rejecting the government’s bid to reduce solar panel tariffs, the Coalition must be feeling pretty deflated. Solar Panel Scaffolding

The government had planned to halve the payment made to households who used solar panels. Currently any household who has solar panels fitted receives a government subsidy of just over 43p per kilowatt hour – one of the most generous subsidies in the world. This tariff was guaranteed for 25 years meaning that some domestic customers could earn around £600 per year on top of the savings accumulated on their electricity bills.

The government said that the subsidies were unsustainable and wanted to halve them to 21p per kilowatt hour, a move that would affect any properties which had their solar panels installed after December 12. However many solar panel businesses and campaigners had warned that jobs would be lost and householders put off from installing this green energy.

Two courts have now deemed the proposed tariff cut by the government to be unlawful which means that those who missed the previous cut-off date of December 12 may still be able to get their tariffs paid at the original rate until 3 March – the new cut-off period set by the government.

The story is far from over yet though, with the government planning to take the case to the Supreme Court, despite the employer group CBI urging them to abandon the legal battle.

Solar panel installation companies are expected to see their workload increase dramatically as there is now a rush of solar panel orders before March 3 to take advantage of the generous tariff before any changes are made.

Sussex Scaffolding therefore is offering a next day scaffolding service for solar panels. Professional local scaffolders can erect just the right scaffold design for any kind of property, from listed buildings to bungalows and will provide a fully working platform to enable solar panel installers to safely carry out their work. The solar scaffolding will be put up speedily and dismantled as soon as the work is done with no mess left behind.

Prices are kept competitive and affordable and all quotes are free of charge. Plus you get a professional service by fully qualified and trained scaffolders who have had experience of working with many solar panel companies so they know exactly what is expected of them. You’ll find a large portfolio of similar work done in local towns all over Sussex.

Sussex Scaffolding are Chas registered and listed with Checkatrade, so you couldn’t ask for a better scaffolding company to provide a same day scaffolding service at the right price.

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Scaffolding Companies Hit by Stormy Weather

Spare a thought for scaffolders during the recent gale force winds and Hurricane Bawbag that has hit Britain. These guys have to brave the weather to erect scaffolding tubes and platforms at height often whilst being buffeted by the heavy winds.

However the recent stormy weather in the UK has also revealed where some unscrupulous scaffolding companies try to cut costs. Scaffolding boards are at severe risk of being dislodged by heavy winds if they are not secured. They are also dangerous if they become loose, forcing people to work with unsteady boards.

One of the most important features of any respectable scaffolding company is their health and safety policy which asserts that scaffolding must be securely tied so that no part of the scaffold can pose a risk to members of the public or workers. Just imagine the damage that a heavy wooden board can do if it comes crashing down to the ground.

Sussex Scaffolding will have no such worries about weathering this storm. They use scaffold board clips which provides a secure connection between the boards and the scaffold. It may be a little more time consuming, but Sussex Scaffolding know that the possible costs of any damage done by unsecured boards will amount to much more than just a few extra minutes to ensure that the scaffold is safe.

Sheeted scaffolds are also subject to damage by high winds and therefore must be properly secured against the so-called ‘sail effect’.

Last year there was an incident in Brierfield, East Lancashire where an entire street had to be closed due to fears that an unsecured scaffold would collapse after it was damaged by high winds. The scaffolding had been attached to an end terrace but a large part of it had come away and some of the scaffolding poles had been bent by the force of the wind. The police had to wait until specialists made the scaffolding safe before they re-opened the road.

There were many more incidents last year involving scaffolding coming away from and damaging properties during high winds.

Costly incidents such as the Lancashire example not only inconvenience people but pose a real threat to members of the public, therefore it is vital that strong, high quality scaffolding poles and tubes are used and that the structure is securely fastened onto the building with all platforms, boards, sheeting and any other equipment tied either with board clips or ties.

Always make sure that you check the scaffolding company’s health and safety policy and always make sure that they have a policy of sending out a scaffolding inspector to check the structure after any inclement weather, as Sussex Scaffolding do for all their clients.

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Scaffold Erectors Covering East Sussex

East Sussex includes cities such as Brighton and Eastbourne on the south coast and as far north as the picturesque and historic city of Royal Tunbridge Wells. This county covers a large area and the requirement for scaffolding for various projects is immense.  For building projects progressive scaffolding is needed to follow external trades from ground level to roof level including the supply and erection of powered lifting equipment such as mast or wire hoists depending on the size and weight of the equipment that needs lifting up to the working area. Many historic buildings are situated though out East Sussex and the access platforms needed for rebuilding or remedial works for these types of projects are very specialist and require designed and calculated scaffolding and support scaffolds. Our scaffolders in East Sussex can provide all types of access solutions whether you need to gain access to a difficult to reach chimney stack for repointing or repainting or if you require a conservatory scaffold to paint the windows or soffits and fascias situated above a glass roof area.

For internal works to large or small areas a crashdeck or birdcage platform can be installed for painting or re-plastering the ceiling and wall areas. This platform can be have staggered levels to access all the areas of a sloping roof line and include a ladder or staircase access to carry materials up to the working area if needed.  As insurance approved scaffolding contractors we have a specialist team of scaffold temporary roof erectors. This team of operatives are fully trained in the installation of all types of roof covers including the traditional roofing system of alloy beams spanning over the building covered with corrugated sheets and including monaflex sheeting to all the external sides to installing a fully designed  Layher or haki roofing system with a canvas cover fully wind and weather tight used to protect listed, historic or occupied buildings.

Building sites can cause many types of health and safety issues and with scaffolding East Sussex we have fully trained operatives to basic and advanced scaffolding levels re-trained every five years to keep all our employees up to date with new legislation that makes sure we are working closely and correctly with the Health and Safety executive at all times.  We have recently trained all our staff in asbestos awareness and the use of powered access such as cherry pickers and scissor lifts for installing edge protection systems at height.

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