Over the years since the foundation of Heywood Scaffolding Services we have strived to innovate for improved efficiency, safety for employees and customer satisfaction.
To this end we completely changed our way of operating some 18 years ago by replacing 80% of our traditional tube and bolt couplers with ‘Tubelock’ wedge couplers produced by the Dutch Company Van Thiel.
Not only did we change our operational equipment but we also changed our storage, loading and system of work methods. It reduced manual handling for our operatives by up to 75% within our yard operations, reduced the amount of loose couplers needed to be manually carried to the work location, reduced the risk of couplers ‘falling’ off platforms, reduced the individual maximum load for a person to carry due to only using 3m, 4m and 5m length tubes at maximum 24kg weight compared to the 21′ tube (6.4m) length at approx. 27kg weight that was generally used throughout the industry.
By introducing the use of wedge couplers we reduced servicing requirements by 75% and thus the use of chemical lubricants and the associated timesaving aspects. We also discovered (by accident) the ergonomic advantages by using hammers to secure and release couplers compared to spanners. We found that the amount of stress on the elbow and upper shoulder joints of operatives using spanners compared to hammers was enormous.
The use of fixed coupler transoms with internal extenders, to support inside boards is still a favourite with customers. The advantage of being able to fold back an inside board, and easily push in the extender, to provide a clear area from the scaffold platform to building façade, has proved to be a big advantage for our clients.
We devised and utilised a safe system of work using Tubelock, due to the introduction of the use of Safety Harnesses for scaffolders all those years ago. Today it still forms part of our safe system of work, even with the introduction of SG4:10 and the requirement of Collective Fall Prevention
We also designed and used 2 types of Advanced Guardrail System 9 years ago prior to SG4:10 and was featured within the SG4:10 document/handbook.
We developed and used our own self closing Ladder Access Safety Gate 2 years before the HSE specified their requirement.
We have been using the EA Aluminium Temporary Roof system (now UBIX) from its early days of conception and production to reduce aspects of Manual Handling and improve efficiency.