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Executive Report : Executive news
The AGR and 3T debate
The EHN phone lines rang white hot the day after an advertisement for Turner Access’ BetaGuard aluminium tower system appeared in Construction News. Callers were reacting to the manufacturer’s claim that its BetaGuard, which has frames designed to incorporate advanced guardrail protection (AGR), “removes the risks present during usage, assembly, dismantle and alteration of traditional towers”, and that “Traditional towers using the 3T (through the trap) method present five distinct risks”.
This prompted the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA) Chairman, Roger Verallo, to respond, “both the AGR and 3T methods continue to be the only methods currently approved by PASMA and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for assembling and dismantling towers,” and that “both methods continue to be supported by PASMA’s industry standard training scheme.”
When we contacted Gary Gallagher, MD of Turner Access, which is itself also a PASMA member, he said, “We believe that AGR protection is safer than the 3T method because it offers greater collective fall protection. If there is confusion, it is not of our making. It is caused by guidance that needs clarification.”
The 3T method involves the operative working partially through the open trap of a platform to position guardrails at appropriate distances above the platform. They then stand on the platform to continue the assembly process. The advance guardrail method involves the use of advance guardrails, which are positioned ahead of the platform. When the operative gains access to the platform, the advance guardrail is in position. They then install the permanent guardrails, and the advance unit is re-positioned ahead of the next platform.
The greater focus on these methods comes at a time when PASMA is conducting a review of its guidance on tower assembly, in consultation with all relevant stakeholders. The Association organised ‘hot topic’ debates on the merits of each system at last month’s Safety & Health Expo.
PASMA is set to stage tests of both methods at a technical assessment session later this month.
Bavtrak for Brownsea
A Digbits Bavtrak 025 compact crusher was recently put to work on a project at The National Trust’s Brownsea Island, situated within Poole harbour. The machine, hired from Dorset-based contractor Keith Maiden, was selected due to the location’s environmental sensitivity. The Island, which hosted the first Scout camp in 1907, is a dedicated nature conservation area.
Approximately 250 tonnes of rubble from dismantled buildings was recycled and re-used on the site to build a new visitor centre, saving on transportation and overall costs. Moreover, the fact that everything had to arrive by boat precluded the use of larger crushers.
Banson praise for No More Props
The normally publicity shy Banson Tool Hire of Halifax has been in touch with us regarding a new product that it considers to be a “revolutionary innovation.” As a result, it is now the first company to distribute No More Props from its 12 branches located across Yorkshire and Lancashire.
According to Banson MD, Bob Davies, “We had never seen anything quite like No More Props when we first came across it. It's certainly a revolutionary innovation that has generated great interest amongst our customers. At first, builders are a bit unsure about how it works - it's so different to what they've been used to - but those who have tried it think it's brilliant, and far quicker and easier to use than traditional propping methods. Working with the Diversity Group (www.diversity-group.co.uk), which first introduced the product last year, we have refined some elements of the design, and now it's a great item which could change how builders work.”
Banson first became aware of the product when one of its building customers was asked to participate in field tests of No More Props. The hirer then became involved in the refinement of the concept, providing comments and suggestions for its further improvement. This has resulted in an extension to the product range in order to satisfy a number of different uses. No More Props is designed to replace the traditional building prop.
Seddons is up for the Cup
Like the company’s five other depots, Seddons’ Bolton headquarters has geared up for the World Cup, with flags throughout the showroom showing support for the England team. “Let’s hope they have a great Cup run,” said Sales & Marketing Director, Phil Winnington. “Following the tournament makes a refreshing change from all the political and economic debates, and as most of the matches are in the evening or at weekends, everyone should be able to keep doing business in a positive mood.”
HSS adds Demon washers
HSS has added Demon International’s Demon Tornado Mini Bowser to its fleet, following successful trials with customers. The petrol machine has a 150-litre capacity and is designed as a solution for customers who need to carry water to site but do not want to use a large bowser.
Ian Webber, Category Manager from HSS said: “The machine’s manoeuvrable design makes it easy to use in narrow areas with difficult access, and it is proving popular with a wide range of customers, predominantly those operating in facilities management.”
LTS switches to Youngman
London Tower Service (LTS) of Beckton, east London, is currently changing all its push-around compact access platform fleet to machines from the Youngman Group, which already supplies the hirer with aluminium and grp towers. It was at the 2009 Executive Hire Show that Directors Steve Uragallo and Paul Fairhall first saw the Boss X-Series platforms on Youngman’s stand and they ordered an initial batch there and then for six X3 models, which offer a maximum working height of 4.5m. After much positive feedback, the company has decided to switch to Youngman units entirely and has increased the fleet to more than 50, including the X2, X3 and the new X3X models.
Paul Fairhall said, “The machines are robust enough to cope with the rigours of hire. We are also able to safely pressure-wash them without causing any electrical problems because they are designed to be totally waterproof.”
Oaks Plant opts for Ammann ViO
Oaks Plant Hire, based at Riverhead in Kent, has taken delivery of an Ammann Yanmar ViO30 3 tonne zero tail swing mini excavator, having first seen the machine while visiting the Executive Hire Show in February. “I have been asked for zero tail swing machines more and more on the grounds of Health & Safety,” said Director Ralph Wilcox, pictured (right) with Ammann Equipment’s Southern Area Sales Manager, Gary Wingrove. “I like to keep at the cutting edge of changes within the market place, especially where Health & Safety is involved. The EHS 2010 was an excellent opportunity to compare machines on a like-for-like basis, side by side. I chose the ViO30 for its ease of operation, operator comfort and spacious cab.”
Diga-Bara impresses at Kubota Live!
Exac-One, distributor of the Diga-Bara attachment, reports that the implement aroused an enthusiastic response from visitors at the Kubota Live! event held at Rockingham Castle last month. A Diga-Bara 1300 model attached to a 1.7 tonne Kubota U17 mini excavator was put through its paces in a confined space, loading clay from a stockpile, manoeuvring through a tight 90° bend, and then through a narrow cutting barely wider than the machine.
It continued through another 90° bend at the bottom of the cutting, up a steep slope emerging onto the surface, followed by a hairpin bend and a steep push up onto a stockpile, where the skip was emptied by flicking the back of the bucket against the tipping mechanism. Lowering the dozer blade automatically brings the skip back to its original position, and one hand placed over both tracking levers is all that is required to manoeuvre the digger/dumper combination in tight situations.
The Diga-Bara has no engine, no transmission, and virtually no moving parts. It is designed so that, essentially, wherever the mini excavator goes, the attachment goes with it, and the digger becomes the loading and unloading tool. For transportation, the implement can be ‘piggy-backed’ onto a standard 2 tonne plant trailer along with a 1.6 tonne mini.