Safety products provide extra edge on projects

Beaver 84’s Edge Protection Solutions (EPS) have aided site safety on three health centre projects currently being delivered by hub South East for NHS Lothian, the City of Edinburgh Council and West Lothian Council.

GRAHAM Construction is the main contractor for all three sites at Allermuir, North West Edinburgh and Blackburn, respectively.

Beaver 84 is the sole UK distributor of Rapid EPS products, which have been credited by GRAHAM as providing flexibility and helping to save time on the programme of works.

The “revolutionary” fall protection system is said to be one of quickest and most effective systems for providing safety to the construction sector.

At the three-storey Allermuir Health Centre, Beaver has provided EPS for both steel and concrete. Peter Halliday, project manager at GRAHAM said, “This is a concrete frame structure on the first two levels, then steel on top. The walls are traditional SFS with brick clad on the outside.

“The duration of the project is about 14 months. It’s due to complete about the beginning of September this year.”

Halliday said the biggest challenge his team has faced has been the tight nature of the site. “We’re bounded on three sides,” he explained. “Where we do have access, it is quite small. That’s our biggest challenge – logistics on the site itself and managing that.

“By the nature of the building we have to provide edge protection all the way around, which can’t be provided by scaffolding in the first case because we can’t construct a concrete frame with scaffolding in the way. We have to plan in the edge protection that goes around the building so that when we’re finished stripping out all the temporary works for the concrete frame, we’re left with a safe building for people to work in.

“We looked at various products but Beaver offered the best solution, because of the versatility, and their service levels are first class. The edge protection is versatile in so much as we can almost do anything we want with it; we can fix it to the edge of the structure, we can fix it on top of the structure, there are methods of fixing it under the structure and coming up the side. It’s versatile on concrete, on steel and timber so we have no great challenges there.

“The panels themselves are versatile. They’re very quickly erected and dismantled and it’s a practical and visually attractive system. In addition to the onsite support from Beaver they also provide us with an Edge Protection Federation accredited training course ensuring operatives are suitably trained in the selection, installation and inspection of edge protection.”

Halliday said the flexibility of product is a huge plus on a building that is a combination of steel and concrete. “We didn’t want to mix and match different edge protection systems,” he added. “The safety advantage of the Beaver product is that it’s a strong product on a bespoke bracket and tested beyond the requirements laid down in BSEN 13374. The panels are lightweight, user friendly and robust and are easily handled by one person.”

Solutions for the medical facility at North West Edinburgh included edge protection for steel and concrete including perimeters, voids and lift shaft edge protection. While at Blackburn, the EPS was supplied for a steel frame structure.

Beaver EPS solutions can also be used on timber frame buildings.

Roy Rodgers, regional sales representative at Beaver 84, reiterated the importance of flexibility and the ease of use of the products. “It’s essential  to learn how to install EPS correctly,” he explained. “We can provide the training in-house free of charge and give accredited certification for that.

“Flexibility is the key for the different structures. Within each fabric there are various solutions. We’ve got a slab grab, curb grab for the top, we can fix underneath, we can drill to the face, and we can pre-fix various systems on the ground. This can be craned up onto the structure, which reduces working at height, which is a big factor.

“We’ve also got the facility of in-house design which is all part of our standard package. We are occasionally asked for various non-standard requirements and can provide  bespoke solutions to meet such projects.

“Feedback throughout these projects has been very positive. When you source Edge Protection from Beaver84 you`ll receive a fully comprehensive service.”