Blue sky thinking pays off for access specialist

A powered access firm has developed a solution that aims to allow for easier transfer of edge protection materials to height.

BlueSky Solutions is the product development division of Nationwide Platforms, part of the Loxam Group. The Leicestershire-headquartered company has a number of depots in Scotland including Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

In conjunction with trade association FASET (Fall Arrest Safety Equipment Training), BlueSky Solutions has developed the SkyRakEdge – a boom lift attachment, which allows for edge protection materials, such as scaffolding tubes, to be held securely in place while being transported.

The attachment is described as being able to secure up to nine scaffolding tubes with maximum lengths of six metres, and is compatible with all Genie booms with either 6ft or 8ft. baskets, ranging from 45ft to 85ft platform heights.

“We developed it initially through a customer request and as quite often happens, if one customer needs this product it’s likely others do as well,” explained Paul Marks, director at BlueSky Solutions.

“We make quite a few one-off material handling attachments for big jobs and some of those make it through to being mainstream products, and that’s what’s happened here.”

Paul said that following the customer’s request, BlueSky realised there was potential to make this industry-specific product available to all edge protection companies.

He explained that the SkyRakEdge allows the operator to safely secure a payload before taking it to height, and keeps that payload secure all the time the machine is moving. It also enables a “simple” removal process once at height, whereby the operator can transfer the payload to a colleague or fix it themselves as the product does not obstruct the working area in any way. “All the edge protection companies that we’ve had this trialling with have seen it as a great product and as an improvement to their process,” Paul added.

SkyRakEdge is the latest addition to Nationwide’s SkyRak range, which also includes SkyRakPlus, for use with large decked diesel scissors, and SkyRakBoom, for use with boom lifts. Looking to the future, Paul believes there is still a lot of opportunity for industry-specific developments in the access sector.

He said, “Regulations are changing all the time, the application that our customers are using our machines for is changing all the time and building technology is changing all the time; so there are a lot of challenges as a result of that we’re continuing to have to monitor and meet these customer requirements.”