Height safety specialist Combisafe is introducing a system scaffold that it says will allow conventional scaffold contractors to make the leap into modular scaffolding.
The Octagon scaffold, built by recently purchased subsidiary ASP (Advanced Scaffold Products), is a system scaffold that accommodates conventional boards.
Business development director Barney Green said: “Many companies with traditional tube and fitting want to move into systems, but are prevented by the fact they have lots of boards.”
The key to the Octagon system is that is uses 520 mm vertical spacings instead of the more conventional 500 mm, which allows it to accommodate the width of the scaffold boards. It also features a readilock transom, which avoids the need for ledger bracing and thus allows a better working space underneath.
Following its purchase of ASP, which makes a range of products from aluminium beams to movable stairways, Combisafe is targeting the large number of scaffolders who use tube and fitting. Along with Octagon, ASP produces the Ubix roof system, which claims one of the largest spans available at up to 40 m.
Combisafe is also developing adaptors for its mesh safety barrier to enable it to be fitted to conventional scaffold.
Mr Green said: “Because our barriers are an alternative to the tube and fitting guardrail we have always been seen as the scaffolder’s foe, but there is a lot both parties can offer each other. One of the problems with tube and fitting work these days is getting the labour.”
The firm is looking to work with regional scaffold firms by recognising them as certified installers of its products.
Mr Green said ASP, Combisafe’s first purchase, brought three major benefits: “It gives us a link into the scaffold industry, it provides us with great market knowledge through the three principals, Paul Keevill, Tony Jenkins and Rob Vernon, and it is in itself a good business.”
Combisafe is looking for further expansion, both in its height safety portfolio and through its sister company Fairford Construction Products, which distributes equipment such as rebar tying tools. Mr Green said: “We are not going to achieve all our growth organically, so we are looking at acquisitions both here and abroad.”