The eight nominees for Access and Scaffolding Specialist of the Year have provided access solutions to some of the UK’s most high-profile projects and contractors.
Alimak Hek has been providing vertical access solutions for more than 45 years, and has recently provided hoists and lifts to some of the UK’s most prestigious projects, including the Walkie Talkie building, the Cheesegrater, Crossrail and the Francis Crick Institute.
Its five main business areas – construction, industrial, temporary lifts, used equipment and after sales – ensure a diverse range of activities have helped support the business through the recession.
Managing director James Brierley believes in operating an ethical and risk-managed approach to business, focusing on long-term growth over a short-term business mentality. Last year saw 5 per cent growth for the company, with 10 per cent targeted for 2014.
This growth has been supported with capital expenditure in new scaffolding equipment, IT systems and major capital items such as vehicles. The firm is actively looking to recruit four apprentices to supplement its existing six.
Chris Sedgeman Scaffolding
Training is a big focus for this company with numerous employees and apprentices achieving a range of qualifications in 2013.
The highlight of the year was the company’s project at South Crofty Tin Mine, which required expertise from all areas of the business. A scaffold pyramid had to be constructed – a structure that was well-recognised in Cornwall and has led to work outside of the county.
Crossway Scaffolding (Elland)
Crossway Scaffolding works extensively with Network Rail, and was last year responsible for the complete design, supply, erection and removal of a temporary crash deck and working platform, together with other temporary support and access scaffolds, during the redevelopment of Manchester Victoria Station with Morgan Sindall.
The firm enjoys 85 per cent repeat business from clients and has invested in training over the past 12 months.
This firm doubled its operational capacity last year by investing in a new outside loading area to facilitate wholly mechanical loading.
Last year, Malvern hired two apprentices and 15 other staff, as well as investing £200,000 in new scaffolding equipment. The firm is doubling its office size this spring in order to cater for planned and future expansion. Both turnover and profit have risen steadily each year.
Millcroft Services employed a full-time health and safety adviser in 2013 to work at its head office in Greenwich, where he has been able to oversee the day-to-day running of the company and improve H&S further.
The firm’s safety record in the rail sector has helped increase its amount of work there to the point that it is now a major part of the business. It has been appointed to all Skanska rail scaffold inspections and safety work, as well as winning work on Crossrail.
Nationwide Platforms undertook a £20m fleet replenishment programme in 2013 and provided access solutions on more than 50 projects worth in excess of £50m each last year.
A drive to improve health and safety on sites has seen results, with lost-time incidents more than halved between 2010 and 2012, and a four-year target to reduce LTIs achieved within two years. The firm also grew new customer bases in sectors such as utilities, power generation, facilities management and engineering.
Network Scaffolding Contractors
Turnover at Network Scaffolding Contractors increased from £2.5m in 2011/12 to £6.1m in 2012/13, with £700,000 invested in new equipment over the past year.
The company is on track to achieve targeted turnover of £8m this year, and has successfully developed its Salford office from six employees two years ago to 58 today. A new office is also being opened in London, with another planned for the South-west of England this year.
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