ACCESS equipment specialist Blue Sky is developing products to help workers cope with manual handling while avoiding falls from height.
The firm has worked on two horizontal cladding devices for scissor lifts in collaboration with cladding manufacturer Kingspan and on a pipe-handling system for platforms, designed to lift awkwardshaped loads in the pipefixing sector.
Blue Sky joint boss Paul Cummings said: 'The contractors often sit the weight of the cladding or pipes on the handrails, which is not clever because they are not tested for load bearing.'
He said handling devices not only aid productivity but have a benefit for the workforce.
'They allow contractors to keep their labour for longer by enabling older people who can't lift manually to take part.There is also a debilitating condition called 'sprinkler back' among pipe fixers that should be avoided with the Pipefix.'
Pipefix holds up to four pipes in place by friction, with the two arms allowing installation with adjustment of angle and height.
The cladding device, SkyClad, comes in two versions, one for installing the first four rows of panels and the other for those above, with the ability to install up to eight panels.The panels are attached by suction and lifted into place hydraulically, with the suction allowing the panels to be moved once in place.
Mr Cummings said: 'It allows one guy to put 300 kg panels up from ground level.We are now working on a magazine system that will allow the panels to be picked up from the delivery point and taken to site.'