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Work at height puts squeeze on booms


THE INDUSTRY is headed for a shortage of small powered access booms early next year, as a number of major M&E and fit-out jobs come on stream at the same time.

Andrew Fishburn, head of hirer Wizard Workspace, said this shortfall coupled with a general increase in demand for small platforms from f irms looking to comply with the Work at Height Regulations, will put added pressure on contractors.

He said: 'We correctly predicted a shortage of big booms last year when all the stadiums were going up, but there are going to be some big projects in the next few months which will put a lot of pressure on the supply of 5.8 m to 7.9 m machines.

The White City development alone could take in 250-300 machines at peak.' He added that contractors were missing a chance to comply with increasingly strict emissions legislation. 'Rather than specifying particulate filters for diesel machines, contractors should consider electric booms.

'They can work on more terrain than they are given credit for. Sites are not always bogs, the electric machines can handle compacted gravel, dolomite or shale or hard mud and the 45-footer cant ravel 23 km on one charge.'