New Scaffolders Join Swift As Demand For Scaffolding Rises

New Scaffolders Join Swift As Demand For Scaffolding Rises

Wow! Where has February gone already? …

Marc and the team going have been going through all the new starter inductions, as new team members have joined us this month. Increased demand for our scaffolding, backed up with good January weather, has meant our services are in high demand. Marc has been working with Gemma Hardman, our Head of HR to recruit new team members to support the ongoing workload.

Training is key at Swift, and we take pride in ensuring we keep the team in tip top condition, and up to date with rules and regulations. This month we’ve been training 2 members of the yard team on fresh fork truck training.

Did you know a licence isn’t essential to drive a forklift truck? There are a few requirements that you must meet to safely operate one though, and we follow The HSC Approved Code of Practice and Guidance. It’s not just about driving skills either – it’s important that you have the appropriate level of medical fitness to operate heavy machinery. This includes a certain level of vision and hearing, and not being at risk of epileptic fits, for example. We also provide refresher training for our staff, because like with scaffolding, safety is paramount at Swift Scaffold, whether on or off site.

We’re always on the search for skilled and competent scaffolders to support our ongoing and new installations. At the moment we’re particularly looking for experienced scaffolders in the Lincoln and Newark area. This is for a new, ongoing project which is likely to last at least three years, so a great opportunity for newcomers to join our team right at the start.

If you’re looking for a new position or know someone who is,  please contact Gemma on either 01543 473999 or at gemma@swiftscaffold.com or keep an eye on our job page here.

A New Year Boost For Swift Scaffold As Simon Willis Joins The Team

A New Year Boost For Swift Scaffold As Simon Willis Joins The Team

Wow, what a year 2021! Even during Covid chaos we’ve seen a significant increase in the market. We are pleased to say that the Swift Scaffold team rose to the challenge to support ongoing pressures and to deliver on time, in full, on all projects  – while maintaining zero accidents.

To support the continued growth of Swift Scaffold for 2022, and for the years beyond we are pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Willis as the company’s new Managing Director.

New SWift Scaffold MD Simon Willis

Simon Willis, new Managing Director at Swift Scaffold Midlands ltd

 

Simon joined us at the very start of the year to assist with ongoing growth of Swift Scaffold. Simon’s early years were in engineering and automotive, before moving across to construction, setting up a new division for Portakabin. He is extremely committed to deliver projects on time and in a safe manner yet remaining flexible as site needs arise.

Simon’s a keen rugby supporter and can often been found at either his local ground, and when possible, attending England’s International games, and ideally tries to choose when they win. Simon is a bit of an adrenalin junkie, being a qualified scuba and sky diver. Alongside all this, he’s a keen motorcyclist and enjoys pushing personal boundaries – but with limits. Being happily married with 2 children, fulfils his remaining time!

His intention is to get out and meet the customers and teams on a face-to-face basis and he is very much a driver for the commercial activity in Swift.

If you would like help with a specific project, or tender assistance, please feel free to contact Simon or anyone on the Swift team.

 

Tel: 01543 473999 Email: info@swiftscaffold.com or use our contact form here

New Ladders And Brick Guards Arriving At Swift This Week

New Ladders And Brick Guards Arriving At Swift This Week

The humble ladder.

If you work in any of the construction trades, you’ll have seen that many ladders you probably don’t notice them anymore, unless you’re doing an equipment or safety inspection.

So, which bright spark created the early version of this construction site essential?

The first known evidence of a ladder as we would recognise one today dates back to the Spider Caves in Valencia. An etching in Mesolithic rock, believed to have been around for over 10,000 years, shows a ladder made from some kind of grass or plant material, being used by two men to access a bee’s nest.

There’s a good chance they were around even earlier. Its hard to imagine how the pyramids could’ve been built without them.

Fast forward a few thousand years to 1862 when American John H. Balsley first registered a patent for a folding wooden step ladder. Thanks to Mr Balsley, it became much more convenient for people to transport their access equipment, but it was only in the early 19th century that aluminium became the preferred material for manufacturers. By the mid 20th century, glass-fibre was introduced and, like wood, is useful when a non-conductive solution is needed.

Not surprisingly, ladders are crucial in the scaffolding industry. Working at height can be dangerous without the right kit, so we check ours for damage regularly and replace any ladders and gates which don’t meet our high standards. The health and safety of our scaffolders is paramount.

That’s why our ops manager Marc is looking especially excited about this delivery. New brick guards and ladders arrived at our yard last week and are already off to sites around the Midlands.

And our kit is definitely 21st century, top quality – there won’t be any plant-based ladders on our sites!

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If you have a project and need a top-notch access solution, we can help. Give us a call on 01543 473999 or email info@swiftscaffold.com

The Alarming Rise In Scaffolding Thefts

The Alarming Rise In Scaffolding Thefts

There’s a plague raging through our industry at the moment – and it’s nothing to do with the pandemic.

It’s theft.

The chances are if you’re in in building or construction, you’ll be aware of how thefts from building sites are on the rise. The latest statistics from insurer Allianz Cornhill suggests that thefts cost the construction industry in excess of £800M a year. This is probably a conservative figure too, given that some thefts go unreported.

A survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Building revealed that 92% of respondents were directly affected by petty crime, with a whopping 21% stating that their construction sites were robbed on a weekly basis.

For contractors, it’s not just about the cost of the stolen materials. There’s also the cost of hiring or buying new equipment, the rise in insurance premiums and the knock-on effect of lost time and productivity. It’s not just the material theft, which is distressing enough, it’s also the livelihood theft. Without equipment it’s impossible to complete a job.

 

The thieves are crafty too.

Security on site is probably the single largest contributor to the problem, and thieves have worked out cunning ways to sidestep any troublesome security measures in place.

Fake number plates were used in one instance, and not just random fakes either. The thieves replicated the number plate of a legitimate contractor van, making sure that if their actions were questioned, they could ‘prove’ that they were simply removing their own equipment. This takes some nerve, but a high-viz jacket and hard hat seem to lure most people into believing that someone’s actions are legitimate.

And if you’ve ever had to haul scaffolding around, you’ll know that it’s hefty kit, so stealing it would take some planning, manpower and transport. It’s not an opportunistic strike such as breaking into a shed or garage in the hope of finding some valuable tools.

 

Why the upsurge?

The theft of vans and tools has been a common blight for years. But why is there now an increase in the theft of plant, materials and larger pieces of equipment?

It would seem that the shortage of new plant equipment, and longer lead times, has caused a surge in demand. Like any desirable commodity (look at the increase in dog thefts over lockdown for example) thieves are willing to take the risk when the pay-off is so high.

It raises the question though: who’s using the stolen equipment?

There was a case in Swindon of a man who used £40k worth of scaffolding, stolen from the company he was working for, to set up his own business. This is a particularly bold example, but it’s not uncommon for equipment from one business being used to fund another.

Other reports suggest that the metal is still being sold on for scrap to less scrupulous dealers. In 2013, to combat the rise in metal theft, the Scrap Metal Dealers Act brought in changes to prevent metal being sold for cash, making it harder to offload a stolen haul. Dealers now require a licence to trade and there has been a decrease in metal thefts since its introduction.

 

Can thefts be prevented?

Alarms and trackers are certainly a deterrent, but the most effective methods are sometimes just common sense. Having good lighting on site might seem obvious, but darkness is the friend of thieves and most of these crimes take place during the night.

Often though, as is the case with us at Swift, scaffolders are dependent on the security provided by the site they’re working on. Construction sites generally adopt perimeter security measures to control access, both for safety purposes, and to prevent damage, theft or vandalism. The key measure is controlling access, although as mentioned above, thieves were able to skip through checks by replicating a van registration plate.

Marking or painting equipment will help you to identify your equipment if its stolen, but will it prevent your stuff from being stolen in the first place? Making it widely known that your gear is identifiable could certainly help.

 

What can we do?

It’s a sad fact that construction site crime is often committed by people working in the industry. This means that responsibility rests with site supervisors, and if they take a strong line on site security by making company policy clear to everyone, they can help reduce the problem.

At Swift, we use state of the art theft prevention and detection compounds, and work closely with local police to recover stolen kit.

Educating staff on working practices and crime is part of our ongoing training programme too. If site staff are aware of risks and dangers more can be done to minimise theft.

 

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What security measures do you have in place, and have you been affected by theft? Please leave a comment below if you’d like to share your experiences.

And, if you’re looking for a reliable, trustworthy scaffolding company in the Midlands, give us a call on  01543 473999 or email info@swiftscaffold.com