Raising the bar in roof safety

Staff at Safety Fabrications Ltd
Staff at Safety Fabrications Ltd
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The days when protection against falls on tall buildings might be little more than a knee-high wall or a lightweight tubular barrier are long gone.

But the trend towards tighter and tighter controls continues.

Safety Fabrications Ltd factory focus

Safety Fabrications Ltd factory focus

Pressure is mounting for safety systems to be developed to allow people to work on a roof without the need for training or Personal Protective Equipment, including harnesses and cable systems, says Eurosafe.

The firm is keeping abreast of that trend and responding with products like D-marc and Roof Walker.

D-marc is a barrier made from recycled plastic and designed to prevent access to hazardous areas during regular rooftop maintenance.

Roof Walker is an easy-to- install walkway, which is designed to stay secure without any need to drill into the roof.

“We used to install other people’s products, but we heard about instances where they blew off the roof although they are supposted to be tested to withstand a once in 50 years ‘wind event,’” says John Boyle.

“We spent a lot of time in the Building Research Establishment’s wind tunnel.

“We took a lot of different designs down and spent a couple of days refining the design so that it could withstand winds of up to 107mph – the worst case speed anywhere in Britain.”

So jealous was Eurosafe of its reputation that it then went round all the places where it had installed other manufacturers products and replaced them with its new design.

“We took the view that we were a safety company and we weren’t prepared to risk it,” adds John Boyle.

Eurosafe’s drive to ensure that the equipment it installs meets its high safety standards and what can be quite challenging, bespoke customer requirements were the key to the company’s decision to develop its own specialist fabrications business, Nutwood Trading Estate-based Safety Fabrications.

The company has years of experience of working with steel and aluminium and the expertise to put together almost any kind of installation.

Challenges have included a 40 metre suspended access cradle system for the new Formula One Stadium in New Delhi, India, and a trolley to transport maintenance equipment through a 700 metre long tunnel on the roof of the new Blackfriars railway station in London.

Safety Fabrications doesn’t just work for Eurosafe - it’s reputation is such that even competitors use the firm.

“Now we have got a name for it, architects ring us up and ask for all kinds of oddball stuff,” says Gavin Ellis.

“The world’s biggest architectural practices come to us to help them with access problems.

“We work with the best – Foster and Partners, Arup, HOK…

“The beauty of being in the UK is that the world’s biggest projects are designed here.”