Low level access boost for skyscraper refurb programme


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Powered access hire specialist JMS has teamed up with low level platform manufacturer Power Tower to support office refurbishment in one of the UK’s tallest buildings.

JMS has been commissioned by Canary Wharf Group to provide low level platforms for contractors stripping out and refitting 11 floors of a skyscraper in London’s Docklands.

The hire company will be using platforms in its low level access hire fleet manufactured by Power Tower to keep the hundreds of workers safe and working productively during the major refit programme.


Powered access partnership

JMS teamed up with Power Tower colleagues to carry out familiarisation training on the push-around mobile elevating working platforms (MEWPs) in a session attended by more than 30 contractor representatives.

JMS Director Justin Lynn said: “We’re looking to provide Canary Wharf Group with a seamless low level access hire services in the months to come, which is epitomised by our partnership working with Power Tower.


“For large, complex multi-phase projects like this, safe and effective use of access equipment to work at height is vital, which is why we’ve worked together to organise this training.

“The platforms will be used in many aspects of the work, including dry wall installation, electrical and mechanical installation and painting and decorating. Much of the work will be done at night, which presents specific working at height challenges we wanted to address.”


Full Power Tower low access range

A fleet of between 40 and 60 low level access platforms, supplied by JMS, will be in use during the office refurbishment programme at any one time.

They will include Power Tower’s Pecolift. The push-around platform is a simple, safe and efficient low level access alternative to step-ladders, platforms, podium steps and small scaffold towers.

The Pecolift gives a maximum working height of 3.5m. It is just 0.7m wide and has a stowed length of 0.98m, so is ideal for use in confined and busy work spaces.

Another low level platform in the fleet will be the Ecolift. Another push-around platform, it has an innovative zero-power lift mechanism, gives working height up to 4.2m yet fits easily through a standard door.

The Nano 45 is simple to operate. Its battery powered lifting mechanism rises to a maximum working height of 4.5m at a tough of a button and the cage has a capacity of 200kg.

Meanwhile, the Power Tower has a maximum working height of 5.1m. It combines the simplicity of an aluminium tower with the flexibility and productivity of a push-around access platform.


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Still too many ladder falls

Many building and maintenance contractors and professionals understand now that low level powered access solutions are safer than ladder systems and often more productive than aluminium towers.

However, official statistics still show that many thousands still take serious risks every day when working at low level height.

A report by an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Working at Height concluded that a million UK businesses and 10 million workers needed to carry out work at height every year. 

In 2018, falling from height was the most common cause of workplace fatalities in the UK, causing 35 deaths, 18% of the total. The second most common cause was being struck by a vehicle, causing 26 deaths.

Analysis of annual RIDDOR statistics has shown that ladders were involved in a third of all major fall injuries. In the food industry, falls from ladders were the most common fall incidents.

“There is clearly a strong case for using low level powered access,” said Justin Lynn. “The cost of workplace falls can be huge in terms of managerial response, lost work time, compensation, legal costs and fines, and reputational damage.

“Low level powered access systems mitigate these risks. On top of that, they contribute significantly to working at height productivity and team morale, improving the quality of work and staff retention.”


Delivering low level access excellence

The Canary Wharf office refurb project will benefit from JMS’s determination to provide the best low level access hire delivery service.

It uses smaller vehicles to transport low level access platforms, allowing faster, more flexible and more timely delivery and collection of equipment, often with a same day service.

During the Canary Wharf office refurbishment programme contractors will be confident of having the low level MEWPs they need when they need them. Utilisation rates will be maximised, and costs will be controlled.

For more information about low level platform hire, call JMS today: 0845 457 0000.