Specialist solution for working at height

Using the Mono-Dec minimised disruption to residents.

It can be carried through your living room, assembled in the garden and allows an engineer to safely reach roofline height in under six minutes.

Prima has invested a new piece of equipment to improve safety and speed up working at height, as part of its work for Amicus Horizon’s landmark IFORE project.

Using a Mono-Dec safety platform the Prima team was able to access and upgrade the first floor windows of 98 properties on the Rushenden housing estate in Swale, with minimal disruption to residents and maximum comfort for working.

Prima’s operations manager, Ross Halfpenny, says that the project presented his team with a fresh challenge.

“We needed to remove all the glass and gaskets from the window units to replace them for new ones, but the systems had a high security bead which makes the components especially hard to remove.”

How could the engineers complete the work safely at height without losing speed on the project?

Tower scaffolding is often used for this kind of work, but this solution was ruled out, says Ross: “The set-up for scaffolding is hefty, we’re talking hours not minutes. While it’s safe, it gives a less stable working base than a platform.”

Health and Safety Executive
regulations suggest a minimum of 30 minutes working at height and removing the glass would require a pulling movement which could tip an engineer off balance, so working off a ladder was also dismissed.

While researching alternatives, Ross was given a demo of a platform structure called the Mono-Dec. This 1.2 m long platform is on adjustable telescopic legs, it’s built by the engineer on the ground and then quickly raised to the required height.

“It was incredible: safe and comfortable to use but portable and really quick to put up. It ticked all the boxes.”

Access was another important consideration on the Rushenden site, the properties for upgrade were mid-terrace so there was no side or rear access

“I didn’t want my team scrambling over fences or wasting time removing panels, plus we had to be sensitive to neighbouring private residents who weren’t having work done,” he explains.

Prima was the last trade to come in and work on the site where others had completed, so that was another factor to think through.

“When we arrived on site the fronts of the properties had been freshly rendered,” says Ross. “The Mono-Dec platform works by resting on the front of the buildings, so I saw immediately we couldn’t use it as it was or we would crack the new render. I spoke to the manufacturer and they provided us with a foam roller pad which spreads the load on the frontage.”

Overall, he says having this bespoke solution eased the burden on what could otherwise have been a technically challenging job, “now we have made the investment in this equipment it will mean more flexibility for future jobs.”

For more on the benefits of using specialist contractors read our Director's blog.
Read about Prima's involvement in the IFORE project.