The project

West Siphonics recently requested Nationwide Platforms’ powered access support on a project installing siphonics rainwater drainage systems at a construction site in Carlisle.

A specialist in siphonics rainwater management, West Siphonics installs cost-effective drainage systems that mitigate the need for traditional gravity-based drainage systems. As well as saving vital funds, this solution also benefits construction work: with fewer underground drainpipes, there is little need to carry out extensive preparatory excavation work, which means that the main work of a construction project can be started right away.

Nationwide Platforms provided two 660SJHCS JLG telescopic boom lifts with enhanced lifting capacities. The machines were used to lift heavy and intricate piping material high up onto the roofs and to elevate important machinery so that necessary roof installations could be carried out. 


The challenge

Working at height presents numerous challenges in and of itself. However, with siphonics drainage work, very complex construction work is required on the highest part of the building: the roof. One of the consequences of this is that much of the equipment necessary for performing the work must be transported to high places.

This equipment can be extremely heavy and often has to be elevated alongside the workers who will install it at height. The siphonics drainage pipes themselves can weigh up to 80kg and are often very intricate, which means that not only are they heavy to lift, but that they also must be manoeuvred and installed with extreme precision.

An additional challenge is the possibility of falling from the machine platform during work at height. Fortunately, such falls are rare; yet even one fall is too many, and according to the IPAF 2023 report, falls still remain the leading cause of fatality when working at height. To offset this risk, Nationwide Platforms and West Siphonics employed game-changing safety technology, ensuring the operators could work securely while performing the intricate siphonics installations.

The solution & benefits

Nationwide Platforms’ solution was twofold.

First, they addressed the significant weight requirements by providing two of their 660SJHCS JLG extra capacity boom lifts. With three working zones and enhanced capacity, the JLG 660SJHCS can accommodate up to three workers at once. Able to hold weights of up to 299kg when unrestricted and 454kg when restricted, these high-capacity machines have been re-engineered to provide increased capability whilst retaining the same carbon footprint as the standard 660SJ model. These machines proved vital for elevating the 80kg piping to roof level along with three West Siphonics operators, who were held at that height while they carried out the complex installation work.

To address the potential safety hazards incumbent upon working at height on such a complex task, Nationwide Platforms ensured its machines were installed with its game-changing safety technology, Harness ON™.

Using intelligent induction technology, Harness ON™ connects a worker’s lanyard carabiner directly into a machine’s control panel, preventing the current from reaching the machine until an operator is securely fastened in. In short, unless the operator is safely secured with their harness clipped in, the machine won’t operate. Through the use of this technology, Nationwide Platforms significantly reduces the risk of falls from height. Importantly, the operators needed only to fasten in as normal, and the rest took care of itself: they could focus diligently upon the job without a hitch.

Katrina McMahon, Strategic Account Manager at Nationwide Platforms, said: “At Nationwide Platforms we are dedicated to fostering unique business relationships with our customers, where we adapt to the changing needs of the customers according to the developing demands of the job.

“We’re proud to offer a fleet equipped with a wide variety of machinery capable of satisfying the most niche requirements. Our extra capacity machines proved vital for the siphonics drainage installation at Carlisle; even slight differences to an existing machine can translate into huge advantages on-site, and the extra-capacity on the 660SJHCS lifts is evidence of this.”

Simon Wilkinson, Operations Manager at West Siphonics, said: “The extra capacity machines have been vital to our work on this and several other projects across the country. We perform installations that can have extremely tight weight and height parameters, and Nationwide Platforms’ fleet has proven itself adept at meeting these requirements and adapting to changes wherever they’re needed. With the right machinery, West Siphonics can continue to equip modern infrastructure with our efficient drainage systems. We enjoy working with Nationwide Platforms, and we’re excited to continue doing so.”

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