The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Floating Scaffolding for Construction

Floating Scaffolding for Construction
04 November 2021

In an industry first, floating scaffolding has been used to complete a specialist contract lift on the River Severn.

The job further expands the capabilities of the innovative ScaffFloat system that combines patented plastic floats with standard scaffold beams, tubes and clips to make temporary pontoons and workboats for inland and coastal projects. 

Working in partnerships with one of their Approved Installer’s Attridge Scaffolding, the partnership was able to provide a full scope of works that included full access to the vertical concrete penstock face of the riverside waterworks using traditional scaffold, as well as providing two large floating scaffold pontoons for storing and lifting the new eel screens, weighing 2.2t each.

James Attridge said “This project was almost 12 months in the planning. After an initial site visit with the client, it was a case of putting together a scheme utilising past experience from other projects. The exception being the floating lift rig. This is where our professional working relationship with ScaffFloat enabled both parties to work together to develop a solution."


Sites on or Near Water


As one of the main UK Approved Installers of the floating scaffold system they worked with the ScaffFloat team to develop a custom design that met the very site-specific client requirements. Access to the water was very limited and so both pontoons were built shoreside as a skeleton framework, this kept the weight for the crane lift down to 1t. Once afloat additional tubes, clips and boards were craned down and both pontoons were completed afloat bringing their weight up to around 3t each.

The first pontoon was used as a storage pontoon, with a 6t payload it was used to store components afloat before they were fitted by the team from Edwards Diving.

The second pontoon was fitted with a custom lifting A-frame, this was designed specifically to lift the 2.2t, 6m x 3m Eel Screens. Designed and built to Eurocode standard with a suitable dynamic application and safety factor, it was also proof tested on-site to over 3t. In addition, Richter provided an independent Cat 3 check to provide further safety assurances.

Toby Budd, MD of ScaffFloat said ‘’One of the challenges for this lift was water depth. The eel screens were installed just below the surface so there was not enough draft or water depth to have the pontoon directly above. This meant the 2.2t lifts had to be done over the bow of the pontoon at a distance of 3m.

"It was a great project, and we are proud that we achieved the six lifts ahead of time and without any accidents. This is another example of how quickly the ScaffFloat system is developing, customers love the versatility and we have a number of other lifting jobs in the pipeline.”

Picture: a photograph of the floating scaffolding at the River Severn

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 04 November 2021


Related Articles

The British Antarctic Survey – Is this the Coolest Job in Facilities Management?

Most tend to think of facilities management as a job sector based in hospitals, large office buildings or universities – but some FMs work in the coldest and most...

 Read Full Article
Technology to Prevent Tool Theft

According to Direct Line insurance, a tool is stolen from a tradesperson every 17 minutes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Can more be done to safeguard their...

 Read Full Article
Mental Health Awareness Week – Combatting Loneliness 

The Mental Health Foundation started Mental Health Awareness Week 21 years ago, and it has grown to become one of the biggest awareness weeks across the UK and...

 Read Full Article
Survey Finds Lone Worker Injuries are Commonplace

The majority of companies, 68 per cent of the study group, have experienced an incident involving a lone worker in the past three years – a fifth of these incidents...

 Read Full Article
Buyer’s Guide – Technology for Lone Worker Safety

Lone workers without direct supervision or anyone to help them if things go wrong will always be at greater risk of accident, and can benefit from mobile app solutions to...

 Read Full Article
New Ways Of Working - The Real Game Changer For H&S

There has understandably been a great deal of focus recently on the potential impact of Brexit on the health and safety sector. Some commentators are concerned that a...

 Read Full Article
If You Go Down to the Woods Today

To better meet its duty of care to its employees and accurately monitor their safety while they work, Coombes has launched BS 8484 accredited lone worker safety system...

 Read Full Article
Tool Theft Predicted to Increase as Clocks Change

Police data shows that November is the peak time for tool theft in the UK. As daylight hours reduce, tool theft from vehicles increases by 20 per cent, according to...

 Read Full Article
Studies Show Home Workers Suffer Higher Rates of Back Pain

An independent study of over a thousand workers shows that the rate of chronic sufferers of back pain is highest among those working from home full-time. Conducted by...

 Read Full Article
Protecting Workers and Your Business at Heights

A building maintenance company has been fined £20,000 for their lapse in competent management of work carried out on a roof and gutters in Wolverhampton, resulting...

 Read Full Article