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SkySentry 'drives safety success at Barts Hospital for Skanska'

05 April 2013

Technology behind Nationwide Platforms’ new safety innovation, SkySentry, is helping shape new levels of best practice on a large, prestigious projects

Since January 2012, Nationwide Platforms has provided powered access equipment, training, and safety solutions to support Skanska, the main contractor, during the £135m second phase of St Bartholemew’s (Barts) Hospital in central London.

Key to this support has been SkySentry, the latest product to enter the internationally award-winning range of innovations developed by BlueSky Solutions, the working at height safety specialists who were acquired by Nationwide Platforms’ parent company, Lavendon Group plc, in 2011.

Designed to both prevent unauthorised use and improve the efficient use of powered access, SkySentry can be retro-fitted to the vast majority of scissors, booms and low-level access platforms globally. When fitted to a Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) the system requires the entry of unique four digit PINs before machine users can activate the platform. Up to 100 individual PINs can be allocated per machine.

Additionally, telematic features enable SkySentry to track information on machine usage, placement and its functions. This can be accessed through an online portal which enables clients to review both live and historical information tracked by the innovation. In turn, this enables users to anticipate future machine requirements whilst avoiding under-utilised equipment being retained unnecessarily on site.

Since introducing the system to Skanska, the contractor has supported its use on all of the MEWPs on-site – a figure which reached a peak of around 140 platforms. As a key strategic partner to the leading contractor, Nationwide Platforms subsequently fitted SkySentry on all access platforms on the project, accounting for equipment used by both Skanska employees, as well as sub-contractors who have benefited from the system.

With a robust machine security and monitoring system in place, Nationwide Platforms were able to provide MEWP users with an on-site stock of machines, safe in the knowledge that the proper use of platforms could be tracked and reported on at all times. In addition to improving equipment availability, it optimised the use of site stock. This reduced delivery and associated costs, which was passed on to the contractor, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of the project.

Skanska was the first contractor to mandate anti-entrapment protection following the launch of the Lavendon Group's SkySiren, worked closely with the access leader to enhance MEWP best practice through SkySentry at Barts. In turn, the Group utilised the expertise of Kosran to develop, hone and implement the security and asset management system, which has been created to represent a leading solution for both the hospital redevelopment project and any other major site.

Mick Ledden, Lavendon Group’s Market Development Director, said: “The unauthorised use of powered access is a key issue which demands a robust solution. As a result, Lavendon Group has been proud to invest in the research, development and creation of SkySentry, a system which can be used alongside adequate training, familiarisation and knowledge to directly improve safety on any site.

“SkySentry also goes even further by giving our clients even greater understanding and intelligence into exactly how powered access is being used. The system can help us pass on efficiencies and predict future requirements by accurately gauging the changing working at height requirements through the duration of a project.”

Upon completion in 2016, the nine storey Barts building will consist of 60,000m2 of new floor area and 6,650m2 of refurbished space. Responding to Skanska’s requirements for a comprehensive working at height best-practice solution throughout the project, Nationwide Platforms has provided the complete scope of their major project expertise.

In addition to the SkySentry, the award winning SkySiren® anti-entrapment solution and a broad range of Material Handling Attachments (MHAs) have been fitted as standard on all applicable platforms. Complementing this, on-site training including equipment familiarisation, toolbox talks and courses accredited by IPAF have been provided by the powered access business’ leading training department.

Nationwide Platforms has also been pleased to make a positive mark on the sustainability of the project through its on-site stock of machines which had the dual impact of reducing the carbon emissions created by the site, as well as lowering noise pollution for patients in the operational areas of the Barts facility.

This was combined with on-site engineering support and dedicated project management helped aid the ongoing efficiency and progress of all work at height taking place.

Ian Dodds, Project Director at Skanska UK said: “Skanska is committed to safety and from inception to handing over each one of our projects, our Injury-Free Environment Programme strives to ensure everybody who works for and with us returns home safely each and every day.

“At Barts the unique nature of the project has seen us implement a pioneering approach to safety which we believe caters for creating the highest standards of welfare and wellbeing. Central to this has been establishing key partnerships with businesses like Nationwide Platforms whose commitment to quality, safety, and sustainability run in tandem with our own goals.

“With this in mind, the introduction of the SkySentry has been an outstanding example of how new technology can be quickly, conveniently and cost-effectively used to maintain high safety standards through innovation, whilst also tying into our key aims surrounding sustainability.”

Richard Miller, Executive Director – Sales, Nationwide Platforms said: “The Barts project has seen us bring together the key features which we believe make our business truly stand out. From utilising our leading fleet and engineering expertise, to taking advantage of our pioneering innovations, we’ve been pleased to offer a complete solution which represents internationally leading standards of best practice.”

Following the introduction of the SkySentry to Barts and other major UK project sites (including Heathrow, the Hydro, and Crossrail) Nationwide Platforms will be conducting a full product launch of the SkySentry later in 2013.


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