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Access specialist SGB hopes to promote the safer use of its formwork and falsework with animated guides, as Margo Cole reports.

The Work at Height Regulations introduced last year put responsibility on all players in the construction process to understand the full implications of commissioning, designing, procuring or building anything at a high level. It is now no longer acceptable to assume that a contractor will work out how to access difficult areas; everyone must know what will be expected of the workforce and how they are going to go about it.

But according to Stuart Bamford, product manager for SGB Formwork, it is not always easy to fi d the necessary information to know if the work can be carried out safely at height. 'In the Work at Height Regulations, it says that competent people must be involved in safely selecting equipment, ' he says. 'But how do you define which people are competent?' Bamford says suppliers' user guides are often cumbersome to use and digest. So SGB has taken a completely new approach and is launching a DVD showing 3D animations of all its formwork and falsework products being assembled and dismantled.

The hour-long DVD shows fully rendered animations of operatives erecting and dismantling vertical wall formwork, horizontal slab formwork, climbing formwork, bridge construction, and access and edge protection. Although there is no voice-over, the disc demonstrates the correct methods to fix the equipment together and how to use it safely in a range of different applications, and flythroughs and 360 o views give a high degree of clarity.

SGB spent a year creating the animations, starting with technical agreement on drawing formats and pre-testing of individual complex items within the animation software. Because much of SGB's equipment is made from tubular sections, the models that form the individual animations are more complex and larger than they would be for square or rectangular sections.

The DVD went on sale in April, and SGB intends taking it to as wide an audience as possible.

'It is not just aimed at users of the equipment, but at anyone involved in selecting the equipment, ' says Bamford. This includes the clients that decide to build a concrete frame rather than a steel frame and designers who must understand that if they go down the concrete frame route they need some knowledge of how to build it.

Estimators and QSs will also find it useful, he says

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