With the building and construction industry booming as well as reroofing, roof coating and the ever increasing popularity of retro fit solar energy, the need for safe yet cost-effective alternatives to traditional scaffolding is at an all time high.
Edge Protection NZ Ltd offers tradesmen the ability to achieve compliance with health and safety legislation whilst gaining superior site efficiency and getting an edge on the competition.
With the first “E Bracket” developed for use on residential construction in 2012 by builder and now EPNZ director Karl Emslie, the company now offers an array of brackets to suit all building types, both new and existing.
“Initially the focus for us was to create a product that was safe and would achieve compliance whilst remaining simple and above all, cost effective” Karl says.
“With a Government-led campaign focusing on working at heights, we as an industry were tasked with finding solutions to keep workers safe whilst working on roofs. With scaffolding being the only real solution available to us, we soon figured that it just wasn’t a viable option on many projects.
“After testing our first bracket type and basically proving the concept of a builder installing their own temporary guardrails, we soon found that there was an enormous gap in the market across the board with builders, roofers, roof coaters, solar energy installers and other specialist trades all looking for solutions for their particular building types.
“The message we were hearing from all sides was that the tremendous cost of scaffolding on basic jobs like recoating a roof or installing solar panels was pushing the overall cost of the job up by a significant amount.
“We listened to the industry and after considerable consultation with different trades and collaboration with designers, business owners and engineers, we now provide compliant and versatile systems for every conceivable building out there.
“Although there is no silver bullet solution for every building type, we have developed our products so that the basic concept of a lightweight yet strong aluminium guardrail system can be adapted to differing structures by way of simply changing the connecting bracket.”
The E Brackets® themselves are able to be used with aluminium as well as timber guardrails in most circumstances. This gives the end user multiple options when choosing a system to suit their project.
As well as E Bracket® types to suit new housing, alterations, re-roofing and roof coating, there are variants suitable for commercial buildings in both tilt panel, structural steel and timber as well as timber-framed garages, pole sheds and lightweight steel-framed buildings.
“One of the reasons tradesmen prefer our product over others is the simplicity in its design. We have engineered pre-set rail heights into each system which is basically a bulletproof built in time-saving safety feature whereby the installer is able to progressively fit the guardrails whilst remaining in the safe zone behind the previously installed bay, or even from the ground. Our re-roof system is fast becoming industry standard for existing buildings as it is able to be adapted to suit basically any roof edge. The fact that the bulk of the system can be set up and installed from the ground leaving no damage to the building is a huge bonus for our customers.
“Our commercial E Bracket® is now being snapped up by larger construction companies as well as scaffolders, as they see the sense in fitting a proprietary system engineered to be connected to different substrates at the roof edge, rather than the traditional and costly option of a scaffolder building from the ground up, or fixing tube and clip based arrangements to building components that were never designed to take the load of heavy steel scaffold tube.”
Inward opening, self-closing safety gates can easily be incorporated into the E Bracket® systems with both timber or tube rails.
What really appeals about the range of systems from EPNZ is the cost. Although the system uses a premium grade of steel and aluminium, Edge Protection NZ Ltd has not lost sight of its initial objective of ensuring a cost-effective solution for its customers.
“The real plus is that in most cases, the system pays itself off in the first three to four jobs, and then you have the option of continuing to charge a reasonable lineal metre rate for your edge protection or simply apply a small charge for the labour content and be happy in the fact your price is competitive against your opposition who are still paying for scaffolding!”