I’m Daniel Cooke, Scaffolding Director at Lee Marley Brickwork.

On Saturday 28th January we invited 3 of our apprentices down to our new yard and offices in Woodley just outside Reading for an insight into how we work behind the scenes here at Lee Marley. The thinking behind this is that these guys come on board at a young age and have to adapt to a building site quite quickly – something that can be quite daunting for anyone of their age – so it makes sense to give them as much help and orientation as possible.

My colleague Shawn Richardson and I decided was that after our new colleagues completed their 2 week foundation course with the CITB we would invite them in for the day for a tour around our office and yard. We showed them how the office works – who sits where, who does what – and gave them a thorough briefing in our company rules and safety culture. We also gave them a tour of our new yard which consists of inside and outside storage areas, cutting sheds, service areas lorry and trailer parking areas loading and unloading bays and storage racks for system stair cases, beams and plant. This tour was led by our yard manager Paul Howard.

This briefing and tour gave the lads a thorough understanding of our scaffolding business – from preparing materials in the yard, through loading the lorries correctly and safely, all the way through to proper and safe assembly of scaffolding onsite.

Moving on from the yard and office we then brought them into our meeting room for a presentation on Conduct and SG4.15 which they all found very informative and engaged in the process by asking plenty of questions that they may not have done on site. Our key aim for this was for them to understand the regulations and guidance for the safe way to erect, dismantle and adapt scaffolding as well as how to behave in work and also to and from work.

For the last part of the day we enrolled the help of one of our long serving project managers Chris Roughton who has been with the company for over 12 years.

We thought that by giving the lads some practical works to do would help them understand what will be required of them once they return to college for the part 1a in April.

This is what we did.

  • Brand new PPE issued (tool belt, spanners, bubble, tape, ratchet, harness , t shirts and sweatshirts as well as the standard hi vis,hat and gloves)
  • An in-depth session on how to use and inspect a harness correctly given by Shawn Richardson (contracts Manger and H&S advisor)
  • A design drawing of 13ft long free standing 6 legged independent designed by our TW engineer Tony Warren.
  • A detailed explanation of how to read a drawing correctly given by Daniel Cooke (Scaffold Director)
  • A run through of all the components that need to be used.
  • A guide on how to mark and set out as you would a college.
  • Step by step guidance on how to erect the scaffold to the drawing and to SG4.15.
  • Engaging with the guys on what they are doing wrong and why, then explaining this the correct way for them to understand and demonstrate.
  • Allowing the guys to work as a team to dismantle the scaffold under our supervision they would use all what we have told them to work together as a team, ask questions and ultimately take the scaffold down on their own which they did very well.

A debrief on how they felt the day went and any questions or concerns they had were answered.
The success of the day was largely down to the guys involved we would like to thank Shawn Richardson, Paul Howard and Chris Roughton for their help on the day but a big thank goes to Cory McCann, Harry Burcha and Ben Roughton for their dedication and fantastic attitude toward what we are trying to achieve here at Lee Marley.

Here’s to investing in the future of our Company and our industry!