Buildsafe Queensland

2019 SWRWA Winner

Category eleven – Best demonstrated health and safety work design

Buildsafe Queensland

The Bo Arm is a mechanical extension grabber tool—an innovative solution that reduces the risk of a fall when dismantling hung cantilevered bracket scaffold.

The jaws of the Bo Arm are opened and closed by the handle on the shaft. The jaws grab the post and in an upward motion, the post is lifted from the spigot and into the building. The Bo Arm allows the worker to work safely from behind the frame without a need to reach outside of the frame for the post.

Buildsafe Queensland worked with its engineering team and product experts to develop and test the Bo Arm, then engaged workers, managers and compliance officers to get feedback and support from the field.

The Bo Arm successfully minimises the risk of a fall when dismantling hung cantilevered bracket scaffold by allowing workers to easily remove posts while remaining safely behind the building frame.

This new tool eliminates workplace risk and has reduced the time taken to complete the task, which represents a significant saving in labour costs.

Download a copy of this film (ZIP/MP4, 40MB)

Read transcript

Bo Ceprnja: My name is Bo Ceprnja. I'm the National Safety And Compliance Manager for Buildsafe. Buildsafe is a height safety supplier for the construction industry. Primarily the majority of the work that we do provide products for is the residential industry. So one of the tasks that our workers need to do when dismantling the hang on platform is take the post off during the dismantle process. We realized that to remove the post, the process we had had to be improved. We had to make it better, safer and more efficient. We realized that the drive to take a shortcut sometimes had to be eliminated and we also wanted to give our guys a very practical way to do something. So we engaged our managers and our installers and we spoke about it in a consultation process where it was an open discussion about improving a particular process and reducing the risk profile of hang on dismantle.

So the bow arm concept started from there. It was let's increase the reach of the installer and give him the ability to remove the post. The bow arm is an engineering control measure. It allows the person to stay inside the frame by giving them a mechanical solution to perform that task. The only other way for you to remove the post if you're not inside the frame, you're on the planks and when you're on the planks there is a four meter fall because the edge protection has been removed. One of our directors was the key architect or designer of the bow arm. He actually played an absolutely key role in figuring out how this is going to work mechanically day in day out and provide a good solution to the installers. And the bow arm has been an absolutely incredible initiative from Buildsafe where the entire company is in line with the purpose of this is what we want to do, this is how we want to do it because it's better and safer.

The development of the bow arm, that was a costly exercise, but well worth it. When you're installing and you work for a company that's continually improving on a process that's already okay, you really kind of sit back and go, ‘Okay, well there's constant innovation, we're constantly moving forward and we're constantly trying to be better.’ So I think from a culture point of view, our workers that are engaged with Buildsafe really see that we care and seeing the guys take it on and just be a part of a solution that's made the work safer day in, day out, it's a real rewarding feeling. I genuinely really get a real kick out of it, and it's something that just keeps me going. So I love it.

--- End transcript ---

Last updated
10 December 2019