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JECS Offshore: the company with a head for heights

Published:  12 December, 2018

Typical business concerns such as health and safety are exaggerated hugely when it comes to offshore scaffolding. This is how one company pays close attention to such needs while thriving in a growing market. Construction and work sites can be dangerous at the best of times, but when working on electrical offshore substations as well as offshore wind turbines, that risk is magnified many times. Managing the danger and ensuring vital work can continue at any time of day or night requires specialist skills to be available at a moment’s notice – and not a little cost. JECS Offshore is an offshore scaffolding specialist whose expertise lies in its commitment to health and safety – something often blithely dismissed in an office environment but which is often a matter of life or death offshore. Smoothly integrating companies such as JECS – and their advice – is critical to limit risks and manage costs offshore Safety at sea requires knowledge, experience and planning, with every typical concern that affects a business exaggerated hugely. The assets – turbines, platforms, cable-layers – are often worth many millions of pounds, while the staff on offshore platforms, helicoptered in and with bed and board included, command day rates far higher than on shore. Moreover, with even the lowest levels of scaffolding on a large rig able to rise to 325ft above raging seas, equipment failures can often be fatal. Managers can, and do, call a halt to operations when the danger becomes too high, but with a day’s delay potentially costing hundreds of thousands of pounds, companies operating offshore must place huge trust in their health and safety contractors to keep projects moving. Brett Whiting has more than 12 years offshore experience and co-founded JECS with his wife Latasha in 2014, Brett has spent his entire career in the scaffolding industry, but his primary interest now lies in the offshore scaffolding market, and the wind power industry in particular, which has allowed JECS to flourish in a growing market. “Offshore wind turbines are playing a huge role in meeting our requirement for energy,” he says. “In order to keep them fully operational they need to be maintained, and obviously safety is of paramount importance when these projects are up and running. “We were lucky enough to get in the sector right at the beginning,” he says, and now the company is at the forefront of its market, with a depth of expertise on everything from the paperwork of health and safety to the intricacies of old and new platforms’ construction, allowing them to deliver exactly the type of platforms clients need to get their work done safely and on time. JECS is frequently summoned to sites where new structures, oversight or risk assessments are needed before work can continue, and the company is proud of how responsive it can be when time is of the essence. Latasha Whiting says: “Looking after co-workers goes beyond the bottom-line interests of a business: “It has to be a key part of the way a business operates.” Smoothly integrating companies such as JECS – and their advice – is critical to limit risks and manage costs offshore, and that’s only going to increase. Brett Whiting says that JECS is in the best place to respond. “In our 24 years in the industry, we’ve seen, and put right, all kinds of accidents waiting to happen,” he says. “I would never say we’ve seen it all but we’ve certainly seen a lot more than most.”

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