If you work in the scaffolding industry, you’ll no doubt have used a gin wheel or two in your time. It’s been one of the most popular pulley devices on the market for decades.

And when the right safety measures are in place and due care is taken, it can be an effective way to lift and lower equipment on a scaffold. But it’s lack of braking capabilities and frequent unsafe use of the device has resulted in many incidents and injuries.

In late 2017, for example, three tradespersons were working on a roof in London. The team was dismantling an air conditioning unit and lowering it to the ground in high winds. Unfortunately, a section of the unit became detached and fell, striking one of the workers below. This resulted in a fractured left femur and fines amounting to £364,000 for the companies involved.

It’s clear the consequences of using gin wheels incorrectly are severe.

There had to be a safer way

This, plus an array of other incidents, led to increased levels of concern among many scaffolding contractors regarding the safety of the gin wheel. The growing consensus was that there must be a safer way to lift.

That’s why Trad Scaffolding approached Leach’s and BIGBEN® to discuss their concerns and enquire about a safe alternative to the gin wheel. This conversation set the wheels in motion for the development of the award-winning BIGBEN Braked Pulley.

Introducing the BIGBEN Braked Pulley

From initial concept and design to entry into the market was a rapid 12-month process. Since then, the BIGBEN Braked Pulley has quickly grown in popularity and is now specified on many major sites across the UK. It’s considered the safest pulley on the market for manual lifting and lowering. 

The aim was to improve worker and public safety when lifting and lowering loads. BIGBEN pioneered a new way to ensure lifting and lowering occurs automatically and at a controlled speed. That means even if you let go of the rope, the load will safely lower to the ground.

This gives your business two important safety advantages.

Firstly, it eliminates risk and protects staff and members and the public from serious injury.

Secondly, this device can also protect your management hierarchy from the risk of personal injury claims from preventable accidents.

What are the benefits of the BIGBEN Braked Pulley?

  • Improves safety standards across scaffolding and construction sites
  • Eliminates risk with revolutionary automatic lift and lower function
  • SWL of 50kg
  • Loads can be safely raised and lowered by rope and wheel
  • Improves efficiency and reduces labour costs
  • Reduces physical strain
  • Can be used with any 16-18mm double braided Polypropylene (3 strand) rope
  • UK Patent Application No. 1510458.1
  • International Patent Application No. PCT/EP2016/063808

Let’s make scaffolding safe

Improving the safety of workers and public and protecting those at risk must always be the first port of call when in the planning stages of any project. Switching from a traditional gin wheel to the BIGBEN Braked Pulley is guaranteed to improve safety on your site. Could now be the time for you to make the change?

For more information on the BIGBEN Braked Pulley and lifting safely, watch the videos here. Call our sales team on +44 (0)1432 346890 or email sales@leachs.com for further information.

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