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Title:
SCAFFOLD ANCHOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/199002
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A scaffold anchor including a rod rotatably engageable between a pair of opposing brackets; a scaffold pole receiving element pivotably attached to said rod; the arrangement being such that said scaffold pole receiving element is axially rotatable about, and pivotable about, said rod.

Inventors:
LESTER, Peter (40 Lower Green Road, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells Kent TN2 4HB, TN2 4HB, GB)
HARMAN, Kevin (15 Teise Close, Hawkenbury, Tunbridge Wells Kent TN2 5JN, TN2 5JN, GB)
Application Number:
GB2017/051276
Publication Date:
November 23, 2017
Filing Date:
May 09, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LESTER, Peter (40 Lower Green Road, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells Kent TN2 4HB, TN2 4HB, GB)
HARMAN, Kevin (15 Teise Close, Hawkenbury, Tunbridge Wells Kent TN2 5JN, TN2 5JN, GB)
International Classes:
E04G5/04; E04G1/36; E04G1/38
Foreign References:
JP2016037799A2016-03-22
JPH09112024A1997-04-28
CN105386592A2016-03-09
US2174459A1939-09-26
NL6609659A1967-09-11
JP2003193677A2003-07-09
JPH11100989A1999-04-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BROOKES BATCHELLOR LLP (1 Boyne Park, Tunbridge Wels Kent TN4 8EL, TN4 8EL, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A scaffold anchor including:

a rod rotatably engageable between a pair of opposing brackets;

a scaffold pole receiving element pivotably attached to said rod;

the arrangement being such that said scaffold pole receiving element is axially rotatable about, and pivotable about, said rod.

2. The scaffold anchor of claim 1, wherein said brackets are mounted on a plate.

3. The scaffold anchor of claim 1, wherein said receiving element is pivotably attached to said rod at a mid point between said brackets.

4. The scaffold anchor of claim 1, wherein said axial rotation provides for rotation of between substantially 180 and 210 degrees.

5. The scaffold anchor of claim 1, wherein said axial rotation provides for rotation of between substantially 150 and 180 degrees.

6. The scaffold anchor of claim 1, wherein said axial rotation provides for rotation of up to between substantially 120 and 150 degrees.

7. The scaffold anchor of claim 1, wherein said scaffold pole receiving element is pivotable between substantially 90 and 120 degrees.

8. The scaffold anchor of claim 1, wherein said scaffold pole receiving element is pivotable between substantially 70 and 90 degrees.

9. The scaffold anchor of claim 1 wherein said scaffold pole receiving element is pivotable between substantially 40 and 70 degrees.

10. The scaffold anchor of claim 1, wherein said scaffold pole receiving element includes securing means to secure a scaffold pole to said receiving element.

11. A method of anchoring a scaffold comprising:

placing a scaffold pole into a scaffold pole receiving element of a scaffold anchor;

extending the scaffold anchor, with the scaffold pole inserted into the scaffold pole receiving element beyond the scaffold towards a bracing position, and

with the scaffold pole receiving element resting at the bracing position, securing the inserted scaffold pole to the scaffold thereby extending the scaffold structure.

12. The method of claim 11, further comprising urging the scaffold anchor towards the bracing position such that, on engagement with the bracing position, the scaffold pole rotates axially around a rod, positioned between two brackets, of the scaffold anchor.

13. The method of claim 11 or claim 12, further comprising urging the scaffold anchor towards the bracing position such that, on engagement with the bracing position, the scaffold pole pivots about a rod, positioned between two brackets of the scaffold anchor.

14. The method of claim 11 wherein urging the scaffold anchor towards the bracing position includes engaging the brackets with a retainer.

15. The method of claims 11, wherein engaging the brackets with a retainer includes engaging a plate, upon which the brackets are fixed, with said retainer.

16. The method of claim 14 or 15, wherein said retainer comprises a building wall, a roof, or the ground.

17. The method as herein described with reference to the accompanying description.

18. The method as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

19. A scaffold anchor as herein described with reference to the accompanying description.

20. A scaffold anchor as herein described with reference to the accompanying drawings.

Description:
SCAFFOLD ANCHOR

The present invention is directed to the field of scaffolding, and in particular relates to ensuring scaffolding can be erected safely and securely in a variety of applications.

On occasion it is necessary for workmen to repair or work on parts of a building that are positioned above the ground and inaccessible even by ladder. To provide access a structure may be built, for example a scaffold, adjacent to the building providing means for such workmen to reach the desired part of the building. The workmen can stand on parts of the scaffold while carrying out the work or repairs. The scaffold conventionally comprises a set of poles and attachments, the poles being connected together by means of the attachments to form a suitable structure, the attachments generally providing for the poles to be connected in an orthogonal relationship to each other, although they can be connected at other angles also.

Scaffolds are generally built 'from the ground up', by first erecting a structure on which a platform can be placed, above the ground, for workmen to reach for example a first floor of a building, and then continuing until a platform can be placed for a workman to reach a second floor of a building and so on. Occasionally it is not straightforward as a workman may need to access for example a portion of a roof which is some distance from the scaffold, or a portion of a wall that is separated from the scaffold by another part of the building, for example a conservatory. While the scaffold may be extended to allow access to such areas, it is not straightforward to do so, generally requiring a scaffold builder to move outside the safety of the scaffold structure to secure poles in the required areas. Health and safety demands that scaffold constructors are attached to the scaffold at all times, however this presents a problem where the ultimate scaffold structure includes regions extending away from the initial scaffold structure, and risks are often taken.

In addition a scaffold pole, thus extended, may need to rest on or against a part of a building, such as for example a part of a roof, which may be damaged by the scaffold pole, in particular tiled roofs may be cracked or otherwise damaged by scaffold pole ends resting on or engaging with them. The present invention is directed to overcoming at least some of these disadvantages.

The invention relates generally to a scaffold anchor including a rod rotatably engageable between a pair of opposing brackets and a scaffold pole receiving element pivotably attached to the rod. The arrangement is such that the scaffold pole receiving element is axially rotatable about, and pivotable about, the rod.

Preferably the brackets are mounted on a plate. Preferably the receiving element is pivotably attached to the rod at a mid point between the brackets.

Preferably the axial rotation provides for rotation of between substantially 180 and 210 degrees.

Preferably the axial rotation provides for rotation of between substantially 150 and 180 degrees.

Preferably the axial rotation provides for rotation of up to between substantially 120 and 150 degrees.

Preferably the scaffold pole receiving element is pivotable between substantially 90 and 120 degrees. Preferably the scaffold pole receiving element is pivotable between substantially 70 and 90 degrees.

Preferably the scaffold pole receiving element is pivotable between substantially 40 and 70 degrees.

Preferably the scaffold pole receiving element includes securing means to secure a scaffold pole to said receiving element. The invention further relates generally to a method of anchoring a scaffold comprising placing a scaffold pole into a scaffold pole receiving element of a scaffold anchor, extending the scaffold anchor, with the scaffold pole inserted into the scaffold pole receiving element beyond the scaffold towards a bracing position, and, with the scaffold pole receiving element resting at the bracing position, securing the inserted scaffold pole to the scaffold thereby extending the scaffold structure.

Preferably the method further comprises urging the scaffold anchor towards the bracing position such that, on engagement with the bracing position, the scaffold pole rotates axially around a rod, positioned between two brackets, of the scaffold anchor.

Preferably the method further comprises urging the scaffold anchor towards the bracing position such that, on engagement with the bracing position, the scaffold pole pivots about a rod, positioned between two brackets of the scaffold anchor.

Preferably urging the scaffold anchor towards the bracing position includes engaging the brackets with a retainer.

Preferably engaging the brackets with a retainer includes engaging a plate, upon which the brackets are fixed, with the retainer.

Preferably the retainer comprises a building wall, a roof, or the ground.

Preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying drawings in which

Figure 1 (a) shows a side view of a scaffold anchor in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention,

Figure 1 (b) shows a top down view of the scaffold anchor of Fig 1 (a),

Figure 1 (c) shows a perspective view of the scaffold anchor of Fig 1 (a),

Figure 1 (d) shows the scaffold anchor of Figure 1 (a) in a rotated orientation, Figure 1 (e) shows the scaffold anchor of Figure 1 (a) in a further oriented orientation, Figures 2 (a) to (i) show examples of a scaffold in situ, utilising the scaffold anchor of the present invention,

Figure 2 (j) shows an example of a roof structure in which the present invention would be beneficial, and

Figures 3 (a) and (b) show a scaffold in use adjacent a building relying on the scaffold anchor shown in Fig 1.

Figure 1 (a) shows a scaffolding anchor 10 in accordance with the present invention from the side, including a pair of facing brackets 14 adapted to receive respective ends of a rod 16 which is rotatable about an axis 18 extending between the brackets. A scaffold pole receiving means 20 is pivotally attached to the rod at pivot point 22, preferably at a midpoint between the brackets although a different attachment point is contemplated and falls within the scope of the present invention. The brackets are shown fixed to a plate, 12.

The scaffold pole receiving means 20 is shown to be shaped to receive an end of a scaffold pole, i.e. being generally cylindrical and including a cylindrical cavity 24 suitable for receiving an end of a scaffold pole. Figure 1 (b) shows a top down view of the scaffold anchor 10 of Figure 1 (a), showing the cavity 24 in the scaffold pole receiving means 20.

Figure 1 (c) shows a perspective view of the scaffold anchor 10 of Figures 1 (a) and (b), showing the scaffold pole receiving means 20 attached to rod 16 via pivoting means 22, with rod 16 rotatably held within facing brackets 14 and attached to plate 12. Figure 1 (c) also shows, at Ά', potential rotation of the scaffold pole receiving means 20 axially about axis 18 and at 'Β', potential pivotal movement of the scaffold pole receiving means about pivot point 22. Figures 1 (d) and (e) show the scaffold anchor 10 of Figures 1 (a) to (c) with, in Figure 1 (d), the scaffold pole receiving means axially rotated about axis 18 as indicated by 'A' in Figure 1 (c), and, in Figure 1 (e), the scaffold pole receiving means pivotably moved about pivot point 22 as indicated by 'B' in Figure 1 (c). The movements shown in Figures 1 (d) and (e) show that the scaffold anchor provides for a variety of orientations for a scaffold pole held within the scaffold pole receiving means. The scaffold pole receiving means can be adapted, for example by removing a portion of the base of the receiving means at either side of the base, adjacent the rod (not shown), such that pivotal movement about the pivot point 22 sweeps out a greater angle than if the portion of the base has not been removed. Figure 2 (a) shows a scaffold 50 constructed adjacent a building 52 with a low lying structure 54 adjacent to, and obstructing access to, the building 52. The scaffold 50 includes an element extending beyond the scaffold body towards the building 52 comprising, in this instance, a single scaffold pole 56. The single scaffold pole 56 is fixed to the scaffold 50 at points 58 and 59, and further at point 61. Single scaffold pole 56 includes a scaffold anchor 10 at an end distal the scaffold which rests against a wall of the building 52. The scaffold anchor 10 is urged against the wall of building 52 due in part to engagement of the pole 56 with the scaffold at points 58, 59, and 61, assisted by the angle of the pole 56 to the wall of building 52. As can be seen from Figure 2 (a) the scaffold extends towards the wall 52 despite the presence of low lying structure 54. When it is desired to gain access to a portion of a building with such a low lying structure obstructing access, the present invention assists in the construction of a suitable scaffold in a safe and convenient manner by providing for a user to build an initial scaffold 50 adjacent low lying structure 54, attach a scaffold anchor 10 to an end of a single scaffold pole 56 and then extend the scaffold pole, scaffold anchor first, away from the scaffold towards the portion of the building it is desired to access. As the scaffold anchor reaches the building rotation of the rod 16 about axis 18, and pivotal motion of the scaffold pole receiving means 20 about pivot point 22, accommodates the local topography of the building to brace the scaffold against the building and provide a secure structure about which the scaffold may be extended and access to the building 52 achieved. Figure 2 (b) shows a further example of a scaffold anchor of the present invention, in use. In particular Figure 2 (b) shows a scaffold 50 constructed adjacent a building 70 where access is desired to a chimney 80 or roof 82. As can be seen the main scaffold 50 stands adjacent the building 70 and a pair of scaffold poles 77, 78 extend towards the chimney 80. Scaffold anchors are positioned at respective ends of the pair of scaffold poles 77, 78, and are urged against an outer wall of the chimney due to engagement of the scaffold poles 77, 78 with the scaffold 50.

Figure 2 (c) shows a similar arrangement to that of Figure 2 (b) with an additional single scaffold pole 76 extending away from the scaffold towards the roof 82. A further scaffold anchor 10 is positioned at an end of single scaffold pole 76 resting on roof 82. A particular advantage of the present invention, illustrated in this application, is that the scaffold anchor 10, positioned at an end of the single scaffold pole 76, provides a larger area to sustain the weight of the scaffold pole 76, and anyone standing thereon, making it less likely that the arrangement will damage or break roof tiles. This is particularly true when the scaffold anchor includes plate 12.

The arrangement of Figures 2 (b) and (c) may be particularly beneficial in providing support to for example a chimney which is potentially unstable, and needs to be supported, while repairs are being carried out.

Figure 2(d) shows the arrangement of Figures 2(b) and (c), including more detail of the scaffold structure such as for example planks 85, 86, and ladders 88, provided on the scaffold, all of which provide a safe environment for workmen to carry out repairs and such like on the areas accessed by means of the scaffold. As can be seen, with planks positioned within the scaffold to provide flooring, and ladders to access different levels, the scaffold provides a useful structure for workmen.

Figure 2(e) shows the arrangement of Figure 2(d) extended still further. In particular figure 2(e) shows the scaffold extending from one side of the roof 82 with a first slope, beyond the ridge of the roof to a second side of the roof 84 with a second, opposite slope, with an anchor positioned on both the first 82 and the second 84 side. The anchor on the second side 84 is held in place by attachment of respective scaffold poles, for example scaffold pole 90, engaged with a scaffold anchor 10 pressing against the second side 84 of the roof, and scaffold poles 77, 78 engaged with each other and the rest of the scaffold 50. The two anchors shown provide a gripping action on the respective roof surfaces 82, 84 to retain the structure in position over the roof.

Figure 2(f) shows an example of an anchor device in accordance with the present invention, in use. A scaffold or other pole 100 has a scaffold anchor placed on either end, one end being braced against the ground 102 and the other end being braced against a wall 104 of a building. This particular use provides a safe environment for workmen working near a wall which may be unstable. The present scaffold anchor has an advantage that it can be placed in any desired orientation, due to the rotatable nature of engagement of the scaffold or other pole 100 with the scaffold anchor 10.

Figure 2(g) shows a further example of a scaffold pole in accordance with the present invention, in use. In particular Figure 2(e) shows a scaffold 50 adjacent a building 110 with additional scaffold poles 106, 107 bracing the building, and/or bracing the scaffold 50. Figure 2(g) also shows a front view of the building with the scaffold and poles removed, but showing where the scaffold anchors may be placed against the exterior wall of the building 110.

Figure 2(h) shows a perspective view of a sloped portion 120 of a roof 122, with an adjacent scaffold 50, two poles 124, 125 extending outwardly and away from the scaffold 50 to rest on the sloped roof portion 120 by means of scaffold anchors 10. The scaffold anchors provide a larger area for the weight of scaffold poles 124, 125 to be received, reducing the likelihood of the scaffold poles to damage or break roof tiles of roof 120. Figure 2(i) illustrates a more complicated scaffold, constructed adjacent a building where the exterior contours of the building make it difficult to access the upper walls due to low lying constructions such as conservatories, garages, and so on. In particular Figure 2 (i) shows how the present invention provides for scaffolding to be extended safely and conveniently to reach portions of buildings remote from the main body of the scaffold.

Figure 2(j) shows a building with low lying outer features compromising access opportunities to the roof or chimney stack, for which the present invention would allow access.

Figure 3(a) shows an arrangement similar to that of for example Figure 2(c), with a scaffold pole 150 extending away from a scaffold 154 and braced against a sloping roof 152 by a scaffold anchor 10. A workman 160 is shown positioned on the roof and attached to the scaffold pole 150 by a safety wire 162.

Figure 3(b) shows a further arrangement similar to for example the arrangement of Figure 2(e) with a scaffold extending from a main body 50 over a first sloped portion of a roof 82, across a roof ridge to a second oppositely sloped portion of a roof 84, the scaffold poles extending over the roof held in place by respective scaffold anchors shown at 188, 189, 190. Figure 3(b) also shows two workmen in position on the scaffold, a first 170 on the main body, and a second 172 on the second sloped roof, but securely positioned on the roof by means of the extended scaffold, and secured thereto by safety wires.

As stated, with a scaffold pole inserted into the scaffold pole receiving means 20 the scaffold pole can rotate radially about an axis of the rod 16, the only limitation in respect of the extent of the rotation being the presence of, for example, a plate to which the brackets may be fixed, or the presence of a wall or other structure to which the brackets may be fixed. Generally it is contemplated that the scaffold pole may rotate radially about the rod between substantially 180 and 270 degrees, although dependent on the arrangement the rotation may be more than this, or may be less than this, for example between 150 to 180 degrees, or 120 to 150 degrees, or less.

Conventionally the scaffold pole may be fixed in the scaffold pole receiving means by a screw (not shown) or other means. In addition, the extent to which a scaffold pole inserted into the scaffold pole receiving means can pivot about pivot points 22 is determined by the particular arrangement of the scaffold pole receiving means. For example the larger the gap between the base of the scaffold pole receiving means the greater the greater the angle available for the scaffold pole to pivot about rod 16. It is contemplated that the scaffold pole receiving means, and thus the scaffold pole, may pivot between 90 and 120 degrees about rod 16, although this may be as little as 70 to 90 degrees, or even 40 to 70 degrees, or less. The present invention provides for a scaffold to be safely extended beyond a main portion over low lying buildings or structures, to provide for access to difficult to reach parts of walls or roofs. In particular a scaffold may be extended by attaching a scaffold pole to a scaffold anchor and extending the pole, anchor first, in the desired direction until it contacts a roof or wall and, due to attachment of a distal end of the pole to the scaffold, remains fixed in place. On contacting the roof or wall the scaffold anchor, due to axial rotation or pivoting movement of the scaffold pole about the scaffold anchor, can accommodate a variety of angles and positions making the arrangement flexible and convenient. A workman seeking to extend a scaffold into a difficult to access area may remain attached to the main body of the scaffold by safety wires during any procedure, and in addition to securing his own safety, can comply with health and safety regulations. This also provides the opportunity to avoid the current tendency of workmen to carry the pole to a desired location and fix it in place, regardless of safety concerns which may arise for example where there is no scaffold to which safety wires may be attached, which often appears to be the only option at present.

In use, when access is desired to a wall or roof of a building which has an intervening low lying structure for example a conservatory or other structure positioned adjacent the area of interest, a scaffold may first be constructed adjacent the building. A workman may position himself on the scaffold at a position close to the area of interest and may insert an end of a scaffold pole into a scaffold pole receiving element of a scaffold anchor in accordance with the present invention. The scaffold anchor comprises a rod with a first end inserted into a bracket and a second end inserted into an opposing bracket, such that the rod is rotatable about an axis extending from the first to the second bracket. The brackets may be attached to a plate, fixing the position and orientation of the brackets with respect to each other. The scaffold anchor further comprises a scaffold pole receiving element which is pivotally attached to the rod, possibly at a mid point of the rod. The scaffold pole receiving element comprises a cylindrical receiving section shaped to receive an end of a scaffold pole, the cylindrical body pivotally engaged with the rod such that the cylindrical body rotates about the pivot point providing for a range of positions of a received scaffold pole about the anchor.

A scaffold pole engaged with a scaffold anchor can rotate about rod 16 and also about pivot point 22. With the scaffold pole engaged with the scaffold anchor the workman, standing on the scaffold and attached thereto by a safety wire, can extend the scaffold pole, with the scaffold anchor attached to a distal end, away from the scaffold towards a desired portion of the building. When the scaffold anchor reaches the surface of the wall or roof or other portion of the building it rotates radially about the brackets, or pivots about the pivot points 22, to accommodate the slope or orientation of the surface and is locked in place once the end of the pole held by the workman is attached to the scaffold. This process may be undertaken with the workman safely secured to the scaffold. In addition, the workman can also avoid interacting with the low lying structure, which is generally vulnerable to damage. At all times the workman is safe and the building being accessed, including any low lying structures, is also safe.

The workman can continue with this process, i.e. extending further scaffold poles with scaffold anchors attached, until the scaffold structure has been extended completely and provides a safe environment for workmen to access the desired, difficult to reach portions of the building.

By this means access can be arranged in a safe and secure manner to roofs, chimneys and so on. An additional use of the scaffold anchor of the present invention is to brace walls, either on the ground, or higher up in buildings - for example the walls of chimneys - while work is being done or damage is being assessed. This provides an additional security for workmen, ensuring that walls and chimneys are less likely to fall while the workmen are nearby or working.

The invention is not restricted to the details of the foregoing embodiments. For example it is contemplated that the scaffold anchor of the present invention is usable to anchor a scaffold against the ground when the scaffold is about to be constructed. In particular the scaffold anchor may be fixed to the ground, or a plate to which the scaffold anchor is attached may be fixed to the ground, and a scaffold may be constructed using the scaffold anchors engagement with the ground to anchor the scaffold. The brackets receiving respective ends of pole 14 are referred to as 'facing brackets', but the invention is not limited to facing brackets, any suitable brackets are contemplated to fall within the scope of the present invention. The scaffold pole receiving means are described as generally cylindrical and suitable to receive an end of a scaffold pole, however any arrangement suitable for purpose is contemplated to fall within the scope of the present invention.