Pegasus Welfare Solutions devises welfare unit which may attract more female workers to offshore sites
A Norfolk firm, formerly based near Fakenham, has devised a new product during the pandemic which could potentially attract more women to working off shore.
Pegasus Welfare Solutions (PWS) has invented what it calls a welfare multi-unit, which include hot handwash stations, eye wash, ﬁrst aid and other welfare provisions. They are built on lightweight marine-grade aluminium frames which can be easily lifted by existing cranes and their use has already delivered efficiencies for companies working offshore.
Dan Greeves, who founded PWS in 2017, explained: “Offshore workplaces with no loos or sanitary provision has obviously put women off working offshore. The perception was that they add ‘unnecessary’ cost to projects.
“We think of innovation as being the latest cutting-edge engineering coming out of the lab, but that’s not always the innovation we need to solve the most pressing issues. Sometimes what is needed is to develop something simple that can really solve the problem.”
The lightweight unit can be hoisted on and off substations, platforms and other installations by cranes and as well as improving safety. As well as offshore locations, it could be used in other challenging places, such as construction operations carried out at height and mining operations below ground.
Thanks to a grant of £25,400 from the Business Resilience and Recovery Scheme set up by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership to help companies during the pandemic, PWS has been able to fulfil further orders for its welfare multi-unit and move from a rented barn near Fakenham to larger and more Covid-secure premises in Lenwade, near Norwich.
It has already landed three contracts with offshore wind developers in recent months and is now planning an operational base in Scotland.
Dan said: “Our units mean fewer ladder climbs to and from crew transfer vessels for toilets and handwashing. Transfers are cut by at least a third, increasing daily productivity by up to 18 per cent, reducing cost and increasing value, while facilitating diversity.
“Timing is important and I am delighted that we have quickly moved beyond what appeared to be a 'Portaloo' with a sling on, to robust, portable facilities, which are part of a patented, certiﬁed, engineering solution, speciﬁed in the Risk and Method Statement.”
Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia LEP, said: “Our growing offshore wind industry stands to play a pivotal role in the region’s economic prosperity and we are delighted to support this innovative project which will improve safety for those working on the turbines.
“Pegasus Welfare Solutions is adapting its product range to help offshore operators to comply with the latest government guidance.”
To find out more about the scheme, go to https://newanglia.co.uk/grant/business-resilience-and-recovery-scheme/