• Nash Peake Works,Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 5BT England

Climbing for Industry for 70 Years

The year 2019 means that we can now proudly and officially state that we have been in business for 70 years!

The steeplejack and lightning protection industry has changed drastically since we originally established ourselves in 1949 and we are extremely proud to have helped spearhead the industry in the UK over the past seven decades.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our valued clients, suppliers, employees and stakeholders who have all played a crucial part in helping us achieve 70 years in business, it would not have been possible without them.

We hope to still be climbing for industry for the next 70 years!

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Lightning Strike Causes Structural Damage to Lighthouse

Over the recent weekend it has been reported that a staggering 90,000 lightning strikes hit the UK. The Old Hunstanton Lighthouse in Norfolk was a victim of one those strikes and the following photograph shows the severity of structural damage that can occur as a result of direct lightning strike.

The structural damage caused to the lighthouse and the subsequent risk the falling brickwork and masonry posed to the residents and members of the public emphasises the importance of having an up to date and certified lightning protection system fitted to your building to prevent costly structural damage, or worse, loss of human life.

Following the events of the weekend Rafferty’s lightning protection division has been awarded the contract to design, supply and install a lightning protection system to the lighthouse and surrounding buildings in accordance with BS EN 62305 requirements. Our qualified lightning protection engineers will be on site this week installing the new system to ensure that when the next thunderstorm occurs, this iconic structure and its residents will be fully protected.

For more information on lightning protection installation, testing, inspection & maintenance, please contact Steve Jacques: steve@raffertylps.com

The photograph was taken from the Eastern Daily Press website Credit: Eastern Daily Express. Photo by: Tony Bishopp. Read the full article here http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/weather/old-hunstanton-lighthouse-damaged-after-lightning-strike-1-5626841

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2018 A Year for Diversification

First and foremost we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

The year 2018 will see the Company achieve its 69th year in business. Whilst predominantly being a leading name in the industrial chimney and steeplejack industry since 1949, the Company is now looking to diversify in to other sectors of the service industry which are closely linked to the services we have provided throughout our history.


Lightning Protection

Since its formation the Company has consistently carried out lightning protection work but in 2017 Rafferty’s recruited key employees to bolster this sector of our business, most notably, employing Steve Jacques who has 22 years’ experience in the industry. Steve gained his experience working for arguably the biggest Lightning Protection company in the UK and he has been tasked to head up our lightning protection services department. With the addition of Steve and several others, Rafferty’s can offer our clients a full comprehensive service whatever their requirements are in relation to lightning protection. For further information about our lightning protection services please feel free to contact us or have a browse the lightning protection services section on our website.


Specialist Access Services

Our vast experience and specialised methods of working at height on industrial chimneys can be adapted to almost any type of high level structure. We are now offering a multitude of services in high level inspection, maintenance and installation for industrial or commercial structures. To view our full range of services in this respect, please feel free to browse the specialist access services section on our website and contract us for any enquiries.


Our Objective

The key to the success of our Company during its 69 year history is repeat business and we have achieved this by providing our clients with a personal and quality service which is second to none. The Company has always been (and still is) a family run business and this ethos is engrained throughout the Company and will continue to apply to all services we are now proud to offer.

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ATLAS Launch Inspect & Protect Campaign

ATLAS, the UK’s governing body for the steeplejack & lightning protection industry, have launched an Inspect & Protect campaign to raise quality standards for the testing and inspection of lightning protection systems. This campaign has been implemented due to the increasing number of companies who are not qualified or competent to undertake this specialist work. You can read the full article here http://www.atlas.org.uk/inspect-protect.asp

As longstanding members of ATLAS, a client can have complete confidence when employing Rafferty’s for this specialist work.

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Lightning Protection Upgrade to BS EN 62305

Rafferty’s have recently carried out a major site lightning protection upgrade and refurbishment for a valued client in West Yorkshire.


Following a site specific lightning protection risk assessment, the lightning protection system was upgraded to Level 1 of BS EN 62305 ‘Protection Against Lightning’, providing the highest form of protection available. The work consisted of installing an additional 85 No. earth points to the sites existing system to deliver the required level of protection.


This is just one of many retrofit projects that we are currently working on as clients become more aware of the benefits an up to date lightning protection system provides to their premises.


For more information about our lightning protection services please contact Steve Jacques


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Swadlincote Brick Chimney Repairs Complete

Rafferty Steeplejacks have successfully completed repair works to a 50m high brick chimney in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, UK.

The work carried out on the chimney was independently inspected and verified by the client and a structural engineer namely, John Turner (Engineering Consultants) Ltd, to which we achieved complete satisfaction from all parties involved.  John Turner had this to say on completion of the contract;

“Rafferty’s are to be congratulated on completion of the project safely and to good quality”

The work to the chimney consisted of the following;

– 150sqm of repointing

– Repairs to external cracks

– Replacement of damaged bricks

– Manufacture & replacement of defective retaining bands and vertical straps

– Manufacture and installation of new stainless steel capping plate

– Upgrade of Lightning Protection System

The following photographs show the chimney on completion of the works.

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Level 3 Rope Access Technician Required

Rafferty’s are seeking to employ a level 3 rope access technician with working experience in the steeplejack and lightning protection industry.

For all enquiries please contact Carl Woodroffe or Alex Bradley in our contracts department.

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Marston’s Grade II Listed Brick Chimney Refurbishment

Major Refurbishment of a 41m High Grade II Listed Brick Chimney

In January 2013 Rafferty Steeplejacks were awarded a major refurbishment contract on a 41m high Grade II listed industrial brick chimney for Marston’s Plc at their historic brewing site in Burton-Upon-Trent.

Our initial survey of the redundant structure in August 2012 came just in time as it revealed that the chimney was found to be in a structurally poor and deteriorated condition, in particular within the top 14m where the brickwork in areas was literally crumbling on touch. Due to the seriousness of the defects encountered, Marston’s immediately instructed Rafferty’s to install safety scaffolding within the top 16m of the chimney to prevent any loose and deteriorated brickwork from falling directly to ground level. The installation of the scaffolding had to be carried out very tentatively as not to disturb any of the deteriorated brickwork. This was completed without incident and ultimately ensured the safety of all on-site personnel.

In the meantime Rafferty’s promptly compiled a comprehensive inspection report and proposed a detailed refurbishment plan to the engineers and senior management of Marston’s. Such was their faith in Rafferty’s wealth of knowledge and experience in projects such as this, Marston’s awarded the six figure contract on single tender.

With the chimney being a grade II listed structure all plans had to be approved by the local council who commendably fully co-operated with ourselves and the client to ensure the safety of the structure.

The refurbishment plan consisted of the following;

  1. Careful plotting and detailed drawings of the existing brickwork were issued prior to deconstruction to ensure that the re-building work was carried out to identically match the original chimney construction.
  2. Careful deconstruction of the top 14m of chimney brickwork.
  3. Re-build of the top 9.147m of brickwork to identically match the original Victorian construction of the chimney before an extension was added in the 1970’s. New antique style bricks had to be manufactured for the re-build due to the poor condition of the existing brickwork.
  4. Re-pointing of the remaining 27m of chimney brickwork externally.
  5. Re-pointing of internal brickwork and replacement of loose and missing bricks where required.
  6. Repairs to retaining band steelwork.
  7. Upgrade of lightning protection system to comply with current BS EN 62305 European standard.
  8. All re-pointing and re-building works was carried out using an English Heritage approved lime mortar.

The contract was carried out over a 21 week period and was completed without any safety incidents and to the full satisfaction of the client, local council and all involved. Garry Hollins, Site Engineer and Ian Reeley, Senior Projects Manager for Marston’s made the following testimonies on completion of the works.

“The chimney looks fantastic, could you send a big thank you to your team for a job well done. I have felt for them in some of the awful weather we had at the beginning of the year and the blistering heat at the latter part.  The job has been carried out with the up most professionalism and will be more than happy to give a reference to anyone thinking of using your Company.” – Garry Hollins, Site Engineer, Marston’s Plc.

“You have completed an excellent project, carried out with great pride, determination, quality and with a very high regard to safety. Very well done.” – Ian Reeley, Senior Projects Manager, Marston’s Plc

To be given the opportunity to refurbish a structure such as the chimney at Marston’s is something which we relish as a company. This particular industrial brick chimney has stood for well over a century and is an iconic local landmark in Burton-Upon-Trent. We are delighted to have our name behind restoring and preserving the chimney for many years to come and would like to offer our gratitude to Marston’s for entrusting Rafferty’s with this project.

The following photographs show the chimney before, during and after the refurbishment works.


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ATLAS Members Put Safety First

When choosing a contractor to carry out specialised works at height on their industrial chimneys, it is paramount that Companies are aware of the benefits of using an ATLAS member.

ATLAS is the governing body for the steeplejack and lightning protection industry and is also acknowledged by the HSE. The HSE recommend that chimney owners use ATLAS registered Companies, formerly known as the ‘National Federation of Master Steeplejacks and Lightning Conductor Engineers’.

Rafferty’s have been a full member of ATLAS since its formation.

In a recent press release (see below) ATLAS have highlighted the commitment of its members towards health & safety. This press release should provide further comfort to Companies who use ATLAS members for their high level chimney works.


11 June 2012

ATLAS Members Put Safety First

The latest annual survey undertaken by the Association of Technical Lightning and Access Specialists (ATLAS) has highlighted the commitment of its members to health and safety in the workplace after ATLAS recorded lower fatal and major injury rates than the construction industry as a whole.

The results of the 2011 ATLAS Accident Survey, covering over 1,120 operatives, revealed that no fatalities were recorded by ATLAS members for the third consecutive year in an industry where working at height is unavoidable. One major injury was reported, categorised as a slip, trip or fall on the same level, at an incidence rate of 89.3 per 100,000 workers. This was lower than the rates for both the specialist sector as represented by the National Specialist Contractors’ Council (NSCC) at 168.8 per 100,000 workers and the industry at 173.2 per 100,000 workers. Frequency rates for all accidents, both reportable and non-reportable, improved to 42,091 working hours per accident, allowing ATLAS to demonstrate to clients and other interested parties that its members have a better safety record than non-members.

ATLAS has a dedicated Safety & Access Committee to develop and promote safe working practices within the industry. This has included a recent programme of testing on ladders and modular scaffold frames in order to determine the equipment’s safety limitations, the results of which will be available later this year. By providing guidance and up to date information on regulations and working practices, ATLAS helps its members to maintain the highest safety standards, which is reflected in the continued quality of their work.

Chairman of the ATLAS Accident Committee, John Ashmore, commented on the results of the report:

“During a recession, many businesses look to cut operating costs which can lead to an increase in accidents on site but ATLAS members have continued to prioritise health and safety in the workplace. As well as demonstrating that ATLAS members have an improving safety record, the results of this survey enable lessons to be learnt and shared amongst the membership which reduces the likelihood of similar accidents happening again in future.”

The results of the 2011 Accident Survey were presented at the ATLAS Annual Convention on Saturday 26 May at the Royal Yacht Hotel in St. Helier, Jersey, which was attended by over 80 ATLAS delegates.

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Rafferty’s Trainee Steeplejack Achieves Top Awards

Last night saw the Steeplejack & Lightning Protection Training Group awards ceremony in which Peter Nuthall, one of Rafferty’s trainee steeplejacks, achieved two prestigious awards. Peter has been with the company for over three years and has attended the National Construction College at Bircham Newton to qualify as a steeplejack. Peter won the Bert Bird Award for best portfolio and the Barry Congreave Trophy for best overall achiever. The picture below shows Carl Woodroffe, Contracts Director of Rafferty’s, presenting the awards to Peter.

The directors of Rafferty’s are immensely proud of Peter’s achievements which are a testament to his character and work ethic. We would like to wish him all the very best in his chosen career and look forward to working with him in the future.

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