The pads are available in three sizes, all 600mm wide and either 600mm, 1,200mm or 1,800mm long. They weigh between 13 — 38kg, enabling them to be lifted by one or two people within safety limits.

A single 600mm x 600mm pad can spread a 20t SWL, while a five-unit arrangement of 600mm x 1,800mm pads can spread a 100t SWL. The pads have been tested by Lloyds British Testing and the performance verified.

Bob Quinn, technical director at Solum, said: "We designed the Solum so it could be laid in a variety of configurations to accommodate a large range of loads, yet remain light enough to be man-handleable. Currently to get steel pads into place, the crane will often have to be short-rigged and lift the heavy pads into place, whilst on little or no adequate foundation. Our much-lighter Solum pads will make working around cranes a lot safer by significantly reducing the need to short rig.

"Although we were confident in our calculations, we put Solum units through rigorous independent testing with Lloyds British Group, the international leader in test, inspection and certification, to confirm the results of our extensive finite element analysis.

"We received valuable support from Sapa, who helped us specify the aluminium used; a grade that combines high tensile strength with low weight. Although when used correctly the Solum will provide decades of valuable service to the construction and crane industries, when it comes time to replace them, they have the added bonus of being 100% recyclable with a high residual value."