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Previously, heavy concrete trench covers had been fitted over below ground utilities and equipment. Due to their weight, the covers were extremely difficult to remove and replace safely, causing manual handling risks for operators. The equipment beneath the trench covers also posed a hazard to the public as the covers did not have a secure locking system. Inadequate security in the form of wooden fencing surrounding the perimeter further highlighted the need for modernisation.
In addition, the concrete covers had begun to break apart, potentially leading to a substantial risk to the underground valve and piping system. The obtrusive framework (pictured below) led to further difficulties and health and safety risks for engineers accessing equipment in the trench.
Fibrelite designed and manufactured bespoke super lightweight (A15 load rated) composite trench covers to offer easy access to the entire trench, improving efficiency and safety.
The new covers and frame allows for quick and easy access for people working onsite as the trench is no longer divided into separate sections. Fibrelite covers are corrosion-free, lightweight and durable, and can be safely removed and replaced by two people using the ergonomically designed FL7 lifting handle, preventing manual handling injuries by lifting from the waist. The provided trench covers were lockable for added security, preventing unauthorised access.
The site now has a securable, aesthetically pleasing and maintenance-free access solution. Previous manual handling and safety concerns have been eliminated as onsite staff no longer put themselves in harm’s way by lifting heavy concrete covers and navigating around the hazardous framework which had previously been installed.
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