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Getting the Concrete Over the Concrete, Safely

Australian construction company Icon is currently building a large-scale development in Sydney, Australia: the New Generation Vibe Hotel in Sussex Street.

Being a high-rise development, concrete trucks are visiting the site all day, every day, as they pump tens of thousands of litres of concrete on to the site, for backfilling and slab work.

With parking at a premium on the site’s property, the trucks are forced to run a long line from the street across a pedestrian path. As per council requirements, the area has to be made safe for the public to pass through without any danger of injury via tripping or any other accident.

Of course, this type of piping will create a trip hazard, so Icon looked for a way to eliminate it. Sydney’s SafeSmart Access were commissioned to come up with a solution.

Previous use of plastic or vinyl safety mats had proven ineffective, as the flexibility created a trip hazard in itself, and put pressure on the concrete pump line. It was decided that a more permanent and rigid solution be used, which could be easily packed up and transported to other sites with similar challenges.

An in-house custom-designed and built bridging system was created, which inclines over a subtle gradient (1:14) for reducing slipping hazards, leaving the perfect height in the centre to clear and protect the pump line.

The unit is made from high tensile aluminium, with 900mm high welded handrails, and features coarse chequer plate underfoot for added grip. The 1200mm-wide platform landing ends are bevelled to seamlessly dip down to the footpath without any step-like trip hazards. And adjustable centre legs ensure that the bridge does not come in contact with the line pump, no matter the gradient of terrain of the footpath.

As a bridge, the ramp is 2.5KPA-rated, modular and compliant with AUS/NZ 1428.1 2009.

SafeSmart’s Nathan Joyce is getting great feedback from the client.

“Icon do this sort of job all the time. And they have to run lines over pedestrian areas a lot, especially in busy city projects,” says Nathan, “so they are already considering collecting a few of these in order to have several of them deployed at a few simultaneous sites.”

SafeSmart can design and build any type of ramp or bridging system to scale any type of obstacle, whether it is hoses, pits, ground-based equipment or cabling, all with compliance and optional portability.