Works Both Ways – Medium Height, Big Priority
It may be one thing to recognise that height safety is a big issue in Australian construction for worker welfare, but quite another to also recognise that when utilised properly, premium height access products increase productivity.
Coinciding with recent reports stating the continuing dangers of ladder use, development giant Icon Co are making moves to make their sites more safe and easier to navigate on foot as a priority.
On a recent Sydney worksite, Icon’s contractors faced a challenge for egress between floors that was not suited to either costly scaffolding or dangerous extension ladders. They needed a solution somewhere in the middle – something that is very difficult to source off the shelf. And the single-width nature of their existing equipment was causing a lot of waiting around while individual workers scaled the height.
Australian custom height access designers and makers SafeSmart Access were commissioned with solving the challenge. The units needed to be wider for two-way access, and easily transported and hand-manoeuvred to save time and money on potential craneage.
The Steps to Achievement
Made from high grade aluminium, customised stretcher stairs were designed according to stringent Australian Standards, and according to the specific needs of the worksite. With a 500kg capacity (for approximately 4 or 5 people including tools), crane lifting lugs and easy foldability for transporting, these stairs were delivered to and installed to site within a very short turnaround time.
The results were immediate. Workers could use the stairs simultaneously, with the added benefit of a free hand to carry tools, thanks to a 1200mm stair width. All queues formed due to standard ladders were eliminated, and workers are now able to get more done during the shift. And height adjustability for access between variance of formwork deck heights makes the unit flexible from project to project, especially with the inclusion of self-levelling stairs that accommodate several pitch placements.
SafeSmart’s Nathan Joyce has heard nothing but great reports since commissioning.
“Icon are now integrating the use of products like this into the project plan of every subsequent site now,” says Nathan. “They now see custom platforms and stairs as an asset that helps them meet deadlines and budgets, as well as providing heightened safety for their most important asset, human staff.”