Prioritise Operator Safety when approving Fall Protection Safety Grids on Water Networks

View why the Drop Test is critical when approving Fall Protection Safety Grids for water and wastewater networks

Attention to safety is critical when selecting steel access solutions which facilitate the safe extraction of equipment from a chamber and ensures the safe movement of operators while doing so.

Specification for Fall Protection Safety Grids

The required specification for pumping stations, wet wells and valve chambers, is for a hinged, fall protection grid to be provided below the access cover and to be capable of withstanding a 250kg load over the total area of the grid. The lifting effort of the grid shall not exceed 25kg.

While the relevant standards for specifying fabricated steel, Flush Fit or Above Ground covers are: EN 124-3: and BS 9124 depending on the clear opening, EN 124 does not refer to safety grids or testing. That is why the Drop Test outlined in BS 9124 provides a comprehensive safeguard against varying standards in production that can occur.

Fall protection safety grids are the most important safety feature when specifying access solutions, to protect operators against the risk of injury or death from falls into open chambers.

The Drop Test explained

This test requires the safety grid to be capable of withstanding a 140kg mass applied over a footprint area of 300mm x 200mm and dropped from a height of two metres onto any point of the grid. This simulates (and exceeds) the vertical impact of a human being falling onto the grid, at any point onto an area similar in size to their footprint. When approving access covers with fall protection request a Drop Test report to ensure safety girds comply fully to the requirements of the standard.

Designed for safety and peace of mind

Additional safety features, such as working platforms will allow operators safe access when there are large openings that require multiple covers.

 Selecting the correct access and fall protection solutions for water networks can be a daunting challenge with factors such as compliance, operator and public safety, ergonomics and asset security requiring equal consideration. To fully ensure operator and public safety choose third party certified access solutions for water networks.

EJ are here to help, by offering you specification guidance for a range of infrastructure access solutions in ductile iron, galvanised steel, or composite material to suit project requirements.

Contact us on 057 9123100 to organise an Engineers Ireland approved CPD webinar.