Securing entry gantries and scaffold walkways can be difficult for those responsible for health & safety on a construction site. But with slips and trips one of the most common accidents, it’s absolutely vital.
So what are the best ways to minimise risk on these essential access routes?
Avoiding labour intensive methods
Raised gantries and walkways are commonplace on almost any construction site. Whether they’re acting as vital paths around the side of a building or providing a necessary elevated entry point to two story cabins or work areas, these routes are subject to heavy daily footfall.
They are also almost exclusively outside and exposed to the elements. The prolonged effect of rain, sleet, snow, ice and frost means these gantries are subject to heavy amounts of water, which makes them more dangerous and can result in excess moisture being carried inside.
To create a safe access route, there are three general options: bare scaffold boards, anti-slip paint, or non-slip flooring tiles.
Untreated scaffold boards and ply are definitely not recommended. They can easily become wet and slimy, making them extremely slippery even during good weather conditions. Furthermore, over time the exposed wood will start to curl and distort as it absorbs water, causing further trip hazards.
Anti-slip grip paint is a very common solution on site, but it has a number of downsides.
- Applying paint to long gantries and large areas of scaffolding is very time consuming and labour intensive
- It’s only a temporary solution
- One coating isn’t normally durable enough, and frequent re-applications are needed
- This means additional cost, and additional wasted time.
- It still doesn’t protect the boards underneath from water damage and distortion
Quick and easy
Non-slip floor tiling though, is the most effective protective solution for gantries and walkways.
Perhaps most importantly, they’re quick and easy to apply to newly erected scaffolding, ensuring there’s immediate protection from slips and trips, and minimal wasted time in the laying of them.
We particularly recommend RhinoTile, which we’ve supplied to a number of prominent and successful house builders in the UK. They provide anti-slip protection to BS EN 13036-4 2011 standard, without the need for multiple re-applications. They’re fully waterproof, and resistant to both oils and chemicals, in case of any spills.
And you don’t need to spend hours and hours painting surfaces or taping down protective covers, because their simple interlocking mechanism means they just slot together easily. Ramp edges can be added to accommodate for wheeled traffic (such as trolleys and wheelbarrows), and they can even be cut to shape if you have a difficult sized gantry you need to protect.
Long-term cost effectiveness
But what about the cost? Leaving boards bare and exposed is obviously the cheapest option for gantries, but it’s far from the safest. And you can’t put a price on effective protection when it comes to the safety of your workforce.
Although anti-slip paint might seem like the cheaper option initially, it’s important to remember its downsides. It’s not completely effective and it does require multiple applications, especially over a long period of time. You could end up going through and wasting a lot of paint over the course of a contract.
Not only is RhinoTile a highly effective, heavy duty option – suitable for both foot and vehicular traffic – they are also a sustainable solution.
- They are not a single use solution – they can be cleaned and re-used again and again
- They can be laid on site once and then left for the entire duration they are needed
- They reduce overall waste – on both construction materials (e.g. replacement boards) and staffing (labour needed to re-paint surfaces)
- They are 100% recycled and recyclable again after use, contributing to a green, eco-friendly construction site.
The next time you need to prevent slips, trips and falls on gantries and walkways on your construction site, we’d strongly recommend RhinoTile.
Would you like to find out more about gantry flooring and ground protection? Our expert advisors will be more than happy to help, tailoring our recommendations to the specific circumstances for your site or business.DIY and Home Improvements: Is your house protected from accidents and mistakes?
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