A potential falls from height risk was identified at Creagh’s precast stair factory.
A raised, mezzanine area at first floor level is used to build moulds for the casting of the precast stairs. Large pallets of timber are delivered to 2, designated loading bay areas on the mezzanine floor. A forklift truck raises the pallets from ground floor to the loading bays. Handrails were in place along of the edge of the mezzanine area but there were gaps by the loading bays to provide access for the forklift. Large straps were tied cross the opening to prevent a fall from height. However, this still left operators at risk as the bays were unguarded during loading, it also relied on the operators to attach the straps after every use.
To address this risk, the managers at the site developed a counter balanced barrier system, when 1 barrier was lowered and the other was automatically raised or vice versa. The weight of 1 barrier mirrors the weight of the other, they are connected by a pulley system. The system is very easy to use. Normally, the edge barrier is deployed, when loading however, this is lifted and the loading bay area barrier is lowered into place.
- Risk of fall from height eliminated
- Easy system to operate
- A barrier is always in place – no longer reliant on operator
- Maximises use of space on the mezzanine floor