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Fibrelite are now producing heavyweight, highly engineered F900 composite trench covers.
“Having re-configured the internal fibreglass architecture we can meet the permanent set and test load requirements of BS EN 124, Class F900 (when tested in accordance with the Air BP test footprint),” explains David Holmes, Fibrelite’s Technical Director and Head of Product Development.
According to Fibrelite, the request to provide F900 heavy duty trench covers initially came from a large dockyard in the South-East of England. Their work inspectors were exploring replacement options for extremely heavy and corroding steel covers that had been installed years earlier, these extremely heavy covers required a crane and dedicated lifting equipment, which incurred a financial cost with equipment and manpower to lift the covers every time the ships come into dock.
The company says there are no breakouts of existing structures and no curing time resetting structures into concrete, which is an advantage in critical high trafficked areas.
“These highly engineered composite trench covers have eliminated costly and time consuming procedures, as well as allowing for a load rating of up to 90 tonnes. The associated increase in productivity and significant reduction in costs were benefactors for the consulting engineers and customers alike,” explains Holmes.
Fibrelite explains that statistics show over half of injuries (resulting in absence from work) is due to manual handling and that reducing hazards in this area is a global priority. Because of legislation restricting acceptable manual handling weights, they are seeing a global trend towards lighter weight FRP composite manhole and access cover materials, which also have the benefits of ease of handling and corrosion resistance.
Fiberlite claims that lightweight composite covers that provide safe and easy access, eliminating unsafe manual handling issues, are replacing aging concrete and heavy cast iron access covers all over the world. By using lighter materials, operational injuries are prevented, work sites are made safer and ease of installation and maintenance is made available to utility workers and contractors.
The design of these lightweight covers incorporate up to two lifting points for specially designed lifting handles. These allow the operator to remove the cover without trapping fingers or bending over thus maximising the safety of the lifting technique. The weight is kept close to the body preventing back injury; one of the main causes of absence from work and personal injury claims.
Photo provided by Fibrelite.
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