Monday, September 21, 2020

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Guest Article- New Age Construction Equipment Engineering

New Age sits in suspended platforms

Management of successful and safe operation of the Suspended Working Platform is critical to ensure timely and safe execution of construction projects. SANTOSH CHAURASIA, GM – SALES & MKTG, NEW AGE CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT ENGG. CO., discusses virtues of customised solutions offered by his company and prescribes a ‘Safety Check List’ to ensure onsite safety.


There is a great history behind the bosun chair and rope suspended platforms for work at height. Borne from the sea, the boatswain (Bosun) was the ship’s officer responsible for maintaining the sea vessel. They used a wooden seat suspended from rope rigging to access hard to reach areas. Another great example was the early uses for construction projects, including the construction of Mount Rushmore (1927 – 1939), and the Hoover Dam (1931 – 1936). The US Bureau of Reclamation, who oversaw the Hoover Dam project, and has since used bosun chair for difficult access works, has created a modern guideline for rope access work adapting to modern advances in rope access work.

The time changed, and with continuous development of Rope Suspended Platforms (RSP), including lots of modifications and innovations, were done and the construction industry started to accept the working of RSPs widely. The machines were designed to be more compact, reliable, and safe, with many advanced features.

In present scenario of the construction industry, all are fast track projects and time is a chief priority. To survive with the priority, getting skill workmen is very difficult. Hence industry is absolutely dependent on new technologies. RSP is one among such technology used largely by contractors, resulting reduction in time and cost of construction.

Rope Suspended Platform which is commonly known as Gondola (or cradle/ or RSP), is electrically operated, temporarily installed, suspended access equipment, which is a suspended manned facility for work at heights by relying on a movable platform driven by motor, designed to suspend along the vertical surface of building, by steel wire ropes through the suspension mechanism placed at the top of building. It is a kind of non-regular suspended access equipment. The suspended access equipment is featured in strong construction adaptability, higher construction height, less occupation of construction land, high construction efficiency, easy erection, less labour need, etc.

RSPs are now widely used in India for working at height for the installation of billboard or windows, window cleaning, external renovation, painting, plastering, decoration of bridges, buildings, chimneys, silos and other structures, etc. This is an easy-to-use and efficient solution. Utilizing decade of engineering experience, we developed a safe modular system that makes it easy to quickly adjust the platform’s dimensions and shape to the current needs. When designing and fabricating suspended platforms, we focus on quality and reliability in the first place. First class materials and components guarantee long life cycles, outstanding durability, and wear resistance.

The RSP is high-efficiency modern overhead operation equipment, capable of replacing a traditional bamboos or metal scaffold and being reused. It is considered as an asset with higher safety and easiness in working. It is a safe machine; lots of advance safety features like Digital Load Cell, Anti Tilting, and Anti Sway Restriction Devices, are added to the machines. This is easy to install, dismantle, shift, and even storage or transportation also. It takes only 1-2 days for installation with minimum numbers of manpower; so less dependency on labours. It is permissible to work at heights. So now RSP is the key to entry for big projects tendering. There is long life of machine, easy to repair, with lower maintenance cost, and good resale value also. Workers are more confident on RSP due to long size, and flexible dimension of working platforms. Most construction companies have already stopped working on bamboos scaffolding due to safety and many other relevant issues.


Customisation in RSP

The custom shape suspended platform is a kind of non-standard suspended platform with special specifications and it is tailored to meet the requirements on the construction of irregular buildings. The custom shape suspended platform features light weight, high utility, high security, and reasonable price. Its main part can be freely moved and restructured, making it convenient and efficient to complete the construction and maintenance work of irregular buildings.

New Age believes in customised solutions for Rope Suspended Platforms to cater its clients with higher safety features. L-type (90’), C-Shape, Curve-Shape, W-Shape, Square-Shape, Round-shape, Multiple Front Extension Platforms, Front Extension (fixed/ folding), and multiple modifications in Suspension Mechanism/ Parapet Clamping/ Wall Brackets, are highly appreciated and accepted by the trend setters in construction segment.

Recently we designed a round-shaped gondola for chimney internal works. This machine is of 6.8 radius, galvanised, with 3 ton loading capacity, and 300 M working height. There is an arrangement in centre to cross a man material lift inside the platform. This is a very unique product and innovation for chimney project.


Ensuring onsite safe SWP operations

A safe system of work should be established for every operation of a suspended working platform (SWP). The system should be prepared and endorsed, with the advice of project engineers, safety professionals, and relevant personnel of the site or of the building management. It should be distributed to all personnel involved in the operation. The safe system of work should be monitored and supervised by a competent person. He needs to ensure that every operation of the suspended working platform is safe and without risk to health to the personnel working inside or nearby the working platform.


Operator Safety Rules

Ensuring that every person working on the working platform receives suitable training and possesses a certificate of training; no other persons without being trained or authority of controlling officer are allowed to operate. He should be at least 18 years old, be fit, agile and not suffer from vertigo or height phobic; have undergone training that is either recognized by the manufacturer of the suspended working platform, or 3rd party safety inspection team.

The operator must wear safety helmet and safety belt when working, the self locking buckle on the safety belt must be fastened independently, and fixed on the life rope that is tied on the top of building or structural member (the top end of the life rope is not allowed to fix on the suspended mechanism).

Any operators who drinks, bears a great strain, or have abnormal mood, are not allowed to operate the suspended access equipment.

The operator is not allowed to wear the shoes with hard or plastic sole, or slippers and other shoes, inclining to slip when working. During the operation, it is prohibited to use the ladder, bench, wooden stool, and other tools for climbing in the range of suspension platform, or design, or place the hoisting devices out of the suspension platform.

The operator must access into the suspended access equipment on ground, no accession into the suspended access equipment from the window in air is allowed. It is absolutely prohibited to access into the suspension platform from another one when it is suspended.

The safe system of work should include the following:

  • Planning and assessment of the operation including the selection of a suitable suspended working platform for the type of the job and the working environment;
  • Method of installation and means of securing the stability of the suspended working platform;
  • Arrangement of testing and thorough examination of the suspended working platform by a competent examiner;
  • Provision of periodic maintenance of the suspended working platform, including on-site maintenance;
  • Provision of operation and maintenance manual, log book, repair record, and certificates of test and thorough examination of the suspended working platform;
  • Provision of a competent person for erection, repositioning and dismantling of the suspended working platform;
  • Termination of the use of the suspended working platform during unsafe condition;
  • Arrangement for monitoring and supervision in the implementation of the safety precautions and measures.

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