Engineer Rex Turner and his colleagues at Coates Hire have an obsession they are only too happy to share: inventing or improving the company’s engineering solutions. It’s part of his team’s search to improve workplace safety, compliance and ultimately, profitability.
The trio – Rex, who is Coates Hire’s National Engineering Manager, Engineering Product Manager Sudhir Raina and Paul Cooper, a Project Supervisor for Pumps, Shoring & Traffic – recently turned their minds to creating a versatile and integrated suite of shoring products including personnel excavation safety handrails, as well as ingress and egress solutions.
As a result of their efforts, the EasyGuard Handrail, KeepSafe Handrail and Coates Hire Rescue Davit Kit were all launched in early 2020. The latest product, developed in partnership with industry experts, was the recently released KeepSafe Ladder Access Platform and Walkway.
So what was the motivation behind the shoring product developments and how can they help your business operate more efficiently and safely?
Fewer injuries, better compliance
As on-site safety standards have evolved, Turner says his team have had safety front of mind when developing the new shoring products.
If you visited a work site a decade ago, many contractors wouldn’t have had handrails on shoring works at all. Industry awareness was limited around the knowledge of Australian compliance standards and industry codes for excavation protection at this time, Rex explains. Attitudes to safety have since changed significantly.
“We were determined to develop products that were intuitively fully compliant with the most stringent of Australian safety standards,” Turner says.
Alongside safety, the team at Coates Hire designed a product line that was also easy to use, robust and fit for use under the most arduous of worksite conditions.
Featuring clamping mechanisms that can attach to just about anything, EasyGuard fits concrete capping beams, shoring boxes and even steel sheet pile under 10mm thick.
“You’ll never again need to use timber blocks, which void OEM certification requirements, to secure the handrails if you use EasyGuard system,” Turner says.
With the KeepSafe Handrail, there’s no need to worry about attaching a separate toeboard, which means compliance can be maintained without additional site measures.
In developing KeepSafe, the Coates Hire team partnered with an aluminium supplier to create a product that was several times stronger than current offerings but still relatively lightweight.
Those working below ground appreciate that added strength. “Customers tell us that, when they lean against it, they can feel how reassuringly sturdy it is,” Turner says.
With many other davit arrangements, you have to dismantle the handrail during rescue operations, potentially voiding site-safety measures. Not with Coates Hire Rescue Davit, which features handrail-clearing mast height.
Coates Hire’s in-house team worked with a National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA)-certified supplier to develop a product that maximised safety for everyone.
The extra-length mast allows the fibreglass stretcher, which is included as part of the standard kit, to quickly clear the handrail and retrieve an injured worker without the safety of the rescuers, and other staff working on site, being diminished.
Like the EasyGuard Handrail, this Davit Kit has clamping mechanisms that can attach to flat concrete, a shoring box or sheet pile. Of course, it’s fully certified and exclusive to Coates Hire.
KeepSafe Ladder Access Platform and Walkway
The base mount section of this easy-to-use platform and walkway provides three different types of adjustment and has versatile clamping arrangements.
The platform can slide 500mm forward into the excavation confines to accommodate internal excavation shoring walers. Made out of galvanised steel, the platform is also impressively strong and transportable.
“It folds up into a fully self-contained, small ‘footprint’ module,” Turner says.
“That means you don’t have to pull it apart and risk losing various components when transporting it.”
How Coates Hire can help with your shoring
It can be hard to stay across the latest developments and compliance standards in shoring technology. That’s why Coates Hire offers a turnkey solution.
“Our expert staff are happy to work out what gear best suits a customer’s needs, then we can install it and remove it,” Turner says, “giving you one less thing to worry about.”
Get in touch if you’d like to find out how Coates Hire’s shoring solutions could make your sites safer – or find your local branch.