NON-DRILL is delivering innovation that eliminates the risks associated with drilling into precast and in-situ concrete structures when installing temporary or permanent handrail systems.
When it comes installing temporary or permanent handrails, drilling holes in precast concrete has for years been standard practice.
Dust, safety and project delays were all issues that NON-DRILL founder Paul Breen felt needed to be addressed, believing that there had to be a better way.
Handrail installations can be a slow, arduous task and can sometimes involve hitting steel, exposure to dust and reworking mistakes. Furthermore, there are some elements that can degrade over time, such as rusting.
These issues pushed Mr. Breen, a construction industry veteran, to come up with a simple, innovative solution that avoids drilling when installing handrails. The solution, known as NON-DRILL, is a patented clutch system that can change the installation of handrails for a construction project.
Notably, the simplicity of the solution is its greatest strength. NON-DRILL handrail posts are attached to the existing precast lifting anchor by a clutch system which simply hooks onto the anchor and twists into place. The system also has a vast range of connections for various different anchors.
Precast concrete structures have to be made to last depending on the contract, which can be from 50 up to 100 years. However, once a precast panel is drilled into by the contractor, the steel could be compromised.
“If the steel is exposed, it could degrade quicker which could bring the lifecycle of the concrete down,” Mr. Breen says.
“Australia prides itself on having a good reputation for long concrete lifecycles, and NON-DRILL is helping to keep that up as we are eliminating drilling for handrails and therefore elongating a project’s lifecycle.”
Safework Australia deems working at heights a high-risk activity. The simple and safe securing of the NON-DRILL handrail system works to eliminate this risk as well as others.
“If handrails are not attached properly or put up correctly, this can open up a project to major risks,” Mr. Breen says.
Mr. Breen recognised the lifting anchor is one of the strongest parts of the precast structure and by connecting handrails to the anchor, safety is increased for workers relying on handrails at height.
Silica dust is another hazard for the construction industry. Mr. Breen says NON-DRILL eliminates the risk of dust exposure as well as other personal injuries associated with hitting steel.
Labour costs are also a consideration, Mr. Breen says, with an average of 12 NON-DRILL handrail posts able to be installed in five minutes.
The NON-DRILL solution is certified to Australian standards and has been used on some major projects around the country such as the Sydney Metro.
Bridges are just one of the project types using the NON-DRILL system. Mr. Breen says trying to secure edge protection can be a real challenge and contractors rely on a lot of manual work to get the spacing of the rail right.
“Everyone is looking for cheaper and easier ways to perform jobs on site, but quicker and easier is not always safer. This is why it was important for NON-DRILL to be certified to Australian standard and can be implemented in the design phase,” Mr. Breen says.
The company has sought independent product testing by licensed engineers to ensure it meets Australian standards for steel grades.
NON-DRILL posts leave no damage upon removal to the surface of the structure other than the anchor points. The posts can then be reused on any other precast projects.
Every precast product has a connection point so people can use this system for speed signs, jersey barriers, gawk screens, drop down posts and other applications.
In 2018 the product won ‘Best solution to an identified workplace health and safety issue – small business’ at the Safework NSW awards.
“It’s exciting to see that this Australian designed system has garnered global interest. We are showing no signs of slowing down, with a number of new solutions by NON-DRILL coming over the next few months,” Mr. Breen says.
The local innovation has already garnered significant interest from overseas and the company is in discussions globally with potential distributors.
To find out more about NON-DRILL visit www.non-drill.com.au or call +61 409 541 384.