During trenching or excavation works on site, it is essential to ensure the safety of operators.
Because works of this type involve risks of collapse and burial, safety codes based on Australia’s national model developed by Safe Work Australia* typically apply to excavation work, including bulk excavations more than 1.5 metres deep, trenches, shafts and tunnels.
SMARTSHORE®, a shoring system available from Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, provides a pneumatic protection shield that is easily and quickly set up to guard against cave-ins in a wide variety of excavation work.
This new technology reinforces the walls of trenches and in appropriate applications and can replace the use of conventional shoring, which can be cumbersome to handle and install, particularly for trenches of limited depth , as well as involving the transport of unwieldy material to remote sites.
The SMARTSHORE® system, manufactured by the globally respected Pronal elastomer engineering company, involves a twin-walled rubber-coated construction, finished by hot vulcanization, and featuring inflatable shields that are resistant to impacts, abrasion and tearing.
The design of inflatable shields and their accessories allows the system to be installed horizontally or vertically, while optimising safety, says Air Springs Supply National Sales and Marketing Manager Mr James Maslin, whose company has been a national leader in pneumatic actuation, isolation and suspension for more than 30 years.
Internationally SMARTSHORE® is designed for use in such areas as building and construction; civil engineering and earthworks, electrical and telecommunications; mining, energy and petroleum sites; pipeline installation and maintenance; road making; manufacturing and food and beverage and primary production pits and pipelines; plumbing and sewerage and water and waste water infrastructure.
"Naturally each industry in Australia must consider the statutory safety provisions relating to its unique workplace conditions, but SMARTSHORE® is a highly practical and robust product engineered in response to a global safety issue relating to excavations including pits and trenches," said Mr Maslin.
"Pronal is already respected globally as an engineering company for its extensive ranges of environmental and workplace protection products, including tough inflatable elastomer pipe stoppers used to prevent pollution and to protect staff during pipeline inspection and maintenance."
SMARTSHORE® cushions are equipped with handling straps, a quick air connector and a safety valve to avoid the risk of bursting. Their advantages include:
* *High resistance construction with anti-burst design
* Re-usable, easy maintenance
* Easy handling and setup. Each cushion weighs only 13kg
* Flexible and foldable
Air volume required is 400/660 litres with a maximum pressure of 650 mbar. Inflated by standard workplace compressors – or from compressed air/gas cylinders at remote locations – the standard product is complemented by an inflation line with safety valve for quick coupling and a venturi for quicker deflation.
*Such work is considered to be high risk construction work for which a safe work method statement must be prepared, according to the recently published Excavation Work Code of Practice of WorkCover NSW, which is based on the national code.