Dangerous conditions require access

By Maria Hadlow11 February 2009

To carry out drain repairs under a motorway the work basket had to avoid 15000V cables.

To carry out drain repairs under a motorway the work basket had to avoid 15000V cables.

Undertaking some jobs at height is more difficult and potentially dangerous than others and these projects can benefit from the experience and expertise of a specialist access rental company. System Lift partner, Arbeitsbühnenvermie­tung Berteit, from Herne, Germany, was able to contribute its knowledge to building company Vössing in a motorway bridge redevelopment.

A sewage drain needed renewing under a motorway bridge which carried the A42 over a railway track in Herne. To avoid disrupting rail traffic as much as possible, the track current was switched off, for three hours for each of two nights,. There were further safety considerations, said Roland Berteit of Arbeitsbühnenvermie­tung Berteit , "To carry out the work, the platform basket needed to manoeuvre within 1 m of the 15000 V high voltage overhead cables."

The Wumag truck mounted aerial platform was positioned to move the work basket over the high voltage transmission line. The Wumag model selected has a lateral outreach of approximately 27 m and an 8 m jib for additional flexibility. For the fine work, Roland Berteit took over as operator in the basket. "Each kilo more in the work basket would have reduced the lateral range. In order to save the weight of a further mechanic, I cooperated in the mounting of the pipes."

Even before work could be carried out, positioning the platform had its challenges. The approach road was narrow and muddy and it took the all-wheel-drive Wumag with its very broad tyres, an hour to negotiate 250 m. At the work site one side of the vehicle was just 1 m away from a steep embankment sloping down to a river. The Wumag has outriggers which can be individually deployed to create as stable a base for the work platform as possible in these conditions.

System Lift is a German access rental partnership organisation, it is able to help companies identify an access rental specialists from among its members where particular expertise is required.

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