Lessons learnt at The University of Adelaide
This time the lessons weren’t learnt in the classroom, but in The University of Adelaide’s Heritage Listed building ceiling space as the Workplace Access & Safety design and compliance team’s strived to create a safe and compliant ceiling space access system, to a structure that was never designed for these type of works.
Contractors had been complaining about the safety risk posed every time air-conditioners had to be accessed in the ceiling space. Dropped tools, feet through the ceiling and the risk of someone falling and seriously hurting themselves made for an easy decision to engage Workplace Access & Safety for these specialist ceiling space access works.
“The challenge with this projects is installing a system that is both safe and compliant, in a space that was never designed to house this type of system. We had to employ a number of techniques, in very dangerous areas, to meet the client’s needs”
The main issues the project management team encountered were:
- 3 metre drop to the floor,
- The long distances between work areas which needed to be secured as all works were completed during work hours so the customers normal activities were not disturbed,
- The limited space to work within,
- Due to the age of the National Trust building questions of its structural integrity had to be addressed and
- Ensuring that workers safety was not comprised whilst installing the system.
While there was no question on whether the ceiling access system would be safe, initially there were real doubts on whether the system would meet compliance. Workplace Access & Safety Technical Manager and Project Manager offered these comments “The challenge with this projects is installing a system that is both safe and compliant, in a space that was never designed to house this type of system. We had to employ a number of techniques, in very dangerous areas, to meet the client’s needs”.
The end result was a safe ceiling access system which meets the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and was able to be given CodeMark™ certification.
Carratello contributes the project’s success in part to the trust imparted to Workplace Access & Safety to use their expertise and experience in these types of works to deliver a system which would deliver safety and compliance.