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Temporary cover stops falls

MATERIALS Cutting Edge

FALLS from height are under the microscope as the industry bids to improve its health and safety performance.

Now Mansfield-based construction worker Paul Auckland has developed a temporary, lockable cover for inspection chambers that can stop accidental falls into the chamber.

Mr Auckland's Holesafe system is borne from an incident a few years ago when he was overcome by fumes during work in a sewer inspection chamber.

He said: 'I realised how easily bricklayers could be affected by fumes when bricking up from the manhole biscuit to the cover level.

'There are safety issues in this, but the brickie could also accidentally drop mortar down into the sewer and cause a blockage.'

The Holesafe cover is fitted into the access hole cast into the manhole biscuit - the top precast section of the chamber - before it is lifted into place.

The frame of the cover is fixed by an adjustable prop that is tightened by hand and locked into place using pins.Plate covers are then locked into position while the work is completed.The cover can be kept locked until the system is formally adopted.

Mr Auckland has developed the system alongside Dan Wade, of Leicester-based company Enderby Construction, which confirmed it was looking for manufacturers to help produce the safety device.