Industrial safety specialist Troax UK Limited has installed over 1km of its Safe-Fix machine fencing to protect staff working near a new rail inspection line at Corus’ Scunthorpe steelworks. The project was part of a £130m investment programme to establish a new, world-class rail manufacturing and service facility at the site.
Europe’s leading rail producer, Corus manufactures approximately 500,000 tpa of rail and track products in the UK and France for customers such as Network Rail and SNFC. The new facility will enable the company to expand its product range and in particular, to produce lengths of rail up to 120m long, the first time that this has been possible in the UK.
To ensure compliance with Health and Safety regulations, Troax designed and installed an extensive machine fencing layout using its Safe-Fix wire mesh panel system, completely enclosing the heavy, automated machinery on the new inspection line and preventing unauthorised access to the guarded area.
The project, which was carried out in conjunction with interiors and materials handling specialist The DL Company, presented a number of challenges, in particular the need to accommodate the 120m sections of track on the inspection line and provide sufficient access at the end of the line to lift the rails in and out of the safety enclosure.
Safe-Fix’s modular design was a huge advantage in this respect, allowing Troax to design the fencing system to closely follow the height of the line itself so that rails do not have to be lifted any more than necessary.
Troax also incorporated a number of intricate fencing configurations within the layout to provide inspection areas and accommodate large pieces of heavy machinery. Again, Safe-Fix’s modular design offered a flexible solution, enabling the machine guarding to be easily adapted to incorporate these potentially awkward areas within the fencing runs.
To allow authorised personnel to access the line for maintenance, a series of interlocked side-hung and bi-parting sliding doors has been installed at regular intervals along the safety fencing.
Commenting on the Corus project, Daniel Lowe at The DL Company said: "This was a demanding project but Troax’s service was excellent and their team very helpful. They don’t just offer a standard panel system – their products are high quality, versatile and well designed.
Safe-Fix fencing meets all relevant Health and Safety legislation as well as European Norms and Directives. Its modular wire mesh panels are constructed from steel tube for rigidity and strength. The panels’ small mesh size of 100mm x 23mm also allows close positioning to equipment, maximising the use of space while meeting safe distance requirements.