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Five years ago we were asked to come up with a solution that would give maintenance teams in the train inspection shed and the cleaning shed at the Selhurst Traincare Depot in Croydon, safe and easy access to every part of visiting trains – from the roof down.

Selhurst is the biggest depot of its kind in the UK, covering 37 acres with space for up to 340 vehicles. On average, it provides defect repairs, cleaning, preparation and maintenance services for up 300 vehicles every 24 hours. The solution had to be incredibly robust, offering fast access and escape (in the event of an emergency) while keeping engineers safe from harm at all times.

A GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) construction was the perfect choice – it’s non-conductive, non-corrosive and low-maintenance, with inherent anti-slip properties. The design team at SoS came up with a fully fabricated, multi-story approach and they provided two Access Platforms totalling 220m in length.  Using GRP Open Mesh Grating, GRP Ergonomic Modular Handrail System, GRP Safety Gates and a framework made from GRP Profiles the finished design was as strong, if not stronger than a steel equivalent and a fraction of the weight, requiring no heavy lifting equipment to build.

Installation was completed in September 2015.  Five years on and it’s still as good as the day it was installed. The accident record has fallen, with team members able to reach every part of the engine and carriage exterior – including the Panteograph, HVAC system and the door controls - without over-reaching. It’s completely replaced heavy, cumbersome mobile access platforms and the harness safety system they were using – a system that required safety evacuation plans to be submitted every time it was used - enabling Selhurst to provide a far more efficient service; as soon as the vehicle is in place they can get to work. The platforms are still pristine – needing nothing more than the occasional hose-down; they’re also surprisingly quiet to walk on and are warmer than a steel version would be – making a more comfortable environment for staff to work in. Overall, a great success.
You can catch a glimpse of it in action in a YouTube video. https://youtu.be/fsyeunBdC0s

To find out how Step on Safety can improve safety, efficiency and comfort in your working environment, contact Matt Barber or Dave Riley on 01206 396 446