Design Considerations For Industrial Walkways
An industrial walkway evokes an instant image of efficiency, strength and no-nonsense functionality. An industrial walkway is more than a simple narrow corridor placed at a height. It is often a place from where, workers service machinery and or perform other industry-related tasks. Based on Australian healthy and safety requirements, industrial walkways in Australia need to comply with the Australian Standard AS1657.
AS1657 impacts walkway design in many ways. Standards are revised from time to time and one must keep going back to the source to double check the latest expectations. However, we outline some of the key considerations that impact design as follows:
Strength, Durability and Load-Bearing
Since industrial walkways can be places of active work, the overall structure needs to take into account the number of people and tasks that will take place on it at any given time. The number of people accessing the platform at given time allow structural engineers to calculate the ‘live load’ on the platform. The tools and equipment being used or ferried across the walkway allow structural engineers to calculate the ‘point loads’ applied on the walkway. If data around these items is not available, AS1657 specifies the minimum live load and minimum point load that the walkway ought to be designed for.
By ensuring that the structure, flooring, guardrails are all designed to take these loads, worker’s health and safety remains at the forefront of design decisions.
Slip free, Well Drained and Well-guarded
Another risk to worker’s health and safety on an industrial walkway is slips and falls. To ensure that walkways are slip resistant, the flooring must be designed in a way to offer the right amount of friction against footwear. Flooring design does this by way of treads, patterning or serration on the flooring material.
Ensuring that the flooring is designed to quickly drain liquid spills, is another factor. Water build up, detritus, mud and dirt can make walkways slippery and even dangerous. A fast, self-draining flooring, adds a layer of safety for workers.
Lastly, but most importantly, placing load-bearing hand rails and guardrails, further reduces the risk of serious slips, falls and injuries.
Cleanliness, Hygiene and Ease of Maintenance
To ensure that the industrial walkways is well designed, it is imperative that the right materials are chosen. Materials used should be easy to clean, look and feel hygienic, be long lasting and yet easy to maintain. As the reality of living in a pandemic hits home, workplaces are looking to raise the standards of hygiene across daily operations. Therefore, good design practice is to rely on materials that offer a greater ease in maintenance.
Materials Used For Industrial Walkways
There are many materials that meet the design considerations highlighted above. Popular items include, Checker plate, FRP Grating, Expanded metal mesh, Steel Grating. However, these can often make the walkway look and feel heavy and bulky. Some materials can also develop cracks over time.
In contrast to these, Heelguard stainless steel grating can elevate the industrial walkway to a modern, designer aesthetic. The benefit of this grating systems is that it ticks off on all the design considerations noted above. However, its biggest advantage is that it gives added protection against footwear heals becoming wedged.
Industrial Walkway Grates by Auswave Products
At Auswave, we can custom design your industrial walkway based on your design needs. All our products comply with AS1657. We can give help along the entire design and construction process. Our project specific advice covers off all aspects of custom made steel grating including grating details, grating dimensions, grating load calculation, grating specification, grating pricing. Call us today if you are looking to use steel mesh gratings, heavy duty gratings, metal gratings for your next industrial construction project.