Manual Handling Issues Resolved at Total Bitumen, UK

OVERVIEW: Total Bitumen has more than 40 years’ experience in the supply of materials for road construction & industrial applications. Total Bitumen have 3 main research centres in Europe: CReS (Lyon, France), Preston (UK) and Brunsbüttel (Germany). Each of these centres has extensive international design experience & state of the art testing facilities to meet the evolving needs of the bitumen markets in the UK & Europe. Following a review at the Preston site, it was found that a number of the folding stairs were becoming too heavy to lift; some operators were having difficulties lifting & lowering some of the units. Over the years IFC have been responsible for supplying the majority of folding stair units to the Preston site so it was natural for them to call on us to provide a solution to their on-site manual handling issue.

IFC SOLUTION: On site there are 14 folding stair units, all from different manufacturers. Total Bitumen asked IFC Inflow to come up with a cost effective solution to alleviate the weight/load concerns of their operators. This was easily dealt with by fitting one of our pneumatic power kits to the existing stair unit’s across the site. The kit is designed specifically to alleviate the strain impact of manually lifting the folding stairs. It uses on site compressed air to power a cylinder to the lifting & lowering of the stairs. The system comes with a control panel mounted at the top of the stairs with a simple, easy to use up/down lever control. The challenge was to come up with a solution to accommodate our pneumatic power kits to all the different stair units supplied over the years.

IFC Inflow designed & engineered a number of different brackets to allow the fitment of the air cylinder & control units to all 14 sets of folding stairs.

PROJECT OUTCOME: IFC Inflow have successfully supplied all units on site with our pneumatic power kit alleviating any strain issues caused by some of the units to their operators. Duncan McLeod, Total Bitumen Preston Engineering Manager commented “When faced with the task of reducing manual handling on our site, IFC presented Total with an easy & cost effective proposition for our gantry steps. The work carried out by IFC was of the highest standard & was completed & operational with minimal disruption to our daily operations. Our drivers are all very happy with the air powered set up.”

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