Multidisciplinary construction group Liviero has designed and manu- factured its own edge protection system, which not only helps to ensure the safety of all employees, subcontractors and clients, but also offers cost savings, compared with imported edge protection.
Liviero technical design manager Rudi Freislich has designed a full range of edge protection gear, including vertical, horizontal, freestanding and bolted systems. The vertical brackets can accommodate slab thicknesses of 800 mm. “To date, we have only manu- factured and used the vertical bracket system with two balustrading options.
“The first option is currently in use in Linbro Park, Johannesburg, where Liviero is constructing new offices, a factory and a warehouse for cigarette manufacturer Razomart. This option comprises telescopic tube balustrading. The second vertical bracket option is being used in the upgrading of Simon Vermooten road, in Pretoria East, for the City of Tshwane, and comprises meshed panels attached to the brackets.
Freislich explains that, while most contractors in South Africa’s construction industry use European brackets, Liviero’s edge protection system was specifically designed for the local market. He adds that European brackets, which are used in conjunction with hollow steel tubes, are not designed to be used with steel tubes, but with high-grade timber properly bolted to them for balustrading and knee bracing. This means that the use of steel tubes in South Africa has created dangerously ineffective edge protection systems.
While European brackets are designed to be set at a maximum spacing of 2 m, the steel tubes are available in lengths that range between 4 m and 6 m, which means that the brackets of the system currently in use in South Africa are incorrectly spaced.
Freislich says that, in addition to the safety risk posed by the brackets’ incorrect spacing, the European system has other significant limitations. “In Europe, the system is only designed for use on temporary formwork platforms, while, in South Africa, it is also used as temporary edge protection on concrete slabs. The limitation of the European system is that it cannot be used on concrete slabs or beams in excess of 450 mm,” he explains, adding that the European system does not allow for horizontal clamping.
Liviero’s edge protection system offers cost savings of up to 60%, compared with the European system, which translates into cost benefits and optimal on-site safety for Liviero employees, subcontractors and clients.
“Liviero is currently the only user of this system, but the range can be applied in any situation that demands barricading, edge or falling protection, including mining, industrial and construction sites,” Freislich concludes.