CROSS Safety Report
Mesh flooring safety issues
A reporter has recently witnessed a number of safety issues with open grid mesh flooring.
Key Learning Outcomes
For civil and structural design engineers:
- Careful consideration and detailing should be given to the support and fixing of open grid mesh flooring panels to prevent them from becoming loose and moving during operation
For asset owners and building managers:
- Regular inspections and maintenance of open grid mesh flooring systems during operation can help to identify any loose panels that may be a safety issue
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The Full Report below has been submitted to CROSS and describes the reporter’s experience. The text has been edited for clarity and to ensure anonymity and confidentiality by removing any identifiable details. If you would like to know more about our secure reporting process or submit a report yourself, please visit the reporting to CROSS-UK page.
A reporter has recently witnessed a number of safety issues with open grid mesh flooring. The problem is that the panels of grid flooring come loose and can then tip up or move apart leaving gaps. The issue derives from the types of clips that are used, which can work loose in the medium to long term. A remedy would be to ensure that all panels are set down in frames that prevent movement even if fixtures come loose.
In the case of large areas, in which several panels are used in a ‘mosaic’, panels would need to be restrained from horizontal movement by cleats welded into the frames, says the reporter (so if one panel is lifted out or becomes loose, the others remain blocked into place). Stairs are a particular problem and need careful detailing.
designers should be very aware of the consequences of a failure
The reporter is aware of at least two fatalities from poorly detailed flooring, which has worked loose, and workers have fallen into plant and equipment. Designers should be very aware of the consequences of a failure. In other cases, nasty twists and sprains have resulted.
The reporter's colleagues have also reported issues with the use of mesh flooring on inclined walkways. Two effects are noted:
(a) if the detailing is poor, the panels slip down the inclined supports
(b) special panels are needed which have a high friction; just because the panels are ‘open mesh’ does not mean they do not become slippery.
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