Australian Stainless Steel Development Association (ASSDA) posted the following information on 21st April 2010.
Marine applications of stainless steel have traditionally relied on the material’s corrosion resistance and strength. But when it comes to marine rescue vessels, safety is also a top priority.
Southport’s Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) is currently trialing an Australian innovation designed to enhance safety.
The(KAG) Rail, developed by ASSDA Accredited Fabricator Acusafe, has permanent swages and ridges that fit the shape of a closed hand.
The ‘non-slip’ rail was originally designed for the industrial marine sector, where rails and workers’ hands are often wet and greasy, causing slippage on ladders.
In addition to the VMR, the rail is now being trialed on steep ladders at Wivenhoe Dam, Queensland and is suitable for use in a range of industries requiring a high level of safety, including mining, construction, heavy industrial, manufacturing, transport, oil and gas, power stations, and the aged care sector.
VMR Unit Training Co-ordinator Ken Gibbs said two Grade 316 rails were currently installed on their 8 metre Noosa Cat ‘Marine Rescue 2’ and had been tested in all types of weather conditions.
“We’ve got about 30 skippers who work in rotation and the feedback we’re getting is really positive,” Mr Gibbs said.
“The general consensus is that the rail offers superior holding capacity in both wet and dry conditions, without compromising strength.”
Mr Gibbs said during search and rescue operations, the weather was generally foul with water often taken over the bow of the vessel, making the hand rails slippery and testing both skipper and crew.
“Being able to fit our fingers into the ridges gives us a better grip and makes the operation much safer,” he said.
Acusafe Director Danny Klein said independent testing by QUT had shown the rail reduces handrail slippage by a minimum 80 per cent in comparison with regular stainless steel tube.
“The rail can also be fabricated in both left and right hand configurations, which would allow visually impaired people to identify in advance what a staircase is about to do,” Mr Klein said.
The KAG Rail is made to order and is available in a number of different stainless steel grades, depending on the application. The rails can be retro fitted or installed on new projects. Services such as water, electrical, air/gas and data can be hidden in the tube.
A patent is currently pending on the product, which complies with AS1428.1. Mr Klein said the Standard does not currently make particular reference to grip or slip, but the company was lobbying for this to be changed.
Klein Architectural Pty Ltd
Continuous Miner Hand Rail Project
I would first like to thank you and your team at Acusafe on the excellent service you have provided to Precision Maintenance Qld.
The Continuous Miner handrail project was first identified through a number of incidents where operators working on the Miner platform slipped on the floor then grabbed the original handrail providing little grip causing the operator to fall down onto the floor. In one incident an operator fell breaking one of his fingers.
During our investigation we identified a number of key factors that we had to improve.
- Platform and work area cleaned during operating periods.
- Platform fitted with non-slip flooring.
- Handrail design.
Point 3 is a major issue on all our machines, having different designs from height, shape and material. This was one area that required fixing ASAP.
I called Danny straight away to discuss how we can improve our handrail design. The Acusafe team had a solution for us by the end of the day that we all felt would work great.
- We have had nothing but positive feedback from operators using the handrails.
- We have reduced maintenance cost due to all 3 machines using the same handrail.
- We have also reduced our holding of spares due to all machines being the same.
- Quality and the design of the product is excellent.
Thanks again Danny and I look forward to future business with Acusafe.
Continuous Miner machine at American Anglo Mines.
Innovation in hand rail manufacturing achieves up to 300% more grip
Klein Architectural, a Queensland-based manufacturer of stainless steel products has developed a hand rail with up to 300% more grip than conventional rails and engaged with the Australian Institute for Commercialisation to commercialise the opportunity.
KAG Safety rail
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRLog (Press Release) – Aug 02, 2010 – Klein Architectural, a Queensland-based manufacturer of high quality stainless steel products, has developed a hand rail with 80% more grip than conventional hand rails and engaged with the Australian Institute for Commercialisation (AIC) to commercialise the opportunity.
Acusafe is a safety innovation business which manufactures high-quality stainless-steel products for a range of purposes and customers. Projects range from customised metalwork for the home to the fabrication of materials for supermarket refurbishments.
The company recently developed a new product – the Klein Architectural Grab (KAG) Rail – that due to its rope-like motif has up to 300% more grip than the conventional grab and hand rails on the market (independently tested by QUT). This innovation has clear health and safety benefits for a variety of industries. After taking the first important step to protect the invention through an application for an Innovation Patent, Klein Architectural sought external support to commercialise the product.
The company engaged the AIC through its innovation coaching program and Enterprise Connect. The AIC Innovation Coaching program is a joint initiative with the Queensland government Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) under the Q-WIN (Queensland Wide Innovation Network) program which provides innovation coaching services to high-potential small and medium enterprises.
Due to the breadth of potential markets for the grab rail, the AIC in conjunction with Acusafe and Enterprise Connect, identified a small number of key targets to test market acceptance which included the mining, health and defence sectors.
The KAG rail is currently being used in the marine rescue sector with positive results. Ken Gibbs, Unit Training Coordinator, Volunteer Marine Rescue (Southport) said “…the rail offers superior holding capacity in both wet and dry conditions without compromising strength”.
Scott McNeil, Southern Region Innovation Coach at the AIC said “Whenever I show Acusafes’s innovative grab rail to people they are amazed at how much grip it has and then start telling me about all the places it can be used. Uptake of KAG rail by industry will have a profound impact on the size of Acusafe and the number of staff employed”.
For further information on the AIC’s Innovation program please visit www.ausicom.com, call (07) 3853 5225 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Australian Institute for Commercialisation (AIC):
The AIC is a leading service organisation helping innovators achieve commercial success. Around Australia we help business, research organisations and governments convert their ideas into successful outcomes.
Media Contact (AIC):
Scott McNeil, Innovation Coach, Australian Institute for Commercialisation
Scott.McNeil@ausicom.com +61 7 3853 5270