What advice do you have for transitioning between ground level and the chamber?

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The transition from ground level into the manhole chamber on entry and vice versa on exit is a critical part of safe working in a confined space.

Most specifications stipulate that the distance from ground level to the top of the first step should be a maximum of 675mm (BS EN752, Sewers for Adoption 8th Edition pre-implementation version, Highway Construction Details, Welsh standards for new gravity foul sewers and lateral drains). Sewers for Scotland 3rd Edition requires the distance to be no less than 500mm and no more than 700mm. Within these documents, there are different requirements relating to the minimum number of courses of “adjusting” brickwork between the cover slab and the manhole cover and frame. When the manhole is constructed, the number of courses used can affect the actual distance to the first step.

To assist safe access into and egress from manholes and other chambers, the use of a handhold is strongly recommended. Handholds are not always included as part of the manhole construction and their omission may place operatives at greater risk. Specifiers are advised to consider handholds as an integral part of the manhole design.

Caswick offer handholds in various sizes, fixing methods and materials. The handhold remains fully within the chamber when not in use and can be easily raised into position once the access cover has been removed. The handhold is locked into position and used to provide stability to the person as they transition from the surface level onto the steps in the chamber. When extended, the handhold also creates a visual aid to indicate the location of the manhole to other people in the area.

Once work is complete and the operative is out of the chamber, the handhold is lowered back into the chamber beneath the level of the surface until it is required again. The Caswick handhold connects directly onto Caswick steps and does not require tools to operate it once it has been installed. The handhold remains fully within the chamber.

Contact Caswick for more information.

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