Health and safety game changer

Date: April 2015

New battery lifter achieves successful first trial

Manual lifting of heavy batteries in and out of trackside cabinets could soon be a thing of the past, following ADComms’ successful trial of its revolutionary new battery lifter mechanism.

ADComms was initially approached in 2014 by Network Rail’s HSEA team to devise a safe means of lifting power packs that provide battery backup for critical UPS systems which operate across the FTN infrastructure. Being constantly monitored for condition, these batteries need to be replaced promptly to ensure a constant power supply is provided to the telecoms equipment at all times.

Currently, batteries are moved by hand; a major challenge for maintenance staff as each installed battery weighs approximately 60kg and has to be manoeuvred in and out of cabinets at heights upwards of 1.5m.

Not only did ADComms’ lifter need to provide a time-efficient, labour-saving means of moving the batteries, it also needed to be operational within an array of challenging working environments. To best meet this technical issue, ADComms adapted an industry standard manual lifter mechanism used in factory environments and adapted a tray mechanism using durable light alloys; maximising the portable capabilities of the device. The lifter was successfully trialled at two Network Rail sites, in Newark and Lincolnshire, with ADComms effectively meeting the complex requirements of the project.

Tim Grundy, head of engineering at ADComms, commented:

“We’re delighted with the results of this on site trial. The lifter could prove a viable alternative to manual lifting of the heavy batteries, not only improving health and safety but also efficiency by reducing battery replacement times. We’re looking forward to further testing the lifter’s capabilities and obtaining Network Rail approvals to use the mechanism on the Infrastructure going forward.”

It is hoped that the new battery lifter will be rolled out across Network Rail’s infrastructure over the next few months, following official approval.

For more information, please contact St John White or Natalia Gameson at Prova on 01926 776900.