5 Tips For Safely Operating Hydrodemolition Robots

The use of hydrodemolition robots has grown in popularity, as they are able to quickly and efficiently remove concrete during repair and renovation projects.

This has been demonstrated in Canada, where a project to renovate around 80 parking structures over a 15 year period needed to find a solution that negated the damage that could be done with jackhammers, as well as being able to work around tenants’ schedules, as the car parks needed to remain open, reports Equipment Journal.

“Hydrodemolition isn’t what a lot of tenants were picturing when we informed them of renovations,” said Robert Reynolds, special project manager for Drewlo Holdings.

He added that tenants expected there would be a lot of noise, dust, and restricted access, but once work was underway, they were impressed how quiet it was, while dust and access restrictions were kept to a minimum.

However, hydrodemolition robots, like all equipment, require careful operation to avoid accidents. We have a look at a few important safety tips for operators using hydrodemolition robots.

1. Operate safely

Only the operator should ever be within 10 metres of the machine during operation, and the operator must stand at least 1 meter away while being constantly aware of the water jets. Operators should ensure they are wearing all the necessary personal protective equipment, and must never leave the robot unattended.

2. Never work alone

There should always be at least one other worker acting as a spotter for the operator, keeping watch for hazards and monitoring other equipment. Having a spotter is the best practice for ensuring safety.

3. Carefully watch equipment

It should also be the spotter’s responsibility to watch the pump and water hose for hazards. For instance, if there is a malfunction, and the robot stops moving, yet continues to shoot water, it will break through the surface. In such a situation, the spotter will be able to quickly turn off the water pump.

The hose also needs to be carefully monitored by the operator and the sport, as even small leaks could result in his velocity water jets similar to the jets of the robot, which potentially can cause serious injuries. Never check for leaks with hands or any other body parts.

4. Be mindful of the other side of the surface

The high-pressure water jets can carry debris for some distance at high speeds, should the jets break through the other side of the working area, so ensure the other side is blocked off before operation. Ensure any utilities in the working area are turned off or secure to prevent any damage.

5. Install safety barriers

While all safety measures are taken around the cutting heads of the robots, broken concrete can still escape, and be ejected at high speeds. Contractors should install safety barriers at a minimum of 25 metres around the machine, as well as erect warning signs. High strength netting can also be used.

Always ensure that operators are fully conversant with the operation of the unit, and consider taking training courses offered by manufacturers to help improve job safety and the quality of work.

If you’re looking for hydrodemolition contractors in the UK, get in touch today.

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