More and more companies are choosing to install mezzanine floors. The reason behind this is to provide them with that much needed extra space at a fraction of the cost of relocation. However, here has been a growing number of incidents over the past few years where workers have injured themselves on poorly installed floors.
What you need to know
There are many aspects of a mezzanine floor that contribute to its safety. It’s up to you to ensure that every step has been taken to make sure that the mezzanine floor you install in your space is safe to use. The dangers you face in purchasing a second hand floor lie in the unknown. You need to know:
- What was the floor previously used for?
- What condition the floor was used under?
- You need to have the original structural engineers drawings
- You need to know that the floor was taken apart in a safe methodical way. Also, that the decks were not damaged in this process.
- Find out what your ground loadings are. Structural calculations show that this floor will hold the weight you plan on putting on it. Also that it is fit for purpose in the environment in which you are going to be using it.
Why it’s important
Because companies installing second hand floors don’t always know the answers to these questions, accidents can happen. The health and safety executive (HSE) is now urging organisations to ensure their mezzanine floors are completely safe to use. You can achieve this through the use of proper calculations. Also edge protection and hand rails prevent workers from falling. The health and safety regulator recently handed a £10,000 fine to a tissue manufacturer after a worker fell through a mezzanine floor that was six meters above the ground. Luckily the man managed to cling on to the edge of the hole and pull himself back through, suffering servere bruising.
Mezzanine floors are not a ‘one size fits all’ product. Each was designed for the first owner’s use, that specific load, that specific factory and that specific job. They are always (or should always) be made to measure, made for you, your environment and your applications. If you do choose to install a second hand mezzanine floor, you may face some issues. If it is not properly taken down and installed by a qualified structural engineer and anything goes wrong, it comes down to you. It is illegal to use a floor that hasn’t been correctly measured and assessed by a structural engineer.
On a tight budget and need to save money?
You will save money on the materials when purchasing a second hand floor and if you choose to put it up yourself you will save money, and this can look like you are making a significant cost saving. However, there are many hidden costs. These can potentially cost you more in the long run. You should hire a structural engineer to carry out some ground work calculations. These need to be done taking into account your ground, your application and the weight you plan on putting on your floor. Many factors such as vibrations and humidity can influence the stability of your floor. You cannot safely build one structure on top of another with no calculations. You will have to pay for the engineer’s time. If they find anything that needs altering in order to make the structure safe, this will lead to further costs.
The 75% you saved on materials may not be looking so good anymore as the other costs and risks pile up! Not to mention the floor is not likely to look as professional as an original mezzanine floor due to orphaned fixing holes and a messy finish.
If you want to have a professional looking floor, installed right the first time with all the safety calculations, ask us to come to your site for a free site visit. We give our full assurance that the mezzanine floor is safe for you and your workforce to use then. Why put your employees safety and your reputation in danger? In dealing with us we can visit your site free of charge discuss your requirements with you, do a site survey and provide you with technical drawings. We offer the best quality to value ratio in the industry. We’ll also always make sure that you won’t be disappointed with our service. You’ve got nothing to lose, call one of our engineers to arrange a free no obligation site visit. To read more on Engineered Solutions mezzanine floors click here.