Current situation in the urban sanitation network
Wells for sanitation and registration, tanks, Sanitary sewers, inspection chambers of electrical networks, telephone networks, service galleries … Step irons or steel manhole steps can be placed in a considerable number of narrow places in very unfavorable conditions in terms of humidity, temperature and harmful gases.
Although less and less are common to see, in the underground networks of many municipalities and citie
s around the world, iron ladders continue to be installed, having been placed for many years without any maintenance and suffering a total degradation. On these occasions, at a glance it is seen that the manhole step irons are already rotten from
their mooring to the concrete and as you go down, the step irons reduce its thickness. They rod starts with a diameter of 16 mm and they are reduced steadily to a diameter of 14,12,10,8 mm. Finally, the deepest steel manhole steps no longer exist, they do not have an anti-slip surface, nor lateral fins so that your foot does not slip, and you can suffer cuts with rust, or even worse, the ladder can break and consequently the operator falls.
In addition, many workers descend without any harness or tripod to go down so if there is methane gas in the well (something very common), the worker is likely to faint and so is the one who might come down to rescue him, as already has happened in the Spanish municipality of Alcañiz, with 2 deaths in 2009.
Polyproyplene manhole steps: advantages vs iron steps
Luckily new safety equipment for ascending and descending manholes has been developed. We are talking about the innovative polypropylene manhole steps, which are the first steps to be offered with molded hand grips, making it the safest, most innovative product of its kind. Made from tough, weather resistant copolymer polypropylene, the polypropylene manhole step also offers a sure-footed tread design, staggered barbed ends for greater holding power and sixteen waterseal rings.
What are the main advantages of the polypropylene manhole steps?
- Easily assemble in minutes with no maintenance required.
- Excellent Corrosion and weather resistance
- High Visibility and No Sharp Edges
- Steel reinforcement gives predictable deflection under load without causing brittle failure.
- Superior impact strength with reduced weight compared to stainless steel manhole ladder
- Usability in a wide range of temperatures -40 degrees to 120 degrees.
- Excellent electrical insulation capability and low moisture absorption.
- Anti-slip floor and reduced cost.
- Any length of ladder can be assembled on site without the need for bespoke manufacture
The iron step has been rejected in many countries, mainly because:
- The excessive cost of installation.
- It is necessary to re-paint the iron steps every year.
- Step irons become rotten from their mooring to the concrete for the humidity that is inside the manhole, which can lead to breakage of the step.
- Short durability.
- Rapid oxidation and formation of scales which harm the operator’s hands.
- Contamination of drinkable water.
- Scarce resistance to corrosive products and gases.
- Danger of slipping on treading on it.
- Aesthetic defect.
In IVERNA we take the quality and safety very seriously
IVERNA is the only and first Spanish company that manufactures polypropylene manhole steps approved according to European EN-13101 Norm, making sure our product surpasses every test of the norm through our own quality laboratory. We manufacture 45 models of manhole steps adapted to different background conditions: maritime manhole steps, mountain manhole steps, manhole steps for intensive use or even for any kind of surface (concrete, steel, PVC, wood…).
We also have specific ventilation technology for ventilation in urban sanitation networks with equipment such as CVG- spark-proof (for explosive gases, gas methane), Pozovent, a versatile electricity or gasoline equipment, which attaches directly to the well’s shape; Cabins of ventilation and gas-exhausters of different flows and our Motovent with gasoline engine, also for extraction and ventilation.
In IVERNA we know the safety measures that are required in urban sanitation, for that reason we assess companies to choose the best solution to tackle their problems.