Water Journal : Water Journal November 2013
WATER BUSINESS WATER NOVEMBER 2013 92 Water Business DELIVERING INNOVATION IN FIELD-BASED INSPECTIONS While manufacturing, construction and agriculture rank as some of the industries with the highest risk of accidents worldwide, no industry is an accident-free zone. Universal factors contributing to fatal incidents include falls through access covers, from walkways and platforms due to grid mesh and handrail failure, and into open manholes. In its Noti able Fatalities Monthly Report for December 2012, Safe Work Australia reported a total of 198 noti able fatalities in 2012, rising from 138 in 2010/11. Of these, 25 were the result of falls from a height, with a further 25 due to workers or pedestrians being hit by falling objects. These contributed to approximately 25% of fatalities nationally. Such incidents bring home the importance of recognising risk in the workplace and taking measures to prevent them occurring. One of the ways Aurecon contributes to a safe working environment is by assisting clients with safety risk assessments of walkway and platform areas, access covers, grates, hatches, points of access and safety railings. Conscious of the need for greater ef ciency in the collection of data and reporting, we turned to technology. The result is an innovative in- house-developed mobile computing system for eld-based engineering inspections and assessments, which has been successfully deployed for a number of water authorities in Victoria and South Australia. The Asset Inspection Tool provides clients with the knowledge to make informed maintenance decisions and contributes to the creation of a safe work environment. It works by providing standardised inspection forms at the front end of a purpose- designed database, which are completed in accordance with a reference document for consistency. The database utilises client-agreed risk matrices to assess the information entered, and its outputs are automated recti cation recommendations and colour-coded work priorities. The tool generates automated detailed output reports with visuals of the asset and its defects, and summary reports prioritising the recti cation works per assessed area. The building blocks of this asset inspection tool include Australian Standard AS 1657--1992 Fixed Platforms, Walkways, Stairways and Ladders and AS 3996 -- Access Covers and Grates, which set out the design, construction and installation requirements for such assets intended to provide means of safe access to places normally used by workers. The developed tool directly references these Australian Standards, and applicable requirements are integrated into the standardised inspection forms. Moreover, the driving force behind the tool is the client's agreed risk matrices, which capture the client risk pro le and specify the recti cation requirement for each defect and the priority for recti cation based on the perceived consequence. The front-end engineering and collaborative agreement with the client enables the programming of the assessment and recti cation recommendations into the tool by senior engineers and subsequent undertaking of inspections by more junior team members. This innovative approach takes eld-based engineering inspections to a new level through the combination of asset inspection processes with proven, sound engineering techniques. The integration of outputs directly into a database allows the sorting of data to identify trends and isolate types of assets, and enables the client to update the asset management system with appropriate data. It also enables comparison of future inspections of the same assets against earlier inspections. Apart from the positive contribution to safety, the use of the tool has demonstrated the following bene ts to the water authorities involved: • Instant reporting incorporating photographs and GPS coordinates; • Visual representation of assets via marked-up drawings/aerial photographs with links back to asset reports; • Enhanced information gathering via smart data collection; • Linkage to existing asset management systems; • Full connectivity enabling optimum performance of inspection team on-site; • Future re-inspection capability; • Lower costs due to an increased ef ciency in inspection times of around 40%; • Facilitation of easy adoption by new users, eliminating waiting for the "A team" through the smarts in the tool. CASE STUDIES Aurecon was engaged in 2011 to conduct a detailed inspection of all access covers, walkway gratings and accessible handrails at a wastewater treatment plant in Victoria. The project involved the inspection and assessment of 10,000 access covers and grates and 32 kilometres of handrails for compliance and condition. The inspection works for this project generated 3,233 reports accompanied by recommendations for remedial works. Using a tablet-based data collection method, the project team, working alongside plant operators and maintenance crew, was able to inspect and assess all assets and download outputs directly to the client's asset management system and deliver a series of standard details for recti cation works. This assignment was also extended to include other water and wastewater treatment facilities, pumping stations and valve complexes for the water authority. Aurecon was also engaged by SA Water in 2012 to create a similar tool for the purpose of inspecting a cross-section of gratings, handrails and access platforms across the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant. The tool was successfully tailored to suit SA Water's risk management pro le and the rollout of the inspection program at the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant was regarded as a success. SA Water now proposes to roll out the engineering inspection and assessment process using this tool across all access covers, walkways and handrails in its network. Close up view of the mobile computing system for eld-based asset inspections.
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