Victor Chirilas, Operations Manager at Mainmark UK, explores how unstable foundations can impact safety, performance and the operation of your manufacturing business
When it comes to reviewing your workplace health and safety practices and business efficiencies, it is important to assess whether the foundations beneath your warehouse, loading dock, transport hub and driveway are stable.
Some of the biggest challenges facing manufacturing and warehousing facilities are ongoing maintenance and safety hazards. Subsidence of foundation ground can cause structural issues above, such as sloping or sinking floors in buildings, or cracks appearing in transport yard pavements and driveways. The floor immediately creates trip and fall hazards, while also affecting the stability of walkways, gantries, elevated work platforms and ladders frequently used by workers to access machinery and equipment for routine tasks. This can also indicate that the building’s foundations need reinforcement to support the weight of heavy machinery and other loads.
Un-level ground will directly impact the performance of machinery and equipment inside the facility. In warehouse and manufacturing environments, this is crucial to the stability of shelving and racks affecting workflow, and the safe operation of forklifts, pallet jacks, cranes and delivery trucks. It can also reduce the efficiency of large machinery and equipment with moving parts, such as booms or mechanical appendages.
Facilities with busy transport hubs will rely on frequent and seamless access of heavy vehicles as part of daily operations. Heavy industrial equipment and vehicles can put floors, driveways and their underlying foundations under immense stress. Over time, heavy machinery and vehicles may exacerbate underlying ground issues or voids that have formed beneath foundations.
The Real Cost?
While the cost to repair structural issues may seem prohibitive, it is important to be aware that delaying treatment of pavements and slabs affected by subsidence can increase damage and the risk of failure, as this typically results in run-off water ponding and then seeping into the foundation ground. As the saturated foundation ground is frequently exposed to heavy loads it leads to even more damage and increased subsidence.
Large scale manufacturing facilities require scrupulous vigilance with regards to workplace health and safety, as the repercussions are so severe should something go wrong. It is possible to successfully remediate structural issues and uneven floors quickly and discreetly, outside of key operational hours with minimal disruption or mess. This often means work can resume and continue as usual, while providing some assurance to business owners that they are providing a safer environment for their staff and increasing their efficiency in the process.
Mainmark offer solutions that fix underlying structural issues quickly, unobtrusively and cost effectively, with minimal disruption to daily operations. In a process likened to keyhole surgery, Mainmark’s proprietary Teretek® engineered resin injection solution is applied under the ground to help raise, re-level, and re-support buildings and other above-ground structures. Teretek is a unique two-in-one solution that delivers both ground improvement and re-levelling, while increasing ground bearing capacity and filling voids.