Safety Advantages of GRP Walkways and Modular Handrails in High Voltage Environments

In high voltage environments, ensuring the safety of personnel is paramount. Traditional materials like steel or wood may pose risks due to their conductive nature or susceptibility to corrosion. However, Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) walkways, modular handrails, and mesh grating offer a superior alternative, providing a range of safety advantages that mitigate risks and enhance workplace safety.

In this blog, we’ll explore the safety advantages of GRP walkways and modular handrails in high voltage environments, highlight examples of places in the UK that have utilised these solutions to improve safety, and discuss the risks inherent when such safety measures are not put in place.

Safety Advantages of GRP Walkways and Modular Handrails:

Non-Conductive Nature: GRP is inherently non-conductive, making it an ideal material for walkways, handrails, and grating in high voltage environments. Unlike metal counterparts, GRP eliminates the risk of electric shock or arc flash accidents, providing a safe working platform for personnel.
GRP materials, including grating and open mesh floors, are highly resistant to corrosion, even in harsh environments with exposure to moisture, chemicals, or UV radiation. This ensures the long-term durability and integrity of walkways and handrails, reducing the risk of structural failure or collapse, through the use of GRP grating and moulded products.
GRP surfaces, especially open mesh and grating, can be engineered to provide excellent slip resistance, even in wet or oily conditions. This reduces the risk of slips, trips, and falls, enhancing workplace safety for personnel navigating high voltage environments.
GRP walkways, modular handrails, and open mesh gratings are lightweight and easy to install, minimising the need for heavy machinery or specialised equipment. This streamlines installation processes and reduces downtime, allowing for quicker implementation of safety measures.
GRP requires minimal maintenance compared to traditional materials like steel or wood, especially when incorporating GRP grating which is designed for long-lasting performance. Its non-corrosive nature eliminates the need for painting or protective coatings, reducing ongoing maintenance costs and ensuring long-term safety performance of GRP floors and walkways.

Where are GRP Walkways and Modular Handrails used in High-Voltage Environments

National Grid, the operator of the UK’s electricity transmission network, has implemented GRP walkways, modular handrails, and open mesh grating in various high voltage substations across the country. These solutions provide safe access for maintenance personnel while minimising the risk of electrical hazards.
Network Rail, responsible for the UK’s railway infrastructure, has utilised GRP walkways and handrails in electrification projects. These solutions enhance safety for personnel working near overhead power lines or substations along railway tracks.
Power generation facilities, including nuclear power plants and renewable energy installations, have adopted GRP walkways, handrails, and mesh grating to ensure the safety of personnel in high voltage environments. These solutions provide secure access for maintenance and inspection activities.

The risks of not implementing proper safety measures in high voltage environments

Without proper safety measures, personnel working in high voltage environments are at risk of electric shock, arc flash accidents, and electrocution. Implementing GRP grating and open mesh GRP grating flooring can significantly reduce these risks. This poses a significant threat to life and can result in serious injuries or fatalities due to lacking anti-slip features like those found in GRP open mesh gratings.
Inadequate walkways or handrails can lead to structural instability or collapse, especially in corrosive environments. This jeopardises the safety of personnel and may result in accidents or injuries but can be mitigated by using GRP grating and anti-slip flooring solutions.
Slippery or uneven surfaces increase the risk of slips, trips, and falls, particularly in wet or oily conditions. Without proper safety measures in place, personnel are vulnerable to accidents and injuries, compromising workplace safety.
In conclusion, GRP walkways and modular handrails offer significant safety advantages in high voltage environments, providing non-conductive, corrosion-resistant, and slip-resistant solutions that enhance workplace safety.

Examples of their utilisation in the UK underscore their effectiveness in improving safety in diverse applications, from substations to railway electrification projects, incorporating GRP grating and anti-slip features.

Without proper safety measures in place, personnel are exposed to various risks inherent in high voltage environments, including electrical hazards, structural instability, and slips and falls. By prioritising the implementation of GRP safety solutions, including GRP grating and anti-slip floor systems, organisations can mitigate these risks and ensure the safety and well-being of personnel working in high voltage environments.

If you are looking for GRP products for any variety of applications you can view our full range of adaptable, low weight and extremely robust GRP solutions. Get in touch with the team here.