What mining safety products might you need if you get hit by a sinkhole?

How to ensure mine safety in your own back yard

 

Safety is a huge issue for the mining industry, but what about for the rest of us? You’d think that the dangers of mining wouldn’t effect those who don’t venture out to mines, but what about when mining comes to you?

You never know what instability lurks in the ground beneath you.

Take the example of Lynnette and Ray McKay from Ipswich, Queensland, whose back yard fell into a 15-metre-wide sinkhole when an old mine shaft collapsed underneath it in August. And in 2014 a similar-sized hole, also thought to be caused by an abandoned mine shaft, opened up underneath a house in Swansea Heads, New South Wales.

Sinkholes happen naturally when caves form, usually in limestone, close to the ground’s surface. When the roof of the cave becomes too thin it collapses, suddenly creating an unexpected and often sizeable pit. But this process can also happen artificially, when an underground mine collapses in a similar fashion.

The risk of this happening to you will of course depend on the mining history of your area, but you never know what instability might be lurking in the ground beneath you. If a collapse does happen at your home your first priority should be safety (and then maybe a call to the insurance company once you’ve got over the shock of your new situation). Here are some immediate ways to regain a level of safety if the ground gives way underneath you:

Handrails

The Building Code of Australia requires a handrail on decks a metre or more above the ground. An unintended pit could cause a much higher fall than that, so handrails are an obvious safety feature to stop anyone plummeting in as they admire your new garden feature. Locker Group handrails can be set up in a range of custom configurations to suit even the most irregularly-shaped hole.

Mining safety isn't usually an issue in the suburbs, but the unexpected can happen.Mining safety isn’t usually an issue in the suburbs, but the unexpected can happen.

Platforms and walkways

When inspecting the damage or checking details for the insurance forms, you’re going to need somewhere to stand. Unfortunately your lawn or patio are no longer to be trusted, and so some sturdy walkways or platforms will be necessary. A good product for this is Gridwalk, a versatile industrial flooring that can be customised to any shape, and either welded to a structure or easily attached with removable clips.

Given that your new garden structures need to be used not only by mining experts but also by inexperienced laypeople, you may want to ensure a more secure footing. In this case an anti-slip flooring like Safe-T-Perf is the solution. Its perforated surface has 360-degree skid resistance for people walking in any direction. Safe-T-Perf is also available as preformed stair treads which are ideal for quick, easy installation.

Fencing

You weren’t expecting to own a pit, but your in-laws will expect it even less when they pop over for a visit.

To ensure safety you’ve got to keep people out of your new mine. You weren’t expecting this situation, but your in-laws will be expecting it even less when they pop over for a surprise visit. Make sure any steep drops or unstable ground are adequately fenced off to keep people out who aren’t prepared to be there. Our woven wire mesh offers plenty of fencing options, or our expanded security mesh provides a more dissuasive option if your in-laws don’t take a hint well.

The best solution to a dangerous situation is to avoid that situation altogether. Do your research when buying a home (although with that said, the Ipswich hole was caused by a shaft that hadn’t been recorded properly), and don’t go mining unless you’re a miner. But if you are a miner, or if unforeseen circumstances mean you have some sudden work to do, please get in touch today.

Woven wire is a customisable product with huge potential for unique projects.

3 unconventional uses for woven wire

 

Wire mesh has many uses and a range of architectural applications, both structural and aesthetic. But aside from the usual applications on buildings and public features, today we thought we’d look at a few fun, unconventional projects that could be achieved with our woven wire products.

1 Mazes

We have some great mazes open to the public in Australia: Last year the Tangled Maze in Springmount, Victoria made it onto the Telegraph’s international list of top ten mazes.

There are a number of materials a maze could be built of, but woven wire’s variable opacities offer a unique twist. Building a maze out of solid barriers that offer glimpses of where you want to go, or where other maze-runners have found themselves, adds a fun dimension to the experience.

Woven wire's variable opacities offer a unique twist on a traditional maze.Woven wire’s variable opacities offer a unique twist on a traditional maze.

2 Fashionably dressed statues

James Cook in Sydney’s Hyde Park, the bronze Queen Victoria in front of the Queen Victoria building, even the Big Merino in New South Wales – these statues are all great sightseeing attractions, but they’ve been there, relatively unchanged, for a long time.

Perhaps there is an opportunity for a tourism boost if these spectacular characters became a little more of a spectacle. Maybe a new outfit?

James could have a grand new coat, the sheep could have a jaunty hat, Victoria could have a full suit of armour. With woven wire’s range of finishes and configurations there are so many options for customisable outfits that could be attached to the statues and swapped out regularly. And with wire’s light weight these fun additions could be made without putting undue stress on the valuable statues underneath.

A photo posted by Guymer Bailey (@guymerbailey) on

3 Unique playgrounds

This is actually something that’s already been done, and we’re proud to say Locker Group had a part in making it happen.

Frew Park in Brisbane contains a playground constructed in part from a stainless steel wire mesh. The architect Guymer Bailey worked closely with us to achieve his vision of an industrial-styled playground for Brisbane City Council. The project called for a material that would give the playground the feel of a tiny abandoned city while still meeting the requirements for safety and visibility. Our Boston 311 woven wire profile fit the bill nicely. This year, the Frew Park playground made the short list for Australia’s Best Playground.

Woven wire is a customisable product with huge potential; these are just a few ideas for how it could be used outside of traditional architectural uses. If you’d like to have a go at any of these projects, or have some creative ideas of your own that we could help you realise, please get in touch today.

Facade – QE11 Medical Centre Car Park

Project Name:

QE11 Car Park

Location:

Perth, W.A

Architect:

Designinc (Perth)

Application:

Facade

Specification:

Dragon Scale

Photography:

Rob Burnett

Download the PDF

Click here 2.5 MB

Scope

The QE11 Medical Centre car park, located opposite Kings Park in Perth had strict design considerations given its prominent location. The aesthetics were a major design consideration, the intent was to provide inhabitants with privacy, while ensuring car headlights didn’t disturb local residents or effect the ambiance of Kings Park.

The facade cladding had to meet the BCA requirements of >50% open area, however the designers wanted to achieve a unique design that would meet both the aesthetic and functional considerations.

Progression

The architect envisaged a ‘scale’ concept where each individual scale would face up, re-directing internal light into the night sky, while the panels would also be open enough to provide high air flow; reducing the requirement for mechanical extraction equipment.

Locker Group’s engineering department worked closely with the architect, in order to understand the design vision and create the tooling that would allow Locker Group to work within the confines of the material and manufacturing equipment, in order to produce the panels locally.

In a first for Locker Group, the DragonscaleTM pattern is a true 3 dimensional profile, where the scales are formed individually out of the aluminium sheet. The hardness of the Aluminium presented a number of challenges, with profiles and samples travelling back and forth, across the country, before the team was able to achieve the anticipated profile shape & depth, without any cracking or tearing.

Outcome

Dragonscale panels are installed on the car park ‘slab to slab’ therefore requiring no intermediate supports. The simple folded panels were just lifted onto the brackets and fixed to each slab; saving the installation team time and money.

The panel design, the spacing from the building face and internal guttering catches rainwater, and prevents it from entering the car park.

The bright Duratec colour scheme reflects the transition from dusk to nightfall and was designed to emulate an occupied building.

 

feature wall

Feature Wall / Security Fence – Perth Arena

Project Name:

Perth Arena

Location:

Perth, W.A

Architect:

ARM Architecture & Cameron Chisholm Nicol

Application:

Feature Wall / Security Fence

Specification:

Pic Perf ™

Photography:

Rob Burnett

Download the PDF

Click here 1.7 MB

Scope

The design and construction of the Perth Arena is a striking architectural statement, and is likely to inspire redevelopment in the surrounding section of the CBD. Perth Arena now offers a premier venue to accommodate up to 15,500 patrons.

A joint venture between ARM Architecture and Cameron Chisolm Nicol, Locker Group worked closely with the design team in order to understand their vision for a striking, dramatic interior. The interior of the facility includes four freestanding bars, five function areas and seven concessions. The different areas of the interior express individual colours and textures. Locker Group produced the internal feature wall, which provides the first impression to patrons as they come in the main entrance. The feature wall was intended to have a textural appearance that represented a quilted finish.

In addition, Locker Group was involved in specification of the anti-climb security fence, which was to envelope the goods area. The security fence covers approx 1000 m2 of both perforated and plain, unperforated panels.

Progression

The internal feature wall incorporated Pic Perf™, not as a traditional photo image or logo, but as a textural element. The perforations were designed to replicate the voluptuous image of warm quilt, and the black anodised aluminium contrasts beautifully with the warm timber panelling.

Locker Group kept in close contact with the installation team, Denmac, as each perforated panel, was a discreet shape, not a rectangle among them. Each panel was either raked or angled, and Locker group supplied every one fully finished and ready for installation.

Outcome

The new Perth Arena is a spectacular and daring architectural achievement; recognised as one of 7 shortlisted projects in the 2013 World Architecture Festival awards. The West Australian Premier, Colin Barnett noted “This is an iconic venue for Perth… the Arena is a work of art.”

Locker Group is immensely proud to be associated with such a significant moment in Perth’s evolving architectural landscape.

The feature wall in the main concourse provides a visual drawcard and provides its desired texture and contrast. The external security fence surrounding the goods despatch area is further insight in to the design brief and architectural language of this imposing new structure.

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