Trust and safety delivers progress at Indaver
The two core values that Indaver sets great store by are mutual trust and result-orientated work. These values are also high on the list of priorities at Hertel.
This is one of the reasons why Indaver is relying on Hertel to carry out its scaffolding construction, insulation work and painting work on their site in Beveren, Belgium, over the coming five years. An unusual scaffolding construction erected during the first shutdown as part of the renewed contract shows that both partners made the right choice.
"We have established a strong bond with Hertel over the years", explains Pieter Hertogs, head of grate incinerator maintenance at Indaver. "Hertel is an extremely flexible contractor, both in terms of manpower and in terms of scaffolding material. If we experience unforeseen circumstances we can be assured that an extensive team of workers will arrive at the site with the necessary tools. What is more, Hertel supplies scaffolding to a high technical standard". Project Manager Gunther Provost affirms that the Hertel team often constructs extraordinary scaffolding at Indaver: "The highly technical grate incinerators and fluidised bed incinerators produced by Indaver and Sleco, in which waste matter is processed and energy and materials are recycled, are not the easiest due to their shape. The current shutdown in the grate incinerator is a good example of this".
A considerable amount of unexpected maintenance work was required in the bunker; cables had to be removed and replaced, the roller bridges had to be repaired and maintenance work was required on installations. In order to be able to carry out this work safely, a considerable amount of scaffolding was required, which also had to be erected on sites that were difficult to access.
Hertel’s technical department carried out investigations into the situation involving urgent work, together with the client and the Hertel project manager. Taking into consideration the needs and requirements of the client, the practical possibilities for the Hertel team and the scaffolding construction material available, the pre-conditions were noted down for the various different subprojects. In view of the fact that the work was extremely urgent, the initial study of a very unusual cradle was carried out at the weekend. "This is called a cradle, but it is actually a half-standing and a half-hanging scaffold in a cantilever", explains Rudy De Smedt, head of the scaffolding construction technical department. "An issue that requires close attention here is the vertical stability of this. This means that the bolts used for securing the scaffolding sideways in the concrete column form the most vital component of the scaffolding". As the plot sizes between the concrete columns are not equal and as the client is also expected to inform other subcontractors about the scaffolding, the technical department reached the decision to also reproduce the scaffolding in a 3D model.
"Ninety percent of these are cradles", explains Gunther. "By using cradles, we create the possibility of both fuelling the incinerators and carrying out technical work thoroughly. In this way, the capacity of the installation is preserved and we require less material again. The scaffolds measure 6 metres in height and are suspended more than 15 metres above the ground, covering a distance of 88 metres. As the scaffolding was positioned against a blank wall, the installation was no mean feat".
Mark Volkeric, who together with Gery Gaspard is responsible for yard management, explains how this is done: "The bunker hall has been constructed using concrete. A groove has been provided between every load-bearing structure of the crane jibs. We constructed a scaffold in the groove which was drilled firmly into the concrete supports using wedge bolts.
"The people at HITS had inserted a stopshut beforehand, to ensure that our members of staff would remain 100% safe at all times. We then developed the scaffolds at a level of approximately 20m. The cradle was laid flat on 2 levels over the entire length, so that the mechanical contractors had rapid and safe access to the workplace".
Gunther Provost adds: "In addition to the cradle against the wall, we also created bridging measuring 12 metres and scaffolding around the installations, amongst other things. What is more, we had to erect a construction lift, for which we constructed a scaffold that was able to bear a load of as much as 8 tonnes on top of a shredder. This took time, but the material was much easier to position in this way. We went to great effort here, with fifteen employees working two shifts, including on a Saturday and Sunday. Full overalls and a mouth mask were worn at all times whilst working in the bunker, which made the working conditions more difficult, especially as the room is already warm as it is. At a later stage, our department even had to make use of shrink-wrapping in order to divide the bunker into a number of different compartments, each with a separate permit system. As you can see, this was an intensely difficult job all in all and a clever piece of work by our team".
"That's true", explains Pieter Hertogs, "at Indaver we place great emphasis on people, safety and the environment, also when working on our site. We are therefore pleased that the Hertel scaffolding construction technical department is on-site, carries out extensive measurements and revises our detailed 3D plans. Together with the smooth flow of informal communication with the yard and project manager, this gives us the guarantee that everything will be completed in accordance with the agreements and safety regulations reached; which was also the case with this project.
“This approach also appears to be an additional motivating factor for both of our teams. It should be obvious but it was actually no coincidence that such a rapid start-up was achieved, in record time, during a construction industry holiday. In addition to a targeted approach, this also indicates a strong personal commitment and shows that our collaboration improves because of it. We need companies like Hertel".
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