Blackfriars Station, London
The platforms of Blackfriars Station in London span the Thames, making it the only London station with two postcodes, creating a unique challenge for any work there. Eurosafe were approached to install a safety system that allows for roof access and maintenance.
Blackfriars Station is the largest solar bridge in the world, having had over 4,400 photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of the station. Covering an area of 6,000 sq m the pannels produce 900,000 kWh of energy annually which provides up to 50% of Blackfriars station’s energy, saving over 500 tonnes of CO2 annually.
The client needed the installation of a safety system that would allow for general, and maintenance access for the roof’s solar panels without encroaching on the solar PV panels.
To meet our client’s requirements, a full site survey was undertaken by Eurosafe, and bespoke safety systems were specified and installed.
As space to move around the roof was limited Eurosafe devised and installed a bespoke hinged walkway system for workers to gain access. To allow for maintenance and cleaning the walkway was designed to be hinged allowing for workers to lift the walkway to clean the gutters below. This system was designed for low-frequency safety work, such as general maintenance, where a cable and PPE are appropriate safety measures.
As well as a bespoke walkway system, Eurosafe installed a socket at the end of each roof for a removable handrail to be put in place for when major maintenance work is required. The architect didn’t want a permanent handrail on the roof making a removable system the ideal solution for the requirements.
"The fact that the station is on a bridge was a big problem. It meant that all of the materials had to come in from one end or the other. Coupled with the central London location, it meant moving materials and equipment was a major challenge. The roof is effectively made up of over 100 individual smaller roofs, each one of these has a gutter, louvre glazing to let lighting in, and PV panels. It was a relatively simple contract, to begin with, but the client wanted to maximise the size of the PV panels. Gutters obviously aren’t the best place to walk around, so we devised a special bespoke hinged walkway system for workers to gain access.
The architect didn’t want a permanent handrail. For low-frequency safety work, such as general maintenance, a cable, and PPE are acceptable safety measures. But when major repairs are needed, such as replacing all of the PV panels, for example, then the handrail is put in place. This was technically challenging and required a lot of thinking to come up with the bespoke solution that we went with."
Gavin Ellis, Managing Director, Eurosafe
The walkway system allows for a safe route for workers to access, whilst minimising the chance of slipping or falling when working on the roof.
By adding a collective protection system, this aims to protect all workers by preventing any falls from occurring when major maintenance tasks are required.