Industrial Walkway Design
Catwalks, elevated walkways, and work platforms are important facets of any industrial facility. They allow workers or management to observe plant operations safely, access equipment for maintenance or repair, or just to stay out of potential danger areas. While an industrial walkway can be retrofitted if its part of the original design, it can be made even more efficient.
Industrial walkways come in many different designs, uses, and even mobility. Made for both interior and exterior use, walkways are also used for passage when infrastructure, equipment, or other obstacles prevent safe passage. Here are just a few examples of industrial walkways.
Overhead Catwalks: For overhead use, catwalks allow for observation, access to the upper reaches of machinery, or even for safety purposes. They can be freestanding on industrial posts, affixed to the side of the facility, or even hanging from the ceiling.
Platforms: With a larger area than catwalks, these elevated platforms are used as work stations as part of a production process. For example, a crewmember may need to be placed at the top of a cement mixer to make sure the right amount of aggregate is added to the concrete batch.
Ladders: Often seen at refineries or water treatment plants, these walkways resemble stepladders that allow workers to simply walk over large pipes or conduits that are on the ground. In some cases, they are just ladders with a small platform at the top to check gauges or record readings. In many cases, casters are added to make these platforms more mobile.
Stairs: Allowing internal or external access to the upper reaches of the facility. In some cases, they resemble fire escapes, giving access to the roof of a facility.
Prefabricated Industrial Walkways
In some cases, ready-made walkways, catwalks or platforms can be purchased to save on construction time. Depending on the ease (or difficulty) of these prefabricated pieces, the prices may be comparable to custom made pieces. Once in place, these walkways can be securely fastened into place.
However, make sure they are what your facility needs. If you need to alter a set of stairs because they don’t quite fit where needed, you’ve defeated the purpose of ordering a piece already made. Any alterations made may also null any warranties and could weaken the structure as well.
In some cases, an industrial walkway needs to be custom designed to fit into an existing facility. There are many possible reasons why it wasn’t originally installed. Perhaps there wasn’t a need before and an expansion now demands it. When fabricating steel catwalks, stairs, or ladders, make sure to be working from engineered plans.
An industrial walkway needs to be able to hold workers, power tools, and even heavy machinery. Weight limits must be tested. Other safety factors such as handrails or other OSHA compliant fall prevention features must be present.
As a leader in manufacturing and industrial construction in the Midwest, Storee Construction has spent the last half-century building, upgrading, and even moving large facilities. We have the experience to look at a plant as a whole, not just an aspect or two. Our steel fabrications are made OSHA compliant to keep you and your crews safe while working overhead.
Need to improve production efficiencies, safety protocols, or industrial ventilation? Need to expand your operations or move to a new building? Contact Storee Construction and take advantage of our experience, a wide variety of services, and superior customer service.