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Design and Installation of Safe Access System for Sand Wash Plant

Barnfield Engineering was entrusted with the task of creating a safe access and egress system to the top of a sand wash plant. The old CAT ladders created safety issues, thus emphasising the need for a safe route, making it easier for engineers to transfer tools and equipment. This case study demonstrates the strategy used by Barnfield Engineering to effectively design and build a GMS stair tower structure, guaranteeing secure access and improved operating effectiveness.

Project Scope

  • To replace the current CAT ladders and offer a safe and secure stairway for access to the top of the sand wash facility, a GMS stair tower structure was designed, made, and installed.
  • Construction of an 800mm-high concrete base to avoid probable collapse of nearby sand storage piles onto the new steps. Given the frequent dumper and plant activity nearby, the concrete base also acted as a safety framework surrounding the stairway.
  • Before beginning the installation of the GMS frames, give the concrete enough time to cure for six weeks.
  • Using cranes and MEWPs (Mobile Elevated Work Platforms) to install the GMS frameworks safely at heights will ensure swift and accurate work.
  • Providing lighting options, such as floodlights connected to existing timers, for the pathways and the adjacent areas.


Design and Fabrication of GMS Stair Tower Structure

To replace the hazardous CAT ladders, Barnfield Engineering created a Modular GMS stair tower structure. The design ensured safe and simple access for Operatives carrying tools and equipment by taking into consideration the unique requirements of the sand wash facility.

Construction of Concrete Base

Barnfield Engineering built an 800mm-high concrete base to reduce the possibility of sand storage piles toppling on the new steps. Given the regular dumper and plant activity in the area, this base fulfilled the twin purposes of supplying stability and functioning as a safety structure surrounding the stairway.

Curing of Concrete Base

Once the concrete base was constructed, Barnfield Engineering allowed sufficient time for it to cure. The curing process took six weeks to ensure optimal strength and stability.

Installation of GMS Frameworks

The GMS frames were brought to the location after the concrete had time to cure. Cranes and MEWPs were used by Barnfield Engineering to enable the installation of the frames. This method made sure that assembly was quick and safe, finishing the installation in only three days.

Lighting solutions 

Barnfield Engineering was entrusted with providing lighting solutions for the walkways and adjacent areas in addition to the stair tower construction. We installed LED lights to improve visibility and safety. Additionally, floodlights were put in strategic locations and connected to pre-existing timer features to effectively illuminate the neighbourhood during certain hours.

Results and Benefits

Barnfield Engineering's implementation of the safe access system for the sand wash plant yielded several positive outcomes and benefits, including:

  • Unsafe CAT ladders were replaced with a sturdy and secure GMS stair tower construction.
    To increase safety surrounding the stairway and avoid future collapses, a concrete base 800mm high was built.
    Accurate installation with a minimum of downtime employing cranes and MEWPs.
    Provide sufficient illumination options for the pathways and the adjacent regions, improving visibility and safety both during the day and at night.
    Connect floodlights to timer functions already in place to enable automated lighting control and energy efficiency.


In order to solve the safety issues with the current CAT ladders, Barnfield Engineering successfully developed and implemented a safe access solution for the sand wash facility. The GMS stair tower construction gave engineers safe and practical access. It was supported by an 800mm high concrete foundation. Barnfield Engineering provided a high-quality solution that increased operational effectiveness and worker safety by placing a priority on safety, adherence to standards, and effective installation methods.

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