Attention to safety and standards is of the upmost importance when specifying steel access solutions which provide and facilitate the safe extraction of equipment from a chamber and safe movement of the operators while doing so. 

Through on-site surveys, design, delivery and installation, engagement with a reputable manufacturer who can provide bespoke solutions while adhering to the highest safety standards is essential.

Specification for Fall Protection Safety Grids

The required specification for pumping stations, wet wells and valve chambers, is for a hinged, fall protection safety grid to be provided below the access cover and to be capable of withstanding a 250kg load over the total area of the grid. 

The lifting effort of the grid shall not exceed 25kg. When lifted, the grid shall be capable of being secured in the upright position. 

The relevant standards when specifying fabricated steel, flush fit or above ground covers are:

  1. EN 124-3: This European Standard is applicable to gully tops and manhole tops made of mild steel, stainless steel and aluminium. EN 124-3 is applicable for covers up to and including a clear opening of 1,000 mm x 1,000 mm with specific requirements for Anti-Skid and mandatory markings on the cover.
  2. BS 9124: specifies requirements for access cover systems manufactured from steel or aluminium and with a clear opening greater than 1,000 x 1,000 mm.

As EN 124 does not refer to safety grids or testing, the Drop Test outlined in BS 9124 provides a comprehensive safeguard against varying standards in production that can occur, resulting in low quality products entering the market to save on cost.

However, fall protection safety grids are the most important safety feature when specifying access solutions to protect operators against the risk of injury or death from falls into open chambers.

The Drop Test explained

This test requires the safety grid to be capable of withstanding a 140kg mass applied over a footprint area of 300mm x 200mm and dropped from a height of two metres onto any point of the grid. This simulates (and exceeds) the vertical impact of a human being falling onto the grid, at any point onto an area similar in size to their footprint.     

Jail Bar Safety Grid placed underneath the jig ready for the load to be dropped onto the safety cage 

After the load was dropped there was distortion but no signs of welds breaking or failure       

Designed for safety and peace of mind

Safety grids by EJ are easy to open and manoeuvre with a self-blocking feature and a pivot point designed on one side which prevents the grid from 'sticking' when closing. We incorporate safety practices into every process, product and service we provide - from design and manufacture through distribution and end use.

In addition, our Steel fabricators and Welders have extensive knowledge of the most advanced welding techniques and are qualified to the highest standard ISO EN 9606-1 as required by EN 124: 2015 and BS 9124.

We acknowledge that selecting the correct access and fall protection solutions for water networks can be a daunting challenge with factors such as compliance, operator and public safety, ergonomics and asset security requiring equal consideration.

For more information on specification guidance for the range of  high quality infrastructure access solutions available in ductile iron, galvanised steel, or composite material, we offer Engineers Ireland approved CPD seminars, contact us on: 057 9123100 to organise a webinar for your organisation. 

Please visit or  keep up to date with our latest company and product news on LinkedIn: