Maintenance and repairing glasshouses safely and efficiently
In the recent years the horticultural greenhouse sector has undergone an astounding development. The greenhouses are higher, the gutters are very narrow and the dimensions of the roof glass have increased considerably. These developments have a major influence on maintenance and repair work. Because glass regularly breaks, there is an ongoing need for maintenance and repairs. This work is associated with risks such as cutting injuries, falling from height and physical strain. Another problem that increases the possibilities of maintenance and repair is the poor accessibility in and around the greenhouse.
A convenant of representatives of the greenhouse industry including a trading organization of growers, contractors, insurance companies and banks united with the aim to guarantee safe working conditions of glass fitters, while carrying out maintenance more efficiently. With these parties the Foundation CCG was established (foundation for coordinating emergencies after a storm damage in the horticultural sector) and has the task of compliance with the covenant. The St. CCG approached three companies with extensive experience in maintaining glasshouses in order to develop a new and safe method of repairing glasshouse roofs. A system for carrying out repairs was designed consisting of:
– The Repair Shuttle for transporting men and glass on the roof to the repairing spot.
– A glass frame with suction cups to position the glass into the roof profiles.
– A transferring platform for moving the Repair Shuttle to the next bay.
– A glass lift for transporting the glass from ground level to gutter height
All actions will be performed from outside the greenhouse. This will prevent damage to the plants and crops and avoids transmission of viruses. All devices are conform the European CE regulations.
Injuries caused by falling glass panes are eliminated, just as the possibility of employees to fall down. Furthermore, a reduction in physical effort has been marked by employees carrying out repair jobs, thanks to the Shutlle. A last importing is that the amount of time needed for repair work has been considerably shortened.