Three members from our Ventia Boral Amey Joint Venture (VBA JV) team at Stapylton in Queensland have developed a back-saving portable post hole puller that reduces the risk of injury to our workforce, increases productivity and reduces costs.
Our VBA JV team has repaired over 7,500 signs as part of maintenance works spanning 3,000 lane kilometres of road in South East Queensland. Many signs require new footings. This usually involves a manual process of hand excavation, using shovels and crow bars around the outside of the footing, then digging down to remove it. A range of difficulties, including safety risks of working with live services and mobile plant, make the process almost impossible to mechanise.
Josh Versluis, the team’s Night Time Leader, originally viewed a video of a farmer removing fence posts, which sparked the idea that a similar post hole puller might work for road- related applications.
Josh, along with Senior Leading Hand Nick Franklin and Leading Hand - Incident Response Mark Deller, were inspired to make the idea a reality. They purchased a machine from the United States, developed Safety Health and Environment Work Method Statements, and worked with the manufacturer to modify the machine for Australian operations and conditions.
The result was the creation of a simple tool that is both portable and lightweight. As it pulls the footing vertically, holes stay neatly formed, reducing the need for clean out and accelerating the repair process. This also saves time and increases productivity.
The innovative solution eliminates tasks associated with our Critical Risk Protocols and helps perform a job that is undertaken many times daily. Most importantly, it creates a safer work environment, reducing the risk of manual handling and fatigue related injuries.