Complete: Safe methods of applying protective sheeting to beet clamps

Timescale: 2005 - 2007
Project Lead: Stephen Brown
Project Sponsor: BBRO and British Sugar

Project Summary

To design, develop and provide a commercial alternative system that allows sugar beet clamps to be covered for protection against frost and uncovered after a frost period, without the need to work at height.

Main Objectives

The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) have highlighted accidents in the workplace occurring from working at height and legislation has been introduced to reduce the number. At present sugar beet clamps that are covered, are done so manually by operators often walking over the clamp and pulling the cover across the clamp face. They are working on an uneven and unstable working surface at a height of approximately 2.5m, a possibly unsafe situation that requires an alternative method to eliminate the need to work off ground. O

Outcomes / Key Message For Growers And Industry

This project examined ways of covering clamps whilst the operator remained at ground level, to prevent falls at height that have been associated with covering beet clamps in the past. In year one of a two year project, three designs were examined and one developed into a full working prototype model. This prototype was successfully tested on a 300t clamp of beet at Old Buckenham in Norfolk. The design consisted of a full clamp width roller mounted on two outer stands, these stands were secured under the bale clamp side walls. At one end the polyfelt cover was rolled up onto the roller and at the other end of the sheet a thin metal rod with two support wheels was attached to 80% of the width of the sheet. A rope was attached to this front bar and trailed to the far end of the clamp. The rope was then attached to a tractor mounted hydraulic drive reel that pulled the cover over the length of the clamp. To uncover the clamp, the hydraulic reel was attached directly to the roller via a mechanical shaft powered by tractor hydraulics.

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BBRO is a not for profit making company.
We are set up jointly by British Sugar plc and the National Farmers' Union.

British Sugar
National Farmers' Union