Case Study Flinders Street Station

Our fall protection systems put safety first during $100 million revamp

Flinders Street Station is an iconic Melbourne destination. Tourists and Melbournians have flocked to this railway station for generations to stand beneath its clocktowers and admire its beautiful façade. For more than a century, it has been the heart of Melbourne; considered a meeting place of historical and architectural importance.

The iconic view of the station’s clock on the Flinders Street intersection has been obscured in recent months by scaffolding while a $100 million revamp has been underway. The refurbishment process has included repainting and waterproofing the famous façade, and restoring the clock tower with a new internal metal frame.

This work has involved working at heights. The team at AHSS were commissioned to supply height safety and fall protection solutions to ensure that construction workers could safely perform maintenance and repairs as required.

The installation story

To ensure safe and compliant access to all required areas of Flinders Street Station, we supplied and installed the following height safety and fall protection solutions:

An access ladder to the security pavilion

An abseil anchor system to the main dome on Swanston Street

An abseil anchor system to the main dome on Swanston Street

A ladder access system to the clock tower base

Ladder replacements through all levels of the clock tower interior.

We were confident in recommending and installing the right height safety equipment and were closely involved in this Victorian Government-funded project from the very start. The project commenced in 2015 and has now finished in 2018 almost four years later.

Height safety and roof certification are required for all new height safety systems no matter what size or scope the project or refurbishment is. Height safety systems must comply with the AS/NZS 1891.4 2009 standard and certification of the safety systems must be carried out by a competent and qualified technician.

To learn more about height safety requirements on Australian worksites and the risk of non-compliance, visit our Information Centre.

The most challenging aspect of providing height safety systems to the project team was trying to minimise their visibility on site. Flinders Street Station is the busiest suburban railway station in the Southern Hemisphere. More than 1,500 trains and 110,000 commuters pass through it each day.

It was, therefore, crucial to ensure that we allowed construction workers to access areas behind the scaffolding safely on the exterior of the station’s administration building without interrupting access and facilities for commuters.

The heritage overlays also posed a problem – we had to use our height safety expertise to assess whether the existing building was strong enough structurally to have new systems installed into it.

Roof system design is complex, and older buildings can have a wide variety of deficiencies, with some requiring far more retrofitting than others. We evaluated the strength and serviceability of the existing building before installing any height safety and fall protection systems.

The ultimate goal, which we shared with Development Victoria, was to determine the existing building’s capacity to safely support new loads without over-stressing any part of the structural system. We knew that this would enable us to recommend a comprehensive height safety system so that the construction team could safely and compliantly:

  • Repair and restore the façade and roof
  • Make the building structurally sound
  • Make the building watertight
  • Conserve and stabilise the building’s structure
  • Restore the heritage clock tower and heritage elements
  • Repaint the building according to heritage requirements.

Benefits to Flinders Street Station

The recent upgrade to Flinders Street Station will help ensure that this city landmark is protected for current and future generations.

The team at AHSS are proud to be involved in such a major refurbishment project. We were able to offer the following tangible benefits to the Victorian Government and Development Victoria:

  • Height safety and WorkSafe compliance
  • Safe and easy access to required areas for construction workers
  • Improved appearance of the Administration Building’s crumbling exterior and clock tower
  • Minimal disruption to commuters and passersby in the surrounding commercial precinct.

If you need expert advice on height safety and fall protection solutions for your workplace or project site, we can help. View more of our project examples.

To find out more about height safety compliance or to request a quote from AHSS, call us today on 1300 941 211.

For More Information
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Supplier and Installer of SAYFA Products