Avoid Disaster: Pre-Plan, Inspect, and Replace

Steel Grates

Floor gratings can often go unnoticed, but should never be forgotten. It is important to inspect these regularly to make sure they are fitting properly and have not corroded in any way. Inspection should be done for grates in all environments, whether in sidewalks or in industrial settings, to ensure they can withstand the weight of pedestrians and various vehicles. Neglecting to do this can lead to disaster.

One example of a grate failure would be what happened several years ago in an East Side subway tunnel in New York. An underground grate collapsed and fell 90 feet down a ventilation shaft. It landed on the tracks where it was struck by a train, causing a huge short circuit, explosions and fire. No one was hurt, but this drew attention to a dangerous problem in the city’s aging subway and sidewalk systems. Another grate failure lead to the death of an employee who was clearing snow off a hospital sidewalk when the grate system failed under the weight of the skid-steer loader he was driving. This aluminum grate was safe for pedestrians and would work excellent in the home or small business setting, but was not intended to bear the weight of heavy equipment or vehicles.

When planning and installing grates, it is crucial to evaluate any and all traffic that may cross the system and select a material that best suits the environment. Inspect your gratings regularly and commit to replace them at any sign of corrosion, mal-fitting, or deterioration of any kind. Be safe, not sorry. Consult one of the many trusted manufacturers in the industry and install a new system before disaster strikes.