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Conowingo Dam: How Custom Solutions & Swift Installation Enhanced Safety & Productivity

The Conowingo Dam project demonstrates our ability to tailor unique solutions that not only meet but exceed the needs of our customers, significantly improving safety, efficiency, and productivity.

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By Dan Matz
Mar 12, 2024
Estimated 3 minute read

Custom crossover platform saves two weeks of installation time with ErectaStep’s in-stock prefabricated parts

At the heart of ErectaStep’s mission lies a commitment to solving complex access challenges with innovative, efficient, and safety-compliant solutions. This ethos was put to the test with the Conowingo Hydroelectric Plant, a landmark structure since 1928 and one of the United States’ most significant non-federal hydroelectric dams, located in Maryland. The Conowingo Dam project demonstrates our ability to tailor unique solutions that not only meet but exceed the needs of our customers, significantly improving safety, efficiency, and productivity.

Key Points:

  • Challenging Access Needs: The Conowingo Dam presented unique access challenges due to its age, size, and the essential need for OSHA-compliant solutions.
  • Tailored Solutions: ErectaStep’s response to the dam’s needs included custom crossover platforms, flush-mounted handrails, and specially sized platforms designed for the unique environment of a hydroelectric dam.
  • Significant Time Savings: The use of in-stock, prefabricated parts allowed for over two weeks of saved installation time, demonstrating ErectaStep’s efficiency advantage.
  • Enhanced Safety and Productivity: The project not only improved safety and compliance with regulations but also boosted productivity by minimizing downtime, showcasing ErectaStep’s commitment to enhancing workplace environments.

Addressing the Unique Needs of the Conowingo Dam

A Case Study on Efficiency & OSHA Compliance Through Innovative Access Solutions

The Conowingo Dam, a marvel of engineering and a key energy resource, faced significant challenges related to worker access. The existing step ladder system was proving inadequate, creating efficiency bottlenecks and safety hazards. The primary concerns for the dam operators were ensuring compliance with stringent OSHA regulations and minimizing installation time to avoid operational disruptions.

ErectaStep’s Innovative Approach to Custom Solutions

Recognizing the unique needs of the Conowingo Dam, ErectaStep, in partnership with Banks Industrial Group, embarked on a mission to design and implement a custom access solution that no other distributor could match. The project scope was ambitious, requiring not just an adaptation of ErectaStep’s modular solutions but also the creation of custom-sized platforms and flush-mounted handrails to meet the specific demands of the hydroelectric dam’s infrastructure.

The Efficiency and Safety Advantage

The cornerstone of ErectaStep’s solution was the utilization of in-stock, prefabricated parts that could be quickly assembled on-site. This approach not only saved the customer over two weeks in installation time compared to traditional custom fabrication but also ensured that the new access system was immediately compliant with OSHA standards. The rapid turnaround time, from project initiation in October to completion in November, exemplified ErectaStep’s commitment to minimizing downtime and accelerating productivity for their clients.

Conclusion: Setting a New Standard in Custom Access Solutions

The Conowingo Dam project stands as a testament to ErectaStep’s expertise in delivering custom, compliant, and efficient access solutions for complex industrial environments. By addressing the unique challenges posed by the dam’s infrastructure, ErectaStep was able to significantly enhance safety, streamline installation processes, and boost productivity, setting a new benchmark for custom access solutions in the hydroelectric power generation sector. This case study not only highlights ErectaStep’s capability to respond to bespoke requirements but also underscores the company’s broader commitment to advancing safety and efficiency across industries.

Dan, our National Account Sales Manager since 2011, brings extensive expertise in mechanical and industrial engineering solutions, focusing on access and stair safety compliant with OSHA standards. He excels in strategic planning, customer engagement, and negotiation, ensuring clients receive tailored, effective access solutions for their needs.