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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 80
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping and C.A. Mota Soares
Paper 43

Safety Implementation Software for the Grouting Industry

K.R. Al-labadi, J.W. Duane and F.C. Hadipriono

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
K.R. Al-labadi, J.W. Duane, F.C. Hadipriono, "Safety Implementation Software for the Grouting Industry", in B.H.V. Topping, C.A. Mota Soares, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Engineering Computational Technology", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 43, 2004. doi:10.4203/ccp.80.43
Keywords: grouting, worker safety, structural safety, grouting machines, personal protective equipment, soil stability.

Grouting is a process used to stabilize and increase the load bearing capacity of foundation material thereby reducing the risk of structural failure from loss of support. Grouting may be indicated at several different stages in the lifecycle of a constructed facility. For example, if during the service life of a facility, structural problems are identified due to loss of support, the foundation can be strengthened by grouting. At other times, grouting is indicated before construction when no sites are available that can support the planned facility.

The application of grouting to correct and prevent inadequate load bearing capacity of foundation material is broad and diverse. Many different types of structures may benefit from grouting including residential and commercial buildings, power stations, oil refineries, sewage treatment plants, airport runways, dams, highways, bridges and overhead transmission towers. Furthermore, grouting can be used to strengthen a wide variety of foundation materials including soils such as sand, gravel, highly fractured and weathered rock materials, and even sound bedrock with cavities. Grouting is used in applications both on shore and off shore.

Safety is essential to the overall success of grouting operations. To perform grouting activities, many types of machines and heavy equipment are utilized, as well as, workers with different levels and types of experience. Three main categories of safety are that of workers, that of the structure to be grouted of the surrounding structures, and that of the public. For grouting activities which take place in residential and commercial areas, public safety is a main issue. When grouting takes place in hazardous locations such as power plants, worker safety is of concern. This paper addresses safety of workers involved in the grouting operation.

Grouting is an inherently risky operation. The heavy equipment such as drilling rigs which are required for many grouting projects have a risk of overturning or encountering power lines that could result in serious injury of workers. High pressure may be used to pump the grout materials through some type of soil and rock with the risk of exposing workers to caustic material from the rupture of grout lines. The damage caused by grout line rupture is exacerbated when caustic chemicals used to improve the workability of the gout are added to the mix. These inherent risks make safety procedures and equipment essential to protect workers.

Grouting is usually indicated as a result of a structural safety inspection made during the service life of a constructed facility; although grouting may be used at any point in the structure's lifecycle. Grouting is used to correct the loss of soil support without deconstruction of the existing structure. Safety of the surrounding structures is an important consideration in grouting. Intensive care and precaution should be considered to avoid disturbing the foundation materials. Grout materials should not penetrate or affect the underground utilities including water, gas, electricity, and sewage.

The goal of this work is software for assisting in developing structure specific safety plans for grouting activities with the objective of protecting workers. Since grouting is mainly a field activity, the grouting operation plans are determined by the field engineer's evaluation of the site and structure condition. The software assists the engineering in performing this by giving instructions for obtaining and testing samples that will be used as the basis for safe grouting operations.

The paper reports the results to date of software under development. The software has not yet undergone field testing. In future publications, the authors will report results of this testing and revisions to the software.

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