The Click Stick…Safety for the Future
At PSS Hire, we work alongside our customers to introduce new innovative ways of working to enhance safety and efficiencies. We now have a product in our fleet which we truly believe will revolutionise the safety parameters of breaking mains across the gas and water sectors.
Manufactured by UIS (Utility Innovations Services), the Click Stick is a lightweight hydraulic mains breaker which eradicates the need to use a podger bar or pipe breaking hammer. The battery operated, hydraulic portable pipe breaking tool is designed to break cast iron and spun iron pipes between 2” and 8”, presenting a far safer and controlled option than traditional podger bars which can bounce back from the mains, potentially placing operatives at serious risk of injury.
Many of our customers are seeking to address safety issues with podger bars due to the risk of operatives sustaining impact and manual injuries, and in one case the introduction of the Click Stick has reduced accidents and injuries to zero over a 12 month period. And that’s with extensive use where over 500 Click Sticks have been used to help break out more than 80,000 service holes over the year. The Click Stick is the first product industry-wide to remove the need for podger bars and manual labour and it also has full approval for use on live and dead mains breaking out.
How Does the Click Stick Work?
The Click Stick is simple and efficient to use, requiring just one person to operate it and ready for use in less than a minute. It removes the need to enter the excavation during the breakout process; the Click Stick C-frame is simply lowered into the excavation and easily positioned around the pipe, and then using the hydraulic pump it grips the pipe and breaks it in a controlled manner. It can also be attached to an extension handle to negate the need to enter the trench.
The Click Stick is operated by an accurate, ultra-sensitive micro switch remote control, making it suitable for live insertions, where space may be an issue, or where additional control is required, particularly working in close proximity to members of the public. The Click Stick has the ability to pre-set the pressure applied to the breaking activity that is controlled from outside the excavation, once again reducing Engineers’ exposure to potential injuries.
Compared to other impact-type equipment, the Click Stick is designed to be used with a battery powered hydraulic Power Pack system. This reduces the risks associated with manual handling on-site, such as personal injury and musculoskeletal issues. Although the Click Stick Power Pack is highly portable and lightweight at just 6kg, it has amazing crushing power of 10,000psi (700 bar). Due to its compact size and ease of use, it is easy to manoeuvre around existing utilities. One of the great advantages of the Click Stick is its simplicity and the fact that it requires no extensive operator training as it is easily operated at the flick of a switch.
“The Click Stick eradicates the need for any manual labour and considerably enhances productivity, safety and control over insertion activities. It offers distinct advantages over alternative products in terms of safety, innovation, efficiency, speed, flexibility and ease of use.”
Enhanced Safety for All
The Click Stick doesn’t just radically reduce the risk of injury for directly employed operatives or sub-contractors. It also impacts on the general public, as previously watching two men with a bright orange pole smashing something in a trench, with limited awareness of their surroundings, was a very archaic process. Now the Click Stick operates via a controlled process and can be instantly stopped when members of the public are passing in close proximity to live barriered works.
New Tooling Concepts
The Click Stick really does represent Safety for the Future as it allows the opportunity to develop new tooling concepts that will also remove the operatives from the excavations and be able to remove manual efforts and carry out their operations with a click of a switch. The current new plug-in products are the UIS Cast Iron Clean End Cutter, UIS Emergency PE Squeeze-Off and the innovative new UIS Ductile/Steel Cutter. All these products have been designed to improve safety and make the daily workload less effortless.