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African Petrochemicals is South Africa’s leading quarterly print and digital trade magazine for the past 15 years. Featuring all the latest petrochemical industry news, special reports, technological advances and much more.


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Vital Engineering ensures no ‘slipping up’ when it comes to water industry safety

Vital Engineering is the forerunner when it comes to the provision of precision-made, quality steel and fibreglass gratings and hand railing products to many sectors, including the water and waste-water treatment industry.

Due to the operational nature of these plants, it is essential that non-corrosive and non-slip products are used to maximise safety in wet and potentially dangerous environments.

Dodds Pringle, MD of Vital Engineering believes that it is critical to provide the safest working environment possible in these conditions.

“While compliance with the latest occupational health and safety regulations and care for one’s workforce will naturally be the main focus for any plant manager, workplace injuries also seriously affect the bottom-line in terms of operational costs and downtime,” says Pringle.

Vital Engineering’s products are widely used in wet and corrosive environments in desalination plants, water purification plants, municipal sewerage plants, and in the pulp and paper industry’s water treatment plants. They are also utilised in mine washing plants, power station cooling towers, and in dams and pumping stations.

The company has been supplying its products to the South African and international market for the past 70 years. While the majority of the products sold have been steel demand-based – such as the Vitagrid multi-dimensional, non-slip grating and stair tread range – over the last 9 years there has been an increased demand for Vital Engineering’s Vitaglass UV resistant, non-slip fibreglass gratings, stair treads and handrails.

“Our fibreglass products are proving popular in a wide range of commercial, residential and industrial sectors, but particularly in the water-processing industry,” he says.

“The Vitaglass range of products is specifically used in a wide variety of applications: ranging from highly corrosive and outdoor exposed walkways and platforms, to less corrosive and ‘milder’ areas. All these options are tailored to offer low maintenance cycle costs to the client, dependant on the application and environment in which the products are expected to perform,” Pringle adds.

“For example, a highly corrosive area which is outside may require the use of Vitaglass UV resistant fibreglass gratings and accessories rather than Vitagrid galvanised mild steel products. Apart from being hard-wearing and offering a long life-span, they are maintenance-free and are not at risk of theft,” he explains.

Vital Engineering offers fully tailored-to-drawing gratings, stair-treads and handrails which improve the longevity of the plant, increase worker safety through non-slip design features, and dramatically reduce maintenance costs, provided the correct product is used in the client’s specific environment.

“Industries for which we have supplied our products, range from the petrochemical industries (where sparking is a grave issue) to mining, food and beverage, power generation, architectural, landscaping as well as the residential and commercial construction sector,” he adds.
Companies in these sectors specify Vital Engineering’s products for their projects because of the company’s commitment to service, stock holding, pre-trial layouts, committed delivery periods and high-end finishes; as well as the quality of steel and resins used in our products which conform to internationally recognised standards.

“It is also important to clients that we can offer a large range of standard items ‘ex-stock’, so that they can do their own installations. We are able to offer training in our products from application to installation; as well as very useful self-help visual training and communication aids, procedures, recommendations, schematics, BOQ’s and the like to our clients.
Furthermore, we are currently reviewing the implementation of SLA’s that will feature visits to all our clients’ projects and sites on a rotational basis – to assist with their maintenance cycles and to ensure the safety levels of these products are maintained,” Pringle advises.
In addition, Vital stocks a full range of Vitaclamp fixings and other safety clips and inserts to ensure that the flooring is held securely in place during and after erection. This helps prevent injuries, delayed handovers and plant downtime.

Vital Engineering has a substantial operational footprint in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, with the same high standard of service in each centre. The company prides itself on the fact that its EN-ISO 9001 systems – which have been in place for over 20 years – have now become integral to an entrenched ethos of safety and quality in terms of its products and service.

“Clients can be confident in ordering our products country-wide. Where any of our products are required overseas our own in-house export department is able to offer a door-to-door service anywhere in the world.
We take great pride in our competitive pricing and service; and that our products are user-friendly and cost-effective to install, allowing for speedy, on-time erection, providing our clients with a lasting and sustainable return-on-investment,” Pringle concludes.



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