Charing Cross Hospital, London
Refurbishment of two escalators
Like the building they live in, the escalators at Charing Cross Hospital are old – but with our vast experience of refurbishing, we won the tender for this project.
The escalators have a huge footfall, taking staff, visitors and patients to the coffee shops and refreshment areas – they’re in constant use.
At around 50 years old, the escalators were in need of a full refurbishment under the hospital’s maintenance plan but also to allow for safety upgrades to ensure they were meeting current standards and working as efficiently as possible.
We had the edge on this job, with our experienced engineers who have knowledge of the old machines, parts and how to refurbish them – a dying skill across the industry, with costly replacement the only option offered if these skills aren’t there.
The project had a major glitch at the start, after our initial inspection revealed suspected asbestos, later confirmed by a specialist.
Our start date was delayed to allow for this to be stripped out and the area decontaminated before we could start work and a new project deadline agreed upon.
Safety was the main feature of this upgrade, to ensure that current standards were being met and that the machine was working as efficiently as possible too. The refurbishment work encompassed steps, step rollers, re-chaining, a full clean down and re-wire.
Safety features we added included yellow-painted demarcation lines, yellow comb plates to clearly show steps and under-step lighting to better aid visually-impaired people.
For efficiency, the escalator now has a sensor to pick up someone approaching, taking the lift out of a slower idle mode to a faster mode before they’ve even stepped on. It’s at the right speed when their foot steps on.
Most of the work was carried out during the day, with lifts and stairs available as an alternative.
Hoarding screened off the working environment and work was mainly carried out during the day.
The asbestos problem caused major disruption to an optician’s, resulting in it being completely evacuated during that work to avoid further disruption to them.
Some of the noisier work was carried out at night.