US 3589682 A
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United States Patent  lnventor Edward Earl Dickey R. R. #6. Brampton. Ontario. Canada  Appl. No. 845,132  Filed July 28, 1969  Patented June 29, 1971  Priority Nov. 30, 1968  Canada 1 036,586
 SAFETY FENCE SUPPORT COLUMN 6 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.
 U.S. Cl 256/59, 256/65  lnt.Cl E04h 17/18  Field of Search 256/65- 56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2 7/1923 Lisowski 248/357 X 1,719,528 7/1929 Beckley et a1. 248/357 2,192,079 2/1940 Hinselmann et a1. 248/354 3,084,759 4/1963 Squire 256/59 UX 3,110,475 11/1963 Achterberg et a1. 248/357 X 3,228,646 l/l966 Hinrichs et al..... 248/357X 3,439,898 4/1969 Cleveland et al.. 256/48 X 3,480,257 11/1969 Bourn et al. 256/65 X Primary Examiner- Dennis L. Taylor Attamey-George A. Rolston PATENIEU JUN29 I971 SHEET 1 OF 2 INVENTOR EDWARD. E. DICKEV 89. Q: gran PAT-NT AGE T PATENTEU JUH29 19m SHEET 2 [1F 2 INVENTOR EDWARD.E.DICKEY PATlNT AGENT SAFETY FENCE SUPPORT COLUMN This invention relates to a telescopic column for the erection of a temporary safety fence for use in buildings under construction such as office buildings and high rise apartments and the like.
Modern construction techniques, particularly those commonly employed in high rise apartment and office building construction require that safety fences be erected around the exterior of all uncompleted floors for two reasons. In the first place, personal safety requires the erection of at least a single rail at about waist height around the exterior of such uncompleted floors. Secondly, it is also necessary that a retaining board is erected at floor level so as to prevent the accidental dislodgment of articles which may be lying loose on the floor, which would otherwise cause asubstantial safety hazard to workmen on the floors below and around the construction site. In some cases, a third feature is also required namely the erection of a wind barrier such as a plastic tarpaulin or the like so as to avoid freezing temperatures which would otherwise damage the concrete, and also for personal comfort.
The general practice in erection of such safety fences involves the use of lengths of 2 by 4 lumber cut to approximately the spacing between the floor and ceiling, and wedged into place in any expedient manner. One or more horizontal rails is commonly then nailed to such vertical pieces of lumber to construct a crude fence. In practice it is found that the wedging of such vertical pieces of lumber can never be made completely secure and the lumber will rapidly dry out, being exposed to very severe weathering, and will becomeloose and some time blow away altogether causing an additional hazard to persons standing below. The same thing can occur merely because the concrete itself dries out and will shrink very slightly thereby causing such vertical pieces of lumber to become loose.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF INVENTION Applicants invention is directed in general to providing a vertical post or column for such a safety fence, having a telescopic lower end portion provided with compressible friction pats at each end, and jacking means on the lower part of the column for extending the lower end so as to compress such frictional pads and stress the same between the floor and ceiling, thereby holding the column firmly in position. The jacking means incorporates catches mounted on mounting flanges on the column and operated by a lever mounted on the flanges and the catches engage notches on the lower end portion. Rail support means are provided on the column for supporting safety rails between adjacent column and means may also be provided at the lower end of the column for attachment of a retaining board thereto.
Preferably, the means for extending the column should be capable of withstanding considerable abuse, and should continue to function satisfactorily in the presence of cement particles wood shaving, dust and other contaminating material.
Preferably, it is also found desirable that the column extending means should be capable of being operated by one man standing erect and holding the column in position until both the floor and the ceiling are engaged.
A further and related feature is the provision of means for attachment of weather proofing such as a plastic tarpaulin or the like.
The foregoing and other advantages will become apparent from the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention which is given here by way of example only with reference to the following drawings in which like reference devices refer to like parts thereof throughout the various views and diagrams and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of a corner of a building;
under construction showing portions of a floor and a ceiling, and showing a post or column according to the invention extended therebetween;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective illustration of the column shown in FIG. 1, partially cut away and foreshortened, and showing the column extending means exploded;
FIG. 3 is a greatly enlarged side elevational view of the lower portion of the column shown in FIG. 2, partly sectioned, and showing portions of the column extending means in phantom form, and
FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of a further embodiment.
Referring now to FIG. 1 it will be seen that the invention is shown in use in a partially completed building, typically a high rise apartment or office building, the portion illustrated comprising a poured concrete floor F and a poured concrete ceiling C and a building column indicated as B. These items are shown with the concrete forms or moulds removed, but at a stage in the construction prior to the completion of the outside walls. During this stage of construction, the poured concrete will gradually dry out, and work proceeds simultaneously upon the completion of that particular floor of the building. It is during this stage of construction that it is essential, and is in fact required by building regulations in most areas, that a safety fence be erected around the exterior of the floor, together with a safety board or so called foot board for the purposes described above.
In this case, the safety fence is shown as being built up of lengths of lumber, in this case, 2 by 4 rails indicated as R and the foot board comprises a l by 12 plank P additionally, in the winter months, there is usually provided a plastic sheet or tarpaulin indicated as T preferably extending substantially between the floor F and the ceiling C to both protect workmen from the weather, and also to minimize damage to the concrete while the same is drying out.
The invention will be seen in greater detail in FIGS. 2 and 3, and will be seen to comprise a hollow rectangular tubular column member 10 and telescoping within it, an inner T- shaped stem member 11. At the upper end of column 10 is provided a rectangular steel plate 12 and a similar rectangular steel plate 13 is provided at the lower end of support member 11. A resilient deformable friction pad 14 is fastened, preferably by suitable adhesive means to the surfaces of plates 12 and 13, and the exposed surfaces of frictional pads 14 define frictional wear resistant surfaces for contacting and engaging the surfaces of floor F and ceiling C as shown in FIG. 1. In this preferred embodiment, frictional members 14 are formed of thick rubber sheets, preferably of the order of onehalf inch in thickness which is relatively hard, but is capable of being compressed when subjected to substantial clamping pressure In order to support rails R, column I0 is provided with, ac cording to this preferred embodiment, rail supporting and attachment means such as the rectangular bracket members 16 spaced one above the other on column 10, a distance apart from one another appropriate to the spacing of rails R apart from one another so as to provide a reasonably secure fence. Preferably, support means 16 are dimensioned so as to be able to receive overlapping ends of two such rails R lying one above the other so as to permit the erection of a continuous fence, and rail attachment means in the form of holes 17 are formed through bracket 16 for nailing of rails R securely in position.
In order to secure the plank P in position, the retaining flange member 18 is welded to lower plate 13, preferably arranged on the opposite sides of column 10 with respect to the location of brackets 16, and is also preferably provided with one or more holes 19 for nailing plank P securely in position. Since in the case pf planks P it is essential that they should form a continuous foot board or floor edging along the floor F around the entire extent of the building, it is not possible to arrange planks P overlapping one above the other. Accordingly, planks P can simply be overlapped in between any two such columns Ill and nailed together, or alternatively, the flange ltl can be spaced from the support member 1 I a distance equal to the thickness of two such planks P whereby to permit the same to be overlapped side-by-side. It will be noted that in any event the spacing of flange 18 from support member 11 should be equal to at least the thickness of plank P together with sufficient room to permit the column to move freely up and down on support member 11.
In order to attach the tarpaulin T, any suitable attachment means may be provided such as the two rings 20, one of them being attached at the upper end of column 10 and the other of them attached to flange l8 and bottom plate 13. Obviously, if desired, intermediate rings 20 could also be arranged along column 10 if it should be necessary.
As it has been noted above, the invention is utilized by ex tending the column 10 upwardly until the same is clamped firmly between the ceiling C and the floor F. Obviously, various mechanisms would be capable of achieving this movement, but in the case of the presently preferred embodiment, the mechanism utilized is essentially the same as the mechanism used in the conventional automobile jack. This mechanism is shown schematically in FIG. 3. It is believed that the various types of mechanisms of this general nature will be well known, and many examples can be found in issued patents and in published literature and the precise details do not require explanation. in general terms, this mechanism comprises a series of angled notches 21 having horizontal lower portions 22, formed along the T-shaped stern portion of support member 11. A pair of support flanges 23 are welded to column 10, and within flanges 23 are provided upper catch member 24 pivotally mounted at 25 and lower catch member 26 on the arcuately shaped arm 27 pivoted at 28 on lever arm member 29. Arm member 29 is itself pivoted at 30 to plates 23, and extends outwardly therefrom and defines a socket 31 adapted to receive a suitable lever member 32 therein. Catch 24 is linked to arm 27 by means of spring 33. Arm 27 may be disengaged, so as to permit downward movement by means of bracket member 34 pivoted at 35. it is believed that the foregoing details of the jack mechanism require no further description being essentially familiar and well known to persons skilled in the art. it will be noted the lever member 32 is provided with a flattened plate 36 which is angled upwardly and bent backwardly as at 37. The design of this member is such that it enables the operator to operate it by his foot, either when jacking the column 10 up or when lowering the same, thereby leaving both his hands free for holding the column 10 during these operations.
Various modifications will suggest themselves to persons skilled in the art. Thus for example, it may be desirable to provide a column 10 of adjustable lengths in order to accommodate buildings of varying dimensions between the floor F and ceiling C. Obviously the time spent in erecting and fastening the various members 10 in position can be somewhat reduced, if the length of the column 10 is adjusted by means such as shown in F164 consisting simply of an interior rectangular stub portion 38 having a series of spaced holes 39 therein. The upper portion of column 10 is provided with a locking hole 40 and a locking pin 41 whereby the length of column 10 can be adjusted so as to be only slightly less than the spacing between floor F and ceiling C thereby reducing the amount of time spent in jacking up the column 10 into position to a minimum.
The operation of the invention scarcely requires detailed description. The column 10 is first placed into position by a workman, who can stand holding the column 10 with both hands in its vertical position, with the lower frictional pad 14 in contact with floor F, and the upper frictional pad 14 spaced somewhat below the ceiling C. The operator then places his foot on the plate 36, and operates the lever portion 31 of the jacking assembly downwardly and upwardly in well-known manner, thereby elevating the column 10 and upper plate member 12 and frictional pad 14 until the upper frictional surface 15 contacts the ceiling C. At this point, it would be found that in the majority of cases, the level member 31 of the jacking mechanism will be operated another one or two times sufficient to produce substantial deformation of upper and lower pads 14, by compressing the same against ceiling C and floor F respectively, after which the lever member 32 can be removed from socket 31, and the next such column 10 may be erected around the edge of the building. After the entire complement of columns 10 have been erected in position, the rails R are then introduced into support brackets 16 and fastened into position by nailing through holes 17 thereby providing a fence. The foot boards indicated as P are then placed in position and if necessary fastened by nail through holes 19.
In order to remove the column 10, it is merely necessary to move the bracket member 35 so as to change the operation of the jacking mechanism from upward to downward movement, and introduce lever 32 into socket 31. The operator will then hold the column 10 and place his foot on plate 36 and underneath the overlapping member 37. He will then operate the lever 32 in the opposite manner moving it upwardly and downwardly thereby lowering column 10 and releasing the pads 14 from engagement after which the column 10 may be removed by hand.
Obviously, certain functions of the invention can be achieved, although without the simplicity of the above-noted operation, by substituting for the notched jacking mechanism described above, a rotary-threaded movement, or possibly even a toggle clamp system. However, the disadvantage of using a threaded action will be very considerable, particularly when it is realized that the threads will quickly become clogged with concrete and dust particles, and furthermore, the rotary operation necessary to achieve upward or downward movement will normally be performed with the hands, thereby requiring not one but two operators to erect each column 10. On the other hand, a toggle clamp system or a lazy tongs type of action will be relatively difficult to adjust for different spacings between floor and ceiling in any particular building. This latter disadvantage is particularly important when it is borne in mind that building hardware of this type is almost invariably obtained on a rental basis by the contractor for a certain number of weeks after which it is returned to the owner for use in another building. Thus, it is necessary that this type of hardware be adaptable to a fairly wide variety of buildings, in order that its cost may be amortized over a reasonable working life, rather than being custom made for one particular building and then discarded.
in addition, in order to avoid undesirable stresses between the floor and ceiling, which might be especially harmful where the concrete is incompletely cured, it is desirable that the resilient friction pads 14 shall together be compressible and deformable to an amount equal to not less than about one increment of movement of the jacking mechanism and not more than about two such increments.
The foregoing description of a preferred embodiment of the invention is given here by way of example. It is not intended that the invention shall be regarded as limited to any of the specific features described, but comprehends all such variations thereof as come within the scope of the appended claims.
What I claim is:
1. An extendable support column device for erecting a safety fence between a floor and ceiling of a partially completed building, and comprising:
a column portion of hollow tubular construction of a length less than the average minimum spacing between floor and ceiling and having upper and lower ends;
bearing plate means on said upper end of said column portion;
a telescoping extension member extending up a portion of the interior of said column portion from said lower end and having a free end adapted to extend therefrom;
bearing plate means on said free end of said extension member;
a series of equally spaced notches formed in said extension member along a major portion at least of its length;
support flange means attached to said column portion at said lower end thereof;
catch means movably mounted on said flange means and engageable with said notches in said extension member;
lever means movably mounted on said flange means and connected with said catch means to operate same and sequentially engage said notches to procure progressive equal incremental movement of said extension means;
resilient compressible friction pad means on said bearing plate means adapted to be compressed against said floor and ceiling, and
rail attachment bracket means fastened to said column portion, and dimensioned to receive a fence rail therein for construction of said safety fence.
2. The support column as claimed in claim 1 including attachment means adjacent to both of said bearing plate means for attachment of a weather proofing tarpaulin or the like.
3. The support column as claimed in claim 1 wherein said extension member is of generally T-shaped cross section having a stem portion and two arms, and wherein said equally spaced apart notches are formed in the stem portion of said T- shaped along its length.
4. The support column as claimed in claim 1 including plank attachment bracket means fastened adjacent to said bearing plate means on said extension member, for attaching and supporting a continuous foot board adjacent to the floor of said partially completed building.
5. The support column as claimed in claim 1 wherein said lever means incorporates a lever socket arm member arranged and located for upward and downward swinging movement in a vertical plane, a lever operating arm adapted to be inserted into said socket means, and a foot plate on said lever arm incorporating upper and lower plate portions adapted to engage and be engaged by either and upper or a lower portion of a foot of an operator.
6. The support column as claimed in claim 1 wherein said resilient friction pads are adapted to be compressed by an amount not less than a said predetermined increment and not more than about two said increments.