The context of this hospital is important to note, due to it being a low secure mental health establishment for children. Making sure the air conditioning units were properly covered up were top priority, to increase safety for the service users at this hospital.
The project was to replace prior air conditioning guards that had been damaged and were posing a risk to the service users and the staff at the hospital. The hospital had already tried 2 solutions that both failed due to using materials that were easily damaged by the children and made it difficult to maintain.
Previous air conditioning guards were a hazard, as children were kicking the bottom panels of the guard causing them to break.
Taking this into account, children ended up snapping the panels to self-harm or attack the staff - posing a health and safety risk to those at this hospital.
The maintenance staff at the hospital had to resort to adding extra sections of wood to make the covers stronger and more durable, only for the children to find a new way to cause damage and disruption.
Another challenge the hospital faced was at least twice a year the air conditioning units needed to be cleaned and maintained. By drilling into their old screws 2/3 times meant that the screws were rendered useless, so these designs became flawed.
Bespoke Air Conditioning Guards
Contour went through a consultation process to provide the best-suited design to fit this application. Contour wanted to make sure this was a long-term solution and not just another stop gap solution.
Contour needed to design an air conditioning guard that was unique to meet the standards and needs set by the hospital. Contour understood that the safety of the service users was the top priority.
After this consultation, Contour provided the hospital with a sample to assure the design was suitable amongst application.
This design was for an anti-ligature air conditioning guard that’s wall-mounted, had no external fixings, smooth edges and was able to withstand the impacts it was inevitably going to receive. The client was keen on not having any surfaces that could be used to hold on to or cause injury if someone were to walk into the side of it (or run in some cases) down the corridors.
With this in mind the guards were designed with 45-degree chamfered edges and IP3x grilles to reduce the risk of someone harming themselves on it.
Contour utilised clinched studs as a way of fixing the framework of the cover to the existing framework of the wall openings. This not only made the guard safer but more aesthetically pleasing.
The air conditioning guards were made to be solid and robust with 2mm steel and a strengthening strut at the inside for durability. The strength was important due to earlier encounters the hospital faced by the children kicking the previous guards.
The guards were painted with a powder coated to RAL 9003 gloss that included the anti-microbial agent BioCote®. BioCote® has been proven to be effective in offering hygienic solutions. This was used to offer protection against various microbes: bacteria, mould, and some viruses.
The air conditioning guards delivered were clean looking with no visible fittings on display and easy access for cleaning. The strength was also considered with the guards being made from 2mm steel with a strengthening strut inside. Finally, the guards were made to be anti-ligature with IP3x grilles and 45-degree chamfered edges.
The priority was health and safety, Contour was keen to deliver a high-quality design to solve the problems that the hospital faced. By offering a consultation and a sample, the client was confident that Contour could deliver a secure solution.