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Safety Innovators - Part 1 in a Series

Safety is a concern for every industry, but for the construction industry, where working environments can often involve the potential for serious injury, its importance is paramount. Within the shotcrete segment of the industry, Torrent is setting the bar for safety innovation. Given structural shotcrete’s recent entry to BC and the relatively small size of the segment, there are no specific safety guidelines established for shotcrete. WorkSafe BC is currently developing safety regulations to govern the shotcrete industry and has asked Torrent for its assistance as it recognizes Torrent as the leading shotcrete industry innovator in worker safety. Torrent’s input is seen as essential to creating a comprehensive set of safety standards for the shotcrete industry.

Torrent has brought a number of exciting safety innovations to the industry and in this segment and others to follow, we’ll explore how these innovations benefit workers throughout the shotcrete industry. In this first segment, we’ll look at how Torrent addresses a common challenge of safely cleaning out hoses after a completed shoot.

Torrent Shotcrete Blowout System

Cleaning shotcrete hoses out at the end of the day can be a dangerous undertaking. Safety protocols for this necessary but potentially dangerous procedure had not been clearly established prior to the invention of Torrent’s Shotcrete Blowout System. Unfortunately, anyone who has to blow out shotcrete lines as a course of everyday business has experienced a safety incident at some point. In the past, the potential hazards related to depressurizing and cleaning hoses were not consistently controlled enough to fully mitigate the chance of injury.

Carl King, Torrent’s General Manager of Operations and head safety innovator, developed a system that not only ensures excess shotcrete is safely expelled from the hoses, but is collected for recycling and repurposing. With the Torrent Shotcrete Blowout System, the hose is placed in a specially designed concrete collection container and then covered with a “blow-out lid” prior to expelling the excess. The resulting blow-out material is safely constrained to the interior of the container keeping the worker safe and preventing any explosive overshoot of shotcrete during the purging process. And because the expelled concrete is effectively contained, it can be recycled to reduce waste and increase sustainability. The resulting product is a multi-purpose concrete block created from what would otherwise be unusable waste.

WorkSafe BC personnel have seen the Torrent Shotcrete Blowout System in action and its effectiveness was one of the major motivating factors in WorkSafe BC asking Torrent to help co-author industry safety protocols.

Not only does Torrent invent the safety systems themselves, we willingly share this knowledge with industry contemporaries. Rather than try to keep his invention proprietary, Carl shared the drawings with competitors! Carl believes, as do all of us at Torrent, that safety shouldn’t be proprietary – all workers should benefit from any improvement of safety in the workplace. “There’s no theft in safety” offers Carl. “We’re just happy to contribute in whatever way possible to a safer workplace for everyone in our industry.”

Coming soon in our next safety segment, another Torrent invention eliminates the guesswork involved in assessing concrete setting strength prior to building up onto existing walls.

Torrent Shotcrete. More wall. Every day. Safely.


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