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The state of working platforms

Event organised by The British Geotechnical Association

05 April 2022

This event has now ended


The first part of the presentation will discuss the developments in the design, installation, and maintenance of working platforms and how the approach is changing across the world.

The EFFC guide will be discussed as will the current research activity that is considering ways of testing platforms that should lead to improved platform design.

Following on from Jim’s introduction the presentation will set out a practical way of validating the platforms design and also new ways of “proof” testing under current evaluation.

To simulate the effect of actual track loading on the platform and subgrade a test plate would need to be of similar proportions to the loaded track area, which is not practical.

Plate load testing can be used but is not suitable for verifying the overall platform load-bearing capacity. There has also been wide discussion over the years as to the appropriate size of the plate and the role of plate load testing.

However, recent research and testing have shown that a test plate 3.5 times the maximum platform material particle size provides reliable test results. This now opens up the possibility of using plate load tests to determine the angle of friction of a granular working platform. This will lead to better verification on-site, but moreover better platform design, which will be a significant step forward for our industry.


Jim De Waele

Jim De Waele


europe president

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Jim De Waele

Currently Europe President for Keller.

Previously MD for Keller Limited since 2008.

Former Chairman of FPS

Current Chair of EFFC Working Platforms Committee

Lead author of the ICE Specification of Piling and Embedded Retaining Walls

Lead author of the EFFC/DFI Guide to Working Platforms

David Corke

David Corke

FPS Technical Committee

former chairman

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David Corke

Former Chairman of FPS Technical Committee Former Chairman of FPS Working Platforms Committee Bachy Soletanche 1988 – 2005 Consultant 2005 - Published papers: 2008 Working platforms for tracked plant 2010 Economic design of working platforms 2011 A simple stability check for piling rigs 2016 A review of Stability Factor and Eccentricity Index 2021 Plate load testing for working platforms

For more information please contact:

Shelly-Ann Russell