As Kee Safety celebrates 80 years of the KEE KLAMP fitting, David Hill, Group Marketing Director, looks back to where it all started and how the company has adapted and developed within the highways industry.
The first KEE KLAMP fittings were designed in 1934, designed and sold to the agricultural sector as a quick and easy way to assemble milking stalls and pens for sheep and pigs. The range was created to meet a requirement for safer, more hygienic milk production by helping to create tubular-based stalls for dairy herds, quickly, easily and without the need for any welding on site.
From these humble beginnings, the fittings were soon recognised as not just a quality product but also an incredibly versatile one, leading to the company entering new markets and modifying the chrome plating fittings to feature a longer-lasting, galvanised finish. From this initial success, KEE KLAMP fittings soon gained wider appeal. During World War II, they were used for applications including barrage balloon wind shields and aircraft and gun turret maintenance. Post War, the KEE KLAMP fitting became a common sight in racking structures, platforms, handrailing and other safety structures – including on the highways and byways throughout the UK.
THE KEE TO THE HIGHWAYS
Today sees many opportunities in the Highways market for such solutions. Over the last 80 years, road safety has become an issue – not just for vehicular and pedestrian use, but also for road maintenance and construction personnel. The road network is a fundamental element to the UK economy, but in the past, road maintenance and repair have too often been put on the backburner. Happily, this changed in 2013 with the Spending Round marking an historic shift in the UK’s approach to roads, underpinned by the biggest programme of investment since the 1970s. By 2020, the Government will treble its investment in major new road enhancements, signifying the start of a radical new programme of renewal of our national road network. This sizeable increase sits alongside an investment of £10 billion for repairs to ensure sustainability of the network that has already been committed.
PROTECTING THE HIGHWAY IN SUSSEX
A number of projects are underway. Local authorities have recognised the need for guardrailing systems along the road networks and are making sure a safety solution is included in these projects. A recent example is the Sussex-based project to widen the A23 trunk road between London and Brighton. While this is not a road where pedestrians will gain regular access, a KEE KLAMP guardrailing system has nevertheless been installed to protect workman who will be accessing electrical boxes on the side of the road in the years ahead.
As new construction and renovation programmes continue, local authorities are opting for systems which are quick and easy to install, are of high quality construction and offer a long lifespan. KEE KLAMP fittings fulfil all these conditions, since they eliminate the need for time-consuming welding or specialist skills.
The components can be quickly installed using a standard hex key, with each fitting incorporating an integral set screw to lock the respective fitting safely and securely onto the tube. This method creates a strong, stable and safe guardrail structure. All fittings are available with a combination of protective coatings applied to achieve a longer life and a better corrosion resistance. This is vital for structures in areas which may be prone to a high level of weathering or rusting, and structures which are in difficult places to access and work on.
HERE’S TO ANOTHER 80 YEARS
One reason why Kee Safety has remained strong and is now celebrating this milestone is that it adapts to the current market and develops systems to suits evolving conditions and customer demands. The company has now cemented itself in the highways industry, with its KEE KLAMP fittings performing well in this environment, saving time, providing value for money, and, ultimately, delivering safe barrier and guardrailing solutions.
Features & Benefits of the KEE KLAMP System