FOLDABLE SAFETY BARRICADE

A safety barricade comprising a plurality of interconnected panels. Each pair of adjacent panels is hingedly coupled together with a hinge assembly. Each hinge assembly has a rotational axis offset from a vertical plane of one of the adjacent panels. The barricade is adjustable between a folded configuration wherein the panels extend in parallel planes immediately adjacent one another for storage in a confined space, such as an elevator machine room, and a deployed configuration wherein the panels are unfolded to form a barrier blocking access to a segregated work area. Each of the panels of the barricade has a different width to enable the panels to fold flat against an adjacent panel in the folded configuration. In one embodiment the barricade comprises a mounting assembly for rotatably mounting a first one of the panels to a support structure within the confined space. The mounting assembly permits vertical displacement of the barricade relative to the support structure when the barricade is moved between the folded and deployed configurations. Each panel of the barricade is symmetrical about a centerline extending between first and second side edges thereof. The barricade may thus be positioned in either a first orientation adapted for left-hand mounting on a support surface or in a second orientation inverse to the first orientation adapted for right-hand mounting on a support surface.

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Description

TECHNICAL FIELD

This application relates to a foldable safety barricade for blocking access to a work area.

BACKGROUND

Industry regulations require the use of safety barricades to identify active work areas within public spaces. For example, safety barricades have been widely used in the elevator and escalator industry to segregate work areas and block public access. Folding barricades of various types have existed for well over 10 years and have usually included a tubular frame with fabric panels or interlocking corrugated plastic panels. Such barricades are typically temporary in nature and are transported to and from work site locations by maintenance and repair personnel.

Though current tubular frame and corrugated plastic safety barricades have met with commercial success, there is a need for barricades which are more easily stored, transported and deployed. There is a particular need for barricades which can be conveniently stored in very confined spaces, such as elevator machine rooms.

The foregoing examples of the related art and limitations related thereto are intended to be illustrative and not exclusive. Other limitations of the related art will become apparent to those of skill in the art upon a reading of the specification and a study of the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Exemplary embodiments are illustrated in referenced figures of the drawings. It is intended that the embodiments and figures disclosed herein are to be considered illustrative rather than restrictive.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the applicant's foldable safety barricade mounted within the interior of an elevator machine room and showing the machine room door open and the barricade deployed in an extended position.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the barricade of FIG. 1 showing the barricade adjusted to its folded position.

FIGS. 3A-3C are top plan views of the applicant's barricade showing adjustment from a folded to a deployed position.

FIG. 4 a side elevational view the applicant's barricade in a fully deployed position

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of an embodiment of the barricade in a fully folded position.

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of a first panel of the barricade.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of a second panel of the barricade.

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of a third panel of the barricade.

FIG. 9 is side elevational view of a fourth panel of the barricade.

FIG. 10 is a side elevational view of a first and second panel of the barricade coupled together with a hinge assembly.

FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the barricade of FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 is an enlarged, top plan view of a portion of the hinge assembly of FIG. 10.

FIG. 13 is an enlarged, top plan view of the mounting assembly for mounting the barricade on a support structure.

FIG. 14 is an enlarged, perspective view of a portion of the mounting assembly for mounting the barricade on a support structure.

FIG. 15A-15D are perspective, top, side and end views respectively of the slotted hinge pin component of the hinge assembly.

FIGS. 16A-16D are perspective, top, side and end views respectively of the unslotted hinge pin component of the hinge assembly.

FIGS. 17A-17D are perspective, top, side and end views respectively of the top and bottom unslotted hinge pin components of the hinge assembly.

FIG. 18 is an exploded, perspective view of hinge assembly components.

FIGS. 19A-19D are perspective, top, side and end views respectively of the shuttle hinge of the mounting assembly.

FIGS. 20A-20D are perspective, top, side and end views respectively of the mounting block of the mounting assembly.

DESCRIPTION

Throughout the following description specific details are set forth in order to provide a more thorough understanding to persons skilled in the art. However, well known elements may not have been shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the disclosure. Accordingly, the description and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative, rather than a restrictive, sense.

This application relates to a foldable barricade 10 comprising a plurality of interconnected panels 12. In one embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-5, barricade 10 includes four panels 12A, 12B, 12C and 12D. However, in some alternative embodiments barricade 10 may comprise a different number of panels 12, for example between two and six panels 12.

As described below and as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 5, barricade 10 has a slim profile when it is in a fully folded position. This enables barricade 10 to be stored in a confined space. One particular application of the invention is for storage in the machine room 14 of an elevator or escalator (FIGS. 1-3). Some machine rooms 14, such as the Hydrofit™ system sold by Otis Elevator Company, have a very limited amount of space between the machine components 16 and the closed door 18. For example, in some cases the gap between an interior surface of closed door 18 and the machine room components 16 may be as small as 1.5-2 inches. As described below, one application of barricade 10 is to block public access to machine room components 16 after machine room door 18 has been opened (FIG. 1). As will be appreciated by a person skilled in the art, in other applications barricade 10 may also be used to identify and block access to any active work area within a public space.

Barricade 10 may either be free-standing or mounted on a support surface. As shown in FIGS. 1-3, in one embodiment barricade 10 is configured for mounting on a support surface 24 within machine room 14. In the illustrated embodiment, support surface 24 is a bracket mounted on a machine room component 16 using fasteners 25 (as best seen in FIGS. 3A and 14). Barricade 10 may be mounted in either a left-hand or right-hand orientation depending upon the hinge placement of door 18. To achieve this versatility barricade 10 is longitudinally symmetrical relative to a centreline 26 (FIG. 4), as discussed further below. After door 18 is opened to allow access to machine room components 16, barricade 10 may be deployed from the folded position (FIG. 2) to an extended position (FIG. 1). In the extended position barricade 10 identifies and blocks access to machine room 14.

In one embodiment best illustrated in FIGS. 3A-3C and 14, a first side edge 28 of first panel 12A is mounted within machine room 14 just inside door frame 20 using a mounting assembly 30. The other, second side edge 32 of first panel 12A is interconnected to second panel 12B using a panel connecting hinge assembly 34. Each successive panel 12C, 12D, etc. is similarly interconnected to the preceding panel 12 using a hinge assembly 34. As described below, each hinge assembly 34 employs an offset hinge arrangement so that panels 12A-12D may be folded flat against one another to achieve a slim profile in the fully folded position (FIGS. 2, 3A and 5).

FIGS. 3A-3C illustrate one arrangement of mounting assembly 30. Assembly 30 enables barricade 10 to move between a fully folded position (FIG. 3A) to a partially deployed position (FIG. 3B) to a deployed, extended position (FIG. 3C). As best shown in FIGS. 14 and 19, assembly 30 includes a plurality of shuttle hinges 36 which are mounted proximate to first edge 28 of panel 12A at vertically spaced-apart locations. Each shuttle hinge 36 has a flat mounting surface 38 secured to panel 12A and a generally conical body 40 extending outwardly therefrom. A reamed borehole 42 extends longitudinally through body 40 at a location offset away from mounting surface 38. Shuttle hinges 36 may be mounted on panel 12A, for example using fasteners 44 (FIG. 14) which are received in tapped holes 46 extending laterally from flat surface 38 part-way into the interior of body 40.

Mounting assembly 30 further includes a plurality of mounting blocks 48. In the illustrated embodiment (FIGS. 14 and 20), each block 48 has a flat mounting surface 50 for mounting on support surface 24 within machine room 14 and a generally conical body 52 extending outwardly therefrom. Reamed boreholes 54 extends longitudinally part-way through body 52 at either end thereof at a location offset away from mounting surface 50. Mounting blocks 48 may be mounted at spaced-apart locations on support surface 24 within machine room 14, for example, using fasteners 56 which are received in reamed holes 58 extending laterally from flat mounting surface 50 through the interior of body 52.

As best shown in FIG. 14, each shuttle hinge 36 mounted on first panel 12A is connected between two mounting blocks 48 by a connecting pin 60. In particular, pin 60 extends through borehole 42 of shuttle hinge 36 and an end portion thereof is captured within a borehole 54 of an adjacent mounting block 48. This arrangement enables displacement of shuttle hinges 36 (and attached barricade panels 12A-12D) relative to mounting blocks 48 which are fixed on support surface 24 within room 14. Thus, although barricade 10 is mounted for storage within the interior of room 14 (FIG. 2), it can be displaced upwardly and swung over door sill 22 or any other protrusion, obstacle or the like and then displaced downwardly to contact the floor surface outside machine room 14 (FIG. 1). This ability to vertically displace barricade 10 (i.e. panels 12A-12D) relative to the supporting structures also serves to accommodate variances in the elevation of floor surfaces within machine room 14 (where barricade 10 is stored) and outside of machine room 14 (where barricade 10 is deployed). In order to accommodate door sill 22 or other protrusions or obstacles after barricade 10 has been deployed (FIG. 1) panel 12A includes a clearance allowance cut-out portion 62 at its lower and upper ends adjacent first edge 28 (as best seen in FIG. 6). Only the lower cut-out portion 62 is required, but the two cut-outs 62 allow barricade 10 to be flipped upside down for right-hand or left-hand mounting depending upon the orientation of the machine room door 18.

Barricade 10 can be similarly displaced vertically relative to the support structure in the reverse order as described above when it is adjusted from the deployed (FIG. 1) to the folded (FIG. 2) positions.

In one embodiment, the first side edge 28 of panel 12A may be mounted to a support structure as described above and the second side edge 32 of panel 12A is hingedly connected to panel 12 B using a hinge assembly 34. As shown best in FIG. 6, second side edge 32 of panel 12A includes a plurality of spaced-apart, protruding mounting tabs 64 which are secured to hinge assembly 34 as described further below. Recessed portions 66 are located between mounting tabs 64.

As shown in FIGS. 7-9, the structure of panels 12B-12D differs in some respects from panel 12A. Each panel 12B-12C has a first side edge 68 and a second side edge 70. In panel 12B side edge 68 comprises alternating mounting tabs 64 and recessed portions 66, similar to second side edge 32 of panel 12A. Side edge 70 comprises alternating insert tabs 72 and recessed portions 74. In the illustrated embodiment insert tabs 72 are slightly less protruding than mounting tabs 64 and include end portions 76 which are notched. Mounting and insert tabs 64, 72 are disposed on opposed side edges 68, 70 in an alternating array. That is, in the illustrated embodiment each mounting tab 64 is laterally aligned with a recessed portion 74 and each insert tab 72 is laterally aligned with a recessed portion 66.

Panel 12C (FIG. 8) has a structure similar to panel 12B (FIG. 7) except that first side edge 68 comprises alternating insert tabs 72 and recessed portions 74 and second side edge 70 comprises alternating mounting tabs 64 and recessed portions 66. Panel 12D (FIG. 9) has a second side edge 70 which comprises alternating insert tabs 72 and recessed portions 74, similar to panel 12B. Since, in the illustrated embodiment, panel 12D is the terminating panel 12 in barricade 10 it has a straight first side edge 68 which forms an end of barricade 10.

Each panel 12A-12D also includes hand-holes 78 to assist in carrying barricade 10. As explained above, barricade 10 can be carried and deployed in both a right-hand and left-hand orientation which are vertically inverse. Accordingly hand-holes 78 are provided near both the “top” and “bottom” of each panel 12A-12D. Each panel 12A-12D also includes one or more mounting holes 80 for fastening panels 12A-12D together in the fully folded position or for hanging barricade 10 on a support hook etc.

In one embodiment of barricade 10 panels 12A-12D may be made of closed cell PVC board for light weight and optimum strength. Safety warnings, signage or other suitable indicia may be mounted on panels 12A-12D as desired.

In order to ensure that panels 12A-12D rest flat against one another in the fully folded position (FIGS. 2 and 5), each successive panel is smaller in width than the preceding panel to accommodate the thickness of each hinge assembly 34. That is, the overall width of panel 12A is greater than panel 12B which is greater than 12C which is greater than 12D etc. Although each panel has a different width, hand holes 78 and mounting holes 80 are positioned such that such holes are aligned when barricade 10 is in the folded position (FIG. 2). This enables the hand holes 78 to be used for carrying barricade 10 in the folded position or for mounting on a support structure. Aligned mounting holes 80 can also be used to secure panels 12A-12D together with a strap inserted through holes 80 or for mounting supplementary signs or notices on barricade 10.

In one embodiment of barricade 10 shown for example in FIGS. 2 and 3, the largest panel 12A may be the innermost panel and the smallest panel 12D may be the outermost panel when barricade 10 is in the folded position. In an alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the largest panel 12A may be the outermost panel 12 and the smallest panel 12D may be the innermost panel 12 when barricade 10 is in the folded position.

FIGS. 10-11 and 15-18 illustrate panel connecting hinge assembly 34 in greater detail. Assembly 34 includes a slotted hinge pin 82 and a unslotted hinge pin 84. As explained in detail below, each slotted hinge pin 82 receives an insert tab 72 of a panel 12 while each unslotted hinge pin 84 is secured to a mounting tab 64 of a panel 12. Adjacent hinge pins 82,84 are rotatably coupled together so that panels 12 can fold and unfold relative to one another as described above and shown in the drawings.

FIGS. 15A-15D illustrate slotted hinge pin 82 in detail. Slotted hinge pin 82 is conical in shape and includes a longitudinal slot 86 for receiving an insert tab 72. A plurality of spaced-apart apertures 88 are formed in hinge pin 82 for inserting fasteners (not shown) into the edge of each tab 72 once it is fully inserted (FIG. 4). Thus each insert tab 72 projecting from a side edge 68, 70 of a panel 12 is securely coupled to a slotted hinge pin 82.

Each slotted hinge pin 82 also includes reamed holes 90 formed in their end portions. Each hole 90 receives an end portion of a connecting pin 92 for coupling a slotted hinge pin 82 to an adjacent unslotted hinge pin 84 (FIG. 18). As best shown in FIG. 15B the end portion of each longitudinal slot 86 is tapered to receive the end portions 76 of an insert tab 72. The notched end portion 76 of tab 72 ensures that the insert tab 72 will not interfere with connecting pin 92 when it is fully inserted into slot 86.

FIGS. 16A-16D illustrate an embodiment of unslotted hinge pin 84 in detail. As indicated above, each unslotted hinge pin 84 is secured to a side surface of a corresponding mounting tab 64. Hinge pin 84 includes a flat surface 94 and a generally conical body 96. Small reamed holes 98 are provided at opposite ends for receiving an end portion of a connecting pin 92 (FIG. 18). A plurality of mounting holes 100 are provided for securing each hinge pin 84 to a mounting tab 64 using suitable fasteners.

FIGS. 17A-17D illustrate an unslotted hinge pin 84A for mounting at the end portions of hinge assembly 34, i.e. at the top and bottom of a panel 12. Hinge pin 84A has the same basic structure as hinge pin 84 except that flat surface 94 does not extend the entire length thereof. Rather, hinge pin 84A has an end portion 102 which is conical in shape. The other end of hinge pin 84A is the same as hinge pin 84 and includes a reamed hole 98 for receiving an end portion of a connecting pin 92 (FIG. 18).

As described further below, a removable rubber foot 104 may be fitted on end portion 102 for supporting barricade 10 on a floor or other support surface (FIG. 1). Alternatively, a removable caster wheel 106 (not shown) may be fitted on end portion 102 to aid in transporting a free-standing embodiment of barricade 10 when it is in the folded position, i.e. by rolling movement rather than lifting and carrying. Panels 12 may include a notched portion 105 at their upper and lower ends for accommodating foot 104 or caster wheel (FIGS. 1 and 6-8).

As shown best in FIGS. 1 and 9, the terminating panel 12, in the illustrated embodiment panel 12D, may include a protruding foot or skid pad 108 to ensure that panel 12D is supported at the same elevation as the other panels 12.

As shown in FIG. 3A, the offset arrangement of hinge assembly 34 results in each panel 12A-12D being slightly offset relative to an adjoining panel 12A-12D. For example, in one embodiment each successive panel may be offset approximately 0.25 inches, i.e. by approximately the thickness of a panel 12. This arrangement ensures that in the folded position panels 12A-12D will be oriented flat against one another in parallel planes to achieve a slim overall profile. With reference to FIG. 12, each unslotted hinge pin 84 or 84A is mounted on a side surface of a mounting tab 64 such that hinge pins 84 and 84A of an assembly 34 are in vertical alignment. Aperture 98 is offset toward the flat side surface 94 of hinge pin 84 or 84A (FIGS. 16D and 17D). Slotted hinge pins 82 are aligned between pairs of unslotted hinge pins 84, 84A and connecting pins 92 are insertable into apertures 90 and 98 to rotatably couple hinge pins 82, 84 together (FIG. 18). Thus, in a hinge assembly 34, all of the unslotted hinge pins 84 or 84A are fixed to one panel 12 and all of the slotted hinge pins 82 are coupled to another panel 12 (FIG. 12 shows an unslotted (upper) hinge pin 84A and a slotted (lower) hinge pin 82 in vertical alignment). A teflon washer 93 may optionally be disposed between hinge pins 82, 84 or 84A to facilitate rotational movement therebetween during the folding and unfolding operations (FIG. 18). When a hinge assembly 34 is fully assembled, each hinge pin 82 is disposed in a recessed portion 66 formed at one edge of a panel 12 and each hinge pin 84 is disposed in a recessed portion 74 formed at one edge of another panel 12.

While a number of exemplary aspects and embodiments have been discussed above, those of skill in the art will recognize certain modifications, permutations, additions and sub-combinations thereof. It is therefore intended that the following appended claims and claims hereafter introduced are interpreted to include all such modifications, permutations, additions and sub-combinations as are within their true spirit and scope.

Claims

1. A safety barricade comprising a plurality of interconnected panels, wherein each pair of adjacent panels is hingedly coupled together with a hinge assembly, wherein said hinge assembly has a rotational axis offset from a plane of one of said adjacent panels, whereby said barricade is adjustable between a folded configuration wherein said panels extend in parallel planes immediately adjacent one another for storage in a confined space and a deployed configuration wherein said panels are unfolded to form a barrier blocking access to a work area.

2. The barricade as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said panels is a sheet which is positioned flat against another one of said panels in said folded configuration.

3. The barricade as defined in claim 1, wherein each hinge assembly comprises a plurality of first hinge pins mounted in spaced relation on a side surface of said one of said adjacent panels and a plurality of second hinge pins mounted on an edge of another panel hingedly coupled to said one of said adjacent panels, wherein each of second hinge pins is rotatably coupled between a pair of said first hinge pins for rotation about said rotational axis.

4. The barricade as defined in claim 3, wherein said first and second hinge pins are vertically aligned in a plane offset from said plane of said one of said adjacent panels.

5. The barricade as defined in claim 3, wherein each of said second hinge pins comprises a longitudinal slot for securely receiving a corresponding tab formed on said edge of said another panel.

6. The barricade as defined in claim 3, wherein said side surface is a surface of a protruding tab formed at one edge of said one of said adjacent panels.

7. The barricade as defined in claim 1, wherein a first one of said interconnected panels is mountable on a support structure within said confined space.

8. The barricade as defined in claim 7, comprising a mounting assembly for rotatably mounting one of said interconnected panels to said support structure.

9. The barricade as defined in claim 8, wherein said mounting assembly comprises a plurality of mounting blocks mounted on said support surface in spaced relation and a plurality of shuttle hinges mounted in spaced relation on said one of said interconnected panels on an edge thereof, wherein each of said shuttle hinges is positioned between a pair of said mounting blocks and is rotatable relative thereto.

10. The barricade as defined in claim 8, wherein said mounting assembly permits vertical displacement of said barricade relative to support structure when said barricade is moved between said folded and deployed configurations.

11. The barricade as defined in claim 9, wherein said shuttle hinges are vertically displaceable relative to said mounting blocks.

12. The barricade as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said interconnected panels has a different width.

13. The barricade as defined in claim 1, wherein said barricade comprises a first end panel, a second end panel and between zero and four intermediate panels connected between said first and second end panels, wherein each panel from said first end panel to said second end panel is progressively smaller in width.

14. The barricade as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said interconnected panels comprising at least one opening, wherein said opening on one panel is aligned with said opening on each of said other panels when said barricade is in said folded configuration.

15. The barricade as defined in claim 14, wherein said opening is a hand-hold.

16. The barricade as defined in claim 1, wherein said barricade is positionable in a first orientation adapted for left-hand mounting on a support surface or in a second orientation inverse to said first orientation adapted for right-hand mounting on a support surface.

17. The barricade as defined in claim 1, wherein each of said panels has a first side edge and a second side edge, and wherein each of said panels is symmetrical about a centerline extending between said first and second side edges.

18. The barricade as defined in claim 1, wherein the thickness of said barricade in said folded configuration is approximately 0.25 inches per panel.

19. The barricade as defined in claim 1, wherein said barricade comprises between 2 and 6 panels.

20. The barricade as defined in claim 8, wherein said one of said interconnected panels comprises a cut-out portion adjacent said mounting assembly to provide a clearance allowance when said barricade is moved between said folded and deployed configurations.

21. A safety barricade comprising a plurality of interconnected panels, wherein each pair of adjacent panels is hingedly coupled together with a hinge assembly and wherein said barricade is adjustable between a folded configuration wherein said panels extend in parallel planes immediately adjacent one another for storage in a confined space and a deployed configuration wherein said panels are unfolded to form a barrier, wherein each of said panels is positioned flat against another one of said panels in said folded configuration.

22. A safety barricade comprising a plurality of interconnected panels, wherein each pair of adjacent panels is hingedly coupled together with a hinge assembly and wherein said barricade is adjustable between a folded configuration wherein said panels extend in parallel planes immediately adjacent one another for storage in a confined space and a deployed configuration wherein said panels are unfolded to form a barrier, wherein a first one of said interconnected panels is mountable on a support structure within said confined space.

Patent History

Publication number: 20150069312
Type: Application
Filed: Sep 10, 2014
Publication Date: Mar 12, 2015
Inventors: Troy Sean COOPER (Abbotsford), Dean Ivan COOPER (Delta)
Application Number: 14/482,933

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Hinged (256/26)
International Classification: E04H 17/16 (20060101);