New product to ‘revolutionise’ building industry
FLUSHING thousands of dollars down the drain on an issue that could've been prevented was the catalyst for a Sunshine Coast woman to create a product she believes will redefine the building industry.
While constructing her Mudjimba home in 2016, Luisa Stewart was "extremely concerned" about the safety issues pier holes presented.
Although she had fenced the property for security, Ms Stewart believed children and pets alike could easily fall into the open trench.
"There's huge issues on building sites with falls and open excavations," she said.
"Once you dig the holes … even if the concrete is getting poured that day, you've still got to cover the holes straight after you've dug them because a worker could fall in one."
Ms Stewart was confronted by the issue again in 2018 while building a second home, in which a heavy downpour of rain resulted in more than $15,000 of expenses to drain the holes.
While it seemed plywood was the only solution provided to cover the pier holes, Ms Stewart set out to locate a product that would prevent the issue from occurring again.
She couldn't find one.
"At that point, I thought there had to be a way to cover these holes and there just wasn't," she said.
"I couldn't believe people were either just wasting money on plywood, leaving the holes uncovered or just accepting the fact that when they get filled with water or rubbish, you have to pay to suck it out."
That was when the Pier Hole Protector was born.
After months of research, Ms Stewart created a "revolutionary" solution to the issue which had caused many accidents and once resulted in a man's death.
She said the large yellow disc had received "brilliant" feedback from members of the Australian building industry, with the product currently being stocked at Sunshine Mitre 10.
"Everybody I meet … just say 'I can't believe you came up with this', and they're so excited it now exists," she said.
"If it takes off the way that the building industry has given me the confidence it's going to, it has the potential to be huge for Queensland manufacturing."
Ms Stewart said the recently-launched, Australian-made product would go a long way in preventing worksite accidents across the country.
"Originally I was only doing it for myself so we had something to use on our building sites, but now … that I've opened it up to the public, that's when I started to be really excited for what the future holds," she said.
"I'm happy I've come up with a solution to a problem that everybody has known about, but haven't done anything about."
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