Illawarra companies Evermil and Leussink have come together to ensure wheelchair-bound boilermaker Clay Kelly can work more efficiently and autonomously by utilising a 3D welding table.
Steel fabrication business Evermil employs Clay Kelly as a skilled boilermaker to undertake a variety of work. Kelly lives with a physical disability and is a wheelchair user following an accident riding bulls 23 years ago, causing an injury to his spine.
His day-to-day tasks include interpreting blueprints, cutting, moulding, and welding metal and steel to fix faults, welding and bolting structures together, and identifying and solving challenges.
As a boilermaker, Kelly also needs to lift items of various weights and move things around the workshop, and at times he needs to ask his colleagues for assistance.
Managing director of Evermil, Chris Beck, was keen to find ways to make Kelly’s role more accessible and called on colleague Paul Baxendale to undertake research. Baxendale found JobAccess and the Employment Assistance Fund, and Evermil applied.
The goal was to allow Kelly to work autonomously and independently. Kelly also had difficulty undertaking some aspects of fabricating tasks using his existing workbench.
Through JobAccess, a workplace assessment was organised to understand Kelly’s challenges and requirements at work. As a result, the assessor recommended equipment to support Kelly in working more effectively, safely, and efficiently.
The recommendations included a three-dimensional welding table, a perching stool that Kelly can sit on to make him more comfortable when working on a job, and a self-propelled electronic scissor lift trolley, supporting Kelly to lift things onto his trolley and transport them over to the workbench.
The obvious choice for the 3D workbench was the Demmeler table system because it is precise, adaptable and provides consistency.
Leussink’s Russell Brinkworth visited Evermil and spent time with Kelly to understand exactly what he needed to achieve and how a table could be accommodated to provide the best solution. As a result, the Demmeler table was mounted on the scissor lift which allows Kelly to work autonomously.
On the Demmeler table, Kelly can attach various items to it and adjust its height depending on the job. He can also move the table to different angles, so he can turn it where he needs it, instead of turning sideways or crawling under it.
“Essentially Clay can work with the table on a ‘funny angle’, rather than him being on a ‘funny angle’,” said Evermil’s Paul Baxendale.
Kelly is also impressed with the versatility of the Demmeler table, “I can lower it down, making it easier, and I can clamp stuff onto it. It has been amazing, it helps me out a lot.
“Not many people in roles like mine get to use a worktable like this. I’m pretty stoked,” said Kelly.
Baxendale commented that working with JobAccess “opened Evermil’s eyes to what is possible” when hiring a diverse workforce and wanting to create an inclusive workplace. Kelly is now taking on more tasks with the help of his equipment.
“Clay is a top guy. He can do more tasks now, it’s great to see and makes his job a lot easier,” said Baxendale.
Leussink’s sales & marketing manager, Stuart Ward said, “We love the opportunity to work with people where we need to think outside the box. It’s awesome to see professional tradespeople fully utilising the skills and experience they have gained over the years.
“The combination of JobAccess funding, Evermil’s commitment to its employees, and the Leussink technology and support have come together to achieve this,” said Ward.
The Demmeler 3D workbench and welding table is a versatile jig and fixturing system for all types of welding and fabrication work.
Illawarra-based steel fabrication business Evermil has been in operation for over 35 years and is proud of its family ownership. Evermil undertakes high-quality metal fabrication work for the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.