From Hazardous to Safe: How Oaka Constructions is keeping workers safe with Vacuum Lifting

The pipeline industry, with its inherent risks and demanding tasks, is acutely aware of the need to employ material handling methodologies that keep operations safer, faster, and more efficient.

For more than 25 years, Vacuworx has focused on developing vacuum lifting solutions, intent on ensuring worker safety, for multiple applications and uses across various industries on large and small projects. 

Accomplished in part by eliminating the need for hooks, straps, shackles, cables, and chains. Adopters of vacuum lifting technology have repeatedly recognised the need for fewer tagline operators, fewer spotters, fewer people climbing on trucks or standing on top of loads, fewer workers overextending their bodies or bending forward, fewer humans being asked to perform in risky work environments.  

Vacuworx: A Safety Game-Changer for Oaka Constructions

Kelly Barbarich, Construction Manager from Oaka Constructions is one such customer. They are currently utilising an MC 5 on a project replacing approximately 4.4 kilometres of 560-diameter ductile pipe in the Bowen Basin in Queensland.

For Barbarich, it’s an easy choice to utilise the power of Vacuworx lifting systems.

“On previous jobs, we would be using old-school methods like hooks and slings. There was an incident where while rigging, a worker missed his mark, and the hook dropped, causing a serious injury to his hand. That really made us stop and ask the question, ‘how can we keep people away from such hazards?’”, Barbarich recalls.

“I recall previously witnessing Vacuworx lifting systems working seamlessly on a project in Moranbah handling poly pipe, but was unaware of the versatility of the systems to handling other pipe types (such as ductile). Once I knew the systems could handle other pipe types, it was an easy decision.”

Barbarich emphasises the importance of safety in their decision to implement Vacuworx’s systems, drawing on a chilling experience from a previous project.

“With Vacuworx, no one needs to be near or touch the pipe,” Barbarich elaborates.

“Not only does Vacuworx’s system drastically reduce risks, it also improves operational efficiency. The Vacuworx system can lift a pipe within just 2 seconds, a process that would traditionally involve two workers and considerably more time.”

Support that Makes a Difference

For Oaka Constructions, the appeal of Vacuworx goes beyond the technology itself. The aftersales support offered by the company has played a pivotal role in their continued preference for Vacuworx systems.

“The most noticeable [benefit] was the support we received from Vacuworx… They’re always available for support, so there’s no frustration from our site team with ensuring projects are moving and any problems don’t need to be escalated”, says Barbarich.

This consistent, reliable support system makes Vacuworx a trusted partner in their projects.

Barbarich ‘s final verdict on Vacuworx summarises their experience,

“Vacuworx’s system is simply great – it’s easy to use, easy to maintain, and cost-efficient. Now, whenever we [Oaka Constructions] embark on a pipeline project, the first call goes to Vacuworx. After we had that injury on the previous project, we decided to trial Vacuworx’s system and, well, we have been using it ever since.”

All Vacuworx lifters are designed to be versatile and can be used for a variety of applications, including pipeline installation, maintenance, and repair. This versatility allows companies in the pipeline and energy sectors to streamline their operations, saving time and resources while increasing safety. Vacuworx’s commitment to quality and innovation has earned the company a reputation as a leader in vacuum lifting equipment and has made it a popular choice for companies in the pipeline and energy sectors.


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