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Title:
LOCKING DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/164587
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A barrier locking mechanism having a collared upright stem mounted to a base and a tubular sheath having an open lumen configured to receive the upright stem therein is disclosed. The tubular sheath has an opening through a lateral side of the tubular sheath axially positioned such that, when the upright stem is received within the lumen of the tubular sheath, the opening is positionable between the base and the collar of the upright stem. A threaded lock housing is externally mounted on the lateral side of the tubular sheath at a position coinciding with the opening in the tubular sheath so that a fastener can extend into the lumen of the tubular sheath at least as far as an outer perimeter of the collar.

Inventors:
STAWYCHNY, Steve, M. (1669 Dover Ct, Hoffman Estates, IL, 60192, US)
KEAVENEY, Raymond, J. (838 N. Winchester Unit 1, Chicago, IL, 60622, US)
Application Number:
US2019/012155
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
January 03, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SWITCHRAIL SAFETY SYSTEMS (232 William Street, Bensenville, IL, 60106, US)
International Classes:
E04G21/32; E04F11/18; E04H17/14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHRISTENBURY, T., Daniel et al. (DLA Piper LLP, 1650 Market Street Suite 490, Philadelphia PA, 19013, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
We Claim:

1. A barrier locking mechanism comprising:

at least one upright stem mounted to a base;

a collar disposed on a distal end of the upright stem, the collar having an outer perimeter extending radially outward of the upright stem;

a tubular sheath having an open lumen configured to receive the upright stem therein; an opening through a lateral side of the tubular sheath axially positioned such that, when the upright stem is received within the lumen of the tubular sheath, the opening is positionable between the base and the collar of the upright stem;

a threaded lock housing externally mounted on the lateral side of the tubular sheath at a position coinciding with the opening in the tubular sheath; and

a fastener having a threaded shaft adapted to threadably engage with the threaded lock housing and pass through the opening of the tubular sheath such that a distal end of the threaded shaft is extendable into the lumen of the tubular sheath at least as far as the outer perimeter of the collar.

2. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 1, wherein a tubular sheath has a U-shape and the threaded lock housing is provided on an inward facing side of the U-shape.

3. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 2, wherein a tubular sheath comprises a second threaded lock housing provided on an opposing inward facing side of the U-shape.

4. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 1, wherein at least a second upright stem is mounted to the base.

5. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 1, wherein the tubular sheath defines a hand- rail.

6. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 1, wherein the distal end of the threaded shaft of the fastener comprises a friction cap.

7. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 1, wherein a proximal end of the threaded shaft of the fastener comprises a handle.

8. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 7, wherein the threaded shaft of the fastener and the handle are of unitary construction.

9. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 1, further comprising a lock-nut disposed on the threaded shaft of the fastener.

10. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 1, wherein the base is selected from the group consisting of a parapet base, an anchor base, a weighted base, a Jersey barrier-mount base and horizontal mount base.

11. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 1, wherein the collar has a circular cross- section.

12. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 1, wherein the distal end of the threaded shaft is extendable into the lumen of the tubular sheath to engage the outer surface of the stem when the barrier locking mechanism is deployed.

13. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 1, wherein the opening through a lateral side of the tubular sheath and the collar of the stem are configured such that, when the barrier locking mechanism is deployed, the distal end of the threaded shaft engages a lower surface of the collar.

14. The barrier locking mechanism of claim 2, further comprising a second base.

Description:
LOCKING DEVICE

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] This disclosure relates to a locking device especially useful for temporary construction barriers. The locking device can be quickly and efficiently deployed and is resistant to damage.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Barrier devices are commonly used at construction sites to safeguard workers from injury due to falling out of the work area, especially along rooftops and high traffic areas. Since the devices are temporary, they need to be easy to install and uninstall, while still providing secure restraint. Due to the temporary nature of their use, ideally, barrier devices can be uninstalled and transported for further use at a different worksite.

[0003] Typically, barrier devices comprise a support base and a barrier system mounted to the base. To lock the barrier system to the support base, some existing barrier devices rely on vertically extending elongated threaded members that are threaded through an upper side of the railing and engage with a corresponding elongated threaded member of the base. However, such devices are susceptible to damage due to accidental bending of the elongated threaded member during installation, storage or transport. Additionally, due to its length, the elongated threaded member is tedious to install and susceptible to cross-threading. Accordingly, there is need for a locking device that is both easy to use and resistant to damage.

SUMMARY

[0004] We provide a barrier locking mechanism comprising:

an upright stem mounted to a base;

a collar disposed on a distal end of the upright stem, the collar having an outer perimeter extending radially outward of the upright stem;

a tubular sheath having an open lumen configured to receive the upright stem therein; an opening through a lateral side of the tubular sheath axially positioned such that, when the upright stem is received within the lumen of the tubular sheath, the opening is positionable between the base and the collar of the upright stem; a threaded lock housing externally mounted on the lateral side of the tubular sheath at a position coinciding with the opening in the tubular sheath; and

a fastener having a threaded shaft adapted to threadably engage the threaded lock housing and pass through the opening of the tubular sheath such that a distal end of the threaded shaft is extendable into the lumen of the tubular sheath at least as far as the outer perimeter of the collar.

BRIEF DESCRIPTON OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] Fig. 1 shows an exemplary assembly of a barrier device and locking mechanism.

[0006] Fig. 2 shows an exploded view of the barrier device and locking mechanism depicted in Fig. 1.

[0007] Fig. 3 shows a cross-sectional view of the locking mechanism depicted in Fig. 1.

[0008] Fig. 4 shows an exemplary alternative assembly of a barrier device and locking mechanism.

[0009] Fig. 5 shows an exemplary alternative barrier device base.

[0010] Fig. 6 shows another exemplary alternative barrier device base.

[0011] Fig. 7 shows yet another exemplary alternative barrier device base.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0012] This disclosure relates to a locking mechanism utilizing a threaded fastener that is resistant to damage and can quickly and efficiently lock a barrier system to a base. Due to its durability and efficiency, the locking mechanism is particularly suitable for use with temporary safety barriers such as those used in construction projects. However, it should be understood that the device is not limited to any particular use.

[0013] As will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the devices and methods disclosed herein reside in the combination of parts set forth in this disclosure and covered by the claims appended hereto, it being understood that changes in the precise structure and steps herein disclosed may be made within the scope of what is claimed without departing from the spirit of the disclosure.

[0014] Referring to Fig. 1, an exemplary barrier device 10 is shown in an assembled form. As the barrier device 10 of Fig. 1 has mirror symmetry, symmetrical structures are referred to by the same reference number and simply distinguished as“a” or“b.” [0015] The barrier device 10 comprises at least one base 1 to secure the barrier device 10 in place and a barrier system 3 safeguarding against falls by workers. In the example shown in Fig. 1, the barrier system 3 comprises a U-shaped railing in which left and right sides are mirror images of one another. The distal ends 5a and 5b of the U-shaped barrier system 3 are respectively mountable to the bases la and lb to secure barrier device 10 in a desired location.

[0016] In this example, the bases la and lb of Fig. 1 are configured to be secured to a Jersey barrier (i.e., a style of barrier commonly used along roadways) to extend the height of the barrier and provide a hand-railing. However, as will be apparent below, the structure of the base 1 and barrier system 3 are not particularly limited and other structures are possible depending on the desired use and location of the barrier device 10. Additionally, it should be understood that symmetiy is not required and a barrier device 10 having a single base 1 or different base structures or different barrier structures are also possible.

[0017] Referring now to Fig. 2, the distal end 5 of the barrier system 3 comprises a tubular sheath 7 (shown as 7a and 7b in Fig. 2) having an open lumen 9 (shown as 9a and 9b in Fig. 2) extending therethrough. As shown, the tubular sheath 7 and lumen 9 are cylindrical, however, it should be understood that the term“tubular sheath” includes other geometries such as square, rectangular and hexagonal and the like. Additionally, it should be understood that the open lumen 9 may comprise only potions of the tubular sheath and that some portions may be filled or solid.

[0018] At least one opening 19 extends through a lateral side of the wall of the tubular sheath 7. Additionally, a locking mechanism 15 is externally mounted on the lateral side of the tubular sheath 7 at a position coinciding with the opening 19 in the tubular sheath 7.

[0019] As the barrier system 3 of Fig. 2 is symmetrical, the barrier system 3 comprises two openings l9a and 19b and respective locking mechanisms l5a and l5b. The openings l9a and 19b and respective locking mechanisms l5a and 15b are provided on opposing inward facing sides of the U-shaped barrier system 3. The position of openings l9a and 19b and locking mechanisms 15a and 15b on inward facing sides of the U-shaped barrier system 3 advantageously reduces unintended impacts on the locking mechanism 15 during storage, transport and use, thereby reducing the opportunities for damage to the locking mechanism 15. Additionally, since the locking mechanism 15 is on a lateral-side of the barrier system 3 as opposed to an upper surface, the upper side of the barrier system 3 can provide a smooth hand-rail surface with continuous flow. [0020] Still referring to Fig. 2, each base la and lb comprises at least one upright stem 11 (shown as 1 la and 1 lb in Fig. 2) mounted thereto and extending vertically upward from the base la and lb. As shown, the upright stem 11 is cylindrical, however, other geometries are possible, such as square, rectangular and hexagonal and the like.

[0021] A collar 13 (shown as 13a and 13b in Fig. 2) may be disposed on a distal end of the upright stem 11. The collar 13 preferably has an outer perimeter extending radially outward of the upright stem 1 1. As shown in an example of a collar 13 and upright stem 1 1 that are both cylindrical, and the diameter of the collar 13 is greater than the diameter of the upright stem 11. However, other geometries are also possible such as square, rectangular and hexagonal and the like, so long as a portion of the outer perimeter of the collar 13 extends radially outward of the upright stem 11.

[0022] The outer perimeter of the collar 13 should be configured so that the collar 13 can pass through the lumen 9. This is because the lumens 9a and 9b of the barrier system 3 are configured to respectively receive the upright stems 11a and 1 lb therein. Preferably, lumens 9a and 9b are configured to entirely receive the respective upright stems 1 la and 1 lb so that the distal ends 5a and b of the barrier system 3 can rest against the bases la and lb.

[0023] The locking mechanism 15 will now be described in detail with reference to Fig. 3, which shows a cross-sectional view of an upright stem 11 received within a tubular sheath 7 and the locking mechanism 15 engaged therewith. The locking mechanism 15 comprises a threaded lock housing 17, the opening 19 through the lateral side of the tubular sheath 7, and a fastener 21.

[0024] The threaded lock housing 17 preferably has threaded members 23 positioned on an internal surface of a housing opening 25. The threaded members 23 and housing opening 25 are horizontally aligned with the opening 19 in the lateral side of the tubular sheath 7 such that the fastener 21 can be received through both the housing opening 25 and opening 19 in the lateral side of the tubular sheath 7.

[0025] Fastener 21 has a threaded shaft 27 adapted to threadably engage the threaded members 23 of the threaded lock housing 17. The threaded shaft 27 is also preferably adapted so that a distal end 31 thereof can that can pass through the opening 19 of the tubular sheath 7 and extend into the lumen 9 of the tubular sheath 7 at least as far as the outer perimeter of the collar 13. Preferably, a proximal end of the fastener 21 comprises a handle 29 to facilitate rotation and threading of the fastener 21 through the threaded lock housing 17. Suitably, the fastener 21 may have T-shaped handle 29, although other configurations are possible. In preferred examples, the threaded shaft 27 and the handle 29 of the fastener 21 are of unitary construction.

[0026] As can be seen in Fig. 3, the opening 19 through a lateral side of the tubular sheath 7 and the locking mechanism 15 are axially positioned along the tubular sheath 7 such that, when the upright stem 11 is received within the lumen 9 of the tubular sheath 7, the opening 17 is positioned between the base 1 and the collar 13 of the upright stem 11. This position allows for the distal end 31 of the threaded shaft 27 of fastener 21 to optionally engage with an outer surface of the upright stem 11 as shown in Fig. 3 to provide a friction hold when the locking mechanism 15 is deployed. Additionally, when the locking mechanism 15 is deployed, the distal end 31 of the threaded shaft 27 may engage a lower surface of the collar 13. Since the collar 13 has an outer perimeter extending radially outward of the upright stem 1 1, engagement with the lower surface of the collar 13 prevents upward motion of fastener 21 past the collar 13. The combination of friction hold and collar engagement securely fixes the barrier system 3 to the base structure 1.

[0027] Optionally, the distal end 31 of the threaded shaft 27 of the fastener 21 may be fitted with friction cap 33 such as a vinyl or rubber end-cap. If the distal end 31 of the threaded shaft 27 engages with upright stem 11, the friction cap 33 can provide additional frictional engagement to provide a more snug, non-slip engagement.

[0028] In other examples, locking mechanism 15 may further comprising a lock-nut 35 positioned on the threaded shaft 27 of the fastener 21. The lock-nut 35 has a perimeter greater than that of the housing opening 25 such that withdrawal of the fastener 21 from the locking mechanism 15 is restricted by the lock-nut 35.

[0029] As shown in Fig. 2, each base 1 may also comprise more than one upright stem 11. It is preferable (but not required) for each base 1 to include at least two upright stems 11 to allow for the mounting of an additional barrier system to the same base 1. If a base 1 comprises more than one upright stem 11, it is preferred for the barrier system 3 to be mounted to upright stems 1 la and 1 lb positioned on inward facing sides of the bases la and lb so that adjacent barrier systems can be mounted to the upright stems on outward facing sides of the bases la and lb.

[0030] It will further be appreciated that alternative barrier systems 3 other than the one depicted in Figs. 1 and 2 are possible. For instance, the barrier system 3 need not be symmetrical. Additionally, barrier structures may be, but are not limited to, fencing, posts and the like. For example, Fig. 4 shows an alternative waist-high barrier with a horizontal cross-bar and footer. [0031] Additionally, as noted above, the structure of the base 1 is not particularly limited and base structures other than that shown in Figs. 1 and 2 are possible. Figs. 4 to 6 depict alternative exemplary base structures. For example, Fig. 4 depicts an exemplary alternative barrier device 100 and locking mechanism 115. The locking mechanism 115 functions essentially the same as locking mechanism 15, however base 101 is a weighted base instead of a Jersey barrier-mount base. The base 101 is especially suitable for horizontal surfaces.

[0032] Fig. 5 depicts another exemplary alternative barrier device base 201. The base 201 is parapet base configured to clamp vertical structures, such as a parapet along an edge of a roof, bridge, or balcony. The barrier system 203 is not shown, but would mount to upright stem 213 in the same manner as barrier system 3 mounts to base 1.

[0033] Fig. 6 depicts another exemplary alternative barrier device base 301. The base 301 is a horizontal mount base configured to clamp horizontal structures such as flooring without walls or a platform. The barrier system 303 is not shown, but would mount to upright stem 313 in the same manner as barrier system 3 mounts to base 1.

[0034] Fig. 7 depicts another exemplary alternative barrier device base 401. The base 401 is an anchor base, which can be bolted to horizontal structures. The barrier system 403 is not shown, but would mount to upright stem 413 in the same manner as barrier system 3 mounts to base 1.

[0035] Although the devices and methods have been described in connection with specific forms thereof, it will be appreciated that a wide variety of equivalents may be substituted for the specified elements described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure as described in the appended claims.