Designed for Safety

 ERGO XL access assemblies manhole covers open

Safety is our top priority

At EJ, we extend our safety culture into the products we make. From optimized features on standard manhole frames and covers, to ergonomic enhancements with our innovative access solutions, to grates that protect against fall through protection – you can rely on EJ to design a solution that keeps your workers safe.


With a focus on safety, functionality, and ergonomics, the design teams at EJ present our Innovative Access Solutions.

ERGO XL access assembly manhole cover open on street

ERGO® and ERGO XL® Access Assemblies

Hinged design allows the cover to open to 120°, where it rests in a safe and secure position.
Easily removable cover when fully open at 120° for the ERGO, and at 90° for the ERGO XL. It can also be left in place so that maintenance workers do not have to lift or carry the heavy cover.
Safety stop at the 90° position prevents accidental closure.
MPIC® multi tool pick bar slot located across from the hinge allows a pick or pry bar to open the cover.
Cam Lock security option gives the cover a tight, sturdy locking option, without removable fasteners that can be lost or misplaced. 
Stainless-steel mechanical strut reduces the lifting force of the cover and is optional for the ERGO XL.

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Ductile iron hinged hatch open double

Ductile Iron Access Hatches

Lift assist allows a cover that can weigh as much as 550 lb to be lifted with less than 35 lb of lifting force. It is a corrosion-resistant stainless-steel mechanical spring strut. The rugged design is clean and maintenance free and the strut takes up less space in the clear opening than a traditional spring assist.

Self-engaging safety bar provides added protection by ensuring cover will not accidentally close while the underground infrastructure is accessed.

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Ductile iron hinged hatch open single with safe hatch

SAFE HATCH® Safety Access System

A patented, optional level of security and safety for ductile hatches. When in place, the safety grates—coated with bright orange epoxy—create a visual and physical barrier so that workers and equipment cannot fall into chambers when the cover is opened. Also available for fabricated hatches (see below). 

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REVOLUTION® Access Assembly

Rotating cover pivots away from the hole opening, eliminating the need for manually raising or lowering the cover. It rotates in either direction on a cast-in stainless steel rod that ensures it remains attached to the frame. No special tools are required to open and close. Learn more


STORMSURGE Access Assembly

Keep your covers where they belong.

Locking arm and hinge restraint allows the cover to lift up to 16°, enabling water from a storm surge or backflow event to flow out and relieve the pressure. The cover then properly re-seats itself after the pressure returns to normal, keeping the manhole covered at all times. Learn more

STORSURGE access assembly rendering closed and open

Fabricated Hatches

Aluminum fabricated hatches open with safe hatch grates

Aluminum and steel hatches have several safety options to keep operators and pedestrians safe.

Aluminum fabricated hatch open with safety chains and safe hatch grates

Safety Chain

Safety Chains can be added to any aluminum or steel double hatch. When the hatch doors are open, these chains can be strung between them to provide a visual barrier.

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Aluminum fabricated hatch with safety bar and lift assist open

Lift Assist and Safety Bar

The pneumatic lift assist helps easily open steel and aluminum access hatches with reliable operation year after year. The quality, precision built stainless steel pneumatic spring piston and rod design is custom loaded with job specific internal gas pressure to ensure smooth, easy operation of any size aluminum or steel hatch.

The safety bar is a highly visible and strong stainless-steel bar that automatically engages when the cover fully opens—keeping the cover from accidentally closing.

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Aluminum fabricated hatch with safe hatch safety access system orange open

SAFE HATCH® Safety Access System

A patented, optional level of security and safety for aluminum and steel access hatches. When in place, the safety grates—coated with bright orange epoxy—create a visual and physical barrier so that workers and equipment cannot fall into chambers when the cover is opened.

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Sure grip texture finish

Sure Grip

Sure Grip is a non-slip texture added to the surface of access hatches to prevent pedestrians from slipping.

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Optimized Manhole Covers and Frames


Standard manhole frames and covers are available with a variety of features that can be incorporated into the design. We call the enhancements “optimized” features.

Reduced Weight

Many legacy designs were overbuilt to handle the inconsistencies of molding and iron quality. Now, with more controlled manufacturing processes and a better understanding of design practices, these antiquated designs have been updated.

Stackable Frames

By revising the frame design to allow for nesting together during shipping, this improves safety during handling by preventing stacks from tipping over and making them safer to un-band. The nesting also conserves space during storage, in transit, and when handling.

EPIC® Pick Bar

EPIC pick bar solution improves stability and increases leverage when opening a cover with a J-hook in this patented, closed-hole design.

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Talk to an expert at EJ to find out how the innovative solutions by EJ can work for your next project. Contact us today or schedule Lunch and Learn.

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