Manual Handling During the Safe Erection of Precast Concrete Flooring
This guidance by the Precast Flooring Federation is intended to be of assistance to designers and specifiers, those who manage work on site and those who actually handle flooring products on site. Correct handling of concrete floor beams and infill blocks will minimise the risk of injuries, including those where damage is gradual and progressive. Work should be properly organised, planned and executed, bearing in mind the size and weight of products involved. Wherever appropriate, the use of handling aids and mechanical handling should form part of the planned method of work.
Risk assessments on typical contracts including ground and first floor applications have revealed that the main risks are:-
The risk of injury is largely determined by the weight of individual items, the frequency of handling and the location. With floor beam and infill concrete block handling the risk of injury is largely determined by the weight of individual items - the longer the floor beam the heavier its weight, and the heavier the concrete block, the higher the risk of injury. Where, because of site conditions, floor beams cannot be positioned by crane or other mechanical handling equipment, manual handling and carrying risks are greatly increased. In such cases the route between the delivery position of the beams and the erection location should be carefully planned and prepared to minimise the risks created by obstacles or tripping hazards. The final positioning of floor beams in ground floor situations usually permits the erector to stand below the level of the floor beam and although the movement required is not excessive, considerable stooping may be required to grasp the load and the risk of injury consequently high. The final positioning of floor beams on upper floors typically requires the erector to stand on the same level as that on which the floor beam is resting. In this situation the erector is required to grasp the load at or below foot level and the risk of injury is high. When "blocking-out", cubes of blocks are placed onto pre positioned floor beams. The blocks are then carried from the cube and laid into the floor beam recess below foot level.
Designers and specifiers should where possible minimise the length of floor beams to keep weight as low as reasonably practicable. Typically, 150 mm floor beams weight 32 kg/metre. Infill blocks should be of the lightest type available consistent with the specification required for the properties of the finished floor. Project planners and contractors should ensure that the items listed below are taken into account when drawing up safe systems of work. Contractors should also give instruction and training and should exercise supervision, to ensure that workers follow these plans and systems of work.
The Working Environment
Personal Protective Equipment