Manual handling in kerb laying

New guidance "Handling kerbs: Reducing the risks of musculoskeletal disorders
(MSDs)" has been launched last week by the British Health and Safety Executive
(HSE). The information sheet, developed in consultation with the 'Kerbs Forum',
gives advice on controlling the risks associated with the manual handling of
kerbs, aiming to secure greater compliance with duties under the Manual
Handling Operations Regulations.

Over the last 18 months HSE has been working through the ‘Kerbs Forum' to
secure increased use of mechanical handling devices such as vacuum lifters and
grabs during kerb laying. The forum was established by HSE, working with the
Construction Confederation. It has over 80 members, including kerb
manufacturers, contractors and local authorities.

In December 2003 the Kerbs Forum agreed transitional timeframes during which
the change from manual to mechanically assisted kerb handling would take place.
For newbuild projects, the industry was given until June 2004 to make the
change to mechanically assisted kerb laying. For spot kerbing or kerb
maintenance work, the industry was given until the end of January 2005 to move
to mechanically assisted kerb laying.

Traditionally kerbs were laid by hand; the weight of the kerbs, the posture
adopted when handling and the repetitive nature of the work create excessive
strain on the body. This may cause damage to muscles and tendons, which in the
longer term may lead progressively to more serious injury. These injuries are
commonly referred to as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Mechanical solutions
reduce the risks associated with traditional practices.

Further information

AplusA-online.de - Source: Health and Safety Executive