At Oak Lodge School we have trialled a method of quickly removing the tops of cast concrete piles using mobile plant (excavator) rather than the traditional method of breaking down piles using hand tools (breakers etc). This significantly reduces the exposure to HAVS.
A small section of pipe (50mm diameter) is fixed to the rebar cage just above the cut off point with the ends plugged up with foam. This introduces a weak point in the pile. The rebar above the cut off point is also sleeved.
When the piles are exposed for breaking down a wedge can be driven into the pipe easily cracking the pile at the required level. Although we have found that the process of excavation is enough to break the pile at the required level.
The top of the pile is easily lifted off with chains via an excavator. The pile can then be trimmed to the correct level which significantly reduces the exposure time on hand-held breakers.
Entry submitted by Morgan Sindall
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