Safely handling paving slabs

It is essential that potential risks to operatives safety are identified and addressed.

A serious safety risk was identified with the handling of heavy paving slabs, on one site.

Heavy paving slabs arrived secured with steel banding, once the banding is cut the slabs were then prone to move and operatives typically lay one slab butted at a 45 degree tilt to stop this. If the butted slab slips then the stack becomes unstable and workers may seriously injure themselves.

Below is an example of a simple but effective measure that was implemented to offset these risks:

  • An ‘L’ shaped steel plate was developed, whereby the banded slabs were lifted by machine onto the plate with the upright part of the ‘L’ angled;
  • When the bands were cut, the slabs could be safely sloped back.

Footer Reference

Monitor Report, VolkerHighways, London, January 2015


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