Following a VolkerHighways safety bulletin concerning an accident involving a stack of concrete paving slabs toppling over and injuring a passing operative’s ankle, the Hackney Highways Term Maintenance team decided that it was time to stop – Slab Stop.
Open packs of paving slabs are notorious for becoming unstable and for many years sites have practiced the same method for their handling and storing. This involves using the first slab as a prop against the back of the pack, against which the rest of the slabs are positioned. This method is less than ideal, and so the Hackney TMC team has been exploring how to create a simple and safe solution for storing and handling slabs that helps to avoid future injuries.
No proprietary solutions exist on the market, so after consulting with staff on site, a site supervisor came up with the concept design of making a bespoke slab support out of metal.
Together with the help of a local fabricator, several options and designs were explored before settling on a suitable prototype that was ergonomic, sufficiently strong and yet light enough to be handled by operatives.
The next stage was to engage a structural engineer to carry out load bearing tests on the device and produce a drawing and specification to ensure consistent production during manufacturing.
Slab Stop is now patent pending, and already has 50 orders from our internal contracts. The team’s ambition is to make Slab Stop the industry’s tool of choice for the safe handling and positioning of concrete kerbs.