The Risks of Manual Handling Pipes

Posted: Wednesday 8th December 2010

A study by the Concrete Pipeline Systems Association (CPSA) has resulted in a new publication identifying the risks associated with manual handling pipes. "Pipeline construction & the risks of manual handling” focuses on the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Manual Handling Assessment Guidance. It looks at how HSE advice might affect day-to-day handling and lifting activities for different pipe materials.

Whilst rigid pipe materials such as concrete and clay are normally only mechanically lifted, the study shows that current industry practice is in direct contradiction to Health & Safety Best Practice when using some flexible pipes from DN300 upwards.

It is generally understood that flexible (i.e. plastic) pipes can be considerably lighter than their rigid, structural counterparts (e.g. concrete, clay). However, there is also a common mis-perception that “lighter” means light.

Using HSE’s recommended weight limitations, the study demonstrates that a number of plastic pipe brands currently promoted in the industry as suitable for manual handling are actually unsafe and should not be lifted or handled manually by operatives on site.

Due to the importance of this study, copies of the publication are available throughout the UK free of charge via the CPSA Website

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