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HSE initiative to avoid handling injuries

8th November 2022
trussed rafters being unloaded

A new Health and Safety Executive (HSE) initiative is drawing attention to injuries caused by moving and handling materials manually on construction sites.

HSE site inspections will check that employers and workers know the risks and have planned their work to protect staff from injuries.

TRA members will already know we have lots of information on the TRA website about the safe way to load, unload and install our products on site with the use of appropriate mechanical handling equipment such as forklifts, telehandlers and cranes. However, safe manual handling can often be overlooked and with 40,000 construction workers injured at work last year, the initiative aims to remind employers that they are responsible for training their staff about health and safety when manual handling construction materials and products.

TRA health and safety committee chairman, Ed Kirk said: “TRA members should remind their customers who insist on manual unloading of trussed rafters or fail to provide the correct mechanical handling equipment that this HSE campaign is being specifically targeted at the construction sector. All of the TRA information and new guidance from the Home Builders Federation recommend mechanical handling equipment as the preferred option for unloading, and on-site handling of trussed rafters. Where customers choose to use manual unloading instead, they will need to show risks have been assessed and a safe system of work developed for their site.”

The HSE’s WorkRight campaign has lots of information for employers, construction workers and small builders about how they can work safely and avoid common, but potentially long-term, pain and discomfort from workplace injuries, particularly musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as aches and pains in joints, muscles and bones.

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Trussed Rafter Association