Best Practice

LOCATION: Concrete products ARTICLE YEAR 2008
ACTIVITY: Access & Egress & Working at Height COMPANY: CEMEX
SUB ACTIVITY: N/A COMPANY LOCATION: Dereham Site, Norfolk
BEST PRACTICE No: BP544 COMPANY TEL: 01362 692195
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United Kingdom
TITLE
Slab palletiser improvements
ARTICLE
During the manufacture of patio slabs there is a stage when the slabs are placed onto the conveyor to allow workers to check for seconds and rejects which can then be removed from the batch. Operators had to step up onto the conveyor to do this. This caused two safety hazards:
- Operators could slip or trip in the conveyor rollers; and
- Operators could suffer manual handling injuries when bending down to pick up slabs or when stepping up or
down from the conveyor whilst carrying heavy slabs.

At the next stage of the process, once the seconds and rejects had been removed the slabs needed to be placed upright before banding. To do this a manual lever was used. With larger slabs however, the force required to operate the lever was larger than the manual handling forces recommended in HSE guidance. There was also a danger of someone losing their grip whilst using excessive force and falling from the conveyor.

To overcome the first issue, the banding station was moved to the end of the conveyor where operators could remain at floor level. This allowed operators to work at a more convenient height whilst lifting seconds and rejects from the pallet and eliminated the need to climb onto the conveyor. The second issue was addressed by the installation of two hydraulic arms that replaced the manual arm, eliminating the need to manually pull the slabs vertical.
ARTICLE IMAGES
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Slabs collated onto a pallet leaning against a support rail
Click image to enlarge

Slabs at the end of the conveyor. Eliminating need to climb onto conveyor and hydraulic arms to straighten slabs.
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