NuGen Properties

Prestressed concrete code of practice updated

If a stressing bed system fails, serious injuries can result

Code of Practice for Safe Stressing of Prestressed Concrete Products has been written in collaboration with the members of MPA Precast and the support of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Prestressing concrete involves the use of industrial prestressing equipment that uses hydraulic rams to stretch high-yield wires and strands with forces that can be more than 1,500 tonnes. It is a process that carries risks.

First published in 2014, this second edition brings together more recent developments both in health and safety legislation and within the prestressing industry.

MPA’s head of health and safety, Colin Mew, said: “It is anticipated the code will become the primary reference document when introducing and operating prestressing production equipment, along with ongoing reviews of process, systems, risk assessment, safe system of work for maintenance and training.

 “It is recommended that all manufacturers involved in prestressing operations perform a detailed review of their prestressing operations and consider the content of this code, implement improvements to their relevant health and safety policies, procedures, and physical controls, where required. Adherence to the code of practice will be monitored during the annual audits and significant findings and learning points reported at the MPA precast & masonry health and safety steering committee meetings.”

Asif Khalil, head of health and safety at Ibstock and chair of the MPA precast & masonry health and safety steering group, said: “MPA Precast is committed to achieving high standards through a universal approach to health and safety. The provision to employers, employees, and designers alike of clearly presented information about the systems of work employed is an essential element in achieving this.

“We have seen a number of incidents in the past, but with the industry working together and sharing good practice, improvements have been made to reduce these.”

In its endorsement for the publication, the HSE said: “If a stressing bed system were to fail, serious injuries or fatalities are a possibility. If the work is planned in line with this code of practice guidelines, and carried out by competent operatives, using equipment properly maintained and inspected then many accidents can be prevented.”

The code of practice can be downloaded from the Safequarry website.

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