Piling

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The Dangers

  • Manual handling is a common feature of piling activities; many people in the industry have time off work for back injuries.
  • At times, piling activities will necessitate operatives working at height; be safe if you have to do so and, even if not directly involved, be aware of what is going on above you.
  • Ejected and falling spoil can be a hazard so ensure that you wear PPE as necessary; a safety helmet, safety boots and eye protection must always be worn.
  • Piling activities usually present fall and trip hazards from pulsing trailing hoses and low projecting pile reinforcements; the presence of these may not be obvious to the untrained.
  • Piling can be a noisy work activity.  Even if not directly involved, you may have to protect your hearing; observe hearing protections signs.
  • Most piling operations will involve lifting using a crane or the piling rig itself; keep clear if you are not directly involved.
  • Some piling operations will necessitate working near or over water, do not interfere with safety boats or other equipment.
  • Piling can involve the use of hazardous substances; leave them alone if not involved.

The Precautions

  • If you are not directly involved, stay well out of the way.
  • If involved in manual handling, get assistance if necessary.
  • Unless guard-rails are fitted, use a safety harness and lanyard, which is to be clipped to a suitable secure and strong point when working at height.
  • Be aware of, and avoid, features that may cause you to slip, trip or fall; they may not be obvious at first sight.
  • Do not attempt to operate the piling rig, cranes or other equipment unless you are trained and authorised.
  • Only people who have been trained should sling loads or signal to the crane driver.
  • Never be tempted to ride on any load that is being lifted, lowered or moved.
  • If working over or near water, life preserves must be worn and there should be a rescue boat and trained staff available.
  • Ensure that you read the COSHH assessments for any hazardous substances that you have to use.
  • Promptly clean off any hazardous substances that get onto exposed skin.

 

 

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