Health and safety issues are paramount in ensuring a safe working environment and good working conditions for the construction team.
Two pieces of legislation are relevant to the manual handling of blocks:
Manual handling. Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended) places duties on employers to carry out a risk assessment on manual handling tasks
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, imposes mandatory health and safety requirements on clients, designers and contractors.
Guidance on the manual handling of concrete blocks is given in Health & Safety Executive (HSE) Construction Sheet 37 ‘Handling building blocks’. This can be used to assess manual handling risks and advises that there is a higher risk of injury in single-person repetitive lifting of units heavier than 20kg. It is recommended that units heavier than 20kg, if handled repetitively, should be handled mechanically or by 2-man teams.
For more information please read our Sitework Guide