Ibstock Concrete has made changes to processes at its Bedford and Northwich sites, where it manufactures landscaping, flooring, building, rail and infrastructure products for its Supreme Concrete and Anderton Concrete brands.
Following a review of the casting process, which involved filling moulds with concrete and applying vibration at 55Hz to remove air voids, a three-stage visual indicator and three-level vibration system has been installed.
This process effectively reduces the risks associated with vibration exposure by providing employees with real time information on the level of vibration at which the manufacturing equipment is operating.
Even on the highest setting, a vibration survey has shown the potential exposure limit as low as 2.7 m/s2 A(8), while on the lowest setting, the potential exposure is as low as low as 0.5m/s2 A(8), both of which are below the Health & Safety Executive’s daily action limits.
Ibstock now plans to phase in this monitoring technology across all Supreme Concrete and Anderton Concrete manufacturing sites where vibrating tables operate.
Ibstock Concrete has also reviewed its slotted post casting process at its Bedford facility. To reduce manual handling it has introduced a rebate lifting machine, which mechanically lifts the rebate from the cast product.
Managing director Darren Waters said: “By taking a unique approach to our manufacturing processes and working in collaboration with our employees, we have been able to effectively upgrade our operations to ensure potential risk is reduced, without impacting operational proficiencies or product quality. In doing this, we have achieved completely new methods of manufacturing that raise the bar for reducing operatives’ exposure to vibration and the level of manual handling. We are extremely proud of our commitment to achieving the highest standards of health and safety and we are working in partnership with the British Precast Concrete Federation to aid the wider industry in successfully implementing safer manufacturing processes.”