The new guidance covers the handling of augers, casings and rods during mini piling and other specialist geotechnical operations, which often involves lifting, moving and positioning heavy components during the drilling process.
Piling contractors are told they should always use a mechanised tool handling system fitted either to the rig or to supporting equipment such as an excavator with quick-hitch.
Guidance was deemed necessary after an analysis of accident reports highlighted the handling of specialist geotechnical operations as a high-risk activity. Not only do hands tend to get trapped, there is also evidence that this heavy manual labour and the awkward postures can lead to musculoskeletal disorders.
FPS chair Alasdair Henderson said: “The Federation of Piling Specialists promotes best practice to ensure that its members maintain the highest standards of safety and this new guidance is a part of its commitment to driving industry safety standards forward.”