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Sun August 14 2022

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New advice on safe use of concrete pumps

1 Oct 13 An increase in the number of accident involving concrete pumps has prompted the production of new industry guidance on their safe use.

The Good Practice Guide for the Safe Use of Concrete Pumps has been written by the British Concrete Pumping Interest Group (BCPIG), part of the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA), in collaboration with the Health & Safety Executive.

Development in machinery technology has allowed concrete to be pumped under pressure through pipelines across greater distances than before and in significant volumes. However, their increased power has led to a significant number of serious accidents, including some fatalities.

The 47-page document makes clear that the safe operation of concrete pumps depends on correct selection and maintenance of the pump and placing boom, the planning and supervision of their use, and the competence of the operator and other personnel. If any of these are deficient, the risk of an accident increases significantly.

It also makes clear that site managers must ensure that all concrete pumping operations are planned, supervised and carried out safely.

HSE chief inspector of construction Heather Bryant said: “This new guidance has been prepared by a working group representing all parts of the industry, including the Health & Safety Executive, to provide clarity on the safe use of concrete pumps; including planning, role of personnel, training and familiarization of personnel, safe use, maintenance, inspection and thorough examination. The guidance is straightforward, comprehensive and easy to adopt. It represents good practice which may go further than the minimum you need to do in order to comply with the law.”

The Good Practice Guide for the Safe Use of Concrete Pumps can be downloaded for free from the CPA website. The guidance supersedes an old code of practice that was first released in 2004.

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