One of the most common causes of injuries in any operation, particularly those in the construction industry, is manual material handling. Construction industries deal with heavy materials that require regular movement from one place to another. When these movements are done manually, it only increases potential injuries and other work hazards. These injuries can cause loss of life in some severe cases.
The need to minimize the occurrence of these injuries cannot be overemphasized, especially in these construction industries. Today, there is increased emphasis on the need to adopt measures that can bring about a significant reduction in the occurrence of workplace accidents, especially those that result from material handling using manual handling methods. Construction industries commonly handle examples of materials that include slabs, pavement, tiles, metals, and even glass, and they are usually of large weight and size. The need to minimize workplace accidents is to prevent injuries and ensure that the materials are protected when they are lifted and moved. If this is not ensured, the materials will be subjected to accidents, leading to damage that can be expensive to fix.
There are so many automated devices that are now employed by these industries to make material handling processes a lot safer. These methods have proven to be effective, and industries are now encouraged to adopt these methods to minimize injuries and damages during manual material handling. In general, the hazards that are usually experienced during repairs or installations of block paving are grouped into three which are highlighted below:
Hazards associated with the installation of block paving
The hazards include:
- Those associated with the weight of the slab, block, or flagstone: As mentioned earlier, these materials are significantly heavy, which is why it is important to ensure that the device used in lifting them is appropriate for their weight. In manual handling, ropes and chains are usually employed, and in some cases, they cannot generally withstand the weight of the item being moved, which can only lead to an accident.
- The repetitive nature of the lifting and overall operation: Lifting and moving operations are always done multiple times. As such, the device used must be robust enough to survive repetitive procedures and deliver with much efficiency.
- Body posture during work and lifting procedures: In general, when these lifting processes are done manually, the workers involved are at risk of being subjected to a bad body posture for an extended period, which can cause deformation in bones and muscle systems.
With all these hazards posed by the manual lifting of paving slabs and flagstones, the entire process is rapidly being replaced by other safety procedures, among which involves the use of paving slab suction lifters.
These are vacuum devices that are either air compressed powered, pneumatically powered, or electrically powered. It does not matter which the case is, they have all been proven to be effective in ensuring workplace safety and reducing the hazards associated with the entire process.
The use of paving slab suction lifters is significant for the following reasons:
- Improve speeds: Unlike the conventional and manual methods employed, the use of the paving slab suction lifters helps to speed up the lifting operations significantly.
- Simple to operate: The conventional methods are usually hard to operate and mentally tasking in addition to the fact that they are not safe. However, paving slab suction lifters are simple to operate, and they also bring about complete peace of mind.
- Reduction in the workforce: The use of conventional material handling methods usually requires large workforce numbers, which can be a financial burden for these construction industries. What’s more is that despite the large workforce numbers, the whole handling process is not always productive. However, with these paving slab suction lifters, the workforce number is significantly reduced, and productivity is increased.
Suction lifters have proven to be used in the paving industry for both the repairs and installations of non-porous blocks, slabs, and flags. They operate by utilizing a vacuum to lift these items with much accuracy and precision during the repair and installation processes. The suction plate is what is used in creating the vacuum for effective material handling. These devices can lift materials as heavy as 50 kg and even up to thousands of kilograms’ weight.
There are so many advantages that construction industries enjoy when they utilize paving slab suction lifters for their lifting handling operations. Also, there are different modifications to these devices, and the aim is to ensure that they are efficient and can guarantee the safety of workers and items being handled.
Paving slab suction devices are rapidly employed by construction industries and other manufacturing and material handling companies. The main reason for adopting this technology is to increase safety and encouraging workers to carry out their respective duties. Other reasons for using this device are to increase productivity and work efficiency.
The devices are readily available for sale or hire. They are also available in different sizes and with different specifications to ensure that they can be used effectively and for other paving slabs operation. It is important to note that the paving slab varies in size and weight, so there are different types of the device, all aimed at ensuring that you can find the right one for your operation.