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24Sep92 UK: BLOCK MANUFACTURERS WIN REPRIEVE ON NEW SAFETY LAWS.

Block manufacturers have won a temporary reprieve in their bid to resist new safety laws aimed at making their products lighter.A representative from the material producers will sit in at a full meeting of the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) next month where draft regulations on manual handling will be drawn up.CONIAC members want to see heavy building blocks limited to no more than 20 kg to prevent workers from straining their backs.But the move is being strongly resisted by the manufacturers who believe weights of between 25 and 30 kg are more realistic.Both sides came face to face at a meeting of CONIAC's heavy blocks sub-committee on Monday. Now the fight will go before the full council of the industry's advisory body.Transport union TGWU construction secretary George Henderson said: 'The manufacturers showed us a glossy video of teams of workers lifting these heavy blocks on site.'But we all know it's not like that in real life. If these heavy blocks are there, then workers will be expected to lift them on their own, and that can't be allowed to happen.'