SAFETY inspectors will clamp down on contractors laying kerbs of all weights by hand next year.
Health and Safety Executive inspectors will slap prohibition notices on contractors caught handling kerbstones when an amnesty deadline passes at the end of January.
They will also crack down on the handlaying of kerbs lighter than 20 kg if contractors cannot prove they have taken all reasonable steps to use machine handling techniques.
At a meeting with kerb manufacturers, contractors and local authorities held in London last week, HSE principal inspector Richard Bowland underlined the tough enforcement policy for kerbing regulations.
He said: 'People think that by using kerbs under 20 kg they will comply with the manual handling legislation.That is not the case.Repetitive hand-laying of kerbs regardless of weight will be enforceable.'
But contractors will be able to use lightweight kerbs for spot maintenance and repairs as part of a risk-reduction programme if they can show that it is impossible to lay them by machine.
Mr Bowland said: 'After the end of January there will be no handling of kerbs unless contractors can show they have reduced injury risk as far as is reasonably practicable.Lighter kerbs can be part of that risk-reduction strategy in some circumstances but they are not a way of getting round the rules.'