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Kerbs legislation is nothing new

LETTERS

Sir, I was surprised by the agitated tone of Paul Thompson's 'Kerbs curbed by HSE'article on the manual handling of kerbs (Materials, June 24).

There is no new Health and Safety Executive legislation being introduced this week.

The legislation that covers handling of kerbs and similar items has been in place for some years and includes the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 and CDM Regulations 1994.

It is true to say that, despite this legislation, in the majority of cases the installation of road kerbs has continued to be by hand and HSE has been stepping up pressure on contractors to deal with this issue.

At the end of last year the HSE invited those involved in concrete kerbs to attend a forum to agree the way forward.

Here, representatives from contractors, manufacturers, the Highways Agency, Interpave, training bodies and local authorities - the industry as a whole - signed up to a sequential programme of action with agreed timescales.

This programme is no great surprise to our industry and we are prepared for it.

Interpave has developed guidance that clarifies the situation, places the programme of action in context and offers practical solutions for installing concrete kerbs.

It includes a review of the types of equipment available and covers the choice of equipment, planning the work and use and maintenance of the equipment.

This information is available on the Interpave website.

In addition, in certain circumstances, Interpave believes it is possible to use lightweight solutions, which are now available.

Consequently there is no question that precast concrete will continue to offer the most robust and well-established kerbing solutions for the future.

Mark McColl Chairman Interpave Leicester