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Site Storage and Handling
(General Information relating to Health and Safety issues in Trussed Rafter Construction).
When the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations were published in 1994, a fundamental change in approach was initiated with regard to the attitude toward and significance of issues relating to Health and Safety in the Construction Industry. Since that time, a raft of further supporting legislation has been drafted and published which together now document in great detail the duties, obligations and responsibilities of those engaged in the process of Construction, from members of the original design team to trainee operatives working on site.

In order to fully understand and implement the requirements of these Regulations it is necessary to appreciate and recognise these new  philosophies by making the necessary changes in working practices to elevate the profile of Health and Safety issues across the full spectrum of  Construction Activities.  This can be achieved by undertaking Risk Assessments, designing out hazards where evident, providing sufficient resources at all times, proper training and good levels of communication channels within the design team and on site.

The advice that is set out within the Sections of this handbook which provide assistance relating to issues of Health and Safety is therefore illustrative only and does not form prescriptive advice on any of the
matters discussed. It is vital that each project should be approached by the parties involved as a fresh challenge from the point of view of Health and
Safety to allow creative and innovative solutions to be developed. Readers of this handbook are therefore encouraged to fully acquaint themselves with the various Regulations, and particular:-

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994
Management of Health and Safety at work Regulations 1992
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992
Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 - (CHSW Regulations 1996)
Manual Handling Operations 1992
Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
Unloading Trussed Rafters

(Information for the safe unloading of trussed rafters).

When the delivery of trussed rafters arrives on site the contractor(s) involved should be prepared and already allocated sufficient and suitable resources to ensure that trussed rafters are unloaded safely and in a manner so as not to overstress or damage the trusses. This operation will have been subject to a Contractors General Risk Assessment and then detailed in a safe working method statement that has been approved by the principal contractor or the person responsible for Health and Safety on site. Normally trussed rafters will be delivered in tight bundles using steel or plastic bindings. This will often require mechanical handling equipment, such as a forklift or crane, to enable the safe manoeuvring of these large units. The safe working method statement should accommodate any special handling instructions or hazards specified by the designer in his risk assessment for the truss design.
Site Storage of Trussed Rafters
(Methods for the proper and safe storage of trussed rafters on site).
Trussed Rafters can be safely stored vertically or horizontally at ground level or on any other properly designed temporary storage platform above ground level. Whichever method and location is chosen the temporary support should be set out to ensure that the units do not make direct contact with the ground or any vegetation and be so arranged as to prevent any distortion. The delivery of trussed rafters should wherever possible be organised to minimise site storage time, however where longer periods of storage are anticipated then the trusses should be protected with covers fixed in such a way as to allow proper ventilation around the trusses.

When stored vertically, bearers should be positioned at the locations where support has been assumed to be provided in the design with stacking carried out against a firm and safe support or by using suitable props.