RR1193: Static concrete mixer cleaning. Establishing alternative methods for control of harmful noise and hand-arm vibration exposures
Some workers have developed Hand-arm Vibration Syndrome after using hand-held power tools to remove hardened concrete residue inside static mixer vessels. This syndrome is an occupational disease known to be associated with use of such tools.
HSE scientists assessed alternative cleaning methods for static concrete mixers. They visited a small sample of relevant sites and contacted linked trade associations to explore how the alternative methods can be used. A well designed and maintained integrated washout system is considered a practical solution that largely eliminates the need for a worker to go inside the mixer and use a powered tool. Where this system is not suitable for some types of mixers and processes, another potential method is the use of hand-held ultra-high pressure washdown equipment which has the same benefits. When workers still need to remove residue with hand-held power tools, exposure to vibration and noise will have to be controlled.
This research has informed the "Guide to Cleaning Concrete Pan Mixers" published in 2021 by the Mineral Products Association where all the relevant health and safety risks are described.
This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive. Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.
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