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Roof truss manual handling

There is a high risk of musculoskeletal injury linked to the manual handling of heavy roof trusses in teams during their manufacture. These pages describe the key risk factors involved and outline recommendations made by Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) ergonomists for controlling these risks. Details are also provided of how roof trusses are manufactured and describe mechanical solutions that are available.

Be aware of the key risks

The risks are mainly associated with direct handling of loads that are outside of an individual’s capability. There is also the potential for a breakdown in control or coordination of the lifting task. These risks are present throughout all phases of the truss handling operation, i.e.

See Details of truss fabrication for an explanation of these activities.

A further problem is that the working conditions in many roof truss manufacturers are often not suited to team handling tasks. The environment can make it very difficult to coordinate the handling operation if there are:

The difficulty of communication between team members combined with the heavy, flexible load of the truss and the cluttered workspace means there is a high risk of incidents occurring. For example, operatives may:

Any of these could result in musculoskeletal injury to one or more members of the team.

How to control the risks

The following HSL recommendations will help you to control the risk:

Details of truss fabrication

Mechanical solutions

Updated 2019-11-28