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26 February 2008, Bilbao – Belgium Presented by: Mr. Serge Azaïs, President Manual Handling of Gypsum Products Gypsum Products Ergonomics based on Risk.

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Presentation on theme: "26 February 2008, Bilbao – Belgium Presented by: Mr. Serge Azaïs, President Manual Handling of Gypsum Products Gypsum Products Ergonomics based on Risk."— Presentation transcript:

1 26 February 2008, Bilbao – Belgium Presented by: Mr. Serge Azaïs, President Manual Handling of Gypsum Products Gypsum Products Ergonomics based on Risk Assessment 1

2 Eurogypsum History  Founded in 1961 in Geneva;  Legally registered in France in 1967;  Secretariat located in Paris between 1967 and 1996; 2  Representation office in Brussels from January 1996;  Legally registered in Belgium as an AISBL in October 2006.

3 Members  Full Members:  National Gypsum Associations:  11 covering Western Europe, Poland and Turkey.  Associate Members:  Companies in countries without Associations:  Five companies. 3

4 The European Gypsum Industry in Figures  Annual turnover in Europe :  Around 10 Billion Euro. 4  Number of quarries in Europe: 160.  Number of plants in Europe:  Plaster Powder: 65;  Plaster Blocks: 15;  Plasterboards: 100;  Gypsum Fibreboards: 8;  Decoration Tiles: 8.  Indirect employment (plasterers and plasterboard erecters):  Direct employment:

5 The Products Plasterboards; Plaster Blocks; Building Plasters; Gypsum based Self-Levelling Floor; Gypsum Fibreboards; Decorative Plasters. 5

6  General organizational aspects of the construction site:  Poor housekeeping, speed of work, incompatible trades, etc.  Plasterboard installation and finishing:  Lifting, carrying, supporting substantial weights;  Fixing sheets of plasterboard to walls and ceilings;  Jointing and sanding.  Plasterers:  Difficult for the articular shoulders and wrist;  Involves manual handling of heavy materials (bags, mixing tools);  Requires work in a variety of awkward postures.  Plaster Blocks’ erecters:  Physically very demanding, carrying, lifting and finishing. MSDs Risk Factors for Gypsum Products 6

7  Working together and negotiating with Industry;  Improve work practices and organization;  Improve tool design (mechanical aids);  Decreasing the product load, if possible. Based on a Risk Assessment Approach and pragmatic thinking. How to lighten the load? 7

8 Is the task necessary? If not, then eliminate. Can any significant hazards be eliminated? If so develop an action plan to eliminate. Is it practical to isolate the significant hazards? If so develop an action plan to isolate and then train and monitor. Minimize Risks: Change the load or tools used in the task; Alter the environmental conditions; Alter the design of the workplace; Change the systems or management of the work; Use mechanical aids. Risk Assessment Approach 8

9  Plasters: 3 to 4 Million tons/year:  Walls;  Ceilings.  Plasterboards: 1,8 Billion m²/year:  Partitions;  Ceilings;  Floors;  Inside Roofs (Roof-Slopes);  Linings and Insulating Laminates.  Plaster Blocks: 20 Million m²/year:  Non Load-Bearing Walls (Partitions). Gypsum Plaster Business in Europe Working together and negotiating with Industry 9

10 1. Plasters 1.Reduce plaster bag weight from 40 to 25 kg. Situation today is for example: 40 kg 50/40 kg 25 kg bags France 30 kg bags Germany Belgium Austria The Netherlands Czech Republic U.K. Slovakia Spain (20 kg) Luxemburg 10

11 11 4.From heavy to lightweight gypsum plasters. 3.From short setting time to long setting time plasters, it gives more time for good working conditions. 2. From manual plasters to spray plasters. Where appropriate, wet plaster offers possibility of spray machineries, carrying product from silo to the wall.

12 1. Supply site with special crane systems. 2. Plasterboards 2.Supply as much as possible directly to site. 12

13 13 3.Use 600 mm wide boards on renovation sites to take into account room access difficulties [but more handling]. 4.Supply height storey dimensions [instead of cutting].

14 1. Supply site with special unloading equipment. 3. Plaster Blocks 2. Organize even better the supply chain during construction. 14

15 Working conditions Improve work practices and organization  Don’t let workers alone on erecting mission;  Pay workers by time (hours) instead of sqm;  Let workers enough pause to rest and to lunch;  Encourage erecters to take 15” micro pause. 15

16 Organization Improve work practices and organization  Site management and coordination that allow sufficient time for each subcontractor;  Design for workers’ safety (architects, builders and contractors);  Less stress on site more safety less MSDs. 16

17 Improve work practices and organization  Training academies done by the gypsum and plaster manufacturers;  Risk Assessment Factors;  Specific methods of handling, moving, erecting plaster products are taught;  Ergonomic tools and safety equipment are used and shown during those trainings. Education of plasterers through Industry Training Centers 17

18 Ergonomic designed equipment and tools for each type of work Improve tool design (mechanical aids)  Mechanical aids using carts dollies or trolleys;  Power tools instead of hand tools whenever possible;  Board lifter anytime for ceiling or roofs;  Handles for carrying plasterboards. 18

19 But also basic working habits:  Clear path of obstacles before handling materials;  Know the weight of the product you are handling; 19  Avoid lifting from the ground;  Lift loads in a correct manner;  Use team lifting if appropriate;  Use gloves to improve grip.

20 Decreasing the product load, if possible  Weight of plaster blocks decreased from 23 to 18 kg in the Netherlands;  Plasterboard suppliers offer decreased weight from 24 to 12 kg with 600 mm wide boards all over Europe. In some cases 900 mm boards, but very difficult alternative for Industry and no proof of any significant improvement for erecters;  Still some plaster powder products delivered with 40 kg bags should be reduced to 25 kg in the near future;  No bags, even better with silo systems. 20

21  The Gypsum Industry is committed to continuously improving the ergonomic solutions and helping to implement them through multi- stakeholder dialogue and studies on site.  The Gypsum Industry believes that to successfully mitigate against risks from manual handling, Risk Assessment Methods need to be used, NOT arbitrary limitations on weight.  These Risk Assessments should not be generic, but related to the specific site and its conditions. Conclusions 21

22 Thank you 22

23 Rue des Deux Eglises, 26 B-1000 Brussels, Belgium Tel: (32) Fax: (32)


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