Client: Kent County Council
With major contractors and local authorities playing a significant role in the evolution of product ideas, Aggregate Industries has devoted a significant amount of time and resource in developing the K-lite range to meet the HSE objectives of reducing injuries associated with manual handling.
Canterbury Highway Unit, part of the Kent Highways Partnership, in consultation with the HSE, embarked on a trial to assess the relative merits of a lightweight product and mechanical handling solutions in terms of cost, practicality and ease of use.
The result was K-lite Lightweight kerb, developed and manufactured by Aggregate Industries and weighing less than 20 kg, it helps local authorities and their contractors comply with the legislation in relation to risk minimisation. K-lite minimises weight by incorporating a frog at the rear and shortening the length. The light weight was achieved without any loss of strength.
The first trial site was a 70 metre long footway strengthening scheme, including kerbing and footway reconstruction. This was followed by a second, more comprehensive trial on a larger site in Whitstable, using both Lightweight kerb and mechanical handling, enabling direct comparisons to be made.
A clear outcome was the cost benefit of a Lightweight kerb, due to higher productivity during installation, and the reduced costs of hiring or purchasing mechanical handling equipment.
The HSE states that, wherever possible, manual handling of kerbs should be avoided. This is not always possible, for example where road closure would be impractical, or for small works such as the installation of a pedestrian traffic refuge. In these cases, the use of lighter weight product provides a safer alternative as well as minimising changes to working practices.
David Latham, Principal Engineer, Canterbury Highway Unit said: Working together with Aggregate Industries, Ringway and the HSE was a key factor in achieving a good model for dealing with the manual handling issue. Lightweight kerbs are an essential part of the tool kit for working on a live highway.