The Manual Handling Regulations 1992 state that where possible the need to use manual handling techniques to maneuvre heavy plant and equipment must be avoided. Where it is not possible to avoid the practice, suitable mechanical aids must be used. In addition a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the work must be undertaken.
To ensure compliance with these Regulations the principle method of removal and replacement of carriageway covers is using the Lifter Manhole Cover 4A or 4B (LMC4) with the associated keys.
Removal and replacement of carriageway covers by manual methods is only permitted in exceptional circumstances where the LMC 4 cannot be used and only after a site specific risk assessment has been carried out. To that end all “D” keys must be withdrawn from general use. A limited number of “T” keys (2 sets) may be held at a convenient place.
To comply with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), the Lifter Manhole Cover (LMC4) must be inspected by the user each time before use and checked annually by a competent manager. Check the lifter and keys to ensure there are no visual signs of damage (no cracks in the components, no oil leakage from the pump, no bends in the main beam etc.).
Operate the pump to raise the beam a short distance and then open the release valve. Check to ensure the beam lowers freely.
All Manhole cover lifters, will be inspected annually by a competent manager.
The competent managers will have practical and theoretical knowledge (plus actual experience) of the LMC4 to enable them to detect defects or weaknesses which is the purpose of the examination to discover, and to assess their importance in relation to the strength of the lifter in relation to its function.