With acknowlegement to HSE
Before banding look at the requirements of the band and what will happen to the banded pack.
Consider whether the timber is likely to expand or contract due to the surrounding storage conditions or treatment (ie timber with a high moisture content will shrink and the banding may come loose and need to be reapplied).
● Select a banding material that is suitable for the demands to which it will be subjected. For example, 12 mm wide polypropylene banding should not be used to band timber packs with cross-sections of greater than 0.5 m2 and masses greater than 400 kg.
Use polyester or steel instead.
● To ensure a tight and secure pack is achieved, assemble packs carefully, minimising the space between timber.
● Take care when applying bands. Apply them squarely (ie parallel to the plane of the end face) close to columns of sticks within the pack. They should be tight to the face of the pack and not be applied over the ends of protruding sticks or bearers. Banding fasteners also need to be suitable for the pack and banding material.
● Wear eye protection when banding is being removed. When cutting tensioned metal banding, use safety cutters.
● Periodic inspection will highlight deficiencies in the banding, for example, loose bands and loss of pack shape. If problems are detected, the packs concerned should be rebanded or the banding retensioned. If the same problems occur on a regular basis, the type of banding being used should be reviewed, for example, a stronger band may be needed or a different type of fastener.
To this the Plastic Strapping Company Ltd adds that a large percentage of the strapping industry does not comply with these recommendations insofar as polypropylene strapping is widely used on packs far larger than the size specified with inadequate means of jointing i.e. small 25mm long metal clips. Furthermore polypropylene looses 50% approx of tension applied within one hour of application, and gradually rots when placed on products that are stored outside. This situation could therefore result in serious consequences for those Companies using polypropylene strapping on packs outside the recommended sizes.
The complete paper covers other situations with regard to the safe handling of timber.
HSE information sheet
Safe stacking of sawn timber and
This information sheet contains practical guidance on safe stacking and storage of sawn timber and board materials. It takes account of consultation with the woodworking industry, and the results of HSEcommissioned research into stacking of sawn timber, and banding of sawn timber packs.1,2 It is aimed at all premises where timber or board material is stacked and stored, not just woodworking premises.
The main legal requirements covering stacking and storage are the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999,3 and the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.4 This sheet does not deal with stacking on vehicles or stacking of round timber (logs).
The accident record Nearly 20% of fatal injuries and 13% of major injuries in woodworking are caused by being struck by falling and
flying objects, for example timber falling from stacks. A similar number of fatal and major injuries are caused by people falling from height, including falls from stacks. Because timber and board materials are heavy, when accidents occur they tend to be serious. Approximately
50% of all stacking accidents investigated by HSE have resulted in the injured person suffering major injuries (eg fractures, dislocations, amputations). A high proportion (38%) of investigated acciden involve propped up board materials or doors, for example when the mass of boards or doors topple over as an attempt is made to withdraw a single board or door.
What can you do to prevent these accidents?
Your risk assessment made under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 19993 should cover the hazards and risks from stacking and storage activities in your workplace. It should cover both your employees and those who may also be affected, for
example members of the public, or contractors visiting your premises. Most accidents could be prevented by devising and
following safe working practices and ensuring the stacking/storage area is well organised with appropriate racking systems where necessary. Make sure everybody who is involved in stacking is adequately trained and appropriately supervised. Safe stacking and unstacking procedures should always be used and supervisors should check regularly to ensure they are being followed.
Woodworking Sheet No 2 (Revised)
Stack stability factors
Consider the following as part of your risk assessment.
Ground and environmental conditions
● Prepare the ground carefully where stacks are to be assembled. It should be flat and even with a slope of no more than 2°, ideally with a top surface of asphalt, tarmac or concrete, and well maintained with no potholes.
● The ground should be strong enough to withstand the load of both stacks and machinery, be well consolidated, and its stability should not be affected by weather conditions such as heavy rain. Good drainage should be provided.
● Clear any obstacles such as waste timber or unused bearers from the stacking area as they may make stacks unstable.
● Stacks which are outside may be affected by wind, so where possible construct them so a small crosssection is facing the prevailing wind direction. Check external stacks after high winds. Securely attach any protective sheeting.
Bearers support packs of timber, keeping them off the ground and allowing space for fork-lift trucks to lift the pack. They also support the timber within the pack.
● Select bearers carefully. Ideally they should be straight and identical in length and cross-section (preferably square). If they are rectangular in section they are most stable when the long edge is horizontal.
● The length of the bearer should be equal to the width of the pack. If too long they protrude,
encouraging climbing of the stack, or can be easily struck by passing vehicles. Short or offset bearers do not fully support the pack above and increase the load on banding.
● Bearers should be in good condition and should be destroyed if rotten, damaged or split. They should be made of a material strong enough to withstand the environment where the stack is constructed.
● Position bearers carefully to prevent timber in the supported pack from sagging and to avoid offsets in the stack.