Fatality caused by stacked boards

Published:  08 July, 2010

UK: The HSE has highlighted the dangers of improper board storage following a recent incident in which a worker was killed while he was helping to remove a board from a stack leaning against a wall. He lost control of the weight of the boards and they fell on him causing serious head injuries. In an earlier almost identical incident at another site a worker had his legs crushed.

Boards including sheets and other similar materials such as doors, panels, worktops are common products used throughout the manufacturing and construction industries. They can be either wood based such as chipboard, plywood or medium density fibre board (MDF), or made from other materials such as plasterboard.

Although often large and awkward to handle the retrieval and movement of boards from storage is considered by many users to be a relatively low risk activity. However, boards are heavy and it is easy to lose control of them when they are being moved.

This problem is made much worse when they are stored together in a stack leaning against a wall and several boards fall at once. Purpose designed storage racking will prevent this type of incident. These racks are relatively easy to construct and can often be made 'in-house'.

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