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Still using timber blocks to support equipment!

SAFETY ALERT

Still Using Timber Blocks to Support Your Equipment

Most noteworthy, the in-appropriate use of timber blocks to chock and/or support equipment whilst undertaking maintenance creates risk. Consequently supporting structures may fail and force equipment to fall onto individuals working around and/or underneath. As a result, serious crush injuries and death can occur. Failed jack, poor quality support stands and various unsafe use practices also attribute to these problematic situations.

Timber chocks supporting elevated equipment

Contributing factors:

  • Unsuitable workshop facilities and tooling
  • Poor selection and use of equipment that are not fit for purpose
  • Lack of appropriate work safe systems i.e. No Safe Work Method Statement/Safe Work Procedure/Risk Assessment etc.
  • Failure of individuals and/or organisations to recognise the hazards
  • Poor risk assessment and control measures

Recommendations/checklist:

  • Specifically designed, fit for purpose, equipment support stands.
  • Relevant State/Country Standards of operation to certify equipment support stands.  
  • Suitable concrete slab used in workshops to raise and support elevated machinery/loads. Improvisation of repairs on uneven, rough or non-concrete ground in general operating areas creates an unacceptable risk.

The risk assessment process may consider timber blocks in some cases:

  • Increase the level of friction between the steel chassis or machinery contact area and the contact head of the support stand.
  • Vibrations, possible lateral movement or other accidental contacts with the supported machinery that could shift the load.
  • Furthermore to support components that could be damaged by the contact area of the steel stand.