The new Ground Conditions for Construction Plant document from the UK Construction Plant-Hire Association (CPA) is now available for free from its website, featuring a wealth of information including a quick calculator guide for loads and forces.
The document was officially launched by CPA technical consultant Tim Watson and Mark Davies, associate director at RNP Associates, at the CPA Future Plant Hire Conference in October.
Failure of the ground on which construction plant stands and moves is a frequent cause of minor incidents and near misses on sites, together with a significant number of serious injuries and fatalities. It can also cause project delays and higher costs, as well as loss of reputation.
The new guidance deals with ground bearing pressures and loadings from mobile plant, and assessment and engineering of the ground’s capability to withstand the loadings.
It addresses co-ordination of duties, with reference to CDM and to Temporary Works, and contains technical guidance presented in an accessible way.
An example of a helpful inclusion in the document is a simplified calculation tool for using outrigger mats. The guide is intended to provide a general indication of the safe working load capacity of various soils and surfaces depending on the size of the loaded area and the type of soil or surface.
This tool takes into account whether square, circular or rectangular pads are being deployed, their width/diameter and length and gives an indication of the safe working load for different ground conditions.
Ground engineering can be a complex topic, and Mr Watson said that part of the purpose of this guidance was to enable construction personnel to decide when they need to consult an expert geotechnical or structural engineer.
Participating organizations in the Ground Conditions for Construction Plant document included HSE, the Environment Agency, UKCG, CECA, Temporary Works Forum, specialist contractor organizations, and others.
The document for free from the CPA website.
Author: Helen Wright, KHL Group
Source: KHL Group