Notice: This blog piece was created prior to the formation of the British Precast Drainage Association.

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This Issue: Safer, faster handling and installation solutions

Concrete Pipe Lifter launched.

Loading and offloading delivery vehicles and installation of pipes and manhole components requires great Health & Safety guidance and care. It is reported that more than 75% of major fall-from-vehicle incidents occur during loading and unloading activities. The HSE estimated in 2004/05 that the human and economic cost of reported fall from-vehicle incidents was over £36.5 million.

The award winning* Concrete Pipe Lifter is a new, simple-to-use, inexpensive system introduced to the UK by CPSA. It is a collaboration across all members of the Association who are actively driving to improve site safety and increase efficiency during the delivery, offloading and installation of sewer pipes in open cut trenches.

The Concrete Pipe Lifter is connected to an excavator via a quick hitch attachment and uses no motorised parts making it easy to maintain. The lifting arm is inserted horizontally into the barrel of the pipe and raised to make contact with the internal crown of the pipe. The clamp arm will press down onto the top of the pipe at the socket end and hold it in position. The pipe may now be lifted and transferred to a suitable storage location or placed into the prepared trench and jointed following the application of a suitable joint lubricant. The pipe may be tilted up to 30 degrees from horizontal and manoeuvred between struts on trench support systems.

It can also be used to push the pipe home to ensure formation of the correct joint gap. It can be used to lift concrete pipes from DN300 up to DN1200.

Concrete Pipe Lifter can be hired for £150 per week or purchased for £6000 from CPSA supply partner MGF Trench Construction Services.

With a Concrete Pipe Lifter fitted to an excavator you can offload and lay concrete pipes with greater safety, in around half the time, with potential cost savings and less hassle.

  • Safer. No operative needed on vehicle during offloading or in trench during installation.
  • Easier. Simple to use and maintain. No special equipment and minimal training required.
  • Faster. Around 50% saving in installation time.
  • Cheaper. Fewer operatives plus greater productivity.

See the video and find out what people are saying at www.concretepipelifter.co.uk

Is your site implementing manual handling Best Practice?

Lighter weight products made from other materials may initially appear easier to use and some suppliers have suggested that these items can be used without the need for mechanical lifting equipment.

In fact, according to Health & Safety Executive guidance on weight limitations for manual handling, many lighter weight pipe products are in excess of the upper limit for safe lifting. In many cases, this means that HSE guidelines and Safety Best Practice are not being followed and the use of “light weight” as a marketing tool could lead to lack of appropriate risk assessment and safety management on site. CPSA’s Information Sheet on Manual Handling https://concretepipes.co.uk/downloads/manual-handling.pdf

*CPSA’s Concrete Pipe Lifter has been crowned Winner of the Health & Safety Initiative of the Year at the Water Industry Achievement Awards 2012.


The event is organised by sister journals WET News and Water & Wastewater Treatment to reward outstanding innovation in the UK water industry. There are 13 categories covering all aspects of the water industry which are open to the water companies, their contractors, consultants, sub-contractors and suppliers. The awards recognise outstanding innovation and best practice across the industry. Entries were judged by independent panels of industry experts. They considered achievements that clearly demonstrate innovation and best practice.

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