Working Safely with Hebel
Your health and safety is the number one priority. It’s important to understand how to work safely with Hebel to minimise your risk, and prepare ahead when handling, cutting, sawing, abrading, chasing or crushing Hebel panels and blocks.
This is a guide to working safely with Hebel, however if you are unsure please consult a professional or call the Hebel call centre on 1300 712 896 (Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm) for advice.
When we talk about risk in manual handling we’re not just referring to heavy lifting.
Manual handling is any activity that requires you to exert force to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or move, hold or restrain any object.
Manual handling should always be carried out in accordance with manual handling regulations and codes.
Here are some key points to apply when handling Hebel panels and blocks. You should also refer to the Hebel Design and Installation Guides and Hebel CSR Safety Data Sheets for further information.
Plan your installation including sequence to minimise movements and avoid awkward lifts.
Keep your traffic area clear and worksite clean and tidy to reduce the risk of injury from slipping, tripping or falling.
Know your limits. The physical capabilities of the individual person need to be considered when moving Hebel products.
Use mechanical aids. Hebel recommends using mechanical aids such as trolleys, lifters, separators and hoists to reduce the risk of injury with actions such as – heavy lifting, heavy force, repetitive action, bending and twisting, handling loads that are difficult to grasp and working in an awkward or uncomfortable position.
Use specially designed Hebel mechanical aids. Hebel have engineered mechanical aids to help you minimise risk of injury and maximise your efficiency when handling Hebel products. These aids include the Hebel Hoist, Hebel Separator System, Hebel Lifter and Hebel trolley.
Use PPE gloves and suitable clothing when handling Hebel panels and blocks. They are cement-based and though the dust is not absorbed through the skin it may cause irritation – particularly in association with heat and sweat. Repeated heavy contact with the dust can result in skin rash, called dermatitis, which typically affects the hands. To minimise exposure to dust on your skin we recommend wearing gloves (standard duty leather or equivalent AS 2161) and suitable loose comfortable clothing when handling Hebel panels and blocks.
Cutting, sawing, abrading, chasing or crushing Hebel
Wear hearing protection when using power tools. Protect your eyes and lungs. Hebel autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) panels and blocks are supplied as non-hazardous. However, dust from cutting, sawing, abrading (such as rasping, scraping, grinding down), chasing or crushing is considered hazardous (NOHSC:1008).
When dust contains crystalline silica some particles can be small enough to go deep into the lungs when breathed in. For this reason a suitable P1 or P2 particulate respirator (AS 1715 and AS 1716) should be used when working with Hebel panels and blocks. Where high levels of dust are encountered, more efficient cartridge-type or powered respirators or supplied-air helmets or suits may be necessary.
Dust from cement-based products is irritating to the eyes, causing watering and redness with the potential to aggravate certain eye conditions. When cutting, sawing, abrading, chasing or crushing Hebel panels or blocks we advise you to wear safety glasses with side shields or safety goggles (AS 1336) or a face shield.
Use the correct protective equipment. Use protective equipment to prevent skin and eye contamination when working with Hebel that contains steel reinforcement with an anti-corrosive protection layer.
The CSR Safety Data Sheets are issued in accordance with National standards and guidelines from Safe Work Australia (SWA – formerly ASCC/NOHSC). These safety data sheets cover – hazard identification, composition, first aid measures, fire fighting measures, accidental release measures, handling and storage, exposure controls and personal protection, physical and chemical properties, stability and reactivity, toxicology, disposal considerations, transport and regulations.