There is use of precast concrete structures. These bring a number of benefits, including increased speed of construction; risk mitigation (e.g. reducing working at height, etc.); the use of concrete as a finished surface; tighter dimensional tolerances; off-site construction. Although there are benefits in using precast concrete it generates different safety risks; not always identified by the client, permanent works designers (PWDs), specialist sub-contractors or the site team.
This guidance has been developed to provide generic, practical guidance for the design, management, handling, transportation and erection of precast concrete elements on site. It covers the steps to be taken from manufacturing through to final placement or demolition, but it is not intended to cover every situation or component. The guide’s aim is to improve site management, highlight the typical risks associated with using precast concrete and help site teams to identify and control these issues from an early stage.
The control measures presented are examples and do not preclude the use of alternative solutions based on sound engineering in their design.
It is acknowledged that there is a design interface between the client’s engineer and a sub-contractor undertaking design prior to manufacture, e.g. the provision of loads and moments. Likewise, there is a detailing interface between a client’s engineer who has detailed an element in reinforced concrete and those designing the precast element that is supported it. This should be coordinated and is particularly important when both elements are part of the provision for overall structural stability. This is important in the exchange of information, e.g. the BIM model.