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    Quick guide to delivery, storage and installation of Trussed Rafters

    New guidance
    from the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) is designed to reduce risk to
    construction workers.

    Improving
    safety at height is vital so to help, the TRA has produced guidance on
    delivery, storage and installation of trussed rafters.

    Delivery

    Planning is
    essential when it comes to delivery of trusses. Information on the quantity,
    weights and sizes of the trusses in the roof package will be provided in
    advance to give site staff time to develop a safe construction phase plan for
    unloading, handling and installing the trusses.

    A level, dry
    area is required for unloading and it must be clear of overhead obstructions
    that could get caught on the trusses.

    Mechanical
    handling is the preferred method and it is the builder’s responsibility to
    ensure that suitable equipment is available for the safe unloading of trusses.

    Storage

    Once on site
    the trusses, either bundled or individual need to be stored fully supported and
    restrained at all times to prevent them toppling over.

    Trusses should
    be protected from the elements and should never be left in or near water. When
    longer periods of storage are anticipated the trusses should be protected with
    covers allowing for ventilation.

    Care should be
    taken when removing bindings from a bundle of trusses. To avoid destabilisation
    of the bundle, prior to the removal of the bands the builder should ensure
    timber battens are fixed across the bundle in several locations with a part
    driven nail in every truss. This will allow the safe and stable removal of single
    trusses once the bands are removed.

    Installation

    The
    installation of roof trusses should only be undertaken by suitably experienced
    and qualified personnel, such as those with a Level 2 Diploma in Site
    Carpentry.

    A full
    site-specific risk assessment must be carried out before any work commences.

    Here are
    several steps that builders should take before starting to install trusses:

    • Check
      and read all assembly drawings and information provided by the truss
      supplier
    • Ensure
      all personal protective equipment (PPE) is worn and correctly fitted
    • Ensure
      scaffolding is in place and signed off
    • Make
      sure that there is a safe working platform within the structure
    • Ensure
      hop-ups and scaffolding edge protection are in place
    • After
      reading the truss layout drawings, identify the easiest starting point
      using the simplest roof of trusses.

    Due to the size
    and shape of trusses, mechanical handling is essential for all but the
    smallest  trusses. Temporary bracing needs to be used during the initial
    stages of construction and where appropriate this will require input from a
    temporary works specialist. Once a stable base is achieved with the first group
    of trusses, this can be comprehensively braced providing a substantial element
    from which subsequent work can take place.

    Nick Boulton,
    chief executiveof TRA said: “Educating the sector on all areas of 
    good practice is part of what drives the TRA. We believe that it is important
    to share as much health and safety information and safe ways of working as
    possible. By working with a range of partners, including the Home Builders
    Federation and the HSE, we can ensure that the construction sector has access
    to the latest information.”

    Further
    guidance on safely handling and installing trussed rafters is available via the
    TRA website at www.tra.org.uk

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