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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:50 pm
by stonewaller
Is there anybody out there? well who looks at this part of the discusion pages anyway.

I`ve written a couple of articles on Manual lifting and actual calculation of stone sizes, which I think is of particular importantce with regard to training and also for an organisation such as DSWA to bring to the attention of general professional membership.

I`d actually like to see these 2 articles combined and added to with the actual technical bits of lifting I included in BTCV`s "Dry Stone Walling"

Any thoughts, comments, support appreciated.

The articles are on my website, click the website link button, enter, books, bottom of page under unpublished.


PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:47 pm
by Shirley M Addy
Well. What something about how much women can lift? I enjoy lifting large stones but I cannot always lift a large stone without attracting much attention!

Health & Safety

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:08 am
by robinmenneer
We've tried to get over the problem of informing learners by printing a single sheet of what they should expect on a typical site and it's on the back of their timesheet so there's no doubt in their receiving it. It has been discussed with and "approved" by the HSE at Plymouth. Much of its contents agree with what you have put on your website, and some of what you have included we should have put in. The main difficulty is one of getting too involved in specifications and thereby throwing too much burden on the craftsman, or finishing up with too much paperwork and useless chat.

For the weight of stone, we leave it to the learner and waller to decide if any particular stone is too heavy/badly shaped &c for him/her to handle reasonably practicably, and what aids should be used for that stone in its situation, again reasonably practicably.

As regards women v. men, so much depends on type of body build and method of working that one should look at each case individually. Many mothers carry heavy toddlers much further than the dads do.

Large stones

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:09 pm
by jim scott
I find that when working with trainees,it is better to say that, if in doubt,about the weight of a stone,ask the instructor for advice,or ask your mate for a lift,that is better than getting injured.
I do a fair bit of work,on my own, and find that a small ladder,is an extremely useful tool,three rungs,about 5/6ft long,2ft wide, easy to make from a couple of bits of 4"x2",plus 3 or 4 crossers of the same size wood,I can work the Galloway boulder dykes,no bother with this method,some people just use a couple of planks,I find that the boulders can slide back down using that method,where by using the ladder method, you can move the stone, one rung at a time,and even stand back and have a smoke, if you want,(I don't smoke) hope this saves some sore backs.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 3:12 pm
by robinmenneer
This has been discussed before on this panel and the general view was that perhaps an aluminium ladder about 8ft long was good for shifting stones and for getting easily on top of the finished hedge.

Should this be part of essential kit ?

Would it be a reasonable tool to be required under HSE, and therefore ought to be on site always ?

safe lifting

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 3:40 pm
by jerryg
I did a "Safe Lifting Course" years ago run by our local Agricultural Training Board. It was full of really useful PRACTICAL ways of lifting items.

They laid out lots of different items to be lifted ranging from ladders to posts,big flat stones to round boulders, gas bottles, buckets full of water etc, etc. Then they video-ed every trainee lifting each item before the course began, then they did the course and then video-ed us again at the end. Watching the before and after videos was amazing especially showing how much we had learnt.

I always remember how to lift the items nowadays and always try to instill on any new people who come out with me these ideas.

This same course should still be running somewhere (by LLantra?) and I would recommend anyone to search them out.


PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:24 pm
by mcgheeglasgow
We, and most of the time when I was learning there were three of us, always used pinch bars(levers) to manoeuvre large stones
up into the wall. But a lot of the time we lifted the stones manually. The important thing here is that when you prepare for a lift
everybody is ready to go. Once you have committed, there is no dropping of the lump, which will result in serious injury. Mostly
you have to trust that your mates and yourself are capable of the lift, which from experience you will know. Never attempt
a lift if there is a possibility that you can`t make it. Ladders and such are a much better option than just believing in your
strength alone, which can be compromised by a sudden back failure, putting everyone at risk.


PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:49 am
by Steaming North
Generally I was always walling on my own (note was - I'm now sat in front of a warm fire and a computer). To get heavy throughs in I'd often stand it on its end, lift it onto the foot of a hi lift jack and then tie the top of the through around the upright of the jack. Manouver it close to the wall, jack it up and when somewhere near, untie it and gently lower it down on to the wall - just fine adjustments from there. It was by no means easy or quick, but better than putting your back out or skinning your shins.


PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:41 pm
by alan devonport

You must have read my mind, I am just finalising a series of 'Toolbox Talks' for the guys that work for me on subjects such as Manual Handling, Weil's Disease, using P.P.E. etc.

Give me a ring and we'll have a chat.



PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:06 pm
by LukeOHan
Manual handling come naturally for me as I have an interest in weightlifting.
Lifting anything heavy would essentially be a 'dead lift'; a dead lift is the safest way bio-mechanically to lift. An elderly lady should deadlift to pick her shopping bags up.

source; ironkettlebellfitness
deadlift-image.jpg (28.84 KiB) Viewed 17647 times

The technique itself looks simple but I can assure you it's not if you're not familiar, I won't elaborate too much, just thought I'd mention what helped me along safely with heavy lifting; weightlifting technique. (mark rippetoe is a strength coach who details everything you could possibly want to know about deadlifts, squats and bench pressing)


PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:17 am
by LukeOHan
In reply to the original post, having navigated through to the books, I was grateful for the fountain of knowledge I subsequently stumbled across (again i think) but this time with my eyes wide open.
Having read the well written 'manual handling' I believe that it would, alongside the current published pages within the BTCV book, make for a more comprehensive understanding over the complexities of each working environment.
Before last year, I thought manual handling was basic; you bend your knees, back straight..lift with legs, etc However, coming through a tough 12 months walling, heavy lifting, awkward postures, working environment pollution, unfamiliar loads, hammering, pushing, pulling, over reaching etc.. the burden displayed through elbow tendonopathy.
Recently healed, the realisation that these problems can persist and create discomfort in everyday living hit home.

Hope to see more on this


PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:10 pm
by waller 69
Luke, sorry to hear you have done an elbow so quickly but "imho" you may have asked too much of yourself too soon...when working as a labourer on the buildings, I also did mma(mixed martial arts) It did not go well, different muscle groups, posture, I hurt all the time....
recent changes to dswa rules ask wallers to wall( at test sites) with the stone supplied( not cut stone)......
In some area's it will save the elbows( if they get it) :wink:


PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:38 pm
by LukeOHan
Funny you should say that because I 100% agree, in the mist of my enthusiasm for learning to wall and do my best, I totally disregarded the developing problems within my body. I originally had advice from a qualified family member, continued to read on the subject with much confusion at the beginning and a few visits to chiropractor, my persistence increased at the thought of ultimately never healing (it lasted for about 8 months) progressively getting worse and constant pain during every single arm action (pointing, sorting stone etc)
I will most definitely post an article on how I eventually recovered and how simple it ended up being for me at the end. There would be so much material to go through right now to give the full picture on the subject, I want to sit down and do my reasoning justice. back developed problems too, which was also in part exacerbated by driving 3hrs a day to and fro work, inadequate rest and diet etc a varietal nightmare!! Well I'm back to near full health and will not be taking that for granted no more. :D


PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:49 pm
by waller 69
Health and safety, from a pro's perspective is the wrong way round, first, don't hurt yourself or others, second (a poor second in my opinion) look after wall requires unnatural stresses in lifting....
I am not an educated man, I have some skills but with twenty thousand words I would struggle to say anything better than "first know thyself"
If I look at a stone and question if I can lift it into place, I already know the answer...
I would love to know, why the change in stone in test sites?, health and safety or better wallers???
I cannot remember when I was fully fit, walling breaks you.....