Health and Safety – Focus on London 2012

Case Studies from London2012

HSE is publishing this series of short case studies to promote some of the new and practical solutions used to manage health, safety and welfare during construction of the London 2012 projects. We hope that they will be of help to others working in construction and inspire further ideas to deal with hazards and manage risk.

Reducing two manual handling risks with one device


The Olympic Stadium bowl design involved installation of concrete pre-cast steps providing access corridors to the terraces. In addition, the stadium roof support system relied on heavy cabling that needed to be moved into position.


Manual handling of the heavy pre-cast concrete units and the roof support cables involved significant risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD).


A simple lifting device was manufactured to allow both the pre-cast units and the cables to be lifted safely and easily. It worked by using a simple fulcrum action which significantly reduced the human force required to lift both items.

The first design (photo 1) of the lifting arm was used exclusively for the pre-cast concrete units.

The construction team soon realised that the same engineering solution could be adopted to to assist in lifting and placing the roof support cables (photo 2).

The lifting aid was designed with wheels to allow it to be easily and safely used and moved around the site.

Lifting aid on concrete stairs Photo 1: Precast concrete unit lifting aid
Cable lifter Photo 2: Lifting aid adapted for additional uses