There were 15 members and guests present. Robert Bradford introduced Kirstie Boyle wh works on the building and construction sectors covering Glasgow and Falkirk areas and Isabelle McShane the regional manager form Hilti who were giving a presentation on advancements on tools.
Hilti are a family owned business who work in partnership with many other businesses so that they can provide what the industry needs and wants. This takes the form of providing advice on tools, dust, vibration and noise with respect to health and topics such as work at height in relation to safety. Vibration levels depend on the type of work being carried out, the tool used, the way the tool is used and maintenance. The tools now come with anti-vibration and anti-torque controls and many have an indicator to show when maintenance is required. The anti-vibration element consists of a damper between the tool and the handle and the anti-torque causes the tool to cut-out after a quarter rotation. Using the TE60 it initially appears to be heavy but when compared with tools from other manufacturers it is at the lighter end and due to the speed efficiency more holes can be drilled in a given period; the vibration level on the worst axis is 6.4m/s2 when chiselling concrete. A number of tools were demonstrated which resulted in some additional discussion. Hilti drill bits are fitted with an indicator to identify when they are past their wear point to further aid n vibration reduction.
Full vibration information can be found on the Hilti website. K values are found in the operators manual.
Many of the tools are now fitted with dust extraction which takes the dust directly in to a bag and others allow an attachment to be fitted which connects to a vacuum cleaner although there are no warnings to tell when the extract system is full. Hollow drill bits also help with dust extraction as these can be connected directly to a vacuum cleaner. There was a discussion around thorough examination of dust extraction systems and the presenters advised that this was checked during maintenance but they were unsure about compliance with the 14 monthly thorough examination. There was also a discussion around the hire of tools as many hire companies do not realise that the systems aren’t all compatible (not a problem solely related to Hilti as the hire companies appear to mix and match parts from different manufacturers.
Hilti now have a cordless breaker to reduce trip hazards and are also working on a cordless cut-off saw, a number of members suggested this should have a standard size blade as this meets the industry needs. There was a discussion on guarding of coring rigs and Hilti are following the HSE guidance which can be seen at http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/internalops/og/og-00055-appendix3.pdf Hilti have a tool selector on their website.
Robert thanked the presenters before moving on to a presentation from Adrian Tinson of the HSE.
Adrian has returned to the HSE after working in industry for a number of years and was giving an update on the recent construction health campaign. There are approximately ten times the number of deaths as a result of poor health in the construction industry compared to those related to safety. There are almost two million days lost to poor health compared to 400,000 for injuries. Stress is also on the increase. Many sections of industry have a very poor record with health and the HSE, for the last five years, has been working with industry to give a better focus. Health is a large topic and industry should also give some recognition to topics other than occupational health.
The recent initiative looked at topics such as respiratory risks such as working with asbestos (non-licensed work) and silica and wood dusts. The initiative examined wellbeing, HAVS, noise, manual handling as well as the more common features such as work at height, transport management, competence etc. There was some discussion around competence and discussions the HSE had had with organisations around the SMSTS safety management course. There was then a discussion around photographic slides shown and the poor standards still being found on sites. There was a discussion around the need for face fit testing and the need to remove the hazard rather than using PPE another part of this discussion revolved around the correct removal of work clothing and when to remove it e.g. at breaks. We should not just look at immediate risks but should examine the root causes using available sources of guidance to assist.
Robert thanked Adrian before moving on to other business.
The Scottish Drugs Forum is giving free training on the identification of personnel who may be using substances.