Monday, 10 January 2011

Employers responsibility for High Vis Clothing.

The following advice is provided by the Health and Safety Executive to Employers regarding their responsibilities in regard to the supply and use of High Vis clothing:-

Storage Facilities must be provided for the clothing when not in use.

Adequate information must be provided along with training and instruction to ensure that employees use High Vis clothing correctly – This should include the explanation of why it is needed, what the risks are and how and when it should be worn.

Employees should be supervised to ensure that the clothing is actually worn and used correctly – whenever it is needed.

The employer must ensure that the High Vis clothing is maintained in a clean state and be in working order. Dirty, oily or greasy high vis garments may give the wearer a false impression of how well they can be seen and in itself could lead to accidents.

If an employee may be exposed to significant risks to their safety whilst at work then it is the employers responsibility to provide clothing free of charge to that employee. Some businesses provide funding to the employee to purchase their own High Vis garments. You must ensure, however, that the correct garments are purchased that comply with the relevant EN or GO/RT3279 standard. If you are unsure that they comply then request to view the garment test report from the supplier. Testing is expensive and suppliers / manufacturers are usually only too pleased to prove that they have jumped through all of the hoops to provice a correctly certified garment. There are garments on the market that do not comply – be aware.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Granite Workwear exhibiting at LAMMA 2011 for the 5th Year.

The 30th LAMMA agricultural machinery show takes place at the Newark and Nottinghamshire Showground, Winthorpe Newark NG24 2NY this year on Wednesday & Thursday 19th – 20th January. A major show in the farming calender for both UK and overseas farmers. At around 700 exhibitors it is one of Europes major agricultural events showcasing equipment for the smallholder up to the largest estates. 30 Years ago it was free to attend and cheap to exhibit and it soon became a place of pilgrimage for all those who love their farm machinery.

Granite Workwear Ltd has been exhibiting for the past 5 years and has a healthy relationship supplying the farming industry having grown out of the original business of free range outdoor reared pork and free range eggs. This year we have increased the stand space (Hall 2 / Stand 222) yet again to cope with demand and will be offering several ‘Show Specials’ despite the recent rise in VAT.

The show is one of few that can honestly profess to have the its visitor at heart. Free parking and Free entry have been maintained yet again. Making this an excellent day out and a show not to be missed. It’s not all about big arable kit. There’s a strong turnout of livestock equipment manufacturers as well as firms that repair and refurbish equipment.

Granite Workwear will be offering our comprehensive range of high quality PPE, High Vis, Safety Boots, Muck Boots, and Overalls and will have a complete range of Thermals to combat the recent weather conditions.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Maintenance of chainsaw clothing

The wearing of chainsaw protective clothing is a legal requirement in many instances.

A report published in the Journal of Forest Engineering in New Zealand concluded that "chainsaw garments which were exposed to even the smallest amount of oil, comprehensively failed cut tests".
Chainsaw clothing must be washed regularly to maintain their protective properties.

Check the label first to see if they can be machine washed and follow the HLCC (wash instructions) to the letter. Remove as much oil and dirt as possible from the surface your trousers or jacket with a light washing detergent. The hotter the wash the better the result you will get but check the label, some garments can only be washed at 40 degrees and some can be washed at 60. After washing, can you spin dry? Check the label, this may affect the blocking material.

Heat has a detrimental effect to the blocking fibres ability to stop a saw chain. If you have burned your trousers, throw them away, they will not give you adequate protection.
Exhaust gasses from chainsaws occasionally burn, scorch or melt the outer fabric and this can have a significant effect on the blocking fibres beneath. Do not take unnecessary risks they will not give you the protection you require.

Should you tear the outer fabric on your garment you are allowed to repair it but you must ensure that you do not interfere with the protective blocking material. Do not sew a patch onto the garment with the thread holding the blocking fibres. Patches should be hand stitched to the outer fabric only. If you stitch in the blocking material you can significantly affect its ability to stop the saw.

The CE standard states that:-
"No personal protective equipment can ensure 100% protection against cutting from a hand-held chain saw".
In the majority of accidents, well-maintained garments will stop the saw. If there is a cut through the garment there will be a significant reduction in the injury. Occasionally when a kick back occurs, the garment stops the rotation of the saw, but the impact forces the teeth through the blocking material giving puncture wounds. No garment can protect from this.

It would be wise to keep a couple of packets of Celox material – one in the trouser and one in the truck to ensure that any deep cuts can be treated effectively.