1st October 2014 - Press release - Training, key to staying safe


Training Key to Staying Safe

 Used correctly abrasives have an extremely good safety record and manufacturers follow stringent manufacturing standards to ensure products are fit for purpose. However, problems arise when products are used incorrectly or for materials and applications for which they were not intended.

 Wheel breakage is naturally the largest risk as grinding tools have operating speeds up to 180 mph and accelerate and decelerate faster than a Formula 1 racing car. Personal injuries resulting from wheel breakages are, in the main, a result of using hand held machines and the single largest reason for a wheel breakage is operator error. For this reason, it is a requirement  of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER)  that all operators, managers and supervisors of people using abrasive wheels must be trained. 

Whilst hand-held tools may pose the greatest risk to life and limb, even fully enclosed machines require a high level of awareness and training if costly accidents are to be prevented. Training teaches the ability to select the right product to match the machine and the material, ensuring that it is not damaged as well as mounting wheels to the machine correctly. As simple as that may sound, these basic operations are a major cause of accidents in the workplace every year.

 Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration is that abrasives have a recommended shelf life, which for some products is as short as three years. Additionally, storage and transportation present risk of damage to the product and simple ring tests for vitrified wheels can ensure that a cracked wheel is not mounted to a machine.

 So where can you go to get the correct training for your specific application, machine and environment? In most instances abrasive wheel producers and distributors can offer valuable advice but in an effort to raise standards and awareness the British Abrasives Federation (BAF) have been providing an accreditation scheme to ensure that trainers and training companies are giving the right information. There are a number of companies already accredited which can be found on the BAF web site. These companies and the training they provide have been tested to guarantee that their training fulfils not only the legal requirements but also includes information on all the hazards associated with grinding including hand arm vibration, noise and dust.

 Additionally BAF have produced a number of safety notes to help support trainers and these are available together with information on becoming an accredited trainer from the BAF web site.

 For more information on BAF training programmes or a list of accredited trainers contact BAF Secretary Stuart Lane on 08456 12 13 80 or

info@thebaf.org.uk/. Alternatively visit the website www.thebaf.org.uk.


 On behalf of: 

BAF, Toad Hall, Hinton Road

Hurst, Berkshire,RG10 0BS

Tel: +44 (0) 8456 12 13 80

E-mail: info@thebaf.org.uk  

web site: www.thebaf.org.uk

Contact:  Stuart Lane, Secretary


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