Press Release - BAF highlights safety shortcoming

17th February 2012.

The leading manufacturers of abrasive products fear that proper training in their safe use is being overlooked.

It is often the result of confusion due to changes in legislation that have affected the burden of responsibility on both users and distributors of abrasives. Inadequate training from specialist providers is also an issue.

The British Abrasives Federation (BAF) states that its members' products meet or exceed the highest worldwide safety standards. However, despite the huge effort that goes into the design and production of safe abrasives, when manufacturers' technical staff investigate accidents involving their products, they find that the cause is often due to poorly trained operators and products being incorrectly mounted or used. In an effort to resolve the problem, BAF has decided that clear guidelines are required on who should be trained and to what standard if accidents involving abrasive tools are to be reduced. Chairman of the BAF, Dr Bill Gilmour, says: "Unless purchasers of abrasives are given the correct information as to their obligations to train not only operators and users but also specifiers and buyers, then the incidence of accidents is unlikely to reduce."

The next step is to ensure that the training being delivered dramatically improves and to that end, BAF has brought together a group of leading experts within the abrasives industry. Using guidance from the Health & Safety Executive and PUWER (Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998), together with its combined experience of recorded accidents, the team has devised a standard stipulating the content and delivery to which all abrasives safety training programmes should adhere. BAF set about identifying those suppliers that were delivering abrasives training to the required standard and found that the number of proficient trainers was woefully small, with course content often out of date or misleading. The need to raise the standard of trainers meant that BAF subsequently set up an accreditation committee to examine both course content and accuracy. A number of training companies have been through the new accreditation scheme and can be found on the website -

BAF is now in the process of informing its database of around 15,000 customers and more than a million users of their obligations and providing them with a list of competent training companies. The Federation will be monitoring the results closely and intends continuously to control and improve the standard of training providers to ensure the highest level of safety for the end user.
A full list of abrasives manufacturers represented by BAF is also on the organisation's website

British Abrasives Federation Tel: 08456121380
Email: email:

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