Preventing Workplace Injury

Preventing Workplace Injury: Information for Safety Employees
Businesses of any size whose workers perform manual labour – particularly in the manufacturing industry – are expected to comply with HSE’s regulations regarding workplace safety. Even under the best circumstances, however, routine tasks put workers at some level of risk. According to statistics for the year 2013 (the latest for which data are available), there were:

» 133 workers killed at work
» 629,000 injuries at work reported through the Labour Force Survey
» 28.2 million work days lost due to workplace-related illness and injury
» 14.2 billion spent nationally on work-related illness and injury

While manufacturing concerns have reason to be grateful for the fatalities being so low, the monetary and productivity costs show that there is significant room for improvement where workplace health and safety are concerned.

How can you as a safety representative best address these concerns within your company?

Know & Understand Applicable Laws
First and foremost, know – and fulfil – your responsibilities to workers under the regulations which apply to your position; these will vary depending on whether you are a trade union-appointed safety representative.

Listen to your People
In either case, involving workers in the risk management process is key to preventing both major and minor work-related illnesses and injury. Who better to consult on these issues than those who are most likely to find themselves in harm’s way if issues go unresolved? Listen to the valuable information workers can provide, and advocate for their health and safety by following up on potential and actual health and safety issues identified by staff.

Document all Incidents
Since it is virtually impossible to prevent every work-related illness and injury, it is of paramount importance that reporting be thorough and accurate as set forth under RIDDOR. Safety representatives and company management must fully document every such incident not only out of concern for legality, but also to ensure that the health and safety needs of the affected employee(s) continue to be met following the incident.

Provide Safety Work Gear
If it is your responsibility to order standard personal protective equipment for employees, then keep an up-to-date inventory of such supplies as ear plugs, hard hats, face masks, welding gloves and other forms of PPE that are specific to your industry and plan to reorder supplies periodically before any run out. Keep in mind that hard hats have an expiry date, and place orders to replace any unused ones whose expiry date has passed. Any employees whose work may require the use of steel-toed boots should be fitted before their first day on the job so as to avoid delays which could place them at risk.

The Supply Chain Warehouse
Supply chain Warehouse is dedicated to providing a full array of personal protective equipment at the lowest prices so that your company can focus on productivity and revenue goals and rest assured that your workers are fully protected. They also offer a wide range of hand tools, work wear, welding equipment and helmets and other supplies for the skilled trades.

With FREE delivery on all orders within the UK, and next-day delivery is free on the UK mainland for orders placed before 5 pm, let Supply chain Warehouse be your one-stop shop for all your workers’ safety needs and supplies. It’s also a great place to buy your hand tools, work wear, welding equipment and lifting gear is from the Supply Chain Warehouse. Located in the North East of the UK, they offer a great range of high quality and well-priced professional tools and associated equipment.

For further information on the tools, work wear, welding equipment and much more on offer – including some great special offers why not visit the Supply Chain Warehouse website today.

Alloys Wheel Repairs Glasgow

Alloy Wheels Improve the Look of Your Vehicle
Alloy Wheels for your car or ‘Alloys’ are very definitely a must have for many drivers these days. Alloy wheels can be seen on most modern cars as well as on custom vehicles and would seem to be gaining in popularity every day. So what exactly are alloy wheels and how are they different from normal wheels? And crucially, are they better than normal wheels?

Alloy Wheels perform the same function in vehicles as the normal steel wheels but they have certain added features that make them different and arguably better. Compared to wheels made of steel, alloy wheels are composed of aluminium or magnesium alloys that effectively increases their strength, making them stronger and durable, lighter in weight, better in performance and most importantly for most drivers – improved style and bling!

The typical alloy wheel is manufactured either by the process of casting or by forging of metal alloys. Forged alloy wheels are lighter and much more durable than cast alloys but they are a little hard on the pocket. These wheels are usually the preferred choice for high-performance sports cars but that does not mean you can’t fit them on any other car. Comparatively, cast aluminium alloys are heavier but they are cheaper and yet have almost the same styling as that of forged alloys.

There is however another type of stylish wheels called Mag-Wheels. Magnesium alloys or mag-wheels are whole magnesium cast or forged wheels used in racing cars as they are the lightest wheels available. Mag-wheels are high on performance as well as on styling.

Unmatched style is probably the main reason why most people now prefer alloy wheels for their vehicle. There is no doubt that alloys make the vehicle look posh and increase its cosmetic appeal but there are two other definite advantages of fitting them in your car instead of the normal steel wheels:

  • Alloy wheels are lighter, that means your vehicle has less un-sprung mass. This means your vehicle handles better and there is improved road grip on most terrains. A lighter vehicle will obviously perform better on the mileage count as well.
  • They are also good in terms of balancing. Your vehicle balances well reducing stress on other parts of your car like the suspension and the axles.

Besides that, did we discuss about the style that a set of alloys can add to your vehicle? You no longer require those odd looking (and often quite expensive) wheel trims and you can definitely avoid displaying those (very often) ugly looking steel rims.

A fact worth considering is that used alloy wheels very often are available at a much lower price in the market rather than the price often paid to purchase a brand new set of alloy wheels.  You get the style and features of alloys without spending much. Which leads us into repairing or refurbishing alloy wheels so they look as good as new using the cutting edge ‘Diamond Cutting’ system.

Diamond cutting entails skimming your alloy wheels with a high powered diamond coated buffer, leaving a sophisticated shined surface to your rims. A protective coat of lacquer is then added to finish off the process.

Although a diamond cut finish is not possible on all cars, most alloy wheels can be skimmed in this fashion for the latest in alloy style and to give your ride the look that gets you noticed. It can even add a little extra protection against kerbside bumps and scrapes and chipping from the road. These hazards can leave unwanted markings and damage to your wheel trims, so get protection the diamond way with Diamond Cut Alloys.

Companies specialising in alloy wheel repairs and refurbishment can offer the diamond cut repair service, plus alloy wheel painting services for all alloys in a wide variety of colours and styles so there will always be a combination for you.

Contact a specialist alloy wheel refurbishment company such as Rimtec Alloy Wheels who have workshops located around the UK including Milton Keynes, Newcastle and Glasgow, and get your alloys looking great again.

Sound insulation & Noise Flanking

Sound insulation & Noise Flanking
The term ‘Sound insulation’ describes the reduction of sound that passes between two spaces separated by a dividing element, such as a wall or floor partition. The sound energy passes through the dividing element (direct transmission) and through the surrounding structure (indirect or flanking transmission).

When the building’s acoustic design is taken into consideration, it is important to consider both methods of transmission. The dividing walls or floors, which flank/abut the dividing element/s, usually constitute the main paths for flanking transmission, but this can also occur at ventilation ducts, doorways, windows etc. If windows are positioned very close to the dividing partition then noise flanking will usually occur around the main building envelope, thus rendering your ‘high spec’ acoustic solution useless.

It is extremely unlikely that figures quoted from ‘laboratory sample’ sound test conditions will be achieved on site, as the laboratory installation is described in detail and followed to the letter. However, due to time constraints etc. it is not always possible to replicate the same conditions on a construction site, which is the reason why a 5dB point difference is allowed between the laboratory and construction site sound insulation performance.

Noise Flanking Paths
F
lanking sound is defined as sound from a source room that is not transmitted via the separating building element e.g. the wall or floor partition. The sound is transmitted indirectly via paths such as external walls, windows, doors and internal corridors.

One of the easiest ways of dealing with sound flanking issues is to use isolation strips around the perimeter of the partitions at the edges of floors and walls. Acoustic sealant should also be incorporated wherever possible. One of the main reasons for flanking sound test failures is when the inner leaf of the perimeter wall is built with light weight blocks. This acts like a large snare drum and the sound simple travels straight up the wall from one flat to the flat above and/or below. Even if you have used a acoustically robust wall and/or floor partition the sound insulation testing may still fail. If you have used lightweight blocks in your onsite construction and the building fails the sound test you may need to construction independent internal plasterboard lining throughout the inner perimeter wall, this should isolate the lightweight blocks and ensure the flanking path is minimized.

To reduce the chance of sound testing failure, it is imperative that flanking transmission is considered at the design stage and any construction detailing is specified to minimise any potential of noise flanking which will downgrade the acoustic performance. Good detailing at the design stage will minimise this effect and optimise the overall levels of acoustic privacy achieved. If designing for residential units, design advice on flanking details must be followed to maximise the possibility of achieving the specified acoustic performance. It is imperative that the design advice is followed, otherwise the site sound insulation values may not meet the performance criteria required and subsequent expensive remedial treatment may be required.

If the onsite construction has gaps, cracks or holes it will conduct airborne sounds and can significantly reduce the sound insulation of a construction. For optimum sound insulation a construction must be airtight. Most small gaps can be sealed at the finishing stage using Gyproc jointing compounds. Small gaps or air paths around perimeter Gypframe framework can be sealed with sealant. At the base of the partition, gaps will occur which can be filled with acoustic mastic.

If you would like more information in regards to sound insulation testing and or acoustic design advice, then please call us now at info@airpressuretesting.net or call us on 07775 623464.

Air Tightness Testing Services in the UK

Air Tightness Testing Services in the UK
Air tightness testing is not only carried out in the UK, it is also carried out in Canada, USA, France, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. However, although different countries undertake air tightness testing they express their air leakage criterion in different ways. For instance: Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and the USA express the criterion in terms of ach at a specific reference pressure (4, 10 or 50Pa), However in France, Switzerland and the UK it is expressed in terms of m3/h/m2 at a given pressure difference (4 or 50Pa); whilst Sweden uses l/s/m2. However, even allowing for these differences a simple comparison can be undertaken if the correct assumptions are made about the building data, i.e. volume and surface area – building envelope) and by normalising the air leakage criteria to a standard pressure differential.

To try and make some normality of the air tightness standards, such an approach was adopted by Limb (2001). It was assumed an internal building volume of 300m3, a surface area of 250m2. Thereafter figures would be normalised to show a pressure differential of 50Pa. The Table and Figure below illustrate the results of such a comparison, for all of the countries that have air leakage criteria for dwellings.

The comparison highlights the wide range of normalised air tightness criteria that exists. Not surprisingly the most stringent criteria tend to be found in countries with more severe climatic conditions, such as Sweden, Switzerland and Norway; whilst countries with more temperate climates such as France, USA and United Kingdom tend to have less stringent criteria.

In our experience of undertaking literally thousands of air tightness tests throughout the United Kingdom, very few tests would meet the air leakage requirements of Sweden, Switzerland or Norway. Also existing UK dwellings tend to be comparatively very leaky to other European countries.

In terms of new build UK dwellings, experience suggests that the current levels of airtightness achieved over the last couple of years although improved from 2006, is still in the region of 6-8 m3/h/m2. These levels of airtightness were achieved in countries such as Sweden, Canada and Switzerland many years ago. Even dwellings that have a CfSH default rating of 5m3/h/m2 – which often fail at the first attempt) would not achieve the air tightness rates of Canada, Belguim, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland.

In our experience to match or better the best European air tightness standards, will require a better attention to detail at the design stage of the building envelope. And thereafter, careful supervision throughout the construction phase of the floors, walls and roof. Only then we will be in a position to match the best of the rest of Europe when it comes to air tightness.

Typical air leakage paths in UK homes are:

  • Around windows – under window boards and around frames.
  • Around Doors – under the door sill and around frames.
  • Through service penetrations in kitchens, utility rooms – usually behind the kitchen cupboards
  • Around service penetrations in the boiler cupboard.
  • Around services within bathrooms and toilets – usually behind the toilets, sinks and baths.
  • Around Doors – under the door sill and around frames.
  • Floors – around penetrations and between gaps in the floor boards.
  • Ceilings – through lights and poor fitting loft hatches.
  • Around sockets that have not been fully installed.
  • Around down-lighters that have not been installed or are not fully sealed with a glass cover.

Once the above air leakage paths have been located, it should be fairly easy to undertake the remedial sealing works and lower the air leakage rate in most developments.

If you would like more information in regards to Air Tightness Design, Air Tightness Site Audits or Air Tightness Testing, please don’t hesitate to contact us now at www.airpressuretesting.net or telephone our office on 07775623464.