WFF event focuses on crucial industry issues

Omar crane demonstration at Granite House

A demonstration of lifting slabs safely using the Omar forklift crane attachment during the latest WFF meeting.

This week's meeting of the Worktop Fabricators Federation (WFF), at Granite House in Preston, was attended by more than 40 members, with demonstrations from industry product suppliers.

Chris Pateman, the General Secretary of WFF, said: “Right at the beginning of the day, we made the point that talking and sharing with one another is vital if fabricators are to stay in tune with the regulator and ahead of the cowboys. Fabricators and suppliers have a common interest in maintaining the industry’s quality image – and delivering the kind of margins that enable us to invest in safe and efficient factories, which guarantee the industry’s future.”

The team at Granite House shared its own experiences throughout the day and demonstrated the Omar crane for safe lifting and manoeuvring of heavy materials. Matthew Pegg of ACAS Engineering was also in attendance revealing ways of using waste heat from compressors to preheat processed water making wet hand polishing more comfortable in colder weather.

Stonegate and Harrisons of Hull were also present to showcase respiratory protective equipment. Members were invited to discuss current issues, including alternatives to FFP2 face masks for workers with facial hair to protect them from silica dust.

Stonegate gave a demonstration of tooling outside. 

The risk of vibration damage (white finger) from using hand tools was raised by Keith Phillips from Havsco, who talked members through a wearable device for monitoring vibration for the duration of an entire shift. 

A key issue of the day was the need for recirculating water in cutting and polishing machines, with Simon Bradbury from Stone Industries Group (SiG) discussing the correct use of flocculants and coagulant additives to prevent pipes from clogging.

SIG's Trolex Air XS real time silica dust monitor was sampling the air in the showroom throughout the day. WFF has acquired one of these machines for the benefit of its members.