Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Hire Industry products at the Safety & Health Expo 2011 at Birmingham's NEC

This year's Safety and Health Expo at the NEC (Tuesday 17 May) included a range of new safety ideas and products, many of them relevant to health and safety for tool and equipment hire. Particularly interesting was a 'lone worker' protection system which would have useful applications to both the tool and equipment and portable toilet hire industries - it is still in its development stage but looks very promising - more news of this in the coming weeks.
I also met up with ROSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) about their possible 'approval' for the RITS programme (HTA's Rental Industry Training Scheme) - they will be visiting HTA shortly for further discussions about how the scheme, which aims to improve safety standards in hire, fits in with their own objectives.
In personal protective equipment (PPE) there were a number of new hearing protection devices on display at the show, some of which include the facility to be in communication with other members of a workforce etc whilst still working - very interesting!
A newly developed reusable respirator (FFP3) with changeable long life filters seems to be of exceptional quality, for not a huge amount of money - could be one way of overcoming the worst of the problems caused by the need to carry out Face Fit Testing on site. Further information will follow shortly, it could provide a sensible cost-effective way of supplying face protection to hire customers.
Plenty of Working from Height aids on display but there were also several interesting items designed for low level working (below two metres). I also managed to fit in a quick meeting with the Chairman of PASMA (Prefabricated Access Suppliers' and Manufacturers' Association) and had preliminary discussions about co-operation in training on towers - ongoing situation!

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