Pre-stressed concrete manufacturers from across Northern Ireland attended the Health and Safety Executive of Northern Ireland’s recent safety day in the Quinn Precast plant. Representatives from all precast manufacturers were shown the upgraded safety standards which have been put in place in the Quinn Precast factory, with a view to bringing the entire industry in Northern Ireland up to the same high standard.
Attendees at the safety day heard from Ken Logan, MBE, and Bryan Pryce of the HSENI, and received a presentation on health and safety legislation requirements. The group toured the Quinn Precast factory to observe the safety equipment in place at the plant and new ideas which have been introduced to improve equipment safety. One particular piece of safety equipment, a saw which had a safety cab designed to protect drivers, was of particular interest.
The new cab has resulted in the reduced exposure to noise, dust and flying particles. Using the new protective cab has eliminated the requirement of the operator to wear additional PPE whilst in the cab, and we have seen a significant reduction in the noise levels the driver is exposed to.
Additional side guards and a full roof enclosure were added to the initial design to offer further protection, and these were accompanied by the fitting of cameras, anti-collision devices, lights and warning sirens to ensure full visibility for the operator and to reduce the risk of collision.
The cab is an innovation which, together with other safety equipment, will allow the Northern Irish Pre-stressed Concrete industry to protect their workers from workplace accidents and exposure to hazardous substances and excessive noise and dust levels. It will also help Precast concrete manufacturers achieve the health and safety standards of a suite of European & UK legislation requirements, such as The Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, The Control of Noise at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006, The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.
Ken Logan, Head of Extractive Industry & Waste Group within HSENI said of the initiative:
This is a perfect example of industry working to help the wider industry and Quinn Building Products Ltd are to be applauded for the work they have done to date. Their actions taken to address machinery guarding of mobile equipment used in the prestress manufacturing process have been to a high standard. The occupational issues of noise and respirable dust were also effectively addressed by the work that has been completed to date. HSENI look forward to continue working with the company in the future.”