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Butts  
#1 Posted : 13 June 2022 20:29:58(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Butts

I am after some views please on what directions are available:

I have sub-contractors that are involved in dust creating tasks and dusty environments.

  • All are sent for face fit testing for using half face respirators
  • Some operatives refuse to shave (Although this is not for religious reasons)
  • Some of those face fit tested have now let stubble grow and the mask is no longer sealing properly
  • Some state that they will sign a disclaimer to opt out of shaving their beard.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Roundtuit  
#2 Posted : 13 June 2022 21:24:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Making the person fit the PPE is not the answer.

If your terms of engagement require clean shaven then basically do not employ subbies who will not comply.

If your terms do not then you cannot force persons who at the end of the day are not your direct employees comply with an unreasonable requirement.

Are you also going to provide shaving equipment, skin care products and PAID time for those individuals who have a 5 O'Clock shadow the moment they shave? It is the only way your issued equipment would be satisfactory in use.

Or you could consider getting suitable equipment where facial hair is not an issue e.g. powered hoods

thanks 4 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Butts on 21/06/2022(UTC), Ellis on 23/06/2022(UTC), Butts on 21/06/2022(UTC), Ellis on 23/06/2022(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 13 June 2022 21:24:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Making the person fit the PPE is not the answer.

If your terms of engagement require clean shaven then basically do not employ subbies who will not comply.

If your terms do not then you cannot force persons who at the end of the day are not your direct employees comply with an unreasonable requirement.

Are you also going to provide shaving equipment, skin care products and PAID time for those individuals who have a 5 O'Clock shadow the moment they shave? It is the only way your issued equipment would be satisfactory in use.

Or you could consider getting suitable equipment where facial hair is not an issue e.g. powered hoods

thanks 4 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Butts on 21/06/2022(UTC), Ellis on 23/06/2022(UTC), Butts on 21/06/2022(UTC), Ellis on 23/06/2022(UTC)
Sgallacher27  
#4 Posted : 13 June 2022 21:53:28(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Sgallacher27

Face fit testing and clean shaven policies are the hottest potato in H&S. Nobody wants to deal with it as it is a nightmare to enforce. For me, I provided our guys with the info on why the respirators won't make a seal with a beard and what that could mean for their health in the future...but there were still some employees who point blank refused.

It is easy to say provide air fed hoods to avoid the issue - but for our scenario this wasn't reasonably practicable. Our guys had to use a Stihl saw for around 20 minutes a week - was around £600 per employee reasonably practicable for so little use? No, so we provided half-face respirators which cost £30 each. We provided all the information we could to our employees and even had to remind the employees of their Section 7 HASAWA duty. Those who refused to be clean-shaven signed an opt-out form. We then excluded them from the dust-generating tasks which in our case helped change the guys' attitudes and brought them round. The others simply took the huff and left the company; we then added the clean shaven requirement into new employees' contracts. 

It is honestly a nightmare! It can be done but it is hard!

Edited by user 13 June 2022 21:55:04(UTC)  | Reason: typo

thanks 1 user thanked Sgallacher27 for this useful post.
Butts on 21/06/2022(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#5 Posted : 14 June 2022 08:30:40(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: Sgallacher27 Go to Quoted Post
was around £600 per employee reasonably practicable for so little use?

In the grand scheme of things, talking about an employees future health the answer is always yes.

In your scenarion with limited use is the Stihl saw itself the problem aagainst which better engineering controls could have been derived?

At the end of the day it is the court that determines reasonable, suitable, sufficient.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Brian Hagyard on 14/06/2022(UTC), Brian Hagyard on 14/06/2022(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#6 Posted : 14 June 2022 08:30:40(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: Sgallacher27 Go to Quoted Post
was around £600 per employee reasonably practicable for so little use?

In the grand scheme of things, talking about an employees future health the answer is always yes.

In your scenarion with limited use is the Stihl saw itself the problem aagainst which better engineering controls could have been derived?

At the end of the day it is the court that determines reasonable, suitable, sufficient.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
Brian Hagyard on 14/06/2022(UTC), Brian Hagyard on 14/06/2022(UTC)
Brian Hagyard  
#7 Posted : 14 June 2022 09:06:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

Agree with Round on this one - we are talking about peoples health here - but if you want to do the sums, this may be of interest Oak Furnitureland parent company fined for serious health and safety breaches - SHP - Health and Safety News, Legislation, PPE, CPD and Resources (shponline.co.uk)

OK dont know the split between COSHH and Explosion but £400,000 buys a lot of power fed hoods/masks

thanks 1 user thanked Brian Hagyard for this useful post.
Butts on 21/06/2022(UTC)
Sgallacher27  
#8 Posted : 14 June 2022 21:54:42(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Sgallacher27

I understand the thoughts behind £600 being worth 'an employees' health' but are we now to ignore everything we get taught about reasonably practicable? Had our guys been cutting concrete for a significant period of time, then the likelihood clearly increases and as such, a company would be expected to go further to control that risk. Whatever happened to balancing the cost and effort of controls against the actual reduction in risk?

We had around 50 employees who rarely had to use a stihl saw, and when they did it was for short periods of time only. Add into this the employees being based all over the country at retail parks etc. Does anyone really think £600 per head would be reasonably practicable for such little exposure time?

If so then I better check all the other road working companies out there. In all my years I've yet to see someone wearing an air fed helnet when using a stihl saw outdoors...
Brian Hagyard  
#9 Posted : 15 June 2022 07:10:26(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

Originally Posted by: Sgallacher27 Go to Quoted Post

sorry quote does not appear to have worked - for stilhl saws on stone outside I would not be relying on masks or hoods in this case i would be looking at enginering controls - water supression of the dust so it would not be airborne and not a hazard - that would be based on my COSHH assessment.

Edited by user 15 June 2022 07:11:41(UTC)  | Reason: quote did not show

Pirellipete  
#10 Posted : 15 June 2022 07:48:37(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Pirellipete

Don't Stihl saws for block cutting have a hose connection for water suppression,  ??

The ones we have onsite do, as do many, (Most), such tools now where dust is created for stone/block/wood and tile cutting.

And as quoted above, operator masks don't protect the public and others in the area

as a 'by the by',  we have recently purchased Axminster battery powered Air Fed hoods, at around £240 each, which is still £240, but we issue it to the users personally, as part of their kit, which then becomes a reasonable cost, vs them keep coming back for £25 P3 half masks plus filters every time, instead of cleaning and maintaing them and just throwing them away

Roundtuit  
#11 Posted : 15 June 2022 08:22:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: Sgallacher27 Go to Quoted Post
are we now to ignore everything we get taught about reasonably practicable?

The H&S Sentencing guidelines were updated a few years back altering the perception of what is "reasonably practicable" where spurious defences of cost had been used - hence my comment a court would decide.

Then there is the difference in reasonably practicable between "in so far as" versus the consideration under COSHH of "as low as" - the former has a cost consideration, the latter has technological limit.

Some will recognise this as the difference between BATNICC (Best Available Technology Not Incurring Considerable Cost) and BAT (Best Available Technology).

Of course there are business who choose to follow CATNAP (Cheapest Available Technology Narrowly Avoidning Prosecution) - not really a good idea to copy what others are doing.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
marcw330@googlemail.com on 30/06/2022(UTC), marcw330@googlemail.com on 30/06/2022(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#12 Posted : 15 June 2022 08:22:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: Sgallacher27 Go to Quoted Post
are we now to ignore everything we get taught about reasonably practicable?

The H&S Sentencing guidelines were updated a few years back altering the perception of what is "reasonably practicable" where spurious defences of cost had been used - hence my comment a court would decide.

Then there is the difference in reasonably practicable between "in so far as" versus the consideration under COSHH of "as low as" - the former has a cost consideration, the latter has technological limit.

Some will recognise this as the difference between BATNICC (Best Available Technology Not Incurring Considerable Cost) and BAT (Best Available Technology).

Of course there are business who choose to follow CATNAP (Cheapest Available Technology Narrowly Avoidning Prosecution) - not really a good idea to copy what others are doing.

thanks 2 users thanked Roundtuit for this useful post.
marcw330@googlemail.com on 30/06/2022(UTC), marcw330@googlemail.com on 30/06/2022(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#13 Posted : 15 June 2022 08:31:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

As others have commented many of these companies fail to apply available dust supression controls (water or vaccuum) that would save the employees and public being shrouded in plumes of dust, and company RPE cost.

Meantime the construction industry wonders why the HSE keeps turning up on dust purges.

Roundtuit  
#14 Posted : 15 June 2022 08:31:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

As others have commented many of these companies fail to apply available dust supression controls (water or vaccuum) that would save the employees and public being shrouded in plumes of dust, and company RPE cost.

Meantime the construction industry wonders why the HSE keeps turning up on dust purges.

Brian Hagyard  
#15 Posted : 15 June 2022 12:12:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

Originally Posted by: Pirellipete Go to Quoted Post

Don't Stihl saws for block cutting have a hose connection for water suppression,  ??

They do but unfortunatly for lots of them the switch to turn the water on is usaly the HSE inspector walking through the gate as the operative find them messy!

Butts  
#16 Posted : 21 June 2022 16:55:11(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Butts

Many thanks for all your reply's

Much appreciated.

thanks 1 user thanked Butts for this useful post.
peter gotch on 22/06/2022(UTC)
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