Health and safety advice – Dust measurement standards

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In recent years, the dust topic has gathered more momentum and interest in the construction industry. Aside from being extremely messy and uncomfortable to work with, construction dust can cause significant harm to workers’ health.

dust

Many thanks to Walid Hussain, National Tool Hire Manager at Hilti GB Ltd for providing the following helpful information.

The HSE estimates that dust was responsible for the death of over 500 construction workers in 2005. In addition to the risks from lung cancer, silica is also linked to other serious lung diseases including silicosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As a result the HSE has increased site inspections, prohibitions, warnings and has even actioned site closures to raise awareness of the risks of silica exposure.

We are therefore continually looking for ways to improve on-site health and safety as well as increase productivity. In addition to the health risks, dust also has the potential to damage equipment and material, clogging up motors resulting in costly repairs.

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To help employers control dust exposure to operatives, a new dust measurement standard EN 50632 is on its way, providing guidelines which will help contractors to stay below the daily legal dust exposure limits.

As a leading plant supplier to the construction industry, Hilti’s learnings from working with contractors on-site suggests that employers should not deal with the dust topic as a stand-alone health and safety issue, but rather find synergies with other health, safety and environmental measures. By identifying synergies across the key health and safety concerns on-site and by having the right strategy and approach we can reduce costs, increase productivity and protect people at the same time.

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Our solutions cover a wide range of topics, incorporating innovative alternative methods and providing comprehensive training and education on-site. Our harmonised systems are compliant with key health and safety measures including the new dust standard, with the added value of reducing costs and increasing productivity.

Here is an example of how selecting the right tool can tick the box for many health and safety topics.

Despite its industry leading performance, the TE 80-ATC/AVR does not compromise on safety.

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1. Active Torque Control (ATC) is a unique technology that stops the motor almost instantly, reducing the potential of sudden rotation of the combihammer about its own axis. This reduces wrist injuries and the need for grip force which is known to reduce Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS).

2. Active Vibration Reduction system (AVR) reduces vibration by up to 2/3 compared with conventional tools. This tool can drill up 250 holes before reaching legal action limits which reduces the need for monitoring and makes HAVS management much easier.

3. Dust Extraction System that is harmonised with the extraction head and the M-Class vacuum allows the user to stay below legal dust exposure limit during breaking and drilling applications.

For more information check out www.hilti.co.uk/dust

Alternatively, check out some of our most popular products available through HSS all with safety first in mind:
Hilti TE 40-AVR Combihammer
Hilti TE 700-AVR Breaker
Hilti TE 1000-AVR Breaker
Hilti TE 3000-AVR Heavy Duty Breaker

Large decorating projects made easy with HSS

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If you’re about to embark on a large scale redecorating project this February make sure you visit HSS.com and check out our range of painting and decorating equipment that includes paddle mixers, portable dust partitions, ladders, mini scaffolding and wallpaper steamers.

This week we’re focussing on the secrets to easy wallpaper removal. Chances are if you’re redecorating an older property as part of a renovation project then the wallpaper you see won’t be the only layer you’ll need to remove. There’s probably another inch of paint, glue and more old wallpaper standing between you and the holy grail of the wall.

A scraper isn’t going to get you very far very fast, but a quality wallpaper steamer will have you peeling the layers off in no time.

Before you start, the easiest thing to do is to remove a small section of wallpaper in an inconspicuous corner first, using a scraper. If you’re lucky, there won’t be too many layers and it will peel away nice and easy.
If however, it’s like a game of pass the parcel with never ending layers concealing your prize wall, then a steamer is the way to go. Equally, if you find a scraper is only removing tiny, agonizingly frustrating pieces then drop your scraper and pick up your tablet because it’s time for HSS to save the day.

We can help you create a blank canvas on which your masterpiece can begin. Check live availability at your nearest branch and order online for our quick and easy click & collect service. In fact, right now you can take advantage of our 50% discount on Wallpaper Strippers.

Once our friendly colleagues have helped you load the steamer into your car then you’re ready for action. Here are our key tips to getting the room ready to be steamed:
• Remove the furniture, or move it to centre of room and cover
• Cover the floor area with dust sheets or plastic
• Open the windows because it’s going to get hot and steamy
• Cover up light and electrical fittings with plastic
Our wallpaper steamers are also ideal for DIY jobs too.

Now watch our simple video for more great tips and techniques!

Driving home for Christmas? Make sure you actually get there!

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We’re approaching that time of year when driving in congested and difficult conditions becomes a daily occurrence. It’s easy to dismiss the dangers of winter driving because of course, you’ve never had an accident and quite frankly, you could teach Louis Hamilton a thing or two. But don’t forget that it’s not necessarily your driving that can cause you problems!

Our vehicle fleet partners Arnold Clark have provided us with some top tips to help make sure our customers get to work and home again safely this winter.

Tip 1: Plan your journey properly

– Check out the weather conditions where you’re going before you leave
– Listen to the radio for traffic reports and if there are delays make sure you’ve got plenty of fuel
– Keep some warm clothes, a few snacks, jump cables, a shovel and a torch in your vehicle
– If you have breakdown cover, make sure you have the phone number and policy number stored in your phone

Tip 2: Make sure your vehicle is winter ready

– Book your vehicle in for a winter service. Halfords do a free winter check
– Check your windscreen is free of cracks and you’ve got plenty of washer fluid
– Check all of your lights are working
– The cold tends to thicken oil so check your levels and make sure you’ve got the correct oil type
– Check your tyre pressure and depth. This is more important than ever in icy conditions

Tip 3: If you get caught in a blizzard

– Slow down. An obvious one, but you’ll need to break softly to avoid skidding
– Dip your headlights. Do not use full beam.
– Listen to your gut and stop. If you’re struggling to see and it feels dangerous then don’t risk it

Tip 4: If your vehicle gets stuck in the snow or on ice

– Try to free your vehicle by “rocking” it back and forth
– Keep the front wheels straight and slowly drive forward and backward as far as possible without spinning the wheels
– Accelerate gently when the tyres grip, then shift to neutral and coast as far as possible, then apply the brake and repeat this operation in the opposite direction.

Tip 5: If you’re driving on icy roads

– Always follow other cars at a safe distance. Remember that on snow or ice it takes three to twelve times as much distance to stop your car as it does on a dry road
– Avoid using cruise control
– To get moving on snow or ice, start forward as slowly as your engine will allow. If you have an automatic transmission, step down on the accelerator slowly and accelerate as smoothly as possible. If your vehicle has a clutch, let it out very slowly. If your wheels spin, start over again in second or a high gear. This allows you to accelerate more smoothly and will help keep your wheels from spinning.
– To stop your vehicle when driving on packed snow or ice, apply the brakes gently to avoid wheels locking. For sudden stops in vehicles with conventional or rear-wheel anti-lock brakes, ‘squeeze’ your brakes – don’t slam down on them!

Tip 6: In the event that your vehicle begins to skid

– Never slam your breaks on
– Keep your feet off the accelerator and brakes until you have regained the ability to steer the vehicle. Only then should you begin to apply the brakes – very carefully. Do not use them unless it is necessary.
– Turn in the direction you want the front of the car to go. If you can feel that the back of the vehicle is going to come around then start to counter-steer (steer into the skid). But don’t counter-steer so sharply that you skid again in the other direction.

Be careful out there!

The HSS Guide to Flood Recovery, Drying & Restoration

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Recent flooding has devastated parts of the North West with many local businesses, residents and communities affected. HSS Hire has been supporting relief efforts throughout the region by relocating small pumps, dehumidifiers and drying equipment from our various depots across the UK as well as helping to source the much needed industrial pumps that we don’t stock.

Below you can read tips and advice that might help if you’ve suffered any flood damage yourself.

KEY ACTION POINTS

1. Switch off power and gas supply at the mains.

2. Remove standing water.

After pumping out, extraction is the fastest and most efficient way to remove water from flooring and carpets – think of it like wringing out a rag – the tighter your twist it, the more water you’ll get out of it and the faster it will dry.

3. Open windows and doors to ventilate the house.

Airflow helps evaporation by blowing a powerful sheet of air over walls, floors, ceilings etc…literally pulling moisture out. Commercial air movers (58382) are more efficient than fans which blow air everywhere instead of across the surface that you are drying.

4. Clean and disinfect the house.

Germs spread rapidly after flooding. Thorough cleaning of surfaces, walls and especially the underside and inside of kitchen cabinets will reduce the risk of infection.

5. Dry out building.

Air movement pulls water from damp surfaces into the air and dehumidifiers (56734) capture it. This speeds up the drying process and reduces the risk of secondary damage and the spread of germs. You can also use indirect heaters to speed up the drying process.

6. Monitor progress.

Use a damp meter to track drying progress, things can be dry to touch and yet still be wet inside.

7. Maintain air quality.

Remove particles from the air to avoid odours and stains by using an air scrubber (56726).

8. Contact the Dri-Eaz Helpline for technical support and queries +44 1908 589 542.

Drying set up

Drying set up image

Set the air movers to create a circular airflow pattern. Add the air scrubber if airbourne contaminants are present. For areas larger than 300 sq.ft, use additional air movers and dehumidifiers.

Helpful Hints

1. Record flood damage with photos to assist with insurance claims.
2. Don’t dry out photos or important documents: place them in a plastic bag and store them in the fridge until you can get them to a specialist.
3. Wash taps and let them run for a while before use.
4. Don’t panic. Contact your Citizens Advice Bureau, they will be able to advise you further.

Selected HSS branches are open 24 hours, 7 days a week. So if you are affected by flooding, at any time day or night, we can get help to you quickly.

Christmas-proof your home with HSS

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With the holiday season just around the corner, homes up and down the country are going to be on the receiving end of the traditional Christmas makeover. You’ve probably thought about the decorations, dusting off your special crockery, where the tree is going, and the optimal hours for the central heating to keep the family happy yet keep your bills down, but have you thought about your carpets?

Christmas Dinner TableA 2014 report revealed that the state of our carpets is something to be concerned about with British floor space being a playground for bacteria including pneumonia, E.Coli, and salmonella.

And with those lovable selection-box fuelled nephews and nieces crawling around, plus the Mother-In-law whose arrival is treated on a par with that of The Queen, you’re going to need fresh, clean carpets this Christmas.

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Fortunately HSS Hire has got you covered with 50% off carpet cleaners throughout December. So you’ve no need to worry about those unmovable dog hairs, the coffee stain you’ve been hiding under the sofa, or the fake tan that’s dried an unsightly shade of green on the spare room floor, because with HSS Hire your floors will look 5-star.

Check out our extensive range of carpet cleaners by visiting www.hss.com or visit us in branch at one of our 300 stores nationwide.

ICE ICE MAYBE?

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All right stop. Collaborate and listen… Once again the good old British weathermen and women are predicting the worst winter in more than 50 years with sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall, supposedly far worse than the bitter, cold white out of 2009/10.
Freeze
Who knows, maybe this year they’ll get it right! Whatever the weather it’s best to be prepared. So whether it’s the plummeting temperatures that have got you concerned, or the chance of a heavy snow fall, HSS Hire Group is here to help.
heater
HSS has a huge range of heaters suitable for every site and workplace to keep you working, whatever the weather. As well as a huge range ready to hire through our 300 national branches or www.hss.com, our specialist division, All Seasons Hire, has an extensive range of portable heating units ready to help you through the chilly period.

Ranging from 2.5kw through to 220kw units All Seasons Hire can heat the smallest of rooms through to large warehouses. If catastrophe strikes and your boiler goes down then we have temporary boilers and air handlers that can be hooked up to your buildings existing system to keep all your colleagues warm and comfortable.

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Our expert engineers are on hand 24/7 to respond to your heating needs so you can sit back and relax, comfortable in the knowledge that All Seasons Hire will keep you warm this winter.

Recently added to enlarge our fleet are Jumbo and Radial 200kw units that throw out massive amounts of air and they’re all tested and ready for immediate dispatch.

All Seasons Hire is a specialist in temporary heating so when the weather deteriorates and you need extra heating to keep your business up and running, contact us. We’ll have the perfect solution to keep you up and running. Visit www.allseasonshire.com or click here to view the full range of heating equipment available through HSS Hire.

Interior Design Trends 2015

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Wondering what style you should opt for in 2015? Read on to discover our top interior design trends…

Retro hardware

Opt for burnished gold light fittings and glimmering, unusual tap fittings to inject a bit more personality where it’s least expected. Instead of opting for the usual or most simple, remember that the devil is in the detail! An antique door handle or industrial tap fitting will inject personality into your interior design for years to come, and they don’t have to come in run-off-the-mill silver – why not carry your colour scheme through into these details?

burnished light fittings interior design trends 2015

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Colour Psychology – colour in your home

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Your choices of colour for your house can have a profound impact on how your home (and the people in it) feel. Are you maximising the potential for colour in your home?

It’s all too easy to opt for simple old Magnolia, but if you want to use more vibrant colours, especially in combination, you need to understand the colour wheel. This really opens up your options, as you can use unusual contrasts for a really unique room.

The Colour Wheel

The basic rule is that colours opposite each other on the colour wheel are complementary, according to Charles Blanc’s colour wheel (the colour wheel which inspired 19th century artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet). Blue and orange, red and green and yellow and violet, then, are the complementary colours created from the primary colours (red, yellow and blue).

what colours go together?

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How to Tile a Floor – the Beginner’s Guide

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Tiling a floor can seem a daunting step for the amateur DIY-er, but it isn’t as tough as it might seem…

 

Hard tiling is an attractive and functional flooring choice for bathrooms and kitchens, and even hallways and conservatories. They’re great for high-traffic areas, as they’re hard-wearing, as well as being easy-clean. If you’re already a bit of a tiling pro, learn some more tiling tips from our “Tips to take your tiling skills to the next level” blog piece.

how to tile a floor - step by step

How to tile a floor, safety first:

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Skip Hire – What can I put in a hired skip?

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Before you hire a skip, here is a list of things you can’t put in it! Worth knowing before you commit…

skip hire - dos and don'tsYou can’t skip anything hazardous and harmful, or anything that compromises health and safety. That may seem obvious, but there are some prohibited items which you might not have considered. The list comprises, but is not limited to:  Continue reading