Left side advert image
Right side advert image
Super banner advert image
Subscribe to Print Monthly's RSS feed

Enter your email address here to sign up for our weekly newsletter

BSGA anger at ‘unfair’ HSE approach

The British Sign and Graphics Association has announced its dismay over the way several sign-makers has been treated by the Health and Safety Executive, and its refusal to talk about the matter of CNC Router safety.

Article picture

The BSGA is advising its members to read WIS (Woodworking Information Sheet) 22 covering safe use of routers

A sign-maker first pinpointed the issue when they received an unannounced visit from a HSE Inspector who deemed the company’s router as unsafe, despite bearing the CE mark. As a result of the HSE Inspector’s conclusion of inadequate safeguarding, the sign-maker had to pay fees and bear the cost of installing the extra safety features.

David Catanach, director of the BSGA, explains: “What the BSGA and our members don’t understand is why the inspector decided to use the notice when the machine in question carried the CE mark. None of the built-in safety features have been by-passed, tampered with or disengaged.

We wanted to sit down with HSE to discover why, if a product complies with and earns a CE mark, HSE Inspectors are issuing Enforcement Notices

“Our view, which is echoed by our expert advisors, is that, with the CE mark, the machine conformed to the relevant British Standard BS EN 849-3:2012 Safety of Woodworking Machines and did not warrant any further safety equipment. We wanted to sit down with HSE to discover why, if a product complies with and earns a CE mark, HSE Inspectors are issuing Enforcement Notices.”

Whilst Catanach enforces his respect for the HSE and its work, he cannot help but feel that this time something is not right. He continues: “They are patently wrong. The CE mark is a safety mark and is intended to confirm that a product complies with all relevant European safety standards. Why else is it there?

“To receive a CE mark a manufacturer must meet and document all the necessary requirements and produce a Declaration of Conformity as a safeguard against products not meeting safety standards of regulations. In this case, HSE seem to be applying additional standards over and above the British and European ones.

In this case, HSE seem to be applying additional standards over and above the British and European ones

“We believe in this instance they are wrong, and the problem is exacerbated by the fact that there is great inconsistency in the application of this practice across the country leading to speculation amongst some that sign companies are ‘easy pickings’ for some inspectors.”

Catanach concludes with advising sign-makers that their CNC Routers match the regulations set by HSE, as they refuse to meet with the BSGA to discuss the situation. He says: “It may mean sign-makers have to make changes and incur additional costs, but until the HSE is prepared to engage and work with the industry like they used to when we had a balanced approach from experienced inspectors, it seems there is littler else we can do.

“Manufacturers and sellers of routing equipment are now we aware of the HSE stance and are including or offering additional safeguarding, ranging from pressure mats and guard rails to light beams on all new machines. However, the onus is still on the purchaser to ensure that both equipment and how they use it meets the standards.”



If you have an interesting story or a view on this news, then please e-mail news@signlink.co.uk

Follow Genevieve on:
Karis Copp’s Twitter Profile
Print printer-friendly version Printable version Send to a friend Contact us

No comments found!  

Sign in:

Email 

or create your very own Sign Link account  to join in with the conversation.


Top Right advert image
Top Right advert image

Poll Vote

How has the Brexit vote affected your firm?

Top Right advert image