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RCI Feb 2018

Project1_Layout 1 07/05/ISAFETY, ACCESS & TOOLS Power tool ‘safety nets’ While there is no substitute for following safe practice, technology can bring power tool users an extra level of reassurance. Eric Streuli, UK training manager for Bosch Power Tools, explains more to RCI readers n developing innovative health and safety features and systems, Bosch seeks to protect trade professionals from three dangers: • Sudden injury – especially the effects of ‘kickback’ • Hand arm vibration syndrome – caused by exposure to tool vibrations • Respiratory illnesses – resulting from breathing in dust Kickback There are no easily obtainable UK figures for accidents related to power tools, but they are likely to run into tens of thousands annually. One factor often reported in Britain is kickback, where a drill bit, grinding disc or saw blade is jammed by an unseen resistant object in the work material. An instant transfer of rotation to the tool itself can twist, tear or break the user’s arms. More horrifically, the cutting edge may be redirected onto the user. A sensible precaution is to scan the material for nails, pipes, cables, and other hidden hazards, using a Bosch detector, before working on it. Nevertheless, be ever wary of concealed obstacles and layers of greater resistance. Bosch counters these hazards with its Electronic Rotation Control (ERC), or KickBack Control, as fitted to tools like the Bosch GWS 18 V-125 PSC Professional Angle Grinder. Its acceleration sensors trigger an immediate power shutdown when a sudden change is detected. Other incidents The same tool offers additional safeguards against cutting and twisting injuries. Its protection switch, running the length of the angle grinder body, has a ‘deadman’ function. Power is instantly cut if the user lets go. A programmable feature, Soft Start, allows progressive speed build-up to avoid initial kickbacks. If the tool is left switched on after battery removal or depletion, Restart Protection prevents an unexpected start-up when power is restored. Further aids to keeping flesh separate from moving blades include the Intelligent Brake System, as on the Bosch GST 18 V-LI B Professional Bow Jigsaw. It quickly stops the stroke mechanism when the trigger is moved to ‘off’, so you can lay the saw down without risk. The Bosch GKF 12 V-8 Professional Compact Router is one of the tools featuring Drop Detection, a sensor-based control which shuts down power if it falls. Advanced technology related to power tools can even reduce the chances of falling from heights. Frequent climbing of ladders to adjust equipment – which always carries some risk – is now avoidable, thanks to Bosch connectivity. The 096 FEBRUARY 2018 RCIMAG.COM Bosch GLL 3-80 C and CG Professional Line Lasers, and Bosch GLI 18 V-1900 Professional Floodlight, are some of the products which can be controlled remotely from your smartphone. Vibration The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says almost two million people in Britain are at risk from hand-arm vibration syndrome. After a gradual build-up of nerve damage, which eventually becomes permanent, the sufferer is left unable to work. In 2016, there were 695 new Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit claims for the related conditions of vibration white finger and carpal tunnel syndrome. The effect of vibration on workers depends on its magnitude and the duration of exposure. HSE’s website has a useful calculator showing how long you can safely use a specified tool each day, based on the maker’s vibration ratings. Vibration can be reduced in various ways to extend that safe time. Anti-vibration handles, can dampen vibrations and enhance comfort. Decoupled housing is an additional vibration damping mechanism applied, for instance, to the Bosch GEX 125- 150 Professional Random Orbit Sander. Here, decoupling of the sanding unit from the motor housing helps deliver low vibration levels. The Bosch GWS 18 V-125 PSC Professional Angle Grinder, already benefits from advanced Vibration Control. An HSE report entitled: ‘Occupational Lung Disease in Great Britain 2017,’ states that respiratory diseases resulting from past working conditions account for around 12,000 deaths annually. Meanwhile, each year sees 18,000 new cases of breathing or lung problems caused or exacerbated by work. Silica dust, generated by drilling or cutting things like slate, stone and brick, is one of many substances which can irreversibly damage your health and shorten your life. No dust should be regarded as harmless. Use of vacuum cleaning systems with appropriate filtration levels is recommended. Bosch has a wide range to suit every application, with a variety of convenience features such as automatic filter cleaning. Many Bosch power tools are compatible with the Bosch Click & Clean system, which enables direct connection for immediate dust extraction. Other Bosch approaches include: hollow drill bits through which dust is extracted; tools with integrated dust extractors; and angle grinder dust extraction guards incorporating vacuum cleaner outlets. www.bosch-professional.co.uk


RCI Feb 2018
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