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Hirers and Operc back tool test move

PLANT

INDUSTRY body Operc and an elite group of hirers are to step up the pressure on tool manufacturers to provide improved vibration data.

The hirers, including Speedy, A-Plant, HSS and Brandon, are to meet next month to build on the Major Contractors Group's recent decision to only allow tools that have undergone 'real life' vibration testing onto their sites.

The MCG believes that the data will enable contractors to accurately assess the risks of hand-arm vibration.

The major hirers between them take a sizeable proportion of the industry's power tools and any policy decision would impact on a wide cross-section of contractors across the country. Likewise, any ban on tools that fail to meet the required standard would hit manufacturers hard.

Speedy chief executive Steve Corcoran has already said his firm would not buy new tools from manufacturers that did not commit to independent testing.

Operc convenor Dr David Edwards said: 'We want to see how we can ensure that workers have only safe equipment, backed up with reliable independent data.

'There needs to be wider industry pressure on manufacturers and we want to look to see how we can get the job done.'