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Saw point for Stihl

ELECTRIC saw giant Stihl could have its tools banned from major sites next year after snubbing a Major Contractors Group initiative to tackle hand-arm vibration.

The MCG has warned manufacturers that only power tools listed on the independent Havtec register at Loughborough University's Off-Highway Plant and Equipment Research Centre will be allowed on its sites from January.

The Havtec register indicates the likely hand-arm vibration risk to workers using the tools.

But Stihl has so far ignored the MCG's calls to register its tools - leaving the industry's most common chainsaw effectively blacklisted from major sites.

Other major manufacturers - including Hilti, Hiretech and JCB - have signed up to the initiative.

An MCG source said: 'We have written to the company and we haven't had a satisfactory response yet. The managing director was too busy to see us in August.'

Speedy Hire - the UK's number one tool hirer - is now set to drop Stihl saws from its stocks for major sites.

The source said: 'There's not much point in Speedy Hire having Stihl saws if they are not going to be able to hire them to MCG sites.'

Speedy Hire supply chain director Paul Green said: 'We are full supporters of the MCG initiative and made a commitment to only procure from suppliers that implemented independent testing and established Operc test data.

'We have an ongoing commitment to raise awareness of HAV syndrome. Our f leet is the newest in the industry and all our vibration equipment is regularly maintained and tested in our workshops.'

Stihl managing director Martin Thomas said: 'We do not see why we should submit tools to an arbitrary test in an environment which only purports to imitate real-life conditions when all of our equipment is already tested and complies with European standards.'