2019 saw industries in which our membership and training providers operate challenged by uncertainty both economically and politically. Nonetheless, the need for representation of our abrasive producing members on the wider industry stage continues unabated, as does the need for us to play a key part in workplace safety standards. Member representation and abrasive safety training continue to be the two key pillars of our work here at the British Abrasives Federation (BAF) and below we detail further our work in these areas in 2019:
The BAF Training initiative continued to provide a reliable, comprehensive and current package of training documents and resources to trainers of the users of abrasive wheels. The packages have had minor tweaks to ensure they stay current and in 2019 we have undertaken no less than 10 re-accreditations – as is required every three years. Our ever-growing network of accredited providers collectively train thousands of end users each year; reinforcing the safety principles we at the BAF have defined in line with legislation and the HSE. The BAF office has remained busy with incoming requests for our popular workstation safety posters and questions and queries on abrasives safety and training.
Moving onto our technical undertakings, in 2019 the BAF continued to play one of the most present and active roles at FEPA (Federation of European Producers of Abrasives) of all national federations – leading the revision of ISO525 bonded abrasives standard and leading the revision of ISO 13942 standard – Limit deviations and run-out tolerances (bonded abrasives). We actively tracked progress in other commissions covering abrasive grain, coated abrasives, super abrasives, health safety and environment and played a major role in the revision of all of the EN safety standards and ISO 603 dimensional standards for abrasives. Standards that have been published after revision in 2019 include EN12413 for bonded, EN13743 for coated and ISO13942 for bonded abrasives. As with our work in 2019, in our work with FEPA in 2020 we strive to reflect the current “state of the art” in terms of product safety requirements. We clarify ambiguities in the standards so that members and anyone using the standards apply them correctly, ensure products comply with all aspects of design related to safety and marking requirements in respect to the selection and safe use of abrasive products. All of this very technical work BAF undertake translates into BAF members’ products offering the highest level of safety and compliance with regulations such as PUWER in the UK.
BAF council Chairperson, John Willis, would like to take the opportunity as we look back on another successful year to thank the dedicated council members for their work in forwarding our two key pillars of activity summarised above. Sincere thanks also extend to the BAF membership and their continued support to whom we wish prosperity for 2020.