Armorgard reinvents on-site H&S information delivery

18 MONTHS after the launch of the InstructaHut, there's a completely new model of the all-in-one noticeboard, meeting point and emergency station.

This time around the unit is getting an update, including improvements to durability and functionality.

Inspired by the company’s continuing ambition to create value for customers and rethink the way crucial health and safety (H&S) information is delivered for them, Armorgard say InstructaHut 2.0 is a hybrid of RAMS, first-aid and fire-safety board that fully embraces the way construction sites are evolving.

“The launch of the new improved InstructaHut is significant, not only for our company but in construction health, safety and welfare,” said Armorgard Managing Director Terry Mitchell. “Our mission behind InstructaHut is to truly change the image of H&S information delivery, as well as making it more efficient and effective, particularly for smaller building and construction sites that may not have portacabin welfare units or RAMS boards.

“Keeping in mind our customers, end users and the changing needs of the health-focused construction site environment, we expanded on the successful design of the InstructaHut predecessor. Our aim was to create an information board that would be recognised by its shape and colour, to instinctively remind anybody on site of H&S instructions and responsibilities.”

The UK construction site equipment designer and manufacturer said the new, improved unit will provide greater visibility than standard site notice boards, helping construction workers to remain compliant while keeping sites safe. InstructaHut has a new double-sided board, which can be vinyl wrapped in red for fire safety products and green for first aid products, offering greater usage flexibility. There is also an optional cabinet, which provides a secure storage area for documents, tools, PPE, fire and first-aid equipment.

Businesses urged to promote sun safety for Sun Awareness Week

THOUSANDS of skin cancer cases in the UK could be prevented if businesses develop ‘sun safety strategies’, the leading chartered body for health and safety professionals have warned.

At least 1,500 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and 240 new cases of malignant melanoma linked to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure at work are diagnosed in Britain each year.

But 90% of all skin cancer deaths can be prevented if businesses – and their employees – take proper precautions.

During Sun Awareness Week (6-12 May), the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is urging employers to save lives by developing ‘sun safety strategies’ that include regular updates on the UV index from weather forecasts, minimising sun exposure in the middle of the day, potentially swapping jobs among team members at regular intervals, and asking employees to wear long-sleeved, loose-fitting tops and trousers.

Mary Ogungbeje, Research Manager at IOSH, said: “Both malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer are on the rise in Britain and Europe and sun exposure is the main cause. In Britain alone, skin cancer kills 60 workers a year, and outdoor workers are particularly at risk due to the nature of their roles.

“However, the majority of skin cancer deaths can be prevented if people control their exposure to solar UV radiation. There are a range of ways businesses can adapt to better protect workers, from minimising exposure to direct sunlight in the middle part of the day to ensuring outdoor workers wear appropriate clothing.”

IOSH says it is vital managers, workers and the wider public understand the importance of good sun safety and make efforts to mitigate the risks. By being aware of the dangers of UV exposure and taking the necessary precautions, lives can be saved.

“Through our No Time to Lose (NTTL) campaign, we’re raising awareness of occupational cancer and some of the most common causes, including solar radiation,” said Mary Ogungbeje.

“To help businesses develop sun safety strategies, we’ve developed a range of free practical resources to help prevent exposure. These resources can be downloaded at”

IOSH presented the solar radiation phase of NTTL in Paris last month during a multi-stakeholder summit on occupational skin cancer, which was organised by the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV).

The summit brought together a group of high-level representatives from medical and public health organisations, patient advocacy groups and trade unions to discuss how to improve workplace sun safety, provide earlier and better access to treatments and improve reporting and registration of NMSC cases.

At the event, it was highlighted that non-melanoma skin cancer is the world’s most frequently diagnosed cancer, with an estimated 2-3 million cases registered every year. The economic impact of work-related UVR is significant, with the annual healthcare costs in Europe estimated to be as high as EUR 853 million per year.

Ultraviolet radiation is a risk that particularly affects outdoor workers, who receive 5-10 times the yearly sun exposure of indoor workers.

Outdoor workers in construction, farming, fishing, recreation, sports and public services are regularly exposed to UVR for more than 75% of their daily working hours. It is estimated that the risk of developing skin cancer increases significantly with five or more years of outdoor work.

To better understand workers’ attitudes towards sun safety, this year, IOSH funded new research led by researchers from Heriot-Watt University and the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh to better understand UK construction workers’ attitudes towards sun safety and measure UV exposure.

The research investigated whether an intervention in the form of a combination of short messages delivered to the smartphones of construction workers, along with appropriate organisational support, can keep workers safe and healthy. The messages attempted to influence workers to reduce exposure to UV radiation in summer and to increase intake of vitamin D in winter when sun exposure cannot maintain a healthy amount.

The study shows that during the summer the desire to get a sun tan remained high among workers, with many exposing themselves to UV radiation deliberately, increasing their risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer.

Professor John Cherrie, Principal Investigator on the research from Heriot-Watt University, said: “In Britain we love the sun and having a sun tan, but unprotected exposure to the summer sun can cause irreversible damage to our skin and ultimately may lead to a diagnosis of skin cancer. Our desire for a tan is stopping us from taking proper care to protect our skin from the damaging effects of the UV radiation in sunlight.”

More information about the IOSH-funded research is available here:

Over 120 businesses worldwide have also signed IOSH’s pledge to tackle occupational cancer. Organisations can join the growing number of businesses leading on tackling occupational cancer by and signing up to the No Time to Lose pledge:

Engelbert Strauss: power workwear for power teams

Engelbert Strauss is one of the leading brands for work wear globally. It is run independently by a family in their fourth generation, with a factory located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany with approximately 1,200 workforces.

In Autumn 2016, the company joined the Fair Wear Foundation, in order to ensure three things: there is no child labour; fair wages are paid; and working conditions are safe within a reasonable amount of working hours.

Above and beyond the entrepreneurial activities, Engelbert Strauss push to make useful contributions to society. They have decided to focus social commitments on education projects in developing and emerging countries - in particular they would like to make access to education easier for children of workers at their manufacturing sites, for example through the construction of school buildings and providing teaching materials.

They do not have a fixed yearly budget for the money required for these projects, but decide the number of projects to support at their own discretion and personal beliefs.

The Engelbert Strauss products includes aspects of safety, environmental sustainability and fairness. Engelbert Strauss is the trend-setting market leader for workwear and occupational safety.

They develop practical products for everyday use for our customers from the trade, industrial and service sectors. With almost 30,000 items constantly in stock, they offer the widest range of special fields the possibility of purchasing not only workwear, but also important tools and accessories from one source. They focus on their own developed products in the textile, shoes and glove fields so that we are always in a position to offer complete solutions for everyday use. The production is scrutinized from raw material, colour production to cut and sew to guarantee constant high level of quality that are being tested throughout the production process.

As cold days are fast approaching, there are several Engelbert Strauss safety workwear options; from jackets or overalls with multi-functional features such as waterproof, windproof with breathable outer layer to protective hand gear from knitted to leather, with senso grip.

With a large range to choose from with affordable - prices are available on their website:

Snickers WorkTrousers are now getting even ‘Smarter’

With a proud history of exploring new techniques within workwear, Snickers Workwear is renowned for its modern designs, innovative functionality and market-leading fabric technology. Now its WorkTrousers are getting even ‘smarter’ with the integration of technology to improve performance and wellbeing at work.

In 2016, 100 craftsmen across five countries took part in a test wearing trousers featuring wearable technology measuring their performance to see how wearable technology can improve working health, and in the process, change the way we look at workwear.

Wearables are electronics that can be worn on the body, either as an accessory or as part of material used in clothing. One of the major features of wearable technology is its ability to connect to the Internet, enabling data to be exchanged between a device and a network. Wearable technology is already woven into our daily lives through smartphones, fitness devices, sports clothing and accessories - to help monitor and improve performance.

Snickers WorkTrousers are now getting even ‘Smarter’

‘Tracker 1’ is Snickers’ first prototype of wearable technology; a chip fitted to a pair of WorkTrousers enabling the user to monitor workplace noise levels, heat conditions and knee impact.

A recent study carried out in Scandinavia* showed that more than 50% of the professional craftsmen there are cutting corners at work and don´t use the available health and safety equipment as they should.

David Clark, managing director of the Hultafors Group UK says, “Our experience is that craftsmen usually are so focused on getting the job done that personal protection tends to be overlooked”.

But repeated ‘corner cutting’ over the years definitely creates a long-term health problem – an issue that Snickers Workwear has been continually addressing with its patented KneeGuard System.

Clark says, “The study shows that 6 out of 10 craftsmen are suffering from pain in their knees. So we see that there is definitely room for improving their wellbeing beyond just knee protection - and our ‘Smart Workwear’ is one way”.

Snickers WorkTrousers are now getting even ‘Smarter’

Clark goes on to say, “Market-leading technology and innovation have long been hallmarks of Snickers Workwear.

We are well known for our KneeGuard System, 37.5 Fabric Technology and technical functionality, but the integration of ‘smart’ wearable technology into our clothing shows the extent to which we are looking at working clothes and wellbeing on site in a completely new way”.

Getting more information about Snickers Workwear is easy. You can call the Helpline on 01484 854788; check out and download a digital catalogue; or you can email [email protected]

* The recent study was carried out carried out among professional craftsmen in Sweden by Kantar Sifo during December 2016 and January 2017. 

Research project seeks to strengthen CDM weaknesses

Contractors BAM Construction and ISG are among a host of organisations involved in an international research project aimed at reducing occupational injuries and illnesses in the construction industry.

The academia-led project will focus on improving health and safety through design.

The aim is to create a new tool that will enable architectures and engineers to assess and improve their ability to produce designs that are inherently safer for contractors to build and maintain as well as being safer for occupants to use.

The project, funded by the UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, is being undertaken by an international research team of academics and practitioners from the Health & Safety Executive, Heathrow Airport, Mott MacDonald, BAM Construction, ISG, Nick Bell Risk Consultancy, GCP Architects, Safety in Design, the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), Loughborough University and East Carolina University. The project commences in October and will run for two years.

It is estimated that the global construction sector accounts for 100,000 fatalities annually and about 30 to 40 per cent of all fatal occupational injuries. Injuries and new cases of ill health in construction are estimated to cost society more than £1.1bn a year in the UK.

The project's principal investigator Patrick Manu, a senior lecturer in construction project management at UWE Bristol, said: “The construction sector is notorious for the numerous occupational injuries and illnesses it records which also leads to huge social and economic costs for the industry, governments and societies. Studies have established that design is a significant contributor to the occupational injuries and illnesses in construction and as a result 'design for safety', also called 'prevention through design' is increasingly becoming prominent in construction worldwide.”

Design for Safety (DfS) is mandatory under the UK Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 which stipulate that designers, when preparing or modifying designs, should eliminate, reduce or control foreseeable risks that may arise during the construction, maintenance and use of their buildings. The regulations also state that the appointment of organisations with design responsibilities should be based on their capability. However, there is currently no robust systematic approach for establishing the DfS capability level of design firms.

The research will  seek to develop a web-based DfS capability 'maturity indicator' tool which will offer an improved approach for accessing the DfS capability of construction supply chain organisations involved in architectural and engineering design.

Dr Manu said: “In order for firms with design responsibilities to produce inherently safer designs for construction, maintenance and use of built assets, they need to have the appropriate level of capability maturity. The question then is how can this level be reliably assessed when existing schemes do not fully enable that? Furthermore, in line with the popular maxim, 'If you can't measure it you can't improve it', a bigger question is how can firms improve their capability when they are unable to systematically ascertain their current level in the first place?”

Liz Bennett, of Safety in Design, an organisation which supports designers and decision makers in the built environment, said: “The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 require at Regulation 8 the skills, knowledge, and experience (SKE) for individuals and the organisation capability for companies supplying services to construction projects. The construction industry struggles with what is meant by ‘organisational capability’ and how to demonstrate quickly and easily the necessary SKE. The capability maturity indicator tool will provide a much needed flexibility. It will recognise that companies develop and can improve, especially when benchmarking themselves against others in their sector and of their size. It will allow clients to define a level of maturity and to provide the appropriate level of support and fees to allow for effective project delivery. It is naive to suppose that every company has the same approach to health and safety in design and the same ability to engage effectively. The tool will allow for clarity for all stakeholders and the reduction of inappropriate assumptions.”

Professor Mike Behm, of East Carolina University, said: “This research project will enable design organisations to assess and improve their understanding of, and ability to, engage in meaningful safe design. The project is important to the global design and construction sector, which continues to be plagued by a disproportional accident frequency and severity rate compared to other industrial sectors.”

Seventec stepladder from Zarges – Safe Working at Height

Aimed at: Professional fitters. 

Pros: Rigid safe and in all weather conditions with lumniscent Hi-Vi Strips.

Zarges is a company to look at when it comes to innovative solutions to new working at height products that conform to latest Health and Safety rulings. But the company is also not beyond innovating just because innovation to reflect new materials and markets is a good thing per se.

As it happens, I have been doing several jobs recently that have involved the extensive use of “hop-ups” and small ladders. As I have got older I have increasingly become less of a fan of ladders higher than three metres or so, but the arrival of the Zarges Seventec series is right within my comfort zone and also suits my main purposes very well.


The Seventec Series consists of three work platforms with double sided access, extra wide treads and working heights ranging from 2.49m to 2.99m.

The taller work platform with single sided access also has three versions with working heights from 2.66m to 3.08m and these are followed by the Seventec stepladder range, all optimised for safer working outdoors.

The three models have working heights ranging from 2.7m to 3.1m and I was sent the latter to try out.

I must admit that when I saw the ladder in its transit packaging lying in the ToolBusiness office I was concerned that it might be too big to fit into my hatchback, but with the packaging removed it was a good fit, with the top section fitting snugly over the passenger headrest so that it wouldn’t move around in transit. Of course this also means that it would fit nicely onto a roof rack or inside an average sized van with no trouble at all, and with a weight of only 8.1 Kgs it is easy to carry and shift about.

The stability test is a good “first impression” test that I always try when I have to use a ladder. This usually tells me whether the ladder feels too light or flexible to feel safe under my feet as I climb.

The Zarges Seventec is easy to open via the integrated platform hinge that does not have any play in it at all, so the two sections of the ladder very stably bonded together. The two side locking arms are made from substantial alloy strips and lock positively when pushed down. So, first impressions on opening the ladder and setting it up on a reasonably flat surface were that it felt very stable and solid, with very little “play” other than the necessary flexibility required for easy movement of the parts relative to each other.

The other thing that I think offers that “extra-stable” feeling is that the uprights on the ladder seem to have an upward taper on them that is much less than “normal ladders.” As a result, the ladder feels wider than many I have used and the wide treads offer more than enough space for working–boot clad feet.

I wondered a bit about how the Zarges team had managed to achieve such rigid upright pieces, but a close examination gives the answer: - on each side of each upright there are two deep U-shaped folds that would prevent distortion of the extrusions anyway, but then, since each tread is riveted into these folds, (four rivets per tread) the rigidity is increased still further.

Actually, the more I used the ladder, the more I came to appreciate its stable and “safe” feel and became quite comfortable working at maximum height on the few occasions that I needed it when doing particularly high ceilings.

I used the ladder largely indoors, but in many ways, its real forte is as an outdoor ladder. The large safety platform of roughly 380mmby 260mm is substantial and provides easily enough space for big boots.

However, it is the 85mm deep treads that are one of the real contributions to outdoor safety, even in wet, snowy or muddy conditions. Without making the treads feel flimsy, a series of holes have been punched into the stepping area of each. The holes alternate between being punched either upwards or downwards. The upwards punched holes tend to provide grip for snowy or muddy feet, and their slight roughness gives grip on the rubber soles of work shoes.  The downward punched holes allow water and slushy or melted snow to drain through them and then away – so no dangerous small puddles of wet collect to be a hazard.

Added to these are twelve longitudinal ribs that are part of the extrusion. They are sharp enough to add to the grippy feel that is transmitted to the sole of workboots, so the overall feel of the ladder underfoot is that your feet are secure and unlikely to slip.

On each ladder upright, near the bottom is a substantial strip of reflective and luminescent tape that tells passers by that a ladder (possibly with someone on it) is there. And then there is the issue of the all-important ladder feet to consider. Some ladders seem to have an afterthought of a plastic moulding stuck on the bottom of each upright, but this Zarges Seventec has almost what could be called “shoes” on each foot. They extend several cm up the legs and fit snugly so they will not move. A big rivet on the inside of each leg means that they are not going to drop out or fall off.

Underneath each “shoe” is a series of deep ribs that provide good grip on smooth and rough surfaces and will prove to be long lasting too, in my opinion.

One of the things that really helped my feeling of confidence when using this ladder is that the tread side uprights have been extended upwards beyond the platform and then topped with a retainer that provides a solid reminder of where you are so that you don’t overreach or overstep. This is also used as a tray for small tools and parts. At the top of each upright is a strong plastic fitting that provides a hook for adding a workshelf for tools etc. So much easier than having to replace stuff into trouser pockets.

Overall, using this ladder, I had a strong impression that a lot of thought had gone into making a piece of equipment that is really fit for purpose, stable, strong and safe to use. I felt confident using it, and that, for me, is a huge plus. 

For more inforamation on Zarges, please visit

The DC 2900c from Dustcontrol UK - Best Selling Dust Collection

Aimed at: "small" pro users who need efficient and easy dust control. 

Pros: lots of them, including easy to move, easy to change bags and filters and very verstaile on or in workshop.

Dust control of all kinds at work sites is very high on the Health and Safety agenda at the moment. We have known about the dangers of dust for over 100 years – historically, the coal mining industry was particularly callous in the way that it treated employees with dust damaged lungs. And yet, when I look about me on building sites and public places, I still see many examples of poor practice. One of the worst examples I have seen was a crew of contract workers laying kerb stones along the Thames Embankment. One worker was using a disc cutter to cut a concrete kerb stone. He had no ear, face or dust protection and the disc cutter had no dust damping or vacuum collection attached. I watched as he and members of the public were engulfed in a cloud of dust as he finished the job.

Hopefully, now, councils and employers are more up to speed, and such sights have become rarer, but I still think that knowledge about dust control is patchy and the advice to people is not as informed as it might be. Anyone who works where dust is created should really take a close look at the latest advice – and I mean anyone from the bloke in a shed to a worker in a huge factory. A very good starting point would be to consult a company like Dustcontrol UK. Its incredibly knowledgeable representatives will not only provide very good advice, but will be able to supply a wide range of machines, devices and accessories to help solve the problems of dust.

And so to the review – most of the dust I produce is via woodworking machines, both static and portable, or on small building and decorating jobs where a wall sander is used before final finishing. After a chat with Phil, the Dustcontrol man, I worked out that the vacuum machine I had been using was not quite up to the job for a variety of reasons, mostly the filters and hose functioning. And of course emptying the thing was a H and S nightmare. Phil introduced me to the DC 2900, one of Dustcontrol’s best selling machines and ideal for use by “small” tradespeople. It is affordable, highly portable, very versatile and will fit into the back of an estate or van quite easily.  

The DC 2900 stands over a metre tall, but is quite slim, with a handy set of wheels mounted on the rigid steel chassis, so it is very easy to move, even up stairs and over rougher surfaces. At around 14Kg all up, it is not too difficult to lift either, and lifting is made easier by the addition of an auxiliary handle on the front filter housing. Getting through doorways for example, is actually a lot easier than some of the wider and squatter vacuums commonly used on sites. The result of pulling some of the “squatter” vacuums along by the suction hose is that the machine is pulled over since the wheels tend to be quite small. Dustcontrol have actually built in a solution to the problem by building in a suction hose retainer belt that prevents kinks in the hose and lowers the centre of gravity of the machine so that it can be pulled along quite easily. Working reach is impressive since the machine has a 5m long hose and about 6m of electric cable. Both of these are easy to tidy away – the electric cable is wound around the push handle and the suction hose around the top of the filter housing – thus making movement and storage pretty easy.

Most of the “works” of the DC 2900 is taken up by the all-important filter system. Inside there are two filters. One is the fine filter that is the first line of protection. Inside this filter sits a conical HEPA H13 filter that is incredibly easy to change as it simply lifts out, and this makes regular maintenance about as easy as it could be.

The motor is powerful but very quiet, with typical noise levels of only 68dB(A) and I can vouch for the fact that customers like a vac machine to be as quiet as possible, especially if vacuuming goes on for more than five minutes at a time. The all-important vacuum flow is a very impressive 190 cubic metres per hour via the antistatic, kink free, 38mm diameter suction hose. Anti-clogging is done via a cheeky little rubber flap on the side of the filter housing – a very simple but effective solution.

With the confidence gained from knowing that you are using a top class machine it becomes a lot easier to work safely and to minimise exposure to dust. Phil pointed out that even the traditional sweeping up at the end of the day, usually done by the apprentices, is unsafe because it simply makes dust particles airborne again. Far better to use the robust and carefully designed floor cleaning kit supplied. This has adjustable wheels on the vacuum head so that anything from fine dust to fairly sizeable lumps of plaster can be swiftly vacuumed up.

Emptying a vacuum can be as much of a hazard as working in a dust laden atmosphere, but the DC 2900 makes it as safe and easy as possible. Simply loosen the retaining strap around the filter housing and unloop the handles and the bag slides off. The handles are then tied together to make a package of dust that can be safely disposed of. Some users might be disconcerted that the dust bag is sucked flat by the vacuum during use, but then when the motor is switched off, all the dust that has been collected via the cyclone falls into the bag as the vacuum is lost.

Dustcontrol also makes a good range of accessories for its machines and I was able to see the pointing device demonstrated as well as trying out the core drilling accessory myself. Both collected dust very efficiently and having used the vacuum core drilling device for real, I see no reason why mess or dust should ever trouble your clients’ floors or your lungs again.  

Now that I am better informed about dust and dust control I certainly feel empowered to work more safely around dust. Of course it is key that dust control requires a good vacuum machine and the DC2900 is certainly that. It is well designed for safety and ease of use with a huge range of accessories too. The DC 2900 is a very good way to start the proper ongoing protection of your lungs as well as meeting statutory rules and regulations.

For more information, please visit Dustcontrol at

SmaartWipes – bigger, tougher, smarter.

Toolstream’s exclusive new range of SmaartWipes introduces a smarter, instant-cleaning solution for shifting the most stubborn dirt, grease and grime from a multitude of surfaces in the home, workshop, garage and garden.

Bigger, tougher and more effective than your average wipe, SmaartWipes are available in five categories – Heavy Duty, Stainless Steel, Carpet & Upholstery, Universal and Trade. All SmaartWipes deliver a strong, advanced degreasing action that pulls away grease and oil, making them particularly effective for cutting through the stubborn grime and dirt regular wipes simply can’t handle.

Heavy Duty SmaartWipes are coated with abrasive fibres for agitating stubborn dirt, grease and grime, making them ideal for use in the shed and workshop for cleaning hand tools, bikes and machinery parts. Stubborn kitchen grease and dirt is easily shifted with the Stainless Steel wipes, which leave a rejuvenated shine on taps, splashbacks, cookers and other stainless steel surfaces. Covered floors and furniture are also taken care of with Carpet & Upholstery SmaartWipes, which are perfect for removing everyday spots and stains from carpets and upholstery as well as vehicle seats and trim. Also available are SmaartWipes Universal and Trade Value, for widespread cleaning of paint, tar, ink, adhesives, PU foams, caulks, silicone, duct tape residue and pet mess plus much more.

All SmaartWipes are independently tested to BS EN 1276:2009 and contain lanolin, aloe vera and Vitamin E, which means they are environmentally friendly and kind to skin.

SmaartWipes are exclusively available from Toolstream from an RRP of £1.72 (Universal Tough Wipes). Go to for more information.

New PSE Code of Practice introduced

A new code of practice on electrical testing has been developed to ensure that hirers of portable and temporary welfare units meet their safety responsibilities.

The new document has been introduced by Portable Sanitation Europe (PSE) the trade association representing the interests of members involved in the hire and rental of on-site welfare units r portable companies, in partnership with electrical safety testing specialist Seaward.

In keeping with the main type of electrical hire equipment and facilities available from PSE members, the new guide pays particular attention to the safety needs associated with hot wash units, welfare units and luxury trailer units.

The Code of Practice provides an overview of the safety measures required for hire units that incorporate electrical accessories and appliances, along with the procedures for inspection, testing and maintenance during both pre and post hire periods.

As well as detailing the sort of testing that should typically be carried out, the document also includes advice on the role of in house and third party inspection and testing, competent persons and suitable test equipment.

To help dutyholders carry out the regular inspection and testing of portable welfare units Seaward has put together dedicated PSE test packages, comprising all the appropriate test instrumentation and accessories needed to carry out electrical testing safely and efficiently.

Details of the new Code of Practice for electrical safety testing of PS units are available from the PSE via or from

Draper Hard Graft Wipes -Effective Cleaners and Antibacterial Too!

Aimed at: pros and amateurs alike who need to clean up difficult things like grease and glues.

Pros: Easy to use, lots of them and big wipes too.

Wipes and cleaners have become very much part of the tool market as Health and Safety concerns have inevitably focused on healthy skin too. The days are gone when cleaning up was done with powerful solvents that left hands and skin stinging and dry. I confess that I always have a canister of wipes in my workshop and I use them regularly to clean away a variety of glues, paints, varnishes and oils.

The new Draper Hard Graft Wipes come in a large black and orange tub that holds 90 wipes. Opening the flip top lid seal the first time reveals a foil covering that seals the wipes for a good shelf life. Once this seal is broken you have to pull the first wipe from the centre of the roll. A simple system of grooves in the lid guides the wipe so that it can be pulled through and then separated from the next one, which is trapped in the groove ready to be pulled out for next time. The lid actually provides a decent enough seal to prevent the wipes from drying out.

Testing wipes is a good excuse for getting dirty hands, and it says on the container that Hard Graft Wipes are effective on glues, oils, sealants and paint – although this list is clearly not exhaustive.

Accordingly, my first job was to check and top up the oil in my car as this inevitably results in greasy, oily hands. I did all the other maintenance checks too, and when my hands were suitably dirty I pulled out a wipe and cleaned my hands. Results were pretty well immediate – the oil was quickly transferred from my hands to the wipe and I was left with sweet smelling, slightly slippery hands. If left for a while, the slippery feeling soon evaporates, but if you want to, a quick wash with ordinary soap returns the hands to “normal”.

Mostly I use woodglues, and even after I had allowed them to dry on my hands, the active ingredients in the wipes just lifted the residues off my fingers and left my hands clean. Superglues on the other hand, are very differently formulated. I had a little experimentation by putting a popular make of make of superglue on my fingers and letting it go off. Initially, the Hard Graft wipe didn’t appear to be shifting it, but after a while as I kept flexing my fingers the active ingredients crept under the glue and lifted it off. Result!

Both gloss and emulsion paints were shifted with the Hard Graft wipes, and as expected, the oil-based gloss took a bit more wiping and handwringing, but I was left with clean and sweet-smelling hands. 

With their capacity to shift oil and residues, the wipes are also great for cleaning tools and equipment and wiping down at the end of a working day. I used the wipes to clean dirty finger marks from a newly-painted door after I had fitted some new handles for a client, when a damp cloth had failed to do the job.

The Draper Hard Graft Wipes that remain have now been given a prominent place in my workshop ready for cleaning my hands as needed. Good Product!

Click on this link to see a video of the Draper Hard Graft Wipes: -

For more information on all Draper Products, please visit



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