Skanska, STIHL and CSkills in drive to promote best practice in cut-off saw use

Press release 23/12/2013 10:10 CET

Skanska, STIHL and CSkills have joined forces to develop a new training programme and accompanying video to promote the safe use of petrol driven cut-off saws in the construction industry.

Skanska, STIHL and CSkills in drive to promote best practice in cut-off saw use

Following an accident in November 2012 on the Network Rail Thameslink Programme, an investigation by Skanska highlighted the need for enhanced training across the industry. One of the biggest causes of injury is kick-back when the cutting wheel jams, which is often caused by operator error. The injuries can result in life-threatening or life-changing injuries.

Contractor Skanska and cut-off saw manufacturer STIHL have developed the training programme over the last year. CSkills Awards, the awarding organisation of CITB, will provide the training, which is split into two categories. A two-day ‘train-the-trainer’ course will be delivered by STIHL at its GB headquarters in Camberley, Surrey and regionally across Britain. This will enable CSkills trainers to hold half-day training courses for operatives, which will be available from April 2014 and can be booked through CSkills direct.

An eight-module training video has also been produced by the partnership. The modules will be freely available to deliver training on work sites, with content accessed via various media channels including YouTube.

Skanska’s Director of Health and Safety Dylan Roberts says better education is vital to promote the safe use of the equipment: “We need to raise awareness of the potential risks of this equipment, and how to use it safely. It’s important to take a lead in the industry, and help reduce the number of injuries. This is a fantastic example of collaboration across our industry. A main contractor, manufacturer and national training provider coming together to improve standards of health and safety on construction sites.”

Network Rail's Head of Health and Safety for the Thameslink Programme Steven Fink added: “After a significant accident resulting in very serious injuries, it was encouraging to see manufacturers and suppliers working pro-actively together to really make a difference to the health, safety and wellbeing of our workforce. These three organisations have shown what is possible when you want to make a change in our industry.”

Kevin Fear, Head of Health, Safety and Environment Strategy for CITB said: “At CITB, we’re committed to ensuring our industry works safely. That’s why we believe that this video is essential viewing for anyone using a petrol cut-off saw and covers handy hints such as blade selection, safe cutting techniques, related health risks and correct PPE. Not only will it help ensure those using cut-off saws to remain healthy and safe, but it will help in prolonging the life of the equipment and thus save time and money.”

Hans Fairley, Technical Services Manager of STIHL GB said: “As the world’s best-selling cut-off saw brand we are naturally keen to promote best practice in their use, minimising risk to users and at the same time optimising machine performance. I applaud our partners in this initiative for encouraging those same aims and encourage all cut-off saw users to undertake training and refresh their skills.”