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Abrasive Experts Tackle Hard the Question of Safety

Abrasive Experts Tackle Hard the Question of Safety

Paris, France (Monday 28 November 2016) – End-users safety is the main concern of European producers of abrasive products. Indeed, seventy (70) experts, present in Paris, France from November 21st – 22nd for the FEPA technical conference, represented forty-one (41) companies from fifteen (15) European countries. The common thread that emerged from the discussions was to reduce risks in the use of abrasives products such as contact, exposure to noise, vibration, kick-back effect as well as ejection of parts and debris. The experts addressed improvement of the EN safety standards, which are providing essential safety requirements in design, production, and marking, as well as how to effectively communicate to the end-users in order to raise awareness on safety measures. The conclusion of these meetings revealed that:

  • Products marked with the following relevant EN standards provide the essential safety requirements:
    1. EN 12413 for Bonded Abrasives;
    2. EN 13236 for Superabrasives (precisionstone and construction), and;
    3. EN 13743 for Specific Coated Abrasives (vulcanised fibre discs, flap wheels, flap discs and spindle-mounted flap wheels).
  • The website Abrasives Safety (www.abrasivessafety.comprovides essential safety recommendations on the use of abrasive products.
  • video tutorials on the safe use of abrasives are available in English, French, German and Italian on Abrasives Safety YouTube channel.
  • Employers shall take all the measures necessary to ensure that workers using work equipment receive adequate training, per the “Use of Work Equipment Directive 2009/104/EC, Article 9 "Training of workers", applied in all EU countries.

In the United Kingdom, under the PUWER 98 regulation, specifiers, buyers and operators using abrasives are legally required to be trained in their safe use. This training must be performed by subject matter experts in the abrasive industry. In 2009, The British Abrasives Federation (BAF) introduced the educational program, “BAF Operator Training Course Accreditation Scheme,” offering their own accredited trainers and providing an effective way for companies to fulfill the government’s legal requirement.

FEPA is represented in European countries by seven national associations. Altogether, experts, associations and FEPA cooperate with machines builders (EPTA), the national authorities, and the American producers of abrasives (UAMA) to continue to improve safety in the abrasive industry.

About FEPA

FEPA, the Federation of European Producers of Abrasives, is an association representing over 80% of the European producers of abrasive products, a world leader, including SMEs and international companies in the world, as well as the abrasives National Associations and their members. FEPA Members cover 90% of abrasives European production, exporting 35% of it in the world.

FEPA’s missions, aside from representing the European abrasive industry, are to promote the safe use of abrasives produced in Europe and the safety of the end-users, to inform members on the evolution of the regulatory framework in Europe and worldwide, to support the producers with a range of technical, legal and scientific services, and to anticipate future challenges in the abrasives sector.

FEPA also has strong connections with non-European federations and abrasive producers in countries such as the USA.

The member companies produce all types of high quality abrasives:

  • Bonded abrasives (inorganic and organic);
  • Coated and non-woven abrasives;
  • Superabrasives (diamond and cBN) for precision grinding, and;
  • Superabrasives for stone and construction.

Abrasives are essential components weaved into numerous industries such as construction, automobile, aeronautics, environment, optical activities, glass, electronics… and also DIY.