Professional worktop fabricators get-together - September 10 at Beltrami, Halesowen
After lock-down, what’s next for fabricators?
One of the great founding principles of the Worktop Fabricators Federation was to create a community that professional stone worktop fabricators can call their own. Covid’s rather kicked that off the agenda for the last couple of months -- but we reckon the industry is more than ready to get together and talk about what’s next for our professional reputation and our individual livelihoods.
Professional worktop fabricators get-together.
Beltrami, Halesowen. September 10. 2.00-4.00pm.
Free to attend. A sandwich lunch and coffees will be provided.
Beltrami have kindly volunteered to host the Worktop Fabricators Federation at their superb showroom and board-room in Halesowen, West Midlands (about 10 minutes from Junction 3 of the M5) on Thursday September 10th. Plenty of room to socially distance all you want, but still intimate enough for us to be able to talk comfortably with one another.
Business programme includes:
- A (virtual) presentation from the HSE to make sure they capture all our best practice for the re-write of their stone dust guidance.
- A (real-life) presentation from the WFF Directors on what the Federation has accomplished to date, and what we’re looking to do next.
- A special guest appearance by Eric Bignell, editor of Natural Stone Specialist.
But the big advantage of the day -- and the big value to be had for your business -- will be the opportunity it provides simply to touch base and share experiences with the owners of other professional fabrication companies.
If you are interested in attending please contact Chris Pateman
WFF defends UK industry's record on respirable dust
Britain’s professional stone worktop fabricators have responded with concern to press stories implying the safety of their staff is being put at risk by poor working practices.
The reports cite a nine-year medical research study among Spanish stonemasons and suggests workers in small stone fabricating workshops near Cadiz exhibited an above-average risk of developing respiratory problems as a result of inhaling stone dust.
Mem Zekayi, a director of the Worktop Fabricators Federation which represents professional stone worktop fabricators in the UK, issued the following comment:
“While we can’t comment on whatever conditions researchers may have found in Spain, British worktop manufacturers and our suppliers have been aware for many years of the potential dangers associated with poor workshop practice.
“The UK worktop fabrication industry has led the way in insisting on wet-cutting, dust filtration ventilation and mechanical handling to reduce the risk to our workforce. Responsible worktop fabricators are very aware of the risks of crystalline silica and respirable dust, and have strict Health and Safety control measures in place, including appropriate regular health screening
“One of the core reasons we set up the Worktop Fabricators Federation is because of our concern to ensure customers can have full confidence the materials used to create their dream kitchen have been handled correctly. And that the fabricators and installers who create it are treated with proper respect for their health and wellbeing.
“In a free market, it is not possible to prevent anyone buying slabs of stone. Or from cutting and shaping it in customers’ gardens using angle-grinders or adapted joinery tools. This Spanish research serves as a reminder that one of the reasons properly-made stone worktops command a price premium is the significant investment professional fabricators have made in wet-cutting equipment and properly controlled workshop environments.
“We urge anyone who is thinking of commissioning a stone worktop to talk with a WFF member about what it means to do the job safely and professionally.”
Back-to-work with Best Practice
With house-builders now re-opening sites and some WFF members re-starting operations, here's the latest proof that many heads are better than one.
WFF members have collaborated to create a template of best-practice guidelines, specific to our industry, to complement the construction industry-standard Site Operating Procedures.
Members are welcome to take as much or as little from the template as they wish, to suit the needs and messaging of theirt own businesses. But we hope they will provide a useful risk-assessment benchmark for managing expectations in these still uncertain times.