The Importance Of Time & Training In The Linings & Coatings Industry.
Companies can spend thousands of pounds on state of the art application Equipment, the customer can request the best lining material on the market, an all singing all dancing promise of 25 + years Warranty withstands the harshest of environments. All this may be true, but so many of these systems fail earlier than stated, this is due to Human Error 95% of the time. Why do we need an inspector to check the work when this should be part of your own quality control as a Linings & Coatings Applicator? Ok failed Lining Systems give others work to repair but costs the consumer the money and unnecessary downtime.
Systems can fail from; Under curing, poor coverage, misses around nuts and bolts, wrong product, water in lining material, poor preparation, not enough adhesion & lack of quality control upon completion.
The solution? It’s all about training we spend our whole lives learning new things, whether it’s not putting the wheelie bin out the night before and the bin men turning up earlier than expected or we take that gamble of not checking the screen wash on the car on a wet wintry day. We all make mistakes FACT, so we need to be prepared that when applicators apply these liners they are going to forget something they are going to speed things up to knock of earlier off site on a Friday. Having been on site, worked the job applied the linings & Coatings, I know for a fact that pressure is the biggest problem, 500sqm you have 7 days to Grit Blast, clean the storage tank, vacuum the tank. And apply 2 coats of solvent free Epoxy with 4 Operatives on the project. The person quoting has stated yes he will blast that in a day no problem then straight on with this and so on. The Site workers are going to be stressed, they will curse the managements name, they certainly will not do what they have been taught to do, this is how the human mind works!
So from a Managerial view we need to think first a foremost that the most important part of Linings & Coatings Application is doing a perfect job by the book and as stated by the product manufacturers. We need to consider this in our Pricing, our timescale to do the project and allow for downtime & equipment breakdowns. We need to allow the applicators the time and the resources to do the job perfectly.
You can send your Applicators on ICATS, you can make them sign a paper to insist they have stripe coated or applied the coating to a wet film thickness of 600 microns, if you don’t give your applicators the time to implement all they have learned or been taught to do, you will not get the desired result you have specified to your customer.
To Sum up my view is the best way to train your Staff is allowing them the Time to put into practice what they have been taught, it works for SLS so it can work for you!
Health & Safety on-site, has the industry gone overboard?
With the introduction of more site rules, intense training and, the complete overhaul of the CSCS Scheme coming into force in 2017 I hear workers on site all the time saying the industry has become all about health & safety and not about getting the job done. Are they right? Are these systems about protecting the people? Or even protecting the businesses from claims? The world has gone crazy with claims, you can’t go far without seeing some advertisement of have you been hurt in an accident and was it not your fault? As an Employer myself I have a Duty of Care for anyone that works for me, do I need to too wrap them up in cotton wool so they cannot do the job in a more comfortable manner? Rest assured any Employees of SLS are looked after, with their safety number one when doing our works. When I Risk Assess, it is normally a Dynamic one which is carried out on each site survey I do. I think about how I would want to do the job and whether or not I would feel safe, an example may be the site I work on says SLS must where hard hats when walking around site, i think no problem your site your rules. Do I then think it’s necessary for my staff to wear a hard hat with a strap over a full face mask in an underground tank when there are no risks of something falling on their heads? No! Of course this may be challenged and It can be forced to be implemented before commencing work, but I will always challenge something I find unnecessary, if we don’t debate the person who we all think is wrong will always be wrong?? I personally think This is the idea of a risk assessment, it finds problems it tells us the risks with what we are doing, do I think someone typing a generic risk assessment from the office when they have never seen the site can be classified as a proper document? Me personally I don’t think so. When it comes to risk assessment I think it’s become just one of them documents that has to be done to carry out site work, I think it has lost its edge, if risk assessment is taken more seriously by both management and especially employees I think the accident rate would become lower.
Risk Assessment has always been around, it used to be verbally. Written Risk Assessment came in to force around 1992-1993 by the HSE as a method of documenting what risks are involved, to remove the attitude of he never told me to not tie my hair up whilst working on the machine or she never told me she was mopping the floor after tea break. When I take my children out for walks the amount of times I say the word careful or wait! We all do it; life is a constant risk assessment.