MPA Health and Safety Award for Brett Landscaping and Building Products

An initiative to reduce manual handling and sawing of kerbs at Brett Landscaping and Building Products’ Barrow manufacturing plant won the Occupational Health and Well Being category at the recent Mineral Products Association (MPA) Health and Safety Conference and Awards.


The Barrow plant produces over 250 Trief (containment) and Kassel (bus stop) kerbs per day and while 85% of these could be produced on the automated manufacturing line, non-standard shapes and sizes had to be made on the factory floor using moulds. This was a very manual process requiring two operatives to handle between 20 and 30 moulds a day, each weighing between 70 and 150 kg depending on the stone being produced.


There was also a manual handling issue with the saw as these products had to be forklifted onto the machine then moved into position manually using a crow bar. Extensive use of the saw also contributed noise and silica dust to the factory environment.


The Trief and Kassel team devised a way to automate manufacture of most of these non-standard kerbs by using specially adapted steel carriers with internal moulds made of a combination of wood and rubber which would allow three dimensional curves to be produced – something that was not possible previously.



33 of the 45 types of kerb, made with over 200 different moulds have been transferred from the floor to the Coote manufacturing system, which is able to mechanically invert and release the kerbs before lifting them by powered chain hoist for finishing. As well as the significant reduction in manual handling, saw work is down to 8% of 2016 figures.


Production Manager, John Firth comments: “The Trief and Kassel production team have really worked hard to build and grow these ideas into a reality. The commitment from the team has delivered us into a win-win scenario to the benefit of everyone involved in the production process and making the working environment clean, safe and more cost effective.”


Another Brett Landscaping and Building Products’ entry, this time from the company’s Poole plant, received a highly-commended in the Engineering Initiatives category at the MPA Health and Safety Awards.


The plant at Poole produces paving blocks, some of which go through a tumble drum to give the finished product a distressed finish. Blocks are dropped into the tumbler from a conveyor and the abrasive nature of this process meant that the wear guard – a set of metal strips welded to the point of impact in the drum – would frequently become damaged or detached. These strips had to be replaced and welded back into place on a weekly basis – a difficult, hot process in a confined space.


The wear guard has been redesigned and now features bolted metal strips rather than welded ones. These have proved far more durable, requiring less maintenance and reducing downtime. The job of changing the strips is also now much easier, quicker and can be done without hot work in the confined space of the drum.



This year’s MPA Health and Safety Awards, which showcase the innovation, ingenuity and sharing of best practice within the organisation’s membership, attracted a record number of 148 entries from 30 companies of all sizes and from all over the UK.

 

Photo:

Jorge Dorrego - Site Manager, Poole, Ola Gaszynska - Site Administrator, Barrow, John Firth - Production Manager at Barrow, Will Hayles - Site Manager, Barrow, Rachel Stone - Lead SHEQ Manager and Pat Hastings - Production Director.

 
    
  • Health and Safety Awards 2018