Established in 1934, Lindapter International is the world’s innovator of steelwork clamping systems, eliminating the requirement to drill or weld steel. The company designs and manufactures specialist products for connecting structural steel sections together and has more than 85 years’ of experience in its field. The company’s success is the result of its dedication to meet and exceed the needs of its customers’ and to adapt to the demands of the international markets it serves. Lindapter’s premium quality manufacturing and exceptional customer service are only possible due to its commitment to implementing robust Health & Safety policies and increasing awareness within the workplace.
Gavin Johnson has full H&S responsibility for the 30,000 sq ft Bradford site including the busy machine shop. He took the decision to buy a Cirrus Research Optimus Red sound level meter, as well as a doseBadge personal dosimeter, when he wanted to have more flexibility to conduct tests when and as often as he wished; rather than have to rely on an external consultant to come on site. “At Lindapter’s ISO9001 accredited production facility, the noise levels naturally vary depending on type of machinery operating at any one time, however due to the high levels of productivity, the incremental differences are quite small which makes it even more important that we can gauge them accurately,” he said.
“We found that the Optimus Red and the doseBadge complemented each other very nicely. The information we get from the Optimus is particularly important; we can measure for 10 minutes and that can be extrapolated out so we can have a very accurate estimate on what the exposure will be over several hours. It also showed how much people actually move around, which we weren’t aware of, which was very useful. “Previously, the use of other sound monitoring equipment used to be a real hassle to set everything up, maybe taking half a day by the time you had finished – with the Optimus Red, you calibrate, switch on and then download the results at the end – the hardest part is deciding which folder to store your results in!” Gavin is responsible for the Health & Safety of over 50 employees on site and whilst noise is not an issue for the company due to the EHS policies he develops and implements, he is keenly aware of both the legal and evidential responsibilities on behalf of Lindapter. “Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is turning into the new asbestos,” he said. “There is much more awareness about it and claims firms are turning their attention to it. We have to be in full control now, so in the unlikely event that there was ever an issue in the future our evidence and data is absolutely solid.” Recent UK research supports Gavin’s view that NIHL claims are on the increase as small claim firms switch their focus. UK law firm Weightmans analysed data from the Compensation Recovery Unit (CRU) and identified trends across the various classes of claims, finding a dramatic rise of NIHL enquiries - a rise of 139% between 2011 and 2014 from 18,570 claims to 44,158. “The Optimus and doseBadge give me full flexibility in the workplace and the information we gain is extremely valuable.” concluded Gavin.