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    Waterside News

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Engineering safe isolation and lock off

Maintenance engineers have an essential role is most industrial and manufacturing firms.  They proactively maintain equipment to avoid loss of productivity, and provide quick response to sudden breakdowns.  The typical maintenance engineer will take great pride in the work they do, having built up detailed knowledge of site systems over years of experience.

Risks of the job

Most processes and equipment will require safe isolation prior to commencing work.  Maintenance staff deal every day with risks arising from the presence of live voltages, high pressure oils/fluids, hazardous chemicals, mechanical movement, items falling etc. 

Highly skilled engineering apprentices

There has been a lot of news today (22/10/15) about apprenticeships potentially becoming devalued. OFSTED is particularly concerned that the drive to create 3 million new apprenticeships is leading to many poor quality courses and training that doesn’t deliver the right skills.

Graduate engineering training

Three new graduates with a nuclear projects firm have completed 5 weeks of practical industrial skills training with Waterside. Lewis Knotts, Jordan Egan and Luke Ross all hold engineering related degree courses, and will go on to work in design and project management for their new employer.  In order to help build their understanding of practical engineering, Waterside developed the 5 week programme consisting of mechanical skills, welding and electrical control.

Well done to all our new Waterside apprentices who have just completed their extended first year induction.  This was an intense 7 day session where the apprentices get familiar with what their programmes involve, as well as covering many key safety skills essential for working in industry - including Dynamic Risk Assessments, Manual Handling and First Aid at Work.

Why is abrasive wheel training so important?

Abrasive wheels are commonly found in industry, both in fixed pedestal/bench grinders and in portable grinding tools.  They are a versatile tool, capable of cutting, shaping, smoothing and cleaning a wide variety of materials.  By their very nature, part of the wheel surface has to be exposed in order to carry out work, so proper training and competence is essential when using these pieces of equipment.

What is the biggest danger?

With the wheel rotating at several thousand revolutions per minute, any breakdown of the wheel material could lead to fragments being ejected at speed, leading to potentially serious injuries.  If the abrasive wheel is worn, damaged, clogged with the wrong type of material debris or used incorrectly, it could overheat and burst in use. 

On Friday 28 August 2015 the Annual Waterside Graduation and Apprenticeship Awards Evening took place at Langtree Park in St Helens, the home of St Helens RFC.

The event was a huge success with 90 people attending the event including Apprentices, Parents, Employers and New Employers who are embarking on the journey of having an apprentice for the first time.  

A huge thank you must go to Gareth Jones representing the IMechE for attending with his wife who have supported the award over a number of years.