The Gemstone way of working

Ventilation, air handling and food taint avoidance

Installation of Resin Flooring Systems

 

MMA flooring systems e.g. Décor, Flake, Self Levellers, are described as a hard-wearing, self-smoothing resin with a decorative quartz, flake or pigmented finish. It is very quick to install, typically curing within 2 hours depending on temperature and other conditions. However, the product has a strong odour which may be uncomfortable for others working in the factory or workplace.

 

All Resin flooring products give off vapours during the curing process. These vapours can Taint food produce if the vapours are in direct contact with the produce for a sustained period of time regardless of whether they smell or not. However, when airflow is provided to prevent stagnation, Taint will NOT occur.

 

High fat content produce are more liable to taint. Once the resins have cured, no taint risk is present. Resins that smell is at an advantage as they provide a warning sign should there be any curing or ventilation issues.

 

Without proper air handling, vapour levels can exceed workplace exposure limits for individuals working elsewhere in the workplace, not just those directly involved in the application process.

Control Measures

Principal / Main Contractors will ensure air monitoring is therefore used to ensure that control measures are effective and to ensure the safety and comfort of staff or contractors working within the workplace.

 

The following checks will be made:

 

• Verification that materials handling procedures are followed and that flooring teams are wearing correct PPE.

• That hoarding and air handling systems are sufficient.

• Work should be carried out when workplace is closed to staff.

• Work should be planned through consultation with the workplace, client and flooring contractor, aiming to minimise disruption to the workplace.

• The workplace must be made aware of all access restrictions (flooring area, exclusion zones, ducting runs etc.) and potential for changes to these during the work.

• For multi-phase or more complex jobs it is recommended that the client, contractors and flooring contractor are involved in pre-start meetings.

• Review impact on other works planned at the same time – check for conflicts in access for contractors and ensure no hot works will be occurring in the vicinity of the flooring area. (Hot works should be by permit only)

Exclusion Zone

Communication with Workplace

 

Workplace (including night management team) to be made aware of the following:

 

• Work programme & access restrictions including ducting runs.

• Exclusion zones (and potential for adjustment during the works).

• Removal of fruit/vegetables/unsealed food from the exclusion zone.

• Air conditioning to be disabled during the works.

• Any pregnant women, asthmatics or other colleagues with respiratory problems should be identified and arrangements made for these to work in unaffected areas. The workplace night manager should bring these individuals to the attention of the Client.

 

Material Storage

 

• All resins must be placed in a suitable container and out of sunlight.

• The storage container must be located away from the main workplace building.

• Catalyst (BPO) to be placed separately from resins.

• Resins must not be placed anywhere where there is a risk of sparks.

• Resins must not be placed within the workplace building, this includes the warehouse. Only sufficient resins for each shift should be brought into the workplace, and any remaining should be removed at the end of each shift.

Safe Material Handling

Materials Handling

 

• Appropriate PPE to be worn in accordance with relevant method statements.

• Fire extinguishers, first aid, eye wash to be made available within the flooring area.

• Flooring contractors to follow safe material handling procedures.

• No eating, drinking or smoking in the flooring area.

• All waste/left over materials to be disposed of in the correct skip.

 

 

 

 

Enclosure

 

• Flooring area to be segregated from the rest of the workplace by hoarding or equivalent (e.g. fire retardant plastic sheeting).

• Hoarding to be as air-tight as possible. A full height enclosure is strongly recommended.

• Location of hoarding to be planned to allow room for mixing station, fans, etc.

• Consideration must be given to enclosure entrances, fire escape routes, ventilation routes etc.

• Any ceiling vents should also be sealed.

• It may be necessary to make repairs/adjustments to the hoarding once work is underway, therefore provision of sufficient materials and labour should be considered.

• Non flooring personnel to be excluded from the flooring area once works begin.

• Following the completion of works, the hoarding should not be dismantled until the client gives approval.

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