Toe Guard: comfort and safety for wearers, great value for employers

PART of the Hultafors Group UK’s portfolio of premium-branded workwear, tools, protective wear and safety footwear, the Toe Guard range of shoes and boots delivers great value safety footwear for all kinds of working environments and weather conditions.

With a RRP that starts at only £31.45 plus VAT a pair, this footwear is one of the fastest growing brands in Scandinavia where demands for safety, quality and value keep their shoes and boots one step ahead of the competition.

With a variety of shoes and boots available in the range, every product has in-built hi-tech designs that deliver S3-certified comfort and safety that includes robust fiberglass toecaps, shock absorption, flexible puncture resistant composite plates, ESD protection, oil resistant friction soles and water resistance.

"The Toe Guard product family compliments our portfolio of premium brands perfectly," said Peter Dumigan, the Hultafors Group UK managing director.

"It combines top-specification safety footwear technology with exceptional value for money – an ideal solution for H&S managers, PPE buyers and specifiers."

To get more information on Toe Guard range of Safety Footwear, check out the website at or call the Hultafors Group UK Helpline on 01484 854788

The ultimate choices in work trousers from Snickers Workwear

NEW styles, new designs and Snickers Workwear’s most advanced work trousers yet – with 4-way stretch.

September saw the next generation of work trouser choices from the premier brand of working clothes for professional tradesmen and women. There’s the Flexiwork 2.0 trousers, designed for craftsmen who want nothing but the best. These high-spec trousers are made of durable 4-way stretch fabric that offers a new level of comfort and freedom of movement.

Then there’s the ‘loose-fit’ AllroundWork stretch trousers with a classic Snickers Workwear look and feel plus the new FlexiWork Denim Work Trousers where workwear meets streetwear in these slim-fitting work trousers made of washed stretch denim.

Also take a look at the new regular-fit RUFFWork Canvas+ heavy duty trousers. But the ladies will definitely have a close eye on the ALLroundWork womens stretch trousers, specially designed and shaped to fit the female anatomy with a narrower waist for optimal comfort and freedom of movement.

All in all, probably the best possible additions to the Snickers Work Trouser range with something to suit everyone, whoever you are, wherever you’re working and whatever you’re doing on site.

Getting information on the Snickers’ new Comfort garments is easy. You can call the Snickers Helpline on 01484 854788, checkout the website and download a digital catalogue at or email [email protected]

Hellberg Safety – SECURE Active - active listening headsets

HELLBERG Safety specialist PPE products include highly advanced hearing protection products, face protection and communication solutions for personal wellbeing on site.

The SECURE ACTIVE headsets enable workers to communicate safely with colleagues, hear signals and other important information while protected from hazardous noise. The built-in, level-dependent microphones provide perfect directional hearing with an electronic protection system that limits all sounds through the speakers to a safe sound level.

The replaceable headband and ear cushions allow for regular replacement for a long lasting and high performing product. For optimal safety, communication radios and other sound sources can be connected via the external audio input.

The Hellberg Safety PPE range features the latest advanced technologies, modern design, comfort and quality together with great performance to appeals to all types of professional users in high-risk work environments.

For more information on the Hellberg Safety product range, call the Hultafors Group UK Helpline on 01484 854788 or checkout the website

Hultafors new range of ‘snap-off’ knives

PRECISION, quality and long-lasting sharpness are the hallmarks of these superb new products.

Hultafors Tools has launched a new range of ‘snap-off’ knives for professional craftsmen and women.

With 13 different knives and four long-lasting precision blades, these all-round, ergonomic knives are designed and built to suit a wide range of jobs on site. From industrial and warehouse applications to specialist work on site – from like cutting boxes open and shaping plasterboard, to trimming flooring and paring cables.

Symmetrically designed so that the blades can turned over, they’re adaptable for both left- and right-hand use so that left-handed craftsmen and women can adapt the knife rather than their own usage.

What’s more, the blades are available in three widths of 9, 18, and 25mm, with different blends of sharpness and long life built in to suit regular hard work on site.

Getting more information on the Hultafors Tools product range easy. You call the Helpline on 01484 854788 or check out and download a digital catalogue.


Norton Clipper Power Float minimises lifetime costs for hire merchants

NORTON Clipper has launched its all new CT901 HP power float, offering high durability and versatility, in order to help hire merchants to minimise their costs for the lifetime of the power float.

A contractor’s job can vary from day-to-day, and ensuring that the right tools are available for the right job can take time – and cost. But when it comes to flooring, whatever the scale of a job, all concrete floors must be smoothed and finished before use.

In commercial settings with surface areas larger than 5,000 square feet, heavy duty, ride-on machinery is required to make the job as quick and painless as possible. But for the smaller, residential floors that make up the bulk of many contractor’s work, this can be overkill, with contractors preferring light weight, walk-behind machinery.

Now, with Norton Clipper’s latest product innovation, contractors no longer have to choose between the two. The CT901 HP four blade walk behind power float is specifically designed for professional contractors that work on finishing wet concrete floors in both residential and commercial buildings.

The diversity of the CT901 HP is particularly popular with contractors that don’t want to continuously hire both walk-behind and ride-on floats for every different scale of job. With plenty of excitement around the launch, Norton Clipper’s new power float is predicted to boost sales for hire merchants and stockists in this latter half of 2019.

‘Floats like a butterfly, finishes like a pro’, the CT901 HP power float is the durable heavyweight of choice among contractors, delivering ‘knockout’ smooth concrete. With a wide range of features, including hydraulic pitch control for the blades, the power float gives the operator a greater level of control than mechanical pitch systems and helps to achieve a perfect surface finish – making it a favourable purchase for contractors and a great core product for hire merchants.

As with all Norton Clipper products, this machine is manufactured using only the highest quality components and to rigorous standards of assembly. This ensures that the CT901 HP benefits from a long life and minimal requirement for maintenance, keeping product lifetime costs for both customers and merchants low.

Norton Clipper prioritises operator safety as well as great performance. By adding the robust steel frame and safety guard rings on the CT901 HP, any accidental contact between the user and the blades is prevented. The rings have been configured to guarantee the best possible visibility of the concrete surface at all times, while the mechanical blades also have a pitch control function to help improve overall accuracy. These features give the operator more control over the work to produce the ultimate smooth concrete finish.

With the CT901 HP, great performance comes as standard, but with the inclusion of the Deadman’s Handle, operator safety is also assured. The mechanism ensures that one of the operator’s hands must be on the handle at all times for the machine to function; if the operator releases his/her hand, the CT901 HP stops immediately.

Unveiled at the Bauma 2019 trade fair in April, the power float received a great reaction from both contractors and merchants, with the launch predicting sales to soar right through to 2020.

For further details and support on the CT901 HP power float, please contact Stacey Booth, Saint-Gobain Abrasives UK Marketing Manager on 07525 672 897 or email [email protected].

Morris Site Machinery's solar celebrations

ECO-conscious Morris Site Machinery is celebrating a hat trick for its SMC Solar Lighting Tower range with orders, awards and a production milestone.

At the Speedy Expo Supplier Awards, held at the Liverpool Exhibition Centre on Wednesday 30 October, the SMC eco mobile lighting towers were crowned as brilliant sustainable lighting solutions in the prestigious Innovation Awards.

The company also celebrated a sizeable order from Speedy Hire, and at the same time the 100th new generation solar tower came off the production line confirming the company’s status as the first and still leading solar tower manufacturer in the UK.

The SMC TL55 Solar is impressing the industry as demand grows for a truly sustainable and low maintenance tower light. With both battery and mains supply, it has zero noise, emissions and offers flexible options for all site applications. It also has capacity to run indefinitely.

UK Sales Director Richard Denholm said: “What a week in this key lighting season for us! This kind of recognition and feedback drives us forward, inspiring our designers to continue to innovate so we bring to market practical and economical lighting products for a cleaner, greener future. Solar power does not release any harmful emissions or pollutants and is leading the renewable charge.

“This latest order from Speedy, the UK’s leading provider of tools and equipment hire and services, underlines the growing environmental awareness in the sectors we serve.”

Morris Site Machinery has refined its solar lighting offer since producing its first model, a fast road tow mobile lighting tower powered from four solar panels supplying power to lead acid batteries.

Improvements include 140 watt solar panels, higher output LEDs providing 31,200 lumens, PIR (Passive Infrared) sensors allowing the lights to only operate when required and LED dimming down to 10% of the power consumption extending the operating time.

A compact new model, the SMC TL60 Solar, has also been developed with solar panels that easily fold into transport mode allowing 30 units to fit on a Euro trailer.

'Spectre of uncertainty continues to haunt construction,' says FMB

UK CONSTRUCTION PMI data published today shows overall volumes of work in construction falling for the sixth consecutive month.

Commenting on the sustained downturn, Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “Following a Halloween Brexit delay, the spectre of uncertainty continues to haunt the construction industry, and this is leading to a sustained decline not seen in over six years.

"A Brexit delay, while giving some respite by avoiding a no-deal Brexit, has just led to further uncertainty and stagnation, which is leading to subdued client demand. We know that many homeowners are holding off undertaking home improvement works due to Brexit uncertainty and this is having a knock-on effect of builders' workloads. It is unclear how long clients will hold off waiting for certainty, and invest their money elsewhere.

“Ahead of the general election, political parties should provide clear and unambiguous support for business and back this up with pro-enterprise policies. Now is the time for politicians to come up with some radical policies to give a much-needed boost to the UK’s construction industry. The new Prime Minister will also need to give much-needed certainty, from day one, about the future direction of the UK and its relationship with the EU.”

Also commenting on the data, Gareth Belsham, director of the national property consultancy and surveyors Naismiths, said: “So far this is more a case of respite rather than relief. Construction output is still falling, even if the rate of decline is a little less punishing.

“What silver linings there are are modest. The number of new orders coming in is sliding fast, but at least the latest drop was less than that seen in August and September. 

“Investor appetite remains deeply fragile and many contractors are being pummelled on three fronts. Just as their order books get thinner and erode their confidence, they are being forced to bid low for the shallow pool of new work available – while at the same time input costs go up and slice into their margins. No wonder many construction firms are trying to cut costs where they can, and staffing levels have fallen every month since April.

“Nevertheless there are some glimmers of hope. While Britain’s Brexit agony has been put on pause by what promises to be an equally divisive election hiatus, the chances of a chaotic ‘no-deal’ exit have at least diminished.

“While few would bet on a magical return to business as usual after the December election, even a modicum of stability could lead to the thawing of long-delayed projects.

“Until then the industry has little choice but to knuckle down and retain enough capability to cope with the day – whenever it comes – that demand returns to more normal levels.”

TIMco unveils largest catalogue to date

TIMco, one of the UK’s largest, independent and fastest growing wholesalers to the construction industry, has launched its new Autumn / Winter 2019-2020 catalogue.

The new catalogue is its largest and most comprehensive to date and is a further step towards the company becoming a ‘one stop shop’ for all its customers' product needs.

The 18th edition of the catalogue features more than 7,000 products with 300 new lines including additions to core TIMco screws, fasteners and fixings as well as extensions to the Addax Power Tool Accessories range including Impact Driver Bit Sets and PCD circular saw blades.

The new catalogue also includes Stainless Steel additions to the TIMco Classic Multi-Purpose Screw range, more than 100 Steel Hinges in the VETO Security & Ironmongery range as well as a new Twin Slot Shelving System. For the first time a First Aid Range, Protective Board as well as a more comprehensive range of Adhesives & Building Chemicals such as TIMco’s Fill & Fix B1 Fire Rated PU Foam are all being showcased.

A new range of TIMco Addax Abrasives is showcased on pages 158 and 159, which consists of a wide variety of abrasive rolls, sheets, pads, discs and belts using premium quality abrasive grit. The whole range will be available from November and supported with a 16 Page Specialist Product Guide as well as an introductory video.

Simon Midwood, managing director of TIMco, commented: “We’re thrilled to launch our largest catalogue to date in order to meet the increasing demand for more product lines from our growing customer base and to further develop our strategy of becoming a ‘one-stop shop’ for Builder’s Merchants. The new catalogue features brand new products as well as extended lines and we can’t wait to hear what our customers think of the new and extended ranges.”

The catalogue is 100% recyclable and the paper stock is sourced from responsibly managed forests. The catalogue is also printed using vegetable-based inks, making it easier to remove during the recycling process. The production process also produces less CO2 and as a result is less harmful to both the environment and colleagues handling them.

Due to the continually expanding range, it has been a busy and exciting six months for TIMco, as the company is also completing the final phase of testing on its new website which will go live nationwide before Christmas.

Senco SGT90i: Nailed it?

NAILING ain’t what it used to be. In the ‘Old Days’, competition between gas and pneumatic nailers (and the humble hammer) was all we had to choose from, but the arrival of several very effective cordless nailers has added another dimension to the competition, says PETER BRETT.

More choice for consumers can sometimes mean a return to the drawing board for some of the competition and my guess is that the Senco SGT90i is a result of a rethink and redesign so that it has all of the features it needs to stand proudly on its own merits. In my review I will try to focus on these points and see how they stand up, and I will also run it past a few builders to hear what they think.

Unpacking and first impressions

The SGT90i comes in a robust case with quick-release metal catches that looks like it will last for the working life of the tool. It is customised with a place for everything including the tool itself, two lithium ion battery packs, a charger, some safety specs and a couple of hex keys. There is space to fling in a few rows of collated nails but this temptation needs to be resisted, not least because of avoiding contact with the battery packs.

Is weight an issue?

There is no getting away from the fact that pretty well all powered nailers are bulky and heavy, but good design can mitigate handling issues by distributing weight carefully and ensuring that key dimensions are chosen carefully. With an all up weight of over 3.5 kgs, the Senco is around the sort of weight expected from a framing nailer. However, it does look and feel a bit bulkier than other designs on the market.

A key measurement of 377mm in length means that it is easy to pass through joists and studding. But, as I have found before, it is difficult to pass judgement at this point. It’s only after you have fired several magazines of nails that you can appreciate that weight may help control some recoil and that bulk is not necessarily an impediment.

Key innovations

Senco has designed this tool to ‘guarantee efficiency and a professional finish with every nail’ – something that every tradesperson would love to have. To this end the SGT90i has been given more power and a battery and gas cartridge that can power up to 8,000 nails per charge – I don’t think you could ask for more.

Another key design feature is the nose piece. It is shaped to ensure that there is no slipping when firing. This is a big safety feature; you simply don’t want to have nails flying at awkward angles because the nose has slipped. For delicate surfaces, there is a simple no-mar pad that can be slipped on when needed.

With two battery packs (which amounts to 16,000 nails) there would seem to be enough power to ensure several days’ worth of power nailing. But we all know that charging battery packs is an easy enough thing to do so I really like the quick charge function. And it really is quick – by charging a battery for two minutes another 200 nails can be powered. That is probably enough to finish the job in hand, especially when it’s near the end of the day. The truth is users should have consulted the LED power gauge on the battery housing before it ran out…

Another feature that should be on any user’s tick list is that the nailer has been designed to operate in temperatures from -7 to +49oC. Although I wouldn’t want to be nailing studs or trusses at minus temperatures, it is useful to know that the tool would work.

The nail magazine is an all-metal affair for extra durability that should outlast plastic designs. Finally, the metal thumb wheel on the nose is used to set the depth of drive without having to reach for any tools – frankly, a feature that I think is a necessity and the fact that it works so easily is much in its favour.

Prepare to fire

Not having handled a SENCO nailer for a while, I approached the final set up methodically. Each nailer I have used follows a similar pattern but can often be different in key areas. There is scope for doing things in the wrong order so it pays to take care.

The fully charged battery pack (it takes roughly one-and-a-half hours for a first charge) is easy to insert in the slot at the end of the main handle. Three green lights give the user a quick snapshot of the state of charge. Looking at the lights is easier than counting up to 8,000 while you are working!

Before inserting the gas cartridge into the nailer the user has to seat the nozzle onto the cartridge and this does need a bit more care and has a certain knack to do. First time round, I made the mistake of not seating the nozzle completely and ended up with cold gas frozen fingers. Hence it is good to follow the safety advice to do this job well clear of any potential sources of heat or ignition. Funnily enough I didn’t have the same issues with the second gas cartridge! And thank goodness for clear, step-by-step instructions in the manual.

When the cartridge is properly seated, the cover will simply snap closed when pushed in and down.

Adding collated strips of nails is about as easy as with any other nailer I have used and there is a positive spring action that keeps the nails firmly fed into the head.

Once all the set-up is done, all the user needs to do to fire nails is push the safety nose into the workpiece, wait a second or two for the gas to flow and then pull the trigger. All the shots I fired went home with a satisfying bang, into softwood or hardwood.

A couple of things I noticed was that the noise levels are well controlled, so while ear defenders are necessary, an odd shot or two will not deafen you. Also, the weight of the SGT90i is such that the user gets very little recoil through the hand and arm so it feels comfortable and easy to use.

Another thing I found useful was that the nailer will sit on its back, handle up, on a flat surface where it is easy to pick up. The rafter hook is good too – wide enough for the thickest rafter, and yet it folds away nicely.

I fired what was effectively a boxful of nails along with a couple of builders who helped me out with their opinions. What impressed them was the nailing muscle it had and number of shots it could deliver on a single charge. Because of that, they didn’t experience the quick charge function, but in principle they liked the idea.

Octogrip work gloves: Protecting your assets

Some site managers make them compulsory, some tradespeople use them routinely without needing to be told and some workers almost always go without. I am talking about work gloves, of course, says Peter Brett.

Cheap work gloves are freely available, often costing around a pound but, in my experience, they aren’t designed to last very long. I have managed to wear holes in a pair before lunchtime on a jobsite where I was handling abrasive materials.

The upside of the increased use of work gloves is that the market responds, bringing more choice and keener prices – and trades are the winners because, in my view, work gloves are a necessity in modern workplaces. To add to this mix, BBB Investments Ltd (think Coast torches and batteries) has brought the Octogrip Glove Range to market and retailers should keep an eye out for it.

As it says in the brochure, Octogrip gloves are ‘Born in America’ and the company has been established for over 30 years, so it knows a thing or two about work gloves. The Octogrip range of gloves is ‘engineered for tactile grip and superior efficiency’ and anyone who routinely uses gloves knows that grip and efficiency need to be built into any gloves, otherwise they simply don’t work and will be discarded.

These two features became the two focus points of my review, and it inevitably involved some informal comparisons with gloves that I have bought for my own use to see how well they stood up in, what is now, a very competitive market.

Some of the range

I was sent five representative pairs of gloves from the range of nine. They cover Heavy Duty, High Performance, Cut Safety and Cold Weather applications. Retailers will notice that each pair is carefully ‘stitched’ to an informative card hanger that gives details of the product described in key words. Customers only need to read the key words to make their choices.

They will also be pleased to see that the left-hand glove is attached to the card in such a way that potential buyers can try it on without destroying the hanging card. A win-win for buyers and sellers, I think.

Heavy Duty OG200 - Superior grip, comfort and fit, dexterity

The shell of these gloves is woven from 15 Gauge thread into a one-piece whole. A high, elasticated wrist ensures that they fit snugly and users will notice the comfort, flexibility and grip immediately upon they put them on. A key feature in this is the carefully applied latex on the dimpled palm and digits that simply looks and feels better than on any cheap glove. I used my ‘palm crinkle test’ to check fit and flexibility and the Octogrip passes easily.   

Using these gloves for general jobs like loading timber, handling bricks and garden waste (non-prickly) I found that they were very good. And easy to get on and off too.

Octogrip OG330 Heavy Duty gloves feature a heavier 13Gauge shell and a more heavily ribbed and elasticated wrist design. I found that they fitted even more snugly than the OG200s – so grip and dexterity were not compromised. The latex coating on the palm and digits is also carefully applied and in many ways; I thought that I had found the perfect compromise between heavy duty performance, dexterity and grip doing a range of jobs that include mixing up buckets of mortar and plaster.

Palmwick technology – Keep cool

It can be uncomfortable to wear work gloves in hot weather – but protection trumps all in most jobs. The pair of Octogrip Palmwick PW874 gloves I tried solves the problem of hot hands by using the palm coating to wick away sweat and moisture leaving hands cooler, but without compromising grip, dexterity, protection or durability.

My ‘crinkly palm’ test showed that the fit is nicely snug - almost a second skin - and the elasticated wrist design is very good, going back past wristwatch level so they stay on well. They are also easy to get on and off because of the highly elasticated shell.

These Palmwick gloves quickly became my ‘go to’ gloves when doing some fencing/fitting in the recent hot weather because I had the protection from splinters that I needed when handling unplaned timbers, but also the dexterity I needed for using cordless power tools. They ended up my favourite gloves – probably because I used them the most and appreciated the cool hands.

Cutting it

I am lucky in that I don’t often have to handle sharp materials like glass or sheet metals, but regulations now make provisions for a cut resistance rating on gloves. Octogrip’s Cut Safety Pro Gloves are rated EN388 (2016) Cut Level E – the highest rating. They also use the Palmwick technology combined with a 13 gauge HPPE engineered knitted shell for a robust and cut resistant glove.

Part of the safety factor when handling sharp materials is to be able to grip and handle them dextrously and the nitrile palm and finger coating provides ample grip and protection. The gloves feel a bit more substantial but they still fit well with a high elasticated wrist. Extra protection is afforded by the reinforced thumb saddle. I did try these out myself but sought the opinion of a welder friend who gave them the thumbs up for handling pieces of metal.

I have ended up with only one of these gloves because I had to do the “craft knife’ test on a Cut Safety Pro and a cheap work glove. The results confirmed to me that cheap gloves are easy to slice, while the Cut Safety Pro provides genuine protection from sharp edges and slashing cuts.

Winter and ‘the Beast’

It is just officially autumn but the tabloids are already telling us that the ‘Beast from the East’ will strike again. Fortunately, I will have the Octogrip OG450 winter glove to wear indoors.

Featuring a foam latex palm for grip and insulation, it feels thick, warm and substantial, like a proper warm glove should be. In order to aid grip, the palms and fingers are covered with a ‘nibby’ coating while the shell is made from a 10gauge polyester knit that is thick and comfortingly warm.

What is noticeable in comparison with other winter weight gloves that I have worn is that they are soft and flexible – and warm. I await ‘the Beast’ with equanimity.


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