Author Archives: Matt

  • WELDING FUME EXTRACTION - HSE Bulletin No. STSU1-2019

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued a bulletin (No. STSU1-2019) on the 7th February 2019 warning of new scientific evidence from the International Agency for Research on Cancer that exposure to mild steel welding fumes can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer in humans.

    The Workplace Health Expert Committee has endorsed the reclassification of mild steel welding fume as a human carcinogen.

    Subsequently and with immediate effect, there is a strengthening of HSE’s enforcement expectation for all welding fume, including mild steel welding; because general ventilation does not achieve the necessary control.

    The Health and Safety Executive safety alert can be viewed here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/mild-steel-welding-fume.htm

    Immediate action is required now to ensure that employees, workers, employers, owners, managers and directors or contractors’ undertaking welding activities in any industry are aware of the risks, expectations, outcomes and actions that are now required, as detailed below:

    Outcome:

    -Control of the cancer risk will require suitable engineering controls for all welding activities indoors e.g. Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV). Extraction will also control exposure to manganese, which is present in mild steel welding fume, which can cause neurological effects similar to Parkinson’s disease.

    -Where LEV alone does not adequately control exposure, it should be supplemented by adequate and suitable respiratory protective equipment (RPE) to protect against the residual fume.

    -Appropriate RPE should be provided for welding outdoors. You should ensure welders are suitably instructed and trained in the use of these controls.

    -Regardless of duration, HSE will no longer accept any welding undertaken without any suitable exposure control measures in place, as there is no known level of safe exposure.

    -Risk assessments should reflect the change in the expected control measures.

    Action required:

    -Make sure exposure to any welding fume released is adequately controlled using engineering controls (typically LEV).

    -Make sure suitable controls are provided for all welding activities, irrelevant of duration. This includes welding outdoors.

    -Where engineering controls alone cannot control exposure, then adequate and suitable RPE should be provided to control risk from any residual fume.

    -Make sure all engineering controls are correctly used, suitably maintained and are subject to thorough examination and test where required.

    -Make sure any RPE is subject to an RPE programme. An RPE programme encapsulates all the elements of RPE use you need to ensure that your RPE is effective in protecting the wearer.

    Clearly welding and cutting can be extremely dangerous if you are not correctly protected, there are a variety of chemicals which when melted can create dangerous substances. The dangerous substances and radiation generated during the welding process can be extremely hazardous to a welders’ health.

    There are a variety of brands including Kemper, Parweld and Electac which provide protective equipment for welders. Our largest supplier of welding and cutting protection is Kemper who are pioneers and a leader in the technology of the welding smoke extraction industry

    If you require guidance or assistance on what welding fume extraction system is suitable for your requirements please call us (01623) 645 645 or email us on Rachel@hall-fast.com

  • Hall-Fast’s Department for International Trade Export Success Profile

    Tell us about your company?

    Based in Mansfield Hall-Fast are a proud family business which I started from the back bedroom of the family home in August 2006, we have come a long way since and now supply a standard range of 200,000 items (650,000+ part numbers) to a growing customer base of 45,000+ companies in 92 overseas markets.

    Our rapid growth has been based on supplying SME's and large manufacturing and wholesale customers Worldwide backed with an online based business model which enables us to keep our costs low and therefore pass on huge savings to our customers on the industrial supplies and equipment, specialist fasteners, workwear, tools, PPE and janitorial items which they were purchasing from our large multinational competitors.

    Tell us briefly about your export history?

    At the height of the recession in 2009 when our core UK markets were depressed, with the guidance and support of the DIT I decided to diversify and start to export as I saw this as a huge opportunity for us, the traditional route to exporting within our sectors was to undertake market visits and set up commercial agreements with local distributors however we neither had the time or the finance to do this.

    I foresaw the huge growth in the internet that we see today so we initially focussed on adding as much technical information on our products to our website, added part numbers within our titles and added keywords to product pages and we made it clear to potential customers overseas that we could export our product ranges globally and importantly we took the decision to supply companies directly and not via local distributors subsequently our prices were very competitive and we started to see enquiries and sales coming through almost immediately; this approach was pretty pioneering and proven to be very successful for us.

    What have been the main challenges and breakthroughs?

    We have overcome a few major challenges since I started the business, firstly the recession of 2008 and then back in December 2016 we had a huge setback when development work on our old website caused unrepairable damaged, at the time we had twelve multilingual international websites which were linked into the one database backend, we had huge issues with prices on our international websites being different to the UK website and we also lost years of organic search listings when the Location Based Indexing hreflang tag on our UK website www.hall-fast.com was changed to tell Google to show our Irish website to visitors in the UK.

    In January 2017 I took the decision to invest heavily in a new Magento based website with a fully integrated Datafile ERP software system, this decision has really pushed the business forward as our website is now fully integrated with our accounts, stock, CRM and order processing making it almost fully automated, this means that we can process an unlimited amount of orders quickly enabling us to aggressively target markets sectors Worldwide.

    Over the last six months sales have grown by 87 per cent with export sales accounting for circa 40 per cent.

    What single piece of advice would you give to someone looking to export?

    There are huge opportunities for UK SME’s to export but I think that potential new exporters are put off as they believe it to be difficult, trading overseas is as easy as trading within the UK, however no two overseas markets are the same so it is important to understand the trading terms and the documentation requirements for each enquiry or order that they receive, the DIT are always on hand to assist as are the Chamber of Commerce with this support the opportunities in overseas markets are endless.

    For more info, visit www.hall-fast.com or https://www.insidermedia.com/blogs/midlands/business-matters-trading-internationally-challenges-and-breakthroughs 

  • HALL-FAST EXTEND COMMUNITY PROJECTS DEAL WITH NOTTINGHAM RUGBY!

    Nottingham Rugby is pleased to announce the renewal of its community projects partnership with East Midlands-based award-winning industrial supplies specialists, Hall-Fast.

    This renewed partnership, which will run until 2022, allows for the continuation of the North Notts Community Partnership at Fountaindale SEN School and Ravenshead Church of England School.

    Hall-Fast | Nottingham Rugby Gold Sponsor Hall-Fast Managing Director Malcolm Hall MBE said: “I am very proud that over the last seven years Hall-Fast have been able to support Nottingham Rugby’s Community Department in the delivery of high-quality rugby to tens of thousands of youngsters in Nottinghamshire.

    “I am especially proud of the huge success of Little Ruggers, which has helped to introduce both boys and girls to rugby whilst also bringing back ex-players to the sport. I am really looking forward to working closely with Steve Smith and his community team over the next four years.”

    Little Ruggers is a family-focused community programme aimed at getting children aged 2-5 playing rugby with their parents. The sessions cost just £2 and there is no need to book prior, just turn up, pick up a ball and play.

    Steve Smith, Chief Operations Officer at Nottingham Rugby said: “We are delighted to have secured the support of Hall-Fast until 2022.

    “Their work has helped to increase the opportunities for children within Nottinghamshire to gain access to rugby sessions and in turn has helped to grow the sport of rugby throughout the county.

    “I very much look forward to seeing how the partnership progresses in the future and seeing the sport flourish across Nottinghamshire as a result.”

    The Nottingham Rugby Little Ruggers scheme relaunched at Paviours Rugby Club on Sunday 30th September at 10am and will run every Sunday throughout the season.

    For more information on Nottingham Rugby’s community programmes, visit www.nottinghamrugby.co.uk.

    For more information about Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies, head to our website here.

  • Hall-Fast Founder to Have Influential Say in Parliament

    Hall-Fast’s founder and Managing Director Malcolm Hall has been invited to join the All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Responsibility Group (APCRG)

    Hall-Fast were recently chosen as the Mansfield Constituency Responsible Business Champion by local MP Ben Bradley and subsequently were named in the top 20 UK responsible businesses alongside sports clubs and major multi-national companies including overall winner BAE Systems.

    The APCRG group’s purpose is to promote debate and understanding of corporate responsibility, by holding events each year in which the current 94 Parliamentarians and 80 non-Parliamentarians can exchange views on relevant, topical issues, recent meetings have covered subjects such as business-education partnerships; inclusive employment policies; health and well-being in the workplace; responsible investment; employee engagement and well-being; corporate reputation and risk; corporate reporting; and the use of procurement policies to promote responsible behaviour. Future meetings will focus re- skilling Britain t-levels, work placements, apprenticeships & other skills training.

    Commenting Malcolm said – ‘’As a relatively small independent family run business I am immensely proud that the success of Hall-Fast has enabled us to give back to the communities in and around Mansfield and further afield through community based sponsorship with sports clubs including Paviors Rugby and Nottingham Rugby’s Community Department where delivery of high quality coaching into primary and secondary schools and also Mansfield’s Fountaindale SEN school has helped to promote rugby locally and also the benefits of an healthy lifestyle and wellbeing, and I look forward to being able to have the platform to put across my views within this parliamentary group.

    In March 2017 Malcolm was appointed as an Export Champion in an ambassadorial role by the Cabinet Office to promote exporting to other SME’s and was made an MBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours for his services to business.

  • Mansfield Firm Has Record-breaking Year!

    Anglia Way based industrial supplies firm Hall-Fast are celebrating a record year as they start their 13th year of trading today 1st August 2018.

    Pictured: Images from over the last 12 years Pictured: Images from over the last 12 years

    The husband and wife run business began trading from a back bedroom of the family home on the 1st of August 2006 and has become one of the regions fastest growing industrial supplies firms.

    Supplying a standard range of 600,000 items to a growing customer base in 92 overseas markets Hall-Fast achieved a 14% increase in sales from the previous year.

    Commenting Hall-Fast founder and MD Malcolm Hall said "it’s fantastic that our huge investment in a new website and software system is starting to pay dividends, we went through a very tough period when our old website broke however our hard work and determination to never give up along with a significant investment in a new website and software system has enabled us to go to the next level"

    Hall-Fast were recently named as one of twenty APCRG National Responsible Business Champions for their longstanding commitment to the communities in and around Mansfield.

  • Mansfield Industrial Supplies Firm Growing Rapidly!

    Anglia Way-based Hall-Fast is celebrating a surge in sales both in the Uk and in overseas markets with the award-winning company enjoying its best ever June with sales a massive 76% up on the previous year.

    Owner Malcolm Hall highlights the firms huge investment in a new website with an integrated ERP solution as the foundation to this success. He said "the future has never been brighter for us, back in December 2016 we had huge issues with our old website which basically broke, this affected our business dramatically so we had to move quickly and invest heavily in a new fully integrated ecommerce platform that could cope with our huge product portfolio, we have been re-building ever since, but over the last six months we are now growing rapidly and reaping the benefits"

    Hall-Fast supplies a standard range of 200,000 items to a growing customer base in 92 overseas markets, sales in June into export markets including Germany, Poland, Ireland, Turkey, India, Mexico, the Netherlands and Nigeria helped to boost overall sales, with enquiries from overseas also increasing significantly, their scope of supply ranges from industrial equipment, tools, printed and embroidered workwear, PPE and consumables to specialist engineered fastenings.

    For additional information on Hall-Fast’s comprehensive range please visit www.hall-fast.com call (01623) 645 645 or email Sales@hall-fast.com

  • Hall-Fast Fly the Flag for Mansfield!

    APCRG National Responsible Business Champion award 2018

    Companies long-listed for national responsible business award announced

    The All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Responsibility Group (APCRG) has today (14 June) announced the companies long-listed for its National Responsible Business Champion award 2018, as selected by the Group’s Co-Chairs, Jonathan Djanogly MP and Baroness (Sally) Greengross.

    This Responsible Business Champions scheme was introduced by the Group in 2015 to encourage MPs to take a closer look at the activities of companies in their constituencies and consider the extent to which they are operating responsibly. It is supported by Anglian Water, an active APCRG member and BITC Responsible Business of the Year 2017.

    The Group again received some very impressive nominations from MPs representing constituencies across the UK. The long-list of 20 Constituency Responsible Business Champions will be narrowed down to a shortlist of companies to be announced later this month. A Parliamentary judging panel will then select the APCRG National Responsible Business Champion 2018, but the winner will not be announced until the APCRG’s Responsible Business Champions reception on 4 July 2018, when Andrew Griffiths MP, the Corporate Responsibility Minister, will present the award to the winner.

    As in previous years, a wide variety of companies from across the UK have been nominated by MPs from small high street businesses to large companies. Their activities range from aerospace, ammunitions, care and construction to farm shops, football clubs and opticians. The one thing they have in common is their commitment to their communities, customers, employees and suppliers.

    Baroness Greengross said:
    “We were delighted to receive so many nominations from MPs again this year, with several MPs nominating a company for the first time. It is always very encouraging to read about so many great companies doing wonderful work. The nominations also demonstrate the cross-party support from MPs for responsible business practice.

    We are looking forward to welcoming the nominating MPs and representatives of their Constituency Responsible Business Champions to Parliament, when we will celebrate their achievements together.”

    Jonathan Djanogly MP said:
    “As an MP myself, I know how busy MPs are, particularly as important Brexit legislation comes back to the Commons for us to consider. We are grateful to all the nominating MPs who have taken the time to support our scheme by nominating a local company as their Constituency Responsible Business Champion. These Constituency Champions can be very proud of their success, which we hope will inspire other companies to follow the very positive example they set.

    I was delighted to see that the responsible businesses nominated by MPs included both households names, such as BAE Systems, De La Rue plc and WH Smith, but also many small and medium sized businesses, such as Ardross Farm Shop, Thomas Carter Opticians and Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies.”

    Hall-Fast Founder Malcolm Hall MBE said:
    “Hall-Fast are very proud to be flying the flag for Mansfield at a National level and we thank Mansfield MP Ben Bradley for his kind nomination. We are especially proud that the success of our family business has enabled us to do our bit for the communities within Mansfield and Ashfield and further afield in Nottinghamshire with the promotion of exporting to other SME’s, enterprise to youngsters, our long-term sponsorship of community programmes with Nottingham and Paviors Rugby Clubs, and of our fundraising initiatives for Mansfield’s Fountaindale SEN School”

    Constituency Responsible Business Champions long-listed for the 2018 APCRG National Responsible Business Champion award

    Company

    MP

    Constituency

    Actisense Michael Tomlinson MP Mid Dorset and North Poole
    Anglo Recycling Technology Ltd Jake Berry MP Rossendale and Darwen
    Ardross Farm Shop Stephen Gethins MP North-East Fife
    BAE Systems Land UK David TC Davies MP Monmouth
    De La Rue plc Rt Hon Maria Miller MP Basingstoke
    EGGER (UK) Limited Bill Grant MP Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock
    Encocam Ltd Jonathan Djanogly MP Huntingdon
    Environmental Reclamation Services Ltd Jo Swinson MP East Dunbartonshire
    Essity Prudhoe Mill Guy Opperman MP Hexham
    Hall Fast Industrial Supplies Ltd Ben Bradley MP Mansfield
    HighNet Telecoms Drew Hendry MP Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey
    Home Instead Senior Care (UK) Ltd Faisal Rashid MP Warrington South
    MKM Building Supplies (Kirkcaldy) Ltd Lesley Laird MP Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
    Morley Hayes Mrs Pauline Latham MP Mid Derbyshire
    Rowlinson Knitwear Ann Coffey MP Stockport
    Senior Aerospace Bird Bellows Fiona Bruce MP Congleton
    Thomas Carter Opticians Ltd Kate Green MP Stretford and Urmston
    Tottenham Hotspur Football & Athletic Club Co Ltd David Lammy MP Tottenham
    WH Smith PLC Justin Tomlinson MP North Swindon
    WYG Alex Sobel MP Leeds North West
  • Hall-Fast Chosen as Constituency Responsible Business Champion for Mansfield

    We are delighted to announce that Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies have been chosen as the Constituency Responsible Business Champion for the Mansfield constituency by MP Ben Bradley.

    The scheme, organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Responsibility Group (APCRG), promotes debate and understanding of corporate responsibility in the community, environment, marketplace and workplace.
    During Responsible Business Week (23-27 April), MPs are asked to recognise a local business that is working responsibly in their constituency.

    Commenting Hall-Fast founder Malcolm Hall said "Rachel and I are very proud that the success of our business has enabled us to do our bit and give back to the local communities in and around Mansfield and Nottinghamshire and we thank Ben for his kind nomination, we are proud that our business is based in Mansfield"

    All of the businesses chosen as Constituency Champions will be put forward for the APCRG National Responsible Business Champion award 2018, with the winner announced by Corporate Responsibility Minister, Andrew Griffiths, at the Responsible Business Champions reception in July at Portcullis House, Westminster.

  • Printed & Embroidered Clothing Specialists

    Hall-Fast supply Printed & Embroidered clothing to thousands of customers around the World from sole traders to Global brands such as Google!

    To see how we can assist you with your Printing and Embroidery needs.
    CLICK HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z9sIgNWD88 or email Rachel@hall-fast.com to discuss your specific requirements with us.

    Supplying 38,800 customers in 92 overseas markets Hall-Fast are very proud to be based in Mansfield

  • Hall-Fast Set For Rapid Growth!

    Hall-Fast have been building for the future for the last 8 months following huge issues with our old website, we took the decision to invest heavily in a new website that would help take the business to the next level but it was soon clear that our rapid growth online was being held back by our business systems.

    Our order processing was slow, stock control was poor and the website / e-commerce integration was non-existent; we just couldn't cope with the huge increase in the orders that we were receiving. We chose an integrated ERP solution with Datafile.

    This type of challenge is meat and drink to Datafile and Hall Fast are now benefiting from a fully integrated modern system and business is booming both in the UK and overseas.

    Here's a short video where I explain why we chose Datafile and the transformation that it has delivered to Hall-Fast.....

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