4 tips for a clean construction site

Health and safety on a construction site is most closely associated with the use of heavy equipment and hazardous materials.

But each year in the UK, there are 1000 slips or trips on worksites that cause fractured bones and dislocated joints.

And many of these accidents are caused by a messy and disorganised work environment.

So here are four tips for a clean construction site that keeps your staff safe.

Safe storage

Clients, contractors and suppliers should all be clear about where certain types of materials and equipment are stored onsite and any materials that are flammable or hazardous should be separated and labelled clearly.

Large pieces of valuable kit can be kept safely overnight in vandal-safe storage containers but secure portable cases for smaller tools are also useful.

And if you store materials and equipment that only certain workers are qualified to work with, then it might be wise to only provide keys for these zones to qualified staff.

Once you’ve decided where various materials and equipment should be stored, be sure to leave pathways for workers to travel safely on foot.

Waste management

There are stringent guidelines regarding the collection and disposal of hazardous waste materials.

But even more commonplace waste like rubbish and rubble can cause serious accidents if it’s allowed to pile up.

Rubbish chutes offer a solution to this problem — waste is collected by workers and slid down smoothly into skips positioned below.

All onsite workers should be responsible for clearing their own work areas throughout the day and a rubbish rota can be used so there’s a shared responsibility for cleaning general areas.

Clear floor spaces

Trailing cables and abandoned equipment can present risks from falls.

But workers’ dirty boots can also drag mud and hazardous materials from one area of your site to another, resulting in risky cross-contamination.

So plastic shoe covers should be worn in certain areas, while floor mats should suffice for keeping shared canteens and restrooms clean.

And don’t forget the basics — buy sufficient stocks of brushes, brooms and dustpans that can remain in arm’s reach in every area.

Dust control

Construction dust is another substance subject to regulatory control in the UK — it can cause serious diseases like asthma and cancer.

And many tasks carried out onsite create dust, so it’s essential that workers are provided with protective equipment like masks and suits.

But a specialist dustguard machine can be used for dust control and washing equipment on larger sites.

As with any construction housekeeping task, keeping dust at bay relies on team members working together to ensure it doesn’t build up until it’s unmanageable.

The success of a construction project isn’t just based on the quality of the finished building — it relies on a safe and efficient site that’s kept in good shape throughout.

These four tips for a clean construction site should ensure your project runs smoothly from start to finish.

Do you have other tips for keeping construction site clean? Share your advice in the comments section.

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/09/07/4-tips-for-a-clean-construction-site/

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Impact of Brexit on Construction Industry

After the decision of Brexit, there is an uncertainty in the economic sector in Britain. Consequently, construction industry is currently facing a slowdown as many projects are being put on hold. In August, the growth in construction sector unexpectedly fell to a one year low.
Economic activity slowed down to 51.1 in August from July’s 51.9 indicating expansion of marginal size according to a survey published with the help of Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS). While 50 is stagnation, anything below that shows contraction in a business sector. Samuel Tombs from Pantheon Macroeconomics who is a major UK economist, states that, the figures indicate that construction sector is currently flirting with recession.

If Brexit talks don’t progress well, then large firms will be forced to relocate activities to Europe. A range of banks including Goldman Sachs and HSBC have previously stated the possibility of moving staff. Mr. Tombs believes that the negotiations for Brexit will continue progressing slowly. This will lead to more firms acting on contingency plans, through freeing up offices resulting in exhaustion of demand for commercial projects.

After commercial building work dropped at a quick pace since July 2016, the civil engineering sector came close to stagnation but the construction industry kept growing due to house building activities. The employment rose at the slowest pace due to completion of more projects and lesser new projects.

Reason for slowdown in construction sector:
Duncan Brock, who works with CIPS, believes that there are more than one interrelated factors for this situation. The major factors are economic uncertainty, delayed decisions due to Brexit and reduced expenditure by government. These factors if not improved immediately can easily lead to a recession in construction.

The survey was done after the recent fall in Sterling value which increased pressure on the construction sector. Consumers in UK need to pay more costs and businesses who have to purchase products from abroad have lower purchasing power thus making the market slower. This, if not mitigated, will lead to accelerated inflation forcing the Bank of England to increase interest rates for coping up.

The survey also took into account the slowing down of house prices since the middle of last year after Brexit. This was pointed out previously by the Office for National Statistics. But, since the mid 70’s, house prices have garnered a support from even the lowest brackets of unemployed people and low interests reducing mortgage costs.

Possible outcomes:According to these results, the construction sector may contribute only a little portion to GDP in the economic quarter ending in September. Many firms are also preparing themselves if these conditions continue into autumn and lower confidence in firms leads to weak trends for creating jobs.

Joshua Mahony, who is a market analyst at trading firm IG, believes that according to current situation, there is a strong possibility for construction sector to move into contraction in coming months. But, there is also a potential for robust production especially if the Brexit discussions go well. Also, since homes are a necessity, the government may subsidize house owning with the decrease of Sterling value. Until final decisions are made and market stabilizes, the construction industry will keep flirting with recession.

The post Impact of Brexit on Construction Industry appeared first on Econ Construction LTD.

from Econ Construction LTD http://www.econconstructionltd.co.uk/impact-brexit-construction-industry/

Time nearly up for skills cards for fringe trades

All 85,000 Construction Related Occupation (CRO) skills cards currently in circulation will expire by the end of this month.

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The deadline is part of the industry’s drive towards full qualification.

The CRO cards cover a host of ancillary construction roles but crucially you don’t need industry related qualifications to hold one.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme Head of Communications Alan O’Neile said: “In early 2015, the Construction Leadership Council announced that skills certification card schemes carrying the CSCS logo must only certify those occupations with nationally recognised construction related qualifications, i.e. NVQs or approved equivalents.

“The CRO card was issued without the requirement to demonstrate the applicant has achieved an appropriate qualification and as such does not meet the expectations of the CLC.”

Many CRO card holders will be required to register for existing or newly developed qualifications before their cards expire.

Others will be transferred to one of CSCS’s Partner Card Schemes that are more appropriate for their occupations.

For some, where their occupation is not construction related or no suitable qualification exists, a CSCS card will no longer be issued.

CSCS Chief Executive Graham Wren added: “The withdrawal of the CRO card is a practical step towards achieving the CLC’s requirement of ensuring nationally recognised qualifications are in place for all occupations.

“The 30th September is fast approaching however, together with our industry stakeholders, we have been preparing for the withdrawal of the CRO card since 2015.

“A lot of work has taken place to ensure CRO card holders know which qualifications are available and to make the transition to appropriate alternative arrangements as straightforward as possible.”

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/09/05/time-nearly-up-for-skills-cards-for-fringe-trades/

Contractors named and shamed over minimum wage

A raft of building companies are among the latest list of 233 firms named and shamed by the Government for not paying the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage.

More than 13,000 of the UK’s lowest paid workers will get around £2m in back pay as part of the government’s scheme to name offenders.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published the latest list of 233 businesses that underpaid workers.

Employers on the list have also been fined a record £1.9m by the government. Retail, hairdressing and hospitality businesses were among the most prolific offenders.

Since 2013, the scheme has identified £6m in back pay for 40,000 workers, with 1,200 employers fined £4m.

Business Minister Margot James said: “It is against the law to pay workers less than legal minimum wage rates, short-changing ordinary working people and undercutting honest employers.

“The recent naming round identifies a record £2m of back pay for workers and sends the clear message to employers that the government will come down hard on those who break the law.

Common errors made by employers in this round included deducting money from pay packets to pay for uniforms, failure to account for overtime hours, and wrongly paying apprentice rates to workers.

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/09/04/contractors-named-and-shamed-over-minimum-wage/

Google gets green light for £1bn King’s Cross HQ

Internet giant Google has been given the green light by planners to build its new £1bn headquarters at King’s Cross in London.

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Camden Council’s planning committee approved the deal last night.

Main contractor Lendlease will start on site next year on a contract believed to be worth around £350m.

The 11-storey building will be more than one million square feet of which Google will occupy 650,000 sq ft.

The Google HQ building, designed by Heatherwick Studios and BIG, in collaboration with BDP, will be home to 4,000 Googlers on completion.

Thomas Heatherwick said: “Strong support for an ambitious building in an important part of the city is more proof that London is not afraid of its future.

“We’re excited to start building.”

Neil Martin, Manging Director of Lendlease’s Construction business in Europe, said: “With our global construction experience, we are confident this will be as distinctive as everything else Google does.”

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/09/01/google-gets-green-light-for-1bn-kings-cross-hq/

ISG wins Investec London office fit-out

ISG has started the contract to fit-out a 135,000 sq ft office on London’s Gresham Street.

30-Gresham-St-1

Client Investec currently occupies two floors of the building at 30 Gresham Street, and the new fit-out will see it move into the fourth, fifth and sixth floors, as well as the lower ground.

The project involves the full strip-out and fit-out of the existing floors, which includes installing an atrium staircase from levels four to eight.

ISG used 3D digital modelling to identify the logistics required to install the feature staircase.

Matt Blowers, managing director of UK Fit Out, ISG, said: “This latest win reflects the strength of ISG in the London office fit out market.

Demand for premium office space remains at a high level across London as organisations seek high-specification facilities in optimum locations. ”

The project is expected to be finished in May 2018.

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/08/30/isg-wins-investec-london-office-fit-out/

London garden bridge project officially scrapped

The charity set up to build a garden bridge across the Thames has official scrapped the ambitious £90m project.

Garden Bridge
Garden Bridge Trust fails to realise green dream

The Garden Bridge Trust  announced that it will be winding up the project because of lack of support for the project going forward from the Mayor.

The project will now be formally closed. This includes terminating contracts with Franco-Italian joint venture of Bouygues and Cimolai, and  concluding donor funding agreements.

In April, London mayor Sadiq Khan wrote to Lord Mervyn Davies, Chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust, stating that he was not prepared to sign the guarantee for the annual maintenance costs of the Bridge, a condition of planning consent, despite previous assurances given about his support for the project.

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Lord Davies said: “It is with great regret that Trustees have concluded that without Mayoral support the project cannot be delivered.

“We are incredibly sad that we have not been able to make the dream of the Garden Bridge a reality and that the Mayor does not feel able to continue with the support he initially gave us.

“We had made great progress obtaining planning permission, satisfying most of our planning conditions and we had raised £70m of private money towards the project.”

“The Garden Bridge would have been a unique place; a beautiful new green space in the heart of London, free to use and open to all.

“It is a sad day for London because it is sending out a message to the world that we can no longer deliver such exciting projects.”

from The UK Construction Blog http://ukconstructionblog.co.uk/2017/08/28/london-garden-bridge-project-officially-scrapped/