October 2018 Newsletter
‘NICEIC, ELECSA and CCUK to provide training on the dangers of working with asbestos, Survey reveals top plumbing issues, Bursary helps more women in to the electrical industry, Seaward goes on the road with PAT workshops, Vehicle tracking sparks improvements in the electrical industry and London boroughs get £1bn council homes construction boost‘.
Asbestos awareness training for electrical contractors
Figures from the Health and Safety Executive suggest that 14 people will die prematurely every day as a result of being exposed to asbestos – this equates to around 5,000 deaths a year. It is the single greatest cause to work related deaths in the UK and is considered a major factor to many types of health complications.
Although receiving a total ban in 1999, there are an estimated 12.5m households that could still potentially contain asbestos.
Working with CCUK, NICEIC and ELECSA contractors can take online or face-to-face training in asbestos awareness courses, fully certified by the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA).
Mark Smith, marketing director for NICEIC and ELECSA said, “Tradespeople need to know they are working in a safe environment. These figures are a startling reminder of the work that needs to be done to protect those who are at greater risk of being exposed to asbestos.
“These courses will highlight what to look out for if they believe asbestos to be present in their vicinity and what immediate action they need to take to prevent themselves and others around them from being exposed to this harmful material.”
Billy Quinn, managing director for CCUK, added, “We are delighted to be working with NICEIC and ELECSA, who share the same passion to help standards and improve knowledge amongst construction workers.
“There are potentially thousands of contractors who are still not aware of the dangers surrounding asbestos. At CCUK, we strive to get the message across that professional training can change the way today’s workers operate so they don’t put their lives at unnecessary risk.”
The partnership means NICEIC and ELECSA contractors can take online training at a special discounted rate. Anyone looking to take the course should visit centralcompliance.uk/certsure.
Source: Electrcial Contracting News
Top plumbing issues revealed by WRAS survey
Dripping taps are the number one plumbing issue in the UK, with more than one in 10 homeowners experiencing the issue in the past five years, according to a new Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS) study.
Even a small trickle from a dripping tap can waste water and money and, according to WaterSafe, fixing a dripping tap could save homeowners at least £18 a year if they are on a water meter, as well as 5,500l of water.
The study of 2,000 homeowners also found that leaking pipes, clogged drains, and a continuously running toilet topped the list of homeowners’ complaints.
The top complaints were:
- Dripping tap (14%)
- Leaking pipe (11%)
- Slow or clogged drains (10%)
- Running toilet (9%)
- Burst pipe (6%)
- Water temperature issue (5%)
- Noisy pipes (5%)
- Frozen pipes (4%)
- Flooding (3%)
- Water storage tank failure (2%)
Source: HVP Magazine
Bursary helps more woman in to electrical industry
NICEIC has been helping more women into the electrical industry through its Jobs for the Girls Bursary Scheme.
The scheme offers grants to women already working in the industry or looking to get a helping hand at the start of their career. It is open to females of all ages and designed to cover training or other associated costs up to a maximum of £500.
One of those who benefited from a bursary was 40-year-old Amanda Pugh from Buckinghamshire. She used the funding to set up a website for her business Amanda Electrics.
“I was just starting out on my own and although I had help with some of the training and was fortunate to have a good amount of tools I still had to pay for additional courses, books, registration, insurance, website fees, business cards, work clothing and other tools.
“The set-up costs were more than I anticipated but the bursary from the NICEIC helped to offset some of these costs and meant I was able to start making money from my work sooner.”
Coleen Everitt, runs Alto Electrical in Lincolnshire. She used the money to buy materials for circuit boards, which she custom builds and uses for talks in local schools and colleges.
“I am a keen advocate of promoting a career in the trades to young boys and girls. By offering a hands-on practical lesson I want to encourage both boys and girls into the construction sector.
“It was great to get support from NICEIC and as a female in the trade I fully support the Jobs for the Girls campaign.”
Another one to benefit was 18-year-old Britany Douglas. She had just started an apprenticeship and used the money to buy tools and the latest 18th Edition wiring regulations.
She said: “The bursary meant I was able to buy the tools I needed to start my apprenticeship. There are a lot of things you need to buy when just starting out so it was great that I could get a helping hand.”
In the six months since launching the bursary, NICEIC has provided £5000 of funding to more than 20 women.
The youngest applicant was a 17-year-old just staring out at college and the oldest was a 55-year-old who wanted to get back on the tools after a career break.
The average age of all applicants was 29 – perhaps an indicator of the later age that women traditionally come into the electrical industry.
Emma Clancy, CEO of NICEIC, commented: “Over the last seven years we have seen a marked increase in the number of women who come to us looking for help and assistance. Employers have also been in touch to see how they can attract more female candidates.
“Where possible we have provided access to training, technical information and opportunities with our registered contractors, but it has not always been possible to assist those who just need a helping hand along the way.
“Through this bursary we have been able to offer practical and financial support and hopefully create a smoother route into the industry.
“If we can help out those women who are just starting out or inspire others who might be thinking about a career in the electrical industry then we will be well on the way to addressing the gender imbalance directly.”
NICEIC is committed to encouraging more women in to the electrical industry via its Jobs for the Girls campaign. Applications for the 2019 Jobs for the Girls bursary will open in Spring next year.
For more information about the campaign and the bursary scheme visit www.niceic.com/jobsforthegirls
Source: Electrical Times
Polypipe opens £250,000 underfloor heating training centre
Polypipe, the manufacturer of underfloor heating (UFH) systems, has officially launched a £250,000 training facility to inspire the next generation of budding heating professionals.
The Doncaster-based firm held the official opening of the state-of-the-art Polypipe Professional Development Centre (PDC) at Kirk Sandall on Tuesday, September 25.
The facility features specially-designed training spaces to give trainee and experienced plumbing professionals the opportunity to improve their practical skills. It is set to become one of the UK’s leading training centres for professional heating engineers, installers, plumbers and merchants.
The courses on offer at the PDC include BPEC-accredited courses on installing warm water UFH, apprenticeship training and guides to domestic ventilation product installation.
The PDC will also now be home to the technical design team and the new underfloor heating senior management team.
Rachel Smith, Polypipe Underfloor Heating general manager, said: “We want to further strengthen our position as the market leader for UFH solutions and a key part of that is the level of service and support we offer to our trade customers. Offering accredited training and development for heating professionals is a key part of that support.
“The new PDC will also help us tackle the skills gap head on by working with schools and colleges to help train the plumbers of the future. It will also ensure that Polypipe continues to serve the local and national workforce by developing new talent. We hope that the centre will demonstrate just how much training plays a fundamental role in our business model for many years to come.”
Tracy Richardson, president of Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), presented a plaque to commemorate the centre being granted CIPHE-accredited status.
Polypipe has a strong focus on investment in professional training and development, having relaunched its Registered Heating Engineer Network earlier this year, which provides heating engineers and plumbers with free access to training courses and events, and helps small firms generate new business.
Source: HPM Magazine
Suffolk council to renew £750m East of England framework
The council is expected to formally call-up firms to prequalify next month for the framework renewal.
The four-year framework, which is also open to councils across the East of England, will be used for public sector building works, and is expected to be used for around £750m of spending.
Morgan Sindall, Wates, RG Carter and Barnes Construction presently hold the high-value work bands.
This time around, the council plans to introduce four value bands to replace the three presently used.
East of England construction framework
- Band 1: projects valued up to £750,000
- Band 2: projects from £0.5m to £3.5m
- Band 3: projects from £2.75m to £10m
- Band 4 Projects over £8m
This exercise will be tendered and managed by council-owned company, Concertus Design and Property Consultants.
The framework is set to be operational from 2019 June and will govern the procurement of a full spectrum of new build and refurbishment schemes in education, health and community. These may include libraries, civic office developments and programmes for Suffolk Fire and Rescue.
In addition to the contractors undertaking traditional construction and refurbishment works, the framework can be used for specialist trades via the main contractor.
A prequalification questionnaire will be released next month. To express an interest email Concertus.
Source: Construction Enquirer
Free webinars offer a quick fix to keep your skills up to date.
As part of its latest series of free webinars, HBM – a market leader in the field of test and measurement – invites participants to help expand their skills and grow their knowledge
Designed to fit in with challenging time constraints, which can often make attending relevant training courses difficult, the latest series of webinars from HBM, which will take place in November 2018, will provide advice and focus on a variety of topics.
Starting off the week with “Requirements of Modern Automated Systems”, on Tuesday 13th November 2018, participants can learn more about precise measurement technology, real time control and control functions, and discover how simple operation without programming can be easily achieved.
Following on with “Efficient Data Acquisition with Fast DAQ Software” on Thursday 15th November, participants can further their knowledge of HBM’s new DAQ software EVIDAS. Providing an informative overview of the software, a short live demonstration will also help users to clearly see how data can be quickly and simply acquired.
Finally, on Friday 16th November 2018, “Strain Gauge Methods for Measuring Residual Stress” offers a brief introduction into strain gauge methods, with a particular focus on hole-drilling and its application in compliance with the ASTM E837 standard.
Each webinar, which will commence at 9am (GMT) and usually takes a maximum of 30 minutes, can be easily assessed at a later date or simply used as a refresher course. As an added benefit, all registered attendees will receive a link to the webinar, via email, after the presentation.
All HBM webinars are free of charge and open to anyone. However, spaces are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Please reserve your space by booking at https://www.hbm.com/en/3157/webinars/
Source: Electrical Times
£90m Glasgow waterfront hotel approved
Isle of Man-based Artisan Real Estate has got the planning green light to build a hotel and leisure quarter on the Glasgow waterfront.
Contractor McAleer & Rushe is on board to deliver the £90m plan to redevelop the historic sandstone Grade A-Listed Custom House and build a 300-bed four-star hotel alongside with another 162-room aparthotel.
The site sits on the north side of Clyde Street, facing the riverfront, just south of Glasgow’s City Centre and Buchanan Street.
Artisan project director Clive Wilding said: “This is a hugely significant opportunity to, once again, bring Glasgow’s burgeoning waterfront area back into the vibrant heart of its city centre.”
Artisan has agreed on a leasing deal with the Dalata Hotel Group for the four-star hotel and conference facilities while complementing will be an Adagio-run aparthotel together with street-level bars and restaurants.
Glasgow-based Sheppard Robson is the architect for the scheme, with Caldwell Consulting delivering services design and Quattro civils and structural engineers.
Seaward goes on the road with PAT workshops
ELECTRICAL industry professionals and those new to PAT testing are being offered workshops by the UK’s leader in PAT testing equipment, Seaward.
The “Understanding and Implementing PAT” half-day workshops will be held at 12 venues across the UK from October 12 to December 7 and include a Q&A session.
The new workshops will cover topics such as legal requirements, industry guidance and common practice, how to perform PAT risk assessments, how to run an efficient PAT system and how to improve safety standards.
There will also be an opportunity to get answers to frequently asked questions, technical support and advice – as well as a chance to try out Seaward’s latest products.
Kevin Smith, category manager at Seaward, said: “We believe our customer care is second to none and this is just one of the ways we can help those working in the electrical testing industry.
“PAT testing is vital to keep people safe, and we take our responsibility as part of the industry very seriously.
“We regularly update our PAT equipment and it is important that we give our customers the chance to keep up to date with the latest technology, such as the Apollo 600+, The PrimeTest 250+ and PATguard 3 software.”
Delivered by experts from Seaward, the workshops will visit: Nottingham (Oct 26); Portsmouth (Oct 26); Stoke (Nov 9); Potters Bar (Nov 9); Bristol (Nov 16); Leeds (Nov 16); Warrington (Nov 23); Birmingham (Nov 23); Dublin (Nov 28); Peterborough (Nov 30); Belfast (Nov 29); Heathrow (Dec 7).
Similar sessions previously run by the company have proved very popular and those who want to attend should register early to avoid disappointment.
At every workshop attendees will also have the chance to win a Prime Test 100 PAT tester.
For more details or to register go to www.seaward.co.uk/patworkshops.
Source: Electrical Times
Plumbers urged to support campaign to keep people safe from hot water burns
With around 2,000 young children ending up in A&E each year with scalds from bath water, the UK body for approved plumbers is raising awareness on how to prevent burns and scalds in homes, schools, hospitals and care homes.
According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), hot bath water is responsible for the highest number of fatal and severe burn injuries in young children and an average of 15 pensioners die each year from tap-water scalds.
One of the main reasons scalding occurs is that hot water is stored at 60°C or above to limit the growth of harmful Legionella bacteria. However, if water comes out of the tap above 60°C, people can suffer third degree burns in just six seconds.
Therefore, WaterSafe is raising awareness of the importance of using thermostatic taps and mixing valves (TMVs) to support National Burn Awareness Day on October 17. The valves are particularly important for larger plumbing systems in places such as schools, care homes and hospitals.
TMVs allow water to be stored at a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria but reduce it to a safe temperature as it comes out of the tap, by mixing it with the cold supply. They can cost as little as £30 and be retrofitted to older systems.
Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe said: “While TMVs do need servicing annually, this is a small price to pay to reduce the risk of hot water burns.
“It only takes a few seconds for hot water to cause serious injury, which is why it’s important to know a plumber you employ is competent and qualified to install plumbing correctly, keep your tap water healthy and those in your care safe.
“The WaterSafe register is backed by all water companies in the UK and the water quality regulators and we make sure all its members are fully qualified in the water regulations, insured and have a customer redress scheme in place.”
Source: HPM Magazine
How vehicle tracking is sparking improvements in the electrical industry
The electrical industry has always been a highly-charged marketplace. Numerous companies compete for the same projects, the market is subject to constant regulatory changes, and a shortage of skilled workers often results in companies having to carry out more work with less staff. All these places additional strain on internal resources which, in turn, has a negative impact on impact customer satisfaction due to late arrivals, cancellations, poor “first time” fix rates and a host of other issues. In order to overcome these issues, more and more electrical companies are turning to technology for assistance. Vehicle and fleet tracking is one of the most readily available technologies that businesses can employ to lower internal costs and improve working efficiency. Here are three main ways that vehicle tracking can improve your organisational efficiency:
Lower overhead costs
Using fleet tracking hardware & software to monitor activity and performance online is a proven mechanism for significantly reducing fuel overheads and insurance costs, as well as improving vehicle and asset utilisation and driver productivity. All of which has a direct impact on the bottom line. Back-office teams can easily locate and track vehicles in real time, giving them the visibility required to optimise driver itineraries, avoid traffic congestion, allocate drops and task more effectively in order to reduce journey duration’s, time spent idling, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Real time, in-cab coaching systems that alert drivers to harsh or intemperate driving behaviour also have an incremental effect on running costs. Extensive research has demonstrated that the addition of an in-cab coaching device can reduce fuel consumption by an additional 5-6%.
Develop customer service
Telematics solutions provide accurate fleet data that can be leveraged to improve customer service. Fleet data enables companies to provide accurate arrival times and live updates to help keep customers happy! Apart from the obvious benefits, this can also boost your brand’s reputation and improve customer retention.
Improve business productivity
Fleet managers can pinpoint the location of any vehicle at any time and can even track how long is spent at each stop-off point. This level of precision allows fleet managers and dispatchers to prioritize work based on driver proximity, skill-level and kit on-board, whilst keeping an eye on the time spent at one job can help maximize productivity and working efficiency.
These data-led insights offer the ideal solution to maximise output, whilst maintaining top-level customer service, especially in a the highly competitive industry.
Source: Electrical Trade Magazine
Greater Manchester Major cuts ribbon at HVAC academy launch
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham emphasised the importance of new training facilities as he opened Thermatic’s new Academy in Salford.
The Academy has been created by Thermatic, and developed in partnership with the Salford Foundation, which supports social and academic development of young people and adults in Greater Manchester.
Its aim is to help address the growing skills shortage in the engineering sector and to make engineering more appealing and accessible for young people, regardless of gender.
Mayor Burnham said: “Facilities such as Thermatic’s are not only providers of knowledge and skills but they are also economic drivers, because they help increase opportunity, improve productivity, reduce wealth inequalities and help meet the need of the communities and region in which they are based.
“My ambition in Greater Manchester is to create an integrated employment and skills eco-system which has the individual and employer at its heart and contributes to the growth of our economy. I want to see an employment and skills system where young people will leave education with the attributes they need to succeed.”
Thermatic’s hope is to encourage a new perception of the engineering industry and the new academy is part of their ongoing ‘Women in Engineering’ campaign, which has already seen two new female HVAC engineers taking up roles.
Colin Tennent, Chairman of Thermatic, said: “Our sector is simply not the go-to sector for those leaving school and so this academy is about investing in the future of the community and the industry with the purpose of not only tackling the skills gap in our industry, but also to inspire the next generation to pursue a career in engineering.”
Source: HVP Magazine
Engineers call for new ways of raising alerts over structural safety
More needs to be done to help engineers raise concerns about safety in order to avert future failures, says a new report from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
The risk of structural failures could be reduced by the creation of a new organisation where engineers could raise and share concerns about safety, says the report. The ICE should play a bigger role in empowering engineers to come forward with their concerns as well as information about near misses and catastrophic incidents about infrastructure, according to the report, In Plain Sight. This includes doing more to highlight and inform its members about whistleblowing options.
The report was commissioned last year following the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. Tim Broyd, then-ICE president, asked Professor Peter Hansford to chair a panel tasked with considering the state of current infrastructure and advise on whether any significant risks are ‘hiding in plain sight’.
The report recognises the need to ensure confidential reporting of issues, near-misses and catastrophic incidents. It calls on the ICE and other professional bodies to scope, sponsor and find funding for a sector-wide organisation, building on the work of Structural-Safety. The report recommends the body’s remit should allow for concerns to be raised about design, construction and long-life use, and should also permit for the sharing of information to allow the wider industry to learn from such concerns.
It recommends the Institution do more to highlight existing information and avenues open to engineers who want to raise concerns about infrastructure, including sharing information about relevant prescribed bodies, and advising on appropriate wording when raising concerns.
Hansford said: “As professional engineers, we already know many of the factors that can contribute to the risk of infrastructure failure and we must remain diligent and critical to ensure they don’t stay hidden. This report is about empowering us to have a voice throughout the whole life of the infrastructure we design, construct and operate.
“I look forward to seeing the whole construction sector take forward these recommendations, working with industry and members to strengthen lines of defence, improve accountability across the sector and mitigate the risk of infrastructure failure to enhance public safety.”
ICE vice president Kyle Clough said: “It is essential that professional engineers feel able to speak up about any concerns they might have, and are provided a clear, confidential way of doing so. Further, it is only by sharing the knowledge about these concerns, accidents or near-misses that the industry can learn and take the necessary steps to stop them happening again.”
This final report challenges ICE, as a key industry institution, to lead on efforts to look at the industry’s risk of infrastructure failure.
The report’s recommendations include that ICE should:
- Work with professional bodies to scope, sponsor and find funding for a sector-wide organisation to review, comment on and disseminate lessons from concerns, near misses and catastrophic incidents, building on the work of Structural-Safety.
- run an annual event with the Health and Safety Executive on infrastructure near misses, incidents or forensic reports, to promote understanding and identify sector-wide responses.
- Encourage engineers to highlight unaddressed infrastructure concerns, risks and near misses to their management and provide guidance via the ICE website on suitable confidential reporting channels should these become necessary.
- establish an electronic system that captures ICE members’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities, increasing tenfold the CPD returns audited annually; and work with the Engineering Council to explore introducing periodic mid-career peer reviews.
- identify and communicate mandatory risk-related topics, themes and reading lists for members to include in their annual CPD learning.
- strengthen awareness of ICE’s Code of Professional Conduct through guidance, education, disciplinary processes, sanctions and publicity.
- The report will be presented at the ICE Council meeting in December, where a decision to endorse the recommendations will be made.
Source: The Construction Index
London boroughs get £1bn council homes construction boost
The money will kick-start work on 11,000 new council homes
It will see councils increase their building rates over the next four years to five times greater than existing levels.
Khan said: “London’s housing crisis is hugely complex and has been decades in the making.
“There is no simple fix, but council housing is the most important part of the solution.
“Londoners need more council homes that they can genuinely afford, and local authorities have a fundamental role to play in getting London building the homes we need for the future.
Newham was the biggest beneficiary with a £107m injection.
The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “This funding will kick-start our ambitious housing programme, which will see the construction of more than 1,000 quality homes across 40 sites in Newham started by 2022, and available at London Affordable Rent.”
|Barking and Dagenham||565||£25.3m|
|City of London||156||£14.9m|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||251||£15.3m|
|Kensington and Chelsea||336||£33.6m|
|Kingston upon Thames||713||£67.8m|
|Redbridge||400||(Right to Buy receipts)|
Source: Construction Enquirer
Surveyors report rising workloads but Brexit fears loom large
Results of the Q3 RICS UK Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey show 20% more chartered surveyors reported that their workloads had risen rather than fallen – up from +15% in Q2.
Private housing and infrastructure workloads reported the strongest rise while activity across the private industrial and public non-housing categories improved modestly with net balances of 9% and 11%, respectively.
A soft patch was highlighted in public housing where the pace of workloads slowed from +12% to +7%.
Regionally, workloads are now reported to be increasing across all areas with notable acceleration in the Midlands and East.
Financial constraints are reported by 75% of surveyors to be by far the most significant brake on growth with firms reporting difficulties in accessing bank finance and credit.
Surveyors reported growth in the number of new business enquiries received and 42% more respondents saw more new hires in their company over the last three months.
But the outlook for the economy as a whole has led to a reduced optimism for the construction sector over the year ahead as Brexit casts its shadow.
Jeffrey Matsu, RICS Senior Economist said: “While ongoing capacity constraints have supported steady workload activity, the outlook going forward is far from clear.
“Recent Brexit-related indecision has added considerably to this uncertainty, but whatever the outcome, the pace of growth is expected to decelerate if only due to cyclical market conditions.”
Hew Edgar, RICS Head of Policy added: “Despite challenging market conditions and Brexit looming, overall construction output in the UK is up on the second quarter of the year, and in particular it’s very positive to see that workloads for much needed new homes and infrastructure are increasing.
“We’ve long called on the government to secure funding to ensure Britain’s exit from the European Union doesn’t impact the delivery of vital infrastructure schemes, and encouragingly our latest survey revealed that rail, roads and energy are the subsectors expected to see the strongest growth in output over the coming twelve months, unsurprising given recent announcements in these sectors.
“However, the government must act promptly to put measures in place to keep the funding from European Investment Bank (EIB) or introduce a new lender, or lending mechanism, to plug the gap created from the potential loss of EIB funds, particularly for big ticket infrastructure projects such as HS2, Hinkley Point C and Heathrow’s expansion as these are of great importance to the UK.”
Source: Construction Enquirer