See us at Greenbuild Expo – Stand A25
Glasgow gets set for Commonwealth Games Our front cover shows athletics stars Jessica Ennis-Hill and Eilidh Child at the unveiling of the revamped Hampden Park, centrepiece of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games together with the brand new Athletes’ Village. The story kicks off this issue’s special feature on the construction industry in Scotland. read more from p7
FOCUS ON SCOTLAND 8 9 9 11
Athletes’ Village leaves a legacy Awards as unique as your business Planning gets fourfold scrutiny Scotframe shows off latest champion
SUSTAINABLE BUILDING 12 12 13 14 14 15
Eco town contractor appointed Ecobuild show tops the lot Gearing up for Greenbuild Expo Greenbuild Awards shortlist Green lobby unimpressed by Budget Conference reveals study results
WORKING AT HEIGHT
20 22 22 23 24 24 25 25 26 27 28
36 36 37
Trade body unveils its new guidance Scaffolding apprenticeships Worldwide training – on land or sea! Changes to SITS courses CISRS launch training videos Tailored scaffolding courses Successful inaugural conference Liaison helps apprentices find work New lightweight scaffolding Firm put passers-by at risk XERVON Palmers win safety award
Compensation increased for victims Will training follow suit? Simulator to revolutionise safety
50 years of continuous development
DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTING 40 40 41
Industry needs to address issue Reduce absence – and accidents Instant drug tests: why take the risk?
Finalists announced for 2014 awards
London City Airport’s full fibre ring 4G mobile technology and BIM
30 31 31 32 33
New apprenticeship commission 10% off NAPIT Training Vocational training still crucial Advisers in England must do better Make time for training
FINANCE 44 44 45
Funding process more transparent Cashflow solutions for construction The clock is ticking
46 46 46 47
New planning court to be established Breakfast briefings discuss the issues Contracts expertise when you need it Self-employed worker status
HOUSING 48 Budget boost for housing 49-51 Latest developments on show 51 Lack of housing could cost £85bn
BOOK REVIEWS 56 57 58
FLOOD CONTROL 16
Call for urgent flood map revision
NEWS 18 18 19 19
The Phaidon Atlas The Rolled Lead Sheet Manual Scaffolding Contract 2014
HEALTH & SAFETY Low carbon employers fêted Taylor Wimpey call for fairer industry Skeletons were Black Death victims Increase in construction activity
34 34 35 35
CDM regulations set for reform Workers invited to safety event Firm fined after steelwork collapse Safety in numbers
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For all other enquiries: Tel: 0161 710 3880 Fax: 0161 710 3879 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Suite 2, 61 Lower Hillgate, Stockport SK1 3AW Editor: Chris Stokes Copyright Construction National. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior permission of Construction National. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.
Constructive ‹ THERE HAVE BEEN A number of encouraging signs for the construction industry in recent
months. The housing sector is continuing to improve, with measures in the budget estimated to lead to an increase in jobs as well as output. Meanwhile, figures from the Office of National Statistics show a small but significant increase in work across construction from last year. Both stories are covered in some detail. • The most notable sporting event to grace these shores since London 2012 will be the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer. The Athletes’ Village is already showing how these events can leave a legacy for the local population as it will provide much-needed housing for that part of the city. Many more of the venues are existing facilities that have been imaginatively upgraded. Hampden Park, in particular, has had a substantial revamp, as our front cover shows. The story is part of a focus on Scotland in this issue in advance of the independence referendum. Economic performance has been a key battleground for the opposing camps, with infrastructure an important issue – particularly the energy industry. Even as things stand, the Scottish Government’s Planning Framework is an influential document and has had a deal of attention from no fewer than four Parliamentary Committees, each with their own sphere of interest. • South of the border the planning system is also being changed. One of the innovations is the introduction of a specific planning court in the summer. The idea is to streamline the system of judicial review of major infrastructure and construction projects. The new system is designed to make it easier for projects to be given the go-ahead. Some have argued it will lead to the ‘crushing’ of opposition to developments. • Hand-in-hand with the planning changes have come announcements regarding access to funding guarantees for a number of projects. A number have been through a process of prequalification for the UK Guarantee Scheme and are awaiting due diligence and ministerial approval. They are mainly in the energy sector. • The area of health and safety has always been paramount in the construction sector and things are changing there, too. The CDM regulations are up for a revamp next year, with plans due to be published this month, leading to a consultation exercise. New guidance for scaffolding has also been published. The long-awaited TG20:13 from the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation will offer enhanced technical guidance for basic scaffolding structures and reduce the need for bespoke plans. For those working with lead sheet the main technical guide has been the Rolled Lead Sheet Manual from the Lead Sheet Association. That has now been made available in electronic format, making again for enhanced availability of guidance. q
Chris Stokes Editor, Construction National
Three of Malcolm Construction’s trainee engineers pictured with the athletes
Commonwealth Games facilities come on stream – at the double ‹ ON 12 MARCH THE twin centrepieces of the
Commonwealth Games in Glasgow were unveiled by two stars of track and field. At the heart of the Games is Scotland’s national stadium, Hampden Park, which is being transformed by Glasgowbased Malcolm Construction to host 48 athletics events. Meanwhile, the home-from-home for the 4,500 athletes who will compete at Glasgow 2014 is the innovative Athletes’ Village. Both were showcased by Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill – one of Glasgow 2014’s most highprofile ambassadors – and Team Scotland star and Commonwealth silver medallist Eilidh Child. Hampden Park is already a legendary venue and scene of many moments of intense international sporting drama. As the venue for athletics at this summer’s Games, it is expected to stage some of the most thrilling moments of the competition, with more than 1,000 athletes going all out for gold and glory in over 48 events in seven days. Glasgow 2014, the organisation behind the Games, revealed the stadium’s stunning new look as the transformation from the home of Scottish football into a world-class athletics arena moves closer to completion. A revolutionary solution has raised the stadium surface by almost two metres, gaining the width and length required for an IAAFapproved athletics track. The work has been a closely guarded secret since it began in December, but a full infield complete with freshly-covered grass now sits on a temporary deck, made up of 1,200 base panels supported by over 6,000 structural steel
stilts. The recognisable red running track surface will be laid shortly. This is the first time this technology has been used on such a scale to deliver a world-class athletics event and it will enable elite athletes from 70 nations and territories to battle it out in front of a packed crowd of over 40,000 in the stadium. With IAAF approval, the approach is already being termed the ‘Glasgow solution’ in worldwide athletics circles and its legacy could live on at future events. Said Jessica Ennis-Hill CBE, who is an official ambassador for the Games: “Looking at the amazing athletics arena that is taking shape at Hampden Park, I am sure Glasgow 2014 will be a Commonwealth Games like no other. I know from the Olympic Games in London the importance of a home crowd and how much of a boost that wonderful support gave to the athletes. “Scotland is famed for a passion for sport. I’ve been hearing today about the ‘Hampden Roar’ which I’m sure will give those competing at Glasgow 2014 an experience they will never forget.” Commonwealth Silver Medallist, hurdler Eilidh Child, added: “I’ve seen Hampden in its football format many times, but I never thought I’d see it like this. It’s a spectacular transformation and I’m hugely excited to be competing here this summer. The thought of pushing down the home straight in front of a packed crowd inside our national stadium gives me goosebumps.”
Also revealed was the innovatively designed Athletes’ Village, Scotland’s first large-scale carbonneutral housing development, as it begins its fit out for the Games. The village will host 6,500 athletes and officials in total and form a community like no other at the very heart of Glasgow 2014. The village isn’t just a bed for every athlete – it’s their dining area, their medical facility, their retail zone and their recreational space where they can relax and unwind away from the intensity of competition and training. It’s where they can share experiences with roommates and teammates, make new friends and learn more about the countries that will send their teams to Glasgow from across the globe. Eilidh Child commented: “Today is the first time I’ve been inside the Athletes’ Village and it’s looking great. There’s so much open space and it’s nice to see the furniture from London 2012 being reused too. The village is such an important area for the athletes and from what I’ve seen Glasgow could certainly be setting a new standard. I can’t wait until the teams all start moving in and bring the Village to life.” David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014, added: “The solution we’re implementing to transform Scotland’s National Stadium is a world-first on such a scale and a fantastic model for future events, while the Athletes’ Village was designed with the needs of sportsmen and women at its heart. It will provide a great home-from-home Games community in four months’ time.” R www.constructionnational.co.uk
Athletes’ Village set to form a sustainable housing legacy ‹ THE ATHLETES’ VILLAGE built for the
Glasgow Commonwealth Games is already forming an important part of the legacy of the event. After the Games finish it will become an impressive housing development for the people of Glasgow known as The Village. The site will be retrofitted and developed by Glasgow City Council with City Legacy, a private-sector consortium including some of Scotland’s best-known housing developers, to create 700 homes for rent and sale to Glaswegians. A total of 300 will be for sale and 400 for social rent through three housing associations. The vast majority of the housing will be two, three and four-bedroom family houses, with gardens and front and back doors. Imaginatively designed and constructed to the latest building, sustainability and energy efficiency standards, the homes at The Village offer a completely new way of living. The development is at the forefront in the creation of the most advanced standards in sustainable building and heating: creating warm, energy efficient, cost effective homes with a minimum of 60% reduction in carbon emissions. The new homes will benefit from power, heating and hot water generated from a state-of-the-art energy centre containing a combined heat and power plant which is 40% more efficient than conventional heating systems. That same energy centre, completed in December 2012, will also power a 120bed care home on the site and the arena and velodrome next to it. The project has already started winning awards. In September it was named Best Regeneration Project in The Herald Property Awards for Scotland. That was followed in October by the gong for Best Sustainable Development at the Glasgow Business Awards. As far back as May it was named Best Green Initiative in the Homes for Scotland Awards. q
The Village won the Best Sustainable Development gong at the Glasgow Business Awards
SQA’s Customised Awards are as unique as your business ‹ BUSINESSES BENEFIT FROM a qualified workforce. If staff are
trained and qualified they tend to be motivated and more productive. Now, businesses in Scotland can create their own qualification, giving formal recognition to learning outside the business and enhancing corporate image. The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is Scotland's national accreditation and awarding body. It is known for delivering Scotland's school exams, but it also works in partnership with businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors across the UK and beyond. SQA Customised Awards let businesses create their own unique, certified, quality-assured qualification that is sharply focused on the needs and ambitions of the business. They are truly bespoke, so learning follows precisely the chosen route.
The benefits for business Above all, the SQA is about delivering exactly the qualification businesses want. Focused on achieving business objectives, Customised Awards challenge and motivate employees, enhancing skills, standards and productivity and delivering a competitive advantage. Staff receive their own certificate featuring the SQA logo and that of the business. The recognition and development opportunities they provide, lead to increased staff retention. Each award fulfils SQA’s rigorous quality assurance criteria. That means businesses can be
confident of a qualification that is robust enough to stand up to scrutiny and could help meet regulatory compliance. The qualification can achieve universal recognition by being credit rated on SCQF – the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework – where it will sit alongside comparable qualifications. SCQF provides a clearly defined view of what the award delivers: great news for people’s career progression and for demonstrating competence to customers, stakeholders and other third parties. SCQF credit rating also protects the award – it can’t be used by others, although the business concerned can choose to offer the qualification to other businesses.
Tailored to a specific business Flexibility is key and is a huge part of SQA's Customised Awards. SQA provides space, scope and support to design a qualification to fit particular circumstances. So whether it’s building on and formalising existing in-house training, or starting from scratch, the integrated Customised Awards are always ready to go. Working with SQA’s experts from day one, support includes locally based business development managers and a team of specialists ready to advise about every aspect of developing learning and assessment materials. That’s why SQA is convinced its unique Customised Awards can work for your business. q • For further details visit www. sqa.org.uk, tel 0303 333 0330 or email email@example.com.
Planning framework given fourfold scrutiny ‹ SINCE BEING LAID BEFORE the Scottish Parliament on 14
January, the draft third National Planning Framework (NPF) for Scotland has been scrutinised by no fewer than four Parliamentary Committees for issues within their portfolios. All published reports of their deliberations on 14 March. There was a broad welcome for the framework, although all four committees unsurprisingly found issues to raise within their particular areas of interest. The most comprehensive report came from the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee, which highlighted a number of key areas. They included transport and housing. On transport, the committee welcomed the inclusion of proposals to enhance five of Scotland’s airports in simple economic terms. However, it urged caution, given the potential for increased greenhouse gas emissions from airport expansion to undermine the Scottish Government’s efforts to meet emissions reduction targets. The committee also welcomed the inclusion of three sea port developments: Grangemouth Investment Zone, Freight Capacity on the Forth and Aberdeen Harbour. On housing, the committee said: “The committee is concerned that if planning for housing development rests so heavily on a plan-led system and local authority plans are out of date, the credibility of this system could be undermined and left open to exploitation.”
The Rural, Environment and Climate Change Committee, in its report, called on the Scottish Government to ensure that the NPF aligns with the delivery of sustainable flood risk management and prioritises the reduction in the overall flood risk in developments, making it clear that housing and other developments should avoid flood risk areas. Convener of the committee, Rob Gibson MSP said: “Given the recent devastation caused by flooding south of the border, and indeed in some parts of Scotland, the committee is resolute in its opposition to developments on flood risk areas.” The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee expressed concern about the lack of information on how large areas of land identified as core wild land will affect wind farm development in Scotland. “Fuller guidance to planning authorities on proposed developments for unconventional gas or ‘fracking’ should also be included in the final planning policy,” the committee added. Meanwhile, the Local Government and Regeneration Committee highlighted the need to clearly set out how the planning system could help and support a wide range of other key policies such as preventative spending. In addition, the report highlights the failure of most local authorities to ensure they have an up to date local development plan in place, as required by law. That, said the committee, impedes the delivery of a nationally coherent planning system. q www.constructionnational.co.uk
The major player in timber frame shows off its latest champion ‹ IN THE 21ST CENTURY the most sustainable
and technologically advanced form of construction – and the most widely used worldwide – is timber frame. The environmental credentials of the system are just one of its many advantages. It ensures high quality, reduces overall build costs and considerably shortens the build programme. In Scotland, for example, over 70% of all new build homes and over 85% of self-build are timber frame. So it is no surprise that one of the longest-established and most respected names in the industry is none other than Scotframe. Based in Inverurie in Aberdeenshire, the company is the leading manufacturer and supplier of ‘full kit’ timber frame packages. Active in Scotland for 25 years, Scotframe has factories at both Inverurie and Cumbernauld near Glasgow and sales offices in Inverness, Dundee, Mid Sussex and Paignton. Builders, developers, architects and other specifiers have an increasing awareness of the environmental impact of their projects and the timber frame industry itself takes a lead in making a significant contribution to sustainable construction for sustainable communities. Scotframe has built its success on forming longterm relationships with those very clients and is regarded by them as an essential part of their business process.
The timber frame package Scotframe provides its customers with a unique ‘one-stop shop’ service, not only for coordinating the manufacture and delivery of the timber frame structure, but also for the supply of windows, external doors, insulation, plasterboard, stairs, internal door sets, architrave, skirtings and finishings. Browsing their comprehensive timber-frame homes portfolio of standard house styles will reveal everything from compact bungalows to generously proportioned family homes. A spokesman said: “Ask any of our clients and they will tell you our timber frame packages are more comprehensive, have a superior fit and build
and contain more prefabricated components than any other manufacturer, all of which will save you valuable time and money.” In addition to the homes portfolio Scotframe has supplied full timber frame kits for a range of commercial and public buildings, including care homes, the Mull Theatre on the Isle of Mull, a wedding village at a stately home in Northumberland and a church in East Sussex to name but a few. “We advise and assist on all aspects of private and commercial projects where a timber frame system is to be specified, thereby ensuring the client receives a value engineered solution exactly matched to their requirements,” the spokesman continued. “This is achieved through close analysis of the design criteria, matched with the manufacturing and subsequent thermal performance and build requirements of the project – thereby identifying areas where a more costeffective specification or detailing method can be identified. “If you are a builder or developer specialising in high-quality structures for discerning customers, then you should be talking to us.” In 2011 Scotframe introduced to the market its Val-U-Therm® family of advanced, closed panel, factory insulated, high thermal performance wall, roof and floor systems. The many benefits of the systems stem from a smart integrated building envelope, manufactured in a factory qualitycontrolled environment that minimises waste and provides a cost-effective solution. An investment in ValU-Therm® wall, roof and floor panels will last for the life of the building – a minimum 60 years – unlike renewables that need continual control by the occupants as well as frequent maintenance and certain replacement during the lifetime of the property.
The Val-U-Therm® system gives warm, draughtproof homes with a high comfort factor – fit it and forget! It wasn’t long before Val-U-Therm® was winning plaudits across the industry. First came certification from the British Board of Agrément – awarded only to products or systems that have successfully passed comprehensive assessment involving laboratory testing, on-site evaluations and inspections of production. Scotframe was also audited to ensure that a suitable quality management system was in place. Regular monitoring of the product’s manufacture by the BBA takes place twice a year with a full and comprehensive reassessment every three years. Bob Edwards, Scotframe’s managing director, said: “The BBA’s certification of Val-U-Therm® is a significant milestone for this excellent product. Agrément Certificates are recognised by building control, government departments, architects, local authorities, specifiers and industry insurers like the NHBC.” Soon after, Val-U-Therm® was awarded the Best Energy Efficiency/Sustainability Solutions Award at the Timber Expo in Coventry. The award highlighted the class-leading energy-efficiency performance of the Val-U-Therm® closed panel building system. Bob Edwards said following that award: “This award at the Expo – a prestigious event which showcases the technological advances in the industry – is recognition that Val-U-Therm® is head and shoulders above its competitors. “These carefully-crafted panels will make a significant contribution to the construction industry and will help reduce CO2 emissions whilst creating more energy efficient homes and commercial properties both now and in the future.” q • For more information just visit www.scotframetimberengineering.co.uk and www.valutherm.co.uk. Customer homes pictures reproduced courtesy of Scotframe
Eco town main contractor appointed
‹ A2DOMINION HAS NAMED Willmott
Dixon as the main contractor for the infrastructure and initial stage of the Exemplar phase of the UK’s first eco town, North West Bicester (NW Bicester), in Oxfordshire. Willmott Dixon will work with A2Dominion to build the first 94 of the 393 planned highly-efficient, true zero-carbon homes on the Exemplar phase – the first phase of the eco town. NW Bicester project director Steve Hornblow said: “Not only does Willmott Dixon share our commitment to quality results, but – importantly for this project – the company has experience in building sustainable projects, meeting set environmental targets and delivering local labour opportunities. “NW Bicester is a pioneering project designed to enable people to live modern-day
lifestyles with traditional values. The Exemplar phase will create a vibrant and resilient community, where residents can enjoy sustainable living and benefit from a real community environment.” Charlie Scherer, chief operating officer for Willmott Dixon’s housing company, added: “We are looking forward to working with A2Dominion on the UK’s first eco town, creating a truly flagship development for Bicester.” In February Exemplar was named ‘highly commended’ at the national Placemaking Awards, which recognises projects, people and organisations that are making places better. Placing the project a close second for the sustainability award, judges praised NW Bicester as a scheme with ‘fantastic environmental credentials’ and ‘innovative
Ecobuild’s 10th anniversary show tops the lot ‹ OPTIMISM RETURNED TO the green construction sector in March as Ecobuild
experienced a 3% rise in visitors to London’s ExCeL, with 44,538 sustainable built environment professionals flocking to the world’s leading event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment – this year celebrating its 10th anniversary. Further boosting confidence in the market, policy met practice as Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, launched the government’s consultation on the future of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). Focusing on making Britain’s homes warmer, greener and cheaper to heat, the minister proposed a series of changes designed to reduce costs for suppliers and thereby reduce the impact on bills for millions of consumers. He also talked about improvements to the Green Deal finance plan and the target to upgrade one million homes. Echoing that positivity, Energy Minister Greg Barker MP announced a £19m boost for the Green Deal by way of funding for six community based retrofit programmes. He also stated that the Green Deal would receive a further boost, through the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive this spring. Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council – Ecobuild’s lead partner – said: “Ecobuild has become the Crystal Palace of its day, the great exhibition where new products can be found and sold, and fortunes can be made in the name of green building.” Alison Jackson, Ecobuild’s group director of sustainability and construction, added: “We are thrilled and immensely proud of the event delivered this year and the hard work Ecobuild’s partners, exhibitors and visitors have done to push forward the green construction agenda. Despite the recession, green construction is now turning a corner and we believe both the industry and Ecobuild are firmly set for growth.” The icing on the cake came a week after the show when Ecobuild was awarded the coveted ISO 20121 certification for Sustainable Event Management for its commitment to carbon footprint reduction, better management of resources and sourcing more sustainable options. q
design’, and said it would be ‘interesting to see these issues being addressed at an area scale’. The A2Dominion team was highly commended and presented with a certificate. The Placemaking Awards, in association with Regeneration and Renewal and Planning magazines, showcase projects in planning, regeneration, economic development, urban design, sustainable development and community development. The methods to achieve environmental integrity at Exemplar have already been recognised by BioRegional’s One Planet Living status, which is a framework of 10 principles designed to ensure that people everywhere can enjoy a high quality of life within the resource capacity of our one planet. Only nine developments in the world have achieved that benchmark. Steve Hornblow said at the time: “The development has been carefully designed to nurture the community, delivering exceptional quality of life for residents without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. “We have many initiatives in place to ensure the Exemplar is at the forefront of sustainability. All homes will be true zerocarbon and built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5 with properties benefiting from the UK’s largest residential solar array to generate electricity, alongside rainwater harvesting and a sustainable urban drainage system.” q • North West Bicester is governed by the Government’s Eco-town Planning Policy Statement, often referred to as the Eco-town PPS. No previous eco-project in the UK has demonstrated such a comprehensive set of eco credentials which meet the original PPS requirements. A2Dominion work in partnership with Cherwell District Council and have appointed a number of expert consultants to deliver the groundbreaking scheme.
Manchester gears up for
‹ GREENBUILD EXPO, THE EXHIBITION dedicated to the sustainable building community, will
once again be at Manchester Central this year. The show will be taking place on 7-8 May, with the Greenbuild Awards at the nearby Radisson Hotel on the evening of 7 May. The exhibitor list for Greenbuild Expo is, as always, a comprehensive A-list of players in the green building world. Aimed at professionals involved in designing, refurbishing or running domestic and non-domestic properties, the free-to-attend event once again combines a comprehensive conference programme – featuring expert speakers from across industry and academe – with an extensive exhibition of the latest technologies and materials to achieve a sustainable built environment. In addition to the 150-plus exhibitors – which this year will include Construction National (Stand A25) – more than 100 seminars will cover sustainable cities, smart buildings, newbuild materials, retrofit solutions, energy efficiency and carbon reduction. A focal point of the main floor will once again be a Green Deal Arena, where seminar sessions will assess the progress of the scheme. Running alongside the show will be Ignition 14, the UK Woodfuel Expo. More highlights include the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s RHI Roadshow, a series of seminars on high performance buildings and the show’s own CPD programme. The world of sport will be represented by Scottish Enterprise and its partners in the development of the Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village. The built environment has huge potential in shaping our sustainable future. The buildings we live in, work in and relax in – and how we inhabit and interact with them – are a key part of a sustainable lifestyle. Professionals responsible for the design, function and performance of volume housing and non-domestic properties such as schools and hospitals have a huge role to play. To reflect that, the organisers of Greenbuild Expo kicked off the run-up to the show with the launch of a new sustainability campaign, The Greenbuild Challenge, at Ecobuild in March. Supported by UK Green Building Council and the Energy Saving Trust, the campaign aims to engage, educate and inspire professionals in the building and sustainability sectors to create a truly sustainable built environment. The campaign aims to encourage people to pledge to make changes to affect the carbon footprint of their own buildings. Suggestions for pledges include switching to LED lighting. Using 40 LED bulbs in a house for an average of 2.7 hours a day – the Energy Saving Trust’s typical use figure for a bulb in a kitchen or living room – could cut running costs to £23 annually compared with £287 for sticking with halogens. Other focal points of the campaign include sustainable retrofitting, behavioural change, building materials and methods, and smart cities. All these issues will be explored through debate at the Greenbuild Expo event. A spokesperson from Greenbuild said: “We want building owners and occupants to pledge to change their buildings and their behaviour – whether that’s in an office, a block of flats, sheltered housing or a hotel – and then make it happen. It needn’t be a top-to-toe green retrofit – even simple and low cost changes can make a big difference. “Working with organisations such as UK-GBC and EST, the Greenbuild Challenge aims to raise the debate around sustainability in the built environment. We will continue the debate at this year’s Greenbuild Expo with a great seminar programme – all free to attend.” q • For more information and to register visit www.greenbuildexpo.co.uk.
Greenbuild Awards shortlist announced ‹ THE SHORTLIST HAS BEEN announced for the four categories in the Greenbuild Awards, which will be taking place on the evening of 7 May at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester as part of Greenbuild Expo. The awards were set up in 2012 to celebrate those people, projects and products that are genuinely working to reduce carbon emissions and promote greater energy efficiency. Too often, companies and projects are rewarded for projects that are perhaps more eco-bling than eco-friendly. Not so for the Greenbuild Awards. The awards are judged by a panel of industry leading experts comprising Liz Reason (Green Gauge Trust), Kerry Mashford (NEF), Paul Ruyssevelt (UCL) and this year Rob Pannell (Zero Carbon Hub). Nominees range from single newbuild homes and small, affordable developments of just four homes to the retrofitting of complete housing estates – one of over 3,000 homes and another with 100 homes in England and a further 100 in France. In the non-domestic categories there are a number of notable educational establishments, including Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, the Centre for Environmental Technologies at East Kent College and a primary school that is said to be the most energy-efficient new school building in the country. Candidates for the non-domestic retrofit prize include a religious retreat housed in an 18th-century manor house and a steam museum in an industrial engine house.
Last year’s winners included a new build ‘Eco Vicarage’ in Dudley by Speller Metcalfe (pictured) and Bradford University’s Green Library, Education and Environment (GLEE) project. q • All the nominated projects are described in detail on the awards website at www.greenbuildawards.co.uk.
Green lobby unimpressed by Budget ‹ THE CHANCELLOR’S BUDGET wasn’t universally well
received by the construction industry – in particular where green issues are concerned. The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) says the government continues to have a ‘blind spot’ on the role energy efficiency could play in reducing consumer bills. John Alker, director of policy and communications at UKGBC, said: “Any real hope that the Chancellor is committed to the green agenda faded long ago, but what remains deeply disappointing is that he doesn’t recognise a growth opportunity when he sees one. Hope for clarity on zero-carbon homes and non-domestic buildings was also conspicuous by its absence. With energy bills £800 less than the average home, you would have thought Government would want to shout about this policy from the rooftops. Sadly, the future of Allowable Solutions still remains unclear.” Dr Nina Skorupska chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association (REA) commented: “By freezing the Carbon Price Floor, the Chancellor is rowing back on his own policy and once again moving the goalposts for investors in green energy. Government must explain in black and white how investment in renewables is protected from the freeze, or risk undermining the investment required to replace ageing coal power stations with technologies that can keep the lights on without damaging the climate.” q
Retrofit conference will reveal results of national study ‹ LANDLORDS, ASSET MANAGERS, social
housing contractors and built environment academics have been invited to discuss the outcome of Retrofit for the Future, the innovative £17m programme led by the Technology Strategy Board and Energy Saving Trust. The event will be held on 9-10 April at the Centre of Refurbishment Excellence (CoRE) in Stoke-on-Trent. The conference, which will be opened by Rick Holland from the Technology Strategy Board, forms part of the two-day Retrofit Live event, which will showcase the scope of opportunities the retrofit industry presents. Delegates will learn what these potential energy and carbon savings mean in practice and get the industry response from a number of organisations, including The National Energy Foundation and Travis Perkins. A series of master classes and breakout sessions will be led by industry experts. Topics include building fabric integrity, ventilation strategies and the overheating risks, handover and commissioning, monitoring and evaluation, de-risking retrofit and optimising supply chain models. CoRE is itself a state-of-the-art retrofitted
building, managed by retrofit specialists. The newly opened centre (pictured above) is a not-for-profit, national centre of excellence for green building retrofit. Its intention is to transfer practical knowledge to support excellence in retrofit products and projects across the domestic and non-domestic sectors. David Pierpoint, chief executive of CoRE, said: “Here at CoRE we live and breathe retrofit, so naturally we are absolutely delighted to be hosting Retrofit Live at the centre. This national event provides a unique opportunity for everyone involved in the management and refurbishment of public housing stock to come together, discuss the
key lessons learned from past retrofit programmes and, most importantly, what all of this means for the future. We are especially excited that delegates at this event will be the very first in the country to access the findings of the Retrofit for the Future study.” Retrofit Live will also host a fellowship dinner and debate at the close of the event’s first day, providing those attending with further opportunities to network with some of the industry’s leading practitioners. R • For further information and to register visit www.retrofit-live.com.
The Survey Association calls for urgent revision of national flood maps ‹ AS THE WATERS recede and the clear up
begins, the financial and emotional impact of the UK’s latest flooding crisis is becoming clear. The Survey Association (TSA), the trade body for private sector land and hydrographic surveyors, says costly flood prevention measures will be undermined unless there is sufficient investment made to improve the accuracy of base data. TSA were lobbying government on flood protection as far back as 2007. At a reception at the House of Commons they highlighted the cuts to the Environment Agency’s risk management budget and how this would impact on the role their members play in producing the accurate data, so essential when dealing with issues of flooding. Following the devastating floods in the summer of that year Sir Michael Pitt was tasked to carry out a full review of the country’s flood defence. The Pitt report also raised concerns that data supplied by the Environment Agency on flood risk is not accurate, complete or up to date.
The role of the surveyor in flood prevention The characteristics of the land dictate where rain goes when it falls and at what speed. In order for science to determine the exact path the water takes, it is vitally important to understand the shape of the land. Survey industry professionals provide this information to scientists and hydraulic engineers. Flood models are calculated from the geometry of the land. Detailed, accurate survey data is key to understanding the flood risk to homes, commercial properties and critical infrastructure and to ensure the investment made in flood prevention strategies is maximised. The Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson is said to be seeking Treasury funding to the tune of £100m to support the Flood Action Plan, drawn up to safeguard the Somerset Levels alone. Most national flood maps are based on large data sets that are derived from less accurate data but give a good indication of where flooding could occur. In high risk areas surveyors are often commissioned to improve the accuracy of these maps to provide more targeted information on local flooding issues. This information may include more accurate river surveys to provide critical characteristics of the river and precise height information of properties, roads and railways so the true relationships between the infrastructure and potential floodwaters is known. The Environment Agency has a stringent
specification for surveyors to work to so that whole catchment models can be created and worked on with confidence across the entire dataset.
Flood risk insurance Individual homeowners across the southern counties are now bracing themselves for an insurance premium hike in the wake of the latest deluge. Threshold level surveys provided by professionals allow individual homeowners to find out the true flood risk of their property. They can then present this information to their insurance company if they believe that their property has been inaccurately categorised by the insurer, according to the Environment Agency flood map. Questions are being raised as to what might happen to the housing market if insurance companies refuse to offer cover on new homes in what may be perceived as high risk areas. Insurance companies generally use the Environment Agency map of flood risk to determine insurance premiums for individual properties. Homeowners may find that if they undertake a survey and are able to supply higher quality data to their insurance company, cover may be made available. The survey industry is innovative and is looking for new and different ways to ensure data collection is relevant and fit for purpose. A member of The Survey Association has recently launched Photo Mapp, an iPhone App
that can be used by flood victims to record water levels in their properties. The information could aid insurance claims, grant applications and will also help the Environment Agency identify flood event levels in places they don’t have recorders. Similar to a witness diagram, Photo Mapp creates PDF documents with details of location, date, time, photos and notes in one place. The information and layout is designed to enable an inspection and measurement of the location. The information can then be used to calibrate existing flood models which in turn provides more accurate flood predictions for the future. q • TSA promotes best practice amongst its members, provides a forum for members for discussion and, to the wider audience such as engineers, it also provides guidance on new methods and techniques and produces regular Client Guides on key industry topics which are free to download. For more information visit www.tsa-uk.org.uk.
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Low carbon employers fêted in Westminster ‹ EMPLOYERS INVESTING IN skills and
training in the low carbon market came together at a reception at the Houses of Parliament on 25 March. The Green Skills Alliance (GSA) held the event to mark the culmination of a two-year programme to develop infrastructure to support employers involved in the energy efficiency market. That included a programme of new ‘green’ training, awareness raising events and communicating best practice from exemplar organisations that are at the cutting edge of market innovation. Backed by the Employer Investment Fund, the GSA – which comprises Asset Skills, ConstructionSkills and SummitSkills – has been working to make sure that built environment employers are able to get the best from government schemes like Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). Sarah Bentley, CEO of Asset Skills – one of the organisations comprising the alliance – said: “The Green Skills Alliance programme has worked to support employers to better understand this
emerging market and how to take advantage of opportunities. For Asset Skills this means making sure that energy assessors and Green Deal advisors have easy access to information on policy, skills and the marketplace, which is why we developed the Green Info Hub as part of this programme.” Hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG), the event included speakers from the Department for Energy and Climate Change, the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, and leading employers.
Alan Whitehead MP, PRASEG Chair, commented: “This event was all about championing employers who have supported the energy efficiency agenda for the past two years. “The success of schemes like Green Deal and ECO relies on a high-quality workforce with the right training and skills to make customers feel confident in the improvements they make.” William Burton of ConstructionSkills added: “Sustainability has become an important focus for firms throughout the supply chain, and this picture is set to continue in 2014 and beyond. This project has gone a long way in providing them with the right information to help them seize the future opportunities - for those with the right knowledge and qualifications, the work will be there for the taking.” Nigel Hollett, general manager of SummitSkills and chair of GSA concluded: “There is a renewed optimism about the low carbon agenda and the time is right for companies to consider training their workforce to take advantage from emerging opportunities that we hope will arise this year.” q
Taylor Wimpey urges the industry to be fairer ‹ ONE OF THE UK’s largest homebuilders has spoken out about
the lack of diversity in construction, and has called for a more inclusive industry. Taylor Wimpey, which provides work for more than 15,000 staff and subcontractors, is supporting CITB’s Be Fair framework accreditation, to be launched in June. The Be Fair framework is being developed by the industry to create inclusive working environments which support not only individuals but also companies across the construction and built environment sector. The framework aims to address negative cultures and practices to create a fair, inclusive and respectful industry for everyone. Taylor Wimpey’s chief executive Pete Redfern said: “We strongly believe that having a diverse workforce is not just the right thing to do but offers clear business benefits. “It helps us to attract and retain the best people with the broadest range of talent and makes sure that our staff, who come from a variety of backgrounds, age groups and career paths, can relate to the communities that we work with and offer the best service. “With 19% of construction workers reaching retirement age in the next decade we will have a huge gap to fill. We need to invest today to ensure that we have the right skills, expertise and drive to meet the ever growing demand for new homes in the future, and this can only be achieved by attracting a much wider range of candidates than has been done in the industry before.” q
Crossrail skeletons were Black Death victims ‹ NEW RESEARCH ON SKELETONS found during construction
of the Crossrail project reveals many died of plague during the 14th century Black Death pandemic, while others died during later plague outbreaks. The 25 skeletons were uncovered in Charterhouse Square, Farringdon, during March last year. It provided the first evidence of the location of London’s first Black Death emergency burial ground, established in 1348 and referenced in historical records as being in what is now modern day Farringdon. Because of the burial ground’s historical importance an exceptional amount of research analysis has taken place on the skeletons to understand the life and death of Londoners affected by the Black Death. From the teeth, scientists found traces of the DNA of the Yersinia pestis bacterium, which was responsible for the Black Death plague, confirming the individuals had contact with the deadly disease prior to their death. Carbon-14 dating has revealed at least two distinct periods of burials, the earliest is during the period of the Black Death in 134850, followed by a later period dating from the early to mid-1400s. Crossrail’s lead archaeologist Jay Carver, who is heading up the research, said: “Analysis of the Crossrail find has revealed an extraordinary amount of information, allowing us to solve a 660-yearold mystery. This discovery is a hugely important step forward in documenting and understanding Europe’s most devastating pandemic. “Historical sources told us that thousands of burials of Black Death victims were made in the 14th century in the area that is now modern day Farringdon, but until Crossrail’s discovery archaeologists had been unable to confirm the story.
“What’s really exciting is the bringing together many different lines of evidence to create a picture of such a devastating world event as the Black Death. Historians, archaeologists, micro-biologists and physicists are all working together to chart the origins and development of one of the world’s worst endemic diseases and help today’s researchers in ancient and modern diseases better understand the evolution of these bacteria.” On 6 April a Channel 4 documentary, Return of the Black Death: Secret History, follows the Charterhouse Square discovery and looks at the history of the plague in Britain. q
Figures show increase in construction activity ‹ FIGURES PUBLISHED BY THE Office of National Statistics
(ONS) show that the seasonally adjusted estimate of construction output rose by 1.8%, or £170m, in January compared with last December. There was a slight rise of 0.8% (£50m) in new work and a larger increase of 3.5% (£120m) in repair and maintenance. The longer-term comparisons show an improved picture of construction output. All work increased in January by 5.4% (£490m) when compared with January 2013. A similar story is apparent across the different types of work, where new work has increased by 5.9% (£330m) and repair and maintenance by 4.5% (£160 million) over the same period. The persistent storms and rainfall during January have affected construction businesses. However, qualitative evidence emerging from ONS's survey data suggests that the effects were localised. Some types of work may have decreased as new work could not be completed, but there may have been additional repair and maintenance required in those areas. The same report carries figures for the picture for the fourth quarter of 2013 which show a decrease in output of 0.2%. That corrects an estimate made in February of an increase of 0.2%. New orders for construction in Q4 2013 is estimated to be 1.5% higher than Q3 due to a 5.2% (£200m) increase in orders for new housing. All other work fell 0.4% over the same period caused by a 22.2% (£590m) decrease in orders for infrastructure. q www.constructionnational.co.uk
Access and scaffolding trade body unveils its
‹ THE NATIONAL ACCESS AND Scaffolding confederation (NASC)
has unveiled details of its new technical guidance for tube and fitting scaffolding – TG20:13. The suite of documents that make up the guidance was launched at the NASC AGM in November and published in February. TG20:13 offers good practice guidance for tube and fitting scaffolding and aims to raise awareness of good practice in scaffolding across the construction industry and drive up standards in both the erection of scaffolding and of safety. It is a suite of four publications and is supported by the UK Contractors Group (UKCG), HSE and CITB. The guidance is underpinned by detailed structural research and is designed to conform to the European standard for scaffolding: BS EN 12811. NASC managing director Robin James commented: “We are very excited about the publication of TG20:13 and appreciate the patience of our members, and the construction industry as a whole, who have
been waiting for this product to be finalised. TG20:13 represents a hugely improved, more user-friendly and significantly enhanced technical guidance system. We are confident that our members, and the wider industry, will welcome this innovative product. “The NASC has invested more than £500,000 into the research and development of TG20:13. We are confident that it will be a great success and will be positively received by the membership and the wider industry.”” NASC created TG20:13 for the benefit of the wider industry to reduce the requirement for bespoke scaffolding design for standard scaffolding structures. The guidance applies to independent scaffold structures, birdcages, loading bays, ladder-access and free-standing towers and chimney scaffolds. It includes features such as bridges, protection fans, inside board brackets, cantilevered platforms and pavement lifts. Floor-level lifts and double standards are addressed, and guidance is provided for the first time for structural transom units.
expecting either a site-specific TG20:13 compliance sheet or a full temporary works scaffold design to be submitted as part of a scaffold plan prior to the commencement of any works – and the HSE will also be looking for that.” That statement was reinforced by Heather Bryant, HM Chief Inspector of Construction for the HSE, who said: “Falls from height remain the dominant cause of fatal and serious injuries in the construction industry. Properly designed and constructed scaffolding has a key role to play in reducing that toll of injuries. “HSE is pleased to acknowledge that the NASC has written TG20:13 to provide a standard for traditional tube and fitting scaffolds, to help industry manage safety risks effectively in the scaffolding and wider construction sector.” The reaction of the wider industry was expressed by Stephen Ratcliffe, the director of the UKCG. He commented: “We applaud and support the work of the NASC, which will no doubt result in safer scaffolding structures being installed and thus reduce the The TG20:13 e-Guide makes it extremely easy to check scaffolds for compliance digitally frequency of scaffolding failures, which at present occur far too frequently across the industry. NASC president, Kevin Ward commented: “Those who have already seen “The UKCG recommend the adoption and standardised use of TG20:13 to the document have been amazed by the quality of the work. TG20:13 is the wider industries that utilise scaffolding structures, both within and outside not a rewrite, it is a completely new suite of documents. The scope of these the construction sector.” documents has meant that it has taken longer to complete than was initially A pricing structure for all the elements of TG20:13 was posted on the NASC hoped. It has, though, been worth the wait.” home page, www.nasc.org.uk, at the time of publication, with discounted rates The four distinctive publications comprise two comprehensive A4 books, for NASC members. Copies can be ordered from the publications section of Operational Guide and Design Guide, a pocket-sized User Guide and the the NASC website or via email from email@example.com or tel 020 7822 innovative new software known as the e-Guide. This e-Guide incorporates 7400. Further information and TG20:13 auxiliary material is also available via TG20 compliance sheets, which reduce the requirement for additional scaffold the NASC’s social media channels: www.facebook.com/NASCscaffolding, www. design. twitter.com/NASCscaffolding, www.youtube.com/user/NASClondon. R The Operational Guide is a full-colour, 224-page guide containing detailed practical guidance for most common types of scaffolding, supported by structural research and calculations. Guidance is provided for an expanded range of standard structures, which includes independent scaffolding, interior birdcages, chimney stack scaffolds, loading bays, ladder-access towers, freestanding towers, lift shaft towers and putlog scaffolding. A range of TG20 compliance sheets is included for all those structures. The Design Guide is intended primarily for engineers and designers. The 206-page document provides technical data, commentary and source material for use by competent and suitably qualified scaffold designers in circumstances which are outside the scope of the standard solutions provided in the Operational Guide and the e-Guide software. The e-Guide is designed for Mac, PC and tablet use, making it extremely easy to check scaffolds for compliance digitally. The user-friendly software will facilitate printing and circulation of details of compliant structures by email. The TG20:13 e-Guide also calculates and prints compliance sheets. It allows TG20 to incorporate a wide range of scaffolding configurations and calculates safe heights, tie duties and leg loads. The User Guide is a 32-page, full-colour pocket guide in A6 format. The document clearly summarises the requirements for compliant scaffolding and offers indispensable guidance to the scaffolding operative on site. NASC immediate past president Rob Lynch declared: “We are all very positive about TG20:13. The new e-Guide is especially exciting. It was a risk we took developing this, but it’s exceeded all our expectations. We believe it will be an essential tool for every site manager and safety consultant, providing an accessible and reliable reference point for assessing the safety and compliance of scaffolds.” Kevin Ward added: “The new version of TG20 sees a step change in our industry with regard to the design of tube and fitting scaffolds. In future our clients will be www.constructionnational.co.uk
Scaffolding apprenticeships ‹ NORTH EAST BASED NETA Training is the first vocational training
centre in the Teesside area to offer a Level 2 Scaffolding Apprenticeship. Established in 1975, as a charitable group training association, NETA offers quality training for engineering construction companies based in the northern region. Since its inception the company has gained recognition as one of the UK’s largest vocational training providers and, through it’s pro-active policy and programme of continuous improvement, now offers a diverse range of services to many other occupational sectors outside of this sector. Since opening its purpose built scaffolding centre in 1996, NETA have worked very closely with NASC and the certification body CITB (CSkills) to ensure that the training received at NETA is not only of the highest quality but has kept abreast of new developments. Working with the CITB they are now able to offer scaffolding apprenticeship programmes. The first group of 9 apprentices started their training in December. The programme consists of training both in centre and onsite and will take 2 years to complete. On successful completion of the whole programme delegates will receive both CSkills Awards Level 2 Diploma in Scaffolding (Construction) and Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Accessing Operations and Rigging (Construction). With positive results gained from on going assessments, NETA is now looking to start another cohort of scaffolding apprentices in September of this year. Engineering co-ordinator Ken Williams said: “This is an exciting venture. Seeing the demand rise for scaffolders means that the sector remains buoyant and will offer plenty of young people out there the opportunity for employment in an industry that is dynamic and constantly evolving.” q
Worldwide training available – on land or sea! ‹ BASED IN SCOTLAND, Excel Training international pride themselves
on the fact that they can actually offer training on a global basis – including Europe, UAE, Lybia, Nigeria – and even offshore when required! The company is operated by Managing Director, Martin Carr BA PgD GradIOSH MIfL, who has dedicated over twenty years of his life to promoting health and safety awareness when working at height and has attained the following qualifications and accreditations: • Former Construction Skills Trainer Assessor and Internal Verifier • ITS Worldwide Senior Instructor and Health & Safety Adviser • Accredited CISRS Scaffolding Trainer • Fully Qualified City & Guilds Teacher • Institution of Occupational Safety & Health Graduate Member • IOSH Approved Trainer • Awarding Body (SQA – Scottish Qualifications Authority) Technical • Writer & Consultant specialising in scaffolding “Having gained extensive experience within the construction, petrochemical, civil and marine engineering and offshore industries, we fully appreciate the need to have training requirements addressed within short time limits”, said Martin. “Indeed, and excuse the pun, this is where we Excel! To date we have developed CISRS SSPTS system scaffold courses for the following manufacturers – Layher, PERI and Turner OCTO. “With over 38 years experience in the scaffolding industry it’s easy to see that you can be 100% assured that your training or bespoke course requirements are being managed by one of the the industry’s leading and most forward thinking, professional training organisations. “Excel Training international will deliver training that meets your needs any place, any time – onshore, offshore and worldwide!” q
TG20:13 and changes to SITS courses ‹ FOLLOWING THE INTRODUCTION of the
new TG20:13 tube and fitting technical guidelines, CISRS has seen this as an opportunity to review its current course content and has resulted in them adding an extra day to the Basic Scaffolding Inspection Training Scheme (SITS) course – making it three days in duration. This additional day is to accommodate the extra detail and structures included within the new TG20:13 guidance but is also part of a drive to ramp up the training requirement for those wishing to carry out scaffold inspections. It has long been felt by the scaffolding industry that 2 day courses are not sufficient to impart all of the relevant knowledge required for carrying out inspection of scaffold structures. The revised SITS training coursework is nearing completion and the new courses will be issued to the CISRS approved providers imminently giving them plenty of time to get up to speed with the new format prior to the course becoming mandatory from 1st July 2014.
Those who have already pre-booked a CISRS two-day course with an approved provider prior to the 1st July 2014 cut-off date will still be allowed to attend the course and will be eligible to apply for a CISRS Basic Inspection Card upon completion. CISRS recommends that in this situation, or for those who have previously completed the two day course, participants will need to ensure they obtain a full suite of the TG20 guidance and make themsleves aware of the changes. They could make use of the TG20 powerpoints but may also want to seek some formal TG20 training via an approved training provider. The Advanced SITS will not be affected as much by the introduction of TG20:13, as it covers more complex designs which are not included within the scope of the new NASC Technical Guidelines, but some minor revisions are underway to accommodate changes caused by TG20:13. Scheme manager, Dave Mosley said: “The introduction of TG20:13 will have a profound effect on the industry and will affect all CISRS courses. It
has become evident that we require an additional day to be added to the Basic SITS course, to accommodate all the changes. “CISRS believe that the Basic SITS course is the essential foundation for anyone looking to inspect scaffolds. As such, it is imperative that the course covers the relevant topics in the appropriate depth – hence the revisions. “The decision to increase the course duration to three days has not been taken lightly – and we realise this will have an effect on planned training programmes for 2014. However, we feel that the additional content is correct and relevant and therefore the extra day is required. “One of the criticisms levelled at inspection training (and which has been a bugbear of the industry since the inception of inspection courses) is that ‘someone with very little knowledge of the industry can attend a two day course and then go out and inspect scaffolding.’ CISRS are constantly striving to alter that opinion through better training. “CISRS previously adopted the two day duration as that was the industry norm. However, we felt it was always something that may need to be revisited at some point – and the publication of TG20:13 has made it apparent that the information which needs to be passed onto an individual attending a Basic SITS course cannot be imparted within two days. “Additionally, all individuals involved in scaffold inspection – regardless of whether they have attended a CISRS two or three day course – will need to ensure that they obtain a copy of the new TG20:13 suite of documents and become fully conversant with its contents.” R • For further details about the new SITS courses and changes following the introduction of TG20:13, information and dates on courses available or to find out about CISRS, please visit www.cisrs.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To obtain a copy of TG20 please visit the NASC website at www.nasc.org.uk. www.constructionnational.co.uk
CISRS launch Toolbox Talk TG20:13 training videos ‹ CISRS HAS LAUNCHED A series of Toolbox Talk training videos to
act as teaching tools for the introduction of the NASC’s new Technical Guidance for tube and fitting scaffolding, TG20:13. Scaffolding training expert, Simon Hughes of Simian Skills Ltd has been drafted in by CISRS to help prepare and host the videos, as well as working closely with CISRS to produce a new What has changed in TG20 guidance document, to update and assist all CISRS training in relation to TG20.
Scaffolding courses tailored to your needs ‹ THE MANCHESTER COLLEGE offers a wide range of scaffolding
courses. These include short courses, such as CISRS accredited courses, leading to the industry recognised training qualification which is a must to work in the industry. Alternatively, the college offer full time apprenticeship programmes which are ideal for anyone who is looking to start out. They can also tailor courses to meet clients’ needs. The scaffolding courses are taught at the college’s Wythenshawe Campus which features a purpose-built scaffolding training facility. All of the teaching staff are industry professionals and as a department they have over 21 years experience in the scaffolding industry. q • To find out more call The Manchester College on 0161 920 4466 or visit www.themanchestercollege.ac.uk.
There are currently three Toolbox Talk versions availble to view online through NASC channels – a full 19-minute video, which features an introduction to the new TG20:13 e-Guide, a shorter 12-minute version, without the e-Guide demonstration, and the separate e-Guide demonstration itself. Powerpoint versions of the training films are also available to view via the NASC website at www.nasc.org.uk. The Toolbox Talk videos are designed to introduce the NASC’s new Technical Guidance TG20:13 – which includes significant changes and extends the scope of standard scaffolds that can be built without the need for additional design. The new TG20:13 Operational, Design, User and e-Guides that make up the full TG20 Suite are all explained in detail in the videos. CISRS Scheme Manager, Dave Mosley said: “The introduction of TG20:13 will affect all CISRS courses and we wanted to make a series of videos to help make the integration as smooth as possible from a training perspective. “These well-produced, factually-accurate and clearly-presented videos will be an invaluable training tool for scaffolding contractors, as well as CISRSapproved training providers, we would like to thank Simon Hughes and Simian Skills Ltd for their assistance in producing them. We are confident the industry will find them useful in getting to grips with TG20:13.” q
Successful inaugural conference ‹ MORE THAN 40 DELEGATES from 22 CISRS Scaffolding Training centres
attended the inaugural CISRS Instructors Conference in March at the historic NCC East Training Centre near King’s Lynn – and all are now calling for it to become an annual event. The conference seminar featured two very detailed presentations given by Terry Roberts of CADS (TG20:13 technical authors) and Simian Risk’s Simon Hughes – looking in detail at TG20:13, with eGuide demonstrations, focusing on the specific changes that will need to be incorporated to the CISRS training courses, such as: • Incorporating the use of pre-fabricated transom units • Different styles of chimney scaffolds to be included • Safe method of work for erecting floor height lifts • Tube and fitting stairways to be included in CISRS Part II • SITS Courses changing from two to three days CISRS training manager, Dave Mosley, gave a presentation at the seminar discussing TG20:13 and the training implications and also the successful pilots of the Aluminium Tower Training module, which is now to be included in CISRS Part 1, 2 and Advanced courses. The aim of the new Aluminium Tower Training course is to eliminate the need for CISRS qualified scaffolders being required by some clients to attend PASMA style courses at a later date. Mr Mosley also discussed the new COTS (CISRS Operative Training Scheme) changes and the importance of making the courses available on a regular basis – as demand is beginning to increase within the scaffolding and access industry. He said: “The event was a great success and there was a wide consensus that this should become an annual event. In addition, there was agreement that greater standardisation of course notes across all of the centres needed to be achieved. CISRS agreed to review Part 1, Part 2 and Advanced courses incorporating the TG20:13 elements, so they can be issued to the providers before 1st July 2014.
“All of the event’s seminar PowerPoint presentations will be distributed to all CISRS training centres in order to update those instructors unable to attend the conference event and seminar. “We want to help make the integration of TG20:13 as smooth as possible from a training perspective, hence the desire to run this conference – to get instructors up to speed quickly on the changes to scaffolding training. It was very fitting to hold the inaugural event at the UK’s first CISRS scaffolding training centre, which is still one of the largest construction training centres in Europe” Tony Barry, senior instructor at the National Construction College CITB said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for all CISRS training providers to come together and discuss how the TG20:13 suite of material would affect future CISRS training. The information and topics discussed were relevant and current. The seminar made great strides towards embedding a standardised approach for all CISRS providers and I would like to see this become an annual event for all instructors.” Tommy Jennings, senior instructor at Simian Skill Ltd said: “I thought the day went really well with a lot of positives coming regarding standardising all PPT and job details around the TG20:13 E-Guide, which will be relayed through all centres as part of the erection process for compliant structures.” q
Close liaison with local firms helps scaffolding apprentices find work ‹ BASED IN BARNSLEY, Astra Access Safety Training runs a
number of access training courses including the CISRS Scaffolding Training, PASMA, IPAF and many more. All their courses are of the highest standard enabling them to deliver a high pass rate to all candidates. Being able to train over a wide area within the construction industry, the company has recently run two successful 16 week Level 2 Diploma courses which resulted in the majority of the trainees later finding work locally. The programme aims to develop the delegates to be able to understand and build a variety of scaffolding structures, along with all the safety aspects involved, in a diploma led environment. Working closely with local companies – and on the back of an open day – delegates are placed on an apprenticeship where they return after 6 months to take their Part 1 and subsequently their Part 2 and Skills Test leading to a full scaffold card. Ideally, within a two year window, they should be fully fledged scaffolders. “We have recently had four of the first set of diploma delegates return to take their Part 1 and the feedback from the companies who have employed them is exceptional,” said managing director Mick Aston. “The next influx is due to start in just a few weeks where we aim to repeat our previous success stories.” q www.constructionnational.co.uk
Layher’s new lightweight scaffolding brings key advantages
The Layher Allround® Lightweight scaffolding AutoLock assembly sequence
‹ THE BENEFITS ASSOCIATED with the
Layher Allround® Lightweight scaffolding system are already widely recognised across the construction industry. Recently introduced into the UK, the system combines lower weight with greater load bearing capacity and incorporates an innovative ‘AutoLock Wedge-Head’ function which enhances safety and erection speed. “The design centres on the versatile Allround® rosette connector system,” comments Layher’s UK MD, Sean Pike. “It
utilises a special high grade tensile steel, allowing wall thicknesses to be reduced to minimise weight without compromising strength.” Standards are formed from a single forged piece, enhancing load bearing capacity with a tighter connection and a choice of O- or Utransoms – both gain from a greater bending moment, with the latter providing 100mm of additional head room compared to existing transoms. The AutoLock Wedge-Head allows
scaffolds to be erected by just one installer. Reduced erection times – a saving of 10% for a typical birdcage structure – and lower transportation weight of up to 13% can also be realised. The result of some €10 million investment in research and manufacturing plant at Layher’s production facility in Germany, the key advantages of the Layher Allround® Lightweight system will continue to be recognised by everyone involved in the construction sector. q
Scaffolding firm put passers-by at risk ‹ A RECENT COURT case demonstrates
that it isn’t just the workers on site that are at risk from unsafe practices involving scaffolding. In March, a firm was fined for a catalogue of failings – including throwing and catching metal fittings over the heads of shoppers – as they erected two scaffolding structures outside an Oxford department store. The court heard that: • Metal fittings were thrown from a flatbed lorry over the heads of passers-by, which was captured on CCTV • Heavy scaffold poles were also hoisted above shoppers with no thought to their safety • Pedestrians were forced to walk into the road to avoid the activity, with no measures in place to protect them from passing vehicles • The two scaffolds were not built to an approved safe design and were inadequately braced and tied. They were also poorly configured, with the potential for overloading
parts of the structure, and loads could not be transferred safely to the ground HSE established that as a result of the failings there was a significant risk that the scaffold could have collapsed. Darren Baker Scaffolding Ltd, of Cheshunt, Herts, was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay a further £706 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and four breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. After the hearing HSE inspector Peter Snelgrove commented: “The issues here are two-fold. There were clear concerns with the manner in which the scaffolds were erected, as captured by CCTV. Then there are the failings with the structures themselves in that they weren’t built to an approved design and were inadequately tied and braced. “All scaffolds should be erected in a safe
manner, but the risks are magnified when you are working in a busy city centre location with lots of traffic and pedestrians, as was the case here. “Little thought was given to shoppers as fittings and poles were tossed or passed over their heads, and today’s conviction serves to illustrate the seriousness of the failings we uncovered. Thankfully nobody was injured, but that is the only saving grace.” R
XERVON Palmers awarded Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) safety award ‹ LEADING SCAFFOLDING CONTRACTOR, XERVON Palmers,
has been awarded a prestigious Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) safety award – for their extensive scaffolding and access work on the new multi-million pound Terminal 2B ‘Queen’s Terminal’ project. It is understood this is the first time a scaffolding contractor has won one of the coveted HAL awards. The HAL awards are designed to recognise all those who have made an ‘outstanding contribution to health and safety within development in 2013 at Heathrow Airport.’ XERVON Palmers won an award in the ‘Designing for Safety’ category – it acknowledged the design and safe construction of a scaffold which was built during nightshifts, within a high risk environment, where care and attention to detail had to be ensured or works could potentially have affected the control and lighting of all the take-off and landing runways at the airport. Ian McFarlane, Director for Business and Project Development at XERVON Palmers said: “This is a great tribute to our workforce and support staff who deliver access and scaffolding daily at Heathrow. Our thanks and a big well done to all involved for their hard work in achieving this excellent award.” Donald Morrison, CEO of XERVON Palmers added: “We are all very proud of the quality of our work at Heathrow’s Terminal 2B and of the attentive safety culture associated with that – delivering high quality scaffolding and access solutions, 100% safely, within a challenging work environment.”
XERVON Palmers’ team accepting their prestigious HAL award
Safety Recognition Scheme The company has also recently launched its own in-house health and safety initiative – the Safety Recognition Scheme (SRS) – aiming to maintain and encourage the improvement of standards in scaffolding access provision for users and customers, through the recognition of excellence in services. The innovative XERVON Palmers scheme was launched in December 2013 and its key aim is to encourage all to maintain and improve a safe working environment, through recognising good health and safety practice at work – with a series of awards available to employees for delivering excellence in safe scaffolding and access working practices. SRS award winners will be judged on proactive solutions and behaviours like sound safety observations, sensible interventions, making safety suggestions, reporting ‘close calls,’ being influential at safety meetings and other positive contributions when assisting safety inspections and tours. Ian McFarlane said: “This new reward-led initiative will help us continue to set the highest possible standards in health and safety in the scaffolding and access industry. It’s all part of a wider aim to maintain, improve and encourage our existing safety-focused, skilled working teams to ensure that the operations we provide for our clients are executed safely.” Donald Morrison added: “We are a company that believes we can all make the difference, working as a team, hence our company slogan ‘Where the people make the difference’. The new SRS scheme is another tool to help us continue to create safer behaviours in our working environment – initiatives like this create win-win positions by raising standards in health and safety in our industry.” q • For further information on Xervon Palmers’ scaffolding, access solutions and other services visit www.xervonpalmers.com.
The Roofing Awards 2014: finalists announced ‹ ON 7 MARCH the National Federation of Roofing Contractors
announced the finalists in the annual Roofing Awards. The awards offer an opportunity for roofing contractors and suppliers to showcase their roofing skills and expertise. Taking into account a wide range of criteria, from workmanship to health and safety, the awards highlight the very best across all the major roofing disciplines. The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards lunch on 16 May at the Hilton London Metropole, followed by an evening dinner dance. As well as the Roofing Award winners, prizes are also given in health and safety, training and youth competitions. This year the awards will be hosted by Linda Barker. There are 11 categories spanning the full range of the roofing trade and the finalists range from private houses and flats to schools, factories, castles and even a jetty! Last year’s winners included a small shippon and calf shed in Caernarfon and the vast spans of London’s Victoria Station. Formerly the NFRC Awards, the support base has expanded over the years to create an industry-wide competition that recognises and rewards outstanding standards of workmanship and safety in the roofing industry. Writing in the Winners Supplement to last year’s awards programme, the chief executive of the NFRC, Ray Horwood CBE, said: “What was originally a single trade association event to celebrate roofing, has now grown and matured into a pan industry event consisting of 10 different associations. “The awards recognise the most dedicated and inspiring individuals and excellence in all the roofing disciplines. The finalists in these awards have produced some of the best work and projects within the roofing industry and can truly hold their heads high.” R
Two of last years’ winners included London Victoria Station (top) and a shippon and calf shed in Snowdonia National Park
CITB announces new apprenticeship commission ‹ CITB IS TO set up a high profile commission to develop a long-term apprenticeship strategy for the construction industry. The commission will make recommendations on ways the industry can significantly increase the number of apprentices in the system while maintaining the ‘gold standard’ training valued by the firms employing them. The announcement comes hot on the heels of the Budget Statement by the Chancellor when the Government pledged an additional £170 million for small businesses to support over 100,000 new apprenticeship places in the next two years. James Wates, chairman of CITB said: “We face a perfect storm. Construction is set to lose 400,000 workers to retirement in the next five years and, over the same period, we are set to create 182,000 jobs. "With the economy picking up, we have a superb opportunity to appeal to a new generation of construction workers and to train them for a rewarding career in construction. "During the course of the recession the needs of employers have changed – and so too the
industry’s. To compete globally, we need to ensure that our apprentices are skilled and trained to their full potential. "It’s the right time to deliver a new apprenticeship strategy for construction. It will drive greater employer commitment to apprenticeships and ensure that we provide
solutions to Government to help get Britain’s young people back to work.” The apprenticeship commission will develop an apprenticeship strategy by the end of the year. High profile commissioners are currently being approached to lead this important industry strategy and will be announced shortly. q
10% off NAPIT Training ‹ INSTALLERS IN THE electrical, heating,
plumbing, ventilation, microgeneration and energy efficiency sectors can all take advantage of a ten per cent discount on training courses run by the National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) throughout April. This offer is accessible by anyone wanting to upskill, whether a NAPIT member or not. It applies to all bookings made in April, giving installers the option to book ahead for the rest of the year and still benefit from the saving. NAPIT Training is eager to help installers enhance and diversify their portfolio of skills and with this incentive aims to encourage many to do so. Trevor Milner, NAPIT’s technical and training manager, said: “In December 2013 we called for installers to Plug the Skills Gap by adding to their portfolio. To help them to do so, we offered a ten per
cent training discount on all bookings made in January. We’re repeating this offer throughout April so that more installers can take advantage and consequently the industry can benefit from a greater number of skilled workers.” NAPIT Training courses are held at training and assessment centres in Nottinghamshire, Bristol and Greater Manchester. All of NAPIT’s own courses will be discounted, as well as all City & Guilds, BPEC and Blueflame accredited courses delivered by NAPIT Training. q • To book a NAPIT Training course at the reduced rate call NAPIT on 0845 543 0330. To view a calendar of courses across all industry sectors or to find your closest NAPIT Training centre visit the website at www.napittraining.org.uk.
Vocational training still crucial to future of construction sector ‹ FROM THEIR BASE IN North Yorkshire, The Morley-Young
Partnership has been at the forefront of NVQs almost since their inception. They have seen many changes and incarnations in that time, most for the better, some perhaps not. However, the principle has remained the same throughout – define the standard of skills and knowledge required for a particular job function, which can of course be used in multiple HR scenarios, and then create an award from that standard, the achievement of which implies that the individual can perform that job competently. In the construction industry this, and the possession of a skills card, has been the de facto on-site requirement for a number of years now and will increasingly be so. According to managing director Graham Morley the advent of QCF and the emphasis on the younger learner, conjoined with the almost exponential increase in red tape and bureaucracy associated with funding regimes, has meant that the independent providers are under greater and greater strain to deliver these qualifications efficiently and effectively in the workplace. “The shift in emphasis towards knowledge assessment rather than skill assessment, whilst suiting the college environment, places unique challenges upon the workplace assessor faced with a grizzled, older experienced site worker whom the system insists be called a learner!” said Graham. “This is particularly so in the more esoteric awards not common to the college environment, which are offered by specialist centres such as ourselves. “Still, as the age profile of workers in the construction industry becomes ever more skewed, so does the importance of vocational training for the young. For too long the age-old stereotype of vocational learning as being the last gasp chance for those considered academically challenged has existed both inside and outside the school gates. “Indeed the Edge Foundation, in a study this February, found that many young people are actually being actively discouraged from seeking vocational training. For those of us who may be slightly more aged and grey, we remember when the technical school was an equal option to the grammar school – it required a pass in the 11+ to gain admission and held equal kudos.
“In an attempt to provide a counter to this view FE News has launched its 2014 VQ Day for 4th June to celebrate those who have achieved success as a result of their vocational training and to inspire others along the vocational route. May they continue to be successful in their endeavours. “Throughout these changes The Morley-Young Partnership has supported and will continue to support those seeking recognition in the less familiar NVQ diplomas and awards.” q
Construction industry’s report on careers advisers in England: must do better ‹ RESEARCH PUBLISHED IN February has revealed that careers advice
given to young people about working in construction is largely unfavourable, outdated and ill-informed. Over 800 career influencers across England were surveyed as part of the Educating the Educators report, commissioned by CITB, to find out what they thought about construction. The findings have stressed an urgent need for the industry to work more closely with schools, teachers and careers advisers to dispel age-old stereotypes that construction is a hard, dirty, manual job for boys.
The research showed that: • 35% of careers advisers believe that construction is an unattractive • career opportunity • 44% of teachers admit to having offered ill-informed careers advice to • students • Over 60% of careers advisers in schools offer no information on jobs • prospects based on available work • Three quarters of the schools visited by Ofsted are not fulfilling their • legal duty to provide skills advice According to the report, the changing careers advisory landscape, which has seen a sharp reduction in the face-to-face offering for pupils, is struggling to provide accurate and detailed information about the industry and its career prospects. One construction careers adviser with CITB summed up the problem. James Thomas from London said: “The Educating the Educators report from CITB comes as no great surprise to me because I see the problems it highlights every day. Most young people have a hopelessly outdated idea of what a career in construction offers and are in desperate need of more faceto-face, expert advice.” Results from Scotland and published in March, however, buck the trend set in England. The Careers Information Advice and Guidance (CIAG) Engagement Research survey, commissioned UK-wide by CITB, provides the answers of a sample of 745 respondents, including 133 in Scotland. Asked to rate attractiveness on a scale of one to 10 (where one is totally unattractive and 10 is extremely attractive), Scottish respondents gave an average score of 6.95, the highest in the UK. Around 70% of careers influencers from Scotland have provided careers guidance on the construction industry in the past – more so than from any other nation or region (the overall average being 61%). Careers advisers and teachers north of the border are also among the most confident in the UK in providing relevant information and advice about pathways into the construction industry, and a number of other positive aspects were also noted with respect to Scotland. Scottish respondents scored particularly highly both in levels of general knowledge of construction careers and in providing information and advice across a range of different topics and trades. q
Make time for training By CHRIS WEBB of Whitewaters Training Limited
‹ THERE IS NO DOUBT that the economy is recovering. Government
statistics are showing it, businesses are telling us they are more confident and the construction industry is re-equipping and hiring workers for projects all over the country. But while this is without doubt good news all round, the opportunities are only there for those who are properly prepared, and this preparation includes being able to demonstrate the right skills. Over the years the construction industry has tried hard to shake off the ‘cowboy’ image that it acquired in the ‘90s. People are far more conscious of bad employment practices and safety issues associated with poorly trained workers. This is why the CITB was set-up and why it has backed the introduction of schemes such as the CSkills/CSCS Health, Safety and Environment ‘Touch Screen’ test. Managers, supervisors and operatives all carry responsibility for health and safety on and around sites, and being able to prove your ability to carry this responsibility is critical. Of equal importance is the need to ensure compliance with employment law, and in an industry that has traditionally made extensive use of migrant labour, this is now essential. Knowing that the person you hire is who he/she says and has the qualifications and experience claimed is essential for efficiency and safety, and now also for compliance to employment and immigration law. The CSCS and Construction Plant Competency Schemes also address this requirement. Having established why the CSkills schemes are necessary, what advantages can main contractors and sub-contractors gain from it to help them best exploit the economic recovery? • The first we have covered – legal and regulatory compliance. • The second is financial – insurance companies have to handle huge risks associated with construction schemes, and they expect a clearly
understood and standardised scheme to demonstrate that all efforts have been made to minimise the likelihood of errors and safety failures on site. • The third is efficiency – ensuring that the person operating the (very expensive) plant and moving the (delivered just-in-time) materials around the site can do it quickly and effectively. The key to achieving all this is regular investment in training. The CSkills programmes ensure that accredited operators have the right skills for the job, and the expertise to get the job done safely and efficiently at all levels. Managers can demonstrate their experience and knowledge, supervisors can demonstrate their ability to get work completed to time and specification, and operators can demonstrate their capability to perform their specialist task. But this can only be achieved through a programme of continuous learning and skills development. One of the best recent examples of this has been the development of the CPCS training courses for A61 Appointed Person, A62 Crane Supervisor and A40 Slinger/Signaller. Combined with specialist courses for driving various classes of crane, this has significantly reduced the number of lifting accidents seen on constructions site. Accident statistics suggest that the movement of vehicles on, off and around sites is now one of the biggest areas of concern, and we fully expect that the introduction of the new A73 Vehicle Marshaller accreditation will see further improvements to site safety as construction activities pick-up around the country. All these factors point to the need to invest in training to boost competitiveness. There’s no doubt that this is a significant investment for most companies, but if you choose the right course for you I would contend that it will provide an excellent return. q
CDM regulations set for reform ‹ PLANS TO REVISE UK laws on construction safety are likely to be
published by the government at the beginning of April with the intention that they come into force in April 2015, according to a health and safety law expert at a leading law firm. The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, which govern the safety of construction sites and apportion responsibility for safety to individuals on site, have been up for reform for some time, with a consultation widely expected this year. Now, Sean Elson of Pinsent Masons has said he expects the plans to be published soon. “Our understanding is that a 12-week consultation period will begin at the start of April and that new guidance on what the laws will mean for industry will be published between then and April 2015, when it is hoped that the regulations will come into force,” said Elson. According to a report in the firm’s newsletter Out-Law.com, the revisions to the 2007 regulations will still ensure that burdens are placed not just on construction contractors, but also on those that hire them, such as the retailers, property developers and infrastructure developers on whose behalf work is carried out. “Construction is widely defined, so even minor works within a building can be regarded as construction and fall within the regulations. That has always been the case and will not change with the revision,” said Elson. “With these changes the HSE will stress again the importance of the client role in the effective planning of construction works.”
It is believed that the revised regulations will propose doing away with a stand-alone CDM co-ordinator and will instead reassign the responsibility for co-ordination within the team planning and delivering a project. The requirement to co-ordinate construction planning will apply across all projects and not just those that are ‘notifiable’ under the regulations. “What had originally begun as a process of evaluation and tweaking of the regulations appears to have become a substantial revision that, if adopted, will create challenges and opportunities for ‘client’ organisations, designers and contractors,” Sean Elson concluded. R
Construction workers invited to Staffordshire safety event ‹ THE HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE (HSE) is inviting
representatives of the construction industry to a free seminar designed to make sure workers don’t become an injury statistic. The free half-day event, organised in conjunction with the Staffordshire and Shropshire Working Well Together group, takes place at Keele University, Staffordshire, from 8.30am to 12.30pm on Wednesday 14 May. It aims to give owners, managers and workers from the construction sector and allied trades a better understanding of how to safeguard the health and wellbeing of themselves, their workforce and their colleagues. The UK construction industry employs more than two million people who, because of the nature of the work they do, have a high incidence of occupational ill health. Latest figures also show that 39 construction workers were killed in 2012/13, of whom 12 were self-employed. The seminar will feature presentations from HSE and industry experts and exhibitors from local and national suppliers. The main speaker will be Roger Willey, managing director of ACS Physical Risk Control Ltd, who has more than 35 years’ experience of asbestos research, consultancy and training. Chair of Staffordshire and Shropshire Working Well Together Group, Chris Comerford said: “Too many people die or are injured every year on Britain’s construction sites as a result of entirely avoidable incidents and construction workers are nearly four times as likely to be killed at work compared to the average worker. “This event will offer practical, low-cost, or even no-cost solutions to get people thinking about how to ensure they can protect themselves and others.” R • For more information or to book a place contact Anne Twigg or Janet Gibson at HSE on 01782 602300. Further information about safe working in construction can be found online at www.hse.gov.uk/construction.
Firm fined after steelwork collapse ‹ A PLANT HIRE AND dismantling
company appeared in court for safety failings after a worker suffered life changing injuries when steelwork he was dismantling collapsed on top of him. The man, from Barnsley, sustained serious crush injuries in the incident at a former block works in Leicestershire in March last year. His employer, HCL Equipment Contracts Ltd was prosecuted by the HSE after an investigation identified serious flaws with the dismantling and removal of steelwork which had supported a large aggregate mixer. Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard the injured man and a colleague used ladders to access the top of the steelwork which was 7m high. Both men wore harnesses and lanyards, which were the incorrect type, and used propane gas cutting equipment to cut the steelwork into pieces, before dropping them through a gap in the centre of the frame into a designated dropping area.
After clearing various parts of the steelwork, the men began to cut through a standing conveyor, with the intention of weakening it so it would fall onto the platform, allowing them to continue the dismantling. The HSE investigation found that the injured man was finishing a cut made by a colleague when the conveyor began to descend. He was unable to get out of the way of the falling frame, which weighed 380kg, and it struck him. HSE found that no safe escape route was planned, resulting in the incident. The incident could have been prevented with better planning, management and training. He suffered a fractured sternum, two broken vertebrae, eight fractured ribs, broken teeth and required 58 stitches in a head wound. The company, from Derbyshire, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £491 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section
2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Speaking after the hearing, HSE’s Tony Mitchell said: “HCL Equipment Contracts Ltd was responsible for the welfare of its workers and for ensuring the dismantling work was carried out in a safe manner. “Our investigation found that if this work had been properly planned and risk assessed, and sufficient training given, the incident could have been avoided.” R
Safety in numbers ‹ ACCORDING TO Health and Safety
Executive figures, the number of fatal injuries in the construction industry has fallen. The annual workplace injury statistics released last December by the HSE showed a strong decline in workplace accidents, with the number of those killed in construction down to 39. However, construction remains a high risk industry. The recent fatality
at Crossrail’s Fisher Street site highlights the fact that safety should always be the number one priority for everyone working on construction projects. RIS Consultants, based in Birkenhead, aim to help you to keep your business and your project team safe by creating a safer environment for your workforce. They provide all aspects of Health and
Safety consultancy for the construction industry, from risk assessment to training. “By working together we believe we can achieve safety in numbers in the industry,” said managing director Sean Rintoul. R • For further information call 0151 608 0023 or visit www.risgroup.co.uk.
Compensation increased for mesothelioma victims ‹ VICTIMS OF MESOTHELIOMA who
can’t trace a liable employer or an employers’ liability insurer will soon be able to apply for compensation packages worth an average of £123,000. The government has increased this from the initial £115,000 debated in the House of Commons in January after making savings in the administration costs of the scheme. The announcement was made by the DWP on 6 March. Around 3,500 victims of the aggressive cancer, or their families, can apply for compensation from next month and will receive payments from July this year, as part of a £380m package.
Mesothelioma often takes 40 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos to present symptoms. That has resulted in over 300 people every year struggling to find a relevant party to sue for damages, because companies become insolvent or insurance records go missing. Work and Pensions Minister, Mike Penning said: “This will end years of injustice for mesothelioma victims and their families – who have had to endure this terrible disease with little hope of any compensation from the insurance industry. “We have made it an absolute priority to bring in the scheme as soon as legislation will allow, so I am pleased to announce that victims
will be able to apply for payments from next month.” The Mesothelioma Act was passed in January and allowed for the creation of a new package of support – funded by insurance firms – to pay in excess of 800 eligible people in 2014 and 300 every year after that, until 2024. Victims, or their dependents (where the sufferer has died), will receive substantially higher payments than the statutory schemes currently operated by government. They will also get an additional £7,000 towards legal expenses. The claims handling company Gallagher Bassett has been appointed to run the compensation scheme. q
As asbestos compensation improves, will training follow suit? ‹ FOLLOWING ON FROM the government’s announcement of
increased compensation for those suffering as a result of asbestos exposure, Eddie Strong (pictured), chairman of The UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) has issued a reminder to those operating in the construction industry of the dangers of asbestos and how proper training might prevent them from suffering from these fatal diseases in the future. “Asbestos was used in building materials extensively right up to the early nineties before its damaging effects were known,” he said. “Undisturbed, the substance is harmless – however, when disturbed or moved, the harmful spores become airborne and inhaled. Many of the effects of this ‘hidden killer’ do not become apparent till twenty to thirty years down the line, when disease takes hold, drastically reducing both quality and length of life. “The compensation figure from the government moves closer
to what is expected by many asbestos victims and their families. Yet, I believe that by investing in better training, the problem can stop at this generation. Asbestos is also evident in thousands of homes, for this reason it’s important that people do the correct research and consult a professional when undertaking any home improvement projects. “If anyone has any doubts or concerns, visit the UKATA website at www.ukata.org.uk for free information and advice as well as a list of members.” q
In-house training simulator set to revolutionise asbestos safety
‹ A FIRM IN THE North East has built a full size training simulator in
order to provide a fully realistic ‘hands on’ experience of the situations that it’s students can expect to face in the real world when removing asbestos safely from residential buildings. Nichol Associates, based in Hebburn, Tyne and Wear, was able to construct the full size property thanks to a £70,000 investment grant from the Finance for Business North East Growth Fund. The new complex compliments existing training and laboratory facilities, allowing the company to boast of what are believed to be the best asbestos training facilities to be found anywhere in the UK. “Theory is all very well, but when it comes to the safe removal of asbestos, we need to give trainees the most realistic practice and experience possible and the only safe way to do that was to construct a simulator,” said Nichol Associates managing director Dave Nichol. “A life size bungalow gives our instructors the ability to put trainees through their paces in the most realistic residential simulation possible and ensures the training we provide is comprehensive.” Asbestos remains the biggest cause of work related deaths in the UK and while the expansion of Nichol Associates suggests the message on training in the identification and safe removal of asbestos is getting through, far too many companies and individuals continue to flout the law and asbestos regulations –risking their own lives and those of others in the process. Estimates put the figure of public buildings alone in the UK containing asbestos at over 1.5 million and as the fabric of some of these older buildings deteriorates, there is going to be a real need for those trained to remove asbestos safely. “The new facilities at our North East headquarters and our offices throughout the country are good news for us and those in need of training,” added Dave. “Too few have been trained in the safe handling and removal of asbestos. That must change and we are doing all we can to play our part.” Nichol Associates aims to provide a one stop shop for all asbestos training needs. The Hebburn headquarters boasts not just its new £70,000 state of the art simulator, but additional surveying, removal and consultancy services, plus a fully functional analytical testing service and laboratory. “We now have a comprehensive suite of training facilities, equipment and buildings that allows Nichol Associates to offer not just asbestos training, but to cater for those needing for wider health and safety training,” said Dave. “While asbestos remains the focus of our work, there are wider health and safety needs and this gives a real boost to us. We can factor in asbestos training to other courses where it is relevant which allows us to expand our education role on asbestos more generally.” For those who find asbestos that must be removed, employing contractors who are fully trained in how to do so safely is a must. If in any doubt, experts like Nichol Associates or those trained by them will be able to advise you. Nichol Associates has spent years training the next generation of asbestos removal specialists and advising organisations throughout the country on such matters although anyone in any doubt can consult the company’s website at http://www.nicholassociates.co.uk/ for advice. q www.constructionnational.co.uk
Half-century reflects decommissioning company’s continuous development ‹ THIS YEAR IS a truly momentous year in
the long and illustrious history of demolition and decommissioning specialists Hughes and Salvidge. It sees the Portsmouth-based company celebrate 50 years in the industry: an achievement of which everyone is extremely proud. The past half century has seen Hughes and Salvidge progress from relatively humble beginnings to become one of the UK’s premier decommissioning groups. That has been achieved by leading the way in quality and innovation and establishing an outstanding health and safety record while increasing the array of services. In addition to demolition, that includes asbestos removal, decontamination and industrial cleaning and land remediation. It’s an offering that has extended even more in recent years with the acquisitions of concrete crushing company K&B Crushers, H&S Metals, which specialises in metal recycling, and Aasvogel Waste Management – a fully integrated waste management solution. The firm’s management are open enough to admit that the road to that 50th anniversary hasn’t always been an easy one. The demolition
Hughes & Salvidge MD, Martyn Burnett
industry as a whole has faced some very challenging years, but they have managed to continue to grow, despite that, by demonstrating stringent working practices and forming strong relationships with clients as their extensive project portfolio testifies. Director Ian Martin summed up the air of optimism at the company: “As an industry we did suffer in the recession because clients weren’t spending as much on development, but factories and steel works were closing so people were clearing those sites rather than paying rates on an empty building,” explains Mr Martin. While the loss of those businesses and jobs is sad, Mr Martin points out that demolition makes way for new development when the economy recovers. “We are creating the space for more green shoots,” he said. High on the agenda at Hughes and Salvidge – and an issue that helps keep them at the forefront of the industry – is corporate social responsibility, and in particular environmental protection. Regarded as an integral part of the
Award finalists ‹ EVENTS AUGURED WELL for the anniversary year, as just before Christmas the
company was named one of the finalists in the Demolition Specialist category of the Construction News Specialists Awards. The scrutineering took place on 30 January, when representatives of the firm were questioned by the judging panel. The team were required to put forward their case for victory in this most prestigious of accolades – reaching this final certainly added sparkle to the anniversary year celebrations. q
operation, it is considered seriously by every member of staff. By carefully managing all their activities to reduce potential environmental impact to a practical minimum, they can maximise the recycling potential of all project sites, aiming to recycle in excess of 95% of demolition arisings. Hughes and Salvidge’s commitment to sustainability is demonstrated by: • Building a genuine culture of caring throughout the company and beyond • Having a social and economic impact at a local level • Putting health and safety of workers and clients first • Constantly seeking to improve the environmental impact of their work. As an audited member of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors, Hughes and Salvidge can guarantee their clients a wellmanaged, safe and environmentally considerate demolition project. As part of ISO 14001 accreditation and EMS, their corporate objectives include: • Striving to continue the zero accident rate that has been achieved for the past three years • Striving to maintain its record of no enforcement action • Minimum 95% recycling of waste by weight • Maintaining competency training for all staff Ian Martin concluded: “The company’s main focus in the near future will be on building on its existing strengths and getting repeat business, however it is important not to spread yourself too thin. We will look at any new opportunity if it suits our profile and demographics, but we also have to consolidate what we have already got.” q www.constructionnational.co.uk
Industry needs to address issue of drink and drugs ‹ ACCORDING TO THE industry organisation
Constructing Better Health (CBH), being tough on drink and drugs protects us all. To that end CBH has been working with contractors regarding drug and alcohol testing procedures and the best way to ensure compliance. According to the CBH website: “Testing for drugs and alcohol has been mandatory in the railways industry for some years and many construction
companies already undertake drug and alcohol testing to ensure that workers are safe to work on sites and to protect members of the public from accidents due to misuse of drugs and alcohol. “Following on from extensive research and requests for guidance, CBH can now publish its recommended guidance going forward and stipulates that, as a minimum, all construction companies/sites should have looked at the issue
of drug and alcohol misuse and work to an agreed drug and alcohol policy document per company. “Further, CBH has stipulated that safety critical workers on all construction sites undergo drug and alcohol testing in some form (according to company policy) and that the higher railway standard for alcohol be used as the norm for those in the construction safety critical workers category.” q
Testing can reduce the cost of absence – and accidents ‹ THE COST TO YOUR business of accidents in the workplace
pails almost into insignificance alongside that due to ill health. And, according to NHS figures for 2010, 19 million days are lost per year due to alcohol related absence alone – with an annual cost to the UK economy of £1.7bn. Add to this the direct costs of any alcohol related accidents – and an estimated 1 million employees at any time are working with drugs in their system – and the potential scale of the problem of substance misuse becomes very clear. Your duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 are also very clear. Nottinghamshire based Mediright Corporate Healthcare conduct drug and alcohol testing by fully trained, highly competent employees following professional protocols and standards. They are ISO 9001:2008 accredited. Drug and alcohol testing can be carried out: • Routinely, occasionally or on a random basis • Routinely as part of employment medicals • In specific circumstances for cause testing such as after an accident • or incident • As part of an aftercare rehabilitation programme Employees provide a urine specimen which will be tested immediately for the presence of substances such as amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, methadone, methamphetamines and opiates (MOP). Any ‘non negative’ results are sent for independent laboratory ‘corroborative’ analysis. Alcohol testing is done via a breath test using similar equipment to that used by the UK police and with results available immediately. Tests are repeated if alcohol is detected. q
Instant drug tests: why take the risk? ‹ IN THE UK THERE is a belief that instant drug tests and narrow
window screening can be used for pre-employment testing. However, these tests are not appropriate. Cut-off levels vary widely across a range of instant test devices, introducing massive areas of uncertainty. Sedgefield based CSI Drug & Alcohol Testing is aware of companies eliminating potential employees in pre-employment situations based on positive results for opiates and/or other compounds using instant testing devices. ‘Opiates’ include legal over-the-counter medicines, such as codeine and cocodamol, which can give positive results on these inefficient instant test devices. Many more worrying examples of similar cross-reactivity with regard to other drugs also exist, with diet pills and even food being able to give false positive results. There is also anecdotal evidence of certain brands of contraceptive pill doing the same. This means that by using these tests you are leaving your company open to litigation for ‘unfairly preventing employment’ of innocent individuals. There is also the chance of hiring individuals who are in fact drug abusers, as instant and narrow window testing of urine and oral fluid is easy to beat, merely requiring a few days drug abstinence prior to the scheduled test.
The answer is to use an accredited laboratory service for preemployment drug screening rather than unreliable instant testing devices or narrow window testing. Laboratories are able to examine drug metabolites, proving drug ingestion, and identify compounds that could give false positives. CSI recommends hair analysis for pre-employment testing. This gives a 90 day drug abuse history, meaning you can protect your business from regular drug abusers and also prevent the elimination of those who have innocently taken an over-the-counter medication. CSI offers a seven drug-group panel at a cost of only £45, all inclusive. This small investment ensures you do not introduce a negative impact to your bottom line trading figures, workplace culture, integrity and morale, and overall business operations by hiring a lessthan-ideal individual. You can provide peace of mind to yourself and your employees by choosing the correct drug-testing process. q
Full fibre ring around London City Airport
A snapshot of London City Airport taken during installation
By GEOFF DEAR, R&M Technical Manager UK and Ireland
‹ LAST YEAR, London City Airport started up a £15m investment
programme and produced a master plan outlining their vision for growth up to 2030. This aims towards expanding the airport to a maximum capacity of 8 million passengers per annum within its existing boundaries.
Of course, such an ambitious vision brings a number of infrastructural requirements. Furthermore, during his Broadband World Forum keynote speech last October, Matthew Hall, chief commercial officer of London City Airport, discussed plans to improve the customer experience with technology and connectivity. Clearly, London City Airport needed a considerable amount of future-proof broadband bandwidth.
Challenging project Recently, a new fibre ring was installed around the airport perimeter. There are number of drop-off points around the six kilometre perimeter that required resilient connectivity. To design and cost this, R&M UK worked closely with NATS Services Ltd, who provide air traffic control at airports in the UK and overseas, as well as a number of related engineering, technical and education services. R&M has been working with NATS for three years now, and had already performed projects with them in Southampton and Belfast. From the outset, it was clear that the project would be challenging due to its high profile nature, the hours of work involved and the level of risk. For this project, all works had to be done outside airport hours. There were also some health and safety issues, as the airport is located on an island and the cable ducts run around its edges, very close to the water. Also, a creative approach to logistics was required, as there was no onsite storage to speak of. However, thanks to the combined efforts of the experienced design and project delivery team comprising NATS, R&M and our qualified installation partner the project was a success.
Competitive edge For the customer, a direct relationship with R&M helps deliver clear objectives and solutions, in order to achieve a high-quality, future-proof system. Understanding the client’s needs enabled all parties to meet every aspect of the requirements. “NATS has many suppliers and manufacturers, helping us provide solutions for the aviation service provider industry,” concludes Paul Hatia-Black, senior systems engineer Nav/Met with NATS. “In our line of work, safety, service delivery and reputation are key factors. The products we supply must not only be fit for their intended purpose but also innovative, in order to drive safety and costs whilst planning and servicing the future needs of our customers and the flying public. This is best served with close working relationships with innovative, forwardlooking suppliers and manufacturers, such as R&M.” R
4G mobile technology and BIM: together they have changed the world ‹ IN 2011 THE Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)
published its building information modelling (BIM) strategy, committing the Government to aim for the adoption by central government departments of collaborative Level 2 BIM as a minimum by 2016. To assist in that aim the Building Information Modelling (BIM) Task Group was set up. Since then the capabilities of BIM have seen rapid growth, with four and now five dimensional BIM available. According to the Government’s 2012 strategy document: “The UK is now recognised by its peers as one of the leading nations in the exploitation of BIM technology and processes with an internationally respected centrally-led programme. BIM is a key agent for economic growth in both domestic and international markets.” On its website the BIM Task Group says: “Our hypothesis is simple: that significant improvement in cost, value and carbon performance can be achieved through the use of open, sharable asset information. We will also be helping the supply chain unlock more efficient and collaborative ways of work throughout the entire project and asset lifecycle end to end.” BIM is the future of construction design and has been transformed with the development of mobile technologies on the construction site. Without an effective communications capability, the ability to model in real time and download sometimes huge files cannot happen. Until recently that meant short-term cellular mobile with a wired presence following on. Then 3G enabled the use of instantly available and capable mobile units. Quoted in an interview in The Telegraph, Kier’s Peter Banner described the kind of mobile units used on site: “They’re portable units, built into flight cases containing the router, switches and network optimisation technology. You turn up on site, open the case, plug the thing in, and you’re up and running.” With the advent of 4G communications that capability is made even more effective. It enables all the possibilities of BIM to be instantly
available anywhere on site or off. Mobile broadband is accessed by the on-site computers while telephony is via VoIP. This ability to access information on site and bring all the elements of a design together has transformed the construction industry. With development already underway for the next generation, technology is still very much on the march. R
Funding guarantee process for major projects is made more transparent ‹ IN FEBRUARY THE TREASURY published
an update of the projects that are currently prequalified for the UK Guarantees Scheme and are seeking finance. Prequalification is part of the process by which major infrastructure projects access sovereign-backed guarantees to help them access finance. The UK Guarantees Scheme was introduced in 2012 to avoid delays to investment in UK infrastructure projects that may have stalled because of adverse credit conditions. Guarantees are provided on a commercial basis, with pricing depending on the risk and structure of a particular project. Guarantees for up to £40bn in aggregate can be offered. Prequalification means that they are eligible for the scheme. While further discussions, assessment and due diligence remain, the move could see them secure government agreement to act as a guarantor for a project, giving private lenders confidence that they will get their money back if the project cannot pay.
Offers of guarantees are subject to satisfactory completion of the necessary due diligence and final ministerial approval. The updated document lists 23 projects that are prequalified, although the list is not exhaustive. In its announcement the Treasury says: “Our policy is to publish the names of
projects unless sponsors have requested that we do not release project names for commercial reasons.” In December the Government published a new national infrastructure plan containing information on over £375bn of planned public and private sector infrastructure investment. The plan sets out investment for energy, transport, flood defence, waste, water and communications infrastructure up to 2030 and beyond. At the same time the Government published an Infrastructure Pipeline which is available alongside the Construction Pipeline. The Pipeline is the most comprehensive overview of planned and potential UK infrastructure investment ever produced. It creates certainty for investors and the supply chain, and allows government to work more effectively to ensure that the UK’s infrastructure needs are met. It also acts as a prospectus for investors, identifying key UK private and public sector infrastructure opportunities. q
Cashflow solutions for construction companies ‹ IT LOOKS LIKE CONSTRUCTION companies are going to be pretty
busy over the next few years – the National Infrastructure Plan, and the fact that there’s an urgent need for a huge programme of house building, suggests there will be no shortage of work. The bad news, however, is that many subcontractors will struggle to capitalise on these opportunities due to lack of finance. Ultimate Finance, a leading independent provider of cashflow solutions to SMEs, has come up with a solution – they’ve created a team of experienced professionals with a specialised understanding of the construction industry, working in partnership with a long-established quantity surveyor, to help building firms overcome these challenges. Tim Wilkinson, sales director of Ultimate Construction Finance Limited, explains: “We are principally aiming to fund interim payments for first tier subcontractors with a minimum turnover in excess of £500k. “We can provide something genuinely different. We will fund an application
for payment, prior to certification. This takes a huge amount of financial pressure off contractors during the course of an extended project and gives them more working capital to take on fresh contracts. Our thorough understanding of the sector and the way the contracts work means that we can take a much more flexible approach than traditional financial institutions.” “The arrangement is fully confidential, while our fee and pricing structure is highly transparent and communicated upfront. Right from the outset our clients know what level of funding they will get, when they will receive it and what fees they will be charged, which truly sets us apart from existing players in the market.” q • Ultimate Construction Finance Limited is a leading provider of financial solutions to SMEs across the UK. The company is headquartered in Bristol with offices in London, Manchester, Norwich and Lutterworth. www. ultimatefinance.co.uk.
The clock is ticking JCB survey shows British businesses are in danger of missing out on tax relief worth up to £500,000 ‹ A SURVEY CONDUCTED by JCB before the March 2014 Budget
revealed that construction sector companies are missing out on £250,000 worth of tax relief because they are unaware of how much they are entitled to claim against newly-purchased machines. Out of a total of 250 businesses surveyed, only five (two percent) correctly answered that they could claim back up to a quarter of a million pounds through the government’s Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) scheme. Businesses investing in plant, machinery or commercial vehicles have been entitled to claim AIA since legislation was introduced in 2008, however in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement of 2012 the AIA was raised from £25,000 to £250,000. Following the 2014 Budget the AIA doubled to £500,000. Paul Jennings, managing director at JCB Finance, said: “Companies of all sizes are eligible for the AIA but many are simply missing out. For many the deadline to claim the first tranche of AIA has already disappeared. Unfortunately any unspent allowances can’t be carried forward so for some £250,000 in tax relief may already have been lost.” Paul added: “The recent Budget announcement has not only doubled the size of the AIA but has extended the period of eligibility by another year to 31st December 2015 but the AIA is scheduled to revert back
to £25,000 from 1st January 2016. Businesses need to review their spending plans before it is too late. “Unfortunately our survey shows that there seems to be confusion in the construction and plant hire sector over the size and eligibility of the available tax relief. “It seems that some financial advisors have been slow in coming to terms with the new rules and some tax saving opportunities have already been lost. “Additionally, there seems to be confusion in the plant hire sector with many businesses being wrongly advised that they are not eligible for the AIA.” JCB’s survey demonstrated that although more than half (53 per cent) of people answered ‘yes’ when asked if they had heard of the Annual Investment Allowance, only two per cent could give the correct monetary value of the allowance. Around a third incorrectly answered that it currently stands at £25,000 while 47 per cent gave £50,000 as their answer. For full details of the AIA visit www.jcb-finance.com/AIA where there is a full explanation of the changes and a chart which illustrates how crucial it is to get the timing and amounts of expenditure right for businesses with different financial year ends in order to maximise on the available tax relief. q
New planning court to be established by summer ‹ LEGAL DISPUTES OVER major developments will be fast-tracked for consideration by a new Planning Court which will be established by this summer, the Ministry of Justice announced in February. The move will see an estimated 400 planning
cases a year resolved more quickly by being fasttracked for hearings with specialist judges. According to the MoJ, it will support the growing economy by reducing unnecessary and costly legal delays which developers have previously blamed for the collapse of potential
Breakfast briefings discuss construction law issues ‹ LEADING LAW FIRM Pinsent Mason is running a series of Projects and Construction breakfast
briefings at its offices up and down the country. The latest event, focusing on Managing Risks and Liabilities, began at the firm’s London office and will move to Birmingham and Glasgow on 8 April, Edinburgh on the 9th and Leeds and Manchester on the 10th. According to Pinsent Mason: “We have all seen the consequences of failing to manage or limit risks during the negotiation stage and once the works have started. This can lead to increased costs, damaged brands and ultimately, insolvencies. “There are different ways to manage and limit risks and during the seminar we will run through the opportunities – from initial negotiation through to completion – to minimise your liabilities, based on our experience of common risks and the most effective ways to avoid them.” The seminars are free and begin at 8.30am, following registration, networking and a light breakfast at 8am. q • For more information on the briefings contact events executive Zoé Tovell on 020 7490 6572 or email email@example.com.
major building schemes. Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation (pictured), commented: “The introduction of a specialist court like this is likely to have a significant impact on delivery as it relieves the pressure on developers and planning authorities and will expedite the whole planning process.” Adrian Penfold, head of planning and corporate responsibility at British Land, added: “The arrival of a specialist planning chamber is welcome news as it will allow cases that genuinely merit judicial review to be considered by experts in a timely and efficient manner. The judicial review system is important, and the creation of this new chamber is a significant step in ensuring that it is not abused and that it serves its correct purpose.” q
Call upon construction contracts expertise when your business needs support ‹ WHILST THE CONSTRUCTION industry is at last showing
promising signs of recovery, there is no doubt that payment problems continue to be suffered by many subcontract businesses and regional contractors alike. Established 6 years ago, York based consultancy RJH Commercial Consulting Ltd have recovered over £12 million of clients’ money. Their fees over this period therefore represent just a small proportion of the cash which clients have recovered, and which they could not put their hands on until they made contact with RJH. According to managing director Richard Hildrick: “RJH Commercial Consulting’s mission is to proactively address such payment issues by providing construction specialists and regional contractors with a superior level of contractual and construction law knowledge, to that retained in-house by their much larger contractor/employer clients. By buying in our expertise when a project becomes contractual or payments are unfair or late, our clients are able to safeguard their slender margins and address any unfairly stifled cashflow.” “Our client testimonials speak for themselves. RJH always works closely with a client’s in-house team – and we get results. Being from a major contractor background, our consultants are well versed with the modus operandi of such corporations. We guarantee that your business will benefit from working with us.” q • For further information call Richard Hildrick on 01347 811155 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hot potato of self-employed worker status has just got hotter – this time it’s tax and national insurance By ANDREW WILSON, consultant director of THSP
‹ THE GOVERNMENT IS now pushing
through with new legislation to block a perceived legal loophole that allows companies to use self-employed operatives with little or no chance for HM Revenue and Customs to recover masses of tax and national insurance that they believe is due. Over recent years the status of self-employed workers has come under a great deal of scrutiny. Recent case law offers greater clarity for those who, in the cold light of day, should really be considered as an employee. On the 6th April this year the Government plan to ring the changes to the agency worker legislation, whereby they aim to catch organisations engaging employees or workers and treating them as self-employed. The identity of a truly self-employed operative is not always that clear, but the distinction from a tax and employment rights perspective is very important. For instance, an employer
must deduct tax and national insurance from an employee’s pay, as well as making a 13.8% NIC contribution themselves. An employee is also entitled to paid leave, redundancy pay and, with auto enrolment, pension contributions. None of these apply to a true self-employed individual, so the financial liabilities on those engaging them are plain to see. For some time now intermediary organisations, often under the guise of recruitment companies and payroll bureaux, have simply labelled the worker as being ‘selfemployed’ or have given them some form of contract that allows the worker to get someone to do the work at their discretion. The ability to ‘substitute’ is a really important consideration when defining the employment status and is rarely achievable. The proposed changes to agency legislation will mean that where a worker meets all four aspects of the following criteria then
the intermediary must treat the operative as an employee for tax and employment rights purposes. These criteria are that: 1. They are subject to control, supervision 1. and direction in the way they carry out 1. their work 2. They carry out the work themselves 3. They are paid for doing this work 4. They receive other income or privileges 1. not already taxed as employment 1. income. Effectively these changes will increase the cost of engaging workers and will reduce the flexibility of this class of workers as they will inevitably be forced into employment relationships or incorporated businesses. To exercise control of this change HM Revenue and Customs intend to introduce a new statutory return requirement placed on intermediaries to identify any workers it has placed and treated as self-employed. q
Developers and builders welcome Budget boost for housing
‹ WHEN CHANCELLOR GEORGE OSBORNE stood up to make his
Budget speech on 19 March the country as a whole knew that a raft of measures was in prospect to boost homebuilding. The measure to create a new ‘Garden City’ at Ebbsfleet Valley in Kent had been trailed, as had the extension of the Help to Buy scheme to 2020. According to the Treasury, the scheme has so far helped more than 25,000 households to buy or reserve a home and currently supports up to 30% of all new build homes in England. Less widely known was the creation of a Builders Finance Fund to help small and medium-sized developers tap into the potential of smaller sites to build smaller housing schemes. There was also a boost for self-builders with a £150m fund to help establish serviced building plots and proposals for a new ‘right to build’ which provides a right to a plot from councils. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “This year’s Budget shows how housebuilding is central to our long-term economic plan, with measures to get Britain building and support to help hard-working people realise their dream of home ownership. “This multibillion-pound package will boost housebuilding, particularly on brownfield land, create new jobs and allow up to an additional 120,000 aspiring homeowners to buy a home. “The moves will get workers back on site across the country, including at large sites like Ebbsfleet, help smaller builders to restart work on stalled developments, and make sure people who want to build their own home can.” Commenting on the measures, NHBC chief executive Mike Quinton said: “We welcome today’s announcement which places the housebuilding industry at the heart of the Budget. “Although our statistics show that new home registration numbers went up by 28% in 2013 compared to the previous year, it is vital to recognise that the recovery is from a low base and numbers remain well below prerecession levels. “The Chancellor’s announcement to extend the Help to Buy scheme – which has already given the sector a welcome boost – until the end of the decade will give tens of thousands of people the opportunity to own their brand new home.
“Help to Buy has given the UK house building industry a shot in the arm. The extension now provides much-needed certainty and confidence for it to plan for the future.” The executive chairman of the Home Builders’ Federation (HBF), Stewart Baseley, extended that organisation’s welcome for the measures. He commented: “Extending the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme is a very positive move. It will mean more homes are built, allow builders to get on with planning their businesses and employ the people needed to help tackle the country’s housing crisis. Help to Buy has reinvigorated the homebuilding industry, contributed to a sharp increase in new housing starts and allowed thousands of first-time buyers and second-steppers onto the housing ladder. This in turn has seen the industry recruiting thousands of staff, including apprentices, so providing an economic boost to the country.” He had a particular welcome for the Builders’ Finance Fund: “We very much welcome the commitment of money for small and medium-sized builders, a move HBF proposed to Government. A lack of development finance has been the biggest constraint faced by smaller companies. The fund will allow them to increase their output, so adding to the overall supply of homes and number of jobs created.” Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, echoed that sentiment. He declared: “Access to finance is a major stumbling block for viable SME housebuilders so this government intervention is much needed, as many major banks are still reluctant to lend for small residential developments. This additional support will provide the necessary finance to small housebuilders and help increase the overall supply of new housing through a well-functioning SME sector.” However, he added a note of disappointment regarding existing property refurbishment, reiterating a call for a reduction in VAT. “Unfortunately,” he said, “today’s Budget overlooks the need to make our existing homes an infrastructure investment priority. A reduction in VAT to 5% on housing renovation and repair is the simplest and most effective way to empower homeowners to refurbish their properties to make them more energy efficient and cheaper to run. This cut in VAT would provide a £15bn economic stimulus over five years and up to 95,000 jobs which are much needed while our economy is still in recovery.” q
Coastal location offers the exotic and the familiar ‹ ON THE EAST COAST of Scotland,
near to the famous home of golf and a string of traditional fishing villages, is the town of Leven. Leven acts as the centre for a number of desirable housing developments, including the varied collection of homes in the Mountfleurie district that comprise Campion Homes’ Rosemount. The designs are named after garden bushes and reflect the variety of styles on offer, ranging from the luxuriously exotic to the comfortably familiar. Thus the four-bedroom detached Oleander and Jacaranda rub shoulders with the more down-to-earth three-bedroom semi-detached Holly and Hazel. The pick of the crop has to be the spacious Lantana. The colourful tropical genus lends its name to a sumptuous five-bedroom villa that boasts four double bedrooms, a downstairs cloakroom as well as en suite in the master bedroom – which also features French windows opening onto a Juliette balcony – and a dedicated laundry room. Rosemount also offers a row of the three-bedroom Tamarisk, a detached bungalow. The three apartment buildings are the Aster and Laurel – each containing six two-bedroom apartments – and, of course, the Heather,
which contains four. Situated at the entrance to the development the apartments are well appointed and some feature a study/nursery. Six miles away is the town of Leven itself, which offers all the facilities of a small urban centre. With good shopping facilities, a swimming pool and leisure centre, it is situated on the coast of the Firth of Forth, in the ancient kingdom of Fife. Being close to St Andrew’s, it is also within easy reach of a number of golf courses, while the famous ‘East Neuk’ – the huddle of traditional fishing villages on the north east corner of the Firth – is within a few minutes drive. Rosemount is also a participant development in the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme. q
The spacious Lantana
Exclusive development is snapped up ‹ THE ABERDEENSHIRE VILLAGE of Cults – described as ‘discerning’ – is proving to be a runaway success for CALA Homes, that most upmarket of the major homebuilders. Back in October, the developer was offering just two remaining properties at its exclusive award-winning Hayfield Grange site. Within a few short weeks, however, even they had been snapped up and the development is now completely sold out. The 10 homes at Hayfield Grange include the spacious five-bedroom detached Ranald, part of CALA’s Signature Collection with a price tag of just over £1m. Boasting an oak staircase and doors and a German
The spacious five-bedroom detached Ranald
Five years of five stars ‹ IN MARCH IT was announced that CALA Homes had received
the maximum five-star rating in the Home Builders Federation (HBF) customer satisfaction survey for the fifth consecutive year. The survey asked homeowners how satisfied they were with the quality of their new property and whether they would recommend their housebuilder to a friend. CALA scored in excess of 90% on both measures, achieving the maximum five stars in both categories. The achievement was recognised at a special presentation at the House of Commons. Alan Brown, chief executive of CALA Homes, said: “Awards such as these are the ones that matter most as the feedback comes directly from the people who buy and live in our homes. We continually strive to set a benchmark for the industry, not only in terms of the design and quality of our homes but the customer’s entire purchasing experience.” q
kitchen, the Ranald includes almost 3,000ft2 of living space. The five generous bedrooms include no fewer than three with en suite facilities in addition to a well-equipped family bathroom. Hayfield Grange was launched in February last year and has since proved very popular with families seeking a semi-rural retreat that is located just four miles from Aberdeen city centre and nine miles from the airport. q
Developer has every right to blow its own trumpet ‹ WITH A SELECTION OF two, three, and four-bedroom homes, there
is something for everyone at Strata Homes’ Aspect development near Barnsley. Aspect nestles in the village of Grimethorpe, famous for its colliery band. The colliery is no more, but the village retains a vibrant main street and a strong community spirit. Certainly, Strata Homes have expectations for the village, stating: “Now is a great time to be in Grimethorpe, there's plenty of new projects planned that will provide even better facilities for the people who live there.” Formed in 1919 to take part in the rebuilding of bomb-damaged Yorkshire following World War One, Strata Homes is still a family business: its current owner of the grandson of founder Oscar Weaver. The result is a personal approach that sees an attention to detail, with every fitting complementing the company’s signature black gloss finish. The homes at Aspect include Strata’s most popular design, the threebedroom Geneva. And with the Roma, Cadiz and Monaco also available there is a real cosmopolitan feel to the development. It’s certainly something to blow their horn over. q
Lack of housing could cost London £85bn ‹ THE POTENTIAL ECONOMIC impact of a shortage of quality
housing in London has underlined the urgency of getting Britain building. A report by Get Living London, the owners of the former London 2012 Athletes’ Village, revealed that the failure to provide quality housing for the core group of renters that drive the capital’s growth could reduce the economic output of London by £1bn per year, with a possible cumulative cost of £85bn by 2025. The report, produced by Professor Michael Ball of Henley Business School, University of Reading, and commissioned by Get Living London, revealed that a quarter of Londoners now rent, including an important core group of young, highly-skilled, affluent renters. A failure to deliver sufficient housing has the potential to put people off living in London, especially those young, highly-skilled core renters.
Derek Gorman, chief executive of Get Living London, commented: “The Mayor of London has stated that 400,000 new homes will be needed in the next 10 years and Get Living London is playing its part by bringing more high-quality private rented homes to the market. With this research we hope to highlight the very real challenges to London’s economic growth over the coming years if we don’t deliver more and better homes.” London’s Deputy Mayor for Housing, Land and Property, Richard Blakeway, said: “With London's unprecedented population growth, housing supply and affordability is now our biggest challenge and we need to double the number of homes being built. This calls for new ideas, new players, new funding and new delivery methods. Purposebuilt long-term rental homes are one of the keys to increasing the supply of new top quality homes for Londoners, while boosting the economy and creating thousands of new jobs.” q
A duet of jewels adorn Redrow’s crown ‹ IN JUST A year the signature Alltwen
Gardens development from Redrow South Wales has gone from strength to strength. Situated in the historic Welsh town of Pontardawe on the River Tawe, the development offers a range of homes from the homebuilder’s New Heritage collection. The designs combine ‘the finest in traditional values with the very best in modern living, to provide a truly unique living experience’. The development was launched in March last year, with a visit from singer and West End actress Sophie Evans. Being born and bred in the Valleys made Sophie – famous for her role as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and more recently in the film The World’s End – the perfect champion of the development. Alltwen Gardens features 57 homes, all built with modern family life in mind. The show home on the site is the four-bedroom Windsor, the largest of the property styles on site, and features a spacious open-plan kitchen and dining space with patio doors, en-suite to the master bedroom and internal garage. Properties are finished to a superior
Sophie Evans outside the showhome at Alltwen Gardens quality specification, featuring well-known brands as standard. Farther west, in Carmarthenshire, is another popular Redrow development that is attracting plaudits. Nant Y Rhosyn is located in the Pwll Trap district of St Clears on the coast of south west Wales. The homes are also drawn from the New Heritage collection. Currently,
a selection of four-bedroom detached properties are available, with a number of three-bedroom styles in the pipeline. St Clears offers a surprisingly wide range of facilities for a small town, owing to its background as a holiday resort. For a larger choice of shops, nearby Carmarthen boasts all the big names, while the bright lights of Swansea are under an hour away. q
Scaffolding system brings key gains to contractors
‹ LAYHER HAS LAUNCHED THE next generation of its highly successful Allround
scaffolding system into the UK market. The Layher Allround® Lightweight (LW) combines proven performance with key benefits – ranging from lower weight and enhanced load bearing capacity to an innovative ‘AutoLock Wedge-Head®’ function which will provide greater safety and speed during both erection and use. The system includes both standards and a choice of ledgers and transoms. The standards are a prime example of the new approach as they are now formed from a single forged piece rather than two components crimped together. Importantly, the same standards can now be used for both supported and suspended structures with no separate spigots required. This minimises the number of differing components needed, not only saving time, but also money. Another new feature is the reinforced, high tensile 1.57, 2.07, 2.57 and 3.07m U-transoms (pictured). These offer 100mm of additional head room when compared to existing U-bridging transoms – essential on large base-size structures or on multi-level decked birdcages. q
for more information: call 01462 475100 or visit www.layher.co.uk
Network Rail approval for GSM-R solar powered telephone
‹ THE GAI-TRONICS TITAN GSM/GSM-R solar powered telephone has been certified by
Network Rail for use at user worked crossings and other similar applications where there are no fixed communications available. The vandal and weather resistant telephones will be used on the GSM-R network, where there is currently no cable infrastructure or means for users to contact the signaller safely before crossing the railway and can be sited anywhere on the GSM-R network using a tamper resistant 10W solar panel mounted on top of a free-standing post. The modular design could reduce the cost of installation. The Titan GSM-R range has the option of yellow or grey casing, with 0 button (lift handset to dial) or 15 button keypad. The phones are available with a No.1 key lock for additional security if required. GAI-Tronics’ rail telephone products are protected against dust and water ingress to IP66. With operating temperatures of -20°C to +60°C, they are robust and weather resistant, perfectly suited for a life outdoors. q
for more information: call 01283 703387 or visit www.gai-tronics.co.uk
New dual voltage Master heaters for UK market
‹ MASTER CLIMATE SOLUTIONS, a leading manufacturer of portable space heaters
and dehumidifiers, has expanded its heaters range with the launch of new dual voltage devices dedicated to British customers. Master Climate Solutions includes in the offer three new dual voltage indirect oil heaters: BV 77, BV 170 and BV 290. Additional improvements, like stronger cone or waterproof plastic box for electrical components, prove it is the most advanced range of indirect heaters now designed for professional users in many fields of the construction industry, logistics and others. The range also includes two bestsellers in the UK: B 150, a direct oil heater and BLP 103, a gas heater. In the new version of the oil heater some of the components have been replaced for easier maintenance and to be more responsive to the needs of users. The 103 kW gas heater is the result of long design work by Italian engineers who, tracking the current market demand, have created a device adapted to the UK market in the best way. q
for more information: call (0048) 61 65 44 000 or visit www.masterheaters.co.uk
Reelfix shows the way forward
â€š THE MULTI AWARD WINNING Reelfix Rapid System has been
developed as a simple, low cost solution to the many health and safety issues associated with the use of loose coiled tying wire for steel fixing. Since the productâ€™s launch in June 2005, Reelfix has revolutionised the way steel fixers work, making the process vastly more efficient, less wasteful and much safer. From simple problems such as the manual handling of 20kg coils of tying wire, to more serious concerns like wire trip hazards and flying end eye and face injuries, Reelfix delivers the solution simply and effectively by eliminating risk, reducing waste and facilitating a modern, proactive approach to hazard identification and management, as required in CDM regulations. q for more information: call 0845 638 0733, email email@example.com or visit www.reelfix.com
BUILDERS & PLUMBERS MERCHANTS
DRILLING & SAWING
TRAINING & ASSESSMENT
HEALTH & SAFETY
Virtual atlas is a treasure trove of the best buildings By CHRIS STOKES
‹ SOMETHING REALLY FASCINATING
popped into my in-box the other day. In among the press releases from government departments and marketing junk there was a release and a link from the Phaidon Press for its new Phaidon Atlas. Headlined ‘Phaidon Atlas charts over 3000 of the best buildings from around the world’, it offered a free trial of what it described as ‘…the most sophisticated architecture search tool ever designed’ which ‘…allows the user to refine their search by material type, location and many more filters to ensure quick, accurate and comprehensive results’. And it really is incredible. I signed up to find out what it can do. Straight away you are presented with a map of the world with circles outlining how many entries are in each region. No fewer than 289 are in the British Isles. The choice is catholic in terms of function: in Manchester alone the list includes the new court complex, the City of Manchester
Stadium and a social housing project. By clicking on a building on the map, you access a mine of information about that building. I went to the City of Manchester Stadium. Filters above the main picture allow you to view exterior or interior images, the architectural drawings, an architectural overview and other entries by the same architect. I discovered that Arup were responsible for the Kensington Oval in Barbados and a marvellous building I didn’t even know – Vauxhall Cross Transport Interchange. The Phaidon Atlas is a treasure trove of information and stunning images of the world’s architectural wonders. It is a bit of a wonder itself, offering the chance to enter the buildings and even create your own atlas. It is more than just a means of looking at nice buildings, though. There are real applications for the student of architecture. As the publishers say, there is the opportunity to get an insight into the architectural practices of China or the growth of development in Brazil.
A further feature that the document has as a virtual atlas is that it can develop. There is a section on latest updates to the entries. Plus, over the following couple of weeks I received focuses on various types of buildings in the atlas. I found out about the seven best buildings that use reclaimed timber and the seven most radical buildings in South Korea. Both were from what is termed the Editors’ Focus. Others are smallest buildings, most remote buildings, spaces for children and six roofs with public spaces. There are also transcripts of talks at last year’s Lisbon Triennale. One of the lessons of my A-Level days was how to look at buildings and appreciate them. It has stayed with me over the successive decades. This marvellous virtual atlas allows me to broaden that appreciation to the most fascinating buildings the world has to offer. • Get your free trial at www.phaidonatlas.com.
The LSA lead sheet manual: a traditional material goes into cyberspace ‹ MOST PEOPLE ARE familiar with the use
of lead sheet as a traditional building material, for roofing and many other decorative purposes. For those active in the construction industry, however, the material is very much an up-to-date sustainable product. The technical elements of the production, specification and installation of lead sheet are the province of the Lead Sheet Association (LSA), whose Rolled Lead Sheet – The Complete Manual has set the technical standards for the industry for many years and is the essential reference point for leadworkers, architects and specifiers. Now, that technical manual is available in electronic format as a flip-page e-book. It contains all of the up-to-date technical information needed to specify or install Rolled Lead Sheet manufactured to BS EN 12588. The manual provides the comprehensive information source on the use of lead sheet, while the e-book gives the benefit of easy oneclick indexing, page or page-range printing, zoom function and cloud access – all from anywhere with an internet connection. The manual will be also be updated on a regular basis. The manual begins by summarising the research the LSA has carried out in conjunction with BRE and Franklin+Andrews into the benefits of using lead, particularly in relation to its ‘economic, technical and environmental characteristics’. In an innovation only possible online, the e-book then provides links to other documents and to a video summarising the findings.
The same facility allows the reader to link to information regarding the material’s ‘green’ credentials. The manual describes British Standard Lead as ‘the new eco material that has been around for hundreds of years’. A YouTube animation – The Truth about Lead – gives a comprehensive overview of the characteristics of lead, as well as its green credentials and can be viewed at www. leadroof.org.uk/the_truth_about_lead.
‹ TOGETHER WITH THE Lead Contractors Association, the LSA has also developed a
series of interactive courses for those who install or specify lead. The three interactive courses, which are available online now, include something for everybody involved in roofing – from understanding the different methods of lead manufacture to the specialist aspects of detailing and installation demonstrated by experts. The free courses, which are being delivered as part of the CITB Growth Fund, cover: • Design and Specification of Rolled Lead Sheet – this course will enable specialist contractors, metal workers, specifiers, surveyors and conservationists to understand the manufacturing, economic, technical and environmental characteristics of lead. • Good Practice Guide for Rolled Lead Sheet – highlights the importance of the correct detailing of lead work and installation techniques with demonstrations from experts. • Lead Safety – highlights all aspects of lead safety, including correct working practices and controls that should be in place. Nigel Johnston, general manager of the LSA said: “The major benefit of the e-learning courses is that individuals will not have to take time off work to refresh their knowledge or gain a qualification as they can fit their studies into their private time, working at their own pace. “Each separate course lasts up to an hour, and on completion an LSA/LCA certificate will be issued. The e-learning courses also complement all the courses and qualifications which are currently available from the LSA.” R
The real value of the manual, though, is in the comprehensive technical guidance it provides. In this respect the e-book is a reproduction of the hard copy that has been in use for many decades, although constantly updated. There are sections on fixings, joints, flashings and gutters, as well as accessories, working methods and health and hygiene. All the technical sections are accompanied by excellent illustrations, photographs and explanatory diagrams. The nature of the e-book means the format is the same as the original paper version, making it particularly appropriate to viewing on the now ubiquitous tablet. All-in-all this new version makes the manual accessible on site in a way a hard copy never could be. The cost of the new e-Book Manual is £30.00. The hard copy is still available to purchase, and for those who want to purchase both the cost is £39.95 plus postage and packing. To order Rolled Lead Sheet – The Complete Manual as an e-book visit www.leadsheet.co.uk/manuals. R
• To find out more about the e-learning courses visit www.leadsheet.co.uk/e-courses. www.constructionnational.co.uk
New form of contract takes the headache out of scaffolding hire ‹ RECENT ISSUES OF Construction
National have covered in some detail the issues involved in the safe erection and operation of scaffolding and other access systems. Bodies such as the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) have stressed the importance of employing a reputable and diligent scaffolding contractor. Also important is the fact that main contractors and their scaffolding contractors understand their obligations towards each other clearly and concisely. In the past that has meant convoluted contracts drawn up individually for each job at great time and expense, often in language that few could understand. Now, Construction Industry Publications have produced a form of contract for the erection, hire and dismantling of scaffolding that can be used in a multitude of applications, setting out the responsibilities of each party to the contract and the costs involved for each stage of the operation and each element of the works. Written in a simple, easy-to-understand format, Scaffolding Contract 2014 is designed to take away the headache of what contract to use for scaffolding works. The document is written and endorsed by the Contractors Legal Group (CLG) and the NASC, so it is considered to be a fair contract produced by people on both sides of the supply chain. It can be used for any scaffolding works, whether on a small-scale house extension or a multimillion-pound, multiple-level contract, and provides an alternative to the long and complicated contracts produced by some professional bodies. Anyone commissioning scaffolding works will find Scaffolding Contract 2014 a welcome document, whether for use on small jobs or larger projects. The document includes conditions covering items such as the scaffolding contractor’s and the main contractor’s responsibilities. It deals with the period of hire required for the scaffolding, dates of commencement and dismantling of the scaffold, costs for any extra hire, health and safety considerations,
instructions for any changes to the scaffolding structure and the basis for pricing those changes, payment to the scaffolding contractor and ending the contract. In addition there is an agreement to have any disputes decided by an adjudicator as well as the right to go to court. All those rights and responsibilities are set out in an easy-to-follow format. It also contains a helpful and easy-to-use
schedule of rates for commonly encountered scaffolding items which the parties can agree a price for at the outset, to minimise any concerns in respect of the cost of changes/ variations that may be required to the scaffolding while the works proceed. Available direct from Construction Industry Publications, www.cip-books.com, single copies are priced at £19.50 plus VAT. q
• Construction Industry Publications (CIP) publishes a range of construction, health and safety and environmental titles. Formerly owned by the Construction Confederation, following the demise of that body it passed into private ownership. As well as its own publications, including the iconic Health and Safety Blue Book and a comprehensive Construction Environmental Manual, CIP supplies a range of DVDs, books and report forms from all of the leading specialist publishers including the HSE, Construction Skills and CIRIA for construction professionals, architects, designers, civil engineers and specialist consultants. All can be purchased from the CIP website at www.cip-books.com or ordered by phone on 0870 078 4400.