Category Archives: Health & Safety

How to utilise mezzanine floors safely

By Jason Godfrey, Safesite General Manager

Mezzanine floors in warehouses, when utilised properly, can hugely increase the productivity of the site by making use of space that would otherwise be wasted. Benefits of using mezzanine space include decreasing dispatch times and removing the need to expand into new premises.

SafesiteHowever, with these benefits come new risks, in the form of working at height. Though mezzanine floors are not inherently unsafe, any work where there is a risk of fall should be properly planned out, with measures put in place to remove or reduce the risk of injury.

Pallet gates are a fantastic way to protect workers on mezzanine areas without reducing productivity or affecting the benefits mezzanine floors provide.

The solution

The Mezzanine Pallet Safety Gate system offered by Safesite allows you to safely load and offload heavy items to and from a mezzanine floor by using a forklift. The range is easy to install or retro-fit to guardrails and barriers on mezzanines.

Each gate is counterbalanced for a positive open and close action, adding to the gate’s ease of operation. Workers above and below will be protected and items can be removed and replaced safely from below.

Constructed from Kee Klamp and Kee Lite fittings, the Pallet Safety Gate is available in both galvanised steel and aluminum, complies with EN 14122-3 and is cycle tested for guaranteed durability.

Utilising mezzanine space in your factory or warehouse has fantastic benefits, but you must always ensure the safety of your workers and other visitors to your site, making it a top priority. Pallet gates safely allow work to continue whilst providing fantastic protection.

http://www.safesite.co.uk

‘Eastern promise’ with Gerflor

The council-run Eastern Leisure Centre in Cardiff had more than 250,000 users last year, but was in urgent need of modernisation. New features have been an open reception area, improved changing rooms, gym and soft play facilities; a new dance studio and spin room.

Gerflor

Councillor Peter Bradbury, cabinet member for community development, Co-operatives and social enterprise, said at the time, “The modernisation of Eastern Leisure Centre has enjoyed strong support from both the community and elected councillors so this multimillion-pound investment will be welcome news.”

The project would be a perfect ‘fit’ for international flooring and interiors specialist Gerflor. They would provide their high-end Taralay Impression Control safety flooring in ‘Infinity Greige’ and ‘Esterel Chocolate’ colours, together with their uber-performing Taraflex® sports flooring in ‘Maple’ and ‘Lagoon’ to the appointed installers Cardiff-based Puma Floors Ltd.

Puma Floors Ltd was founded in November 2001, expanding over the years they now have their own premises together with a fleet of branded vehicles. With a hard-working, talented team of floor-layers, Puma Floors confidently deliver their ability as a company to meet the demands and expectations of their expanding client base, providing specialist flooring work across Wales and the rest of the UK.

Matthew Graves, Commercial Director, Puma Floors Ltd, commented, “We originally provided a quotation at the tender stage when the main contractor was appointed and progressed our sales activity to secure the work by providing a new quotation, which subsequently meant we were appointed”.

With Taralay Impression Control and Taraflex® Sport M Performance from Gerflor being included in the original tender document the project was clearly aiming for high quality products throughout the 1600m2 element of the re-fit.

Gerflor won the 2016 CFJ/CFA product of the year category with their Taralay Impression Control range.

This safety flooring collection is perfect for both refurbishments and new builds. A multi-purpose floorcovering available in 2m sheet format with a Group T wear rating, it’s ideal for a host of heavy traffic environments where slip resistance is a must.

Available as a dual collection: – ‘Safety in Wood’ and ‘Safety in Design’, the range includes realistic woods in contemporary colours and modern all over designs. Taralay Impression Control also has a Pendulum Test value +36, meets HSE guidelines (BS 7976-2) and R11 ramp test value (DIN 51130), together with providing 24 design-led colourways and is suitable for healthcare, education, retail, public spaces, offices and other commercial interiors.

Taralay Impression Control also offers a hygienic solution thanks to a revolutionary UV cured PUR surface treatment for easy cleaning and maintenance. With the Protecsol® Control surface treatment it’s easy to clean, is 100% recyclable offers a state-of-the-art flooring solution for a myriad of applications.

The Eastern Leisure Centre would need a top-performing sports floor to meet the rigours demands of this hugely popular facility which has high levels of sports and leisure traffic.

http://www.gerflor.co.uk/

Taraflex® vinyl sports flooring from Gerflor has been used in many international and local sporting events and is available in 17 colours and three wood-effect designs.

It is available in various solutions meeting different levels of the EN 14904 Standard delivering the full scope of indoor sports surfaces from P1 to P3 solutions. Taraflex® is recognised for providing durability, safety and comfort without impairing performance.

A unique value proposition, the Comfort range offers greater than 45% force reduction, making it unrivalled in the marketplace in terms of offering comfort for users. Taraflex® meets the EN Standard of 22196 for anti- bacterial activity (E. coli – S. aureus – MRSA) (3) returning >99% levels of growth inhibition.

The product is also treated with Protecsol®, which renders polish redundant and is triple action meaning no polish is ever required, it contributes to easy maintenance and is anti-friction burn and slide/grip. Taraflex® has a double density foam backing and with another bonus, it’s environmentally friendly.

Gerflor offers several installation solutions for Taraflex® including the Eco-Fit System which is a fast, free floating installation and it’s versatile enough to be used in various multi-specialist applications.

Matthew Graves finally concluded by saying, “we would definitely specify Gerflor products again. The Eastern Leisure Centre has been a good contract to be involved in, hopefully the refurbished building will be used and enjoyed by the local community for years to come”.

Learn more about Gerflor solutions: ask for a free sample or contact us to speak to a specialist today by calling 01926 622 600, emailing contractuk@gerflor.com, or visiting gerflor.co.uk for the latest innovations.

Vent-Axia Helps the UK Green Building Council Beat Records

Vent-Avia

Vent-Axia has supplied its Lo-Carbon T-Series fan as part of a new office fit-out for a renowned green building charity requiring improved ventilation. The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) has refurbished its London headquarters, with the aim of challenging industry thinking as to what is achievable in a small scale fit out.

The Lo-Carbon T-Series has been installed in windows and a partition wall and was selected as UK-GBC wanted CO2 control for occupancy comfort. Energy efficiency was also key so a low carbon unit, such as the Lo-Carbon T-Series, was essential. Now completed, the project has achieved the lowest embodied carbon footprint ever recorded for an office refurbishment in the UK, with the embodied carbon footprint 22% below a comparable “standard” fit-out.

“We are delighted to be part of this landmark project and for our Lo-Carbon T-Series to have contributed towards achieving such an impressively low embodied carbon footprint” said David Cook, Product Marketing Manager – Non-Residential at Vent-Axia. “It’s 30 years since we first launched the T-Series and it has become the UK’s favourite commercial fan. Known for its robustness and reliability, the T-series’ high quality design has stood the test of time and has evolved with new and improved motors, impellers and grilles.”

Wellbeing measures were another important element of the project and were incorporated into the design in order to improve staff satisfaction, productivity and overall health and wellness. A study by BESA found that 70% of office workers believe poor workplace air quality is having a negative effect on their day-to-day productivity and well-being, and a third are concerned that poor indoor air quality could be having a negative effect on their health. Meanwhile, the report from WorldGBC ‘Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices: The next chapter for green building’ states that the health and productivity benefits of good indoor air quality (IAQ) are well established. With this in mind the UK-GBC office’s innovative ventilation system, which includes Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon T-Series fans, has delivered a massive 750% increase in background fresh air provision

Ideal for refurbishment projects, Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon T-Series Fan range can simply replace traditional commercial extract/supply fans with a low carbon alternative. Central to the Lo-Carbon T-Series is a low energy DC motor, developed to improve performance, lower running costs and carbon emissions while maintaining the T-Series’ rugged reliability. Offering up to 70% energy saving over traditional commercial extract/supply fans the Lo-Carbon T-Series’ DC motor also lasts twice as long as conventional motors. Available in 9 inch and 12 inch models the Lo-Carbon T-Series range includes wall, window and panel fans, offering installation flexibility in retrofit applications. With energy saving in mind, units are supplied with an integral instantaneous automatic louvre shutter concealed behind the interior grille to minimise energy wastage when the fan is idle.

For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone 0844 856 0590.

http://www.vent-axia.com/

Keeping Safe(site) in the sun

Construction Safety - Best PracticeWith temperatures soaring to scorching levels across the UK, off come the shirts on many building sites throughout the country, as workers attempt to deal with the intense heat. Whilst this might feel like a good idea at the time, this can often put them at an even greater risk of skin cancer.

The Imperial College London carried out a survey which showed 48 deaths and 241 cases of melanoma skin cancer each year are caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun at work, and construction workers account for a staggering 44 per cent of these deaths.

Katie Prestidge, who is running roofing systems provider Marley Eternit’s Safe in the Sun Campaign, said: “These latest findings show that there is no room for complacency when it comes to sun safety on site. Most people are careful about applying sun cream when they are abroad on holiday, but wouldn’t necessarily think of taking the same precautions when spending seven hours outside in the summer at work yet, it is just as, if not more, dangerous.

“It is thought that working in the sun could lead to one death and around five new cases of melanoma each week. Yet, 90% of all skin cancer deaths are preventable if workers on site take simple, sun safety precautions.”

With these shocking new figures in mind, we have put together a list of simple, easy-to-follow tips which can help you stay safe in the sun, and may prevent the development of a serious condition such as melanoma in the long term.

> Instead of removing clothes to beat the heat, try to wear long, loose clothing, made from close woven fabric, as this protects your skin from UV rays.

> Make sure you protect your neck and head. 80% of skin cancers develop here, so covering these areas can go a long way to preventing skin cancer. Wear a hat with a brim or flap to cover your ears as well as the back of your neck. Aim for fabrics which have a UPF of 30+

> Avoid the midday sun if possible. UV levels are highest from April until mid-September, so try to stay in the shade during breaks, specifically between 11am and 3pm.

> Despite common belief, having a tan does not protect you from further sun damage. Always make sure you use a high factor sunscreen and reapply regularly. Though this seems obvious, many people don’t apply enough protection to exposed areas or leave enough time for the cream to soak in before going out.

> Drinking plenty of water keeps you from getting dehydrated, and keeps your skin healthy.

> Check your skin often: catching melanoma earlier improves the chances of any treatment, so keep an eye out for any irregular moles or spots. If you find anything out of the ordinary, see your doctor as soon as possible. Moles are the most aggressive form of skin cancer so pay extra attention to these.

> Check the UV index regularly. There are apps which can give you the UV rating as part of the weather forecast, or you can visit the Met Office website.

Remember, 90% of all skin cancer occurrences are preventable, and following the advice in this article will go a long way to keeping you, or your workers, safe in the heat. Click here to view or download our safe working in the sun infographic.

http://www.safesite.co.uk

Altro’s first adeshive-free flooring for low slip risk areas is tough time-saving solution at Warrington Hospital

New Altro CantataTM, the company’s first adhesive-free flooring for areas with a low slip risk, is already demonstrating its capabilities at Warrington Hospital, providing a tough time and cost-saving solution in a busy non-clinical corridor.

Altro safety flooring

Lee Bushell, the hospital’s acting head of capital projects, said: “The service corridor is an area that gets an enormous amount of traffic. It’s in constant use during the day.

“After many years of this treatment, the existing vinyl flooring was really showing the strain. It looked tired, scruffy and we needed to find a hard-wearing, affordable, long-term solution that could be laid with minimal disruption in this busy area.

“We have a very good relationship with Altro and their flooring is proving very successful elsewhere in the hospital, so we asked them to have a look at the corridor and give us some guidance.

“They suggested we use their new Altro Cantata flooring because it could be laid straight down onto the existing flooring, without adhesive, which would mean a fast installation.

New Altro Cantata is a decorative, adhesive-free flooring that creates maximum impact with minimum downtime.

Using Altro’s award-winning adhesive-free installation method, it can be welded and walked on the same day, and at the end of its life removed easily, allowing it to be reused or recycled.

It is ideal for busy public spaces where disruption needs to be minimal, such as hospitals, with the durability needed for medium-to-high-traffic areas. Plus, there are no associated adhesive odours.

Altro Cantata’s 16 soft-look shades, which range from subtle naturals to beautifully vivid, allows you to create just the right colour scheme or tone.

Bushell said: “I was sceptical that Altro Cantata would be able to meet our needs, but I am very pleased that I have been proved wrong and it has been perfect for us in so many ways.

“There was a very-short window for installation because the corridor is in use until 7pm, but the process went very smoothly and was completed in just one night.

“A flooring that needs adhesive would have taken 3-4 days to fit. Altro Cantata has delivered a massive saving in cost and the corridor was back in full use the next morning.

When speaking of the floor handling foot and wheeled traffic, he added: “It’s standing up to the demands well with no signs of movement, bubbling or rippling, which proves it truly is a long-term solution and not just a temporary fix.

“In terms of aesthetics, the flooring looks superb. There are some great colour choices. We selected a pale ice blue, which perfectly matches the colour scheme of the corridor.

“And ceaning is proving to be a revelation. The black scuffs and wheel marks from the trolleys were always tough to remove on the old flooring. Initially our cleaning team was doubtful they could get the marks off the new flooring, and nervous of using the scrubber and buffer because they thought they might do some damage.

“But we are delighted to report that the flooring comes up like new after every nightly cleaning regime and even the stubborn black wheel marks are gone. Scrubbing machines and buffers are doing a wonderful job, with no damage.

“Sustainability is also an important factor for us. Because Altro Cantata is an adhesive-free flooring, it means that in the future, if we need to make repairs, we can simply cut out a section and replace it without having to re-lay the entire area. And the product is 100% recyclable as well.

“Overall, Altro Cantata is meeting all our needs in terms of cost saving, durability, looks and hygiene.

“This is vital at a time when the NHS is looking to make savings where possible, while also maintaining the highest standards.”

The hospital is now looking to place the product in another non-clinical area where there are similar issues with installation time.

Altro Cantata was installed at Warrington Hospital by Cheshire Contract Flooring. Director, Dave Hunt, said: “The beauty of Altro Cantata is that it can be laid straight down on to the subfloor, or existing flooring, with minimal preparation.

“There is no need to grind the floor, or put down a DPM, or prime, screed or use adhesive. This is a massive time and cost saver, a real fast-track solution.

“Plus there is no need to wait for adhesive to dry and cure, so the flooring can be used and walked on immediately.

“It’s an ideal product for busy areas with heavy traffic where quick installation is paramount.”

www.altro.co.uk

Galvanised Kee Fittings v Fabricated

In any area where there are people, it is vital they are protected and kept separate from hazards such as heights, perimeter edges or water. Guardrails and handrails serve as a barrier between the public or contractors and hazards.

Once installed, it is vital guardrails and handrails continue to offer the highest level of safety, and the best way to ensure this is by using the highest quality components

The problem with fabricated guardrails and handrails

A popular hazard protection option is fabricated guardrails and handrails. These are fabricated off-site and require a lot of preparation and design work which requires many draft versions. The prefabricated structures are then delivered to the site and must be installed by a skilled fitter with the required training and permits, creating many health and safety issues.

Furthermore, cutting holes for fitting breaches the railing’s anti-corrosion coatings which are further compromised by welding. This integrity can be restored via painting but this will have to be meticulously maintained once installed.

Guardrails and handrails

Many rails are exposed to corrosive conditions which can eat away at the material of the guardrail and once the structure is weakened sufficiently, the railing itself becomes a hazard.

Once fabricated guardrails and handrails become damaged, the only way to repair them is by cutting out the problem section and welding in a replacement, once again bringing up a whole host of issues.

Guardrails and handrails

The Kee Systems alternative

Kee Systems offers a simple, durable alternative to fabricated guardrails and handrails in the form of Kee Klamp® hot dip galvanised iron and Kee Lite® aluminium fittings. Slip-on components and lengths of tube ensure complete hazard protection without the issues that fabricated guardrails and handrails create.

Guardrails and handrails

Kee fittings are hugely flexible, only requiring a general arrangement drawing and removing the need for a highly skilled labourer and work permits, as anyone can fit the railing thanks to the use of simple hexagonal set screws locking the fitting to the tube.

There is also no cutting required, so the tube maintains its integrity, another benefit over fabricated systems.

In a modern marine climate, such as a town like Newcastle-Upon-Thames, the average lifetime of typical hot-dip galvanised fittings is calculated to be around 37 years.

The benefits of Kee Fittings

Kee Klamp® and Kee Lite® fittings offer a strong and durable solution to separating people from hazards, are more resilient to corrosion and can last up to seven times longer than fabricated barriers and handrails. They also eliminate the need for welding, cutting, threading or bolting and remove the need for skilled labour and permits for work.

With Kee fittings you can save time and money thanks to the quick and easy installation, as well as feel assured that your guardrail will do the job thanks to a wide range of components for every situation.

https://keesystems.com

Washroom design for the well educated

With so many rules and regulations surrounding the practicalities of washroom design in educational settings, Daniel Ward, Senior Ceramics Product Manager for Twyford, talks us through the dos and don’ts of sanitary specification for the school environment.

Specifying products for washrooms within the education sector may seem like a fairly straightforward task, but there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account to ensure not only that regulations are met, but that the space is well designed, comfortable and practical.

Lack of privacy, vandalism and inadequate cleaning and maintenance can make a visit to the toilet an unpleasant and unhealthy experience for students. In fact, recent research undertaken by charity Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence (ERIC) highlighted that the quality of school toilets has a huge impact on pupils’ health, education and happiness. Therefore the design of washrooms in education premises needs to be about a lot more than simply providing enough toilets and washbasins.

Laying out the order

The overall layout of school washrooms is a good place to start. As well as adhering to regulations regarding wheelchair accessible cubicles, all standard cubicles must have a minimum 450mm-diameter manoeuvring space that is clear of the door swing. And of course, when you are designing spaces for growing children, the sizes and fixing heights of sanitaryware must be suitable for the relevant user age groups too. Short projection WCs offer a good solution here, creating the necessary space while still ensuring user comfort. Wall-mounting the pan with a suitable framing system will enable the height of the WC to be easily adjusted during installation, to better meet the needs of the user.

Hygiene first

Aside from layout, hygiene in this environment is extremely important too, with ease of cleaning being key to students’ health and wellbeing. So much so that the Department for Education offers guidance on the issue, stating that to avoid build-up of dirt and germs, the toilets in schools should be wall-hung or back to wall.. This also offers a solution with regards to ensuring plumbing work is tamper-proof, a particular point of note when specifying for colleges and universities which serve older children and young adults. The cistern and pipework concealed within the framing system, preventing interference, while being easy to access for maintenance purposes. A dual-flush cistern sitting neatly behind the wall will also help to significantly reduce the amount of water used, while not affecting overall flushing performance. This is particularly important in educational establishments, which are high-traffic areas with the potential for toilets to be flushed literally hundreds of times in any one day.

It is also worth noting that in schools, particularly where younger users are present, the recommendation is also to avoid urinals, but where they are specified to opt for individual bowls rather than a trough, with modestly panels for privacy.

sanitaryware
Twyford offers a Rimfree school pans and Flushwise water-efficient WC flushing options.

Water-saving pays off

The washbasins in school washrooms should also be subject to a number of practical considerations. Of course, ease of cleaning for hygiene reasons remains imperative, making ceramics that are coated with an easy to clean glaze a particular benefit, while the choice of brassware is also important. Not only should mixer taps for washbasins be robust and tamper-proof, ideally they should be fitted with an automatic shut-off too, either through a built-in timed delivery feature or infra-red sensors.

Energy and water are a major proportion of non-staff costs in schools, colleges and universities and a major part of their environmental impact. While some schools will have greater scope for savings than others, overall more than 20% of energy is wasted, and a school that is equipped with water conservation devices, such as taps with automatic shut-offs or flow restrictors, plus dual-flush WCS, typically use less than half the amount of water used in schools where such features are not present.

Longevity guarantee

Keeping maintenance levels as low as possible is an important requirement in school buildings, where downtime in washrooms can be at best inconvenient for staff and students. This makes the specification of quality sanitary fittings that will be hard-wearing and durable, of particular significance. To limit the frequency of replacing such fixtures and fittings, their life expectancy should be around 15-20 years, with a manufacturer’s guarantee providing the best scope for this.

There are undoubtedly a lot of things to consider when designing washrooms for educational establishments, with all elements really carrying an equal weight of importance. The trick to ticking all of them off and achieving a successful design is to establish a strong relationship with a manufacturer who is able to respond to all aspects of a washroom’s design, from layouts and dimensions to styles and materials as standard, so that there is never any need to compromise.

For more details contact Twyford on 01926 516800 or visit www.twyfordbathrooms.com.

Why you need to tread carefully on fragile roofs

By Soni Sheimar, General Manager, Easi-Dec

Every year nine people on average fall to their deaths from fragile roofs or through roof lights. Many more suffer serious, life-changing injuries.

Falls through fragile roofs or materials usually occur on the roofs of factories, warehouses and farm buildings where workers are carrying out repairs, maintaining or installing equipment, cleaning gutters and skylights, or whilst carrying out general roof work.   All these accidents are fully avoidable through careful planning and ensuring safe working procedures.

roof safety

What is a fragile surface?

Work on fragile surfaces is high risk, and as a result, the HSE requires that effective precautions are taken for any form of work on or near fragile surfaces.  Accidents can be avoided as long as suitable equipment is used and those carrying out the work are provided with adequate information, training and supervision.

Access onto a roof is often required for maintenance, inspection, cleaning or general repairs.   Fragile surfaces such as the ones we are reading about are typically found on factories and warehouses and can include:

·     Roof lights and skylights

·     Corroded metal sheets

·     Non-reinforced fibre cement sheets

·     Roof slates and tiles

·     Glass such as wired glass

How to tread carefully

The principles of working on fragile surfaces are exactly the same as any other form of work at height, so if you apply the hierarchy of control you should be able to ensure that the work can be carried out safely. 

In an ideal world, the preferred option is to avoid working at height, but as we all know this isn’t always possible, so the next consideration would be to look at methods which would allow work to be carried out without actually stepping onto the roof itself, such as MEWPs.

If access onto the fragile roof cannot be overcome then you will need to look at how the area can be accessed safely and then put into place measures that can alleviate the distance and consequences of a potential fall.   

This can be done in a number of ways, such as protecting the edge of the roof with guardrail, using staging or platforms with edge protection on the roof to spread the load or by protecting fragile roof lights and skylights with a cover to prevent access onto the surface itself.  

roof safety

When access is needed to run from the eaves to the ridge, mesh walkways could be used to spread the weight across the support battens so that workers can safely move along the full length of the systems.

Lightweight mobile walking frames on the other hand are ideal for maintenance of valleys and box gutters on fragile roofs and can provide safe access for up to two people.

A responsible approach

Falls through fragile surfaces account for nearly a fifth of all fatalities as a result of a fall from height in the construction industry.  The worker in the case I highlighted at the start of this post was lucky in that he survived.  However he did suffer serious injuries to his back and sternum and wore a full body brace for six weeks following the incident.

Companies have a legal duty to ensure they have done all they can to prevent accidents and with the range of products available today, particularly for working on fragile materials, there really is no reason for these accidents to still be happening.

For more information, visit www.easi-dec.co.uk

Top Tips for Safe Spring Maintenance

By Soni Sheimar, Easi-Dec General Manager

With the arrival of spring, and winter firmly behind us, now is the time for business owners and landlords to take a look at the roofs of their premises to see what damage the colder months left in their wake.

Whether you are a contractor or the owner of the premises, it is important you know the best way to safely inspect and maintain a building, to ensure the safety of yourself and any contractors in your care.

Planned maintenance can include both plant and equipment as well as repairs to the roof itself, dependent on the type of roof.

If you follow these top tips, you’ll be able to ensure you avoid any issues, such as serious injury or worse, when carrying out spring maintenance.

1. It doesn’t matter what height you’re working at, work at height is by nature dangerous, even more so in the months after winter, when all manner of horrible damage can be hiding away. When possible, try to avoid having to work at height, if this isn’t possible then look at alternative ways to do the work. For example, if cleaning windows, use a reach and wash system rather than a ladder. if you absolutely have to use a ladder then always take advantage of the Easi-Dec Ladder accessories range to provide further support.

Easi-Dec ladder safety

2. Make sure that you always carry out a risk assessment before starting the work to determine what equipment you will need and to identify who could potentially be in danger or be affected by your work. Is there the possibility that someone could be hit by falling objects?

3. When using a ladder, carry out pre-use checks to identify any defects or damages which could prevent safe use. Areas to inspect include the stiles, feet, rungs, steps/treads, platform and locking mechanisms. Make sure the ladder is long enough or high enough for the specific task. Make sure the ground is firm and level and clear of any debris.

4. Always make sure that the user is competent to carry out the work. Competency is essential. Only those who are fully trained in working at height and using equipment such as ladders safely will have the correct skills, knowledge and experience to work safely.

5. And perhaps most importantly of all, always plan the work carefully. This is even more vital after the winter months when there could be hidden risks.

Working at height can be dangerous at the best of times, so remember, if you are not sure about anything or do not believe you are competent or capable of carrying out the task at hand, always seek professional advice.

Good to know: Easi-Dec offers many different products and systems to make working at height all year round safer and more efficient.

http://easi-dec.co.uk/

Charcon’s Cycle Kerb Wins Top London Innovation Award

Cycle Kerb Segregation System

Charcon, the commercial hard landscaping division of Aggregate Industries, has been crowned the winner of the Innovation of the Year – Materials category at the 2016 London Construction Awards, thanks to its Eco Countryside™ Cycle Kerb Segregation System.

The judges were impressed by Charcon’s creativity and expertise in developing a bespoke hard landscaping solution that would serve as a safe and sustainable segregation system which, in the case of the Mayor’s Flagship Cycle Superhighway 2 (CS2), is already helping to reduce the number of accidents on London’s roads.

The creation of this innovative product derived from TfL’s significant investment in the CS2 between Aldgate and Bow interchange to make the route safer for cyclists and other road users, following a significant amount of cycle related incidents in the area.

The challenge was to create a unique integrated system that reduced both installation time and traffic disruption.  The Eco Countryside™ Cycle Kerb Segregation System was subsequently developed by Charcon’s technical team as an alternative to the imported granite kerb configuration with concrete block paving inlay previously used.  Replicating the aesthetics of natural granite, it has offered a 33% carbon footprint reduction due to being manufactured in the UK, utilising 82% recycled and secondary material content.  Installation time for construction of the cycle route was reduced by 50%, which in turn impacted positively on the cost of preliminaries and traffic management.

Winning such a prestigious accolade cements Charcon’s position as the market leader for bespoke cycle segregation systems.  The Eco Countryside Kerb strengthens Charcon’s existing range of cycle kerbs which have been manufactured for various cycleway projects across the country, for the likes of Cambridgeshire County Council and Nottingham City Council.

The Charcon team attended the ceremony at London’s Royal Garden Hotel on Wednesday 26th October, with Mike Davies, Category Manager for Charcon, collecting the award.  On winning the award, Mike comments: “Being awarded Innovation of the Year for this particular project makes us incredibly proud. We worked hard to develop and supply 24,000l/m of a product that would not only improve the safety of the cyclists and other road users, but also that of the contractors due to the ease and speed of installation which also reduced the impact on road users during construction. We’d like to thank TfL and Ringway Jacobs for giving us the opportunity to partner with them on such an important project which, quite literally, will help to save lives.

“With the growth of cycleway infrastructure throughout the country, the potential for our segregation kerb solutions is significant and we have already seen an increasing number of Local Authorities showing an interest.”

For further information about Charcon range of products, visit www.charcon.com or call 01335 372 222.