News

Further fall in construction inspections

Construction deaths rise

The number of unannounced construction inspections being undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive continued to drop last year according to construction union UCATT. In 2015/16 there was a total of 9,219 inspections compared to 9,656 in 2014/15, a decrease of 4%. The number of construction inspections has been declining steadily in recent years with figures revealing that in three …

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No excuses for being overweight

vehicle loading

With figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) revealing that almost nine in 10 (88.5%) of the 2,381 vans it weighed last year were overloaded, Venson Automotive Solutions is urging van owners to ensure their vehicles are safe and legally road compliant. Van operators need to take into consideration how their vehicles are used, including the working environment …

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Construction training charity to close

Building Lives

Building Lives, the award-winning construction training charity, is to close at the end of the month due to a lack of sustainable funding. Building Lives was started by Lakehouse founder Steve Rawlings in 2010 and has taken those furthest from the workforce and trained them for successful careers in construction. The charity’s closure comes at a time when skills shortages …

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80% of Builders Will Base EU Decision on Broader Personal Beliefs

Construction workers

More than 80% of bosses of small construction firms will overwhelmingly base their decision to remain or leave the EU on their broader personal beliefs instead of their business interests, according to a new poll by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). The poll also showed that: Builders rank the UK Government’s ability to freely legislate in a way that specifically …

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Enterprise Act 2016 to speed claims payments

tools stolen from site

Tradespeople and small contractors struggling with late payment issues should welcome changes to the speed of commercial insurance claims payments as part of the Enterprise Act according to ECIC, the specialist insurer for the construction sector. Unnecessary delays in claims payments should be a thing of the past, with the Enterprise Bill having now become law, giving the UK’s smaller …

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UCATT to become part of Unite

UCATT members

UCATT  has voted for a merger or transfer of engagements to Unite the Union following a period of financial difficulty. The dedicated construction workers union said it made the decision in order to preserve its existing structures and to maximise the representation of construction workers in all sectors. Following the vote UCATT will now enter into full negotiations with Unite …

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Government approves new plastering apprenticeship standard

shortage of roofers

A new apprenticeship standard for plastering has been approved by the Government as part of the trailblazer initiative, with a new bricklaying standard to be agreed in the near future. The new standards, which have been designed as part of a collaboration led by construction SMEs from across England, will be rolled out as soon as autumn 2017. Welcoming the …

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Darlington man jailed for illegal gas work

Construction deaths rise

A Darlington man has been jailed for carrying out illegal gas work on three occasions. Teeside Magistrates’ Court heard Neil Simon McKimm (trading as Macs Plumbing Services) carried out gas work including servicing boilers. McKimm used the alias of a legitimate gas engineer to deceive his customers. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Neil McKimm …

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Just 12% of construction students becoming apprentices

ITC Concepts

Construction union UCATT has accused the government of pouring money down the drain after discovering that while 167, 000 young people started training courses for jobs in the construction industry in 2014/15, in that same year only 18,000 secured an apprenticeship in the building trades. The figures were divulged – via a UCATT Freedom of Information request – by the …

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Turn Your Ideas into Reality Urges Gripfit Fixings Founder

Travis Perkins Innovation Awards

Jordan Daykin, the owner of GripIt fixings and the greatest success on Dragons’ Den to date, is urging fellow inventors and entrepreneurs who work in trade professions to turn their great ideas into reality by entering the Travis Perkins Innovation Awards (TPIA) before the 30th June deadline. Now a £14 million business, Jordan and his GripIt fixings are a testament …

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The Cladman One Man Cladding Device

the Cladman

Roger Bisby meets James Gibbons, from Sitebuddyz, suppliers of a device called the Cladman which turns the job of putting up sidings or claddings from a two man job into a one man job. With one person cutting and one person fixing, Sitbuddyz estimates you can complete jobs at three times the speed it normally takes. Acting as a second …

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Most considerate construction companies named

Considerate Constructors

Costain, Gentoo Construction, Robert Woodhead Ltd and Walter Thompson (Contractors) have each been awarded the  title of Most Considerate Site at the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s 2016 National Site Awards. It is the first time that four sites have won the accolade, following the introduction of ‘value bands’ which means sites are assessed against projects of similar value including: Under £500k; …

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Scaffold company fined for safety failings

Construction deaths rise

A Scaffold company in Bridgend has been fined for safety failings following a routine inspection. Llanelli Magistrates’ Court heard how OW Scaffolding was working at Heol y Parc, Cefneithin when they had a routine inspection which highlighted several safety failings. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident which occurred on 30 September 2015 found that …

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Balfour Beatty fined £2.6 million after worker killed in trench

Construction deaths rise

Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions has been fined £2.6 million after an employee was killed when the trench he was working in collapsed on him in Lancashire. On the 14 April 2010, James Sim, a 32-year-old  sub-contractor working on behalf of Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions, was working in a trench, laying ducting for new cable for an offshore windfarm that was …

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Worker loses life after roof fall

Construction deaths rise

A Birmingham maintenance company has been fined after a worker died after falling 14 foot from the roof of a five-storey building. Birmingham Crown Court heard how H20 Plumbing Services Limited were contracted to carry out repairs to two motor rooms situated on the roof of a building on Hagley Road, Birmingham. Two workers set up a station immediately outside …

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Brickies Most in Demand of Construction Workers

Small builders

Salaries for small building firms are soaring as a result of the growing skills shortage with brickies able to demand the highest wages, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). Brickies wages reach £60,000 in London Commenting on the results of the FMB’s State of Trade Survey for Q1 2016, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “More …

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Demolition company fined for unsafe work at height

Construction deaths rise

A demolition company from Nottinghamshire has been fined for safety failings following a report to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard how Prodem Demolition and Asbestos Limited were removing tiles from a domestic property when they were reported to the HSE for unsafe work at height activity. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) …

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