Health and safety in the construction industry

Although the UK construction industry has made excellent progress in improving its health and safety record recently, it still unfortunately remains one of the most dangerous places to work in Britain. The Health and Safety Executive statistics show that while only around 5% of the British workforce is employed in construction, it accounts for 22% of fatal injuries to employees. It has also been found that construction workers face a high risk of occupational ill health, as a result of exposure to respiratory, skin and physical health hazards, such as asbestos, dust, noise, hand-arm vibration and cement and so it is vital that everyone involved in construction whether it be clients, designers or contractors takes steps to ensure the health and safety of the tasks and projects they are responsible for.

Contractors are particularly at the forefront when looking at the risks on site such as working at height, vehicle movements around the site and protecting workers from injury from asbestos and dusts. In order to effectively control the risks from construction work, all parties involved must therefore work together to identify hazards and implement suitable control measures. This involves planning for and managing hazards on site no matter the size or duration of the construction project.

Project managing major alterations to the home

For some people, the challenge of project managing the renovations or alterations to their own property is one that they relish whereas others may feel that tackling this task may be beyond their knowledge and skills and they take it on purely to save money. It certainly should not be embarked on lightly and having tradespeople that are reliable and trustworthy will definitely make things run more smoothly. Always ask for references from tradespeople and if possible visit sites that they have worked on previously and speak to clients.

It is essential at the outset to set a realistic budget for the work to be done and to add ten percent for any contingencies. Getting quotes based on an accurate schedule of work ensures that like for like comparisons can be made between different builders and the more detailed the schedule the more accurate the price will be. Remember to make your plans fit your budget not the other way round to avoid going way over budget and having to cut corners towards the end of the project.

Before any alteration work starts it is important to check whether any planning permission is needed and if so how to go about getting this. An experienced builder will usually be able to advise the homeowner on this issue and recommend an architect if necessary. Do not be tempted to do any works without the required permission as it can be costly at a later date to put things right.

Planning the timing of work to be done is a tricky issue as some work needs to be completed in a specific order especially concerning electrical or plumbing work that involves first fix and then later after plastering has been completed, second fix. Research will need to be done or advise asked of the builder to ensure there are no holdups in building progress.

It is inevitable that there will be hiccoughs along the way but most of these small problems can be overcome and so it is important if you are to manage the project successfully that you do not panic and plan carefully how to proceed.

In order to keep tradespeople on side it is a good idea to provide a kettle and even tea and coffee so that they can get a drink during the day, it will be appreciated and may help the project to run a little more smoothly if you are lucky.

Install a light tunnel to bring light into your home

If you are carrying out alterations to a property, the situation may arise that a window has had to be removed or blocked off resulting in there being insufficient light coming into a room. This can often happen in a bathroom or on a landing. Light tunnels, which can sometimes be called sky tunnels, sun tubes, roof lights or tube lights are an ideal solution to this problem and can be installed into most roof structures.

Installing a light tunnel into an external roof is a similar process to that of installing Velux windows, and can be fitted by a professional or by someone with some building knowledge and experience.

A Light tunnel consists basically of a roof dome connected to flexible or rigid reflective tubing leading to an internal lighting unit. This lighting unit acts as a diffuser which spreads the light from its source evenly into the room. The main purpose of the tube itself is to carry the light from the roof, down the tube and out of the internal diffuser with as few bounces as possible, keeping in mind that every bounce that occurs can degrade the amount of light.

Many people choose light tunnels as an alternative to artificial lighting as it is free and does not require any energy to run it and because it gives a much nicer lighting effect during daylight hours.

Commercial Retractable Roofs for Year-Round Usage

Businesses and commercial organisations are often looking for different ways to extend and expand businesses – the trouble being the cost and the time taken for such works. Commercial retractable roof systems offer a viable option for many businesses, allowing you to expand your usable space by making the outdoor areas of your premises a part of your main property. The kinds of retractable roof systems on the market are very advanced, and will have lots of potential when it comes to making your property more usable and more practicable, as well as more attractive to your customers. Continue reading “Commercial Retractable Roofs for Year-Round Usage”

Can you Get Black Friday Deals on Roofing Equipment?

Black Friday is now a big thing in the UK. Whilst previously it was only really heard of in the US, people all over the world now love the opportunity to shop for some bargains. If you are in the construction industry, you won’t be missing out because Black Friday covers all kinds of products.

If there are websites where you usually order you roofing supplies, check them out to see if they have any deals or packages. There may be some good offers so you can stock up on what you regularly use.

If you are looking for something more specialist, like a rooflight for a certain project, make this the time to look. Check supplier websites for discounts on products and see if you can find an offer that include free delivery of your new rooflight. Many suppliers know they need to stay competitive, so it is a great time to shop.