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Stay safe around asbestos with Facelift

29 August 2015 Email this article

Asbestos, once a widely used building material, is now known to cause everything from scarring of the lungs to fatal lung cancer. Subsequently, its use was banned in 1999. However, this ban does not mean that the danger has passed. Because the ban was only introduced in 1999, there is a risk that in any building built before this year (i.e. most of them) asbestos will be present, ready to be rele ... more

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FMB issue warning over skills shortages

29 August 2015 Email this article

Two thirds of small construction businesses have had to turn work down because of skills shortages, according to new data from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). It reports that some 66% of smaller-scale businesses within the sector, while close to half of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) polled by the trade body said they have also had to outsource work to third parties, in ... more

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Construction economists predict four years of growth

29 August 2015 Email this article

The latest forecast from the Construction Products Association (CPA) confirms confidence in the industry’s prospects over the next few years, despite a downgrade in this year’s expected growth. Four months ago the Construction Products Association (CPA) forecasted total construction output to grow by 5.5% in 2015. It now expects growth of 4.9% for this year. However, its 2016 foreca ... more

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Super-sewer mobilisation starts

29 August 2015 Email this article

Contractors are starting to mobilise for the construction of London’s £4.2bn super-sewer. Following Ofwat signing off the deal between Thames Water and project licensee Bazalgette Tunnel Ltd, construction contractors are now being mobilised to start work on London’s £4.2bn super-sewer. The firms working on the sewer will be: West contract: BMB JV (BAM Nuttall, Mor ... more

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IPAF - MEWPs the safest way to work at height

29 August 2015 Email this article

Preliminary fatal injury rate calculations confirm that mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) are one of the safest ways to perform temporary work at height, according to a new analysis from the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF). This latest analysis complements IPAF’s release of the 2014 MEWP-related accident data and indicates that although the total MEWP rental fleet has ... more

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Powis Castle extreme gardening with cherry picker

29 August 2015 Email this article

If you think trimming the hedges is a chore, be thankful you don’t have the foliage of Powis Castle in Wales to contend with. This BBC article reports that gardener Dan Bull spends 10 weeks a year on a cherrypicker trying to tame this 55ft (17 metre) hedge at the castle in Welshpool, Powys. It’s certainly safer than the previous method used to trim the hedges, however. In the past, t ... more

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Building material shortages 'easing'

29 August 2015 Email this article

Shortages of building materials affecting the recovery of the construction industry are beginning to ease, a survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors shows. The research showed that while some construction firms are still experiencing problems sourcing materials, the situation has improved since last year, when 60% of respondents said their projects were constrained by materials s ... more

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Roofing company prosecuted over safety breaches

29 August 2015 Email this article

Following an incident in September 2013, HSE attended a property on Paragon Place, London and subsequently prosecuted, Chris Ball & Son Roofing Ltd., of Greenwich, for safety breaches. West London Magistrates heard that two roof workers were tasked with removing tiles and re-felting a gulley area adjacent to a pitched roof. However, the company had failed to provide any edge ... more

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Scaffolding firm fined after worker killed in fall

29 August 2015 Email this article

A Glasgow scaffolding firm has been fined after a roof worker fell nearly six metres to his death. James Baillie, aged 53, suffered serious head injuries after he fell through a scaffold tower deck whilst carrying out roof work at a two storey domestic property in Thorntonhall, South Lanarkshire on in September 2011. He died from his injuries the next day. Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that ... more

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Roofing contractor fined after employee fell through fragile roof

29 August 2015 Email this article

A roofing contractor in Norwich has been fined after his employee fell seven metres through a roof on which he was working. Sole trader Leighton Johnson and his employee were completing a job on a fragile roof at a factory in Kings Lynn on 11 August 2014. The 26-year-old employee was kneeling on a scaffolding board on top of the roof when he fell forward and smashed through a roof light. He ... more

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