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Hospital Asbestos 'a ticking time bomb'

Interesting article from the BBC in regard to asbestos in hospitals. It states that 94% of hospitals in London contain asbestos, what does this mean for the rest of the country? Doctor Peter Szlosarek, consultant oncologist at Barts Hospital, who is studying mesothelioma, has highlighted the following facts:- About 2,600 people die each year in the UK from the condition which affects the lungs Symptoms include breathlessness, cough, chest pain, night sweats and in rare cases damage to the spinal...
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Local Schools Closed Due to Asbestos

Close to home we have read that two schools in Shefford have been closed due to Asbestos contamination. Nearby demolition work has caused issues regarding the safety of the environment. There were unconfirmed risks concerning the safety of the site, this is due to the boiler room being partly demolished.  Pupils were sent home as a safety measure. What it doesn't say is if a pre-demolition survey was carried out. . . . . If you are a building custodian, a client or a landlord Ai Solutions...
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Construction Fatalities Update

We note that construction worker fatalities dropped significantly in the year end to March 2017 reaching an all-time low. This is great news. However there were 30 fatalities across construction during 2016/17 and, according to the HSE (PDF), this is the lowest on record. Interestingly of the 30 construction worker deaths, 22 were employed and eight self-employed and the HSE indicate that twelve of these were due to 'falls from height'. Additionally there were four members of the public died...
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Fire Testing May Lead to Prosecutions

Still in the aftermath of the Grenfell tragedy we are seeing more councils, and other large landlords, carrying out fire safety tests their building portfolios. We note that up to 95 tower blocks in 26 local authorities have now failed tests on cladding. Although there were 95 tower blocks that failed tests a number are yet to be tested. It's looking like a huge issue for all concerned. Police announced that the force was keeping open the option of issuing manslaughter, or other criminal charges,...
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Housing Crisis

We are still seeing a lot of news regarding the housing crisis. It is hoped that now the new housing minister, Alok Sharma, is on board things will start to improve. The construction industry will all be keen to see what progress the government will make in regard to its white paper, which was published earlier this year. The white paper was part of a plan to 'fix' the UK's broken housing market and it sets out reforms to boost the supply of new homes in the England. However, our new government...
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Scaffolding - Dangers of Unsupervised Staff

A local company in St Albans has recently been fined due to lack of supervision of their staff. Luton magistrates' court that a 20 year old worker was working on scaffolding when he lost all points of contact while climbing a ladder. The court found that the worker was 'unsupervised' and 'working alone' on the scaffolding. They also noted that the worker was not put through any training. The recommended path is through CISRS (Construction Industry Scaffolding Record Scheme) and all workers that...
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Asbestos Surveying Made Easy

Calling all Surveyors! How long do you think it actually takes you to carry out your survey? This needs to also include creation of the Asbestos Survey Report, adding in any ACM details, photos, asbestos registers, MAS, RAS, PAS, etc.? Well could we estimate a minimum of at least 5-10 days? The time it takes to actually carry out the physical survey can pale into comparison when you have to then go back to the office and have to create the report for your client. But then again, you are a business...
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Going Forward - Grenfell Tower Fire

We have all seen the news about the tragic events regarding Grenfell Tower. Sadly it takes an event like this to make government start shouting at landlords, housing associations and councils to 'get their fire safety checks done'. Many buildings like Grenfell are now under scrutiny; some of these buildings have undergone refurbishments where, it's been suggested, poor quality (less fire resistant) construction materials have been used. The consequence of this is that they will now have to readdress...
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Working From Height - That Old Chestnut

Working at height still accounts for a large proportion of accidents within the construction industry. However we do seem to be getting better at safety as is highlighted by the NASC 2017 Safety Report. Scaffolding and the use of MEWP's to carry out work at height has meant less accidents on site when complying with the industry safety standards, SG4:15. That said, we still have a way to go with training standards and the delivery of courses to support our scaffolders. It is nice to see that progress...
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CSCS Card Update

With more and more fraudulent practices in place within the building industry we note that there is hope! The National Demolition Training Group can now provide an on-site smart card audit. The audit is carried out by CECA and Build UK. This is not the only area that has fallen ill of these types of fraud, however it is great to see that there are those who offer this service. Making sure, at a minimum, that all the cards checked are still valid (not expired) and that none were fraudulent. Additionally...
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