Archive Construction

The following are posts with the 'Construction' tag:

Tideway Tunnel Sets High Standards for Health & Safety

One of the largest infrastructure projects currently underway is the Tideway Tunnel. We were lucky enough to hear the Asset Management Director, Roger Bailey, of Thames Tideway Tunnel speak at the recent Infrastructure Show. For us on the day the interesting part of his delivery was the push on Health and Safety and their Partnership Alliance. He spoke of the fact that Health and Safety is 'central' for this project, and they are using lessons learned from the Olympics as well as other large projects.
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Infrastructure Visit 2018

We had the pleasure of visiting the UK Infrastructure Show last week and were pleased to see that there we quite a few major construction works being planned around the UK. This goes along with what we are hearing in the news regarding construction being 'on the up'. There were not as many distributors and stands as normal at this event; however what was there was relevant to the industry and interesting. Additionally the break out areas and keynote talks were thought-provoking and of high quality...
[Read on about Infrastructure Visit 2018]

Gender Pay Gap Within Construction

We may well have blown the trumpet on this one many times before but it is still a major issue within the construction industry. In fact the Construction News has reported that the construction industry are the worst offenders. The gender pay gap reflects the differences in the median hourly wage for a man and a woman in an organisation.  We also note that by April 4th all UK companies with 250 employees or more were required to declare their gender pay gap to the Government Equalities Office...
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HSE Making The Case For BIM

The HSE have published a report in conjunction with researchers for the Health and Safety Laboratory and with input from the BIM 4 Health and Safety Workgroup which details how digital engineering could make a difference to Health and Safety. We note that the report includes several case studies. These case studies show how digital modelling has saved either time and/or cost, provided better end product visualisation, facilitated better collaboration and, most importantly, cut down on hazards and...
[Read on about HSE Making The Case For BIM]

Working in a BIM Environment in 2018

Despite the snowy weather last week we visited RIBA to attend an event they were running in regard to using BIM in 2018. As we all know the government has stated their requirements for BIM level2 on public sector projects but the expectation is that we will all start using BIM to design and deliver projects that will, eventually, save the market billions of pounds by providing better, safer designs. A tall order? We think not. The discussions on the day highlighted that BIM modelling was a great...
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Lead Paint Awareness for Program of Works

Are you initiating a new program of works? Where work is proposed and it will disturb paintwork, then you, employers and all workers on site must comply with The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW). If the construction work undertaken is with a pre-1970 building be that demolition, refurbishment, maintenance, simple retro fitting or building repair the exposure risks of lead paint will be high.  It may be disturbing old paint beneath that has never been stripped properly. ...
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PAS 1192-6 is imminent

PAS 1192-6, Specification for collaborative sharing and use of structured Health and Safety information using BIM, is likely to be published early in February 2018. For obvious reasons, this article is based on the latest draft of the PAS, but it is likely that there will not be significant changes within the final version.  The increased use of 'Building Information Modelling' (BIM) for both building and infrastructure projects provides greater opportunities to identify 'foreseeable risk'...
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Centre of Digital Built Britain

With BIM (Building Information Modelling) being the buzzword at the moment we were interested to see that a partnership has grown between the Department of Business and Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge. Their aim is "to transform the UK construction industry's approach to the way we plan, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure". They have a number of courses within the built environment that include recommendations form this new government directive. BIM...
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Safe Methods of Working on Building Sites

Despite having the regulations to guide us and despite excellent health and safety on construction sites, workers are still being hurt. Why is this? Most of the larger contractors, and many of the smaller contractors, have carried out their Risk Assessments and put in place Method Statements which outline 'how' the work needs to be carried out in order to keep the worker safe. But what are they if not followed? What can be done to ensure that they are followed? A Safe Work Procedure is...
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Progress your Career in Construction

If you are already working within the construction industry and want to progress your career, or you are just starting out, it is advisable to ensure you have the right qualifications to support you in your role. UCEM (University College of Estate Management) have a range of undergraduate and postgraduate professionally accredited online programmes that provide a flexible and cost-effective route to gaining chartered status. They offer Undergraduate programmes, MBA's BSc's and Apprenticeships that...
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Design for Accessibility

There is a lot in the health and safety news lately about 'disability issues' within construction. From our perspective CDM2015 states that designers have a responsibility to ensure that, whatever they design, be it a road, building, bus stop, bridge etc., consideration as to its use, operation and maintenance should ensure that no person is put at risk. The Equality Act 2010 states that clients and contractors should provide 'reasonable alternative access' when constructing. There should be reasonable...
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Construction Productivity eBook

There is a really useful eBook available to download from PlanGrid called 'Construction Productivity 101' which is a practical guide to help you increase productivity in seven easy steps. These seven easy steps include:- Bring Technology on Board Improve Planning with More Data Improve Productivity Training and Require More Job Site Experience Increase Use of Prefabrication Move Towards Shorter, Team-Friendly Contracts Improve Safety Training and Provide More of it Communicate Better There...
[Read on about Construction Productivity eBook]

Quantity Surveying - Lack of Expertise

A Quantity Surveyor is 'key' when aiming for a project that comes in on budget, in fact, a good Quantity Surveyor is worth their weight in gold. We have all read about the lack of qualified processionals within construction and, as part of the planning process, a Quantity Surveyor is a crucial element when trying to gauge the pricing of work. However, from what we are reading and hearing, there seem to be a lot of Quantity Surveyors retiring and, as it's not a 'cool or funky' job, many new starters...
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CDM Solution for States of Jersey

We are very proud that the States of Jersey Infrastructure team have successfully implemented ToolKit CS as their CDM management system. Compared to the British CDM2015 regs, the regulations are different for the States of Jersey; the Management in Construction (Jersey) Regulations 2016 (CDM2016) were brought into force in October 2016 and replaced the 'Construction (Safety Provisions) (Jersey) Regulations 1970' and the 'Approved Code of Practice Managing Health and Safety in Construction'...
[Read on about CDM Solution for States of Jersey]

BIM and CDM Synergy

The team at Ai Solutions have been finding out more about the synergy between CDM and BIM. We don't believe there are many of us that are unfamiliar with both these terms, but, just in case. BIM is Building Information Modelling and the government has set out its strategy to reach level 3. CDM is the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations and all construction projects now fall under this set of regulations. Interestingly the Route to BIM in 10 steps tells us that at the moment many businesses...
[Read on about BIM and CDM Synergy]

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...
[Read on about Construction Fatalities Update]

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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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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Election 2017 - What Changes in Health and Safety?

With the election looming, all the major parties have produced their manifestos. These manifestos all include health and safety, so what can we look forward to after the elections in regard to health, safety and employment? Labour Party Pledged to work with the Health and Safety Executive Committee to introduce mandatory workplace risk assessments for pregnant workers and review the support offered to women in work who have suffered miscarriage. Say they will "crack down on unscrupulous...
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Premier League Development

Exciting times are ahead within construction as many of the premier league clubs are finding funds for new stadiums and upgrading stadium development. With the trend being more the 'American Model', football clubs are focusing on hospitality areas as this seems to be where the money is at. With fine dining and large lounges where you can meet and eat before a match, plus built in high specification hotels, the aim is to further expand and develop the sites to become more hospitality orientated. SHP...
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Training States of Jersey

Ai Solutions have been out and about recently. One of the team visited the States of Jersey last week to train their staff in CDM ToolKit CS. The States of Jersey take compliance very seriously and their Infrastructure team have recently purchased ToolKit CS to help them better manage their CDM projects. Jersey has its own set of regulations, CDM 2016 and ToolKit has been designed around them. Additionally the knowledge base that is part of what Ai Solutions delivers, has also been updated to include...
[Read on about Training States of Jersey]

Construction is Blooming!

So the first quarter is over and Spring is in the air within the construction industry. According to two of the latest surveys from Markit and CIPS, infrastructure and housebuilding projects are driving overall growth within the industry. So is this good news? We would like to think so, however there are still concerns over the skills shortage. With prime minister Theresa May this week committing to HS2 and work on Hinkley Point C well under way, there remains plenty of opportunity in the infrastructure...
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Reckless Asbestos Failure / CDM regulations fine

The SHP has reported that 40 workers were put at risk by being exposed to Asbestos. A hearing was carried out at Canterbury Crown Court and a fine of £750,000 was ordered plus payment of costs totalling £14,874.68. "The company's failings in this case has put many workers at risk to the exposure of asbestos", commented HSE inspector Melvyn Stancliffe. "It was clear there was an endemic failure to effectively manage the construction work on the site in a way which ensured that asbestos...
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Mental Health within Construction

May is mental health month and we have seen a lot in the news about the effects, short and long term, to those who suffer with mental health problems. The construction industry has its own issues. Construction News posted the results of their 'Mind Matters' survey and the results were shocking. Over 55% of those that responded have experienced mental issues in their lives. Even more alarming is that 1 in 4 respondents has considered taking their own life. That is a quarter of our construction...
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Essential Advice for Working with Asbestos in Construction

Asbestos can be found in any building built before the year 2000 (houses, factories, offices, schools, hospitals etc.) and causes around 5,000 deaths every year.  Therefore if you are working on minor jobs your workers may well be in danger. It is called the silent killer for a reason. Hidden in dust and breathed in it can take many years for it to finally take its toll. The HSE has a lot of information regarding working with Asbestos. Today we would like to remind you about how to safely carry...
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Brexit and the Construction Industry

Now that we have started our path towards Brexit we need to look at how it may affect the construction industry. There has been an awful lot of negativity regarding leaving the European Union as many see this as a threat to one of their key resources, immigrant workers. Cheap labour keeps many construction projects going so without the easy 'free movement' of immigration between member states will the cost of projects soar as we have less access to foreign workers? On the plus side this will mean...
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Free Health & Safety Guidance in Construction

For those of you that are new to construction there is a lot of health and safety issues that you need to consider, however there is help and guidance out there. Ai Solutions can help you with your duties under the CDM2015 regulations, just give us a call on 01525 850080 or visit our web site for more information. Additionally the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has a lot of information available. One document in particular gives guidance on work preparation, setting up your...
[Read on about Free Health & Safety Guidance in Construction]

Construction and Contaminated Land

If you are planning to undertake construction you need to be aware that failing to deal adequately with contamination could cause harm to human health, property and the wider environment. It could also limit or preclude new development. Contamination is more likely to arise in former industrial areas but cannot be ruled out in other locations including in the countryside (e.g. by inappropriate spreading of materials such as sludges, or as a result of contamination being moved from its original source).
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Construction - Shortage in the Workforce

Construction relies heavily on its workforce more than most other industries, it is a major sector of the UK economy generating around £90 billion annually. With the welcome increase of construction work that is presently happening workloads are rising faster than the worker pool. Agency Central states that a huge skill shortage could be on the horizon, with the current situation only looking to get worse through 2017. As I see it we have three large resource-pools that we could tap into to...
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CDM2015 Architects and Designer Quick Guide

Who is the Principal Designer? Principal Designers are duty holders under CDM 2015 and appointed when there is more than one contractor. A Principal Designer can be one person or an organisation who is employed by a client. Principal Designers have to demonstrate they have sufficient knowledge and experience for any project they take on. What does the Principal Designer have to do? The Principal Designer has to plan, manage, monitor and co-ordinate health and safety in the pre-construction stage...
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CDM2015 Three Months On - How are we doing?

The 2015 Construction (Design and Management) regulations (CDM2015) have been in force for three months now, so how are things settling in? For many larger organisations, apart from the change of responsibility from CDM-C to Principal Designer, it seems that things are staying the same. Many already had their processes in place and have managed the transfer of responsibilities quite well. Along with this, many CDM-C's have chosen to offer their services to Client and Design organisations in the...
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Successfully Navigating the CDM2015 Changes

With CDM2015 now fully in force, Ai Solutions are offering a briefing that highlights the main changes and effects of CDM 2015. Our CDM 2015 training covers: What is expected of each of the duty holders per role. Transitional Period Arrangements. Advice and guidance on how to navigate the changes successfully. The briefing includes a question and answer section to test your knowledge at the end with a CDM2015 questionnaire! The Ai Solutions CDM2015 briefing is ½ day course which...
[Read on about Successfully Navigating the CDM2015 Changes]

Newsletter - March 2015 - CDM 2015 Countdown, Asbestos ToolKit Lite

The March 2015 edition of the Ai Solutions Newsletter is now available. CDM 2015 - The Countdown Has Begun... The CDM 2015 countdown has officially started here at Ai Solutions. There is a sense of excitement and a flurry of activity - all to get ourselves ready for the big change. Are you ready?... Asbestos ToolKit Lite To expand our portfolio of products for you to choose from we have introduced ToolKit CS™ Lite for Asbestos Management... Read on about CDM 2015 and Asbestos ToolKit Lite...
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Successfully Navigating the CDM2015 Changes with ToolKit CS

Part 1: Changes to the CDM Regulations   Part 2: What is expected of the Duty Holders? Domestic, Business and Designer   Part 3: What is expected of Principal Designers, Contractors and Principal Contractors?   Part 4: What CDM 2015 Does Not Cover and the Transitional Period  
[Read on about Successfully Navigating the CDM2015 Changes with ToolKit CS]

Lara Ayris - Nothing to Waste

With rampant consumerism and an ever-more "throw-away" society, Waste is now big business and has moved on from the "dig a hole in the ground" mentality of the past to an increasingly innovative and careful industry. Pre-segregation of our 'post-consumer' waste with multiple bins for "recycling" is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind the scenes waste handlers and others are intent on recovering every possible re-useable material with value and only the least useful now ends up in landfill. Part...
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Construction Initiative 2014

The health of individuals on construction sites seems to be at the top of the agenda for the HSE's latest round of impromtu visits. Last year, more than 1,100 sites failed to come up to standard and makes the outcome of this years inspections even more interesting.  From the 22nd September to the 17th October, Inspectors will be visiting sites where there is refurbishment or repair works underway.  So, what are they are they looking for this time: risks to health from exposure to dust...
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CDM 2015 Consultation Update - HSE Board Meeting 13th August, 2014

The HSE are due to consider the outcome of the CDM Consultation Document on the 13 August 2014, which produced more than 1,400 responses and much debate. The paper informs the HSE Board of the outcome of the consultation, outlines proposed amendments to the intial CDM 2015 document and examines the 'next steps'. In light of this information, the HSE will be asked to consider the results of the consultation and any proposed amendments. Click through to the Outcome of the public consultation on...
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CDM 2015 Consultation - What is Changing? Have your say

The long anticipated consultation document on the future of the CDM Regulations and ACoP is now out. To read it in full, see CD261 – Consultation on replacement of CDM 2007. The draft changes will be of interest to clients of construction work (including householders as clients), designers, principal contractors, contractors, sub-contractors including the self-employed, CDM co-ordinators, safety representatives and anyone else with an interest in construction projects. The Changes...
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Why Does the HSE Wish to Remove the CDM Coordinator?

Background The Government policy of 'copy out' from European Directives requires any change to existing Directive-based legislation to comply with this policy unless there are strong arguments for doing otherwise. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has stated that the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM) should be revised based on 'copy out' from the Temporary or Mobile Constructions Sites Directive 92/57/EEC (TMCSD). However, the package should avoid a reduction in standards,...
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To BIM or Not To BIM?

First – what does BIM mean? In short, BIM (Building Information Modelling) is the process of designing and building collaboratively, using coherent computer models rather than separate flat drawings. The BIM Task group states that "The UK Government has embarked with industry on a four year programme for sector modernisation with the key objective of: reducing capital cost and the carbon burden from the construction and operation of the built environment by 20%.  Central to these ambitions...
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WastePlan set to rock the World of Waste

With BRE announcing that Smartwaste will no longer be available free as of March 16th one company looking forward to benefitting from this is Waste Plan Solutions Ltd, which has developed its own online software solution to SWMPs, called WastePlan.  WastePlan is priced per project, so for SME's it offers a very cost effective solution and is extremely simple and time efficient to use.   Lara Ayris, M.D. of Waste Plan Solutions, voted Outstanding Woman in Construction 2012 for her work...
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Hierarchy of Risk Control for Designers

When designing projects with the avoidance of risk in mind the ACoP requires designers to apply the Hierarchy of Risk Control and the General Principles of Prevention. This is a series of steps to be followed when designing to eliminate and reduce risk by their design decisions, as follows: Consider whether it is possible to eliminate or control the hazard and the resulting risk by designing it out, i.e. design the roof with permanent safety rails. Next consider whether the...
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CDM Co-ordinator Profile - Matthew McVeigh

Matthew specialises in Health and Safety and has many years of expertise within the construction industry. He joined Plansafe Limited as a Health and Safety Consultant and went on to become a Director of the company in 2001. Matthew undertakes a vast array of differing work within the company. He has assisted Clients with the design and implementation of Health and Safety Management Systems for such diverse bodies as a local College, an NHS Trust, construction and engineering companies, the telecoms...
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Be aware - be prepared!

Be aware! The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have launched a month long initiative aimed at reducing death, injury and ill health in the construction industry. In particular Britain's building sites will be targeted with unannounced checks at sites where refurbishment projects or repair works are underway. HSE inspectors will visit construction sites to ensure high-risk activities, such as working at height, and work which could result in exposure to harmful dusts, are being properly managed.
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HSE Event - The Dangers of Dust

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is inviting representatives of the construction industry to a free seminar about the dangers of dust. Every year 500 workers die from the effects of inhaling dust from materials such as concrete, wood, mortar, gypsum or sandstone. The half day event, organised by the Working Well Together group, takes place in Coalville, Leicestershire, on Friday 20 September. It aims to raise awareness among managers, supervisors and operatives of the health problems caused...
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Scotland - New Firth of Forth Bridge

We heard on the radio this morning that the planned Forth crossing name, as announced by Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond, is to be Queensferry Crossing. This is after a public vote from a list of suggested names. The construction of the new Forth Replacement Crossing is due to be completed in 2016 and this project is one of the largest Scotland has undertaken; costing £800m it is intended to replace the old Firth of Forth Bridge which is suffering for corrosion. For more on this story...
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Liverpool FC Development/Regeneration

The Construction Enquirer reports that a consortium led by Liverpool City Council with the support of Your Housing Group, Liverpool Football Club and Keepmoat has unveiled £260m proposals to transform the Anfield area of the city. The plans are being hailed as 'exciting' and the hope is that this project will deliver a step-change in quality of life for many thousands of people and be of major benefit to the city. Ai Solutions is glad to see that there are more new developments starting around...
[Read on about Liverpool FC Development/Regeneration]

New £7m Construction Skills Centre in Cumbria

The Northwest Evening Mail reports that a new state-of-the-art facility centre has been built in Cumbria that aims to equip youngsters with the skills they need for a career in construction. Work on the centre began in May last year and was completed by contractor Esh Construction on budget and ahead of schedule this March. It will become fully operational when the new academic year starts in September. This is excellent news, particularly for the construction industry. For more on this story...
[Read on about New £7m Construction Skills Centre in Cumbria]

Wolverhampton House Collapse

A house in Wolverhampton partially collapsed after design and build contractors ignored the recognised procedures regarding party walls. The HSE said that the event could have been easily prevented and that "as an experienced builder they should have known better in the first place". Will we be seeing more of these types of incident when the new CDM regulations come into force? There are rumours that domestic work will fall under CDM in the future, perhaps this will be a good thing. However we all...
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BIM - Building Information Modelling

It seems to be the 'hot topic' at the moment, in just a few short years BIM has changed from being something you had heard about, to something you knew about, to something you absolutely need to be implementing in your business. The issue here though is that many of us have no idea what it is and how it will affect us on our delivery. The drivers couldn't be simpler. Unless you are doing Level 2 BIM by 2016 the government state that you will be ineligible for public sector work. Moreover, large...
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Construction Company Fined for Maintenance Failings

The HSE has fined an Essex construction company for putting workers at risk after neglecting to check and maintain a potentially dangerous piece of lifting equipment. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out on 23 June 2011 found that when the truck was eventually examined only six items out of 24 that formed the basis of the report were marked "satisfactory". The remaining 18 items were classed as "repair needed". All these lead to the poor management of the machinery...
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Hard Hats Guidance

The HSE has stated that the Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 and the Notification of Conventional Tower Crane Regulations 2010 have now been revoked. However they insist that being safe is crucial and the wearing of hats saves lives. With this in mind they have published some guidance on Hard Hats; for more information visit
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Basis of new CDM Regulations Explained

Update April 2015: For an explanation of the CDM 2015 Regulations now in force and what they mean for you, see our CDM Knowledge Base. On March 13th 2013 the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) received a presentation from HSE on the revision to the CDM 2007 Regulations. The presentation has now been published on the HSE website - CDM Revised Regulatory Package Update. The declared objectives of the new regulations are: Implementation - current law 'under-implements' since...
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PPE & Tower Crane Message From The HSE Forum

You may wish to note that The Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Repeals, Revocations and Amendments) Regulations 2013 came into force on 6 April 2013.  These Regulations have removed thirteen measures that have either been overtaken by more up to date Regulations, are redundant or do not deliver the intended benefits. Further information is available on HSE's website. The measures removed include: Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 The Construction (Head Protection) Regulations...
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Government Release 25M Funds to Remove Bottlenecks

We read in the Construction Enquirer that Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin has released the first £25m funding to enable the early delivery of improvements on the local highway Networks. This has come about due to the government plans to tackle bottlenecks to keep the country moving and our economy growing. For more on this article see First 10 pinch point road projects approved – List
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New Chief of Construction for HSE Announced

The SHP reports that The HSE has announced today (8th March 2013), that its new chief inspector of construction is Heather Bryant. Ms Bryant takes over from current chief inspector Philip White, who leaves at the end of March after four years in the post. The HSE's chief inspector of construction heads a division of 260 specialist inspectors, policy officials and support staff.
Despite significant improvements in recent years, construction remains one of Britain's most dangerous industries...
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Blacklist Investigation Not Going Forward

The Construction Enquirer reports that the government is ruling out an investigation into construction blacklisting unless new evidence is produced that the practice is still going on. This decision has not pleased shadow business secretary Chuka Umanna who has called for a 'full investigation'. He believes that the government should be making those responsible for the blacklisting compensate those affected. For more on this story visit Government rejects call for blacklist investigation
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Regulators to assess new nuclear reactor design

The ONR and the Environment Agency has received a formal request from the Minister of State for Energy to start generic design assessment work on a new nuclear reactor for the UK.  The aim is to ensure that it meets high standards of safety, security, environmental protection and waste management. This project, when built will be the first of its kind in the UK and will set the standard for future works. For more information visit Office for Nuclear Regulation
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Ai Solutions CDM Co-ordinator Service

Ai Solutions continue to work hard to provide 'best value' for our customers and this New Year we are proud to announce that we can now offer a 'Complete CDM-C service'. The CDM-C Service and Consultancy is an option we can provide to aid you in effective CDM management. We will provide a fully qualified and competent CDM-C to manage your project from design start through to handover of the health and safety file. This allows you to fulfill your duties as a Client as well as providing you with peace...
[Read on about Ai Solutions CDM Co-ordinator Service]

HS2 Stage 2 Award Announced

HS2 has named the successful bidders for key engineering and environmental consultancy work for phase two of the £33bn high-speed rail project. The winners include Mott MacDonald who were awarded both the environmental and engineering framework packages. The latest consultancy packages for the £13bn Y-shaped stretch of the link north of Birmingham come after the Government confirmed it would publish details of the proposals for Phase Two within the next few weeks. For more on this...
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Green Light for Redevelopment of Paradise Circus

The Construction Enquirer reports that developer Argent has gained planning for its ambitious project to transform Birmingham's Paradise Circus. The £450m scheme involves demolishing the old Central Library and constructing 10 new buildings around a series of new squares and streets in the heart of the city. This is good new for Birmingham and will hopefully create a first class sustainable  development for future generations. For more on this story visit Green light for £450m...
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The Secret of Success

Loughborough University were asked to produce a report on why the Olympics was so successful; identifying factors which have contributed to the London 2012 Olympic Park being delivered on time, on budget and with an exemplary health and safety record. Their report "Pre-conditioning for success Characteristics and factors ensuring a safe build for the Olympic Park" highlighted the more human factors like respect, trust, clarity, pre-emption, challenge, consistency, collaboration, motivation, empowerment,...
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£200m London School Improvement Up For Grabs

The London Borough of Hillingdon is looking for contractors to build and improve several schools in the borough. up to 15 schools. There will be a 'framework' of firms to complete the works over four years. Firms have until 7 January to register their interest at using access code 29HB5FM3PD or contact Mark Holmes on 0189 555 8396. For more on this article visit
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Lancashire builder risked lives on scaffolding

A Lancashire builder has appeared in court after he ignored a formal warning to stop working at the top of a dangerous scaffolding tower. The HSE Inspector could see there were no handrails or toe boards around the platform at the top of the tower to protect the workers from falling some seven metres to the ground. He immediately issued a Prohibition Notice ordering the men to come down from the unsafe scaffolding. For more on this article see HSE Press
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Firms fined after crane crashed down on building site

The HSE have prosecuted two companies after a serious failure in communications led to an 80 tonne mobile crane toppling over, narrowly missing workmen and a busy road. The incident happened on a building site in Fernbrook Road, Gillingham, on 18 August 2009 during construction of a new nursing home. The HSE's investigation found the lift itself was carried out unsafely as the crane was overloaded and being operated on poor ground. As a result the 80-tonne crane overturned and its extended 50 metre...
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HSE Online F10: What are your views?

Our customers and other readers will be interested to know that we have been discussing the online F10 Notification form with the HSE recently. We have approached them as we believe that, based on feedback from our customers and readers, the online form has its downsides. We have offered them some feedback which was well received and now we would like to involve our readers in the debate. The HSE Online Forms team are in the process of reviewing their current forms and would like further feedback.
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London Airport Investment Programme

London City airport has announced a £15m improvement programme. This year the airport celebrated its millionth flight, welcomed its 36 millionth passenger and hosted an anniversary visit from the Queen. Declan Collier, chief executive, said: "With the investment we've announced today and further infrastructure work over the next three years, we can reach our permitted capacity, maintain our high standards and absorb some European air traffic from other airports in the South East that are beginning...
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Green is Good For Growth

The TUC has held a conference recently, with some interesting key speakers. The thrust was about a "green is good for growth" and the belief that a low-carbon future can create sustainable growth. Ai Solutions supports this theory; we believe that as a country we need to make provision for the future of our children. We can do this is by re-thinking "how" we build, utilizing new technologies and ensuring the government invests in a greener future. If you are interested in this article then visit...
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Construction For Growth

We read recently that the UK's construction workforce has declined to its lowest level since 2001 with a total of 1,996,000 workers according to recent Office National Statistic (ONS) labour market statistics. Figures show that there have been over 45,000 jobs lost and a 5% reduction in construction output contributing to the return of recession. However this month (September) we understand that a new industry campaign has started; Construction4Growth is calling on Government to invest in construction...
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Summary of the Proposed Planning Changes

For those of you that are interested, the Government has announced changes regarding planning. This has come to a head as, due to the current economic climate, the Government wanted to give the construction industry a well needed boost. Additionally David Cameron wanted to 'simplify' the planning process for home owners and businesses alike. The Do I Need Planning Permission web site takes you through a summary of the proposed planning changes
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Government Agrees To Major Industries Shake-up

The government is set to transform the skills of those joining the construction industry by transferring hundreds of millions of pounds for training programmes from local colleges to employers. This is a long awaited and very welcome strategy as Britain goes through the current decline in skills and lack of investment has hindered progress. For more on this article visit Government agrees to major industry skills shakeup
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What if you didn't notify the HSE about a notifiable project?

There is an interesting discussion on the HSE Construction Forum. With the lack of HSE 'to cover' all the works happening at the moment a query was raised that if you were undertaking a fairly low risk project and the works went over the threshold to make it a notifiable project but a CDM-C was not appointed what would the HSE do – even if the works completed without accident or injury? If there was a major accident then the situation is obvious and the Client would be prosecuted accordingly.
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HSE Cost Recovery Scheme Starts October 2012

The cost recovery scheme introduced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) - Fee for Intervention (FFI) - will start on 1 October 2012 subject to Parliamentary approval. New detailed FFI guidance has been published on HSE's website setting about how the scheme will work in practice. Developed in consultation with representatives from industry, it explains how FFI works and includes examples illustrating how it would be applied. Will this new scheme aid the HSE recover costs? It is hoped...
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Mouchel to cut another £3m in costs

The Construction Enquirer stated that Mouchel are to cut another £3m in costs. The consultant was originally looking to save £18m during the economy drive but that figure has been revised upwards to £21m. The business has been reorganised into two divisions – Mouchel Infrastructure Services and Mouchel Business Services managed by ex BT man Craig Apsey. This news reflects the effects of the current financial climate. For more on this story see the Construction Enquirer
[Read on about Mouchel to cut another £3m in costs]

UK Construction Slowed in May

A recent article on the BBC web site states that the UK Construction sector has continued to slow to a low in May this year. The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index (PMI) for construction fell to 54.4 last month, from 55.8 in April. However, the reading indicates that the sector is still growing, as a figure above 50 implies expansion. If you would like to know more please see
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1 In 5 Construction Sites Fail Safety Checks

We read that nearly one in five construction sites failed safety checks during a national initiative to improve construction site safety. This is a slight improvement on previous years which is good news, but is this trend down to less construction work being carried out? The investigation was carried out by HSE staff and concentrated on high-risk activity including working at height and ensuring sites were in 'good order', being clean and tidy with clear access routes. If you would like Ai...
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Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan (WIIP)

The Welsh Government has published the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for Growth and Jobs to ensure that its future capital investment is used to deliver the maximum benefits to Wales. A number of capital projects are planned worth over £15bn which will see the Welsh economy move forward. This is excellent news for the local community as well as the Welsh construction industry. If you are interested in any of the projects more information can be found on
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Safety Event for Scottish Construction Firms

The HSE has teamed up with the construction industry's Working Well Together campaign to organise an event focusing on safety issues for construction workers, especially during the ground-works phase. This free event has been organised to get to grips with health and safety in one of Britain's most dangerous industries, especially within the smaller and medium sized construction companies. For more information see HSE Press
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Center Parcs Civils Deal

Birse Civils has been confirmed as winner of a £26m contract to build all the roads and technical infrastructure at Center Parcs new holiday development at Woburn. Ai Solutions are very interested in this particular Center Parc as it is local to us.
[Read on about Center Parcs Civils Deal]

Latest Crossrail Contract Awarded

A Costain Skanska joint venture has won the latest £40m Crossrail contracts to build ventilation and access shafts in east London. Work will start on the C360 contracts at Eleanor Street and Mile End Park during the later half of this year. The ventilation shafts along the Crossrail route have been designed to ensure optimal air movement within the tunnels. For more on this story go to Costain and Skanska win latest Crossrail contracts
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Pedestrian Hit By Falling Hoarding

A woman has been airlifted to hospital after she was hit by a metal site hoarding which fell from a new academy site in Kidderminster yesterday. The main contractor at the site is Thomas Vale who are converting the historic Piano Building into a new academy for Kidderminster College and Birmingham Metropolitan College. For more on this story see Woman hit by falling site hoarding from academy job.
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Green Construction Gets £1m Boost

Image by christgr, And now for some positive news; we read that the Green Construction Board (GCB) has secured an extra £1 million in finance from the government in order to provide added support to its operations. This funding will aid them in promoting 'green construction'. Green construction is a growing industry and one which requires support so that those trained in traditional construction techniques can change their ways of working to fit new targets and guidelines. Ai...
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Construction Still 'Under Pressure'

In Northern Ireland the construction sector remains under extreme pressure despite a marginal improvement in its downward trend, according to the latest RICS Construction Market Survey. It seems that we are still getting mixed messages regarding construction work in the UK. In London there are plenty of large projects happening, mostly due to the Olympics as well as the length of time that a lot of larger projects tend to take to complete. It is not the same story in the rest of the country as many...
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Local Contractor - Dumper Truck Fine

A local contractor in Northamptonshire has been fined after a six-tonne dumper truck ran over a worker's foot. Lincoln Magistrates' Court heard that Maypine Construction was main contractor on the job where Ross Smith (23) and a colleague were filling the roadway with stone, in preparation for surfacing. The HSE said: "Many construction transport incidents are usually the result of inadequate separation of pedestrians and vehicles, and by inadequate control of vehicle movements on site." For more...
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Summary of Duties under CDM

As leaders in software to manage CDM and Asbestos the team here at Ai Solutions are often asked questions in regard to CDM. One of the most prevalent is "What are my duties under CDM2007?" The HSE has summarised these CDM related duties in a excellent table on their web site - HSE Summary of CDM duties If you would like further help of guidance please visit our web site on or call a member of the team on 01525 850080.
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BAM Wins Multiple Schools Deal Worth £50m

We read in the Construction Enquirer that 'BAM Construct' has been confirmed as builder of five new school and academy jobs worth £50m. This is a huge multi-site project that will create work locally. The areas in question are Buckinghamshire, Bristol and Plymouth. Some of the work is going to start this Summer which is good news as this will be a good kick start for the industry. The whole works are scheduled to be completed by December 2014.
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Boost In Sales Versus Changes In Legislation

Barratt, the UK's largest homebuilder, saw its best spring selling season in five years as government moves to boost the market helped to raise prices and sales. Aided by government schemes that have helped to raise the prices of new houses, homebuilders have seen their sales rise. This is good news then within the industry? At the moment we are glad to hear this with the current financial climate spreading its doom and gloom. However, with the recent changes in the asbestos regulations and...
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HSE Campaign Could Cost Industry £1.5m+

The HSE's annual enforcement initiative could cost the construction industry more than £1.5m. The HSE intends to introduce a system for recovering the cost of enforcement activity from those who contravene regulations from October 2012. The scheme, known as Fees for Intervention (FFI), is aimed at ensuring those who contravene the law pay for the cost of HSE enforcement activity. For more on this, see the consultation document (PDF). In the HSE's proposal for extending cost...
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Huge Fine for Crane Collapse

Main contractor Bowmer & Kirkland and structural engineer Bingham Davis have been found guilty of breaking safety laws following a crane collapse in Liverpool which left the driver paralysed. Bowmer & Kirkland and Bingham had both denied the charges following the collapse in July 2009 when the tower crane toppled onto an apartment block at Chandlers Wharf in Liverpool city centre. The companies were fined £280k and £1k respectively for the accident where crane driver Iain Gillham,...
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£70m Highways Contract Up For Grabs

Northern borough councils, Halton and Warrington, are teaming-up in a joint procurement race for a £70m highways maintenance contract. The councils are hoping to appoint a single contractor for both areas with work evenly split over the six year deal between the two authorities. If Ai Solutions can aid you in your tender applications, especially in the CDM and Asbestos areas, then please call a member of the team on 01525 850080. The works will include reactive maintenance, signage,...
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Chelsea FC Bids for Battersea

We read that Chelsea football club have submitted a formal offer to purchase the site of Battersea power station which, if accepted, could lead to the club leaving Stamford Bridge and the development of "one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world" at a cost of more than £1bn. It would be a definite boost to the construction industry in the Battersea area if they are successful in their bid, and nice to have some good news for a change! For more on this story visit Guardian.
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Dorset contractor sentenced over worker death

A building contractor has been fined over serious safety breaches after a worker was killed by a piece of falling cob wall being demolished by his son. Two agency workers Jamie Ford 24 and his father, Stephen Ford, 50, were working under the control of Do It All to demolish a barn at Dunbury Farmhouse in Winterbourne Houghton near Blandford in November 2008. The court heard no plan of work for the demolition was in place and Alaister Copland had no experience in demolition work of this kind. The...
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Work Picking Up For Specialist Contractors?

The Construction Enquirer reports that workloads are picking-up among specialist contractors as nearly half of firms reported an increase in enquiries during the first quarter of this year. The latest statistics showed that 44% of specialists enjoyed an increase in enquiries in the first quarter of 2012 - up from 32% the previous quarter. The small recovery has sparked cautious optimism among specialists with 47% of respondents anticipating an increase in workload over the next 12 months. So are...
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Leeds Inviting Bids for Damaged Tunnel

Those of you in the northern area may be interested to hear that Leeds City Council are looking for a contractor to Carry out works to the A58 Woodhouse Tunnel. The tunnel is suffering from severe concrete damage and deterioration as a result of prolonged extensive chloride ingress from winter de-icing salts. If you need to have a system in place to support you in your CDM related endeavors you may be interested in CDM ToolKit CS™ as the tool to demonstrate your compliance to Leeds...
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Construction Funding Under Pressure

The market, which funds projects in areas such as railways, hospitals, airports and power generation, has apparently contracted amid pressures on bank balance sheets and regulatory changes according to the Financial Times. If this is true it does not bode well for the Construction industry. We have seen a huge downturn in building in the UK and in some areas many smaller companies are going bust. It would be really nice to see an upward trend in construction. Nevertheless, building still continues...
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Crossrail Shortlist

The Construction Enquirer states that Crossrail has announced their shortlist for the design, installation and commissioning of its £25m central section Traction Power system. The contract is expected to awarded in Spring 2013. This massive project will hopefully create many jobs in the area (Westbourne Park, Stepney Green, Custom House and Plumstead). Some good news for contractors in these districts! If you would like to read more on this story go to Balfour, Costain and Murphy in...
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Construction: Downward Turn?

The BBC reported yesterday that he UK has returned to recession. A sharp fall in construction output was behind the surprise contraction, the Office for National Statistics said. This has lead to the economy shrinking by 0.2% in the first three months of 2012. However in London and the surounding area we see nothing but cranes on the skyline; are we to believe the latest figures? Apparently it is the more impoverished areas where businesses are going under. Additionally house building has slowed...
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Bank Station Upgrade Shortlist

We read on the Construction Enquier that Bank underground staion is having an upgrade and London Underground has announced their shortlist. All four will now go through the new Innovative Contractor Engagement (ICE) procurement process to select a winner by July 2013. For more on this story, including details of the shortlisted bidders, go to Four bidders shortlisted for £500m Bank station upgrade.
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HSE Latest Figures

The HSE have published the latest fatal injury figures (based on RIDDOR) for the period up to December 2011 for deaths to workers and members of the public in the workplace. Showing the continuance of a 'downward trend' - does this mean we are getting better within construction? Many think not as the amount of construction work continues to fall.
[Read on about HSE Latest Figures]

Local Good News - £50m Contract Won by Keir

Center Parcs is delighted to announce that it has received approval for the development of its 5th Forest Holiday Village in Woburn, Bedfordshire. The new site will be the fifth holiday village to be built by Center Parcs in the UK. Keir has won the £50m contract to build 625 lodges at Center Parc's new development at the Warren Wood Forest Village, near Woburn. The contract for the lodges has been tendered separately from the main construction package on the £250m development which...
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Construction Company Fined: Roof Fall

A construction company has been fined £30,000 this week for breaking work at height regulations after a man was injured in a seven metre fall from a roof. The incident happened to Romanian worker Vasile Ionel Vatca whilst he was employed on the refurbishment of a property in Belgravia, London. The work being carried out on the site included a roof replacement. Read more London construction company fined after worker badly injured.
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HSE Clampdown: Month Long Campaign

Be aware that construction sites are being targeted between 20th February and 16th March 2012 as part of an intensive inspection initiative. They will be targetting high-riskactivity and working from height to mention a few. The aim is to reiterate the need for better awareness for all parties, clean and tidy sites, clear access routes, as well as evidence of site waste management. For more on this go to HSE campaign targets refurb sites.
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UK Construction Workers To Strike?

Press TV state in a recent article that UK Construction workers at Balfour Beatty have voted 'overwhelmingly' to strike over the termination of long-held agreements and de-skilling. This action, organised by Unite, could have a serious impact on larger construction projects. Unite says that the termination of long-held agreements will lead to de-skilling of workers and pay cuts of up to 30 percent, along with poorer terms and conditions for key construction staff. For more on this article...
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Expectations Soar in UK Construction Industry

According to a recent survey within the construction sector, Britain's construction companies are more optimistic about their prospects than they have been for eight months. At Ai Solutions we believe there are a lot of 'mixed messages' going around at the moment. Some areas, like the larger scale projects, seem to be commercially active; the large number of cranes on the skyline is proof of this. However could this be due to the fact they take so long to procure and implement? On the other hand...
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Chinese Firm Erect 30 Storey Building in 15 Days

A Chinese firm, the Broad Group, has built a 30 storey building in just 30 days without injuries to workers. Astounding! Their key to success was that all the key components were prefabricated off-site. The builders took just 46 hours to finish the main structural components and another 90 hours to finish the building enclosure. To view the time-lapse video see The Construction Enquirer.
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Weather Damage

There are a lot of stories about weather damage in the news at the moment, wind, storms and tree damage. The met office has issued weather warnings as they believe we are not out of the woods yet. As an example, just weeks before St Helens rugby stadium was due to be handed over for the opening fixture, high winds ripped off part of the roof. The Contractor 'Barr' will wait for the winds to die down before workers examine the damaged sections. However, it apparently looks 'worse than it is' as a...
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Construction Set to Fall in 2012

Economists at the influential Construction Products Association have downgraded their previous forecasts of a 3% decline in workload in 2012 to an eye-watering 5% drop. Contractors will feel the squeeze as public spending slows and this won't just be within the housing market; it looks like contractors who undertake larger projects will start to suffer. There is a possibility that the 'recovery' will be as late as 2014 which may well mean that many smaller businesses may go under. For more on this...
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Hammersmith Flyover Closed

The Hammersmith flyover is closed for the week after serious defects were found in its structure. TfL (Transport for London) revealed that a "serious structural defect" on the Hammersmith Flyover, on the strategically vital London A4 route, has forced its closure. Investigations are underway by structural engineers to gauge the full impact of the damage, meanwhile commuters will have been told to alter their journeys until a full report has been made. For more on this story, including video footage,...
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Knighthood For Olympic Construction Chief

Credit where credit is due, we understand that John Armitt, the chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, has been knighted in the Queen's New Year's Honour list for 2012. This is in recognition of his contribution to construction and engineering, in particular the Olympic Park as well as his involvement in the Channel Tunnel. If you would like to know who else has been honoured go to BBC News.
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Milton Keynes: Retail Development (MK1)

As many of you know, we are based near to Milton Keynes and we are glad to hear that yet more construction work is about to happen at Stadium MK (the home of the MK Dons football team). This is very good news for local businesses as the £56 million investment will bring much needed jobs along with leading retailers like M&S, Primark, Arcadia and River Island making this a vital new area for shoppers. This in turn should bring further investment into the surrounding area. Milton Keynes...
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Get Britain Building Programme - Get Involved!

The Homes and Communities Agency has issued detailed guidance for developers seeking a slice of the £420m Get Britain Building programme. The Get Britain Building fund hopes to unlock up to 16,000 new homes by December 2014. It will operate by making loans available to projects on commercial rates, or taking equity stakes to share risk. We believe this is exiting news and we hope that this new programme will give the British Construction Industry a welcome boost. Developers and builders have...
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London Bridge Revamp

The London Bridge re-vamp work has finally been approved by Southwark Council. The contractor, Osborne, will start initial non-disruptive preparatory work in 2012 under a £10m-plus contract. The work will involve removing and transferring key station services and assets, such as telecoms cabling, around the station by 2013. Work will continue after the Olympic Games next summer, with major work on its £400m contract due begin in 2013. The station will remain operational throughout the...
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HSE: Plan of Work 2012

On the HSE web site we found an interesting document which outlines their plan of work from 2011 through 2012. In particular we noted their target sectors include:- Asbestos Small Sites/Projects Refurbishment Major clients/projects We think that covers most of our readers! it will be interesting to see how they will achive this. If you are interested in reading more about the HSE's plan go to HSE Work Plan 2011-12.
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New Water and Environment Management Frameworks

The Construction Enquirer reports that the Environment Agency has started the search for a new line up of contractors and consultants for its next generation supplier arrangements. The agency said the new set up would help it achieve greater focus on outcome and performance specifications. The asset delivery partner contracts will be worth up to £750m in total, covering inland and coastal flood defence work, water resources, river restoration, habitat creation and mechanical, electrical...
[Read on about New Water and Environment Management Frameworks]

Some Good News

We read in the Construction Enquirer recently that procurement chiefs at National Grid have started the search for groups of engineering and construction firms to build a series of high voltage transmission stations around the country. This is indeed good news; not only are they investing over £650 million over five years they are supporting 'collaborative working arrangements' between contractors, engineers and architects. Thsi is something Ai Solutions has been advocating for many years. In...
[Read on about Some Good News]

Retirement in Construction: Timebomb

It would seem we have another hurdle in front of us within the construction industry. New figures published by CITB-Construction Skills show that there are less youngsters coming into the construction indusrty. This means that construction firms face a retirement timebomb with one in six workers due to retire within the next decade and too few youngsters left to replace them. The trend has continued over the last few years and now we are also getting more migrant workers who are less skilled than...
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Construction: Falls From Height Still a Common Occurence

We have noticed that there are still a lot of 'falls from height' being reported within the construction industry. Much of this occurs because of bad planning and lack of proper and detailed risk assessments. Is this lack of risk asessments because we are all being too lazy, or that due to a lack of resources at the HSE, we think we can 'get away with it'? We would hope not! Even so, the fact that someone can, and does, get injured should make us realise how the 'good practice' of doing a risk...
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Toughest Construction Job In The World?

One of our customers sent us an interesting link to maybe the toughest construction job going at the moment. Chinese workers have been tasked with building a 3ft-wide path made of wooden planks on the sheer cliff face of a mountain that is thousands of feet high. The Shifou Mountain in Hunan Province, where they are building the pathway, stands vertical at 90 degrees without any slopes or alcoves. We also saw this as a video news article - Construction cliff work 'not for the faint-hearted' -...
[Read on about Toughest Construction Job In The World?]

Network Rail Winners Announced

Network Rail has announced the contractors chosen to handle the planned and reactive maintenance for building and civils works. This is a considerable amount of work spanning over three years, which is good news for the industry. Network Rail have named 11 contractors in total over the three regions. Firms will design improvements when applicable and carry out maintenance to a whole host of structures from bridges and viaducts to tunnels and embankments and cuttings. Much of the planned maintenance...
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Race for Large Blackpool Scheme

The Construction Enquirer stated this month that Blackpool's development partner Muse has started the race to find a contractor to build new council offices as part of its Talbot Gateway scheme. Any contractors interested in this work have until 5 July to get hold of prequalification documents. These can be obtained from Mr Lord at Davis Langdon's Salford Quays office or by sending an email to For more on this story go to Race on for £15m Blackpool...
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Olympics Safety Success - A One-off?

The SHP (Safety & Health Practitioner) reports that Mike Williams, the Principal Inspector of Construction for London said, that given the recent cuts to the regulator's budget and the consequent impact on how it carries out its proactive work, the success of the 2012 project "was, perhaps, a one-off". Speaking at a health and safety forum held at the Olympics site in east London last week, Mr Williams described the level of health and safety achievement on the site as "fantastic". Overall,...
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Monitoring of Carbon Use by Subcontractors

The Construction Enquirer reports that Mace has asked its subcontractors to submit monthly performance reports detailing carbon use on its sites. They are being told to record information about water, waste and diesel use. This will be fed into the Credit 360 Platform programme currently being used by clients like British Land. This is very interesting as more and more clients are concerned about 'Environmental Issues'. We understand that Mace hopes the initiative will help it to avoid heavy penalties...
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London Bridge Station Rebuild

We have read that Network Rail has now revealed plans for the complete overhaul of London Bridge station over five years. Together with resignalling works and on-going Thameslink improvements, the scale of investment will soar to £800m around the busy London station site. The plans include a new concourse that is bigger than the pitch at Wembley, which will sit underneath the tracks. It is good to see some exiting projects are still happening! Perhaps we are seeing the beginning of 'positive'...
[Read on about London Bridge Station Rebuild]

Construction Deaths Rise As Cuts Come In

SHP reports that the number of deaths in the construction industry rose by around 15 per cent last year, fuelling concerns that the cost-cutting measures being implemented by the HSE will reverse the downward trend of recent years. The regulator's head of construction, Philip White, revealed the increase at a conference in London on April 5th on Safety Schemes in Procurement, indicating that competence - or lack of it - was "clearly a feature" in many of the fatalities. We would wholeheartedly...
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Olympic Stadium Complete

We have probably all heard that the Olympic stadium is complete but what is good to hear is that it was completed on time and under budget without any major accidents. This is fantastic news! A complicated project such as this completed in under three years is testament to the skill and professionalism of the UK construction industry, we send congratulations to all those involved. For more on this story, including a video report see Construction work in the Olympic stadium ends
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Construction Jobs Still Falling

More doom and gloom I'm afraid. Latest Government employment figures for construction have intensified the pressure on Government to stimulate growth. The trend shows that jobs in construction have continued to fall which some believe is a result of cut backs on housing and new large building projects. Let us hope that the Government will do something to stop the trend and maybe even invest in further housing.
[Read on about Construction Jobs Still Falling]

£700m Super Framework

Several East London Boroughs plan to run a £700m super framework for housing, schools and general building works the Construction Enquirer reports. The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is leading the way and has entered talks with Redbridge, Havering, Newham and Tower Hamlets. All councils hope to find extra savings by pooling their work into a single framework. Procurement chiefs at Barking and Dagenham have got the process started by inviting bids for its forecast £79m annual...
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Mid-March Protest - A Sign of the Times?

The Construction Enquirer reported that Police and angry construction workers had a tense stand-off at the entrance to the Vivergo biofuel site near Hull recently as a row over a trade package on the job escalated. Is this a sign of the times as more and more construction companies lay off staff, or worse, go bust? Hundreds of workers contracted to build the plant have been told they have no job after pipework subcontractor Redhall Engineering Solutions fell out with Vivergo. About 25 police officers,...
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Building firm fined over trench-collapse death

A Buckinghamshire construction company has been fined £5,000 after a contractor died when a trench collapsed on him. This recently reported story from SHP (Safety & Health Practitioner) is very sad and it really brings it home to us how easily a life can be lost due to lack of planning and no risk assessment. The lad who died is local to us (Leighton Buzzard) our thoughts are with the family. For more on this story see Hard-up building firm to pay £5000 over trench-collapse death.
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HSE February Blitz - Construction Site Visits

The HSE is starting a month long blitz on the construction industry by carrying out surprise visits to hundreds of sites across the country. The inspectors will be concentrating on refurbishment, repair and maintenance sites which they say accounted for nearly three-quarter of deaths last year. For more on this see The Construction Enquirer
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Welsh Solar Panel Plan

We, at Ai Solutions support 'green' ideas, especially in construction. We have recently read in the Construction Enquirer that a forward thinking Welsh Government has started the search for contractors to deliver an ambitious plan to exploit solar energy throughout the country. The first phase of the programme is expected to be worth up to £100m over the four-year framework agreement. If this is something your organisation may be interested in then you have until 23 February to prequalify.
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Bowmer & Kirkland Win Ocado Contract

Bowmer & Kirkland is believed to have won the contract to build a £210m distribution centre for supermarket giant Ocado. There has been lots of comepetion around for this prestigious development including Vinci, Simons and Buckingham. This construction will be one of the UK's biggest warehouses. Ocado confirmed in a trading update on Monday that a contractor had been appointed for its "Customer Fulfilment Centre" on the 35-acre site on the Birch Coppice Business Park in Dordon, North...
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Fire Safety In Construction

This is not new but we thought a very valuable resource from the HSE. The second edition of 'Fire safety in construction' explains how everyone involved in construction projects can comply with their legal duties relating to fire risks. It is aimed at all those with a role for developing and managing construction sites, including clients and designers, and is relevant to all construction projects, including small refurbishment sites. Much of what is contained in the guidance is not new, but the...
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HSE looks to industry

Although a long-term downward trend is still clear, the rate of decrease has slowed over the last 15 years and there has been very little change in the overall rate over the last five years. In construction there were 77 fatalities, equivalent to 3.7 deaths per 100 000 workers. Over the last 15 years there has been a statistically significant downward trend in the rate of fatal injury to workers; on average a 3.9% year on year decrease. However, the higher number and rate for 2006/07 changes a pattern...
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Construction company fined £43,000

The company admitted at Salisbury Crown Court to failing to ensure the safety of its employees, after 62-year-old George Rogers was killed when he was thrown from a dumper truck, which then ran over his body. The delay in bringing the matter before the court was due to a lengthy investigation by police and the Health and Safety Executive. Though he had not been authorised to drive a dumper truck, Mr Rogers had helped tidy up the site before it closed for the day by driving a dumper truck filled...
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HSE investigates two fatalities from falling bricks

Reece French, a worker on a Kier Western site at Cattedown Enterprise Centre, was hit on the head by a skip or pallet of bricks. It is believed that he was walking under a telehandler carrying the bricks when the accident happened. A Kier Western spokesperson said: "We confirm that a fatality occurred early this morning at our Cattedown Enterprise site in Plymouth when an employee was struck during an operation involving a telescopic handler. We are co-operating with the authorities in trying to...
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One third of refurbishment sites dangerous

He continued, "We stopped work on site immediately during 244 inspections because we felt there was a real possibility that life would be lost or ruined through serious injury. It is completely unacceptable that so many lives have been put at risk. Our inspectors were appalled at the apparent willingness to ignore basic safety precautions. "The simple fact is that despite knowing what they should be doing, too many people are prepared to allow bad practices to continue, even though last year 39...
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Construction Awareness

We are continuing to support HSE, by publicising their Health & Safety in the Construction Industry pages. This is part of our remit to improve health & safety in the construction industry with audited management information systems. Summary of Proposed Changes May 2006 Callsafe Services have provided the following summary of the proposed changes to the CDM Regulations for you to download.  Summary of Proposed Changes to the CDM Regulations (53KB) Principal Changes The main changes...
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Work Related Injuries & Ill Health in Construction

Latest statistics from the HSE about Injuries and Ill Health in Construction. Follow this link: Latest Statistics.
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Bronze memorial for dead workers

About 200 people gathered in Tower Hill in the City of London as the £100,000 "Building Worker" was uncovered. The Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (Ucatt) had the sculpture made as part of a campaign for a new corporate killing charge. Sculptor Alan Wilson created the figure which sports a hard hat, weighs 300kg and holds a spirit level. Ucatt general secretary Alan Ritchie unveiled the sculpture, which is close to the Tower of London, during a ceremony on Wednesday.
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