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Idiots on Ladders – winner revealed

December 21st, 2015 Comments off

The “bladder winneriggest idiot on a ladder” can now be revealed following the largest ever response to the latest annual competition run by the Ladder Association.

The winning Idiots on Ladders picture received nearly 60% more votes than its two joint runners-up.
It showed two men inside the bucket of an excavator which was already around 20 feet off the ground, with one of them footing the ladder in the bucket so the other could climb to the top.

Ladder Association Communications & Social Media Officer, Michael Fern, said: “This year the public sent in more pictures of people working dangerously at height than ever before, and some of the pictures were among the most unbelievable we have seen.

“Along with the winner, one of the runners up also showed a ladder being used from inside an excavator, hinting at how worryingly common even ideas as ridiculous as these can be.

“Idiots on Ladders is a great reminder ofladder runner-up the importance of training.

“Its message is clear – if you are using a ladder you must make sure that you are competent, otherwise you really are taking your life in your hands.”

 

ladder runner-up-two

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Go-ahead for Brentford FC stadium and 650 homes

December 17th, 2015 Comments off

Willmott Dixon has secured detailed planning consent to deliver a new 20,000 football stadium for Brentford FC, together with 648 new homes.

The builder’s residential development arm Prime Place is delivering the project in partnership with the club using the homes to help pay for the new stadium.

Brentwood FC homes

Around seven new residential buildings rising to 15 floors will be located on a ten-acre site on Lionel Road South, close to Kew Bridge.

More than 300 will be sold with the remaining and for private rental through Willmott Dixon’s PRS specialist Be:here.

Brentford FC is awaiting the outcome of a public inquiry before construction of the new stadium can begin, after the Capital Court, which owns a key parcel of land for the homes, objected to the compulsory purchase of the land.

The club still hopes to move from its current Griffin Park home, where it has played since 1904, to the new stadium in time for the 2018/19 season.

Contractor Buckingham Group is understood to be lined up to build the new stadium. On completion of the stadium, Brentford FC – nicknamed ‘the Bees’ – will relocate from Griffin Park.

Prime Place has already secured full planning consent to develop a further 75 family houses for private sale on the Griffin Park site, including a memorial garden to celebrate the history of the football ground.

Brian Brady, managing director of Prime Place, said: “We’re delighted to get the green light from Hounslow Borough Council and are looking forward to working closely with Brentford FC to deliver a superb new stadium for the Bees and badly-needed housing in Brentford.”

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Plans lodged for taller Paddington ‘skinny shard’

December 15th, 2015 Comments off

Developer Sellar Property Group has submitted plans for a much taller cylindrical glazed tower that first mooted in Paddington, West London.

The Renzo Piano designed project was initially launched as a 65-storey building containing offices and flats, rising to 224m.

SKINNY SHARDBut this initial proposal has been ramped up, despite vocal objections from Historic England, with new plans for 72-floor building, rising to 254m, making it taller than 1 Canada Square on Canary Wharf.

The development will be known as Paddington Place, but has already been nicknamed the skinny shard, in recognition of Irvine Sellar’s London Bridge skyscraper.

It is being taken forward by Sellar Property in joint venture with Singaporean publicly listed Hotel Properties.

  • Slender tower at 254m
  • 1.3 acres of new public realm
  • New means of access, including step free, to the Bakerloo line platforms easing passenger congestion
  • A new and enlarged Bakerloo line ticket hall
  • Over 330 new homes
  • Over 108,000 sq ft office space
  • 50,000 sq ft of retail, restaurants and cafés
  • An open-air public roof garden and restaurant
  • Create 450 construction jobs per year over the four-year build

The centrepiece crystal light-reflecting tower is being billed as a major marker for Paddington, one of London’s most important transport hubs.

The ramp that serves as Paddington Station’s entrance will be removed and the whole area in front of the station opened up.

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 14.30.17

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 14.29.58

There will be the opportunity to extend the station concourse into a new public piazza while establishing a new ‘front door’ for the Brunel designed station.

The scheme will provide 100,000 sq ft of offices, with floorplates specifically designed to accommodate small to medium sized high-growth industries.

If will also include 50,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space at Praed Street, rail concourse and tube station levels to breathe new life into the area.

Chris Lim, Group Executive Director of Hotel Properties, said: “This is a unique opportunity involving an investment of over £1bn to provide many public benefits and a scheme which we believe will drive further investment in the wider area.”

Irvine Sellar, Chairman of Sellar Property Group, said: “Paddington’s transport interchange will be fit for purpose for the 21st Century and the wider mixed-use development and public space will enhance the way residents, visitors, businesses and their people live work and play, and will make a major contribution in revitalising this district.”

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Considerate Constructors Scheme raises £11k

December 14th, 2015 Comments off

Considerate Constructors Scheme raises £11k for Construction Industry Helpline

The Considerate Constructors Scheme – the national scheme established by the construction industry to improve its image – has helped to raise more than £11k for the Construction Industry Helpline – a confidential hotline dedicated to supporting and assisting the industry’s workforce, managed by The Lighthouse Club.

Knock out success (Medium)The money was raised by organisations purchasing Construction Industry Helpline wristbands and posters for their workforce through the Scheme.

Last year, the Considerate Constructors Scheme partnered with The Lighthouse Club charity to launch the Construction Industry Helpline. The charity provides financial assistance, welfare and wellbeing advice, as well as emotional and legal support to the construction community to relieve hardship and stress.

Those working in the industry, as well as their families, can contact the Construction Industry Helpline via www.constructionindustryhelpline.com or by calling the 24/7 confidential helpline on 0845 605 1956 to access emergency financial aid in times of crisis; advice on a range of matters such as occupational health, stress, separation and divorce; and safety improvement reporting.

The Lighthouse Club’s Chief Executive Bill Hill said: “We’re touched with the response we’ve received from the industry. There’s clearly a strong need to continue to provide this facility for construction workers and their families.

“To date, the helpline has helped over 1000 workers and their families since launch. It’s great to have the Considerate Constructors Scheme partnering as they are such an integral organisation actively monitoring sites on-the-ground day in day out. The Scheme is essential for raising awareness of the helpline and its continued success.”

Edward Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of the Considerate Constructors Scheme commented: “We’re delighted that Scheme registered sites, companies and suppliers are fully behind helping to promote the Construction Industry Helpline to its workforce and their families. Often discussing personal issues with work colleagues can be challenging. The Helpline provides the perfect avenue for such discussions to take place and offers vital support to those facing difficult times”.

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Highways England signals U-turn on roads upkeep control

December 10th, 2015 Comments off

Highways_England_Logo_240x100pxHighways England has abandoned plans to bid four asset support style contracts worth over £1bn to bring control of maintenance work in-house.

The U-turn on ASCs follows its decision to trial a new maintenance regime on Area 7 in the Midlands earlier this year.

At the time the agency said it still intended to go-ahead with bid competitions for Cornwall and Devon (Area 1); Somerset, Avon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire (Area 2); Cumbria and parts of Lancashire (Area 13); Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Durham and North Yorkshire (Area 14).

But yesterday Highways England confirmed it would now bring control and management of the maintenance work in-house, preferring to select individual contractors to deliver specific elements of the work in each region.

A Highways England spokesperson said: “We are tasked with delivering the largest roads investment programme in a generation and in order for us to deliver on such a scale at the same time as maintaining the strategic road network, we have to work in a flexible, responsive and efficient way.

“So we have decided our delivery arrangements need to evolve in some areas, and will therefore be adopting the asset-led delivery model which we are using in the East Midlands (Area 7) in areas 1, 2, 13 and 14.

“This will include key functions such as design management, routine management and construction work.

“This will enable us to take more ownership of investment decisions and to increase our intelligence on local factors that influence where work is needed. By directly engaging suppliers we will help drive down cost and waste, providing the best possible value for money for taxpayers.”

Highways England also confirmed ASC areas 4 and 12, which were further advanced in the procurement process, will see contract awards shortly.

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Berkeley makes £115,000 profit per flat

December 8th, 2015 Comments off

The Berkeley Group revealed more good news for shareholders this morning with an extra £500m payout to investors.

The latest windfall means stakeholders will receive £16.34 per share in dividends by 2021.

The extra cash was confirmed during another set of strong results fuelled by a continued boom in Berkeley’s core London and South East markets.

The firm made a pre-tax profit of £293.3m for the six months to October 31 on a turnover of £1,138m.

Berkeley said it was on track to deliver pre-tax profits of £2bn over the three years to April 2018.

Sales figures revealed that Berkeley made £242.3m profit during the latest period on selling 2,091 homes – an average of £115,877 per property.

Managing director Rob Perrins said: “Today’s normal market conditions provide Berkeley with the operating environment in which it can differentiate its performance through the quality of its locations, the homes it builds and the places it creates.

“It is also an environment in which we can continue to find suitable opportunities to invest in order to deliver further value for shareholders.

“The Group is well-placed to meet its targets for the next three years and to meet its enhanced longer term commitment to return a further £12 per share to shareholders by 2021, given in particular the visibility afforded to it by its land bank and cash due on forward sales, and to provide a successful and sustainable business thereafter.”

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Steelwork faults shut Forth Road Bridge until New Year

December 7th, 2015 Comments off

Structural faults in the steelwork have led to a full closure of the Forth Road Bridge until the New Year.

The crossing was closed to traffic from midnight resulting in traffic chaos around Edinburgh and Fife and now Transport for Scotland has revealed the bridge will remain closed until the New Year.

Forth Road BridgeA spokesman for Transport Scotland said: “The southbound carriageway has been closed and a contraflow has been in place since defects were discovered in steelworks on Tuesday.

“Since then inspections have identified eight other parts of the bridge where similar problems could be encountered.

“The closure decision was taken late on Thursday after the latest reports indicated the faults were more serious than had earlier been thought.”

Initially Amey engineers found a single vertical structural section in the Forth Road Bridge’s main steel southbound deck truss had failed but further checking has now uncovered several more problem areas.

Previously there have been concerns about the long-term load-bearing capacity of deck trusses and 10 years ago strengthening plates were fixed to highly-stressed sections.

Scotland’s Transport Minister Derek Mackay said: ““The decision to close the Forth Road Bridge is not taken lightly. It is based on the expert opinion of the engineers who operate the bridge day to day and that of independent experts in the field.

 

“This is an unprecedented challenge in the maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge.

“On balance following advice from engineers and independent experts, the full closure is essential for the safety of the travelling public and to prevent further damage to the structure of the bridge.”

Amey is the maintenance contractor on the  bridge where it runs a £60m deal to oversee upkeep of the Forth crossings.

Chartered Engineer Mark Arndt, Amey’s Account Director responsible for the bridge said: “This is a complex engineering challenge. The component failure is in a difficult to access location and our response is also highly dependent on weather conditions.

“We continue to work around the clock on inspections, assessments and calculations along with the development of designs to effect the necessary repairs, while at the same time mobilising all the resources required to reopen the bridge as soon as is possible.”

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Majority of British Construction Workers Have Gone to Work Too Injured or Ill To Complete Tasks To High Enough Standard

December 2nd, 2015 Comments off

According to new research undertaken by a leading trade insurance specialist, more than 90% of construction workers polled admitted that they’d previously arrived at a job, despite knowing for sure that they were too ill or injured to carry out the task to a high enough standard.

The worries of not being able to make ends meet, support loved ones and pay the bills mean that the majority of British construction workers polled in a new study have previously continued with employment, despite knowing that they were too ill or injured to complete work to a high enough standard.

The team at www.constructaquote.com polled a total of 2,384 adults aged 25 and over for the purposes of the research. Each participant had been working in the construction sector, within a variety of different industries, for the past five years. Respondents were selected from an equal spread of different UK regions.

When all participants were initially asked to disclose whether or not they were entitled to payment from an employer if they sustained an injury or illness, almost half (47%) answered that they would not because they were freelance, contracted and/or self-employed. A further 21% admitted that they were unsure of the sick pay rules in place with their current employer.

Next, individuals taking part were asked if they’d ever been guilty of arriving at work despite suffering with an illness or injury which they knew would make it impossible for them to work to a high enough standard. The vast majority of respondents (91%) admitted they had done this at least once before. These participants were then given a list of answers and asked to pick all those which applied to them to explain their determination to work despite not being in fit health, with the most common answers given as follows:

  1. I needed to make sure I earned enough to pay my bills- (72%)
  2. I didn’t appreciate how ill I was until I arrived at work- (61%)
  3. I didn’t want to risk losing my job by getting sick- (53%)
  4. I didn’t want younger colleagues to think I was getting too old for the job- (21%)
  5. I thought being at work would make me feel more healthy- (14%)

Lyndon Wood, CEO and founder of constructaquote.com, made the following comments regarding the findings of the study:

“Whilst it may be easier for those working in office-based jobs to ‘power through’ and continue to work whilst struck down with illness or injury; for those working in the high-pressured and manual construction sector, it is going to have a harsher effect and be far harder to keep going. As a result, it’s extremely worrying to see the results of this study.”

“Not only are those willing to work when ill clearly anxious about keeping their jobs and worried about potential replacement, they also make sure their families don’t suffer as a result of their personal situation. Perhaps these results indicate that more needs to be done when it comes to helping hardworking individuals feel secure in their employment after years of dedicated service to a particular industry.”

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