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Archive for April 17th, 2019

Lock Out Tag Out Essentials

April 17th, 2019 Comments off

As part of a safe system of work, lock out tag out should be employed to ensure hazardous energy has been safely isolated. When conducting maintenance, repairs or cleaning work on any machinery and equipment, a safe procedure should be in place to ensure stored energy has been safely dispelled, and re-energisation does not accidentally occur. Here we have highlighted the essentials for a lock out tag out procedure.

What is Lock Out Tag Out

When correctly implemented and followed, a lock out tag out procedure ensures that machinery or equipment is completely shut off, stored energy safely isolated and re-energisation cannot occur accidentally. Recognised as a safety standard, lock out tag out is widely implemented as part of safety regulations and used across a variety of machinery and equipment.

Stages of Lock Out Tag Out

The lock out tag out procedure begins with the preparation of the equipment and the area. Workers should be made aware a lock out procedure is about to take place to ensure they don’t accidentally attempt to restart the equipment. The equipment is then shut down using the manufacturers procedure.

After shut down has occurred, all energy sources should now be isolated and devices applied to the equipment. At this point lock out devices can be implemented by utilising padlocks from Reece Safety and identifier tags. Stored energy should now be isolated by blocking moving parts and inspecting for any remaining movement.

The procedure now requires the try out phase, whereby you safely attempt to restart the equipment. If the procedure has been implemented correctly this should not occur. After safely shutting back down, you may now complete the desired work. After work has complete, the lock out devices can be removed and the equipment safely restarted.

Lock Out Tag Out Essentials

As part of the lock out procedure, there are a few essential pieces of equipment required to ensure safe isolation. These include the following:

Safety Padlock: A highly important aspect of lock out tag out is having the correct locks to place on your equipment. By choosing the correct safety padlock, specifically designed for lock out tag out, will help to ensure a safe system of work.    

Identifier Tag: Tags allow for a visual method of identifying who applied the lock, as this is the only person during a lock out procedure permitted to remove it. The tags often include information such as name, type of isolation and the date of the lock out. These tags will sometimes include photographs for easy identification.

Lockout Hasp: Vital for multi-person lock out procedures, lock out hasps allow energy sources to be isolated by more than one worker for a safe system of work. This means the equipment cannot be re-energised until every worker has removed their lock from the hasp.

Key Cabinets: For padlocks with individual keys, storing these within a key cabinet will ensure only authorised personnel can access them. Key cabinets are also especially useful for storing the equipment keys to prevent accidental re-energisation.

Lock Out Stations: These are highly beneficial for storing all of your lock out equipment in one place. As lock out equipment should not be used for any other procedures in the workplace, keeping them all together in a secure environment can ensure they don’t become misplaced or misused.

When implementing a lock out tag out procedure in the workplace it is vital that employees have been trained to a high standard and that the correct equipment is on hand. Without this safety procedure, or a high level of training, accidents in the workplace are far more likely to occur.


The Definitive Guide to Self-Build Structural Warranties

April 17th, 2019 Comments off

The world of Structural Warranties can be complicated for self-builders. From choosing the right provider to fully understanding what your Structural Warranty does, there is so much to consider. But, understanding exactly what a Structural Warranty is and why you need one, will help you to choose the right cover for your self-build project.  

To help you, the experts at Self-Build Zone have put together a definitive guide to Structural Warranties that covers everything you need to know so that you can make an informed decision. This information should also help make sure that your project is fully covered, should the worst happen.

What is a Structural Warranty?

Simply put, a Structural Warranty is an insurance policy that covers any defects in building work, design or materials used in the construction process. Usually lasting 10-Years. This arrangement ensures that any defects that are discovered in a given time frame within the agreement will be covered if they lie within the builder’s responsibility.

Each policy will be slightly different, so it is always important to read the fine print. Generally, the more expensive the policy, the wider the cover is.

What does a Structural Warranty cover?

Typically, a Structural Warranty is split into two periods. The first period is the defects insurance period. This lasts for the first two years of the policy, which begins when the building receives its certificate of completion. Within these first two years, the developer is responsible for amending any issues that arise from their work or fail to comply with the provider’s standards. Faults of this kind need to be reported as soon as possible.

The second period of cover is the Structural insurance period. During this period, it becomes the responsibility of the Structural Warranty provider to deal directly with valid claims. This 8-year time frame involves defects being reported directly to the provider of the Warranty, and if the defect is valid and you’re covered, the provider is responsible for organising and paying for repairs etc.

Who needs a Self-Build Structural Warranty?

If you’re self-building, it is not required to have a Structural Warranty, but most lenders will need one. Structural Warranties are required for mortgages, so you will struggle to sell a self-built home within the 10-Year period, without taking out a policy.

If you purchase a Warranty and you sell your self-build property within the 10-Year period, the Warranty can be transferred to the new owner, for the remainder of the warranty period.

What is the Structural Warranty process?

Your experience with a Structural Warranty policy will differ depending on the provider. However, the process usually begins with the self-builder applying for the policy by registering with a provider and submitting plans, specifications and any application forms, plus an application fee if applicable. Then, the Structural Warranty provider will review the plans and calculate a quote.

Once the Structural Warranty is issued, documents are signed, and any necessary appraisal meetings have taken place, you will be provided with a technical manual and any other necessary documentation. When the building work begins, the warranty provider will carry out regular site inspections to ensure that the building work complies with their standards. As mentioned earlier, the policy will begin after completion of the build, when a certificate is issued.

How much does a Structural Warranty cost?

The cost of a Structural Warranty varies hugely project by project. It will all depend on the size and type of property, amongst other factors. Your warranty provider will carefully calculate you a quote, once you have filled in all the necessary details.

What are the benefits of a Structural Warranty?

There are many benefits that come with a Structural Warranty. The most obvious one is that a Structural Warranty gives you peace of mind. Of course, the hope is that nothing will go wrong, but a policy in place ensures you are covered should the worst happen, saving you stress and money.

When you purchase a Structural Warranty, the provider will carry out frequent inspections to ensure the building work meets Building Standards. Therefore, obtaining a Structural Warranty will help ensure your building work is of a high standard.

Also, as mentioned earlier, most mortgage lenders will not lend money for a building without a Structural Warranty, so having one in place will help you to sell what you have built more easily. During a self-build project, it can be tempting to try and save money where you can, but a Structural Warranty worth the investment.

Where can you get a Structural Warranty?

Obtaining a quality Structural Warranty is vital for protecting your building work, should you need it. With so many options available, you can get comprehensive cover for your project, no matter the scale. But, knowing all you can about this insurance policy could help things run a little smoother.

Self-Build Zone provides structural warranties for all self-build projects and developments.


Cheapest and Most Expensive UK Cities for Aspiring Self-builders

April 17th, 2019 Comments off

Thanks to aspirational TV programmes like Grand Designs, it’s no surprise that 1 in 7 Brits are currently researching the self-build process.

The government are even getting on board by introducing more incentives in the hope of boosting the number of self-builds by 35% year-on-year.

To help, Insulation Express have uncovered the biggest opportunities in the UK for aspiring self-build homeowners, property investors and SME builders. The results have been collated into a map which highlights the top 30 cities; the data also includes the number of available plots and the average plot price for each city:

Stand out stats include:

  • 1 million Brits plan on building a self-build within the next year.
  • The average self-build homeowner makes a profit of 29% when selling their home.
  • 49% of Brits dislike standard new builds making the flexibility of a self-build more appealing.
  • The average price of a plot in Liverpool (£817,000) is seven times more expensive than in Manchester (£91,062).

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Self-Build Plots

Insulation Express have also used their ‘self-build opportunities’ data to expose the most expensive cities for aspiring self-builders.

Place City Average Price of Plot
1 Liverpool £817,000
2 Oxford £508,333
3 Leeds £388,000
4 Portsmouth £371,250
5 Derby £356,428
6 Peterborough £328,741
7 Cambridge £323,333
8 Cardiff £303,750
9 Birmingham £274,714
10 Edinburgh £256,000

Top 10 Cheapest Cities for Self-Build Plots

Insulation Express’ have also uncovered the cheapest cities for self-build plot prices.

Place City Average Price of Plot
1 Inverness £91,062
2 Dundee £95,000
3 Manchester £112,090
4 Salford £119,833
5 Durham £128,684
6 Wolverhampton £146,666
7 Southampton £156,666
8 Plymouth £170,000
9 Lincoln £173,316
10 Newport £195,500

Top 30 Cities with the Biggest Self-build Potential