Learn About the Latest News on Bricklayer Breaks Skull in Fall, Acute Construction Recession, Sizewell C Construction Speedups, and the Largest European Solar Telescope

In today’s news, we will look into the accident that caused a bricklayer to fall and break his head resulting in a fine of £12,000 for the construction company. Meanwhile this year, the CPA anticipates an “acute recession” in the construction business. On the other hand, New measures taken to hasten the pace of construction activity at Sizewell C. A few days following the start of Great British Nuclear, Sizewell C was awarded 170 million pounds. On top of that, the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe have come together to build the greatest solar telescope that Europe has ever seen.

Bricklayer Breaks Skull in Fall, Company Fined.

Original Source: Company fined after bricklayer fractures skull in fall

A building company was fined £12,000 when a bricklayer fell and broke his head.

2 Counties Construction (Midlands) of Worcester was punished when worker Scott Ife fell through an unguarded stairway opening from the first floor on a refurbishment job.

The business was the main contractor for the 2020 conversion of agricultural buildings into residences on Humber Lane in Telford.

Ife was putting blocks for a two-story extension’s gable walls with another worker.

Youngman boards were used to build a workspace on the first floor.

The building’s uncovered stairwell opening left one end of the planks unsupported.

Ife lost his balance while pointing up the blocks in the gable walls and fell onto the supporting boards and through the stairs entrance.

He broke his skull and damaged a facial nerve as he fell four-and-a-half metres into the concrete floor below.

The event hospitalised Ife for three days.

2 Counties Construction failed to prevent falls into the building and through the stairwell apertures, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

There was also poor planning, equipment selection, and site administration.

The company was fined £12,000 and forced to pay £4,139 in costs at Cannock Magistrates’ Court on July 21 after pleading guilty to violating Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

The bricklayer’s minor injuries were fortunate, according to HSE inspector David Brassington.

He said, “This incident could and should have been easily avoided.”

To guarantee safety, work at height must be planned and controlled.

Acute Construction Recession

Original Source: Construction faces ‘acute’ recession

The CPA predicts an “acute recession” in the building industry this year.

Private home new build and repair, maintenance, and improvement (RM&I) saw major drops, according to CPA.

The prognosis is based on a flatlining UK economy, declining real earnings, and rising mortgage rates, which will reduce demand for new dwellings and home improvements.

Construction output is expected to shrink 7% in 2023 and climb 0.7% in 2024, according to the CPA.

Private housing output is worth £41 billion to the UK economy and is expected to be the worst-affected construction industry in 2023.

The UK economy benefits £29 billion from private housing RM&I. Due to increased working from home and a “race for space,” the industry achieved “historic highs” between 2020 and early 2022. Inflation, rising mortgage and interest rates, and declining real earnings have slowed activity since March 2022.

Due to HS2 and Hinkley Point C, infrastructure activity should stay high. Following the government’s road and rail infrastructure delays, the CPA predicted a slight output decline.

Government invests in construction.

CPA economics head Professor Noble Francis remarked, “More than half of construction activity is provided by the three largest sectors: private housing, new build, private housing RM&I and infrastructure.” Due to dropping real earnings, rising cost of living, economic instability, and the government’s disastrous Mini Budget on mortgage rates, housing new build and RM&I had already taken a hit in 2022 Q4.

“Further interest rate and mortgage rate rises this year, as well as falling real wages, are likely to lead to sharp falls in demand within the housebuilding and improvements sectors.” Government delays to road and rail projects, despite high infrastructure activity, worsen this for the construction industry.

Francis added that the government’s stated goals of building 300,000 net additional homes per year, investing £600 billion in an infrastructure pipeline, levelling up, and transitioning to net zero “all sound like hollow soundbites now given its lack of commitment and investment”.

“It is vital that the government uses its autumn statement later this year to invest in UK construction – an industry which employs more than three million people across its supply chain and provides the homes and infrastructure so vital for the country’s near-term needs and long-term productivity growth.”

Sizewell C Construction Speedups

Original Source: New steps to speed up construction work at Sizewell C

Days after the Great British Nuclear launch, Sizewell C received £170 million.

New steps revealed today would speed up preparations to start building on Sizewell C, part of a network of significant new nuclear power stations in the UK, the first in almost 30 years.

Today, ministers announced a £170 million commitment of already earmarked cash for project development. This will be used to prepare the Sizewell C site for construction, buy critical components from the project’s supply chain, and expand its workforce.

Sizewell C’s construction would sustain 10,000 employment nationwide, with 70% of construction contracts going to UK businesses.

Sizewell C would offer reliable, low-carbon power to 6 million homes for 60 years, saving the UK 9 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Great British Nuclear (GBN) was created to oversee the rapid expansion of nuclear power in the UK, which will enhance the economy, lower costs, and increase energy security. Sizewell C, Hinkley Point C, and new nuclear technologies will be supported by GBN.

Along with the government’s establishment of the RAB model for nuclear and the inclusion of nuclear in the UK’s green taxonomy, these initiatives will assist encourage private investment in new nuclear projects.

Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps:

After Great British Nuclear’s launch and our ambitions for a big nuclear power renaissance, I’m happy to show the government’s commitment to Sizewell C.

Sizewell C bridges the gap between Hinkley Point C’s development and our goal of generating 25% of the UK’s electricity from nuclear energy by 2050.

Our new nuclear fleet will reduce bills, increase economic growth, and protect the UK from energy tyrants like Putin by providing clean, reliable, and abundant electricity.

Andrew Bowie, Nuclear and Networks Minister:

Our nuclear sector will provide cleaner, homegrown energy and increase energy security by reducing our dependence on foreign fossil fuels with government backing.

The changes we’re taking today will speed up the development of one of our biggest projects, Sizewell C, toward final approval, allowing construction to begin as soon as possible and supporting thousands of jobs in Suffolk and around the country.

Like Hinkley Point C in Somerset, Sizewell C would include two reactors and generate 3.2GW of electricity, 7% of the UK’s total.

The government wants 24GW of the UK’s power to come from nuclear sources by 2050, four times the current level.

To support Sizewell C’s development until a final investment decision, the government created a £700 million investment programme in November 2022. Under subsidy control regulations, today’s contribution constitutes a legacy subsidy modification to the investment plan.

The UK and Europe Collaborate on the Largest European Solar Telescope

Original Source: UK and Europe join forces for construction of largest ever European Solar Telescope

Today (25 July 2023), the University of Sheffield announced its sponsorship for the largest European solar telescope, which will provide unprecedented insight into space weather.

The 2008 European Solar Telescope (EST) project seeks to explain solar flares and coronal mass ejections. These phenomena dictate “space weather,” which can cause geomagnetic storms on Earth (the northern lights) and strongly impact our technological culture.

The University of Sheffield, leading the UKUC, signed the EST’s Canary Foundation deed in Santa Cruz, Tenerife, today. Six UK universities—Aberystwyth, Belfast, Durham, Exeter, and Glasgow—and six European countries will build the telescope at La Palma’s El Roque de los Muchachos Observatory.

UKUC’s lead investigator is Professor Robertus von Fay-Siebenburgen from Sheffield’s School of Mathematics and Statistics. “The EST will be Europe’s largest ground-based solar telescope and will keep its European partners at the forefront of solar physics research, so it’s fantastic that so many UK partners have been able to come together to join the EST Canary Foundation today,” he said.

“This kind of unrivalled research infrastructure will provide European astronomers and plasma-astrophysicists with an extraordinary tool for observing the Sun and its space weather, one that will pave the way for scientific advancements in some of the world’s biggest and most important challenges, such as green fusion energy.

“By studying the physical processes in the solar chromosphere in such detail for the first time, we will gain new insight into how the plasma heating mechanisms work. Learning from nature will help us mimic the process for humanity.”

The EST’s goal is to study the Sun’s magnetic fields in unprecedented detail. It will show signals concealed in noise and small magnetic structures once operational.

EST’s optical arrangement and sensors were carefully built to explore the solar atmosphere’s magnetic and dynamic coupling and capture interactions between its atmospheric layers.

A complete set of instruments will enable simultaneous multiwavelength observations. The EST will outperform ground-based and space-based telescopes due to this unique ability.

The telescope’s massive data will be processed by designs from Sheffield University. It generates a petabyte of data per day, enough to hold over 220,000 DVDs. Sheffield will handle and analyse some of this data, something few scientific projects worldwide can do. Such research requires new capacities.

Horizon 2020 sponsored the telescope’s preliminary design. The EST will open in 2028–2029 after six years of construction.

The EST’s Canary Foundation deed signing in Santa Cruz, Tenerife today (25 July 2023).

The EST’s Canary Foundation deed signing in Santa Cruz, Tenerife today (25 July 2023).

Today’s EST Foundation founding is a major step toward construction. The Foundation’s main goal is to form a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) with partner countries’ ministries. This massive research infrastructure will be overseen by the EST ERIC.

Professor Lyndsay Fletcher of Glasgow University’s School of Physics and Astronomy helped define telescope requirements. “The University of Glasgow has a long history of world-leading research in solar physics, and I very much welcome our investment towards bringing this exciting new facility into being,” she said. 

Since the telescope’s novel design optimises sensing the Sun’s magnetic field, which controls solar flares and prominences, our research will benefit greatly. Novel instrumentation, documenting the Sun’s structure and dynamics with four times the spatial detail of any European solar telescope, would revolutionise our understanding of energetic events on our nearest star.”

Exeter Mathematics and Statistics Professor Andrew Hillier. “Solar research at Exeter focuses on theoretical aspects of fluid-magnetic coupling,” he stated. EST investment gives us an exciting way to test our ideas. Our researchers study prominence eruptions and energy transmission and dissipation to understand how mass and energy are moved in the solar environment. EST will examine these very small spatial scales, offering critical findings to assist explain transport and dissipation processes, while catching the broader processes in great detail.

“Aberystwyth University is proud to announce our membership of the UK consortium for the European Solar Telescope,” stated Professor Huw Morgan, Head of Solar System Physics. This builds on our extensive involvement in multinational missions and facilities to better comprehend the solar system. Based on ground-based solar telescope data, our researchers have made important Sun discoveries in recent years. Thus, we are pleased to join the European network of organisations working to build this new facility.”

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, we discussed when a worker Scott Ife fell down an unsecured stairwell opening from the first level, the Worcester, England, construction company 2 Counties Construction (Midlands) was fined £12,000. Meanwhile, the construction of new homes and RM&I (repair, maintenance, and improvement) on existing homes both dropped significantly, as reported by CPA. The CPA predicts a 7% drop in construction output in 2023, followed by a 0.7% increase in 2024. Furthermore, several major new nuclear power stations are being planned for the United Kingdom, the first in nearly 30 years, and today’s announcements will hasten the process of being ready to begin construction on Sizewell C. A sum of £170 million was allocated to Sizewell C just days after the Great British Nuclear Launch. Moreover, Sheffield University has announced its support for Europe’s largest solar telescope, which would allow for groundbreaking research into space weather.

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