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Hellberg SAFE face protection

HELLBERG Safety specialist PPE products include highly advanced hearing protection products, face protection and communication solutions for personal wellbeing on site.

Hellberg’s SAFE face protection range offers visor solutions to suit a variety of different internal and external work environments. With a standard product design across all the products, the visors and carriers can be combined with hearing protectors and safety helmets for more complete solutions, or be used as individual visor solutions.

These stylish products give you a multiple options that all fit perfectly together. Choose one of our ready-made combinations, or select your own combination of carrier, visor and hearing protector.

Everything is really well made, comfortable to wear and delivers superb, practical protection for the hazards you’re likely to face - whatever job you’re doing.

The Hellberg Safety PPE range features the latest advanced technologies, modern design, comfort and quality together with great performance to appeals to all types of professional users in high-risk work environments.

For more information on the Hellberg Safety product range, call the Hultafors Group UK Helpline on 01484 854788, checkout the website www.hellbergsafety.com or email [email protected]

Detachable holster pockets In Snickers’ new LiteWork Stretch trousers

LEADING where others follow, Snickers Workwear stretch fabrics deliver unrivalled comfort and close quarter mobility on site.

Snickers Workwear’s hi-tech fabrics and body-mapping designs give plenty of scope for every professional craftsman and woman to stretch their performance on site comfortably. Designed for a wide variety of jobs on site, these LiteWork 4-way stretch work trousers are the ideal choice if you’re working hard in warmer weather.

For maximum flexibility in getting work done, these new Trousers feature detachable holster pockets while the trousers themselves are made from full-stretch material for maximum mobility wherever you’re working while the Cordura®-reinforced Kneeguard™ pockets offer additional comfort and protection.

For maximum functionality there’s also ruler, and cargo pockets for easy access to tools and fixings. They’re all Cordura® reinforced for durability. So check out these newest designs – the optimal choice for craftsmen and women who need to get the job done quickly efficiently on site. 

Getting information on the Snickers’ new Stretch Trousers is easy. You can call the Snickers Helpline on 01484 854788, checkout the website and download a digital catalogue at www.snickersworkwear.co.uk or email [email protected]

Mental health and wellbeing in construction during COVID-19

By the Reverend Kevin Fear, CITB Health and Safety Policy Lead

SO far, there has been little in the way of ‘health and safety gone mad!’ responses to the Government’s actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The steps the Government has introduced are the results of health and safety risk assessments, and never has there been so much talk of PPE or a willingness to wear it.

But the Health and Safety at Work Act requires employers to ensure not only the health and safety of employees but also their wellbeing. The COVID-19 Government guidelines give no advice about how to ensure this, and more specifically how to promote positive mental health within the workforce during these difficult times.

On the other side, sites that follow the Government guidelines create environments where workers know their wellbeing is valued. Many of those on site work for small companies or may be self-employed. Right now, having work and financial security while feeling that everything is being done to provide adequate health protection will go some way to promote positive mental health.

Taking action

There is more that can be done. Having a clear plan and communicating this to workers; daily briefings to remind everyone of the protective measures; spotting when someone is not coping, and providing them with assistance; showing compassion and understanding... all these measures can help with workforce mental health and wellbeing.

In terms of day-to-day measures that everyone in construction can take to look after their mental health, these can vary with individually, but general points include staying active beyond simply the job on site, drinking sensibly and eating healthily.

There will be those who are also caring for children at home or looking after someone who is vulnerable – flexibility around this from supervisors, particularly during the current crisis with schools closed, can achieve a better work-life balance.

CITB has funded the training of thousands of construction industry workers in mental health first aid and the Fairness, Inclusion and Respect programme to help improve industry culture for a healthier workforce. But not everyone is comfortable talking about mental health at work, so the Lighthouse Club, a charity dedicated to the wellbeing of construction workers and their families, has created a helpline app which you can download here. If you are in an immediate crisis call the Construction Industry Helpline on 0345 605 1956 or the Samaritans free on 116 123.

Furloughing and mental health

While there are many who are self-employed, a considerable number of those directly employed will have been furloughed. They will be facing different challenges: here, managers and supervisors can make extra efforts to keep in touch, not to talk about work, but to just make sure that they are all right and that they know where they can get ongoing support, perhaps from HR or from employee assistance programmes.

I discussed some of these issues during an Association for Project Safety webinar on mental health in construction here.

Finally, in the time BC (before COVID-19), the construction industry already had high levels of poor mental health and suicide. I hope and pray, literally, that when we get to AD (after discharge) we will not be seeing evidence that the stress and anxiety of this time just proved too much for some.

Building Mental Health is also an industry resource that provides further tools for employers who wish to improve the mental health provision for their employees.

ECHO's new hedgetrimmer range

ECHO has introduced a new range of three domestic and semi-professional use double-sided hedgetrimmers: the HC-2020, the HC-2020R and the HC-2320. These hedgetrimmers, which replace existing models, are lighter in weight and feature a reduced emissions engine which has to be a major consideration in present and future times.

The HC-2020 replaces ECHO’s HC-1501. With its new engine design for lower emissions and 534mm length cutting blades, you get a hedge trimmer with improved ergonomics and better precision for tackling those small to medium jobs. The Japanese double-edged cutter blades offer sharpness and durability while overall the hedgetrimmer is balanced and lightweight at just 4.5kg dry weight. The HC-2020 makes an ideal choice for domestic use and medium-sized professional jobs.

The HC-2020R replaces the ECHO HCR-1501, offering a rotatable handle version of the HC-2020 double sided hedgetrimmer. It’s a lightweight, highly manoeuvrable double-edged trimmer specifically designed for medium-sized jobs and ideal for domestic users or professionals working on small to medium-sized hedges. The rotatable handle may be a small feature but it makes a huge difference. The 5 position handle allows you to find the most comfortable position for cutting at different angles. The HC-2020R weighs in at just 4.6kg dry weight with an even distribution for optimal comfort and performance. The renowned quality of Japanese blades offers super sharpness making precise and clean trimming a breeze.

Replacing the HC-156 the new ECHO HC-2320 is a lightweight, double-sided hedgetrimmer with an extra-long 639mm blade for tackling larger, taller hedges. The lighter weight and ergonomic construction combine with robust components to give you a rugged yet easy to use hedgetrimmer, again with sharp Japanese blades for precise cutting and higher productivity. All the new hedgetimmers come with the latest ECHO low-emission engine for cleaner operation and reduced impact on the environment. Each machine has an industry-leading 5-year domestic or 2-year professional warranty.

For more information, visit www.echo-tools.co.uk or call 01844 278800.

BMF publishes Branch Operating Guidelines during COVID-19

THE Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has published Branch Operating Guidelines for the safe operation of builders’ merchants while Covid-19 restrictions continue. 

The 18-page document sets out guidelines and additional precautions to follow in the office, at trade counters, during customer and supplier deliveries, customer collection and tool hire. 

The Guidelines incorporate Public Health England (PHE) social distancing and hygiene procedures and have been prepared in consultation with merchants, Highways England and the Construction Leadership Council, which has itself published Site Operating Procedures for use on all building sites to facilitate safe working.  

Two-metre social distancing is absolute between merchant staff, customers and suppliers - and information is included on detailed cleaning routines and mandatory compliance to avoid transmission of the virus.

John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “The Government has made it clear that merchants are a vital part of the construction supply chain and, if it is safe to do so, it is important they are able to support the construction industry as work continues and more sites reopen.

“We have worked with the industry to develop a new operating model to minimise the risk of virus transmission. The new model centres around trade customers using call and collect, click and collect and pre-arranged orders, with no public access into branches.

“The safety of merchant staff, suppliers and customers is paramount and every merchant must make the best decision for their individual business.  We hope these new Guidelines will show how risks can be managed if these safe systems of work are in place and remain effective until further notice.”

The BMF website includes a list showing the current operational status of merchant and supplier members during the crisis. The BMF has asked all members to advise them of any changes to ensure the list is accurate and up to date.

Visit the BMF website HERE

'Builders were struggling even before COVID-19', says FMB

NEW data published today from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed a 5.6% fall in private housing repair and maintenance in the three months to February 2020, the largest fall in this series since October 2012. 
 
Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “Repair and maintenance plummeted during a wet winter, and builders have not had the opportunity to revive workloads due to the coronavirus lockdown. They have been suffering due to conditions outside of their control, and further Government help is needed to get this important sector through the crisis.”

“The Government must ramp up its support for builders by allowing Directors of small Limited companies to use their dividend payments in their Job Retention Scheme claims. A cash grant mechanism to get builders through this tough time should also be developed, and all financial schemes must come on line as soon as possible.”

Free online wellbeing workshops announced for construction workers

CALLS to the UK’s ‘Construction Industry Helpline’ have increased 25% over the past 10 days which reflects the rising levels of anxiety and insecurity within the construction industry.

To help offer support and wellbeing during these worrying times, a series of free online lunchtime workshops has been announced for people working in any capacity in construction.

From mindfulness and meditation to resilience and controlling stress, anyone can take part in these bite-sized online sessions as long as they have access to an email address and access to the internet, whether via smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Sessions, which last for 45 minutes, will run weekly starting from Thursday 16 April - each starting at 12 noon:
Thurs 16 April / Top Tips for Resilience more
Fri 24 April / Build a Work Life Balance more
Mon 27 April / How to Meditate more
Tues 5 May / How to Handle Stress more
Wed 13 May / Mindfulness for You more

The ‘Wellbeing workshops’ are the result of a new collaboration between UK’s Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and leading construction software firm Construction Industry Solutions (COINS).

Bill Hill, CEO of The Lighthouse Club charity commented: “Our charity exists to support the welfare and wellbeing of all construction workers and their families in the UK and Ireland. COINS are a technology provider with a big heart and a huge social conscience. We are delighted to be collaborating with them to deliver this series of free wellbeing life skill workshops to help everyone in our industry cope and navigate through these distressing times.”

Although the construction industry is rising to the challenge of creating a healthier workplace, finding the right support is not always easy and is currently more important than ever before.

Another vital source of information, advice and guidance is The Lighthouse Club’s ‘Construction Industry Helpline’ (Tel 0345 505 1956 or mobile app for Android and iOS) which helps people experiencing stress, anxiety or depression as well as providing access to other areas of support such as anger management, drug and alcohol dependency, debt management, legal advice, and emergency financial aid.

COINS, with over 35 years of developing software solutions for construction companies, is also passionate about giving something back to the industry. Its CEO, Robert Brown, added:“The Lighthouse Club has been providing immensely valuable services to support construction workers and their families for many years. We are delighted once again to have the opportunity to collaborate with them in the delivery of a series of invaluable webinars which will provide construction workers with vital health and wellbeing skills during these most difficult and challenging times.”

For full details visit  https://www.coins-global.com/blog/online-wellbeing-workshops-free/bp521/

Snickers’ work gloves for healthy hands

THERE'S one thing that professional tradesmen and women can’t do without if they want to get their jobs done properly: healthy hands!

So take good care of your most important tools and choose a pair that’s right for your work to ensure the ultimate in dexterity, durability, comfort and protection.

With advanced designs, features and material combinations, there’s something to suit most trades, from bricklayers and roofers, electricians and plumbers, painters and mechanics, facilities and transportation.

Added to which the unique ‘curved’ designs ensure strong, secure grips while sophisticated patterns, vents and ribs combined with durable materials that provide cut protection, knuckle protection, ventilation, water and wind protection, even features so you can use your mobile phone. What’s more, for specialist use where health and safety standards are key requirements, all of our Work Gloves are EN certified for performance and protection.

Getting more information on the Snickers Work Gloves Range is easy. You can call the Helpline on 01484 854788; or check out www.snickersworkwear.co.uk where you can download a digital catalogue

How to secure your construction site during the lockdown

Christian Matenaers from tool and personal protective equipment provider Zoro shares his top tips for protecting your construction site.

 

CONSTRUCTION sites aren't on the list of businesses that need to close during the UK's coronavirus lockdown. And, in a letter thanking construction employees for continuing to work during the outbreak, our Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, said those working onsite are permitted to continue doing so.

However, many site managers are sending their staff home anyway, which is arguably the most responsible thing to do.

But this does mean that many UK construction sites could be sitting unoccupied for months. While everyone should be following the latest guidelines when it comes to social distancing and staying home, people might still use this opportunity to steal from or vandalise construction sites. So, you need to ensure yours is secured.

Organise access to your CCTV from home

While you might not be working on your construction site for the foreseeable future, you'll still want to check in on it from time to time. This will make it much easier for you to contact police as quickly as possible if you think there's a problem and will also help to put your mind at ease.

So, before you completely shut up shop, it's a good idea to look into whether you'll be able to gain access to your CCTV from home. Most leading CCTV providers will allow you to tap into your system through your phone or home computer so you can keep an eye on things.

Make a special effort to secure your perimeter

There's no telling when the UK's lockdown will be over, so you could be away from your site for weeks — or even months — to come. So, you want to be especially confident that nobody will be able to gain access to your premises.

It's important that you assess whether your existing security precautions are fit for purpose. For example, it's usually considered acceptable for the hoarding around a construction site to be 2.4m tall (PressOn), but some sites do opt for boards that are 3m tall for extra protection. If your site is mostly open plan at the moment, it's also worth compartmentalising it in order to put more obstacles between thieves and your most valuable equipment.

Finally, check all your locks, alarms, and other security systems to make sure they work as they should. It's easy to become complacent with this, but you're going to be relying on them now more than ever.

Consider having a security guard

If these measures don't put your mind at ease, consider keeping one or two people onsite to keep an eye on things.

You could ask your existing security team to keep working, although it's important you check whether their situation will allow them to do so. Another option is to hire new security guards from a firm that specialises in looking after construction sites. Many are looking for jobs, so you could be helping someone out. Just make sure whoever agrees knows that they must abide by all of the government's latest advice.

Take these tips on board to help protect your site through the lockdown.

Dickies puts your hero tradesperson in the spotlight

GLOBAL workwear brand Dickies is putting the spotlight on tradespeople who are working hard to deliver essential projects during the coronavirus outbreak.

Dickies is encouraging anyone who knows a tradesperson carrying out such work to share their stories on social media – using the hashtag #dickieshero – where the company will highlight inspiring examples to its followers.

“During these testing times, many are realising how hard the construction industry works and how essential the trades are in keeping our nation going,” said James Whitaker, marketing director for Dickies.

“Whether they’re constructing new field hospitals, carrying out essential repairs for social housing providers, or continuing to make sure no one goes without hot water, there are thousands of tradespeople up and down the country who deserve recognition and thanks. We’re keen to hear about anyone who is doing their best to carry out essential work at this time and encourage people to tell us of their hero tradespeople on social media.”

Do you know a hero tradesperson who is working hard to help deliver essential services during the Coronavirus outbreak? Share your nomination on social media, using the hashtag #dickieshero, tagging Dickies using the following details:

On Twitter: @DickiesEurope

On Instagram: @dickiesworkwearofficial

On Facebook: @DickiesWorkwear

www.dickiesworkwear.com

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