Rock Fall's new Quality Assurance and Compliance Manager puts her best foot forward

ROCK Fall UK Ltd, specialist safety footwear manufacturer, has strengthened its management team with the addition of a new role, Quality Assurance and Compliance Manager.

Rock Fall’s senior management team are delighted to welcome Carol Harris who joins Rock Fall with a wealth of industry experience.

Speaking about the appointment, Richard Noon, Director said: “Carol joins us at an exciting time, we have witnessed several record-breaking years in terms of growth and 2019 is going to be another outstanding year for Rock Fall.  Carol’s previous roles with several blue-chip retailers in the UK and her experience in setting up Quality Assurance and Compliance systems for several household names gives Rock Fall a fantastic advantage and promotes confidence for our distributors when supplying top quality footwear to the end user. We are proud to have been ahead in adopting the recently updated PPE regulations and are very eager to excel in this area.”

Rock Fall has heavily invested in a new warehouse expansion programme and by the end of 2019 will see a significant increase in pallet capacity, broadening support for their distributors with an ever-expanding stockholding. This exhilarating new phase will create 10 new positions within the company and is bucking the current trend of other manufacturers who are reducing staff levels. Moving forward, 2020 will see Rock Fall’s brand-new testing facility which will be furnished with state-of- the- art testing equipment, so that products can be tested internally to ensure they perform well beyond the Standards and will conquer the challenges faced by today’s wearers.

Rock Fall is the largest British brand of Safety Footwear and has a network of over 450 Authorised Distribution Partners across the UK and globally.  Key international markets such as Qatar, Australia and China have seen their Rest of the World sales double.

In addition to membership with several industry professional bodies which include Satra and the BSIF, Rock Fall work with SA8000 accredited factories.

Ethical business and sustainability are high on the agenda at Rock Fall, they recently published their key measures for CSR which they talk about as leaving a footprint they can be proud of. The key measures include Product Design, Business Investment, Commercial Success and Investing in People. Find out more at

The company sources innovative materials from around the globe and works with world leading component manufacturers including 3M, Sympatex®, Boa® and FORCE10®. These are used to design their Industry Defining Safety Footwear Range which has been developed to help their customers grow their business. Supplying exclusively via Authorised Distribution Partners, Rock Fall pro-actively work with major end-users and industry associations to improve Workplace Safety.

The company has been recognised at several product innovation awards in recent years including the Professional Clothing Awards, Cast Metals Federation Awards and Insider Media Made in the Midlands Awards.

More award glory for Rock Fall at the Professional Clothing Awards 2019

HELD at the Montcalm Marble Arch in London, on the evening of the 19th June 2019 the 10th Annual Professional Clothing Awards held a very special ceremony to recognise the best of the Professional Clothing, Workwear and Safety Industry.

A blockbuster evening saw a record number of entries across a number of categories. A celebration of industry recognition for the next generation of clothing and footwear designers from Universities across the UK, as well as special acknowledgement for a graduate engineer from Balfour Beatty that has campaigned for womens fitting PPE.

For a third straight year, Rock Fall were recognised in the category for Best Innovation in Footwear, having won the award in 2017 and 2018 they were delighted to be highly commended for their new fully Conductive trainer, the RF002 Zinc.

Developed in conjunction with several aerospace and defence contractors, and gaining significant momentum prior to the 2019 launch, the Zinc is the first conductive trainer of its kind in Europe.

It features a next generation fully conductive sole unit which conforms throughout wear without the need for metal studs unlike existing products already on the marketplace from other manufacturers.

Certified for sale worldwide, meeting the following standards – European footwear, Australian/New Zealand footwear, American standards.

Conductive PPE, including the Zinc trainer is worn in environments that have potentially explosive atmospheres. The principal markets for conductive PPE are as follows:

Nuclear, Aerospace, Defence, Advanced Manufacturing, Chemical, Petrochemical Oil and Gas

Speaking about the awards Richard Noon, Director, reflected on the evening and said:

"This event gets bigger and better every year and the calibre of entries this year was unbelievable. We see more and more new faces every year and our chosen categories get more competitive. We think it's a sign of industry confidence that competitors and customers can come together and celebrate the growth and innovation of the sector."

GAP’s supply contribution awarded by major customer

GAP HIRE Solutions has won the Best Contribution by Supply Chain Award from Welsh Water, one of GAP’s major accounts, after being nominated by the company itself for its collaborative work with their Capital Delivery Alliance.

Within the capital investment programme framework, GAP is Welsh Water’s primary plant and welfare supplier, proactively offering innovative products to improve the safety and environmental performance of the Alliance’s construction sites. This falls in line with the rental company’s Green Action Plan initiative, within which GAP works with both its suppliers and customers to develop and introduce greener products to reduce their respective carbon footprints.

There are numerous environmentally friendly and safety conscious products offered by GAP including solar powered street lighting which produces zero emissions and requires no cabling or complex control system, making it ideal for public spaces. GAP has also invested in Eco Welfare Units of various sizes, recently becoming the first hire company to invest in the Ecosmart ZERO Welfare Cabin from AJC EasyCabin. Another recent investment sees GAP prioritising safety with the purchase of Wacker Neuson’s Dual View Dumper, which reduces the risks associated with reduced vision and reversing while operating plant machinery.

As with all its customers, GAP has adopted a partnership approach while working with the Capital Delivery Alliance site teams to ensure that it meets the company’s requirements and deadlines. On top of this, innovation is continuously driven by GAP offering free trials or free training on certain products. GAP has offered free trials on battery powered hand-held tools which Welsh Water has benefitted from. These tools eliminate the need for cables or exhaust emissions, both contributing to a safer working environment, especially in confined spaces.

During an urgent project, undertaken by a company within the Alliance, GAP provided Welsh Water with a much-needed gantry and supporting safety equipment. Due to the extremely sensitive location of the project being in the Restaurant Quarter of Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, and very close to the Welsh National Assembly building, disruption had to be kept to a minimum. GAP provided its customers with a quick solution which was developed, with equipment sourced and supplied at very short notice, by the company’s Lifting depot in Cardiff. GAP played a pivotal role in the successful outcome of this project by being able to quickly react to the Alliance’s exacting requirements.

On receiving the award, Major Account Manager at GAP, Anthony Thacker, commented: “We are honoured to have been nominated for this award by the Alliance and to win it is fantastic. It is wonderful to have our hard work, customer service and reliability recognised in such a way by our customers.” 

GAP is instrumental in supporting the Alliance’s vision as a key supply chain partner. Being present on many Alliance sites and proactively investing in new state of the art plant and welfare equipment to ensure that Welsh Water receives the most modern equipment, which also improves environmental and safety performance, is what led GAP to taking home the Best Contribution by Supply Chain Award.

SMT GB appoints Collins Plant Sales Ltd as its new utility equipment dealer

WITH its headquarters located in Ripley Derbyshire, Collins Plant Sales Ltd has been appointed as SMT GB’s utility equipment dealer covering Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire with immediate effect.  

Collins Plant Sales Ltd is a newly formed division of Collins Earthworks Group which has been established with the specific aim of marketing the Volvo range of utility equipment. This will include compact excavators from 1.5 to 9.0 tonnes, compact wheeled loaders up to 1m³ capacity and tandem rollers.

The new venture will be headed up by Managing Director Andrew Purse together with a dedicated team including parts personnel, service engineers and a sales administrator located at the company’s recently acquired premises located on Whiteley Road, Ripley, Derbyshire. Besides a brand new show-room the facility houses a comprehensive workshop, parts warehouse and yard space.

“We have a very strong relationship with SMT GB and are leading advocates for owning and operating Volvo construction equipment for our earthmoving and civils contracts,” says David Collins, Managing Director of Collins Earthworks Group. 

“This exciting new venture is a natural step for us to take and coincides with SMT’s need to appoint a dealer for this important territory and we look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship with them.”

Commenting on the appointment SMT GB’s Northern Dealer Development Manager, Charlie Flaws said, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Andrew and his team to our existing network of utility dealers. Andrew has ambitious plans for the new venture based on offering quality products with first class after sales support. We will be working hard together to ensure that we maintain and enhance our position as a leading supplier in this extremely important area.”

SMT GB markets Volvo Construction Equipment products which include wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, Volvo utility equipment and Volvo road equipment products in Great Britain. There are eight strategically placed Customer Support Centres, a dedicated National Used Equipment Centre and a network of utility equipment dealers to ensure high quality customer support is maintained throughout the country.

Sleator Plant secures multi-million-pound dumper deal

NORTHERN Ireland-based Sleator Plant, a specialist capital equipment provider to the construction and materials handing sectors, has secured a million-pound deal with CP Hire to add 95 Mecalac site dumpers (85 ROPS models, 10 cabbed units) to its fleet in 2019.

Set to be rented by site professionals across the British Isles, this move will not only considerably expand their fleet size, but also increase the availability of the latest dumper models and equipment technologies.

Jonathan Campbell, Dealer Principal at Sleator Plant, commented: “Over the past two years, we have supplied CP Hire with more than 250 Mecalac site dumper units. This is not only testament to our close working relationship and customer care provision, but also the high quality of Mecalac’s earthmoving equipment.

“The latest agreement was negotiated in a matter of days – almost unheard of for a deal of this size! We are very fortunate to have a strong partner in Mecalac, as the team appreciates the importance of tight production timescales and was able to guarantee delivery – for the entire order – in Q2 2019.”

John Rawnsley, Managing Director of CP Hire (GB) Ltd, added: “Sleator Plant is our first point of call when it comes to ordering rental-tough compact site equipment. The Mecalac portfolio is highly versatile, allowing us to offer various solutions to fit our customers’ exact needs.

“Our latest site dumper order comprises a mix of one, three, six and nine-tonne ROPS models, alongside a number of Mecalac’s new MDX cabbed units. Our experience with Mecalac equipment has always been first-rate, while the team at Sleator Plant have always gone above and beyond to exceed our expectations."

Paul Macpherson, UK Sales and Marketing Director at Mecalac Construction Equipment UK Ltd, concluded: “We are committed to working closely with our dealer network to provide state-of-the-art construction equipment. Seeing loyal customers like CP Hire returning to our dealers is a real testament to the reliable service they receive.”

Good support and back up prompts more orders from Central Plant Hire

CENTRAL Plant Hire of Horsham, West Sussex, has ordered a brace of Volvo EC18E compact excavators from Glosrose Construction Equipment thanks to the continued high level of aftersales support offered by both Glosrose and SMT GB.

The Horsham based plant hire business has been running Volvo 1.5, 3 and 5-tonne excavators since 2000, operating a total of twenty-five Volvo branded machines in a mixed fleet of compact excavators and site dumpers. “The Volvo compact excavators have proved themselves in the field and we have found them to be very reliable and robust machines,” commented Managing Director, Tony Fiveash. “More importantly, the high level of after sales support offered by both Glosrose and SMT GB is vital for our business and one of the main reasons we continue to purchase Volvos for our hire fleet.”

The new E-Series Volvo compact excavators offer significant improvements over the ever popular D‑Series models in terms of stability, lifting capacity, a simplified operator interface, an improved ease of serviceability to the main components and improved styling, thanks to a new three-piece cast iron counterweight and pressed steel side panels. In addition, the two new EC18Es sold to Central Plant Hire have been supplied with Volvo’s coded key option for added security.

The E-Series models have a common platform that is built with durability in mind. All‑round steel panels are safely recessed 10mm behind the Volvo exclusive high-profile cast iron counterweight, which ably provides protection and digging stability. With a machine height of a little over 2m and a variable undercarriage that can shrink to less than 1m – these new models can gain access to even the most confined of work areas. Once in position, the undercarriage can expand up to 1.35m for additional stability. The design ensures that the right frame corner, swing post and cylinder all stay within the tracks, resulting in maximum visibility and a reduced risk of machine damage when working alongside obstacles.

The EC18E takes performance to a new level, with a 13 percent increase in tractive force along with 2,130kg of combined digging forces. Its lifting capacity has increased by an average of 22 per cent at the front compared to the D-Series model it replaces. The machine’s undercarriage has been elongated to provide even better all-round lifting capacity and stability, compared to the previous generation, together with a 140mm increase in digging depth. For further flexibility, the auxiliary hydraulic flows can be independently adjusted in each direction, ensuring optimal speed and control, and a second auxiliary line or X3 service is also available as an option.

The E-Series affords an improved ease of maintenance and access to the main serviceable components thanks to a hinged fuel tank which is unique to Volvo. A 50-hour greasing interval further contributes towards the best-in-class serviceability on the EC18E. “Good service access is another good feature on the Volvo EC18s,” said Tony. “It was good on the D-series but it’s even better on the new E-series machines.”

Established in 1988, Central Plant Hire specialises in both operated and self-drive hire of excavators ranging from 0.75 to 14 tonnes in operating weight as well as tracked and wheeled site dumpers. Covering Surrey, East and West Sussex the company has established a regular portfolio of clients ranging from main contractors in the construction industry to individual building firms, trade and DIY and is strategically located on the busy A264 Crawley Road on the outskirts of Horsham with excellent road connections across the area.

Glosrose Construction Equipment is SMT GB’s utility equipment dealer covering Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Greater London south of the River Thames marketing the full range of Volvo compact excavators from 1.5 to 9 tonnes in operating weight, compact loaders and tandem rollers.

SMT GB markets Volvo Construction Equipment products which include wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, Volvo utility equipment and Volvo road equipment products in Great Britain. There are eight strategically placed Customer Support Centres, a dedicated National Used Equipment Centre and a network of utility equipment dealers to ensure high quality customer support is maintained throughout the country.

MHM Plant expands stockist network

MHM PLANT, the supplier of power generation, solar-hybrid-generators, fuel storage, lighting towers, engine drive welders and product related accessories, is expanding its stockist network following the appointment of three firms, each authorised to market the full range of MHM products.

In Cornwall, contractors will be able to purchase MHM goods from Vincent Tractors and Plant - a multi-faceted equipment dealer with depots in Fraddon, Holsworthy and Smithaleigh. Vincent Tractors and Plant supply a wide range of equipment for the construction, arboriculture, grounds care and agriculture markets. They will stock products from MHM range ready for quick delivery to firms in their areas.

Likewise, firms in Scotland’s central belt can now purchase MHM machinery from the Coatbridge based stockist, D and S Plant Services - a leading provider of services to the construction machinery industry. Aside from supplying new machinery, D and S Plant also have a well-established and experienced plant repair service.

With over 15 years’ experience in the supply of construction machinery, Gloucestershire-based Equipment One Limited was a natural choice for MHM to hold their equipment in the South-West area. Equipment One already stocks a vast range of construction related products including; Excavators, Dumpers, Rollers, Telehandlers and Vibrating Plates. The MHM products will complement their current range.

“We are fully aware that many local builders and contractors often prefer to buy their equipment from their local suppliers and therefore we knew to reach these types of firms we needed to look out for regional suppliers,” said Mat Llewellyn, MD of MHM Plant. “Individuals and SME’s in Gloucestershire, Cornwall and in Central Scotland can now have direct access to our equipment through these stockists. I would like to formally welcome, Vincent Tractors, D and S Plant and Equipment One to the MHM family. I am sure that it will be a mutually fruitful arrangement,” added Mat.

MHM are seeking to expand their scope of supply and welcome enquiries from construction machinery suppliers, throughout the UK and Ireland, to stock the MHM range.

MHM Plant was incorporated in February 2010 and their head office is in Port Talbot, South Wales.#

GAP Group exceeds £300,000 donation milestone

SINCE its formation in 2015, GAP Group’s Charitable Foundation, GAP Giving, has donated over £300,000 to 356 different charities across the UK and further afield.

Established in 1969 by Gordon Anderson, philanthropy has always been an important part of GAP’s family business story. GAP Giving has embedded these ideals and beliefs even further in the company’s culture, distributing a percentage of the company’s profits to various charities each year.

During the financial year of 2018/19 alone, the company donated £56,624 to 88 different charities including The Brain Tumour Charity, Wish Upon a Dream, CALM and the Samaritans.

There are various ways in which GAP’s Charitable Foundation can help to raise money for good causes. For example, all of GAP’s 1,800+ employees located throughout the UK are encouraged to apply to GAP Giving to nominate a charity they feel is deserving of support. The successful applications result in the chosen charities receiving a donation from GAP. Additionally, the company has a ‘Charity of the Month’ programme which offers every region, division and Head Office department the opportunity to pick a charity to receive a donation of £1,000.

In addition to making regular donations, GAP operates a matching scheme, named GAP Match, within which GAP will match any employee’s fundraising efforts, up to £750. GAP’s employees can regularly be found taking part in sponsored activities such as coffee mornings and bake sales to outdoor events including walks, marathons, triathlons and three peak challenges.

Shaneen Waddell, GAP Giving's Chairperson, commented: “We are beyond thrilled with what we have achieved so far through GAP Giving and reaching this amazing amount as we enter our 50th year is even more cause to celebrate. It is fantastic that GAP is able to help people and give back to local communities in such a way; it is very humbling to be involved with such worthy causes.

“Of course, the outstanding efforts from our employees have enabled the company to reach this notable milestone – their enthusiasm, compassion and fundraising really makes a difference.”

Essential e-learning launched to beat construction-related occupational cancers

THE Considerate Constructors Scheme has announced a new e-learning course ‘Occupational Cancers’, designed to help the construction industry’s workforce to improve its understanding of occupational cancer risks and how to mitigate them.

With 40% of all deaths from occupational cancers arising within the construction industry, the need to support the workforce in this area has never been so critical.

The main causes of occupational cancers in construction work are exposure to silica dust, asbestos, diesel exhaust emissions and UV radiation, with those working in construction:

  • 100 times more likely to die from an occupational disease than a workplace accident (BOHS, 2016)
  • 6 times more likely to develop skin cancer than the general population (HSE, 2018)
  • dying by cancers caused by silica dust – over 500 workers a year (HSE, 2005)

The ‘Occupational cancer’ e-learning module is made freely available to the entire construction industry via the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub. It follows the successful series of e-learning courses on other cross-industry issues, including Air Pollution, Drugs and Alcohol and Mental Health.

The Scheme’s e-learning courses have received unprecedented engagement, with over 53,000 people working in construction taking the courses so far.

Edward Hardy, Chief Executive of the Considerate Constructors Scheme said: “There is no doubt that the shocking number of deaths and long-term illnesses caused by significant exposure to carcinogens in the workplace needs greater attention by everyone. We must continue to improve our standards in how we raise awareness and understanding of the risks and how to take measures to, where possible eliminate them, or at the very least minimise them.

“We call on everyone across our industry to take the ‘Occupational Cancers’ course and to encourage colleagues, friends and family members to do the same.

“The Hub also features the ‘Spotlight on…occupational cancers’ campaign which provides excellent examples of best practice in tackling this issue provided by construction sites, companies and suppliers to the industry across the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland. We anticipate more examples of best practice being shared across the coming months in order to drastically reduce the impact of carcinogens on our workforce.” 

Click here to take the ‘Occupational Cancers’ e-learning.

'Cut VAT on home improvements to boost economy', says FMB

THE Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is calling for the Government to cut the VAT on home improvement work following official data from the ONS published today.

While there has been a rise in output over the first quarter of the year, construction output decreased month-on-month by 1.9% and the repair and maintenance series fell to its lowest level since December 2018, experiencing a fall of 3.1% compared to the previous month. 

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “It’s not at all surprising that construction output has dropped at the end of the first quarter of this year, given the unprecedented political uncertainty we’ve been facing. To get us through these turbulent times, the Government must be bold in its thinking when it comes to supporting the economy bucking any downward turn. One course of action would be to cut VAT on work in the home improvement and private domestic sectors from 20% to 5%”

“A cut in VAT would help stimulate demand from homeowners resulting in more work for the thousands of small to medium-sized construction companies which would help support local economies and increase training opportunities. This is all the more important given that the FMB’s own State of Trade Survey for Q1 2019 saw the first dip in workloads for small builders in six years."

Berry concluded: “Cutting VAT would also be an important step to help encourage more retrofits of our existing buildings to make them more energy efficient and deliver a cut in carbon emissions.”


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