MAKE IT VISIBLE
Ford partners with construction industry in suicide prevention campaign
The automotive giant has teamed up with the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity with its “Make it Visible” initiative, where higher-viz safety vests will grab attention and point people in the direction of help when needed. “These highly distinguishable vans will be visiting sites across the country to deliver visible support to the boots on the ground,” reveals Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity. “The vehicles are manned by the Lighthouse Club’s on-site team who are all Mental Health First Aiders”. As many as two construction workers are lost to suicide every day, according to the Office for National Statistics.
FIT FOR PURPOSE
MPs right to call on Government to publish retrofit strategy, says FMB
The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is correct to highlight that the Government’s missing retrofit strategy remains a barrier to green the nation’s homes and upskill the workforce in order to deliver a truly sustainable built environment, says the FMB. “A retrofit strategy and complementary upskilling programme will be vital if we are to reach net zero by 2050,” declares Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders.
Ladder Association commissioned report finds telescopic ladders fail safety standards
New research commissioned by the Ladder Association has raised serious concerns that unsafe and potentially dangerous ladders are being sold to unsuspecting consumers in the UK. The report, produced in partnership with the East of England Trading Standards Association (EETSA) and Suffolk Trading Standards Imports Team, found that over 80 per cent of commercially-available telescopic ladders tested in the study failed to meet the minimum safety requirements designed to keep users safe. Worse still, the research found that over half of the failed ladders were certified and sold as ‘compliant’ to standards such as CE marking, in a deliberate attempt to mislead consumers.
To find out more information on the Step Up to Safe Ladders campaign and to view the full report, visit
ARMD AND READY
ARMD helps joiner get back on the tools just 72 hours after theft
ARMD, the website and App built to protect the livelihoods of tradespeople, has released the details of how it recently helped to negate the potentially devastating effect of a tool theft for Joiner Andy Jordan, turning his claim around in just 72 hours. “I had chosen ARMD’s tool insurance,” he explains, “which was half the price of my previous insurance. I then had my first ever claim.” The fast payment allowed Andy to get back on the tools in double quick time, reducing losses and saving his business.
West Fraser (formerly known as Norbord) is offering its customers some amazing prizes
Customers spending as little as £25 on SterlingOSB Zero, CaberFloor P5, CaberDek, CaberShieldPlus or CaberWood MDF at participating builders’ merchants’* can gain entry to the monthly prize draw for a chance to win great prizes. The more you buy, the more chances to win! Participants just need to purchase products and upload a receipt at the West Fraser Rewards website https://www.westfraserrewards.co.uk/ between June and November. Among the top-branded prizes on offer are a Lay-Z-spa, a Karcher pressure washer and a Samsung TV. Each month will see a different selection of prizes and there’s even a chance to be entered into the November draw to win a brand-new Mercedes van!
* a full list of participating merchants and full terms and conditions can be found at https://www.westfraserrewards.co.uk/>
PDA steps in to help members with cost of living
The Painting and Decorating Association (PDA), has signed a new deal which gives its members – and their employees – discounts on food, travel and entertainment. The Take Time membership is in addition to existing member benefits which include trade discounts, legal and business support, as well as the Association’s independent mediation and arbitration service.
PDA members can access their Take Time membership at www.taketime.co.uk
To find out more about the PDA, or apply to join, visit www.paintingdecoratingassociation.co.uk
Warning as three quarters of fire doors fail inspections
Three quarters of fire doors inspected in the UK did not meet the required standard, putting building occupants at significant risk, according to Fire Door Inspection Scheme (FDIS) data. The top three common reasons for failure are excessive gaps, issues around smoke sealing, and care and maintenance issues. 77 per cent of FDIS inspectors have seen an increase in demand for fire door inspections since the introduction of the Building Safety Bill (now the Building Safety Act as of April 2022). The figures are based on more than 100,000 fire door inspections carried out by approved inspectors in 2021.
New home registrations up 25 per cent in first quarter, reports NHBC
New data released by NHBC shows that UK new home registrations increased by 25 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year. A total of 45,991 new homes were registered to be built in Q1 2022 compared to 36,665 in Q1 2021. Private sector registrations were a key driver of growth with an increase of 31 per cent. There were also gains in the rental sector, up 10 per cent from 9,892 in Q1 2021 to 10,857 in Q1 2022, driven in part by the growth in Build to Rent.
Government axes 300,000-homes-a-year target, mean home ownership is out of reach
“Alongside rising building costs and the fast-approaching end of the Help to Buy scheme, Britain’s disastrous planning system means the Tories’ emphasis on home ownership for young, first-time buyers is becoming a pipe dream,” laments Ben Woolman, Director at Woolbro Group. “Planning and housebuilding in Britain should be depoliticised once and for all. This is easily achievable via the creation of a new, independent body of planning experts who can set housing targets and review planning applications objectively and without bias.”
Planning restrictions halting green property renovations, study finds
22 per cent of homeowners have looked into making their home more energy efficient, but found it impossible, whilst 45 per cent have found it too expensive without government support – that’s according to a landmark study from Cornerstone Tax. Although the government currently offers a 0 per cent VAT incentive on energy-saving renovations over the next five years, planning restrictions remain a major obstacle.
Custom and self-build demand soars but permission fail to keep pace
Government statistics reveal the number of individuals registering to construct a self-build or custom house rose by a third while permissions granted increased by just seven per cent. National Custom and Self-Build Association, NaCSBA chief executive Andrew Baddeley-Chappell said: “These numbers remain far short of the numbers that reflect underlying demand. There are many reasons for this. Awareness of the registers remains low, and barriers to joining in many cases too high.”
FINDING THE ENERGY
Fix the long term energy issues urges industry body
Energy expert Mike Foster, CEO of not for profit trade association the Energy and Utilities Alliance, has said it is time for the Government to make some long-term policy decisions to further protect consumers from rising energy costs. This includes: “Shifting away from fossil fuel gas to hydrogen.” It’s a solution that will use the existing gas networks and mean that people “can keep their gas boilers, cookers and fires. Consumers will avoid major disruption to their lives, minimise the costs associated with achieving net zero, at the same time help save the planet from climate change.”
EVERYONE’S A WINNER
Winners of Marshalls Register Awards 2022 crowned
The annual domestic contractor event rewarded winners in ten garden and driveway categories. The Marshalls Register Awards are for the 1,000+ businesses which are accredited by the leading hard landscaping business. Over 450 projects from 156 different businesses were entered into the awards. The big prize went to Dawson Landscapes based in Hartlepool, who were given the highly esteemed title of “Contractor of the Year 2021/22” for which they won a 1.5 Volvo excavator.
OUR SURVY SAID
Geberit survey seeks to discover influence of technology in the home
With all types of technology becoming more commonplace throughout the home, bathroom specialist Geberit is seeking to discover the features that builders are incorporating within the properties they are constructing.It is also looking to discover the reasons why technology is being included and how home technology may evolve in the future. As a thank you for taking the survey Geberit will automatically enter respondents into a prize draw to win a £250 voucher from Amazon.
Visit the Geberit survey here https://form.jotform.com/221252921757355
Tools stolen every 17 minutes, find insurer
There have been 31,161 tool thefts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland since March 2021, which equates to a tool stolen every 17 minutes, according to new analysis of police force data from Direct Line business insurance. Since March 2021, more than £80 million of equipment has been stolen from tradespeople in total. Northumbria had the highest number of tool theft incidents per resident, followed by London, the south west and Yorkshire and the Humber.
For more information about Direct Line’s tradesperson insurance visit https://www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk/public-liability-insurance/tradesman-insurance>
For more information on van insurance visit: https://www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk/van-insurance