Get garden savvy

Fancy a top class garden? Whether you’re employing a landscaper or doing it yourself it’s pertinent you know what you want from your garden.

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Below is a checklist for discussing your garden requirements with a landscape gardener or from your local garden store;

  • Who is going to use this garden (adults, children, animals)?
  • At what times of the year and day will it be used most?
  • Which activities will take place here(eating,playing,sunbathing,swimming)?
  • What do you like most in a garden?
  • What do you dislike most in a garden?
  • Are privacy and security an issue?See the source image
  • What is on your own wish list and that of your family?
  • How to incorporate and integrate your wish and that of your family?
  • Which styles of garden do you like? (internet, garden magazines and books are useful to give an idea.)
  • What is the timescale? This can be years.
  • What is the budget? (Be honest – there’s no point in stating a figure that is in fact unachievable.)
  • How will it be maintained? By yourself or staff?
  • How much time will be available for its maintenance?

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Building Project: The 4 major Health and Safety signs you must know

When undertaking a building project you must comply with Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996. Safety signs and signals are required where, despite putting in place all other relevant measures, a significant risk to the health and safety of employees and others remains.

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Safety signs are in place to alert employees, customers and visitors to the risks and, where appropriate, show safe practice. Safety signs are used in a range of environments, for example traffic signs in the workplace to regulate road traffic, safety signs to identify hazards or safety signs to indicate where fire exits and fire extinguishers are.

The 4 major Health and safety signs are;

  1. Safety Condition signs (Green and White) – giving you information that is only about safety action, location of safety equipment, safety facility or escape route. Safe condition signs generally use a white safety symbol on a green background.
  2. Warning signs (Yellow and white) – alerting you to hazards or danger indicate when there are potential  safety risks or dangerous situations that require attention to anyone who is on the premises in order to protect themselves. They are highly visible and colour coded to make them easier to understand, warning signs are yellow.
  3. Mandatory signs (Blue and White) – meaning you must do something and is depicted by a blue circle with a white pictogram. They inform employees and visitors that a certain course of action must be taken; such as wearing PPE, sounding horn and washing hands. Below are our most popular ISO compliant mandatory symbols. Wear eye protection.
  4. Prohibition signs (Red and white) – meaning you must not do something such as a behaviour / action likely to cause a risk to health or safety. Prohibition signs are required to be red circle with a red diagonal line through it (running from top left to bottom right)

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

 

 

Building Project: The 5 Risk Assessment stages you must know

This Building Industry Risk Assessment contains about 43 task specific risk assessments covering a variety of activities undertaken on building sites. The risk assessments range from unloading the delivery lorries to bricklaying, plastering and painting.

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The use of  Risk Assessment (Task Specific Risk Assessment Forms) is an important exercise that not only helps you to make the workplace safer for yourself, your workers and eliminate accidents, but also assists you in complying with the relevant health and safety legislation, save money  and the internment. By using a systematic method of looking at your work activities and assessing what could go wrong you will go a long way to ensuring your safety and the safety of your employees on site. If you use a contractor they will be asked to provide risk assessments before starting work. Risk Assessment, when properly down, will show the relevant authority (HSE) that you are serious about managing health and safety on site.

If you are new to carrying out risk assessments you may find it useful to use the 5 Risk Assessment stages below and there are templates Task Specific Risk Assessment Forms available to buy and use.

5 stages of Risk Assessment

  1.  Identify the hazards
  2. Identify the people at risk
  3. Evaluate the risks and plan
  4. Record plan and train
  5. Periodically review

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TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

SMART Building project planning

Whether you are undertaking a property self build, refurbishment or renovation, it would be reasonable to expect that most on your priority will be the financial implications: how the project will be financed, how much finance is available and what the expected value of the project will be.

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In order to assist in the smooth running of the project and in particular the financial elements, your plans need to be SMART.

Specific

  • The more specific your details, the more likely it is that you will obtain the true cost for financial planning and therefore present your case for accurate borrowing requirements.

Measurable

  • Having specific details of how the cost of a particular item (labour or material) has been obtained will enable you to measure this (in monetary terms) against alternative suppliers.

Achievable

  • By carrying out this costing process (even with approximate figure), you will soon start to understand the true costs and whether they are achievable with your initial thoughts on budget costs.

Realistic

  • Above all your earning and cash flow needs to meet your planned financial spend to ensure that you can comfortably afford to complete the project.

Time-frame 

  • All elements of the project should have some sort of timescale, even if specific dates are not known.
  • You may find that due to the details involved in your specification obtaining, comparing and negotiating for the best products and deals to save and raise money before and during the project becomes easier.

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PGIM Real Estate acquires office building in Berlin

PGIM Real Estate, the property focused arm of PGIM, has acquired an office building in Berlin on behalf of its European value-add strategy.

Bought for an undiclosed amount, the property is located in Berlin City West, with a lettable area of some 24,500 dquare metres over nine floors. It includes 410 underground parking spaces. It is located within walking distance of the Kurfürstendamm, Bikini Berlin shopping centre and the Berlin Tiergarten.

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Current tennants include BDO, Union Investment, Kauhof Group, and the Institute for Quality Assurance and Transparency in Health Care.

Dominik Brambring, head of transactions for Germany and the Netherlands at PGIM Real Estate, said: “Berlin is a real estate market with significant growth potential. It continues to gain recognition from national and international companies, driving high demand for adequate office spaces, which is offset by a relatively low supply. This acquisition demonstrates again our ability to identify attractive properties in a highly competitive market, in line with our investment strategy and in the interest of our institutional investors.”

Source: Investment Europe

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Safety at Home: Children’s Room

In addition to ensuring that individual items are safe, it’s important to take an overall approach to safety in your child’s room.

The safety precautions that you take will depend upon the age of your children and your judgement of how sensible they are.  Bear in mind that the only thing you can predict about children is they’re unpredictable.

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Below are safety tips you can use to ensure your children’s room are safe;

  • Floors should be non-slip and not too hard underfoot.
  • Avoid placing floor or table lamps where they could get in the way of games, consoles and gadgets and be knocked over.
  • Use the current wattage of bulb in lamps and ensure that there are no  trailing flexes.
  • Make sure shelves are firmly fixed to the wall. Children will inevitably climb up them when trying to reach something.
  • Fasten any heavy, free-standing furniture that could be pulled over securely to the wall or floor. See the source image
  • Check electrical items regularly for fraying wires or other obvious faults and never overload a plug socket.
  • If the room is above the ground floor, ensure that windows can’t be opened far enough to climb out of ( though you should be able to exit them easily in an emergency) and don’t put anything under the windows that can be climbed upon.
  • Any glass at low level (in doors for example) should be safety glass or, at least, covered with shatter-resistant film.

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TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk

Property owner fined £260k by HSE for worker falling from height

Sir Robert McAlpine has been fined £260,000 after a worker fell 4.8m through an unprotected opening at a property owned by a director of the firm.

Mark Smith, 36, was attaching straps to a water tank so it could be moved in order to paint flooring at Stone Gappe Hall in Bradford, which is owned by group director Richard McAlpine, when the incident occurred.

Smith was hospitalised for nine days after fracturing his leg, ankle, kneecap, eye socket and nose, cutting his face, injuring his ribs and sustaining a concussion.

He continues to suffer from the psychological effect of the incident and has not been able to return to work since, according to a statement by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

An HSE investigation found that he fell through an opening that did not have fixed-edge protection.

Sir Robert McAlpine of Eaton Court, Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

The company was fined £260,000 and ordered to pay £38,299 in costs.

HSE inspector Paul Thompson said: “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries. In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning of the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place such as edge protection or barriers built to the correct standard.

“This incident could have easily been prevented if the company had undertaken a thorough risk assessment and installed adequate edge protection around the opening to prevent falls.”

Source: Construction News

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