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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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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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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Residential Property: Why is energy efficiency important?

Energy consumption is the amount of energy used up by a process, system or appliance – or by a country, person or business. Energy efficiency or conservation simply means using less energy, or even none at all.  Energy efficiency is playing an increasingly vital role in our lives, for three main reasons:  Environment, Health and Economy

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Major Benefits of energy efficiency

  • Significantly reduce your utility bills

As a homeowner, energy costs can make up a significant portion of your recurring monthly expenses. With energy efficient appliances and home upgrades, you can save anywhere from five to 30 percent on your utility bills. Energy efficient appliances consume less energy throughout their service lives without sacrificing quality, and are an excellent way to save on your energy expenditures.

  • Insulate yourself from rising energy prices

Utility residential energy rates fluctuate seasonally and annually, but have risen steadily in the last decade. This trend is likely to continue into the future. In addition to cutting your monthly energy bills now, conducting energy efficiency improvements on your home helps to insulate you from the financial impact of unpredictable sharp energy price increases that could happen in the years to come.

  • Energy savings tips help you easily cut costs

Energy expenses are often thought of as a fixed cost of owning a home or business, with reductions only possible through pricey renovations. However, you can easily reduce your utility bills through simple energy conservation behaviors or small energy efficient purchases. Programmable thermostats, advanced power strips, and energy efficient lighting can decrease your energy expenses with almost no effort on your part.

  • Earn a great return on your investment

Energy efficient purchases should not be viewed as an expense, but as an investment with utility savings that add up over the service life of the product. Savings can offset the initial price premium on energy efficient options, and offer a significant return in comparison to conventional, non-efficient alternatives. Furthermore, the return you pocket through savings will only increase over time as energy prices continue to rise.

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  •  Increase your property value

In the property market, energy efficient homes frequently sell for a higher price than standard homes with comparable features. Every project that increases your home’s energy efficiency adds a fraction of its cost to the final selling price a appeal. In addition, private residences with High Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating have been proven to sell at a premium compared to similar homes in the area. Coming with expectations of reduced utility bills and fewer repair bills, energy efficiency is an attractive feature in any home purchase.

  • Enhance your quality of life

By optimizing your energy use, you can increase the comfort of living in your home and, in many cases, see notable health benefits. When you conduct energy efficient measures, your home will be warmer, drier, and properly ventilated, which lowers the risk of illnesses and mold growth. Energy efficiency also prevents the buildup of indoor pollutants, a major concern in areas with high radon emissions. In fact, the financial benefits of energy-efficient buildings yield a benefit-cost ratio of over 4 to 1, and 75 percent of those benefits can be attributed to health advantages.

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  • Protect the environment and comply with legislation

Energy efficiency is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and to comply with the UK legislation and carbon reduction target. Homes were responsible for 19 percent of national greenhouse gas emissions in 2016, and implementing energy efficiency measures in your home can significantly reduce your emissions contribution. The typical household can reduce its energy use (and by extension its greenhouse gas emissions) by 25 to 30 percent by investing in more efficient energy consumption. Energy efficiency help to reduce climate change and the impact carbon emissions and other pollutants have on the environment.

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Experts links Killer diseases such as cancer to air pollution in UK

The UK’s failure to meet World Health Organisation standards limiting the amount of ultra-fine particles in the air represents a major danger to health that is only now being recognised, experts claim.

Studies published this year link the particles to cancers, lung and heart disease, adverse effects on foetal development, and poor lung and brain development in children. They are considered a key threat to health because they go deep into the lungs and then reach other organs, including the brain. But European standards allow the levels of particles in the air to be 2.5 times higher than those stipulated by the WHO.

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Professor Annette Peters, director of the Institute of Epidemiology at the Helmholtz Zentrum, Munich, said Europe – and the UK – urgently needs to introduce tougher standards. She said: “Particles are a major and invisible danger to our health, especially in London and our big cities.

The US has a standard of 12 micrograms of ultra-fine particles per cubic metre, while the WHO standard is 10 micrograms.

“We [the UK and EU’s limits] are currently at 25 micrograms per cubic metre – double the US standards,” said Peters, who warned that scientific evidence confirming the threat they pose to human health “has really strengthened this year”.

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“We initially had evidence of the effect on the lungs and heart, but now we also have evidence that it alters the metabolism as well as impacting the brain.

Vehicle emissions are predominantly to blame, but domestic heating systems and industrial pollutants are also factors. “Recent studies from London and our work in a medium-sized community in southern Germany show there really is evidence that the ultra-fine particles go beyond the lungs,” Peters said.

Source: The Guardian 

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