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everyone safe hazlemere group 01494 897600
In the second of several exclusive articles for Vision Magazine, Mark Austin, Hazlemere Commercial Marketing Director and Chair of the Glass and Glazing Federation’s Windows and Doors Group, shares insights into the most crucial aspect of any school or college job – health and safety.
Education projects can bring more than their fair share of challenges and potential headaches - but none more major and more daunting than ensuring student safety.
Sadly, despite vast improvements in health and safety standards, people can still suffer injuries on construction sites – and the risk of them coming to harm is inevitably heightened on jobs that require bringing heavy-duty machinery, scaffolding, huge glass panels and other potentially dangerous building materials in close proximity to hundreds of people.
Health and safety is therefore something that should rank highly on every education project manager’s list of priorities – so how can you make sure you’re doing your utmost to protect everyone one site, including students, staff, workers and visitors?
Find leading companies to work with
First and foremost, it’s vital to ensure that the main contractors, subcontractors and other organisations you’re working with take health and safety as seriously as you do.
The best firms will be fully compliant with CDM 2015 - the latest Construction, Design and Management regulations governing health and safety on commercial construction projects.
They’ll have a highly accredited workforce – including CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Skills) certificates for every surveyor, installer, foreman and manager on site.
They’ll be members of initiatives like the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme, established to improve standards across the industry, and have been verified and accepted by bodies like Exor.
Be clever with your scheduling
Beyond being selective with who you work with, what else can you do to minimise risk?
One simple, incredibly effective solution is scheduling as much of the work as possible out of term time. The six-week school summer break each year offers a perfect opportunity to complete noisy and, in theory, potentially dangerous work on schools.
Colleges and universities have even longer breaks – although they tend to remain busier than schools in these periods, with some students staying behind to complete work, and the institutions themselves making their facilities available to conferences and other events.
Make sure the client knows their own obligations
Regardless of when your project is set to be implemented, it’s crucial you make sure the school, college or university itself is aware of its own health and safety obligations.
Under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the commissioning institution has a responsibility for ensuring the safety of everyone affected by the works – and there are big penalties if the Health and Safety Executive judges them to have fallen short.
mark austin
now available national plastics 0800 011 3505
National Plastics has just announced that Pro-Can canopies will be available through its UK trade counter network.
Geoff Foster, National Plastics’ MD, said: “Pro-Can canopies don’t compromise on quality and use the best materials and the latest production processes. We’re proud they are available through us.”
and Clear Top Curved, the Flat Top Thin and the Flat Top Deep, the Classic Flat, the Peaky Top Boxed, the Double Top Open, Double Top Sunrise and the Big Top.
They are constructed in the UK using high quality GRP, polycarbonate and steel and have been designed with the tradesman in mind. All products are robust and supplied fully protected and shrink wrapped to ensure they reach site in perfect condition. They are easy to fit and come with the minimum number of separate parts because as much assembly as possible is done in the factory. A complete fixing kit is included in each pack, including a full installation guide, Rawlplug fixings and with fixing templates where required.
National Plastics is renowned for being a one-stop shop when it comes to building plastics. The Pro-Can canopies will be part of an offering that also includes bathroom panels, guttering products, fascias and soffits, cladding, drainage products, roofing products, PVC-U windows, doors and conservatories, composite doors, garden products, accessories and wall panels.
All nine canopies are available via their network which include the Clear Top Flat
All products are sold with the promise of competitive pricing and by knowledgeable and experienced staff making it such a successful trade counter network.
roof evolves liniar 01332 883900
Embedded in Liniar’s culture is an ethos of constant innovation and development and their conservatory roof range is a perfect example of this.
Liniar roof kits have been designed to be energy efficient, weatherproof, secure and exceptionally easy to fit, with clever features such as Glazing Stop, its patented glazing retainer, helping to keep the glass in place while fixing and preventing glazing slip throughout the life of the conservatory.
“We’ve been working hard over the past few months to introduce a whole host of updates, improvements and innovations across the range,” said Tony Basile, Business Development Director. “We’ve improved the aesthetics and function of our valley so that the valley wings can now be assembled onto the roof independently, reducing manual handling and making it much more fitter-friendly. The valley’s weather seal has been enhanced with bubble gasket internally and glazing trim externally. All of the PVCu components, such as end caps, are now available in foiled finishes to compliment the rest of the roof.”
Modifications have been made to the geometry of our wall pivot rail, meaning they can now provide the same internal roof dimensions as an eaves beam.”
“We’ve also adapted our jack rafter fixings, for both jack rafters and valley jacks, improving functionality and further simplifying assembly and adjustments. Our glazing retainers are now supplied with pre-cut drainage slots at 300mm intervals along the length of the profile to speed up production time for fabricators.
“Our recent partnership arrangement with drainage giant Brett Martin means that we can supply gutters and downpipes in a choice of colours, including the very popular 7016 grey. All roof kits are supplied with guttering included and cut to length.”
“There’s also been a change to the design of our XHD transom bar which enables us to increase the maximum span of roof bars, and therefore the size of the roofs available.”
“The fully reinforced eaves beams are designed to provide maximum support for the roof, particularly important when it’s a glass one, and an extra secure fixing for a bi-fold door. All in all, we’re very proud of the roof, but that doesn’t stop us constantly looking at ways we can improve it. Watch this space!”

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