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Contractors World UK & Ireland
2012 Vol 2 No 2
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Construction News - Economics - Business - Regulations

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BewareBeware!. The ‘suits’ are coming

HSE clampdown to reduce death and injury on Gloucestershire’s construction sites

Construction sites across the West are being put under the safety spotlight as part of an intensive inspection initiative aimed at reducing death, injury and ill-health.

Between 20 February and 16 March, inspectors from the Health & Safety Executive will be visiting sites in Gloucestershire, where refurbishment or repair works are being carried out. This is part of a Great Britain wide month-long drive to improve standards in one of Britain’s most dangerous industries.

Their primary focus will be high-risk activity such as working at height and also ‘good order’ such as ensuring sites are clean and tidy with clear access routes.

The purpose of the initiative is to remind those working in construction that poor standards are unacceptable, and could result in enforcement action.

During 2010/11, 28 workers were seriously injured while working in construction across Gloucestershire, down from 32 the previous year. There was one death and 217 serious injuries across the South West region as a whole. Both of these figures mark a drop from the previous year, when there were two deaths and 263 major injuries.

Andrew Kingscott, HSE’s Principal Inspector for Construction in the South West, said:“The refurbishment sector continues to be the most risky for construction workers, all too often straightforward practical precautions are not considered and workers are put at risk. In many cases simple changes to working practices can make all the difference.

“Poor management of risks in this industry is unacceptable. As we have demonstrated in the past, we will take strong action if we find evidence that workers are being unnecessarily put at risk.” [CWMAGS]


Mac TrailerChange in legislation: 3,500 kg (3.5 t) vehicles and towing trailers

As from the 4th December 2011, if you tow a trailer and are moving goods for hire and reward with a light commercial vehicle with a gross weight of 3,500 kg (3.5 tons), you are required to hold an operators licence

Historically companies or individuals have been able to tow a trailer behind a vehicle which has a gross weight less than 3,500 kg (based on the trailer weighing less than 1,020 kg/1 ton) with the vehicle running on a tachograph only while towing.

To bring us in line with European legislation as of the 4th December anybody towing for hire and reward will have to hold an operators licence which will require someone in the organisation holding a CPC, submitting the vehicle/s and trailer/s to periodic safety checks and keeping detailed records of the vehicle usage and various other mandatory obligations.

The introduction of the change in legislation on towing a trailer has received little publicity and will effect hundreds of companies and individuals who move products, plant and equipment or cars around the country for hire and reward by using a 3.5 ton truck and trailer.

Steve Elwell of KFS Special Vehicles commented “We see the above having a massive impact on companies in the UK who currently deliver goods in this manner. Where companies have Mercedes, Iveco, Ford or Fiat 3.5 ton trucks, although lending themselves to towing with high gross train weights do not particularly have good payload capacity on the truck itself. If the operator does not want to go down the route of applying and maintaining an operators licence what they can now carry on the vehicle itself will be greatly restricted due to it’s high kerb weight and low payload.
With the range of 3.5 ton vehicles developed by KFS Special Vehicles such as the Ultra 3.5 t Car Transporter for the car logistics and movement market and the Plant & Go 3.5 t Plant Transporter range for the hire market, the ability to carry a far greater range of goods is catered for”.

Another trailer manufacturer also seeing increased numbers of enquiries since the new legislation came into force is Mac Trailer. MAC Trailers has seen a significant increase in enquiries for their 5.5T Machinery Carriers .

Click here for more information:>>> KFS Special Vehicles
>>> Mac Trailer

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Content compiled and edited by:
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Page updated: February 2012

 

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