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Keeping You Informed

Refix are keen to keep you informed with the latest health and safety and building regulations. If you would like us to email you our latest news articles, keeping you informed of events that could affect your business please click here

June 2011

Refix accredited with ContractorPlus

Refix have received a new accreditation to the ContractorPlus scheme. The scheme is primarily health and safety based and shows that we are committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of both our staff and our clients. This accreditation will enable us to receive more work from Lambert Smith & Hampton as well as the many other clients registered to the scheme.

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May 2011

Our client receives "Best Loo of the Year 2010"

A national pub chain have won the ‘Best Loo of the Year award’ for 2010. Having entered 148 pubs they accumulated the award by having a large number of winning pubs in various categories. Three of the categories are rated by stars i.e. 3 star, 4star, and 5 star (5 star being the best). In the 5 star category they had 108 pubs awarded and in the 4 star they had 40 awarded. There were no pubs in the 3 star category.

The awards were based on a number of check points which included condition of the toilets, fittings, cubicles e.t.c. Ensuring that all toilets, urinals were flushing and draining correctly, were not chipped or cracked. That all tiles were correct and not cracked, chipped or broken. No tripping hazards etc.

Out of the 108 pubs in category 5 we maintain 16 on "Man In Van" visits. This goes to prove that we are doing our job correctly in looking after these properties. The award winning pubs are:

  • Dockle Farmhouse – Swindon
  • Sir Daniel Arms – Swindon
  • Diamond Tap – Newbury
  • The Red Lion – Petersfield
  • Moon in the Square – Bournemouth
  • Lord Wimborne – Poole
  • Night Jar – Ferndown
  • The Quay – Poole
  • The Parkstone and Heatherlands – Poole
  • Christopher Creeke – Bournemouth
  • The Mary Shelley - Bournemouth
  • William Henry – Weymouth
  • The Gatehouse – Chichester
  • The Three Fishes – Worthing
  • The Jack Fairman – Horley
  • The White Swan – Portsmouth

Thank you and Well done to all the operatives who work on these pubs it proves that you are doing a good job and reflects well on Refix as a whole for providing both the best service and the quality.

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April 2011

Refix Key Performance Indicators at 100%

Lin Prowting and Mark Warner attended the first of 3 monthly meetings at MML offices in Milton Keynes yesterday to discuss our performance and any issues to date following our first month`s trial with them.

They are very pleased with our performances to date which showed in our KPI`s:

32 jobs undertaken

  • 100% on Kiosk input
  • 100% on response times
  • 100% on Quotes submitted
  • 100% on first fix

Well done everybody in achieving the fantastic KPI scores, keep up the good work and I’m sure we will sail through the 3 month trial period with ease.

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March 2011

Comic Relief Refix Style!

red nose day

A big congratulations and thanks to Lucy for arranging the days festivities for this years comic relief. As you can see, the fancy dress theme was musically based and we had appearances from the Spice Girls, Peter Andre, The Village People, Amy Winehouse. even Phantom of the Opera was in the house!

We also had cakes for sale and the pick a pose (well done to Andy Mayhew who picked Gok Wan!). A big thanks to everyone that was involved.

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February 2011

Congratulations to Mark Warner


Mark Warner

A big congratulations to Mark Warner for his recent promotion to Contracts Manager.

Since Andy Mayhew's promotion to General Manager, Mark Warner has taken on Andy’s previous responsibilities including overseeing one of our biggest contracts, running the estimating department, liaising with the front office regarding reactive maintenance and overseeing the operatives.

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January 2011

National Pub Chain Praise Refix at Conference

At a recent meeting held at one of Britain’s most well-known conference centres, Refix were praised by the Director who covers the South as being one of the best building maintenance contractors to have worked for, in front of 600 other contractors. In a Directors forum held during the meeting he had been in contact or visited a number of the pubs in our area and had come across resounding praise for both our re-active and Man In Van services. This is excellent news and can only strengthen our working relationship with them as they expand their portfolio.

Senior Management expressed thanks to all of Refix staff for the excellent and efficient way we carry out the work for them.

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November 2010

Client Feedback Scheme

Here at Refix, we have decided to do something a bit different. As you can see from our Guarantee page, one of our guarantees is to listen to your feedback.

We strongly believe that no successful company can grow and develop to the best of their ability without honest and impartial feedback from their clients. This is why your feedback is crucial! Refix has joined forces with a third party called The Disc to manage a comprehensive feedback system to help us achieve perfection.

We will be using two main systems to enable our clients provide us with this important feedback. Firstly, our engineers will be leaving "free post" feedback cards with premises managers when they have completed a job. These can be filled in at any point and popped in the post to the impartial company The Disc (not to us, as you can remain anonymous if you wish).

Secondly, you can leave your feedback online. This will take you to a website where you can type your feedback online and give Refix a rating - Click here

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October 2010

Two decades of loyalty!

Two decades of loyalty

Its not often that companies can say that their staff have worked for them for over 2 decades, and Refix is proud to say that it has three members of staff that have done just that!

Lin Prowting has just celebrated her 21st year working for Refix, starting as a temporary worker in September 1989 as an Admin Assistant on £3 per hour, doing a 20 hour week. Pam & Chris took Lin on permanently shortly afterwards and she has been an integral part of Refix ever since.

Rob Windebank also passed a similar mile stone recently, hitting his 20th anniversary in August this year. Rob started on 20th August 1990 and was employed as “Maintenance Personnel” on £200 per week! We owe Rob a great deal for his loyalty and his hard work he has dedicated to Refix for the last 20 years.


A very sad day for Refix!

Last week was a very sad time for Refix as we are losing the longest serving member of the Refix team, Pete Bryrne.

Pete joined Refix Southern on the 18th January 1988 as "Shop Fitting and Maintenance Personnel". This is a staggering 22 years, 9 months and 4 days of service (or 1187 weeks)! Speaking to people who know Pete best, they are full of praise for his commitment to his work, his unwavering reliability and that he is a highly valued member of the team.


Refix reaches dizzy heights!

Dizzy Heights

The work at Marks & Spencer and Sainsburys in Hedge End has started. We have been commissioned to paint the spires on top of the building and as you can see we can be quite easily spotted from a distance!

More information on our Recent Projects page

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September 2010

Refix Paintball Day a Success!

Refix Paintball Day

A big thank you to all those who attended the Refix Paintball day! Delta Force in Romsey put on an exceptional day and all those involved had a great time. After speaking to a few that went, it was quickly apparent that we all ached and had some war wounds to compare. Out of the 12 teams that attended, the Refix team finished 3rd due to some excellent team work and a frankly superb performance from Tony ‘Top Gun’ Gammon. Tony was singled out for an award for his exceptional combat skills and tactics….well done Tony!

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August 2010

Refix loves social media!

Due to the overwhelming popularity of social networking, we at Refix felt it was a good opportunity to take full advantage. Nowadays, more and more companies use social networking to market and network their companies, mostly free of charge!

It makes Refix a more approachable, accessible and modern company, and is a great way to meet and share information with other businesses. The networking process takes a while, but we now have a live Facebook Page, Twitter and Linkedin account.

Have a look at our pages and become a fan of Refix on facebook, follow us on Twitter or join as an employee on Linkedin!

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July 2010

Home-grown speed camera now on test

A NEW generation of speed cameras – developed by a firm with headquarters in Hampshire that uses satellites to put the brakes on motorists is undergoing secret trials.

The SpeedSpike system from Chandler’s Ford based PIPS Technology uses automatic number plate recognition and the satellite based global positioning system to capture the positions of cars and then calculate an average speed over a distance. A record is made of cars found to be breaking speed limits and police hope it can recreate the system used to govern speed in motorway contraflows on any road.

PIPS said it could be used in a number of areas including motorways, A-roads, urban “rat runs” and to enforce speed restrictions around schools.

The new system has test sites on Salter Road in Southwark, south London, and the A374 from Torpoint to Antony in Cornwall, the company revealed in written evidence to the House of Commons Transport select committee.

Police superintendent Tim Swarbrick, chairman of the Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera partnership, said: "Average speed cameras have proved successful in roadworks on major trunk roads. The equipment is not being used for enforcement purposes as it is not Home Office approved at this stage."

The company, with headquarters in the US, created the Spike Automatic Number Plate Recognition camera used in the London congestion charging zone. The Spike won the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2005.

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June 2010

Refix Summer BBQ

We had a fantastic turnout for the Refix Summer BBQ. The weather turned nice in the end and the food was fantastic….especially the desserts! A big thank you to all those who came along, the salad and dessert contributions made for a banquet. It was a really enjoyable afternoon and it was good to see everyone away from work.

A big thank you to Pam & Chris for letting us take over their house for the afternoon. Also a thank you to Vicky who was cooking the food, even though she only had the use of one arm!

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May 2010

Port Solent - New contract

We are about 2 weeks in to the new Port Solent Contract. We are currently starting on phase 1....of many phases!

The feedback we have had so far has been frankly superb, Management has made a point of praising our operatives on the quality of their workmanship, their politeness and thorough understanding for the needs of their tenants and general public.

A very big well done to Andy May, Kris Lesniewski, Rafel Lesniewski and Justin Brown!

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April 2010

Drivers ‘unaware’ of ten-year licence rule?

Company car and van drivers may be unaware of the fact that their photocard driving licence must be renewed every ten years, according to research from a leading fleet software company.

Because the photocard was introduced in 1998, early adopters need to be aware now of this fact - While drivers can legally continue to drive when their photocard has expired, they face a potential charge of failing to renew their licence which can lead to a £1,000 fine.

The DVLA does issue reminders to drivers that their licence will soon need renewing, but you could potentially not receive this if, for example, you have moved house.

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January 2010

A fantastic start to 2010!

We are delighted to announce a fantastic start to 2010, having achieved our best financial results to date in January! A big thank you to Chas with Morrisons snow clearing, which has gone a long way to contribute to these figures, and to Mark and his team with the EMU refit. Furthermore EMU are so happy with the job, there will further warehouse refurbishment in the coming months.

We also have been successful in attaining a ‘man in a van’ contract with a large national pub chain. We will be providing reactive and planned maintenance to 65 separate locations throughout Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, West Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Planned visits will be either 1/2 day or 1 day and will take place either weekly, fortnightly or monthly - this will require and extra 1586 man days. Andy Mayhew and Lin were instrumental in cementing the agreement, which is due to increase our turnover by 50%. Well done to all and long may it continue!

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June 2009

Summer Property Maintenance Considerations

Summer is here bringing with it the promise of long, hot days, beaches and ice-creams - if only that was all we had to think about!

The drier weather and long hours of sunshine offer the opportunity to deal with the exterior of your premises with emphasis being put on exterior decoration, replacing guttering, fencing, car park works etc.

Security is also a big factor to consider.   Long evenings encourage people to stay out longer and that includes vandals who won’t be put off by a bit of daylight!  Make sure your premises are protected.  It is worth remembering that a well maintained property can have a major impact on the security of your premises.

Guttering Replacement

Guttering may have finally reached the end of its long life and need to be replaced now.  Remember to have this done before having any exterior decorating done as this will avoid mess falling onto newly decorated areas!

Exterior Decoration and Fencing

With the onset of drier weather, take the opportunity to give your premises a face lift as well as maintaining the condition of woodwork and brickwork.  This is a good time to have rotten or damaged woodwork replaced and cracks, mould growth or water ingress in your brickwork repaired.

We know that the last thing on your mind right now is the autumn but think about any fencing around your premises before the high winds of autumn do set in and destroy it!

Car Park and Other Ground Works

Summer is a good time to have your car park and other tarmac areas repaired or resurfaced while the ground is dry and frost free.  Other areas to consider are paved areas which may have been damaged by ice and frost over the last few months and now present a health & safety risk.

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May 2009

Refix Announces The Retirement of Estimator & Contracts Manager Graham Harding

Refix are very sad to have to announce the retirement of Mr Graham Harding. Graham has worked for Refix for over 14 years as an estimator and contracts manager.

However, as many of you will know, Graham has not enjoyed good health over the last two years and as a result of this he has decided to take early retirement. Graham’s last day with Refix was 8th May 2009.

We are sorry to see him leave and wish him a relaxed and long retirement.

Our estimating team, Andy Mayhew (contracts manager), Chas Chittenden, Mark Warner and David Oakley (administrator), will be ensuring a seamless transition and ensuring that service levels, including response and return times, are maintained.

Andy is keen not only to maintain but also to improve service levels and is always glad to receive comments and ideas from clients.

Mark Warner, who joined the Refix team in November 2008 will be taking responsibility for the majority of the work formerly covered by Graham.

All new estimate requests or works orders should be submitted using the following details:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 023 8045 5250
Fax: 023 8045 5118

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April 2009

Top Safety Accreditation for Refix Maintenance Ltd
Taken from Southampton & Fareham Chamber of Commerce & Industry News

Refix Maintenance Ltd, has been awarded the SAFEcontractor accreditation for the forth year running, demonstrating its continued commitment to health and safety.

The SAFEcontractor programme recognises very high standards of health and safety practise amongst UK contractors and is designed to help industry improve its safety record.

Established in 1988, Refix is an independent property maintenance company providing comprehensive building maintenance services to the retail, commercial and industrial sectors in central southern England. Through a fundamental commitment to providing an outstanding service, Refix has built a loyal customer base with clients including Argos, Wm Morrisons, Iceland and Focus to name a few.

"Refix takes health and safety very seriously and is committed to the safety and well being of both its staff and clients" says Chris Mansfield, Managing Director at Refix.

SAFEcontractor is operated by international safety, health and environmental risk management specialists, the National Britannia Group. The system is applicable to most sectors although it is particularly relevant to food manufacture, retail and leisure sectors, all of which are big users of contract services.

Darren Hughes, Operations Director for SAFEcontractor at National Britannia said 'Major organisations can no longer run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sounds health and safety policies.'

More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that Refix Maintenance Ltd has done. The firms' high standard has set an example, which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector.

More information can be obtained from the SAFEcontractor website.

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March 2009

Spring Property Maintenance Considerations

Spring has sprung and with the days getting longer and warmer, now is the time to concentrate on the exterior of your property and look at the issues put off over the cold, wet winter months.

Areas for consideration are fencing, roofing, paving, exterior paintwork, exterior of walls etc. Remember to call in professionals when a roof inspection is needed - never attempt to have a quick look off a ladder or other unsuitable equipment. Always keep health & safety at the forefront of your mind.

Roofing & Guttering

With the high winds, snow and rain of the winter months finally coming to an end, it is a good idea to have your roof inspected to make sure there are no loose tiles which could block gutters, fall on passers-by or cause other problems.

Now is also a good time to have your gutters cleared of winter debris and cut back any trees, shrubs or ivy which could cause future damage.

Walls and Paving

Take advantage of the drier weather and check walls for defective pointing, which can cause water penetration. Again, with Health & Safety in mind, paving should be cleared of slippery algae growth and sealed to prevent further growth.

Fencing

It is time to think about any fencing you may have around your property - boundary fences, walkways etc. For security and health & safety purposes, any damage caused by adverse weather conditions should be repaired now.

With the wet weather coming to an end, think about sprucing up your fencing with a coat of paint, both for aesthetic and preservation purposes.

Exterior Paintwork

Start checking on the condition of exterior paintwork as well as the timber it is protecting i.e. window and door frames. Staff and customers alike will be raring to get out of the winter slump. A coat of paint will not only uplift the look of your premises, but also the spirits of those coming in and out!

Wooden window and door frames should be inspected for rot and repaired/replaced while the weather is dry.

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October 2008

Autumn Property Maintenance Considerations

Every season, there are certain jobs which should be done in preparation for the weather conditions ahead. Prevention is always the best cure and the most cost effective way to avoid problems is to undertake a programme of planned property maintenance. Planned maintenance is effective in reducing any disruption and makes budget planning more efficient. For example; regular roof and gutter clearance can avoid blockages that may result in water damage to valuable stock and expensive redecorations. It is also worth remembering that research has shown a well maintained property is less likely to be targeted by vandals and criminals.

As summer turns to autumn, it is time to deal with exterior jobs in preparation for the long winter months. Decorative work should be finished before the atmosphere becomes damp and cold so consider any external painting or signage work. Other areas to consider this Autumn are detailed below.

Gutters, Rainwater Pipes and Drainage

Gutters and rainwater pipes need to be cleared of leaves and other debris for heavy rain and/or snow falls. Blockages can cause leaks or broken pipes. Signs of blockage may be most obvious during heavy rains but stains on walls and plant growth provide clues. Underground drainage should also be checked and rodded out if they overflow in heavy rains.

Roofing

Now is a good time to have a detailed roof inspection. Dislodged or damaged roof coverings should be repaired or replaced before damage occurs to roof timbers or plaster ceilings and to prevent leaks. Moss on roofs can cause blockages in your gutters or down pipes and should be removed.

Exterior Lighting

As the hours of daylight slowly reduce, think about your exterior lighting. Is it all working? Does it need to be repaired or replaced? Is it adequate for the dark winter nights? Think particularly about areas prone to icy patches, staircases, car parks and alleys.

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July 2008

Lighting Conductors - BS6651 & BS7671

The object of a lighting conductor system is to provide a direct path of least resistance to earth, for the strike and in doing so, prevent any side-flashing onto adjacent metalwork, or mains services i.e. electricity, gas or water etc.

The British Standard (BS66551/99) provides assessments on the “Need for Protection” for structures, based on the location, type of construction and the number of storms averaged for the area each year. However, other factors may require the need for possible protection to be considered, such as where there are explosive of highly flammable materials.

The installation of a conductor system will not prevent or attract a lightning strike, but if correctly installed will direct the current discharge safely to earth and protect the structure and occupants. The system will usually provide a grid network of roof conductors with down conductors spaced vertically around the building at 20 metre intervals each with an earth termination positioned at ground level to achieve the correct limits of impedance for protection.

This method has superseded the previous method, whereby a single conductor was positioned on the highest point of the building as this has now been proved not to be sufficient, a strike can occur to the side elevation of a building and by-pass a single conductor.

These standard recommendations should be particularly observed for public buildings, such as Libraries, Museums, Schools, Council Offices, Historic Buildings, Community Centers, High-rise Housing and many other structures where people congregate in significant numbers such as Churches, Cathedrals and Hospitals.

Having taken into account all the above information, the final decision to protect a building may be necessitated by the value of the contents or danger to life, should lightning strike the building.

More information can be obtained from the NICEIC website.

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June 2008

BS 7671:2008 IEE Wiring Regulations - 17th Edition

The 17th Edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations will come into effect from 1st July 2008. From then on all commercial, domestic and industrial wiring installations must be designed, constructed, inspected, tested and certified to meet the requirements of BS7671:2008.

With the combination of new technologies, products and continuing harmonization the 17th Edition includes all the necessary changes to maintain technical alignment with European Harmonization Documents and the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) numbering system.

The 17th Edition also includes a major revision to Chapter 41, Protection Against Electric Shock, where the previous approach of protection against both Direct and Indirect Contact has been revised to line up with the international convention of Basic Protection and Fault Protection.

The best way to make sure you comply with these new regulations is to use electrical contractors who have been trained for the 17th Edition and belong to organizations such as Electrical Contractors Association (ECA), National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC), or The Electrical Contractors' Association of Scotland (SELECT).

More information can be obtained from the NICEIC website.

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May 2008

Refix win Brockenhurst College Business Competition

Refix Maintenance Limited were celebrating after winning Brockenhurst College's 'Business Card Bonanza' competition.

The competition was run at the recent Business South event on the Brockenhurst College Business Services stand where visitors and exhibitors were invited to enter their Business Cards into a prize draw. Chris Mansfield, MD of Refix was the lucky winner, whose card was drawn by the College's Business Accounts Executive, Melina Brothers, after the show.

Refix co-directors Chris & Pam Mansfield were awarded their prizes by Melina in a presentation at the company's Netely Abbey office this week. Whilst receiving their prizes which included a bottle of champagne, a luxury bag of merchandise donated by Sunseeker and a training voucher to use at the College, Pam said, "We are delighted with the unexpected prizes. We will certainly be putting the voucher to good use as we have a number of new staff who need first aid training."

Melina commented, "Business South proved to be a really good networking event for us so it's nice to give something back to the people who come to see us on our stand and hopefully we can continue to building mutually beneficial business relationship with Refix in the future."

More information can be obtained from the Brockenhurst College website.

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April 2008
Refix Maintenance Ltd gains Constructionline Certification

Taken from the Southampton & Fareham Chamber of Commerce & Industry News

Refix Maintenance was delighted to have received confirmation of its certification by Constructionline and has joined Constructionline's database of pre approved suppliers.

Constructionline is owned and endorsed by the Department of Trade and Industry. With a database containing details of over 14,000 contractors and consultants within the construction industry, it is used by more than 1,700 buyers from central government department and agencies, to Local Authorities, Universities and NHS Trusts across the UK.

Under the Constructionline scheme Refix Maintenance has gained certification in the following areas of expertise:

  • Emergency lighting and power
  • Portable Appliance Testing
  • Testing of Electrical installations
  • Electrical Installation and Maintenance / Services
  • Electrical Services
  • Internal Electrical Installations
  • Joinery
  • Building Maintenance Service (Building Fabric)
  • Building Maintenance Service (External)
  • Building Services (Car Parks)
  • Electrical Services (Car Parks)
  • Building Refurbishment
  • Building repairs and improvements
  • Car Park Marking and Signage

Chris Mansfield, Managing Director of Refix Maintenance commented: "At Refix we aim to provide a property maintenance service that is second to none. Gaining Construction certification emphasises our organisations ongoing professional development. Adding Constructionline to our Safe Contractor and CHAS (Contractors Health and Safety Scheme) accreditations demonstrates our commitment to health and safety and customer service."

More information can be obtained from the Constructionline website.

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March 2008

'Shattered Lives' - HSE Campaign

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has launched the ‘Shattered Lives’ campaign to highlight the devastating consequences of simple slips, trips and falls, including falls from height, in the work place. On average, one person dies every week from a slip, trip or fall at work.

Last year over a third of injuries from slips, trips and falls reported to the HSE originated in the food manufacturing and food retail industries. In catering and hospitality, over 10 major injuries where reported each week.

Of the almost 11,000 slip, trip and fall injuries reported to the HSE last year from the sectors targeted through this campaign, nearly 46% were from the construction, building and plant maintenance industries. An HSE representative said ‘Slips and trips can be viewed as being minor, funny accidents but the effects are not. It can lead to major injuries, time off work, a lifetime of disability or even fatalities. If you spot a hazard, don’t assume somebody else will sort it’.

‘Slips, trips and falls can have a serious effect on businesses through employee absence, sick pay and reduced productivity’.

The ‘Shatter Lives’ campaign offers guidance to employers and employees in the construction, building and plant maintenance and food manufacturing and retails industries, where the incidence of injuries resulting from slips, trips and falls is the highest.

More information can be obtained from the Health & Safety Executive website.

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November 2007

Working at Height - HSE Warning

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has reminded employers to ensure that they have safe systems of work in place when working at height.

On average, one person dies every month at work after falling through a fragile roof or skylight and many others suffer permanent disabling injury. Contractors and building owners have a joint legal responsibility to ensure that construction, repair or cleaning is planned properly and carried out safely.

An HSE representative stated 'If your company does not have the specialist knowledge for this type of work, it should not be attempted. Repairing a fragile roof is potentially high risk. Before work starts, ensure that a competent person assesses the roof using a safe system of work. All those carrying our the repair work must be suitably trained and supervised and follow a method of work based on a risk assessment'.

Similar advise exists for other work at height.

More information can be obtained from the Health & Safety Executive website.

Refix have recently been successful in our re-accreditation against the SAFEcontractor scheme, assuring our clients of our health & safety arrangements.

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September 2007

Fire Safety Reform - One Year On

It is now almost a year since the Fire Safety Reform came into effect. Is your business complying with the new rules?

Responsibilty for complying with the Fire Safety Order rests with the 'responsible person'. In a workplace, this is the employer or anyone else who may have control over any part of the premises e.g. the occupier or owner.

Fire risk assessments must be carried out and should take into account the following points:

  • Fire escape routes and fire doors
  • Emergency lighting
  • Fire detection and alarm systems
  • Signage

The Fire Safety Order requires an appropirate fire detection and alarm system to be provided in premises. Escape routes and exits requiring illumination must be provided with emergency lighting. The fire alarm and emergency lighting system must be subjected to a suitable system of maintenance.

More information can be obtained from the Department for Communities and Local Government You can also download their guides from this website.

Refix can help you comply with the rules by installing signage, emergency lighting, fire doors etc. Why not enquire about our NICEIC approved inspection, testing and maintenance services?

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August 2007

Working at Height Safely

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have been running a 'ladder exchange' programme throughout August, with a stark reminder of the dangers of working at height incorrectly.

In 2005/6, 46 people died and there were 3351 major injuries as a direct result of falls from height. The 1200 fatal and major injuries each year from falls from ladders costs the economy more than £60million.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 came into force on 6th April 2005 and introduces a hierarchy for use when planning and risk assessing work at height. Duty holders should consider how to avoid working at theight. If this is not possible, they should take steps to prevent a fall occuring. Where they cannot prevent a fall, they should take steps to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall.

A ladder should only be used where a risk assessment demonstrates that the taks is low risk and of short duration, or where there are existing features on site that cannot be altered and the use of other equipment is not practical. Such features include restricted space preventing other equipment from being put in place correctly or ground conditions that mean that there is no suitable area to set up alternative equipment.

More information can be obtained from the Health & Safety Executive website.

Refix work to the highest standards of health & safety which is attested by our accreditation to the SAFEcontractor standard.

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June 2007

Electrical Safety at Work

Around 1000 electrical accidents at work are reported to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) each year, with about 25 people dying of their injuries.

Many deaths and injuries arise from use of poorly maintained electrical equipment. Fires started by poor installations and faulty electrical appliances also cause many deaths and injuries.

There are many ways to reduce the risks when working with electricity. Measures suggested by HSE in Electrical Safety and You include:

  • Ensuring an electrical installation is safe: By making sure new installations eadhere to BS 7671, maintaining existing installations and providing enough socket outlets.
  • Providing safe and suitable equipment: For example, by choosing suitable equipment for the job, by using alternative devices where possible such as air tools, providing clearly identifiable switches to isolate machines, and protecting easily broken fittings such as light bulbs.
  • Reducing the voltage: By using battery operated tools, lower voltage temporary lighting and running power tools on lower voltages.
  • Providing a safety device: By running a Residual Current Device which detects some, but not all, faults in an electrical system and turns the supply off.
  • Carrying out preventative maintenance.

The best way to find out if your electrical installations or electrical equipment is safe is to have it inspected and tested by a person who has the competence to do so, such as an Electrical Contractors Association (ECA), National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICECI) or The Electrical Contractors' Association of Scotland (SELECT) approved electrical contractor.

Refix has been a member of the NICEIC since 1993 and is fully competent in all aspects of electrical installation, remedial works, testing & inspection, maintenance etc.

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May 2007

HSE Issues Maintenance Warning

The Health & Safety Executive have reminded Councils, Councillors and Chief Executives of the importance of carrying out prompt and effective repairs to communal areas of their properties.

The reminder comes after the death of a 13 year old boy on a stairwell which was in an unsafe condition in a building managed by the London Borough of Newham.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Section 3 (1) states 'It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.'

All landlords who have communal areas in their buildings have a duty of care to ensure these areas are safe for all who have access to them.

Things to think about include keeping stairwells clear of any rubbish; ensuring there is adequate lighting, including emergency lighting; making the necessary repairs promptly; ensuring fire doors are working etc.

Refix can help ensure your communal areas are kept safe by making any necessary repairs, installing adequate lighting etc.

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April 2007

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

There is more and more focus on our duty to preserve precious natural resources for the future and to reduce our carbon footprint.

One way an organisation can achieve this is by fitting washrooms with environmentally-friendly warm air hand dryers. They are a more responsible choice because there is no need to fell trees to produce paper towels. They are also hygienic in that there is no risk of cross-infection from soiled towels.

From a cost point of view, warm air hand dryers can save up to 80% of the cost of supplying and maintaining a washroom with paper or roller towels.

Once installated, low maintenance means that servicing is virtually eliminated, which means that protecting the environment needn't be a costly option.

Refix can supply and install warm air hand dryers for you as well as fulfil all your other electrical requirements.

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March 2007

BS 7671:2008 IEE Wiring Regulations - 17th Edition

BS 7671:2008 Requirements for Electrical Installations is due to be issued on 1 January 2008, and after a six month transition period, is intended to come into full effect on 1 July 2008.

The purpose of the revision is to bring the regulations in line with the European requirements and much of the revised content will be based on European Harmonisation Documents that have already been accepted by the UK.

Among other things, the 17th edition will include a new series of regulations concerning lighting installations, emergency escape lighting and fire protection applications.

The requirements of inspection and testing are generally similar to those in BS7671:2001.

The full extent of the changes will not become apparant intil the consultation period is over and the new requirements are issued on 1 January 2008.

In the meantime, further information can be found on the IET website.

Refix will keep you up to date with progress as we receive it. Why not give us a call to discuss your current electrical requirements?

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February 2007

Safety Advice - Floors & Traffic Routes

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues and apply to most workplaces. One area of importance is providing a safe 'traffic route'.

'Traffic route' means a route for pedestrian traffic, vehicles or both, and includes any stairs, fixed ladder, doorway, gateway, loading bay or ramp. The Health & Safety Executive offer the following advice:

  • Try to keep vehicles and people apart by ensuring they use entirely seperate routes to enable them to move safely.
  • If they share a traffic route, use kerbs, barriers or clear markings to designate a safe walkway and if pedestrians need to cross a vehicle route, provide clearly marked crossing points.
  • Plan traffic routes where drivers do not need to reverse by using one-way systems and drive-through loading bays.
  • Set speed limits and provide route markings and signs so that drivers and pedestrians know where to go and what rules apply to their route.
  • Loading bays should include a refuge to avoid people being struck or crushed by vehicles.
  • Floors and traffic routes should be sound and strong enough for loads placed on them and the traffic expected to use them. Surfaces should not have holes or be uneven or slippery. Maintenance systems should be developed to undertake repair when necessary.
  • Handrails should be provided on at least one side of every staircase.

More information can be obtained from the Health & Safety Executive website.

Call Refix to discuss your traffic route requirements, repairs/updates to existing systems or any other issues.

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January 2007

Smoking Ban

A smoking ban in workplaces will be in force across the UK by the summer of 2007. If you have yet to consider this new legistation and its practical effects, you will need to do so soon!

Premises: The smoking ban will mean the closure of dedicated 'smoking rooms'. Only smoking outside in open air will be permitted. However, employers can provide limited shelter for staff as long as these are not considered 'enclosed or substantially enclosed'. Premises will be considered to be enclosed if they have a ceiling or roof and, except for doors, windows or passageways, are wholly enclosed, whether on a permanent or temporary basis.

Premises are substantially enclosed of they have a ceiling or roof, but there are permanent openings in teh walls which are less than half of the total area of walls, including other structures which serve the purpose of walls and constitute the perimeter of premises. When determining the area of an opening, no account can be taken of openings in which doors, windows or other fittings can be open or shut.

Signage*: Premises and vehicles that are to be smokefree under the law will be required to have no-smoking signs in place at each entrance, displayed in a prominent position.

Signage should be a minimum area of any shape that is equal to the size A4 showing the international no smoking symbol at lease 70mm in diameter (the most commonly used minimum size currently); and contains in characters that can easily be read, the following words:

"No smoking. It is against the law to smoke in these premises".

More information about the full regulations can be found at Smoke Free England.

*The Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations, which relate to required signage under snokefree legislation are currently being considered by Europe under the Technical Standards Directive and will be laid before Parliament after the 3 month consulation process is complete. There is no intention to change these regulations any further; they therefore should be used as the final regulations until these are laid.

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