Archive | October, 2012

Transition Stage for Revised Competent Person Scheme Requirements

24 Oct

We are now entering the next phase of the transition to the revised Competent Person Scheme requirements as set out by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

 
Even though the title may sound daunting, it just means all glazing CPSs have to transfer their existing registered companies from self-certifying under the old CPS, to self-certifying under the revised CPS requirements.

 
This is not as scary as it sounds or anything to worry about.

Here at FENSA, we are making the transition as smooth as possible. We have been thinking long and hard about how we can help our registered businesses with the process.
We know you want to have all the information at your fingertips, so we have produced our
‘Guide for Transition to Certified Installer’ which you can find in your installers’ area at http://www.fensaonline.com/


Of course, there is some paperwork to get through, but to help with that, you will find all the necessary templates there as well.

 
At some point between now and June 2014, you will receive notification that you should proceed with your transition. Don’t panic! We have a dedicated team to guide you through the procedure and you will have plenty of time to find everything you need. You will probably find you already have all the necessary documentation and just need to set it out differently. This is where the templates will come in really useful.

 
It may be that you can demonstrate your competency through ‘Grandfather’s Rights’. This is because experience counts and should be recognised. So, check to see if this applies to you as this could be the way forward for you to satisfy the requirements.

 
It should be remembered that these new requirements have been set out by the DCLG and all glazing CPSs have to comply. They have been implemented to raise standards in our industry, which is a good thing for installers and customers alike. They will help to eliminate ‘cowboys’ and will increase consumer confidence in the industry.

 
If you are anxious or worried about the transition in any way, please contact our dedicated team who will be happy to answer your questions. Just call 0207 645 3700 or email enquiries@fensa.org.uk .

You can also ask us any questions on our Twitter account and we will come back to you @FENSA_Windows

Building Blocks Series 1: Windows Matter

8 Oct

As you know, here at FENSA we love windows. That’s why we decided to put this blog series together, where we focus on iconic buildings and how the glazing has contributed to the overall impact.

Where better to start than Western Europe’s tallest building, The Shard?
Standing at a staggering 309.6m and clad entirely in glass from top to toe with 11,000 windows, we thought it would make a perfect subject for our blog.
The Shard was designed in 2000 by Renzo Piano, an Italian architect, who saw his vision officially opened in the presence of the Prince of York on 5th July 2012.

Before any work could commence on the Shard itself, there was already a 24-storey office block standing where it was going to be built called Southwark Towers, which had to be demolished. This was done level by level, until the building disappeared in 2009.

The way was then clear to start the construction of the Shard in February 2009. By November 2010 it had passed the 235m mark, becoming Britain’s tallest building.
In December 2011, the Shard had become the tallest building in the European Union, well on its way for the final 516 panes of glass to be added in April 2012, completing the Shard at its full height of 309.6 m
This amazing building was glazed with special façades of angled glass panes that could reflect sunlight and the sky above. These panes of glass meant that the appearance of the Shard would change with the weather and seasons. It also meant 11,000 windows! That translates to 8 football pitches or 602.779sq feet.

Now that is a serious window cleaning headache!

David Burrows / Shutterstock.com

The View from The Shard is the highest vantage point from any building in Western Europe and almost twice as high as any other viewing point in London with a 360 degree view. It will be awe inspiring to experience the view from the Shard opening on 1 February 2013 and we can’t wait!
If this blog has sparked an interest in this stunning building, there is more information and a wonderful gallery of photos on the Shard website

Health and Safety series: Just when you thought everything had been said about the 2012 Olympics……..

1 Oct

We thought we should discuss one of the little known legacies. We all know that Health and Safety is an important consideration for the construction industry as a whole. This is particularly pertinent for our valiant FENSA fitters, out in all weathers; working at height, power tools… you know the scenarios! So what is the 2012 legacy left to the construction industry? Well, it can benefit from the health and safety strategies used in the construction of the Olympic Park.

You may be unaware that the Olympic Park was built with zero construction fatalities. Considering the size of the project, 3 million hours worked without a single reportable injury and being the largest construction site in Europe, with more than 12,000 workers, the reportable accident rate on the Olympic Park was around a third of the construction-industry average and below the national average for all workplaces. This is an amazing achievement.

It stands to reason then, that the construction industry should look to safety methods used while building the Olympic Park.

So, how did they do it?
The Olympic Park was the first construction site in the UK to have a dedicated team of health experts on site working on preventing ill health as well as accidents.
A study by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health and the Health and Safety Executive found 5 important strategies that were implemented.
Lead from the top. The Olympic Delivery Authority set standards and also visibly engaged with the workforce to direct, motivate and change behaviour.
Develop competent supervisors. The positive impact of technically knowledgeable supervisors upon health and safety was understood, as well as softer communication skills to influence understanding and behaviour.
Foster an open, positive safety culture. If workers are engaged and feel managers care for their wellbeing, they’re more likely to get involved with the health and safety process.
Reward good behaviour. Incentives and rewards helped to promote and encourage safe behaviour.
Review and learn. Any problems were constantly reviewed and communicated across the organisation.

Ok, a lot of words there, but the really important aspect of these strategies showed that they were often at little cost to contractors, so a good health and safety record could be maintained throughout the build, by whatever company was involved.

There was also very encouraging evidence that workers from the Olympic Park, continued to implement the safety lessons they had learned, even after they moved to other construction projects. So these health and safety policies should filter down to our FENSA Fitters, where ever they may be working – We think this is a legacy worth having!

If you want to learn more, there is a HSE document ‘Safety Culture on the Olympic Park’ http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr942.pdf