Archive | January, 2014

Health and Safety Series: Protect your back

29 Jan

The next blog in our Health and Safety series looks at how to work safely avoiding injury to your back. Back injuries and back pain occur in many construction trades including bricklayers, scaffolders, ground-workers, general labourers and of course the fenestration industry.

The most common cause of an injury to the back is through lifting and carrying heavy weights. In our industry there is the potential for sustaining an injury with the amount of manoeuvring and moving of window frames and glass that takes place. These injuries not only affect the back but sometimes the shoulders and neck, and legs as well.

An injury to your back can result in considerable pain and the inability to work, a situation you will want to avoid at all costs.

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So how can you try to avoid becoming incapacitated by a back injury?

  • Try to keep any lifting and carrying to the minimum. Have stock delivered as close as possible to where it will be used.
  • Avoid lifting objects by hand that you know are heavy. If there is no alternative try to get assistance with the lift.
  • If appropriate use mechanical lifting equipment.
  • Make sure you and other workers know how to use the equipment
  • Always assess the weight of the object before lifting and consider the size, strength and training needed to be able to lift it safely.
  • If working in an awkward position, such as in a restricted space or roof void, be extra careful when bending or crouching. It is very easy to strain a muscle when moving in an abnormal fashion.
  • Do not let the demands and pressures of the job make you take unnecessary risks.
  • Do not work too long without a break as tiredness can affect your concentration.
  • Know your own physical capability. Do not push your body past its limits.
  • Consider your work environment and its impact on what you are doing. Adverse weather such as strong winds can make the moving of heavy, flat objects difficult to control.

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If you would like to find out more about working safely, there is valuable information on the Health and Safety Executive website.

Do you have a safety tip of your own to share? Please feel free to jot it down in the comments below.

The FIT Show 2014 Master Fitter Challenge

13 Jan

Are you going to the FIT Show, we are! Last year’s inaugural show was very successful with almost 6,000 visitors and 170 exhibitors. Now, that’s a huge achievement. In fact it was so successful it is going to take place all over again this year from 10-12th June at the Telford International Centre.

For the second year running we are very pleased to be sponsoring the FIT Show 2014 Master Fitter Challenge. We are committed to raising standards within the Fenestration industry and what better way than encouraging installers to showcase their installation skills and have some fun in the process.

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The challenge involves eight installers installing a window and door over two days, fast and efficiently, observing installation best practice, health and safety procedures, using great customer care and to the strict criteria established by GQA assessors and the Fenestration College.  If all that didn’t present a big enough challenge, the installers will have to work with their peers and the thousands of visitors at the show looking on!

Not only will each installer be competing for his honour and professional pride but also for a share of the £10,000 prize fund. The winners will have their moment of glory at the FIT Show Gala Dinner where their success will be announced to the 800 guests. This event will certainly be the highlight of the show.

If you are interested in taking part in the challenge you must register by completing an online application form. The next stage will involve a telephone interview where you will need to answer some technical questions. If you pass this stage successfully, you will then be visited on-site by one of the assessors who will observe you working. From all the information collated from these stages the Assessment team will then select the eight individual installers to take part in the Master Fitter Challenge at the FIT Show.

So what have you got to lose? The deadline for entering the FIT Show Master Fitter Competition has been extended to 31 March 2014, so why not take up the challenge and apply today?

New Year Resolutions

6 Jan

As 2013 fades in to memory the Fenestration industry is moving forward in to a new era.

By the end of June this year all our installers and surveyors must be MTC compliant and have transitioned to Certified Installer status to be able to continue to self-certify.

Why not make some New Year resolutions to ensure you have dealt with these two major changes so you are all set up and ready for 2014?

Let’s have a re-cap on what you need to do.

Minimum Technical Competencies (MTC) are a mandatory requirement for all installers and surveyors registered with a glazing Competent Person Scheme. They were introduced to the fenestration industry in September 2012 by the government to improve standards in the replacement glazing sector. You must be able to demonstrate certain experience, knowledge and competence to achieve compliance. The FENSA MTC Card has been designed to be the simplest and most cost effective route for you to satisfy these requirements.

So, your first New Year resolution is to just click this link and get the ball rolling. Don’t forget it takes a minimum of three months, so you will need to start your MTC compliance process before March 2014.

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Now, what about your second New Year resolution? As you are probably aware the government has introduced revised Competent Person Scheme (CPS) requirements. This means all window, door and roof light replacement glazing CPSs have to transfer their existing registered companies from self-certifying under the old CPS, to self-certifying under the revised CPS requirements. You must have transitioned by the 6th June this year to be able to continue to self-certify. These transition inspections have already begun.

We are holding two webinars looking at Transition to the revised Competent Person Scheme requirements in January as follows:

  • Thu 16 Jan 2014  (7pm – 8pm) Book your free place here
  • Wed 29 Jan 2014 (1pm – 2pm) Book your free place here

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You can also join us for our Q&A sessions about MTC and Transition on Twitter. If you do not have a Twitter account, it is free and is easy to set up an account at https://twitter.com/signup.

To participate, simply log into your Twitter account and tweet us your question: @FENSA_Windows

  • Tue 14 Jan 2014 Transition (1pm – 2pm)
  • Thu 23 Jan 2014 MTC (1pm-2pm)
  • Tue 4 Feb 2014 Transition (7pm – 8pm)
  • Thu 13 Feb 2014 MTC (7pm-8pm)
  • Wed 26 Feb 2014 Transition (2pm – 3pm)
  • Tue 11 Mar 2014 MTC (2pm-3pm)
  • Wed 26 Mar 2014 Transition (7pm – 8pm)

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We are trying to make this Transition as easy as possible and have published our ‘Guide for Transition to Certified Installer’ which you can find in your installers’ area at http://www.fensaonline.com/

So, make your second New Year resolution to begin your Transition process now to ensure you are fully compliant by the end of June to continue to self-certify.