Businesses urged to promote sun safety for Sun Awareness Week

THOUSANDS of skin cancer cases in the UK could be prevented if businesses develop ‘sun safety strategies’, the leading chartered body for health and safety professionals have warned.

At least 1,500 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and 240 new cases of malignant melanoma linked to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure at work are diagnosed in Britain each year.

But 90% of all skin cancer deaths can be prevented if businesses – and their employees – take proper precautions.

During Sun Awareness Week (6-12 May), the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is urging employers to save lives by developing ‘sun safety strategies’ that include regular updates on the UV index from weather forecasts, minimising sun exposure in the middle of the day, potentially swapping jobs among team members at regular intervals, and asking employees to wear long-sleeved, loose-fitting tops and trousers.

Mary Ogungbeje, Research Manager at IOSH, said: “Both malignant melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer are on the rise in Britain and Europe and sun exposure is the main cause. In Britain alone, skin cancer kills 60 workers a year, and outdoor workers are particularly at risk due to the nature of their roles.

“However, the majority of skin cancer deaths can be prevented if people control their exposure to solar UV radiation. There are a range of ways businesses can adapt to better protect workers, from minimising exposure to direct sunlight in the middle part of the day to ensuring outdoor workers wear appropriate clothing.”

IOSH says it is vital managers, workers and the wider public understand the importance of good sun safety and make efforts to mitigate the risks. By being aware of the dangers of UV exposure and taking the necessary precautions, lives can be saved.

“Through our No Time to Lose (NTTL) campaign, we’re raising awareness of occupational cancer and some of the most common causes, including solar radiation,” said Mary Ogungbeje.

“To help businesses develop sun safety strategies, we’ve developed a range of free practical resources to help prevent exposure. These resources can be downloaded at”

IOSH presented the solar radiation phase of NTTL in Paris last month during a multi-stakeholder summit on occupational skin cancer, which was organised by the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV).

The summit brought together a group of high-level representatives from medical and public health organisations, patient advocacy groups and trade unions to discuss how to improve workplace sun safety, provide earlier and better access to treatments and improve reporting and registration of NMSC cases.

At the event, it was highlighted that non-melanoma skin cancer is the world’s most frequently diagnosed cancer, with an estimated 2-3 million cases registered every year. The economic impact of work-related UVR is significant, with the annual healthcare costs in Europe estimated to be as high as EUR 853 million per year.

Ultraviolet radiation is a risk that particularly affects outdoor workers, who receive 5-10 times the yearly sun exposure of indoor workers.

Outdoor workers in construction, farming, fishing, recreation, sports and public services are regularly exposed to UVR for more than 75% of their daily working hours. It is estimated that the risk of developing skin cancer increases significantly with five or more years of outdoor work.

To better understand workers’ attitudes towards sun safety, this year, IOSH funded new research led by researchers from Heriot-Watt University and the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh to better understand UK construction workers’ attitudes towards sun safety and measure UV exposure.

The research investigated whether an intervention in the form of a combination of short messages delivered to the smartphones of construction workers, along with appropriate organisational support, can keep workers safe and healthy. The messages attempted to influence workers to reduce exposure to UV radiation in summer and to increase intake of vitamin D in winter when sun exposure cannot maintain a healthy amount.

The study shows that during the summer the desire to get a sun tan remained high among workers, with many exposing themselves to UV radiation deliberately, increasing their risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer.

Professor John Cherrie, Principal Investigator on the research from Heriot-Watt University, said: “In Britain we love the sun and having a sun tan, but unprotected exposure to the summer sun can cause irreversible damage to our skin and ultimately may lead to a diagnosis of skin cancer. Our desire for a tan is stopping us from taking proper care to protect our skin from the damaging effects of the UV radiation in sunlight.”

More information about the IOSH-funded research is available here:

Over 120 businesses worldwide have also signed IOSH’s pledge to tackle occupational cancer. Organisations can join the growing number of businesses leading on tackling occupational cancer by and signing up to the No Time to Lose pledge:

Master Abrasives appointed UK representatives for RK Systems

MASTER Abrasives is now offering vibro-balancing equipment by RK Systems as their new representative in the UK.

RK Systems is a manufacturer in Poland that develops and produces measurement and data acquisition systems such as oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, universal device programmers and systems for dynamic rotor balancing. The VibroDAQ is a professional measurement system for balancing and vibration measurements which can be used in various industries involved in maintenance of mechanical equipment in different types of companies. 

The VibroDAQ portable system allows one and two plane rotor balancing. The device is equipped with an LCD touch screen display and has special sophisticated algorithms for grinding wheel balancing and control meeting the ISO1940 requirements. It's provided with USB 2.0 (high speed, full speed) and RS-232 communication interfaces.

The VibroDAQ 4 is a measurement system for multiplane balancing different kind of rotors. The system allows one, two, three and four plane rotor balancing as well as vibration measurements (including FFT).

Master Abrasives already sells a comprehensive range of machinery and equipment and the addition of balancing equipment allows the company to offer the complete package for grinding and finishing along with technical applications advice.

Ian Meredith, Applications Engineering Manager, said: “The VibroDAQ basic balancer and advanced balancer will be available for use and demonstration in our grinding and finishing showroom along with our grinding machines, coolant nozzles and abrasives. Any interested customers can arrange to visit us in the Midlands for a demonstration of our machinery and equipment.”

Amazing achievements celebrated at hire awards ceremony

BUSINESSES in the hire industry have been advised to keep up with Brexit preparations, whatever the outcome following the extension of Article 50, to ensure that vital supplies for construction projects in the UK remain in place and to sustain the growth that the multibillion-pound equipment rental market is currently enjoying.

Speaking at the industry’s Hire Awards of Excellence 2019, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Saturday, 13 April, HAE EHA chairman Brian Sherlock told the packed audience that no-one should ignore the value of the construction equipment rental market, which reached an estimated £4.7billion in 2018 (AMA Research).

Giving the welcome address at the occasion to mark the amazing achievements of hire and supply companies across the UK’s plant, tool, equipment and event hire industry, Brian said that hire demand has continued to grow, benefiting from increased construction activity in infrastructure, house building, office projects, education and non-residential sectors such as manufacturing and the events sector.

Last year also saw rental companies renewing and expanding fleets again, but HAE EHA’s chairman added: “No one can predict the outcome of Brexit and the almost daily developments in Brussels and Parliament – the hire sector is affected by many different policies and restrictions. We should ensure that all businesses represented in the room have in place suitable and proportionate arrangements to support our employees and ensure ongoing supply to our customers.”

At the prestigious awards ceremony, hosted by Strictly Come Dancing star and TV presenter Anton du Beke, tribute was paid to Graham Arundell, who is stepping down after 12 years as Managing Director of HAE EHA to take on a part-time role as CEO of the Association.

Graham commented: “HAE continues to look forward, to seek solutions and to provide help and guidance to our wonderful hire industry. As a part of that aspiration we are in the process of establishing a UKAS accredited certification body. This division of Hire Association Europe will deliver the requirements of SafeHire and work with other schemes to provide assessment services aiming to help members reduce the cost of contract tender prequalification. Additionally, it will offer cost effective certification to ISO standards for members, saving costs and perhaps more importantly retaining that revenue within the industry.

“As an industry we do still have to address the likelihood of future skill shortages in our own sector. I am therefore pleased to announce that HAE has recently been awarded funding by CITB for a project valued at up to £300,000, over a 2-year programme to deliver immersive learning for our sector and beyond. And the good news continues as Hiretrain, the industry forum for training development and delivery, has once again had its funding extended - providing further real opportunity and benefit for the sector. It has also been successful in gaining significant monies from the CITB Skills & Training Fund to provide further support to members to train both new recruits and current staff.

“As retirement beckons for me and I close my last speech at these Awards I would like to reiterate my personal thanks to you all for your support, help, guidance and inspiration over the last 12 years. It is absolutely true that we are Stronger Together.”

Brian and Graham also reiterated the Associations’ commitment to promoting apprenticeships, especially to the younger generation, the promotion of more women within the hire industry, and reflected on the success of the SafeHire Certification scheme and the introduction of the Hire Industry Trusted Supplier (HITS) programme.

Brian Sherlock ended his welcome address by saying: “The awards are a celebration of everything that’s great about our industry. Whether you have won an award or not, to have been shortlisted is an achievement in itself.”

Strictly star du Beke then delighted the audience with his flamboyant personality and ensured proceedings ran like clockwork during the presentations, while rock and pop function band ‘The Heat’ provided the musical entertainment later in the evening.

It was not only hire businesses competing for these prestigious accolades: crucial recognition was also given to outstanding individuals who have consistently stood out from the crowd and achieved some of the highest standards in the industry, such as the recipient of this year’s HAE EHA Chairman’s Award, Adrian Watts. He received the award in recognition of outstanding service to the tool hire business spanning over 25 years and for his significant role introducing the successful SafeHire Certification scheme as an integral part of Association membership.

Hire Awards 2019 - recap and winners

For a more comprehensive list of all the winners and runners up from the show, see

Home security specialist ERA acquires Y-cam

ERA, THE UK’s leading home security specialist, has purchased British smart security pioneer Y-cam.

The acquisition will make ERA one of the most advanced and capable providers of smart security solutions for the home.

Y-cam’s proprietary cloud platform, alongside its range of award-winning security cameras, alarms and sensors, will bring ERA unrivalled expertise in the sector and substantial potential for further growth.

According to a recent GfK Global report, the UK is the fastest growing smart home market in Europe and smart security products have the second highest level of appeal after connected entertainment devices.

Darren Waters, ERA’s CEO, said: “This acquisition is an important strategic move for ERA. Rapid growth in the connectivity of British homes coupled with a big increase in consumer awareness means that demand for trustworthy smart security technology is increasing rapidly.

"Unlike many other businesses in the sector, we’re building our smart capability on 180 years of home security expertise; this unrivalled experience gives massive confidence to trade partners and end-users alike. The acquisition of Y-cam puts ERA right at the forefront of the smart security market.”

Mind launches new toolkit for workplace wellbeing in construction

THE mental health charity Mind has added a new toolkit for the construction sector, which can be found at the Mental Health at Work website. This UK-wide initiative allows all types of employers and employees to access free tools, advice and information – all in one place.

The construction toolkit comprises resources from a range of expert organisations and includes tips on how to start the conversation on mental health, mental health first aid training and five steps to building a positive and supportive culture in construction. Mind invited colleagues from Building Mental Health to put together this toolkit of resources.

Faye McGuinness, Head of Workplace Wellbeing Programmes at Mind, said: “We are pleased to launch this sector specific toolkit to the construction industry, in partnership with Building Mental Health. It brings together resources from a range of expert organisations, many of which are free.

“We know that suicide rates are a much larger cause of death than falls from a height in the construction industry. We hope this toolkit encourages people to open up the conversation on mental health in construction and to utilise the resources to help them get started.”

Emily Garnett, 30 from London, works at Morgan Sindall – a leading UK construction and infrastructure company. Emily, who has generalised anxiety and was diagnosed with depression in 2017, said: “It’s great to see a toolkit specifically designed for the construction industry. Over the past few years I have seen the positive changes within the industry towards health and wellbeing, although I believe there is still a long way to go, particularly in the construction industry where suicide rates are the highest of any sector.

“We will all experience mental illness directly or indirectly at some point in our lives, so the more we seek help and talk about it the better.”  

This website brings together information, advice, resources and training that workplaces can use to improve wellbeing and give employees the mental health support they need. Mind with support from The Royal Foundation, Heads Together and 11 other organisations, has created the free Mental Health at Work website.

A major study into workplace wellbeing by the mental health charity Mind has revealed that poor mental health at work is widespread, with half (48%) of all people surveyed saying they have experienced a mental health problem in their current job.

The survey of more than 44,000 employees also revealed that only half of those who had experienced poor mental health had talked to their employer about it, suggesting that as many as one in four UK workers is struggling in silence.

Mind surveyed nearly 45,000 employees and found that roughly 3 in 5 said their mental health was good or very good (58%), while 13 per cent of respondents said that their mental health was currently poor or very poor. Of those who said their mental health was poor, 82% said that this was work-related – either due solely to problems at work, or a combination of problems at work and outside of work.

To access the construction toolkit visit:

Brexit uncertainty causes another drop in construction output, warns FMB

THE Government and Parliament must break the Brexit deadlock and find a way forward warns the Federation of Master Builder (FMB), in response to the latest Construction PMI data, which shows another drop in construction output.

The March 2019 PMI data revealed an Index score of 49.7, up slightly from 49.5 in February, against the no change threshold of 50.0. This points to a sustained decline in construction output, representing the first back-to-back fall in construction output since 2016. While the residential building sector enjoyed an upturn, commercial construction was the worst performing area.

Commenting on the results, published yesterday morning, Sarah McMonagle, Director of Communications at the FMB, said: “The construction industry is being seriously affected by Brexit uncertainty as evidenced by two very worrying sets of results for construction output in the first quarter of 2019. Businesses have been waiting for politicians to come to some resolution for far too long now, and it’s time that this deadlock was broken. It’s not surprising employers are finding it hard to plan for the future, when we don’t even know when, or indeed if, we’re leaving the EU. These results are a reminder of just how vulnerable the construction industry is to political turmoil as confidence among consumers and contractors continues to wobble.”

McMonagle concluded: “Brexit uncertainty and the construction skills shortage have created a perfect storm in our industry. Around 9% of construction workers in the UK are from EU countries, but we know from speaking to small construction employers that many of these skilled workers are starting to return, whether that’s because of strengthening economies elsewhere, or that they simply don’t feel welcome anymore. This is compounding an already severe construction skills shortage, and I’m worried that the Government’s post-Brexit immigration system will make it even worse. For example, the system will not allow Level 2 tradespeople to live and work in the UK for more than 12 months at a time. At the same time, the Government’s figures last week show that the number of Level 2 apprenticeship starts among our domestic workforce is dropping.

"It’s quite simply not possible to build the homes and infrastructure we need without bricklayers, carpenters and plasterers. The Government and industry must work together to attract more people into the industry, by offering them high quality training with clear career pathways for progression but in the meantime we need sustained access to tradespeople of all skill levels for the industry to continue being open for business.”

Competition call-to-arms for Norton Clipper stockists

STOCKISTS of Norton Clipper products are being encouraged to promote an exciting new competition to their customers.

Until Friday, 14 June, any customer who purchases a Norton Clipper product is in with a chance of winning a Norton Clipper CM42 Masonry Saw and a Pro 4x4 Explorer Diamond Blade.

Ideal for wet and dry cutting of a wide variety of small masonry materials, concrete products and roof tiles, the CM42 masonry saw is designed to be easily transportable thanks to its folding legs and wheels; where the Pro 4x4 Explorer diamond blade is the perfect partner for the CM42 to ensure fast, smooth and efficient cuts every time.

To enter, customers simply need to visit the Norton Abrasives website and complete an online form that will ask them for the article number of the Norton Clipper product they have purchased.

The competition is a great way to incentivise customers to purchase products. With one entry for every Norton Clipper sale, stockists can maximise sales opportunities, especially when it comes to upselling new products from the range.

To help stockists promote the competition, Norton Clipper is offering its customers tailored marketing collateral including posters, images and website banners, as well as promoting the giveaway on its social channels.

Norton Clipper distributors are encouraged to follow the Norton Abrasives Facebook page @nortonabrasivesuk to share and engage with posts in order to spread awareness of the competition.

Norton Clipper sales representatives are available to assist stockists with merchandising requirements or product displays when it comes to further promoting the campaign.

Any merchants or retailers wishing to stock Norton Clipper can contact our dedicated specialists on 01785 279 553 or email [email protected] to find out more.

For further details and support, please contact Stacey Booth, Saint-Gobain Abrasives UK Marketing Manager on 07525 672 897 or email [email protected].

Lyte now trading as Lyte Towers and Ladders Ltd

FOLLOWING an accelerated sale process, the Lyte business assets have been sold to BREAL CAPITAL and Lyte are trading as Lyte Ladders and Towers Limited, from 24 January 2019.

BREAL typically invest in UK-headquartered businesses, in the manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, support services and retail sectors as well as many others. They have a wealth of experience as a responsible investment partner and are committed to supporting the business and providing stability and enhancements to our operational strengths in order to help Lyte reach its growth potential and beyond.

As a consequence of this, Lyte Industries (Wales) Limited has gone into administration, effective 24 January 2019. With all assets acquired by BREAL as a result of the sale, the company is now trading as Lyte Ladders & Towers Limited.

Lyte will continue to offer the same first-class quality UK manufactured products and services as before with a future filled with continuous investment and development. With over 70 years’ experience in the access industry and some of the UK’s most experienced access experts, Lyte will continue to develop and innovate to meet the demands of the markets we serve year after year.

Pressure mounts on UK ports to enhance infrastructure capacity ahead of Brexit

DUE to the uncertainty of Brexit and the impact on export and import of goods, UK ports are making preparations to support further checks by customs officers. A common issue for all ports, especially Dover, will be finding the space necessary to do so.

Many UK ports may have to consider temporary warehouses or custom designed modular storage buildings to maximise available space at their ports. This would not only help lower waiting times, but support the surrounding transport congestion areas. Another feasible idea would be to build new customs checkpoint facilities inland, allowing businesses to conduct clearance checks in secure locations away from busy border locations.

Flexibility, agility, capability and dependability are the key factors when looking at warehousing. The benefits of semi-permanent structures include fast design, manufacture and construction, with the flexibility to be adapted, modified, extended or relocated if needed. This allows clients to adapt quickly to change.

The BBC reported that Andrew Baxter, the managing director of the freight logistics company Europa Worldwide, told a House of Commons Committee: “If customs wanted to do a documentary check, that could delay it by up to three hours, and if there was an inspection of the goods, that could delay it by up to five hours.”

Talk of these delay times are alarming for all businesses involved in the import and export of goods, on top of potential increased tariffs. Then there is the issue of providing enough manpower to deal with the additional workload. According to HMRC chief executive Jon Thompson, around £300m will be needed to finance around 5,000 additional customs officials.

The government will also need to boost ongoing projects to improve the country’s road and rail infrastructure, in order to enhance connectivity between ports and the destination of handled freight.

Ian Hindmoor, Managing Director at Rubb Buildings Ltd, a UK manufacturer of custom designed modular storage buildings, commented: “Feedback from our customers suggests that they are planning for the future, to be able to maintain the flow of their production and fulfil the demand from their customers. Rubb storage facilities provide an alternative and sustainable solution to traditional storage warehouses.”

Gunn JCB ‘shoots for the three-pointed stars’ after turning to Rossetts for Mercedes-Benz Sprinter fleet

AS one of the oldest members of the construction and industrial machinery leader’s franchised dealer network, Gunn JCB knows all about the importance of fast, efficient customer back-up – which explains why it is now running its first Mercedes-Benz vans.

The company’s 30 new Sprinter 314 CDIs are being kitted out as mobile workshops and allocated to service engineers who work from its headquarters in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, and nine strategically located depots across western England and Wales.

Surrey, Sussex and north Hampshire Retailer Rossetts Commercials is supplying the vehicles – its Business Development Manager Tracey Stewart has won recognition from Mercedes-Benz Vans for her determined and ultimately successful pursuit of the prestigious order.

Key to Gunn JCB’s decision to switch from its previous supplier was the Sprinter’s reputation for ‘bullet-proof’ strength and reliability. Coupled with Mercedes-Benz Vans’ commitment to ‘keep businesses moving’, this gave it the confidence to place its trust in the three-pointed star.

Gunn JCB Aftermarket Director Tim Simcock explained: “Given the high standards of support that we promise to customers, we simply cannot afford unplanned downtime within our own service fleet.

“We spoke to a couple of fellow JCB dealers about the Sprinter, as well as to operators of our construction machinery who also run vans, and the feedback was resoundingly positive; no-one had a bad word to say about the vehicle.”

The subject of comprehensive Service Care agreements arranged by Rossetts Commercials, the vans will be maintained at the most conveniently located Mercedes-Benz workshops. “With night-time servicing, vehicle collections and deliveries, courtesy vehicles, and 24-hour MobiloVan emergency roadside assistance, it adds up to a reassuringly comprehensive aftercare package,” observed Mr Simcock. 

All medium-length L2 variants, Gunn JCB’s Sprinters are being fitted with Edström racking to carry tools and spares, and will each cover up to 30,000 miles a year. The Sprinter 314 CDI is powered by a smooth and fuel-efficient 2,143cc common-rail turbo diesel which produces 143 hp, and in Gunn JCB’s case drives the front wheels. As previously, this popular model is also available in rear-wheel drive configuration; front-wheel drive variants were introduced last year, with the launch of the third-generation Sprinter range.

Hailed as a technological tour-de-force, new Sprinter employs 4G Internet connectivity to deliver the most advanced manufacturer solution yet seen in a van. The cab interior has also been completely redesigned to provide a class-leading working environment offering unrivalled levels of quality, quietness and comfort.

The Sprinter has always been recognised as the benchmark for safety in the van segment, and here, too, the latest model leads the way. New features include the autonomous Active Brake Assist system with pedestrian recognition technology – another industry ‘first’ – and ATTENTION ASSIST, which detects drowsiness in the driver and encourages them to take breaks when tired.

New Sprinter comes as standard with the cutting-edge Mercedes MBUX infotainment system. Mercedes PRO connect, meanwhile, offers a range of fast, efficient and cost-effective vehicle management services.

Tim Simcock continued: “Our previous vans have been equipped with telematics and we’re now relying on Mercedes PRO connect technology to provide us with data on the location and maintenance status of our Sprinters, as well as on the way in which they’re being driven; if the system highlights any issues in style at the wheel, these can be addressed through training.”

Gunn JCB operates a total fleet of approximately 100 vans, and he predicted: “If all goes well with this first batch of 30, as I’m optimistic it will, we would envisage replacing the remaining units with Mercedes-Benz vehicles. 

“The Sprinter is a premium product, so was slightly more expensive ‘up front’ than our previous van model. However, we’re confident that we’ll more than recoup the additional capital outlay through its more competitive ‘whole-life’ costs, including the higher residual values that Mercedes-Benz vehicles command.”

Rossetts’ Tracey Stewart last year landed a breakthrough order for 22 Sprinter vans from another JCB dealer, Greenshields, which is based in Farnham, Surrey, and has six depots throughout the South-East.

In February Tracey won the Managing Director’s Award for Customer Dedication at
Mercedes-Benz Vans’ annual celebration of excellence within its franchised retail network, for the “dedicated hours of work” she put in before Gunn JCB committed to its first investment in Mercedes-Benz vans. “Tracey drove countless miles and had numerous early morning motorway breakfasts, so she could attend a succession of procurement meetings and undertake a full day of demonstrating to the business stakeholders,” said the nomination.

Tim Simcock added: “Tracey has provided a first-class service, with very high levels of communication. It’s evident from our experience that she does genuinely care, not only about her customers, but also about the brand and the Dealer she represents.”

With roots that date back to 1890, Gunn JCB has represented the manufacturer since 1958 and is now one of the largest and most successful JCB dealers in the world. 


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