Ensuring Your Construction Site Is Compliant

 

Compliance on a construction site not only ticks crucial health and safety boxes but can save lives and ensure the safety of your teams. Health and safety law is a key element of construction management, with non-compliance leading to potential delays, injury and work stoppage. With this in mind, how can you ensure the compliance of your construction site with a stress-free, efficient approach?

 

Getting Familiar with Regulations

If you’re unsure on the exact regulations that apply to your business, location and site specifications, getting acquainted with these is the most important first step. Common regulations across the industry include contractual agreements, building codes, insurance and bonding requirements, credit and background checks and safety regulations.

 

Find best practice solutions and legal requirements through your local authorities, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Common Minimum Standards for Construction.

 

Conducting a Risk Assessment

The best way to be prepared is by taking a detailed look at your work site, the potential risks, outcomes and how to minimise these. A risk assessment informs you and your workforce of all possible hazards and allows you to put solutions in place before an accident occurs.

 

To conduct a risk assessment on your site, take the recommended five-step approach:

 

Step One: Identify the hazards

Step Two: Decide who might be harmed and how

Step Three: Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions

Step Four: Record your significant findings

Step Five: Review and update your assessment where necessary

 

Getting Your Workforce on Board

Construction workers have a key role to play in the health and safety of your site. According to HSE, “research shows companies with highly engaged employees achieve a financial performance four times greater than companies with poor engagement”. This increased financial performance includes growth in turnover and a reduction of accidents on site due to worker engagement.

 

Make use of online resources such as the HSE leadership and worker involvement key principles and ensure you’re communicating potential risks and tactics to minimise risks with your workforce.

 

Putting Safe and Sustainable Solutions in Place

Utilising recognised products to increase safety on site, such as high visibility safety barriers to mark off areas on site, and non-conductive anti-climb fencing to keep the general public out, will help keep both the public and your workforce safe.

 

To ensure site safety, efficiency and compliance, Oxford Plastics provide award-winning products, designed for your construction site; including Barriers, Ground Protection, Cones, Signs & Speed Humps and more.

LowPro 15/10 Trench Cover

Which Trench Cover Do I Need?

 

At Oxford Plastics, we take our commitment to keeping construction sights safe very seriously. Trench covers are essential for maintaining accessibility while you work – so it’s important to get it right, and ensure you source the appropriate products for your company’s needs. Here are the factors you should consider before placing your order:

 

What Size Trench Are You Covering?

An obvious one, perhaps – but it’s important to make sure the trench covers you buy are large enough to safely cover the hole. Our LowPro® range of trench covers include options suitable from 200mm to 900mm trenches depending on your needs.

 

Consider the Appropriate Weight Allowance

Does your trench cover need to support a heavy vehicle, or just passing pedestrians? We offer options for both. Read the specifications of each of our trench covers to select one that can support 3.5 tonne vehicles, 2 tonne vehicles, motors and scooters up to 350kg, or just pedestrians.

 

Composite Beats Steel Every Time

All the trench covers from our LowPro® range are composite – which means they’re lightweight, making them easy to move and place. Our trench covers were manufactured with construction workers in mind, so they all weigh between 13 and 42kg – without compromising on strength. They can therefore be positioned quickly by just two people, and without the need for specialist lifting equipment – making setting up or clearing a construction site easier for your team.

 

Health & Safety Is Prioritised at Every Stage

Our trench covers come with a range of features, such as anti-slip and anti-trip technology. They’re also compliant with the National Grid Footway Board Specification, or the DETR ‘Safety at Street works and Road works Code of Practice’ & HAUC Advice Note 2018/01

 

Anti-slide technology also ensures the boards remain firmly in place. We take pride in the fact that all our trench covers are designed and manufactured in the UK, so we can safely oversee the entire production process.

 

To help summarise the above, we’ve created a handy infographic to help you quickly identify which of our trench covers if best for you. Head to our trench cover guide to identify the correct option, and then place the order to keep your company’s worksite safe, whatever industry you work in.

A Letter to Our Customers and Suppliers Regarding Brexit

 

January 2019

 

Dear Customers (and) Suppliers (and fellow industry bodies),

 

Oxford Plastic(s) (Systems Ltd) is an internationally trading enterprise with facilities in the UK, USA, Australia and The Netherlands. As Brexit approaches, we wish to reassure you that we will continue to monitor trading developments closely ensuring we operate, manufacture and supply with minimal disruption after March 29th 2019.

 

Over the past 12 months we have been preparing either way for a No-Deal-Brexit, Soft-Brexit and Hard-Brexit. This includes:

 

  • Opened Oxford Plastic Systems BV, Hart van Brabantlaan 12-14, 5038 JL Tilburg, Netherlands
  • EU based stock to ensure prompt order fulfilment
  • Substantial increase in UK buffer stock for EU
  • Substantial increase of raw material from EU to ensure seamless manufacture at Oxford Plastics UK site

 

Working together we can ensure a smooth transition from EU Member State to European Partner. We would like to thank you for your continued support and look forward to working with you in 2019.

 

Kind regards,

 

Chris Whiteley
Director

Oxford Plastic Systems International Ltd
Oxford Plastic Systems Ltd, UK
Oxford Plastic Systems LLC, USA
Oxford Plastic Systems BV, Holland
Oxford Plastic Systems Pty Ltd, Australia

Cheap Trench Cover

When Cheap Ain’t Cheerful: A Health & Safety Nightmare

 

In recent years the trench cover market has seen a rise in cheap composite trench covers. In many ways they look like a typical composite trench cover; they are plastic, yellow and have anti-skid on the surface. However it doesn’t take long for a cheap composite trench cover to look like a health & safety nightmare!

 

Cheap Trench Cover

Oxford Plastics Trench Covers

 

This picture shows a Chinese trench cover that has cracked to reveal a gaping hole in the resident’s driveway. Lucky for this resident, someone quickly came along to replace the defective trench cover with a LowPro 15/10 Driveway Board

 

 

 

 

 

A cheap imitation is just that: an unsuitable mock-up of the original. Oxford composite covers are designed for purpose, like the LowPro 15/10 Driveway Board, or the 12/8 Safe Cover. We test our trench covers over and above the safety requirements to leave our customers feeling full of confidence, instead of full of dread!

 

Feel confident in your work site; be safe and be compliant with Oxford Plastic’s trench covers.

Are Your Footway Boards Compliant?

We tested our Footway Board 12/8 Safe Cover and an available alternative to the latest HAUC 2018/01 Advice Note

 

 

There are many criteria for a Footway Board to be compliant, including that it should:

 

  • Be capable of supporting a working load of 400kg with a deflection of no more than 35mm over the
    design life of the board
  • The ultimate failure load should not be less than 800kg
  • Watch to see which Footway Boards are safe and compliant for Street Works & Utilities

 

Read the full document here: HAUC(UK) Advice Note No. 2018/01 Specification and Operational Requirements for Footway Boards, Driveway Boards, Footway Ramps and Road Plates

Oxford Plastics trench cover guide infographic

Trench Cover Guide

Use Our Handy Trench Cover Guide to Help You Choose the Correct Trench Cover

 

Find product links in the description

Oxford Plastics trench cover guide infographic

 

Oxford Plastics Footway Boards:

 

Oxford Plastics Driveway Boards:

 

Oxford Plastics Road Plates:

 

All of our covers are compliant with the latest guidelines, including:

Street Works UK Awards 2017 LowPro 15/10

Winner of the Street Works Future Award: LowPro 15/10

November 15th, the Utility Industry assembled at Westminster for the Street Works UK Awards 2017 (formerly NJUG). The awards celebrate innovation and diligence across the gas, water and electricity sectors. And we are thrilled to have won the Street Works Future Award for the LowPro 15/10: replacement for steel plates in driveways.

 

The Oxford Plastics LowPro 15/10 overcomes the many issues caused by cumbersome steel plates to create safe and easy access for residents to their homes during routine utility works.

 

Handling methods of steel plates require either HIAB lifting equipment or in some cases mini diggers. Neither was deemed acceptable in the residential environment, with steel plates also being over-engineered for this application. And so, collaborating with tRIIO & the Oxford Plastics Research & Development Team, we set to work designing a safe and simple solution that would enable residents to access to their homes during utility work excavations.

 

The rapid adoption of this innovative solution across the Utilities and construction industry is testimony to its creation. The LowPro 15/10 solves an industry problem that has been around for years, and ties in directly with the Street Works UK Key Goals: safety, high quality, minimise disruption & innovation.


Feedback from Users

“At Wales & West Utilities our essential work to respond to gas emergencies, connect new homes and businesses and upgrade the gas network can mean that we have to dig in footpaths and driveways. The Oxford Plastics products we use meet all our needs and removes safety concerns around the use of traditional steel plates. The Oxford LowPro 15/10 is quick and easy to install. It is a time and money saver; helping us to deliver value for money to our customers while keeping disruption to customers, road users and other members of the community to a minimum.”

 

Graham Bond

Street Works Manager

Wales & West Utilities Limited

 

“Balfour Beatty provide the essential infrastructure assets societies need to function, develop and thrive. Our teams operate across the full infrastructure lifecycle and address long-term challenges. We harness innovation to improve safety and minimise this essential work has on local communities and the investment in the Low Pro 15/10 product has helped us to deliver this goal. The product has also been part of the development of the HAUC advice note on the specification and Operational requirements for footway boards, Driveway Boards, Footway Ramps and Road Plates.”

 

Tom Lambert

General Manager Streetworks

Balfour Beatty Services

End of the Road for Lane Rental Schemes?

 

In the UK we focus a lot of time & energy on keeping traffic flowing around roadworks. Alas, it’s a tale we all know well; the morning commute run amok while you wait for your turn to weave past roadworks, those gloating traffic lights flashing a big red “WAIT” on your way to work…

 

All of this could be changing soon with the trials of Lane Rental Schemes. The scheme would charge Utility companies for street works repairs during ‘peak times’, meaning less congestion for Jo Public. However, Street Works UK (formerly NJUG) doesn’t quite see it the same way. NJUG Chief Executive Bob Gallienne said in September of this year: “Lane rental schemes make it harder for Utility companies to deliver vital infrastructure and value for money for consumers while minimising disruption. Rather, Street Works UK proposes a new initiative to tackle the issue and will be speaking with major Utility companies to discuss how to move forward. This consultation is a chance to explore how disruption can be reduced for road users at the same time as minimising the policy burden on Utility companies. NJUG is currently working with a range of stakeholders to develop a Future Strategy for Street Works, setting out a blue print for delivering world class street works.”

Utility Companies Could Be Charged to Carry out Roadworks

 

In a bid to reduce congestion caused by roadworks at peak times, Gloucester County Council considers new tariffs for Utility companies. The initiative is being considered to minimise the heavy traffic caused when roadworks are installed.

 

Gloucester Council looks to charge gas, water and electricity companies if they intent to carry out works at peak times and high-traffic areas. The new proposal would charge companies by the hour and could be implemented in 2019. There are 2.5 million roadworks now in action in the UK, costing the British economy £4 billion per annum because people cannot get to work on time or deliveries are delayed. Gloucester County Council’s reduced congestion plan comes after trials in London and Kent, where congestion caused by utility roadworks has fallen by over 50%. The scheme encourages utility companies to work together to coordinate their maintenance works and reduce disruption on carriageways. Utility companies in London are 6 times more likely to work together since the trials began.

 

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Delays caused by roadworks can be the bane of drivers’ lives – especially when they take place at rush hour on busy routes. These proposals would give councils greater powers to ensure utility companies avoid carrying out works at the busiest times and on the most popular routes. This would not only improve journeys and cut congestion but also save businesses from the increased costs they incur as a result of traffic on our roads.”