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Project Management Archives - John Burke Associates

Navigating Construction Work in Snow and Low Temperatures

employer responsibilities

As the temperature drops in the UK this week, the challenges of working in construction during snow or low temperatures are significant. Understanding the legal obligations, employer responsibilities, and practical advice for coping with these conditions is crucial for the safety and efficiency of any construction project. In this blog, John Burke Associates explains your key responsibilities to your workers.

Understanding UK Laws on Low-Temperature Working

In the UK, while there is no legal minimum outdoor working temperature, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 mandate that employers provide a ‘reasonableworking temperature. For construction sites, this means employers must assess risks and implement reasonable measures to protect workers from the cold. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on working in cold conditions, emphasising the need for risk assessment and management.

Employer and Site Manager Responsibilities

Employers and site managers have a legal obligation to ensure the health and safety of their workers. This includes:

Risk Assessment:

Identifying potential hazards associated with low temperatures and snow, including risks of slips, trips, falls, frostbite, or hypothermia.

Providing Appropriate PPE:

Ensuring all workers have access to suitable personal protective equipment (PPE), such as insulated gloves, waterproof boots, and thermal clothing.

Site Safety Measures:

Implementing safety measures like gritting for icy surfaces, providing sheltered areas, and ensuring that equipment is safe to use in cold conditions.

Training and Awareness:

Educating staff about the signs of cold stress and the importance of regular breaks in warm areas.

General Advice for Working in Snow or Low Temperatures

Working in cold weather calls for specific precautions:

Stay Warm and Dry:

Layer clothing to stay warm and dry. Waterproof and windproof outer layers are essential.

Regular Breaks:

Take regular breaks in heated areas to prevent cold stress.

Stay Hydrated and Energised:

Drink warm fluids and eat high-energy foods to maintain energy levels.

Clear Snow and Ice:

Keep working areas clear of snow and ice to prevent accidents.

Check Weather Forecasts:

Be prepared and adaptable to changing weather conditions.

Conclusion

Working in construction during snow or low temperatures in the UK requires careful planning and adherence to safety standards. By understanding the legal framework, fulfilling employer responsibilities, and following general safety advice, construction sites can maintain productivity while ensuring the wellbeing of all personnel. Remember, the key to successful winter construction is preparation, awareness, and ongoing vigilance against the unique challenges posed by cold weather. Stay safe and stay informed!

Why Employ a Project Manager?

Project Management Division

Here at John Burke Associates, we offer our clients a comprehensive project management service. Our collaborative project management division delivers successful projects which realise the client’s aspirations. We apply a variety of methodologies and process models to exceed client expectations. In this blog we discuss how employing an experienced project management team will benefit your project.

The Quality-Cost-Time Conundrum

The Quality-Cost-Time Conundrum is also known as the Project Management Triangle or Iron Triangle. This concept states that the three primary constraints of any project are quality, cost, and time. The conundrum lies in the fact that these three factors are interdependent. Therefore, improving one may come at the expense of the other two. For example, if you want to improve the quality of a project, you may need to increase the cost or extend the timeline. Similarly, if you want to complete a project quickly, you may need to sacrifice some quality or increase the cost.

The Role of a Project Manager

The role of project management is to find the optimal balance between these constraints that will result in a successful project. Our Project Management Division works with stakeholders to define the scope of the project including goals, deliverables, timelines, and budget. We work with our clients to prioritize the project requirements. This includes risk assessment which identifies potential project risks and ensures such risks are mitigated.

From Inception to Completion

Working alongside stakeholders we develop a realistic project schedule that accounts for the available resources, timelines, and budget. We will monitor the progress of the project making necessary adjustments to ensure that the project meets deadlines. Whilst also tracking expenses, identifying areas where costs can be reduced, and ensuring that the team stays within budget.

Get in Touch

If you wish to discuss your project, contact us today on 01708 770770. We offer a full compilation of Chartered Surveying & Chartered Building Consultancy services. This includes full independent construction and property advice on technical and management matters.

 

The Fire Safety Act 2022 and Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022

Fire Safety Act

Yesterday the newly amended The Fire Safety Act 2022 and Fire Safety (England) Regulations 2022 came into force. The changes to the act implement most recommendations set by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report. It is vital developers keep up-to-date with all the latest legislation. Violation of the FSA can lead to fines, imprisonment, or both.

What is the Fire Safety Act?

The Fire Safety Act (FSA) is the primary legislation in the United Kingdom that sets out the fire safety requirements for non-domestic buildings. The Act applies to all commercial, industrial, and public buildings. As well as common areas of multi-occupied buildings such as apartment buildings and dormitories. The FSA places a legal responsibility on the “responsible person” for a building typically the owner or occupier. They must ensure that the building is safe from the risk of fire and that it meets certain fire safety standards.

What are the obligations of the responsible person?

Under the FSA, the responsible person must conduct a fire risk assessment to identify any hazards that may put occupants at risk in the event of a fire, and to implement measures to reduce or eliminate those hazards. This may include installing fire alarms and other fire protection systems, providing fire-fighting equipment, and ensuring that the building is properly ventilated and that exits are clearly marked and easy to use. However, the new legislation gives additional responsibilities for high-rise residential buildings. Namely, multi-occupied residential buildings of at least 18 metres in height or seven or more storeys.

Fire Safety Management Plan

The FSA also requires that all commercial buildings have a fire safety management plan in place. The plan should outline the procedures and protocols that will be followed in the event of a fire, including evacuation procedures, the roles and responsibilities of different staff, and the locations of fire-fighting equipment and emergency exits.

Employ an Expert

Project Managers have a critical role to play in ensuring compliance with the Fire Safety Act throughout the project life cycle. From design to occupancy and management of the building. John Burke Associates provides independent expert advice on all aspects of technical support and management functions. With our guidance you can achieve a “zero defects” project through our portfolio of tailored services.

 

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Modern Methods of Construction

Digital Construction Week

Modern Methods of Construction

Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) has long been considered the answer to many issues faced by the construction industry. MMC is a way of achieving more without using more. It is an idea which dates back to post-WW2, but are we using it to its full advantage industry-wide?

During a housing crisis in 2005, The National Audit Office commissioned MMC as a way to get the best value, and a way to ‘produce more, better quality homes in less time’. So why are only 8% of homes built in the UK built using MMC?

 

Is Cost an Issue?

It is no shock that the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as post-Brexit uncertainty, has had an impact on the profit margins of major construction companies. Until MMC is more widely adopted throughout the industry, we won’t see the costs involved reducing.

Do We Have the People?

Training people in MMC manufacturing and construction often takes less time than training traditional skilled workers. However, due the relative newness of MMC, the industry has struggled to train the right people at the right time.

According to CIOB, 22% of people employed within the construction industry are between the ages of 51 and 60. With almost 25% of the workforce nearing retirement, focus needs to be placed on training the younger generation. However, data from the Office of National Statistics reveals that employment within the construction industry is at a 9-year low.

Is Support from the Government Enough?

In March 2021, the UK Government launched a taskforce, focusing on increasing the use of MMC nationwide. Furthermore, MMC is now a condition of the Government’s Strategic Partnership Grant Programme. Each partner must build 25% of homes using MMC.

In February 2021, a consultation was launched by the Government, which raised the question – should MMC be incentivised as part of the New Homes Bonus scheme? We believe that doing so would reduce costs, increase productivity, and help the UK reach it’s 2025 goal of all new-build homes being zero-carbon ready.

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5 Positive Implications of Strong Leadership

Employer’s Agent Services

Image courtesy of Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay

Here at John Burke Associates we believe any company is driven by a strong leadership. A motivating leader inspires higher levels of employee engagement, in addition to promoting productivity. Therefore, our Project Management and Employer’s Agents division work proactively to implement and deliver synergy across all sites. Consequently, we know that a great leader is strong, but also has soft skills. In this month’s blog, we look at five benefits you can gain through developing your interpersonal skills. Especially during challenging times such as these.

Trust

Employees are more likely to put their trust in a leader who exhibits charisma and a positive attitude. As a result, this trust leads to greater autonomy and collaboration.

Confidence

An employee who experiences warm and affective behaviour from their leaders will gain an increased sense of self-worth. Furthermore, this creates a sense of safety and belonging within an organisation, resulting in employee allegiance.

Creativity

When someone feels like they are being listened to and that their opinions and ideas matter, their creative performance increases. It is vital to nourish your employee’s creativity and embellish their abilities through positive encouragement.

Communication

If you want your employees to outperform the competition, you must achieve a common goal. To do this, you must communicate your cause clearly. You need to be concise when explaining your expectations and each employee’s role in delivering these. Developing your interpersonal skills will enable you to understand their requirements and communicate yours, therefore, aligning in a common cause.

Communication

If you want your employees to outperform the competition, you must achieve a common goal. To do this, you must communicate your cause clearly. You need to be concise when explaining your expectations and each employee’s role in delivering these. Developing your interpersonal skills will enable you to understand their requirements and communicate yours, therefore, aligning in a common cause.

Results

A leader who inspires their employees often achieves enhanced results. An employee who feels motivated is more open to new ideas and change in the pursuit of excellence. Furthermore, those who feel appreciated will always outperform those who do not.

Lockdown Leadership Advice

Leadership is more important now than ever! Lockdown has left many employees feeling disconnected and it is harder to recognise when people are struggling. Ann Francke OBE recently wrote an article for the CMI titled “Bridging the great disconnect.” Our Project Management and Employer’s Agent division recommend this short read to anyone looking for guidance.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from John Burke Associates.

Supporting Sustainability
Supporting Sustainability

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from John Burke Associates. Instead of sending Christmas cards this year we have donated to “Veterans for Wildlife”. This donation will support the charity in both the empowerment of veterans and protecting critically endangered creatures. While many of us will be spending the Christmas season with friends and family, these brave individuals will be risking their lives, working through the evenings, to secure our wildlife.

Supporting Sustainability

We are proud to support this cause, which promotes a sustainable environment and has such a positive impact on society. Therefore, supporting our practice’s environmental commitment and sustainability ethos.

Find out more

A Time to Reflect

2019 has been a auspicious year across all the departments. From our trip to MIPIM in April to elevate the profile of our already expanding Surveying, Cost Consultancy, and Project Management business. To our Clerk of Works Jon Tucker winning the ICWCI Building on Quality Award. Which is a remarkable achievement for his work on the Principle London project. We have much to be thankful for. But above all else, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients for their ongoing support.

Cost Consultancy

Looking Forward to 2020

Our aim for 2020 is to continue to build ongoing relationships with all our clients and contracts. Our organisation’s strategic business objectives are underpinned by repeat business with key clients. This ethos relies on a ‘Partnering’ mentality based on trust and performance delivery. Therefore, we strive to continue our growth by treating every client with the upmost importance and urgency.

Christmas Open Hours

The offices will close for a short time for the Christmas period to allow staff to enjoy the festivities. Our offices will close on Monday 23rd December and reopen on Thursday 2nd January. If you have any queries during this time, please use the link below to fill in a contact form. We will respond to any enquiries after the 2nd January 2020.

National Employee Appreciation Day

Employer’s Agent Services

Image courtesy of Mohamed Hassan/Pixabay

Why is Employee recognition so important?

Project Management & Employers Agent Services

 

March 1st marks National Employee Appreciation Day in America and Canada. As we offer project management & employers agent services this sparked a discussion in our office. The day is a secular holiday which was established in 1995 to encourage organisations to celebrate their employees. In contrast to here in the UK, the holiday is not currently recognised

Employer’s AgentShould We Recognise The Holiday in The UK?

Are UK employees missing out on this holiday? Would introducing the holiday here benefit employers?  While we appreciate the concept we feel that employee recognition should not be defined as an annual occurrence. As a result of undertaking project management & employers agent services, we’ve found a little appreciation goes a long way. Hence, for this months blog, we have put together a short list of the key tips for employee management.

 

The Benefits of Employee Recognition

Value

It seems like while looking at the bigger picture in business, it can be easy to lose focus on the journey. Above all, it is important to remember your business could not run without its employees. It may seem the deadline and client demands need to take priority. However, it is your employees who are going to get you there. Consequently, it is imperative you value the work they are doing for you.

Appreciation 

When feeling the pressure of a deadline, it’s likely you will need your staff to carry out extra duties. Whether it is working late, taking on additional tasks or giving up more of their own time. Therefore, this should never be an expectation. Therefore, if your project requires extra work let your staff know you appreciate their additional efforts. Recognise they have worked hard, be it through 1-2-1 meetings/appraisals or informally.

Respect

You employee your employee’s to do a job, you choose them because they have experience in their field. Therefore, you should respect this fact. If your employee has a suggestion or an idea always make time to listen to them. You should always make time to discuss any reservations your employee may have on a project. Even if you disagree with their reservation you should respect their input and knowledge.

Communication

Communication is key. All of the advice above is useless without communication. You may know you value, appreciate and respect your staff, but if they don’t know what is the point? Communicate with your staff, you should trust everyone you employ and allow them to trust you. Encourage open communication and praise to create a positive working environment.

“If you look after your staff, they’ll look after your customers. It’s that simple.” – Richard Branson

employers agent services

Project Management & Employers Agent Services

If you require more information about our services you can contact the team here at John Burke Associates on 01708 770 770. We provide independent advice on all matters of technical and management functions in the construction industry. From inception through to operation and completion

 

 

 

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