Safer Sphere is delighted to announce that our very own Allan Briscoe has been shortlisted for the Association for Project Safety ‘Member of the Year’ award at this year’s National APS awards. We couldn’t be prouder of Allan for getting to the final, and we will be a keeping our fingers crossed for the awards next month. Well done Allan!
Safer Sphere is pleased to reveal that we have been appointed on the Capitol House project in London. The development will see the current site transformed into a six-storey building with 84 new residential apartments. Safer Sphere is supporting Dandara on the project in the roles of CDM Client Advisor through RIBA stages 5 – 6. The redevelopment will also deliver basement car parking spaces and cycle spaces alongside private and communal amenity space. Additionally, the development will include associated works to the existing highway and new site access roads, ramps and paths and infrastructure works.
In Construction Design and Management (CDM) the Principal Designer is tasked with managing and monitoring health and safety during the design and planning stages.
The role requires someone who has skills, knowledge, experience and training (SKET) to be able to deliver the role competently.
Part of the difficulty in the job today is that plans are evaluated and reviewed in 2D format with elevations and in sections. While architects are trained over the years to think and be comfortable visualising in this way, not everyone involved in the process, including many clients can do the same and it makes it harder to spot issues, mistakes or safety issues.
Technology such as BIM (Building Information Modelling) and the production of virtual 3D models can change everything. By using BIM models and virtual reality headsets it is possible to walk around a building and find out any flaws at the design stage.
BIM Keeps Design Errors Kept To A Minimum
Currently, flaws in buildings are reviewed with post-occupancy evaluations after people have moved in, lived with the building and encountered problems that need to be rectified. The learnings are carried forward into future design projects so the same mistakes are not made again. With the use of BIM, it is possible that many potential mistakes can be avoided before the building is constructed saving not only money, but enhancing the experience of the building’s occupants from day one by removing niggles, design mistakes, or even major safety issues that would otherwise be missed during the design process. BIM allows the industry to develop a preventive pre-occupancy evaluation methodology rather than one that reacts to mistakes after construction is completed.
A Better Experience For Clients And Designers
BIM is also a much more immersive and engaging way for everyone involved to see the vision of a building, it is a way for it to become ‘real’ and almost tangible before it even exists. This is something especially useful and powerful for clients, but also for designers.
The industry has already been busy developing various BIM software tools and Virtual Reality experiences that allow feedback to be more constructive from users and delivered in a way that can then be used to make important design changes.
For example, clients and designers can view 3D models together look at the same elements in real time, and see important details such as how spaces work in relation to each other, the natural light, the views from different elevations and how the space may be filled. Alongside this, any safety or practical issues can be reviewed. Making these changes in this way saves money for the client and makes projects more profitable for designers, without the need to make emergency changes during a build.
What’s more, the workflow can be shared across a number of different virtual reality devices.
Design software can support VR devices such as Oculus Go making it even more accessible for coordination meetings.
Another advantage for using VR tools is the ability to detect issues at real scale and use headsets to record comments and let the application transcribe it into text which can then be attached to the specific elements in the design. This process feels similar to using other artificial Intelligence (AI) voice tools such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. All that users need to do is press a button and comment.
With these kinds of AI tools, as soon as issues are identified, a report can be produced in the form of a PDF file. Typically the PDF files can be comprised of an automated mark-up, a saved viewpoint, and a comment on the issue. There will also be a timestamp and a note of who the author was. How these are presented will vary depending on the VR software used by the designers.
Virtual Reality Brings The World Closer Together
AI tools also excel when it comes to receiving feedback. They are able to make the whole process very simple and less time-consuming. Using AI and VR in this sense has proven that it can complement existing coordination tools. It has also been found to deliver great results when working on collaborative projects even with remote external consultants.
AI and BIM can also go beyond the design stage and be used in building maintenance, with detailed models able to help pinpoint issues within the structure and its services.
It’s clear that even though BIM and the use of AI is still not fully evolved and in use in all building projects, the potential is there to change the way designers work and how building plans are developed in the future.
Safer Sphere is pleased to announce that we are hosting a free CDM Overview training seminar to delegates who would benefit from gaining a better understanding of regulations and their duties. You will receive a 2-hour Continual Professional Development training session along with an attendance certificate and supporting guidance packs.
Whether you are a Designer, Architect, Contractor, Principal Designer or the project client, let us help make discharging your duties easier to understand.
The event will take place on the 2nd September at the Grange Wellington Hotel in Westminster.
To reserve your space on the event, please click here.
Safer Sphere is delighted to reveal that we will be supporting Fairhursts Design Group on the Trebor Developments latest industrial build. The project will see the construction of 2 speculative industrial units at the Aero Centre in Yorkshire and Safer Sphere will be supporting the development through RIBA stages 1 – 4 in the role of Principal Designer Advisor. We look forward to seeing the development progress over the coming months.
Safer Sphere is pleased to announce that the business has appointed a new Director to assist Managing Director Mike Forsyth with the day to day running of the business.
Jonathan King formerly Head of Safety Management at WYG and Head of Project Safety at Edmond Shipway has been brought into the business to help with its growth strategy from our North West HQ, operating nationally across our three offices.
Jonathan has a wealth of experience in CDM and Construction Health and Safety having worked on projects ranging from £20m to £750m across the UK.
Jonathan said “I am delighted to be joining Safer Sphere, especially at such an exciting time. The business has seen growth year on year and what Mike and the team have achieved in this time has been exceptional. The company has started to get noticed not only in the industry but as a successful business which has been proven by the multiple award wins and nominations and by the key projects the business is working on. I am looking forward to working with Mike and the team and using my knowledge and experience from previous roles, I hope to help the business grow and further succeed.”
Mike Forsyth, Managing Director, Safer Sphere said “We are delighted to have Jonathan on board with us. He is an excellent fit for our business and brings with him the knowledge, experience as well as the skill set to help us achieve our growth and office expansion plans. Jonathan will not only be assisting me with the day to day running of the business but will also be hands-on to support our clients with discharging their CDM duties. We have seen a period of change and growth for the business from winning prestigious awards to implementing new systems. We are always striving for improvements as a business and for our clients and we want to ensure that we step up to mark as a leader in construction health and safety.”
Safer Sphere is delighted to have made it into the final of the St Helens Chamber Business Awards in the tough category of ‘Employer of the Year’. The St Helens Chamber Business Awards are a celebration of local business and the winners in category go forward to compete in the National Chamber Awards which is a massive opportunity.
Mike Forsyth, Managing Director, Safer Sphere said “We are absolutely thrilled to have made the final of the St Helens Chamber Business Awards in the competitive category of ‘Employer of the Year’. This category, in particular, means a lot to us as a business as it is our people that make our business and we want to keep and attract the best talent to so that we continue to grow. To win the employer of the year would not only be a great accolade for the company but would help us to gain the best talent for our business.”
The St Helens Chamber Business Awards takes place on Thursday 16th May at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
While many buildings that once contained asbestos have now been torn down or had the asbestos removed, this dangerous substance still silently kills approximately 5,000 workers each year. This alarming figure is higher than the number of people that are killed on UK roads each year.
Unfortunately, around 20 people die every week due to past asbestos exposure. However, the problem of asbestos is not confined to the past, it can still be present in any building that was built or any building that was refurbished before 2000.
Why is Asbestos Dangerous?
Asbestos is dangerous because it can cause hidden illness that may not appear for many years after someone has come into contact with it. This is why asbestos is known as “The Silent Killer”.
Exposure to asbestos can cause you to suffer from the following serious and fatal conditions:
Asbestos-related Lung Cancer
Asbestos-related lung cancer looks the same as lung cancer that has been caused by smoking and other behaviours/exposures. For every death that was caused by lung cancer, it is estimated that there is also one death from Mesothelioma.
Pleural thickening is a condition that can be caused by heavy asbestos exposure. The lining of the pleura (Lung) becomes thick and swells. If the condition is particularly bad the lung can be squeezed. This can result in a lot of discomfort and shortness of breath.
This is a type of cancer that affects the lungs’ lining. It also affects the lining surrounding the lower digestive tract. Mesothelioma is usually associated with exposure to asbestos and, unfortunately, by the time someone has received a diagnosis the condition has usually reached a fatal stage.
This condition is a serious one and sufferers often have serious scarring of their lungs. This condition is typically caused by heavy asbestos exposure over a number of years. Causing progressive shortness of breath, the condition can also be fatal.
Information on training
Employers should make sure that anyone who may disturb asbestos during their working day, or anyone who supervises the employees who may disturb asbestos gets the right training. They should have the knowledge and training that enables them to work in a safe and competent way without any risk to themselves or to other people. Safer Sphere can provide asbestos training.
The Types of Necessary Training
All workers and their supervisors should be able to recognise any materials that contain asbestos and know exactly what they should do if they come across them. There are 3 levels of information, instruction and training that workers and their supervisors need to be aware of:
Asbestos awareness – This is made up of information, training and instruction and gives workers and their supervisors the information they need so they can avoid disturbing asbestos.
Licensable work with asbestos – This is made up of those who are at a high risk of working with asbestos. Only managers and competent workers are provided with this information, training and instruction that includes using the right PPE.
Non-licensable work with asbestos – Those who need this type of information, training and instruction undertake work that requires them to disturb materials that contain asbestos. For example, drilling holes in asbestos, cleaning or repairing asbestos roofing or cement sheets.
A worker who attends a training course about asbestos will not ensure that they are competent enough. Workers must implement and consolidate the skills that have learned during their training, in their instruction and assessment and their on the job learning.
The level of information and the amount of training and instruction that a worker receives must be appropriate for the work that they do. A Training Needs Analysis (TNA) will help the workers and those training them identify the topics that need to be covered. This is to ensure that every worker is competent and can avoid putting themselves and those who they work with at risk.
How do I Identify Asbestos?
It’s not always easy to identify asbestos, however, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has an image gallery which depicts some common materials that contain asbestos. These images include but are not limited to:
- Asbestos fire blankets
- Suspended AIB ceiling tiles
- Pieces of AIB
- AIB window panelling
What do I do if I Potentially Find Asbestos During my Work?
If you unexpectedly come across asbestos or something that you think may be asbestos you should stop work right away. You will need to confirm what the material is or assume that it is asbestos. You will need to carry out a risk assessment that will help you determine whether you need a licensed contractor to carry out the work.
If you undertake non-licensed work on asbestos you should only do so if you have had the appropriate training, instruction, and information.
If I Have to Work With Asbestos is it the Responsibility of my Employer to give me Personal Protective Clothing (PPE)?
Yes, if it is likely that you will be exposed to asbestos your employers should provide you with all the personal protective clothing (PPE) you need. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has more information on the required PPE.
Do I Need a Certificate That Proves I’ve had Asbestos Training?
No, there is absolutely no legal requirement for you to have a certificate that shows you’ve had training. However, some training providers issue certificates that indicate that you’ve completed an asbestos training course.
You can read part two of this asbestos article here
Safer Sphere is delighted to have been shortlisted for the ‘Consultant’ of the year award at the North West Construction Safety Group Awards. The awards are a celebration of those who work in the construction sector and what they contribute. The awards ceremony takes place on the 15th March and the event is combined with the groups 40th-year celebration.
Multi-award winning Construction (Design and Management) Health & Safety specialists Safer Sphere, continue with their growth plans by opening a new office based in Reading.
The move comes off the back of an increase in project appointments and overall growth within the Southern region of the UK and follows the opening of the Liverpool office in May of last year.
The new office in Reading will be headed by the company’s latest hire Richard Procter, who has joined the business this month as Associate Director (South). The office will serve all Safer Sphere commissions in the southern region including London which is less than 30 minutes away.
Mike Forsyth, Managing Director, Safer Sphere said “We have seen an increase in demand for our services across the south region with many clients coming back to us for additional projects. We strategically expanded our offices to Liverpool last year so that we could be closer to our Liverpool projects and clients so, with the growing demand in London, South East & West, we decided that expanding our operation around the Southern region on a full-time basis makes sense. Richard is an experienced Construction Health and Safety professional with a vast amount of experience having previously worked at Capita and Carillion, providing a perfect fit for our business and to lead growth in the area. Once Richard has settled in the plans are to bring on board more experienced CDM Consultants from the local area and develop a highly competent southern team.”