The Health and Safety issues on Grenfell Tower

The Grenfell Tower tragedy, to be put bluntly, was caused solely by a lack of care and attention to health and safety regulations. The residents of the tower had been noticing, actively complaining, and protesting this absence of attention. In fact, in 2013 they claimed that they would only have one, restricted road for emergency vehicle access after shutting down the car park. During the fire, eye witnesses claimed that this slowed down the fire engine response. The residents also wrote about continuous electrical surges which had been causing fire hazards in the building. Finally, and most eerily, in 2016 residents wrote that ‘a serious fire in the tower block’ would be the only way they could bring the company managing the building ‘to justice.’

The building had only one escape route, boilers and gas pipes were left bare in living rooms and kitchens, there was no building-wide fire alarm or sprinkler system, piles of rubbish were being left outside, blocking exits, fire safety equipment had not been tested for 12 months, there was a lack of fire extinguishers, and the list unfortunately goes on. The newly installed cladding system was a cheaper, more flammable option. It was not installed with fire safety in mind, but it was instead an economic decision. Many residents of the area claim that the whole renovation the building underwent was mainly due to the fact that it was an eyesore for the wealthier residents. Since that was the motive, safety was not kept in mind.

The Health and Safety Executive have strict and clear gas health and safety regulation, yet these are often overlooked. “I don’t think we have seen this sort of fire in the UK before,” said Mike Penning, former fire minister in David Cameron’s government. “We have to check if the existing regulations have been adhered to and it looks to me, from a distance, that that may not be the case.” On the contrary, Rydon, the contractor for the refurbishment, said it “met all required building control, fire regulation and health and safety standards.”

There were constant plans to test fire safety equipment and to replace some of the gas pipes, but the council never put forth any actions despite all of the complaints from the towers’ residents. Health and safety regulations must be met, ensured, and checked constantly. Hopefully, this dreadful occurrence allows for more care to be taken in the future and sends the message that all buildings and homes need to be checked. The horrific fire was anticipated and, most disturbingly, avoidable had those who were supposed to inspect that the building met the gas compliant health and safety regulations done it.

 

 

The Future of Work

Over the years, work has drastically changed both in how employees are hired and in the process of work. Boundaries are fading and traditional jobs are ceasing to exist. The reality is that most jobs have been changing and will be altered even further in the next few years. Rather than focusing on a specific career path, it is now deemed most advantageous to gain a wide set of skills which are desired across all industries. Research shows that during one’s lifetime, he or she is expected to have over 15 jobs across five industries.

Most jobs will be transformed and it is impossible to follow a strict path in the hope of pursuing this one job. Instead, employers search for candidates with a range of multiple skills that could take on more decision authority and operate across the company, covering different areas of work. However, the changing nature of work is far more complex than being simply about the transformation of traditional jobs. The development of new technology has led to a different work atmosphere with a less hierarchical structure and a focus on a quick and proactive attitude.

Advances in technology have caused one of the most dramatic shifts the working world has ever seen. Work is no longer place-oriented and has become more of an activity. Office work is now portable and easily accessible. Technology connects office work to home or other leisure spaces, so not all work must be done in the office. Additionally, technology makes things instant. Since an employee could effectively complete a request instantly and from home, employers expect punctuality and have harsher time restraints. Nowadays, employers anticipate that workers will efficiently complete tasks while under time pressure as there are few time restraints.

The process of work has been wholly transformed into a more cognitively complex practice. Companies depend on collaborative work, social skills, and technological competence. Although this may seem like a harsh change- putting more pressure and expectations on workers-this change in fact opens the doors for employees and gives them more freedom to pursue different career paths and delve in many industries. Training is no longer a linear path into one specific field; work is now about using many, different skillsets to be able to unlock several jobs and appear as an adaptable worker to employers. In a transforming professional world, the best way to become a successful, employable individual is by gaining skills and experience.

So, what can Free2Learn do to help you adapt to the future of work? F2L is up to date with employment models which are constantly updating and evolving. Employees now learn not only through training, but also through interactions with industry professionals and by experiencing work first-hand. Learning develops from mentoring relationships between newcomers and those with practice, and F2L offers this sort of active learning. We focus on skills and experience- qualifications which employers look for in future employees. Our courses will help you enter numerous industries through learning skills such as customer service, retail, loss prevention, construction health and safety, team leading, warehousing principles, hospitality, employability, and more! The future or work is rapidly transforming; Free2Learn stays on top of these trends to ensure the most efficient training for a new world of work!

Essential Skills Required for a Successful Career in Construction

Building a successful career in construction is more than just being up for the physical challenge of the job. It’s a hands on industry that relies on people with practical skills and know-how but also planning and managerial skills and a high level of professionalism.

Although many start their careers at the bottom and it can be tough at times, the industry can be incredibly rewarding and can offer a great deal of career progression.

So, what makes for a successful career in construction? We take a look at the skills and experience you’ll need to make it:

 

Hands On Practical Skills

This really is a given in the construction industry as it relies so heavily on practical skills. This includes good hand-eye co-ordination and a level of fitness to be able to complete the physical aspects of the job.

 

Good Communication

Both verbal and written communication skills are required to be able to progress in the industry. Not only for communicating with clients and customers but also for managing and communicating with staff and co-workers to ensure a project is running smoothly and issues and ideas are shared in a way that is understood by all involved. Being a good listener also goes a long way with clients and staff.

 

Problem Solving

Many roles in the industry rely on critical thinking and the ability to anticipate and react to problems quickly with the client’s best interest in mind.

 

Plans interpretation

A technical skill that can be learnt over time and through training but is essential for career progression is reading blueprints and understanding construction, plan and shop drawings.

 

Teamwork

Construction is by its very nature a team effort – not one person is responsible for the success of a project. This requires being a good team player and as you progress, being a good manager or people and inspiring and motivating those around you as well as yourself.

 

Commercial Awareness

Every project will have a commercial aspect and understanding this can be a real asset in your career, as business is about profit – for you/your company and the client. Cost accounting and financial analysis are also key skills that can be honed to ensure a successful career.

 

Time Management

Projects that overrun are costly for both the construction team and the client. Being able to manage your own time, and that of you staff is imperative to a strong career – as is an assertive attitude and prompt response.

 

Enthusiasm, dependability and flexibility

These three traits have been cited as essential for a construction worker. It can be tough, so you need enthusiasm to complete the job in hand. You need to be dependable and turn up and do as you say you will. And, as projects invariably change due to various factors, you need to be able to adapt to change easily.

 

Innovative and creative

Many successful construction professionals enjoy being creative and innovating in their work – and this can give you the advantage over someone else in the same position as you. Balancing this with risk assessment is a great skill to to have.

 

Sound health and safety knowledge and awareness

Safety – for yourself, your co-workers and staff and your client is imperative. Keeping this at the forefront of your mind will ensure everyone is safe and secure in the working environment and will help anticipate and prevent problems and dangers.

 

Business management

To excel in a career in construction, and move beyond the hands on elements of the job, a good business-head is required. Being able to hone your entrepreneurial and business skills to generate profit and run a sustainable business will help in many higher level roles in the industry, even if you do not run your own business.

 

Legal and contractual skills

These skills can complement the hands on and the business management traits attributed to a successful career in construction. Being aware of legal aspects of construction will give you a broader awareness of the full scope of the project in hand and allow you to adhere to contracts and anticipate issues in advance.