Electrical Contracting News (ECN) July 2017 - Page 7

INDUSTRY NEWS SCS GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR ALLAN MEEK SUMMITS MOUNT EVEREST SCS Group’s managing director, Allan Meek, has made it to the summit of Mount Everest after six weeks of intense training, climbing, acclimatisation and waiting. Allan Meek, 56, who owns the BMS and smoke control company, reached the top of the world’s highest mountain on the morning of Tuesday 16th May as dawn broke i n the UK. Allan reached the top at 9.45am local time. It appears Allan’s just one of several Welsh people to have successfully summited Everest, including the first Welsh man, Caradog Jones, in May 1995 at the age of 33, and the first Welsh woman, Tori James, in May 2007 at the age of 25. Allan was part of a team of eight members and nine climbing Sherpas in an expedition led by Nepalese company Ascent Himalayas. Allan has been sponsored in his quest by SCS Group. Allan’s son Ben Meek, who works at SCS Group as design manager/fire engineer, said, ‘I’m really proud of dad, this is a fantastic achievement. I had no doubt he would make it to the summit, he always achieves whatever he puts his mind to. I can’t imagine what’s he’s planning to do after this!’ BCIA AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED The winners of the 2017 Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) Awards were announced at the prestigious ceremony and gala dinner on Thursday 11th May 2017 at the Hilton Metropole, Birmingham. This year’s awards, hosted by BBC broadcaster Steph McGovern, saw the best of the best recognised and rewarded for showing true excellence in the building controls industry. The winner of Independent Building Controls & BEMS Installer of the Year was Global Associates. The company’s innovation and commitment to client satisfaction saw it stand out in this category. BG Energy Solutions took the honours of Best Service & Maintenance Provider, thanks to its customer focused services, which saw Vue Entertainment benefit from a 24-hour real time energy monitoring and maintenance bureau across 85 UK/Ireland cinemas. BG Energy Solutions was also successful in picking up the Energy Management Award for this project. WORKPLACE ABSENCE DUE TO MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS ALMOST AS COMMON AS COLDS AND BUGS New analysis of sickness absence in the contracting sector shows worrying levels of absenteeism due to mental health problems. Analysis of sick pay data from ECIS, in support of BUPA’s Healthy Minds month in May, shows mental health as one of the top three reasons for employee absence (13 per cent), after musculoskeletal conditions (48 per cent) and general sickness, colds and bugs (15 per cent). In stark contrast, the number of claims for the treatment of mental health problems remains a small fraction of all health insurance claims managed by ECIS, suggesting contractors are not getting the support they need to get to the root causes of their issues. Vicki Leslie, client relationship manager for ECIS, commented, ‘Between 2013 and 2016 we saw a 20 per cent increase in health insurance claims for mental health conditions in the contracting sector but this is still a tiny proportion of all the health insurance claims we manage. There’s a real disconnect between the number of workers suffering from mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression and those taking action to address the problem by seeking professional treatment. We therefore urge employers to take up an active role in promoting mental health and wellbeing as well as highlighting the importance of early intervention amongst their workforce. ECIS offers a direct access service for mental health problems allowing members to access treatment without needing to see a GP, along with an Employee Assistance Programme which provides confidential 24/7 telephone support.’ Other winners on the night included: The BCIA Award winners with BBC presenter Steph McGovern. • Technical Innovation of the Year – Projects: Enterprise Control Engineers • Technical Innovation of the Year – Products: The Siemens Building Technologies product Desigo CC • Contribution to Training Award: Eton Associates • Engineer of the Year: Stephen Astwood of Johnson Controls • Young Engineer of the Year: George Belfield of InTandem Systems Outstanding Contribution of the Year went to Andy Bartlett of Belimo Automation UK. Presenting the award Malcolm Anson, president of the BCIA, said, ‘I am delighted to present this award to Andy. He and his company have been members of the BCIA from the very beginning. Andy has been a key player in moving the controls industry forward and has actively supported the BCIA in many ways.’ Malcolm added, ‘I would like to congratulate all of the finalists and winners and a big thank you goes to all of the sponsors.’ BUSINESS LEADER MIKE SMITH BECOMES NEW ECA PRESIDENT A highly respected electrical engineer and businessperson – Mike Smith of SES Engineering Services – has taken over the presidency of the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA). Mr Smith has held a variety of commercial roles at SES over the past 25 years, and is currently the firm’s estimating and sector director. He has worked on projects totalling tens of millions of pounds, and has helped the business grow its turnover significantly during his tenure. Mike began his career as an electrical apprentice with Leeds based R&I Harrison, joining the business straight from school, just before his 16th birthday. On his appointment Mike commented, ‘As someone passionate about improving the engineering and electrotechnical services sector, I’m delighted to be taking over this prestigious ECA role as an industry champion. ‘The industry faces a range of challenges – including ensuring Brexit works for our sector and improving productivity – and I am determined to raise the profile of these issues and the industry more generally.’ ECA CEO Steve Bratt, added, ‘We are delighted that Mike Smith, a great industry advocate, has become the ECA’s new president. The entire ECA management team and staff look forward to working with Mike to further enhance the status of the ECA and the wider engineering services sector.’ New ECA president Mike Smith. July 2017 | 7