Electrical Contracting News (ECN) March 2017 - Page 8

INDUSTRY NEWS INCREASED RESPONSIBILITIES FOR CABLE DISTRIBUTORS UNDER LOW VOLTAGE DIRECTIVE REVISION Following a UK public consultation last year, a revision of the Low Voltage Directive (2014/35/EU) has been released under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016, which came into force on 8th December 2016. The regulations apply to manufacturers, importers and distributors of electrical equipment designed for use with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1,000V for alternating current and between 75V and 1,500V for direct current, and placed on the market on or after the commencement date. As well as a higher level of responsibility for cable distributors, there is also heightened supervision by authorities to ensure each ruling is obeyed, which may result in an increased number of cases of non-compliance identified and consequent liability for manufacturers, importers and distributors. ‘Many of the revisions are focused on ensuring traceability back through the supply chain,’ said Dr Jeremy Hodge, chief executive at The British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC). ‘Cable distributors have a duty of care to make all relevant checks on cable products so that they are in compliance with the new regulation before product is placed on the market. The responsibility now falls across the whole supply chain, whereas previously the emphasis had been on manufacturers.’ Cable wholesalers and distributors now have a strict duty to ensure that the cable product they supply satisfies safety requirements and that it bears the CE marking. By affixing the CE marking on a product, a supplier is declaring conformity with all relevant legal requirements, for example the health and safety requirements of the applicable Directive. Purchasers may request a copy of the EC Declaration of Conformity and many cable manufacturers hold EC Declarations of Conformity on their websites. Wholesalers must also check that the manufacturer and importer have indicated their name, registered trade name or trademark and the address at which they can be contacted on the product or, when not possible because of the size or physical characteristics of the products, on its packaging and/or on the accompanying documentation, and that the product bears a type, batch or serial number or other element allowing the identification and traceability of the product. The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 document is available to download from the www.legislation. gov.uk website. Further information about BASEC and its role in the international electrical industry is available at www.basec.org.uk IN BRIEF… V-Tac has become a partner of DiaLux – a leading creator of software for lighting design. V-Tac’s comprehensive range of lights will be listed on the software by March 2017, meaning over 600,000 architects, engineers and lighting technicians who use it around the world will soon be able to design, calculate and visualise how each V-Tac product can best be used in a particular space. The Lighting Industry Association (LIA) has received the award for Best Construction Industry Trade Association – UK, in the 2016 Facilities Management Awards, organised by Build Magazine. These prestigious awards are in their third year and recognise those hidden heroes within Facilities Management. All winners are nominated for the award and these nominees’ accomplishments for the past year are examined by the Build Magazine team to decide the final Winners. ECIS HIGHLIGHTS HEART DISEASE RISKS Data from ECIS, the employee benefits company for the construction sector, shows heart and circulatory disease as the third highest cause of health insurance claims amongst workers in construction and building trades over the past four years. Cancer and MSK conditions top the list. Whilst the overall proportion of claims related to heart conditions dropped from Vicki Leslie, client relationship manager, ECIS nine per cent in 2013 to five per cent in 2016, coronary heart disease remains one of the most common causes of premature death in the UK. In support of BUPA’s Healthy Heart month in February, ECIS is encouraging the construction sector to raise health awareness amongst workers, encouraging them to seek the advice of a GP at the earliest opportunity if they suspect heart problems and seek out health screening services to help spot any health issues which may be emerging. ECIS offers discounted health screenings as part of the employee benefits solutions it provides to companies within the construction sector. Health screenings will help detect problems that may have gone unnoticed providing employees with support and guidance for treatment. Vicki Leslie, client relationship manager for ECIS, said, ‘It’s vital that employees are encouraged to take an active interest in their own physical and mental health. At ECIS we look after the health and wellbeing of over 16,000 construction workers and their families. ‘While it’s pleasing to see that the overall number of claims related to heart and circulatory diseases is falling, coronary heart disease remains a huge issue in the UK. It’s crucial that employers actively encourage their employees to be vigilant when it comes to their own health, whether this be through health screenings or by visiting their GP. Spotting signs of heart disease early can have a huge impact on the outcome, enabling workers and health professionals to take appropriate action.’ For further information visit: www.ecins.co.uk 20,000TH APPROVED CONTRACTOR SIGNS UP WITH NICEIC NICEIC has witnessed an increasing number of applications from firms looking for accreditation in recent months. It is the first time in the organisation’s 60 year history the Approved Contractor roll has topped 20,000. It now maintains a total roll of more than 28,000 registered contractors (including domestic installers). ‘This is a significant milestone for NICEIC,’ commented Emma Clancy CEO of Cersture, which operates the NICEIC and ELECSA brands. ‘It is encouraging to know that when it comes to building and improving their business, contractors are continuing to seek certification because they know it will set them apart from their competitors and help their business grow.’ The 20,000th firm to register with NICEIC was Mottershead Electrics. Its owner is Peter Mottershead from Macclesfield. He was presented with a £100 voucher to spend at NICEIC’s online direct store. Peter has been an electrician for more than 20 years and recently set up his own business after his previous employer retired. He said, ‘I carry out a lot of periodic inspection and testing and a lot of my customers insist on having it done by an NICEIC Approved Contractor. It is the most recognised name in the industry. So far it has been going well and I just hope it carries on that way.’ Certsure now represents more than 77 per cent of all Part P registered firms in the UK. Between April 2015 – March 2016 there were 1,451,917 Part P jobs notified to Building Control in England and Wales. Of these over 1.3 million were carried out by Certsure registrants. This means 92 per cent of the work was done by Certsure registrants. The 20,000th firm to register with NICEIC was Peter Mottershead of Mottershead Electrics – the 20,000th firm to register with NICEIC. Screwfix has opened its 500th UK store at Lumina Park, Enfield, north London, marking a major milestone in the retailer’s expansion of its store network. Since opening its first store in Yeovil in 2005, Screwfix has grown significantly and has opened one store per week for the past six years, meaning 90 per cent of the UK population is within a 20 minute drive time of a store. In 2016, Screwfix was crowned ‘Employer of the Year’ by Retail Week and as one of the Glassdoor Best Places to Work in 2017. Four in 10 building clients (40 per cent) say they are ‘unfamiliar’ with the heavily used phrase the ‘Internet of Things’, according to new survey findings from the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), and Scottish electrical trade body SELECT. In addition, over half of respondents (55 per cent), who include consultants, engineers, end clients, local authorities and facilities managers, say that a ‘lack of clear advice/knowledge’ is a barrier to installing connected technology in their buildings. While over six in 10 respondents (61 per cent) say they don’t have any plans to ‘evaluate and install connected technology’. The nation’s first ever construction pay trends index has been launched by Hudson Contract, to reveal that Wales has seen the biggest (5.3 per cent) year-on-year increase in earnings amongst self-employed tradesmen – compared to just a 1.8 per cent uplift nationally across England. The interactive tool reveals weekly pay differences by region, age and subsectors; providing tradesman, building apprentices and other industry analysts with a unique insight into pay levels, it also reveals the impact weather, location and economic factors have on earning potential. The index will update monthly to reveal the latest pay trends – providing an online career resource for building apprentices through to industry analysts. For further information visit: www.hudsoncontract.co.uk/constructionpay-trends/ 8 | March 2017