Master Lock launches Portable Bluetooth Select Access Smart Key Lock Box

MASTER Lock, the American security super brand, has launched an outdoor use Portable Bluetooth Select Access Smart Key Lock Box allowing for safe, shareable, and convenient access to your keys via a smart phone.

As the ideal solution to managing multi-user access to your keys whilst moving the device from location to location; there is no need to hide your keys under a doormat or flowerpot!

The Portable Bluetooth Select Access® Smart Key Lock Box is a key and card storage device which ensures flexible security. The portable design offers removable installations since it can be fixed to fences, gates, or any type of anchors points. This removes the need to drill holes for a permanent fixing and makes it perfect for renters.

Users can open and manage the Portable Select Access Smart via their smartphone with the free Master Lock Vault Home App. Temporary or permanent codes can be shared with 15 guests in one batch, and the overall number of contacts is unlimited. Since sharing is immediate, users can grant access to their keys remotely and in real time; as well as set up for future access. Users can also fully monitor who visits, when and for how long with live notifications as well as a comprehensive history of accesses to the key safe. A warning will also be shared should there be any unauthorised attempt to gain access making the user fully in control.

The Bluetooth data transmitted between the smartphone and Select Access Smart are both wrapped in a high-level military encryption for maximum security against hacking. Only authorised persons can get access to your keys, and only you can control it.

The key safe features a zinc outer shell for excellent resistance to attacks, as well as a durable solid body with a coated surface to protect the hardware and door finish. The integrated shackle allows for portable installation, and it has a large capacity to hold key cards or traditional keys.

The key safe is not only water resistant, but it can also withstand a range of temperatures from -40°C up to +50°C, making it a sure bet to stand against the elements.

In addition, a double-locking mechanism has been designed for greater resistance to prying attacks. An electronic keypad is backlit for easier use in the dark and includes 10 digits so users can create a secure code, as well as an unlimited number of ‘guest’ combinations. A backup combination can also be stored on the Master Lock Vault Site.

The easy to replace CR123A battery has a two-year life expectancy with low battery warnings sent straight to your smartphone. Master Lock has designed the key safe with a discreet compartment to jump start using a nine-vault battery should the energy completely run out.

The Master Lock 5440EURD Portable Bluetooth Select Access Smart is available from a variety of retailers including Amazon.co.uk.

www.masterlock.eu

FMB urges Chancellor to back local builders

AN economic package that increases demand for building work, protects jobs, and invests in training is needed to boost economic growth and save jobs, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) ahead of the Chancellor’s announcement on Wednesday.

The FMB is publishing an open letter to Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, setting out four key steps that will support the industry to build back better and greener.

This is all the more important as today’s UK Construction PMI data for June 2020 shows that employment has fallen at the end of the second quarter, and builders are registering only ‘cautious optimism’ with the rate of new order growth far weaker than seen for business activity.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The Chancellor must deliver on last week’s commitments to build back better and greener with a recovery package that places local builders at the heart. The FMB welcomed the Government’s unprecedented support measures for firms during the lockdown, and hopes for similar scale and creativity to protect local construction jobs and training opportunities.

“The four key interventions needed to support recovery in the SME construction sector include cutting VAT on repair and renovation works to 5% to boost activity. The Government must bring forward its pledged £9.2 billion investment in energy efficiency, underpinned by a national retrofit strategy to mobilise the market. As the Prime Minister recognised last week, building new homes is a great economic stimulus, and supporting local SME house builders will speed up delivery and drive up quality.

Finally, opportunities need to be created for apprentices, and given that local builders train the majority in construction, the Government needs to target information and financial support to them. Builders stand ready to build back better, but they need support to do so.”

www.fmb.org.uk

Dickies turns down the heat

DICKIES Workwear is launching a new range of t-shirts featuring fabric technology that helps keep the wearer from overheating in warm temperatures.

The Temp-iQ collection is made with fabric that traps cool air inside the yarn while wicking away sweat. In this way, the wearer stays comfortable as the cool air is kept next to their skin while they’re working in warmer temperatures.

To help protect skin from the sun’s rays, the t-shirt offers UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) 40+. UPF is similar to the sun protection factor used for sunscreens.

“Our Temp-iQ t-shirt is an ideal option to keep tradespeople feeling cool and comfortable while working hard this summer by using fabric technology that reacts to their body temperature and sweat,” said James Whitaker, Marketing Director.

“We’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to innovate and expand our range to meet the demands of tradespeople and are looking forward to launching further items in the Temp-iQ collection to help the wearer stay comfortable regardless of their working environment.”

The Temp-iQ range includes a two-tone style t-shirt available in 10 colour-ways, plus two hi-vis tops – a polo and t-shirt version, both available in orange and yellow.

T-shirts from the Dickies Pro range have also been enhanced with Temp-iQ technology, with four colour-ways including Green/Black and Royal/Black.

The Temp-iQ tops are easy to coordinate with other items from Dickies’ range of clothing and can be customised for tradespeople looking to include them as part of a uniform.

www.dickiesworkwear.com

Workers rejoice as PM relaxes social distancing rules

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has announced today (23 June) that from 4 July, England will enter a new phase in lockdown.

Under the new, more relaxed restrictions called ‘one meter plus’, the public are advised to remain two meters apart wherever possible but will be allowed to be as close as one meter if using ‘mitigation’ (such as face coverings), and be allowed to stay overnight in other households.

Several types of business will also be opening, including pubs, restaurants and hairdressers.

Dan Daintry, co-director of PAL Hire, said: “This news will come as a welcome relief for many ordinary people around the country. For months now we have all been feeling the effects of isolation and social distancing and the ability to go to a pub, get our hair done or attend a wedding will be warmly welcomed come as a breath of fresh air.

“In some ways it’s a small step and we still have a way to go before we’re out of the woods. But psychologically it’s an extremely important one, getting everyone that much closer to a life that may have felt impossibly distant.”

WHAT CAN I DO FROM 4 JULY?

  • Social distancing rules will apply from one meter rather than two, although two meters is still recommended where possible.
  • Two households of any size will be able to meet, indoors or outdoors, although this is not advised for more than two households.
  • In public, two households can meet regardless of six, although multiple households will only be able to meet in groups of up to six.
  • Pubs bars and restaurants (although not nightclubs) will be allowed to open, but only with a table service.
  • Places of worship will open and weddings will be allowed to have up to 30 attendees.
  • Hair dressers and barbers will be allowed to reopen although protective measures must still be taken.
  • Hotels, campsites and caravan parks will be allowed to open.

April has biggest drop in construction output on record

FIGURES released today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show a more than 40% drop in construction output for April 2020 - the largest monthly drop since records began in January 2010.

The ONS says that this abrupt drop was driven by a 41.2% decrease in new work and a 38.1% decrease in repair and maintenance.

Clive Docwra, managing director of leading construction consulting and design agency McBains, said: “Today’s figures are further confirmation that the construction sector will face a hugely tough time to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“Particular concerns are private new housing work seeing a third consecutive month of large decline, exacerbated by the COVID-19 lockdown on April and now at its lowest level for a decade – bad news for the industry but also for prospective homeowners given the housing shortage. 

"The record fall in private commercial new work also reflects the pause button being pressed on major projects.

“Hopefully today’s figures will represent the nadir given they cover the full month of lockdown, but while many large construction firms are now resuming work, many will still weakened by reduced order pipelines over the next few months.

“Firms are also experiencing labour shortages, supply chains are still operating extremely slowly and cashflow is becoming an increasingly pressing issue as cash reserves dry up.  

"The government needs to stimulate demand, for example through reducing VAT on repair and maintenance work.”

To read the statistics in full, click here.

Makita adds to new XGT 40V range with new drills and drivers

MAKITA UK has introduced its new XGT range of cordless high-performance 40V Max tools, with the addition of two models of rotary hammer, a new combi-drill and an impact driver – ideal for heavy duty applications where cordless may not have previously coped.

All four new products benefit from Makita’s advanced brushless motor technology.

The HR003G and HR004G 40V Max Brushless Rotary Hammers offer outstanding performance with speeds up to 980 revolutions per minute (rpm) and up to 5,000 blows per minute (bpm) of hammer action. They feature a variable speed trigger and three function options - rotary hammer, rotary only and hammer only – making them versatile and easy to adjust to each task. The HR004G is also equipped with a Quick Change Chuck to make switching between drill bits fast and simple.

Both machines include Makita’s Anti-Vibration Technology (AVT) for improved operator comfort and safety. When hammer drilling into concrete the HR003G and HR004G have vibration levels of just 7.0m/s2 and 6.5m/s2 respectively for increased safe trigger times. To protect users from dust inhalation during operation, the rotary hammers are compatible with the DX12 (HR003G) and DX14 (HR004G) dust boxes.

The highly versatile HP001G Combi Drill is compact and easy to handle. It has a variable speed trigger and two mechanical gears with a broad range of clutch settings – 41 in gear one and 21 in gear two. This makes it easy to finely adjust the output for the task at hand. The HP001G has a capacity of 20mm in steel and masonry and 76mm in wood. In high gear it has a speed of 2,600 rpm and delivers up to 39,000 blows per minute when in impact drilling mode. To ensure the safety of the user the machine features Makita’s Active Feedback Sensing Technology (AFT) that turns off the motor if the rotation speed suddenly slows. This protects the user from injury if the drill bit jams in the material.

Also added to the Makita range, is the powerful TD001G Brushless Impact Driver. It delivers up to 220 newton-metres (Nm) of torque with the choice of four power modes (Max, Hi, Mid and Lo), selected using a simple one touch control, in addition to six assist modes. In the highest power mode, it has a maximum speed of 3,700 rpm and delivers up to 4,400 impacts per minute.

Kevin Brannigan, marketing manager at Makita UK commented: “Our XGT platform offers solutions for high demand applications where corded electric tools have traditionally been required and the new rotary hammers, combi drill and impact driver all provide the highest levels of performance, ease of use and operator comfort and safety.”

www.makitauk.com

Snickers' new stretch work shorts - comfortable and lightweight

FABRIC, functionality and fit are hallmarks of Snickers Workwear; it’s the innovation and fabric technology in the design of the new Stretch Shorts for men and women that really set these new garments apart.

These new AllroundWork and FLEXIWork shorts are great for working in the warmer months. Delivering superior flexibility and comfort, these lightweight work shorts come in a body-mapping design and a range of new colours including Hi-vis options.

Made from a self-ventilating stretch fabric with Cordura reinforcements for all-round mobility and durability, they’re packed with comfort and functionality and specially designed for the fast-paced professional who’s always on the go for delivering top class work on site.

For professional tradesmen and women who rely on their gear in demanding environments, Snickers Workwear Work Shorts are a must for everyone who wants the ultimate in cool comfort this summer.

To get more information on what’s right for you in the Snickers Workwear range, visit the website at www.snickersworkwear.co.uk alternatively, email [email protected] or call the Hultafors Group Helpline on 01484 854788.

Best foot forward with Solid Gear safety shoe technology

INCORPORATING some of the most advanced technical features in safety shoe design.

With all the Hallmarks you find in Snickers Workwear – quality, comfort, durability and street-smart style, Solid Gear safety shoes and boots are fast becoming one of the most popular brands chosen by discerning tradesmen and women.

With a wide range to choose from that integrate the type of modern technical designs you’ll find in outdoor and athletic footwear, Solid Gear safety footwear combines best in class materials for comfort, protection and durability.

There’s a host of first-to-market features like GORE-Tex Surround Technology for unrivalled and all-round breathability. Plus ETPU sports footwear performance that delivers unrivalled footbed energy return that really puts a spring in your step.

Added to the Vibram outsoles and Cordura Rip-Stop fabric in other styles, you’ll get rugged protection all day long. What’s more, the GORE-Tex Fabric Technology also makes the footwear water repellent and waterproof to keep your feet dry. Added to which, the unique BOA Closure System on certain styles, distributes the pressure evenly across your feet to ensure a glove-like fit.

Overall, this combination of market-leading materials, fabrics, linings and high-tech features provides the kind of insulation and protection that will keep your feet warm and comfortable all day long.

To get more information on Solid Gear and Toe Guard - the Next Generation of Safety Footwear, visit the website at www.solidgearfootwear.com alternatively, call the Snickers Helpline on 01484 854788.

Lighthouse Club release new features on app

ALONG with technology partners COINS, the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity’s free App has been upgraded with some fantastic new features just in time for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The new features focus on preventative tools and building resilience in the areas of mental, physical, and financial wellbeing and guides users through a series of questions to provide the best possible information, advice and guidance.

Each section of the app offers learnings about a variety of conditions or issues, self- assessment tools, coping strategies and referral pathways to access expert advice and support.

The charity’s mission is that “no construction worker or their family is alone in a crisis” and this new version of its popular self-support app complements their free 24/7 Construction Industry helpline and their free online “Lunch and Learn” wellbeing courses.

Along with the industry leading Building Mental Health initiative that now has nearly 500 companies signed up to its charter, the charity is already helping to drive significant change through the construction industry, concentrating on making all aspects of support and training relating to wellbeing as accessible as possible by making them free at the point of use.

The latest updates to the app come at a time when the industry desperately needs support. Taking the first step in seeking help with personal issues can be daunting but the app offers people self-learning and coping strategies so that they can help themselves or if necessary, take the next step in seeking professional help.

Key support areas include:

Mental Wellbeing; covering anxiety, depression, anger, suicidal thoughts, sleep and building  resilience

Physical Wellbeing; covering aches and pains, nutrition, weight management cancer, alcohol and drug addiction.

Financial Wellbeing; covering budgeting, debt management, tax and legal advice, retirement planning and emergency financial aid.

The app is not only free and simple to use, it now accesses a major researched library of resources on a vast array of topics and brings them all together in one application. The ‘get help’ function is particularly useful as the built in geolocator signposts users to support from both national help centres and local support services contextualised to the subject being investigated.

Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity said, “By making all our proactive and reactive construction worker wellbeing and welfare support services FREE and totally confidential, we hope to remove all barriers of access. By doing so we move one step closer to our mission “that no construction worker or their family is alone in a crisis”. But we cannot do this without the support of our industry and industry suppliers. A huge thank you is extended to the team at COINS who have worked so hard to ensure that we are ready to share this vital wellbeing support tool at a time that it is most urgently needed. Everyone in construction should have this App on their phone.”

With over 35 years of developing software solutions for construction, leading construction software company COINS are passionate about supporting the industry. CEO, Robert Brown said, "Collaborating with the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity in developing this important app has been a privilege. It is our way of giving something back to the industry that we are passionate about helping. It is a tool that we hope will be a great help to both construction workers and their families when they need it the most, especially during these difficult times"

The free Construction Industry Helpline mobile App for Android and iOS is available to download now.

Mental Health Awareness Week should be cancelled!

By Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Club

THE year we cancel Mental Health Awareness Week will be because the mental health of our workforce is treated as significantly and comes as naturally as ensuring their physical safety. It will come at a time when everyone in our industry is aware of the importance of good mental wellbeing, every operation has a mental health policy and the suicide rate in construction has been significantly reduced.

However, according to the recent CIOB survey, taken before the Covid-19 outbreak, we have a long way to go and the day we cancel Mental Health Awareness Week will not be anytime soon.

We need more companies to engage, accelerate and amplify our efforts to improve our workforce wellbeing. By following a simple five step guideline,  any company can embrace the change without considerable financial outlay.

  • Step 1: Commitment.  Management agree policy and sign up to treating mental health as a priority in their operation
  • Step 2: Access to an EAP. Everyone in the operation including all onsite subcontractors should have access to an Employee Assistance Programme. If  no scheme is available,  use our charity’s free  Construction Industry Helpline and supporting App.
  • Step 3: Start the conversation. Deliver regular on-site wellbeing toolbox talks to get people talking together
  • Step 4: Awareness. All people managers should attend an online or on-site Mental Health Awareness course.
  • Step 5: On Site Mental Health First Aiders. Every operation should have an onsite Mental Health First Aider in the same ratio as physical first aiders

Following this simple five step incurs little cost,  makes construction a more attractive place to work for the next generation and could ultimately save lives.  

However, if all else fails try adopting these 3 life principles:

  1. Always ask twice. Make eye contact, you don’t always get the true answer first time around 
  2. Seek to understand before you seek to be understood.  Listen and don’t judge, easier said than done! And be the last to talk.
  3. Always be kind, there is no reason to be unkind even if you need to deliver a tough message it can be done in a humane way.

These three life principles are easy to say and difficult to follow, but if we did, the world would be a better place and Mental Health Awareness Week would be a thing of the past.

Find out more about the 5 Step guideline  www.BuildingMentalHealth.net

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