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Health and safety guidelines for manual handling have been revised

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently updated its guidelines for manual handling.


Previously, the guidelines recommended that workers should not manually handle loads of more than 25kg. However, the updated guidelines recognise that weight is a factor, but other factors such as the number of times items are carried, and the distance carried are as important.


The current guidelines were summarised by John Arrowsmith of Indeva UK, manufactures of manual handling equipment:


How to design the perfect office space

The chief executive of the PhotoBox group Jody Ford and Rachel Shepherd of Toyota have shared their ideas on what makes the perfect office space by outlining the designs of their own offices.


The PhotoBox organises its workers at its London head office into five to ten people groups working towards a specific goal. These teams are known as squads and each has a dedicated work area. The office furniture has clear desks where people work facing each other. There are whiteboards and screens whi...

Government increases funding for disabled workers

The government has announced extra funding to support employers who provide extra employment support for disabled workers.


The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requires all businesses to provide facilities for disabled people. These include ramps for wheelchair access and making sure that doorways are wide enough for wheelchairs. Additionally, employers can display large safety signs that can be seen by partially-sighted people.


From 2019, businesses can receive a grant of £5,000 per ...

Report finds fire doors do not meet industry standards

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) has revealed that five suppliers of fire doors failed to meet required fire performance standards.


There are many safety measures needed for buildings to comply with fire regulations including fire alarms, fire safety signs and fire extinguishers. Fire doors are essential to prevent the spread of fire.


The organisation investigated the fire door industry after it was found that fire doors from Grenfell Tower failed a 30-minu...

Manufacturer wants fire regulation improvements to include cables

Following the Grenfell tragedy, the focus has been on whether fire cladding is a hazard. A cable manufacturer has pointed out that cheap cabling can also be a fire hazard.


Following advice by Dame Judith Hackett who chaired the review on building regulations after Grenfell, the government has proposed additional measures to strengthen fire safety in residential buildings. These include pilot schemes to test safety improvements, mandatory inspection of electrical installations in the private ...

Tesla builds mezzanine floors to create extra production facilities

Electric car manufacturer Tesla is struggling to produce enough of its Model 3 cars to meet the high demand. To address the issue, it has been expanding their factory.


It has now built a huge tent behind its factory to house an additional production line. Over 400 permits from the local authority have been granted for Tesla to build extensions to its factory and to renovate existing buildings.


Since 2016, the company owned by Elon Musk has spent $21.4 million (£16.2m) reconfiguring the i...

Are open-plan offices a bad idea?

The thinking behind open-plan office is that they increase collaboration and interaction between employees, but a new study by Harvard academics Ethan S Bernstein and Stephen Turban has indicated that this is not the case.


The study found that employees spend 73% less time on face-to-face communications. Changing to an open-plan design increases email and other digital messages by 67%.

Organisations that arrange office furniture in an open plan style claim that this encourages better commun...

Fire safety training enhanced by virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) is often used in fire safety training, but it can be expensive technology. A new system that is inexpensive can be used to improve the safety of work sites.


A VR headset and suitable software can be used to allow people to experience hazardous working situations without risk. For example, in the oil and gas industry workers use throbbing jacks that are used to cap well heads when there is unbalanced pressure. This is a dangerous operation, so workers are trained on a VR ...

Nestlé and XPO Logistics to create new digital warehouse

Food giant Nestlé is teaming up with XPO logistics to design a new digital warehouse at the new SEGRO East Midland Gateway Logistics Park in Leicestershire. This 638,000 square foot distribution centre will act as a testbed for the prototype XPO technology.


Expected to be completed by 2020, the £55 million warehouse will have advanced sorting systems and robotics. Automation from Swisslog Logistics Automation will be tested. Nestlé said:


“The site’s digital ecosystem will integrate predi...

New service aims to save time managing offices

An American company is now offering a new service that can help business people focus on their main tasks instead of managing their offices.


Managed by Q describes itself as an office service marketplace. It matches office building tenants with essential services like cleaning, maintenance, IT, security and staffing. These are the services that office managers can spend a long-time sourcing and managing.


The company vets services and suppliers that it includes on its website. A business ...