Van drivers being warned that poor driving can negatively impact businesses

Experts from UK leading supplier of vans for tradespeople ‘LeaseVan.co.uk’, have highlighted the importance of avoiding poor driving habits. They’ve explained not only how bad driving can be to public safety, but also how it can have a negative impact on a business. They state how potential customers may be put off by seeing a van driving poorly or recklessly and opt against using that company.

the van company warn their customers leasing vans, as well as any other companies that use vans, that they must avoid breaking speed limits, and try to drive courteously and respectively of fellow road users when out and about in company vans. They have warned that badly driven vans could end up costing the industry millions, with the smallest businesses the most affected by the loss in revenue.

Common bad driving behaviours consist of speeding, running through red lights, not stopping at zebra crossings and cutting other drivers up. They also warn that because many vans are often branded with a company’s logo and details, this needs to be considered whenever driving.

An employee of ‘LeaseVan.co.uk’ explained: “Van drivers need to realise that each and every time they get behind the wheel they are an ambassador for their company. If they then tear about cutting people up, racing through traffic lights on amber and failing to stop at zebra crossings they are going to create a very bad impression for their company with other road users and the general public. Many companies employ drivers without making it absolutely clear to them that they are ambassadors for the brand. In some cases, these drivers will interact with more members of the public each day than the average salesperson for the company, so they should really be given training on how to conduct themselves on behalf of the company. If a van is driven badly it’s likely to be remembered for all the wrong reasons and if it’s branded with logos and other details, it’s likely to lose lots of orders for the company. Branded vans can be very powerful mobile adverts for a firm but if they are poorly driven they could actually be costing sales.”

He warned that he feels larger companies could potentially fall victim to having bad representation more than smaller companies, adding: “Small companies with perhaps one or two vans usually understand that they are representing the firm when they are on the way to and from jobs. But when a company operates a fleet of vans and perhaps employs hundreds of drivers then the message that drivers are brand ambassadors can get lost. We would like to see all fleet operators speak to their drivers and ensure all of them understand the need to drive sensibly and respectfully always. “

Electric planes part of government’s plan to modify aerospace industry

Yesterday, the UK government pledged a total of £343 million, through industry and government investment, to the aerospace sector in an announcement by the Business and Energy Secretary at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow. This was done in the hope to propel the UK, who are already world leaders in this industry, into a new era of more energy efficient aerospace.

Of the total investment, £255 million will target 18 new research and technology projects, including the development of cleaner and greener hybrid aircrafts. A further £68 million will increase research and development opportunities, hoping to help small and medium-sized businesses, while £20 million will be directed at driving improvements in long-term productivity across the sector.

This investment will not only maintain the UK’s existing strength in this industry, but put them in a position to potentially revolutionise the aviation sector through technologically advanced systems such as the electric aircraft, hybrid-electric propulsion systems, and new materials for future aircraft developments. One of the major benefits of this funding is the ability to drive forward the E-Fan X project. This brings together Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens in a collaboration that seeks to develop a flying electrical demonstrator forming the basis of future electrical aircrafts, transforming the aerospace industry in a move towards increased sustainability. All the projects under the new funding will be abide by the UK’s Clean Growth Strategy, looking to cut emissions and save energy in all areas of the industry.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “The UK has a rich heritage in civil aviation as the home of the jet engine and the wings factory of the world. Technology is driving revolutionary changes in aviation that have not been seen since the 1970s and today’s investment is foundational to the future of commercial aviation and ensuring the UK remains at the cutting-edge of the sector. This revolution in civil aerospace will bring significant benefits to UK industry, passengers and the environment.”

Europe’s first available Electrical Safety Trainers launched

UK company Rockfall, are said to have developed Europe’s first available electrical safety shoes. The shoes comply with European and International Electrical Hazard standards and are designed to protect wearers against electrical risks up to 18kV in accordance with the ASTM F2412-11 test method. The breakthrough shoes will have stock available in the UK as well as the rest of Europe. The range of footwear has already seen early signs of its success, with most recently being recognised for its innovation within the industry at the recent Professional Clothing Awards.

The footwear is being sold and made available exclusively in the UK and can be found in most popular PPE re sellers in the UK. Arguably the 2 most popular companies who sell the footwear are Travis Perkins and Toolstation. This as well as roughly around 300 independent distributors and retailers in the UK.

The footwear has also established a growing popularity in Australia and New Zealand, with multiple major electrical contractors utilising the products for their own electrical operations. The director, of Rock Fall, Richard Noon, explained: “Electrical risks are increasing as the prominence of hybrid and fully electric vehicles continues to grow. In manufacture, service and at the end of life these vehicles must be handled safely. Electric Vehicles aren’t the only driver for this, as we increase the pressure on our electricity networks, there will be even greater demand for preventative maintenance and work on live lines. Increased pressure can cause accidents and to have an additional item of PPE to be the last line of defence, in our opinion is critical. We have seen from the great improvements in Safety management during the Crossrail project. With HS2 electrification high on the agenda, from the view of a Safety equipment manufacturer it’s important that our industry makes the most of these major infrastructure projects.”

Breaking down new electronic rules and restrictions for UK flights

There are already strict regulations on UK flights regarding what electrical items can be brought into the cabin in hand luggage, and these may soon become more tight depending on location of travel for British passengers.

UK flight restrictions are undergoing change due to a recently foiled terrorist plot. They may soon follow the movements of the USA and Australia, who banned powder in quantities of over 12 ounces from being taken on planes in hand luggage. Regulations for hand luggage allowance are often confusing for passengers, especially given their flexible nature, and this is especially the case for rules concerning electrical items. New guidelines have been put in place to explain the difference in regulations depending on where you are travelling to.

For most passengers travelling from the UK, taking electrical items like phones, tablets and laptops in hand luggage is permitted, as well as most other electrical items. However, this is no longer the case for passengers travelling to the majority of destinations in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. For these people, electrical devices bigger than ’16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm’ aren’t permitted in hand luggage, therefore most laptops and tablets must be checked in. Even electrical items that are bought in duty-free are subject to these rules, and portable batteries that exceed these measurements aren’t allowed in hand or hold luggage.

Many passengers are unaware of these new regulations and how they may be affected by them, as the bans are not in place in UK airports. However, even if travelling to these countries for a connecting flight, the new regulations apply, so passengers should get used to checking their journey to make sure they can travel with electrical items.

UK Companies are key to improving overall recycling in the country

Businesses need to focus more on improving their employees recycling, in an effort to boost the UK’s overall recycling. This is according to UK waste disposal experts. It is reported that businesses are responsible for around a quarter of the total waste in the UK. This in turn has influenced the decision of the government to increase its landfall tax to just under £90 per tonne, at £88.95, with hopes of encouraging businesses to recycle much more of the waste they produce. Further research alarmingly states that almost 80% of businesses simply do no recycling at all, with zero green policy in place. Also pointing out that it is the most common of materials not being properly managed like paper, cardboard, regular plastics, and electrical waste.

Shredding company, ‘Russell Richardson’, Managing director, Jonathan Richardson explained: “Since waste collection is measured by weight, waste disposal costs can soon mount up for business owners. By recycling and throwing less away, companies can save thousands of pounds per year in landfill tax, while crucially lessening their environmental footprint. Setting up regular collections for waste paper – at the very least – is an easy win for office-based businesses: it’s easy to do and can save money almost immediately… Some services even offer rebates for large volumes of waste.”

It is said that up to 80% of office waste produced is paper, this according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

Mr Richardson also added: “Setting up regular collections for waste paper – at the very least – is an easy win for office-based businesses: it’s easy to do and can save money almost immediately… Some services even offer rebates for large volumes of waste.”

Electrical chain to refund customers £200,000 if England win World Cup

A chain of electrical stores in the South-West of England has promised to refund customers over £200,000 as a promotion tool if England win the World Cup. HBH Woolacotts has nine stores located across Cornwall and Devon, and made the offer to people who purchased OLED TVs from any of their shops between 1st May and 17th June.

With England now playing in the semi-final later on today against Croatia, it is likely that they are in a much stronger position than Woolacotts would have expected when making this offer. Nevertheless, Company Director Chris Hemmerle, who came up with the idea along with the managing director a few months ago, has said that although he is “a little bit nervous”, he still “would love to see us win the trophy”. The firm sold more than 130 televisions between the relevant dates, the cheapest being sold for £1,300.

Mr Hemmerle commented; “It has created a nice talking point. I am not sure people believed it to be honest… If they knew what they know now we would have sold a few more.”

Despite the fact that potential England glory would cause a financial loss to the firm, Mr Hemmerle is putting his national team first, saying; “I am really hoping we will go all the way as it may never happen again in my lifetime.

“Regarding the value we’d have to pay back – if I’m honest its slightly more than that and closer to £250,000… eek!”

Fingers crossed that come Sunday evening, HBH Woolacotts are out of pocket but can celebrate with the rest of the country. COME ON ENGLAND!

UK Tenants lives are still being put at risk due to poor safety guidance, according to study

Poor guidance is putting more tenant lives in danger according to a recent study. The government have reportedly refused to enhance current weak safety rules regarding rented properties. Ministers were even recently forced to defend their guidance that claims fire risks are not major, this guidance has also been attacked as unclear on responsibility for prevention of fire hazard and electrical safety. There were many problems identified in the guidance, one of the main issues with the guidance which we have already touched upon, is the guidance describing risk of fire as very small. This has been heavily critiqued as despite this claim, councils have been reporting risk of fire as the 2nd most frequent category 1 hazard. It is worth pointing out that councils had been reporting this even before the Grenfell Tower incident. 

Fire hazards such as faulty electrical items, fire doors that are in poor condition and heating systems that are especially dangerous in winter, cannot be tackled because officials are not able to prove that they breach the guidance that has been claimed as outdated. Just under 99% of health professionals have been calling for further action – 50% of these people claim to have witnessed hazards that simply could not be addressed under current guidance.

In April several MP’s had backed the demand, they agreed that a change was needed to improve clarity on whether a property meets minimum standards. However, recently ministers have rejected these recommended changes, despite the Grenfell Tower blaze being traced to a faulty fridge, amidst confusion regarding responsibility for fire safety.

Tamara Sandoul, The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) Housing Policy Manager, “The evidence and guidance that local authorities use to take action on dangerous housing conditions has not been reviewed or updated since it was introduced 12 years ago. This is simply not good enough and the millions of people currently in the private rented sector expected better.”

Chairman of the Commons Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Clive Betts stated: “What professionals are saying is that faults and deficiencies are being missed. This could cause an injury – or someone could lose their life. In the current climate, after the Grenfell tragedy, you would have thought that the government would be very sensitive to this issue of residents’ safety.”

Train station incident leaves girl with serious electrical burns

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A teenage girl suffered serious electrical burns following an incident at Bournemouth train station on Saturday evening. The 16-year-old had to be airlifted to hospital after coming into contact with the tracks some time shortly before 9pm. It is not yet known exactly how she came into contact with the tracks. It has been reported that the girl is in a serious but stable condition.

A British Transport Police spokesperson said; “We were called to reports of a person on the tracks at Bournemouth train station.

“Police and paramedics attended and a 16-year-old girl was airlfted to hospital with serious electrical burns… She had come into contact with the railway track.

“The incident is not believed to be suspicious, but officers are making enquiries into the circumstances.”

A spokesperson from South Western Railway said that power to the lines had to be switched off, causing major disruptions to trains coming in and out of Bournemouth and surrounding areas.

“We were advised that emergency services were attending an incident,” he said.

“All lines were blocked. Due to the incident, power to the lines had to be switched off to allow emergency services access to provide assistance.”

Electrical brain stimulation could significantly reduce violent impulses

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The Journal of Neuroscience recently published the results of a possibly groundbreaking experiment in relation to violent human behaviour. Research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore sought to use electrical impulses to target the brains of  potentially violent individuals, hoping that they could increase a “moral awareness” and ultimately make violent acts less likely.

The experiment took 86 healthy adults and performed 20 minutes of brain stimulation on half of the group, known as transcranial direct stimulation (tCDS), targeting an area of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. Straight after the treatment had been completed, the entire group had to read two scenarios; the first involving a violent physical assault and the second a sexual assault. The subjects were then asked to rate how likely they were to react in the same way that the violent protagonist had in the stories.

Of the subjects who had undergone tCDS, the responses to the likelihood of them carrying out the physical and sexual assaults were 47% and 70% lower respectively than those who had not experienced the brain stimulation.

Adrian Raine, co-author of the study from the University of Pennsylvania, said; “When most people think of crime they think bad neighborhoods, poverty, discrimination, and those are all correct… But we also believe that there’s a biological contribution to crime which has been seriously neglected in the past. What this shows is that there could be a new, different approach to try and reduce crime and violence in society.”

The results of the experiment are very interesting, however the implementation of something like this would obviously involve numerous ethical considerations. Saying this, the stimulation shown here is far less harsh than versions of electroshock therapy used previously to try and alter human perception towards certain behaviours.

The authors of this study have cautioned that the findings are a result of early testing, and for the method to be used properly would involve far more research. However, the notion of a harmless method of therapy to reduce violent tendencies of individuals is certainly apparent and promising due to this research.

Huge disruption caused by electrical explosion in Dundee

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An electrical explosion early this morning in Dundee city centre has caused serious disruption to surrounding areas. The explosion occurred from within a drain and has caused power cuts to many buildings nearby.

Police and fire crews rushed to the Greenmarket area of the city around 8.30 this morning, following reports of a loud bang and smoke coming from the drains. The emergency services then conducted precautionary evacuations of many surrounding buildings, and soon after confirmed that the explosion was the result of an electrical fault. Dundee railway station experienced disruption and evacuations, as well as numerous properties in the Overgate.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said; “There may be considerable disruption in the area for some time while the problem is investigated and dealt with.

“Please try and stay away from the area if you can.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service reported that they had found a small fire in an underground cable pit which has now been dealt with. No injuries have been reported and it is thought that all residents in the area are safe.