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June 17, 2020

NAPIT’s Bill Allan looks at the requirements for contractors in the event that a temporary electrical installation is required

When many of us in the electrical contracting industry think of temporary electrical installations, we tend to think of the wide range of short-term installations such as public or private exhibitions or events, parties or events associated with the entertainment industry like touring shows, theatrical, radio, TV or film productions.

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LESSONS THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY MUST LEARN FROM CMA PROBES

IT is vital the construction industry educates itself on competition law – according to East Midlands-based law firm Nelsons. The warning comes after two of the UK’s largest rolled lead sheet suppliers – Associated Leads Mills and BLM British Lead – admitted to taking part in anti-competitive arrangements between October

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Notable Industry Trends For 60V Power Tools

As is the case in many other industries, the power tools industry is experiencing profound changes owing to the development and advancement of power tool technology. With competition always strong among the industry players in the power tool sector, the onus has been on power tool manufacturers to stay ahead

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Service Pays Cash for Unpaid Invoices

Property Management firms with more than £50,000 of unpaid invoices could benefit from a new scheme that buys those invoices for cash, turning a potential bad debt write off into positive cashflow. New finance provider Azzurro Associates is looking to provide cash against at least £1 billion of UK businesses’

Read More »

D-Link Unveils Fever Screening Camera Kit

D-Link, a market leader in surveillance solutions, has announced the launch of its all-new Group Temperature Screening Camera (DCS-9500T). The DCS-9500T is an all-in-one, intelligent fever screening kit that comes complete with dual-lens thermographic camera, blackbody calibrator and management software. As efforts are in place around the world to track

Read More »

Guide on integrated physical security for new build properties

Shocking figures from the Office for National Statistics show that over 291,000 residential burglaries took place across England and Wales from July 2018 to June 2019, with an even more surprising fact that a burglary in the UK takes place every 108 seconds. Property owners are not only left with

Read More »

Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

June 17, 2020

NAPIT’s Bill Allan looks at the requirements for contractors in the event that a temporary electrical installation is required

When many of us in the electrical contracting industry think of temporary electrical installations, we tend to think of the wide range of short-term installations such as public or private exhibitions or events, parties or events associated with the entertainment industry like touring shows, theatrical, radio, TV or film productions. But in fact, temporary electrical installations are usually required at some stage for a range of new building projects, large and small, and even existing buildings can be subject to temporary installations. A temporary supply may also be required where a building is to be demolished or even needed due to unforeseen circumstances, such as failure of critical supplies. In short, temporary supplies are an integral part of the electrical installation industry. This article will address the topic of temporary electrical installations. We’ll discuss two specific scenarios, each requiring temporary supplies for different reasons and each having very different loads. We’ll then review some issues to consider when installing temporary power supplies. Scenario 1 – a data centre In a large data centre, a rising busbar with a source from an air circuit-breaker (ACB) rated at 3,200 A, supplies main switch panels each of which, in turn, supplies critical IT loads and their associated supporting infrastructure, such as cooling equipment. Due to recent flooding, the main busbar has shorted out, resulting in a loss of supply. An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) had been installed. The UPS system is comprised of a battery system to supply IT equipment during short-term outages, backed up by diesel generators. When the supply failed, the UPS system took over and performed as intended. However, a replacement busbar had a six-week delivery time and there would be a further delay to allow for its installation due to business critical issues. A realistic estimate was that it could take two to three months to replace the busbar. The manufacturer of the generators advised that the generators couldn’t be relied upon to maintain the supply adequately for that amount of time. To ensure resilience of supply for the critical system, a decision was taken for the temporary installation of cables to replace the rising busbar to power the critical loads until the replacement busbar could be installed. The cables could then be run from the original ACB to the main switch panels supplying the critical loads. Scenario 2 – a construction site                                                                             In a large construction site, the site project manager had underestimated the power requirements for the site and separate generators had to be installed to provide temporary supplies to the tower crane, hoist and maintained lighting for flats under construction. A document of interest is BS 7375:2010, Code of practice for distribution of electricity on construction and building sites. BS 7375 is referred to in two notes in Section 704 of BS 7671 with regard to PME earthing facilities and Regulation 704.411.3.1 places restrictions on the use of PME earthing for an installation falling within the scope of Section 704. Most construction sites are provided with a TT supply which requires an RCD to provide automatic disconnection in case of a fault. Regulation 704.411.3.2.1 states that an RCD with a rated residual operating current not exceeding 500mA must be used (consult this Regulation for the complete requirements). Guidance on earthing is contained in BS 7430:2011, Code of practice for earthing. Temporary electrical installations and BS 7671                                                                 Temporary electrical installations can carry risks, even in the most benign of environments. BS 7671 applies, not only to fixed installations, but also to temporary installations. There is no relaxation of safety standards in BS 7671 for temporary installations. BS 7671 defines a temporary electrical installation as an, ‘Electrical installation erected for a particular purpose and dismantled when no longer required for that purpose’ (Part 2, Definitions). Regulation 110.1.3 states that, in some cases, BS 7671 may need to be supplemented by the requirements or recommendations of other standards and, included in a list of examples is BS 7909, Code of practice for temporary electrical systems for entertainment and related purposes (item ix). Running temporary cables The cross-sectional area (csa) of the temporary cables must be adequate for the loads to be supplied, taking voltage drop into account together with any applicable rating factors. When running temporary cables which are buried in the ground, the general requirements for buried cables given in Regulation 522.8.10 must be consulted. That is, the cable must either be run in a conduit or duct or else have an earthed armour or metal sheath, or both, suitable for use as a protective conductor incorporated. Buried cables, conduits and ducts must be buried at a sufficient depth to avoid being damaged by any reasonably foreseeable disturbance of the ground. A depth of 0.5 m is generally considered as a minimum depth. When running temporary overhead cables, the guidance contained in Appendix G of IET Guidance Note 1, Selection and Erection and also in Table D2 of the IET On-Site Guide is applicable. Generally, overhead cables must be suitable and adequately supported with a maximum length of span of 30 m and a minimum height above ground of 5.8 m where vehicles may run underneath and 3.5 m in areas inaccessible to vehicles. Guidance for running underground and overhead cables in specific circumstances are given in Sections 708, 709, 730 of BS 7671. Conclusion     There is no limit to how long a temporary electrical installation may remain in operation and the designer must consider the possibility that it might remain in operation for longer than anticipated and design the system accordingly. When designing temporary installations, the risks must be assessed, and certification must be provided in accordance with BS 7671. Table 3.2 of IET Guidance Note 3 Inspection and Testing contains recommended initial frequencies of inspection of electrical installations. Temporary installations are not mentioned specifically but the recommendation that construction site installations should be inspected and tested every three months seems reasonable to apply to temporary installations. For more information on NAPIT, click here.

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LESSONS THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY MUST LEARN FROM CMA PROBES

IT is vital the construction industry educates itself on competition law – according to East Midlands-based law firm Nelsons. The warning comes after two of the UK’s largest rolled lead sheet suppliers – Associated Leads Mills and BLM British Lead – admitted to taking part in anti-competitive arrangements between October 2015 and March 2017 following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). As part of an agreement reached with the CMA, the two firms could face fines of more than £11 million. Following the investigation, which started in July 2017, the CMA has issued revised provisional findings indicating that Associated Lead Mills and BLM British Lead were part of anti-competitive arrangements that included: Sharing the market, including by arranging not to target certain customers; Colluding on prices; Exchanging commercially sensitive information on prices; and Arranging not to supply a new business that risked disrupting the firms’ existing customer relationships and which was a potential competitor in the market. Emma Ward, partner in Nelsons’ dispute resolution department, who is Midland Lead’s solicitor, said: “The admissions and the CMA’s provisional findings are strong reminders that companies need to understand the obligations imposed upon them by competition law. “An infringement of competition law can occur at any level in a supply chain, with anti-competitive practices ultimately depriving customers of the efficiency, innovation and fair pricing that fair competition encourages. In addition, such practices can make it extremely difficult for other businesses that aren’t part of the arrangement to survive and grow. “If you believe that your business has suffered a loss as a result of anti-competitive practices, then you could have a right to claim compensation.” Midland Lead – a family-owned company that has been manufacturing machine cast lead for the past 37 years – is actively against cartels, stating that they not only tarnish the reputation of the industry, but also cheat customers. Boudewijn Tuinenburg, managing director at Midland Lead, said: “We hope that the outcome of CMA’s investigation and provisional findings send a warning to the construction industry of the importance of understanding competition law. “We have never been a part of the arrangements between Associated Leads Mills and BLM British Lead or arrangements with any other rolled lead sheet manufacturer and we pride ourselves on operating with integrity. We work independently and welcome competition as we know it encourages innovation and pushes for excellence in customer service.” Lynn Street, marketing and sales manager at Midland Lead, added: “We have successfully grown our business in the UK and overseas by being innovative, customer-focused and providing high quality products in an ethical manner. “Together as one industry sector, we can promote lead, share innovative ideas and fund research. However, the fact of the investigation and the provisional findings mean that as an industry, we will never be able to sit down in one room without suspicion – and that is unfortunate for the entire industry.” According to research commissioned by the CMA in 2018, 77% of UK businesses admit to not understanding competition law, with 79% of respondents stating that they regularly meet with rivals in social situations. Emma said: “It’s important that businesses understand the rules. An anti-competitive arrangement can be reached informally over a beer – it doesn’t need to be documented by a formal, written agreement. The informal nature of some business deals, coupled with the lack of knowledge, means that there is a real risk of crossing the line. “The CMA can investigate if it has reasonable grounds to suspect there has been anti-competitive behaviour. The investigation itself can be stressful as the CMA can demand information (backed by sanctions of a fine if the request is not complied with), attend premises unannounced and require that questions are answered by any person connection with the business – from temporary staff, through to the MD. “If competition law is found to have been infringed, the consequences are serious and can damage a business as well as an individual’s career. Companies can be fined up 10% of their annual worldwide turnover, individuals can face prosecution, and directors can be disqualified. Businesses can also suffer reputational damage. “Proactive compliance is essential. It’s important to make sure that your business has a written competition law compliance policy and detailed staff training programme in place. A major risk factor is a lack of internal competition law awareness within a business, so these are vital to avoiding serious penalties. “If you think you or your company might have been involved in cartel activity, seek legal advice on how best to minimise liability. The CMA has a leniency programme – this allows a party to anti-competitive conduct to avoid fines and prosecution in exchange for reporting the arrangement and cooperating with the investigation.” Another firm, Calder Industrial Matters, remains under investigation in relation to one of the arrangements and continues to strongly deny the allegation. In its provisional findings, the CMA alleged that Associated Lead Mills, BLM British Lead and Calder Industrial Materials – which together account for about 90% of the rolled lead market and were former members of the Lead Sheet Association – entered into a cartel to share the market among themselves. However, the CMA has now revised its provisional findings stating that there was not a single overall cartel arrangement but four individual arrangements that broke competition law. For more information on resolving commercial, business and intellectual property conflicts, please visit www.nelsonslaw.co.uk/business-disputes or call 0800 024 1976.

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Notable Industry Trends For 60V Power Tools

As is the case in many other industries, the power tools industry is experiencing profound changes owing to the development and advancement of power tool technology. With competition always strong among the industry players in the power tool sector, the onus has been on power tool manufacturers to stay ahead of the curve in their industry. The introduction of the Durofix 60V DXP range of power tools ensures Durofix stays at the forefront of the various industry-wide trends in the power tools industry. Some of the trends in the power tools industry include: Innovations In Battery Technology The past decade has seen a shift to cordless power tools. Tools such as circular saws, impact drivers, hammer drills, impact wrenches, band saws, and crimpers now have an integrated battery system that powers the tool. This does away with the need for power cords and in the case of pneumatic tools, air cords as well. Consequently, workers in the construction, industrial, automotive, and many other industries can now enjoy a cordless (and safer) work environment. However, the current trend is to go beyond the basic integration of battery packs into power tools. There is a push to improve the power density of the battery packs and enhance the battery management systems, all the while trying to reign in on the notoriously heavy weight of the battery packs without compromising performance and endurance. In the past, improvements on the battery pack front have been driven by changing from nickel-based batteries to lithium-based batteries. However, power tools makers are now forced to innovate further and improve lithium batteries as well. Durofix 60V DXP has been engineered to offer 35% more run time by using advanced Li-ion batteries. The tools draw less current, thereby generating less heat leading to longer run times and longer battery life. Improvements In The Efficiency Of Power Tools While improving the efficiency of the battery pack has taken precedence in the power tools development race, more and more power tool manufacturers have realized there is a benefit to optimizing other areas of their tools. Manufacturers are now engineering power tools that not only last long but perform their function with maximum efficiency. This improves the run time of the power tool while maximizing the power delivery of the tools. Lower Maintenance Cost The maintenance cost of power tools has always been an Achilles heel for the tools. Power tools need regular recalibration, oiling, part replacements, and other repairs. There is a push among power tool manufacturers to design products that are cost-efficient on the maintenance front, thereby lowering the cost of ownership. Improved User Experience Finally, there is a push to improve the user experience of power tools, especially among the new generation of cordless power tools. Naturally, some of the efforts have gone to reducing the weight of the tools. However, there many other areas of improvement that the tools have experienced. These include improving the cooling of the tools, integration of better torque output control units, compacting the tool design, and much more. There has also a push to improve the safety of the tools with a focus on reducing the noise and vibrations generated by the tools. The Durofix 60V DXP range of power tools has taken giant leaps in improving the user experience. The tools feature a compact design, enhanced cooling, and advanced Patented Electronic Torque Control for precise torque control, and many other improvements to the ultimate user experience.

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Service Pays Cash for Unpaid Invoices

Property Management firms with more than £50,000 of unpaid invoices could benefit from a new scheme that buys those invoices for cash, turning a potential bad debt write off into positive cashflow. New finance provider Azzurro Associates is looking to provide cash against at least £1 billion of UK businesses’ unpaid invoices to help provide much needed liquidity during and beyond the current Covid-19 crisis.   It is especially targeting property management firms with between £50,000 and £10 million in unpaid bills for which it will not only provide upfront cash, but also share in the collections it achieves on any outstanding debts. Azzurro Associates’ new commercial debt solution differs from ‘traditional’ invoice finance in that the former advances cash against invoices that are still within term (i.e 30 days), whereas Azzurro provides cash for debts that are overdue or delinquent, and that a business is struggling or has failed to collect. Andrew Birkwood, CEO of Azzurro Associates, believes this is the first time that companies in the B2B sector have been able to benefit in this way: “As Covid-19 leads to more empty commercial properties and serviced office spaces with businesses failing to pay their rents and fees, businesses need to make sure they don’t run out of cash,” he says. “When collections activities are exhausted, the only option left is the Courts, but this costs money, takes time, and there is still no guarantee you’ll get any money at the end. Now Financial Directors have a better option – a way of generating immediate cash from bad debts to avoid an inevitable coronavirus cashflow crunch.” Azzurro purchases invoices up to a maximum of six years from the due date, paying anything up to 30% of the original invoice value depending on the age of the debt and the credit profile of the debtor. In addition, it shares a proportion of the collections it achieves, which can be as much as 50%. It buys portfolios of all sizes from £50,000 and above, which may comprise a small number of large invoices or a large number of small invoices, provided the smallest invoice value is greater than £100. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Azzurro adopts a fair and balanced recoveries process, with a creditor’s brand reputation being of upmost importance. This is achieved by utilising credit reference agency data to determine the appropriate servicing strategy, allowing forbearance and breathing space where required. Where customers do not engage in the amicable contact strategy, Azzurro uses a combination of bureau data and the expertise of a panel of preferred collections partners to ensure only the right cases are selected for litigation. Interim Small Business Commissioner Philip King, whose office champions fair payment practices and supports businesses looking to resolve payment disputes, says that cashflow is critical: “At times like these we need creative ideas and I’m delighted to see organisations like Azzurro introduce different and innovative solutions.”

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D-Link Unveils Fever Screening Camera Kit

D-Link, a market leader in surveillance solutions, has announced the launch of its all-new Group Temperature Screening Camera (DCS-9500T). The DCS-9500T is an all-in-one, intelligent fever screening kit that comes complete with dual-lens thermographic camera, blackbody calibrator and management software. As efforts are in place around the world to track the development of COVID-19, the DCS-9500T combines thermal imaging technology with AI to identify if a person is experiencing elevated temperatures, and raises the alarm automatically should this be detected. Engineered specifically for monitoring large, busy areas – such as schools, factories, office buildings, airports or hospitals – the technology provides fast skin-surface temperature detection for up to 30 individuals simultaneously at a >0.3°C accuracy. The all-in-one fever screening device includes a high accuracy camera with a wide-angle thermal lens, as well as an uncooled IRFPA 400×300 microbolometer high-resolution thermal sensor, allowing for razor-sharp thermal imaging and precise results when identifying those with a temperature. Together with the Full HD optical imaging sensor, the camera can create exceptional high-quality footage that overlays both thermal and optical images into one. The DCS-9500T features unique AI-based technology, providing ±0.3°C real-time medical-grade accuracy, as well as intuitive facial recognition technology, integrated within the comprehensive management software. The fever screening solution is ONVIF compatible, making it easy to integrate into existing systems. Additionally, the camera includes PoE support, making it even more flexible for easy installation in larger spaces such as universities, airports and hospitals. The DCS-9500T Group Temperature Screening Camera features include: Temperatures of up to 30 people, measured simultaneously in real-time, within 30ms Dual-lens with high-resolution (400 x 300 pixels) thermal sensor and Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) CMOS sensor Temperature accuracy ±0.3°C Sound alarm alert with 2 x alarm out interfaces Snapshot with temperature reading Facial recognition Alarms for strangers and known people (against a preloaded database) Ability to set a temperature range Temperature searches Management software can manage up to 32 cameras

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Guide on integrated physical security for new build properties

Shocking figures from the Office for National Statistics show that over 291,000 residential burglaries took place across England and Wales from July 2018 to June 2019, with an even more surprising fact that a burglary in the UK takes place every 108 seconds. Property owners are not only left with strong emotional consequences to deal with but also high costs. In fact, the average cost of a residential burglary can sum up to over £3,000. This value is significantly higher for luxury homeowners, where target items for theft include cash, cards, wallets (identity theft), purses and jewellery. There is no doubt that luxury properties are a prime target for theft and vandalism, so when in the planning process for your new build, make sure you research all options for physical security. The security market currently offers an array of solution for protection such as CCTV, alarms, security shutters, gates, etc. Keep in mind: addressing physical security at an early stage of construction widens your options; this can be a little more difficult if it were at a retrofit stage. Below you will find brief tips on influential factors to be aware of. Prevention is key Complete an in-depth assessment of your property’s potential vulnerabilities. This will allow you to identify threats and provide a better search journey for risk mitigation products. Properties that do not have security measures in place are 5 times more likely to be broken into than those that do. An intruder will be inclined to target properties they deem easy to break into and can be out of in less than 10 minutes. You can find products that are security rated and can delay the duration of an attack long enough for response teams to act. Making a property appear secure from an external point of view will discourage burglars from even considering your home as a target. Location Understand the risk implied by the location of a property. Densely populated areas such as inner-city properties, particularly in London, are at most risk. Nonetheless, prestige properties in more rural areas often also see attempted burglaries. Properties located in strong weather areas must also be protected from natural means such as wind, rain, hail, dust and extreme heat. Consider the risks implied if your new build will be empty for extended periods of time, for example, if it were a secondary home. Strategic planning Location also plays an important role within strategic planning due to the potential legal problems an owner can encounter. Individual councils and local authorities will have their own planning policies and design guidelines, making planning permissions for properties in London, for example regarding external shutters, often to be difficult. Similar restrictions can apply to historic domestic properties in order to preserve their architectural integrity and character. It is highly recommended to contact your local council regarding planning. Conclusion Planning physical security for new properties should be approached with a strategic mindset and aiming to reduce costly consequences in the unfortunate case of an attack. Taking advantage of a new construction at an early stage will also reduce costs of repairs and reparations on physical security over the first few years. This will also benefit owners by giving them wider options for selecting fixtures and fittings to tailor the property to their taste.

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