Innovation is Key to Sustainable Water Usage

Kelling Group World Water Day

For over twenty-five years, the UN’s annual World Water Day has been raising awareness of the importance of water. With over 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water, and growing anxieties about the sustainability of our current water supplies, there could hardly be a more important topic to bring light to. 

The construction sector is not exempt from these concerns: from cleaning facilities to concrete batching, sites use water in a variety of ways. And, while it’s easy to take that for granted, at Kelling Group, we believe it’s time to seriously consider how we could make our water usage more sustainable on site.


There are countless brilliant minds at work across the world, developing technology that will help improve the ways we use and distribute water. And fortunately, the same is true of construction. 

The facilities in onsite welfare units are a great example. While traditional welfare units have relatively small water tanks and chemical toilets, the unique Smart Water systems in our welfare units utilise extra-large water tanks. 

This enables a unique water flush system, which recycles grey water from the washbasins, ensuring that water wastage is drastically reduced, along with the service frequency, whilst delivering even greater handwashing and WC facilities.

But the impact of innovation can go much further than just this.

Sustainable Water Usage On Site – THE BIG PICTURE

As the pressure to make sites more eco-friendly increases, it’s important to consider how Sustainable Water Usage on site impacts our overall environmental footprint. Many seemingly negligible factors, such as servicing transport, actually produce very high carbon emissions over time, especially on large sites.

The efficiency and extra-large capacity of our Smart water systems in our welfare units therefore also positively impacts your site’s overall carbon footprint. And innovation once again provides the best solution to the problem.

By improving capacity by at least 50%, our Smart Water systems lessen environmental externalities. Standard welfare units require weekly servicing, whereas our ECO units only need servicing every 2-3 weeks on a like-for-like basis. This radically reduces the carbon footprint incurred from the servicing transportation, as well as saving man-hours and operational costs.

Ultimately, we believe this goes to show how relatively small innovations can have a far-reaching impact. By simply introducing innovative smart water systems, we’re able to use water more efficiently and reduce carbon emissions, as well as improve onsite hygiene and wellbeing.

Want to find out more about how you can be more environmentally friendly in our construction site and save water? Compare our welfare unit products or speak to our team who will be happy to advise you.

Onsite Safety Starts with Sleep

Onsite Safety Starts With Sleep

Poor sleep hygiene can have serious consequences for construction workers – from physical and cognitive health to alertness and mood, sleep impacts almost every aspect of our lives. That means poor sleep can lead not just to serious health and safety issues, but increased absenteeism, reduced productivity and bad onsite morale.

World Sleep Awareness Day is all about drawing attention to the importance of sleep for our collective wellbeing. So in this article, we’re going to look at a few key ways construction sites rely on alert, well-rested workers – as well as providing some advice to improve your own sleep.


access platforms

1. Health and safety

Operating vehicle mounted access platforms, like those we provide at Access Hire, requires proper focus. On a busy site or a public road, with co-workers and the general public around you, not being fully alert can result in serious accidents or injury.  

Given that sleep deprivation directly impacts cognitive functioning, proper sleep is therefore essential for any worker who is operating such access vehicles – or any machinery. 
So while sleep deprivation can be difficult to gauge, its impact isn’t: according to The Health and Safety Executive, fatigue is implicated in 20% of all major road accidents, and costs the UK up to £240 million in work accidents.

2. Productivity and morale

Analysis suggests that the UK loses over 200,000 working days and just shy of 2% of annual GDP to poor sleep. This is in part because sleep disrupts individual productivity, impairing cognitive performance and increasing risk of illness. But the problem goes even further when you consider how poor sleep impacts team morale. 

Anybody who’s worked as part of a team knows the subtle ways individual moods impact the overarching ‘team morale’. And recent research has provided proof of this intuition: our moods are contagious

When you consider that poor sleep makes individuals less positive and more irritable, it’s not hard to see how a single bad night’s sleep can spread negativity throughout the entire workforce, lowering both morale and productivity.

3. Decision making

A single night’s poor sleep has been found to negatively impact decision making and mental flexibility. Without the alertness and focus proper sleep provides, decisions are slower and produce less successful outcomes.

Given that studies suggest one third of decisions on construction sites are made within an hour, and a further 40% are made on the same day, this has disastrous implications for the quality of site management and strategy.

So given the vital importance of good quality sleep, what can we do to achieve it?

There are various ways you might encourage your workers to sleep better and stay safe when operating their access vehicles – everything from healthier eating to regularity in a daily schedule has been shown to contribute positively to sleep hygiene.

But for more specific advice, we should always defer to the experts. So here are the ten top tips from the World Sleep Society:


  1. Fix a bedtime and an awakening time.
  2. If you are in the habit of taking a nap, do not exceed 45 minutes of daytime sleep.
  3.  Avoid excessive alcohol ingestion 4 hours before bedtime and do not smoke.
  4. Avoid caffeine 6 hours before bedtime. This includes coffee, tea and many sodas, as well as chocolate.
  5.  Avoid heavy, spicy, or sugary foods 4 hours before bedtime. A light snack before bed is acceptable.
  6.  Exercise regularly, but not right before bed.
  7. Use comfortable bedding.
  8.  Find a comfortable temperature setting for sleeping and keep the room well ventilated.
  9. Block out all distracting noise and eliminate as much light as possible.
  10.  Reserve the bed for sleep and sex. Don’t use the bed as an office, workroom or recreation room.

Staff welfare has become a real priority for the construction sector, and the introduction of Mobile Welfare Units on site, have been paramount in order to allow staff somewhere to rest and take a break, indoors and away from the bustle of the site. Read more on this in our blog on Five Ways Eco-Friendly Mobile Welfare Units Will Improve Your Construction Site.

Gender Equality in Construction: How Welfare Units Can Improve Inclusivity

Site Welfare Facilities

In terms of gender equality, construction has a long way to go: just 13% of construction workers are female, and only 1% of those work onsite.

The benefits of increasing diversity are clear, from increasing the talent pool we can draw from to broader perspectives on strategic and creative problems. Overall, research suggests organisations with greater gender equality are 15% more likely to earn more than competitors, and are 6 times more likely to innovate.

But that doesn’t mean increasing female representation is straightforward: it will take time and effort to make construction truly inclusive. And it all starts with the kind of culture you build onsite.

Mobile welfare units on construction sites. How Welfare Units Can Improve Inclusivity

What kind of environment is your site? 

It can be difficult to detect a lack of inclusivity – in many cases, it is just considered the norm. But organisations and contractors who wish to increase the diversity of their teams should scrutinise the way their teams interact onsite.

Simple factors like building team morale and ensuring onsite comfort can have a dramatic impact on the kind of workplace culture that emerges. And that can be heavily influenced by things as simple as the equipment you hire.

Choosing the right mobile welfare units can totally change the attitudes you find onsite, putting an emphasis on wellbeing and changing how employees feel about their work.

Take our ECO14 welfare unit: with 2 separate smart water WCs, 3 hot water basins, a supersized separate drying and changing room, and an extra-large welfare room, there’s enough space for 14 workers. This enables teams to spend time together in comfort, with our large, dynamic design and layout providing market-leading welfare, hygiene and break facilities.  

The net result is that workers feel more at home onsite, and more valued by their employer. They also become more comfortable in their work environment, creating a more inclusive, productive and safe culture.

With our 360 degree virtual tour, you can see inside our welfare units for yourself:

Small decisions, big impact

Introducing more innovative welfare units to your site might seem like a relatively small step, especially considering the scale of the gender gap in construction. But it’s exactly these kinds of small, practical steps which will gradually build our industry’s ability to attract and retain more diverse talent.

Rather than worrying about the big picture and feeling powerless, we need to start looking at the decisions we do control and figuring out ways to ensure we’re doing the most we can to foster the kind of culture and workforce we want in the future.

How To Plan Your Budget When Leasing Access Vehicles

Leasing Access Vehicles

Leasing access vehicles can provide a variety of benefits, from increased flexibility to 24/7 support. You get access to market-leading vehicle mounted access platforms, pole erection units and other specialist vehicles, without the painful upfront investment or mounting maintenance costs.

One of the most popular benefits is the control leasing gives businesses and contractors over their finances. By establishing a fixed cost over numerous months, you can plan for the long-term, unlocking far greater financial efficiency. But in order to achieve this, you must plan your budget properly.

Here are six steps you should take when budgeting to lease an access vehicle.

1. Establish your requirements 

Your first step should be to establish your requirements: what kind of vehicles do you need, and how many? How long do you need to lease them for? This should be done in consultation with project management, to ensure you get the timings exactly right and don’t overlook any specific technical needs.

2. Determine your available monthly budget

Next, you need to establish how much you can afford to pay each month for your access vehicles. This should be based on actual cash flow, so that you are certain you will be able to fulfil payment on time each month.

Many businesses find it beneficial to be conservative here: committing all available finances to a lease may cause complications if unexpected costs are flagged elsewhere on the project. So be sure to build in contingency funds.

3. Choose the right products

Choosing the right access vehicle is clearly vital, so take the time to consider the full budgetary implications of the access vehicles you choose.

Ideally, you should choose vehicles that will produce the best overall return on your investment. That is, considering the monthly cost of the product against the total value it will add to your projects.

Market-leading products, for example, may be slightly more costly. But ultimately, they often offer a greater return on investment by vastly improving the productivity and efficiency of jobs.

4. Determine an ideal deposit

When leasing, you can decide what deposit you would like to pay. The higher the deposit, the lower monthly repayments.

This means you have two options: pay more upfront, in order to establish a lower monthly payment for your access vehicle. Or pay a lower deposit, and retain cash flow for other necessary expenses.

Try to choose an amount which gives you the most overall financial efficiency, based on your project’s other budgetary considerations.

5. Account for running costs

Your budget must account not just for leasing the vehicles themselves, but also running them effectively. This means your budget should, for example, also include an estimate of fuel costs and insurance.

With Access Lease, many of your running costs – like maintenance and service – are actually included within the cost of the lease which is one of the key advantages.

6. Plan your taxes

One of the great benefits of leasing access vehicles is the potential for tax write offs. You should consult an accountant to determine whether your prospective lease could be fully deducted from your taxable income, or whether you might be able to claim capital allowances.

This will give you a clearer sense of the overarching financial cost of your lease contract, and help you better plan your long-term finances.

Get in touch with our team to discuss the benefits of leasing access vehicles, such as VMAP’s with our team today.