Welfare Hire Leadership: The Key to Positive ESG Is Measurement

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings are increasingly essential for businesses. Not only do they help evaluate and quantify efforts to become more sustainable, they are also an important signal for investors – and a strong predictor of operational performance.

However, measuring ESG can be challenging. Because businesses need data on the environmental impact of their entire value chain – including everything from the materials they use to the welfare equipment they procure. 

In this article, we explore the challenge of measuring ESG for construction firms – and how Welfare Hire’s eco-calculator is designed to help.

Three reasons to measure environmental impact

20%

1. To validate your sustainability strategy

As Antony Brophy, Director of Business Development, Cobuilder, recently told ConstructionNews, a lack of data makes it near-impossible to be confident that our efforts to reduce carbon emissions are working¹. Consistent measurement is therefore vital to assess the impact any sustainability initiative you launch has. 

You may believe a new mobile welfare unit or lighting tower is helping curb emissions, but without real data – it’s all just guess work.

2. To enable targeted solutions

Once you have data on the emissions and environmental impact of your equipment and materials, you can make better informed decisions about how to improve things. You can target the most harmful – or easiest to improve – areas of your business first, and see exactly how much these changes impact your overall ESG rating.

This is particularly important as construction firms are often plagued by hidden emissions (often known as “embodied carbon”)², meaning decision makers often overlook big sustainability wins.

3. To track your business’s progress

Net-zero carbon and other sustainability goals are not short-term challenges – they are long-term projects that will require ongoing maintenance and monitoring. Data is crucial in this regard, as it enables your business to track and adjust its efforts over time.

When, for example, you switch suppliers and introduce a new model of mobile welfare unit, you would always assess the financial implications of the decision. And exactly the same protocols should be in place to assess the effect a decision will have on your business’s ESG rating.

Why are ESG ratings difficult to measure?

ESG is difficult to measure in part because there is no single accepted way of doing it. There are a range of ESG frameworks³, and each will produce a different rating depending on the particulars of your company’s activities. 

Without a set of standardised criteria, many fear that ESG scores are unreliable indicators of a business’s true environmental impact. But for construction businesses, this is not the biggest concern.

The biggest concern is that the average construction firm’s supply chain is large and complex, meaning assessing the overall impact of your activities is challenging – especially when suppliers are unable to provide you with their own ESG data.

Suppliers must provide accurate data

Many construction suppliers are not forthcoming with information about their products’ ESG credentials – meaning contractors will struggle to gain full visibility of their environmental impact. They will give you the full spec on their mobile welfare units, but cannot help you when it comes to determining how their products will impact your sustainability efforts.

This is exactly why Welfare Hire created our Eco Calculator – a simple tool to provide full transparency to our partners and help them understand how each of our market-leading products will change their site’s overall emissions. 

It is based on rigorous research where we took over 500,000 hire days’ worth of live site data on our products and compared it with the market standard. This enabled us to quantify the relative savings and environmental impact our product suite offers. 

You can try it for yourself today

1.https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/tech/why-data-is-vital-for-the-industry-to-achieve-net-zero-13-07-2022/
2.https://www.c40knowledgehub.org/s/article/Why-cities-need-to-address-the-construction-sectors-hidden-emissions?language=en_US
3.https://www.rio.ai/blog/esg-frameworks-explained-the-top-choices-why-they-matter
4.https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/lack-of-standardized-esg-data-may-hide-material-risks-oecd-says-60541261

How Leasing Access Vehicles Can Improve Street Lighting Projects

The future looks bright for street lighting contractors. 

From 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) to ongoing government funding to tackle street crime¹ and the climate crisis², there are a number of exciting projects on the horizon. The UK government’s latest National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline promised £650bn for infrastructure schemes over the next decade³.

But with public finances under pressure, many contractors are being forced to find ways to increase efficiency and deliver greater value on projects.

One way of doing this is by rethinking the way they procure key strategic equipment and Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms. And in this article, we explore how embracing a leasing model can empower contractors in the street lighting sector.

The budget problem

Research from the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) shows there is a persistent gap between cost estimates and output from infrastructure projects, suggesting that contractors and firms struggle to plan their budgets effectively.

There are a number of reasons why. For example, street lighting projects are very prone to disruption, with weather often slowing work down or making it too dangerous. This can create a cascading effect, leading to delays and excess spending.

However, one of the most challenging parts of the budgeting process is procurement.

The procurement problem

The majority of street lighting projects require assets like Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms, to enable them to work at heights safely. But because few contractors can afford to buy their own fleet outright, they are forced to hire it from a third-party provider. 

This tends to lead to rigid contracts that aren’t adaptable to their projects’ workflow, and limits their ability to afford top quality equipment. It makes managing their budget more challenging, as payments are fixed and often don’t fit well within the contractor’s income stream. 

But the reality is, this need not be a problem at all. Because there is a third option for street lighting contractors – the vehicle leasing model.

Kelling Group Access Hire Leasing

The leasing solution

Leasing Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms enables a level of flexibility that most contractors assume is not available to them. 

The model allows them to procure the highest quality vehicles without the prohibitive cost of buying, and update the model when a project is done – without ballooning payments. But it also helps them spread their payments more effectively, helping manage and adapt their budget to their income. 

There are also clear tax benefits. Many street lighting contractors even find they can deduct the full lease rental cost from their taxable income – or claim capital allowances on the asset cost. Across an entire fleet and multiple projects, this creates a huge improvement in financial efficiency – one that can either be passed onto the client or kept to increase the contractor’s bottom line.

Vehicle Mounted Access Platform Budget

Working with Access Hire

Access Hire has pioneered this leasing model with our market-leading Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms. We provide 24/7 support, ongoing maintenance and expert product knowledge to every one of our clients. And our vast list of long-term relationships is proof that the model works.

To discover how leasing our vehicles could help you, reach out to us today.

1.https://www.gov.uk/government/news/intelligent-street-lighting-illuminates-the-way-to-digital-roads-for-national-highways
2.https://iotuk.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/The-Future-of-Street-Lighting.pdf
3.https://www.raconteur.net/infrastructure/uk-faces-tough-choices-to-finance-infrastructure-ambitions/
4.https://www.ice.org.uk/media/vmhdu4jc/ice-report-reducing-the-gap-between-cost-estimates-and-outturns-for-major-infrastructure-projects-and-programmes.pdf

Why Eco Welfare Units Are Essential To Help Construction Hit Net Zero

As scientists warn that the climate crisis is accelerating, businesses are under ever greater pressure to ensure they hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. And few industries face as big a challenge as construction.

The industry produces roughly 11% of global carbon emissions¹, ranking as the sixth highest carbon emitting industry in the UK². But most businesses’ value-chain involves a complex range of carbon-emitting processes. 

From the manufacturer and transport of construction materials to the specialist equipment used onsite, decarbonising construction requires careful attention at every level of the supply chain.

Yet too many firms overlook the role equipment like welfare units and lighting towers should play in their decarbonising strategy.

The risk of overlooking vehicles

The construction industry’s decarbonising efforts have received ample funding and support from the UK government. But the government’s initial carbon budget didn’t feature considerations for construction equipment until 2035³

This is a problem for three clear reasons:

1. Primary emissions

The daily use of construction vehicles and specialist equipment involves emitting a great deal of carbon. For example: running a standard static unit for 40 hours per week can produce around 215kg of CO2.

Across even a relatively small fleet this adds up very quickly. Factor in lighting towers, vehicle mounted access platforms and other specialist equipment – and you start to see really significant emissions.

2. Secondary emissions

Not only do these vehicles and equipment produce carbon themselves – they also require maintenance and servicing. And that means further carbon is emitted getting to and from the site to refill water tanks or service faulty machinery.

While some emissions of this kind may be inevitable, much is not. For example: most mobile welfare units used today feature outdated water tanks which necessitate more frequent refills. Simply reducing the frequency of these refills would slash transport emissions onsite.

3. Strategic oversight

Finally, overlooking factors such as onsite vehicles and specialist equipment may lead to a lack of commitment. A focus on larger factors like building materials and innovative methodologies is justified. But it is also important to take smaller factors into account. 

As most experts agree, a truly effective net-zero strategy must encompass every aspect of the entire value-chain and building lifecycle. Actively neglecting mobile welfare units is symptomatic of a failure to do this.

Eco welfare units are an easy win

Reaching net-zero is a serious challenge for all businesses in the construction industry. It will require enormous innovation and strategic ingenuity. But eco-friendly welfare units and other specialist equipment already exist – and are relatively easy to introduce to your project.

This makes the transition an easy win for companies struggling to formulate an effective strategy – and a great way to ensure you are doing something impactful today.  

For more opportunities to partner together, check out our other company, Access Hire Nationwide, the UK’s leading hirer of vehicle mounted access platforms. Kelling Group is a leading provider of specialist access, welfare and lighting equipment hire and services to key infrastructure and construction sectors.

1.https://www.raeng.org.uk/news/news-releases/2021/september/construction-sector-must-move-further-and-faster-t
2.https://www.ukconstructionmedia.co.uk/features/challenging-the-industry-to-meet-net-zero/
3.https://thecea.org.uk/what-the-net-zero-strategy-means-for-construction/

How Rising Fuel Prices Could Prompt a Revolution in Construction Vehicles

With inflation reaching over 9% in the UK, the Bank of England has issued an apocalyptic warning about rising fuel costs¹

This could spell disaster for many construction businesses – especially those that rely on mobile welfare units, Vehicle Mounted Access platforms and a range of other motorised equipment.

But what if skyrocketing fuel prices became the catalyst for much-needed change in the industry? And what if the apparent crisis actually led businesses to a more cost-effective approach to fuel?

In this article, we explore these very possibilities, demonstrating how innovative ECO products can slash sites’ reliance on fuel. 

But first, let’s see how bad things really are when it comes to fuel costs.

 

How bad is the fuel crisis?

We began sounding the alarm on rising fuel prices in March of this year. New legislation on red diesel was threatening to double many contractors’ fuel costs, and we’ve since seen a rising wave of fuel theft².

But this has proven to be the tip of the iceberg. From supply chain shocks caused by Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine to the ongoing “cost of living crisis”, upwards pressure on most forms of fuel have been pervasive and intense.  

Petrol and diesel prices both hit new record highs in March – and then once again in May. Petrol was £0.34 more than the previous high of March, and Diesel was £0.39 more³

There is, of course, growing pressure on the government to provide relief for businesses and individuals suffering under the weight of inflation. But the reality is fuel prices are, in the words of a journalist, the “prisoner of geopolitics”. And experts expect the current situation to continue indefinitely.

We need long-term solutions

Many industry leaders have frantically lobbied for government support, or tried to access cheaper fuel sources. But these are already being revealed to be band-aid solutions.

Instead, businesses must seek long-term solutions – the most obvious of which would be to replace their existing vehicles with units that require radically less fuel.

Welfare Hire’s ECOXLi unit is a perfect example of how this can be done. Its hybrid system utilises next generation Lithium cell batteries and full solar technology enabling long-life silent running. And its Biofuel generator is used exclusively for recharge requirements, ensuring your fuel needs are minimised.

On top of that, the welfare unit features a user-friendly Smart Telemetry system that enables you to track and optimise your power usage, ultimately helping further minimise the need for fuel and carbon.

Kelling Group Welfare Hire Units

Welfare Hire can help you through

At Welfare Hire, we have developed our entire range of mobile welfare units, lighting units and welfare vans around these very issues. We help businesses not only reduce their reliance on fuel, but improve their onsite wellbeing, their environmental impact and their bottom line. 

At Welfare Hire, we have developed our entire range of mobile welfare units, lighting units aIf you’d like to learn more about our range, get in contact today.

1.https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/petrol-prices-rise-again-bank-23977518
2.https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1609196/Red-diesel-ban-house-price-increase
3.https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/93906/uk-petrol-and-diesel-prices-both-fuels-reach-new-record-high
4.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61490614

Four Key Trends in Rail for 2022

The UK railway sector is among the country’s proudest and most robust industries. It contributes £42.9 billion to the national economy, supporting roughly 710,000 jobs¹ and facilitating 990 million passenger journeys annually²

But what challenges does the industry face? And how can ambitious organisations secure their success in the coming years?

COVID-19 necessitated extreme restrictions, essentially flatlining much of the industry. Yet by the end of 2021, things appeared to be back on track. Confidence in the rail industry had returned to pre-2019 levels, with almost half of all rail businesses expecting healthy growth throughout 2022³.

In this article, we explore four key trends that will define the rail sector over the next 12 months.

1. Supply chain disruption

Supply chain disruptions are wreaking havoc on a number of industries – and few expect the problem to disappear any time soon. With a huge shortage of HGV drivers, logistics firms face a genuine crisis, bringing about severe delays in deliveries and a dramatic dip in economic activity.

This presents rail providers with an opportunity. According to industry estimates, a single standard-length train can take the same load as up to 76 trucks. And while plenty of supply chains already utilise rail freight, the current crisis has prompted many organisations to radically rethink their supply chain management – with an appreciation of the relative reliability and resilience of rail. 

Currently, just 17% of the UK’s freight is shipping via rail – well below the global average of 29%. But the UK government hopes to encourage more firms to utilise rail, with the Mode Shift Revenue Support scheme providing funds for organisations looking to introduce rail to their supply chains

To capitalise on this, rail operators must be able to properly position themselves. Rail removes the need for 7 million lorry journeys each year, and produces 76% less carbon than road transport. In fact, a recent report from Deloitte showed that each rail freight path on the network has an economic value of up to £1.5 million per year.

By showcasing these facts, rail operators can win more business and expand their impact across the UK economy.

2. Sustainability

Rail is a relatively sustainable option compared to other transport industries, responsible for just 4% of global transport emissions¹⁰. But that doesn’t mean the industry can become complacent, as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) scores are likely to become even more essential in the future – and organisations will have to demonstrate their efforts to further mitigate their impact. 

The most common policy suggestion for making railways more sustainable is electrification, as 29% of UK trains still run on diesel¹¹. The Rail Industry Association has already publicly stated that the UK is not electrifying its railways fast enough to meet current net-zero targets¹² – a fact not helped by the Treasury’s decision to block a planned £30 billion investment in railway electrification¹³. But the truth is electrification cannot by itself suffice.

Rail providers need to address the greenhouse gas emissions throughout their entire value chain, in various upstream and downstream activities – from the production of rolling stock and infrastructure work to which Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms they use on-site.

By reducing reliance on diesel, utilising more renewables and ensuring third-party partners have strong environmental credentials, rail providers can further buffer their claim to be a truly sustainable alternative to other forms of transport.

3. Improving customer experience

Rail is responsible for just 8% of the UK’s public’s travel – nearly half of the 14% global average¹⁴. And many experts believe this is due to poor Customer Experience (CX), citing everything from a perceived lack of punctuality to uncomfortable seating. In fact, a recent report confirmed that UK rail passengers believe they receive very poor value for money¹⁵.

There are two key drivers here: ticket price and service quality. 

3a. Ticket price

March saw the biggest train fare rise in 9 years¹⁶, and reports already suggest that certain ticket prices could increase a further 12% by 2023¹⁷

All of this is happening amidst heavily publicised rail worker strikes. Billed as the most important protest in decades, roughly 80% of services were scrapped¹⁸ – causing disruption across the entire country. Rail providers therefore find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, choosing between keeping prices down for consumers whilst maintaining relations with their workforce.

3b. Service quality

Rail providers must deliver a more reliable, comfortable experience. Customer expectations are increasing quickly, especially with the launch of new, more modernised services. From wheelchair accessibility to air conditioning, providers are under growing pressure to upgrade their service.

Much of this will be driven by the adoption of digital technology. A recent EY report found that using real-time data to manage capacity could help avoid overcrowding and deliver a more comfortable experience for passengers¹⁹.

4. Modernisation

From Build Back Better to the “Levelling Up” agenda, the UK government has made clear its intentions to invest in improved infrastructure – including modernising the railways. This is most clearly embodied in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, a detailed summary of plans to “replace franchising, accelerate innovation and integrate the railways to deliver a more efficient and financially sustainable railway sector²⁰.”

These are not new efforts, of course. Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan has invested billions of pounds to improve and expand their infrastructure and service delivery since 2014²¹, and will continue to lead the way. 

In 2022, the organisation plans to make a huge range of improvements to its service, from reducing accident risk by 10% and making a 28% reduction in the number of delayed trains to responding more quickly to customer complaints and increasing their workforce’s gender diversity²². The company invested £83 million in 503 railway projects during Easter 2022 alone²³.

The main difference today is the degree of support these efforts will receive from the government – and a push to end the “Fragmentation” of efforts. Just this month, the Department of Transport (DfT) began drawing up legislation to reform the UK’s rail services and infrastructure²⁴, with a mandate to unite all modernisation efforts behind a single “guiding mind”²⁵.

Whatever the legislative outcome, these decisions will have a lasting impact on every organisation involved in the railway sector. And for those that want to gain an advantage, preparing for change is the only viable option.

1.https://www.oxfordeconomics.com/resource/the-economic-contribution-of-uk-rail/
2.https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/statistics/usage/passenger-rail-usage/
3.https://www.railfreight.com/business/2021/11/05/railway-industry-confidence-returns-in-uk/
4.https://think.ing.com/articles/supply-chain-pressure-to-persist-through-2022/
5.https://www.dpworld.com/southampton/news/latest-blogs/blog-detail-page/rail-is-the-answer-to-supply-chain-resilience-in-britain
6.https://www.bcg.com/publications/2022/riding-the-rails-to-the-future-of-sustainability
7.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/department-for-transport-delivers-more-grant-funding-to-transport-freight-by-rail
8.https://www.dpworld.com/southampton/news/latest-blogs/blog-detail-page/rail-is-the-answer-to-supply-chain-resilience-in-britain
9.https://www.railfreight.com/business/2021/04/29/the-value-of-rail-freight-report-offers-new-appraisal-of-rail/
10.https://www.bcg.com/publications/2022/riding-the-rails-to-the-future-of-sustainability
11.https://mpa.co.uk/uk-rail-sector-on-track-to-diesel-free-trains/#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20latest%20government,run%20almost%20entirely%20on%20it.
12.https://www.railfreight.com/policy/2021/10/18/uk-electrification-is-far-too-slow-says-industry/
13.https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/30bn-rail-electrification-plan-blocked-by-treasury-13-12-2021/
14.https://www.bcg.com/publications/2022/riding-the-rails-to-the-future-of-sustainability
15.https://www.globalrailwayreview.com/article/99860/ketech-explore-customer-experience-increased-rail-travel/
16.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60559514
17.https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10788639/UK-train-ticket-prices-cost-rail-travel-set-soar-nearly-12-year.html
18.https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/22/rail-strikes-travel-disruption-across-uk-fallout-continues
19.https://www.ey.com/en_uk/emobility/how-uk-travel-preferences-are-evolving-since-covid-19
20.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/great-british-railways-williams-shapps-plan-for-rail
21.https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/railway-upgrade-plan/
22.https://www.triptex.co.uk/news/network-rails-railway-upgrade-plan-2022/
23.https://www.railadvent.co.uk/2022/03/plan-ahead-83m-to-be-invested-in-530-railway-projects-this-easter.html
24.https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/great-british-railways-dft-begins-consultation-on-legislation-for-rail-reform-10-06-2022/?tkn=1
25.https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-8961/

How Innovative Mobile Welfare Units Can Improve On-Site Air Quality

Did you know that air pollution is currently considered the single biggest threat to public health in the UK?

Clean Air Day is all about bringing attention to this issue, and inspiring individuals, businesses and communities to take meaningful action. But what has air pollution got to do with construction businesses? And what can they do to help the cause?

In this article, we explain how construction businesses contribute to air pollution – and explore how upgrading to more fuel-efficient welfare units can radically reduce the emissions your site produces.

How harmful is air pollution?

We all understand that air quality matters. But in developed countries, we often assume that air pollution is primarily a concern for other, less developed countries.

Statistically speaking, this is true: 95% of deaths related to pollution occur in medium and low income countries¹. Yet analysis of the long-term impact of air quality shows that it is still a serious concern in countries like the UK.

Up to 36,000 UK deaths each year are attributed to long-term exposure, and evidence suggests poor air quality contributes to everything from heart disease to lung cancer². Economists estimate that in London alone, air pollution costs the healthcare system nearly £4 billion each year³.

How responsible is construction?

As the world’s largest industry, construction tends to be implicated in most environmental issues – and air pollution is no different.

Construction sites produce approximately 7.5% of damaging nitrogen oxide emissions; 8% of large particle emissions (PM10); and 14.5% of emissions of the most dangerous fine particles (PM2.5).

In total, researchers estimate that construction is responsible for 23% of all air pollution. This has wide ranging implications:

1. Workers’ health

Research suggests that each year, more than 230 construction workers die from cancer caused by exposure to diesel fumes.

2. Local air quality

When emissions are not properly mitigated against, the areas surrounding a construction site tend to have far lower air quality – often impacting the health of residents.

3. Environmental harm

Construction projects tend to have particularly high carbon emissions. This means construction is currently stated to contribute 40% of the UK’s total climate change impact.

How construction can clean up its act

What Is striking about the figures stated above is where these emissions come from. Just 1% is accounted for by dust from demolition sites; instead, the vast majority of these emissions are the product of the various equipment, vehicles and generators a construction site requires.

Increasingly, construction sites are learning to mitigate their environmental impact – not just reducing their air pollution, but reducing emissions in general to tackle climate targets. And a key way they are doing this is using more innovative energy sources for onsite equipment like mobile welfare units.

Eco-friendly welfare units such as the ECOXLi run on hybrid power systems that dramatically reduce their need for fuel – and therefore the emissions they produce. Using a next generation Lithium battery and full solar technology, they minimise the need for generator power whilst enabling long-life silent running.

The result? A cleaner, more hospitable site that helps tackle air pollution and forge a path for more sustainable approaches to construction.

1.https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/pollution#:~:text=Air%20pollution%20is%20the%20leading,%2D%20and%20middle%2D%20income%20countries.
2.https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-health-england-publishes-air-pollution-evidence-review#:~:text=Air%20pollution%20is%20the%20biggest,attributed%20to%20long%2Dterm%20exposure.
3. https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/node/33227
4.https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/apr/20/air-pollution-construction-industry-cities-diesel-emissions-london#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20most%20detailed,5).
5.http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr800.pdf
6.https://urbanhealth.org.uk/insights/opinion/why-its-vital-for-the-construction-sector-to-be-engaged-in-improving-air-quality 7.https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/energy-news/reduce-construction-industrys-carbon-footprint/108643/ 8.https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/how-reduce-air-pollution-construction-site.php

Could You Be Doing More to Support Your Employees’ Health?

At Welfare Hire and Access Hire, we believe Men’s Health week is amongst the most important events of the year. The construction industry has a profound responsibility to better protect its health. And this week is all about raising awareness of that fact. 

Mental health is a particular issue. As our research has shown, 40% of construction worker absences are due to poor mental health. And 64% of construction workers say they want their employers to provide more mental health support.

In this article, we help contractors and leaders understand how they can do that – by explore five key ways they can promote better health onsite:

1. Enable comfort

Comfort is not something you immediately associate with construction sites: they are seen as tough environments where hard gets done. But the reality is, enabling a greater sense of physical comfort for employees plays a vital role in keeping workers healthy and happy.

That is why Welfare Hire has focused so heavily on developing state-of-the-art mobile welfare units. By providing more space – and more comfort within that space – we help ensure workers have the proper support to refuel and relax during gruelling shifts.

2. Promote physical safety

Construction sites are notoriously dangerous places to work: the rate of injury for onsite workers is 4x higher than the average¹, and the industry experiences the highest number of workplace fatalities annually².

Instead, businesses must seek long-term solutions – the most obvious of which would be to This is why Access Hire has gone to such great lengths to provide detailed information about onsite safety. By helping you operate Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms more safely, we ensure your workers not only are safe – but they feel it.

3. Psychological safety

The concept of psychological safety is vital for a healthy workplace. It refers to individuals’ sense that they can discuss their feelings or struggles without risking harm – be that actual punishment or social stigma.

This is particularly relevant to the construction industry, as it has often fostered a stoic culture in which workers feel unable to express themselves for fear of being perceived as weak. Only 5% of the total UK workforce that suffers from a mental health condition tell their employers – and that number is significantly lower in construction.

4. Provide flexibility

87% of employees expect their employer to support them in balancing work with their personal commitments. Construction shifts can be guelling, both mentally and physically. Allowing workers to have a meaningful life outside of work is therefore essential

The key to doing this is flexibility. By giving workers more control over their shift patterns, you enable them to choose how they want to balance work with their personal commitments – and give them the space and scope to do so.

5. Don’t overlook management

It is common to emphasise the average employee when discussing workplace health and wellbeing. But research shows that 90% of construction bosses report experiencing mental health issues because of work.

Much of this is down to difficulties in managing a complex worksite. And one way to take this burden off managers’ shoulders is by ensuring that the various partners and providers you work with are both high quality and trustworthy.

At Welfare Hire and Access Hire, we pride ourselves on making life easier for managers. Every one of our vehicles comes with round the clock support, ongoing maintenance and expert advice. We help managers make the best possible decisions – and give them access to the best fleet of specialist vehicles on the market.

If you’d like to learn more about how our offering could improve your employees’ health, contact sales today.

1.https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/industry/construction.pdf
2.https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/fatals.htm

When is it Time to Change Access Vehicle Suppliers?

Switching suppliers can be extremely complicated, and many businesses stick with sub-optimal equipment simply to avoid the hassle. 

But what if staying with your current supplier is actually harming your business’s performance? And what if something as simple as changing the provider of your Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms  could have a significant impact on your bottom line?

In this article, we explore the dilemma contractors find themselves confronted with: when and how to change suppliers for key strategic equipment.

Why is switching suppliers difficult?

While every contractor will face their own specific difficulties, there are three key challenges all businesses face when switching suppliers:

1. Finding the right supplier

Finding the right partner to supply your Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms for your business is hard.|You want to source the best vehicles, but that isn’t the end of it. You also need to scrutinise the operating model of the supplier, including what kind of support they offer, how they interact with their clients and what level of expertise they can offer.

2. Managing the transition

Once you have chosen a new supplier, you need to ensure the switch is smooth and seamless. Even a few hours’ disruption can be detrimental to the outcome of a project, and managing the logistics so that the new supplier is available exactly when you need it can be very difficult.

Vehicle Mounted Access Platform Safety

3. Ensuring the supplier is reliable

Finally, you’ve got the new Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms on site. But what happens if there are technical issues or unresolved questions? You need to be confident that the new supplier will be reliably available to ensure that everything runs smoothly – not just during the transition, but at every moment of your project.

So why would you make the switch?

Given all of these potential pitfalls, it makes sense that so many businesses are hesitant to take the plunge. But there are plenty of extremely valid reasons why switching to a new supplier may ultimately prove less disruptive in the long run:

Vehicle Mounted Access Platform Budget

1. You need better equipment

Not all Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms are the same, and your business might simply require an upgrade. You might want to make use of more recent technology, change the specifications of your vehicles or simply improve the safety of your site.

3.5 Ton 13.2M 4X4 Pick-Up Mounted Access Platform In Use

2. You need more flexibility or control

Being locked into an undesirable contract can be a huge problem for contractors. But even if this isn’t the case, you may still want to change the length of your hires – or even experiment with leasing instead.

Leasing A 3.5 Ton 13M Van Mounted Platform From Kelling Group

3. You need better technical support

If your current supplier isn’t doing enough to ensure their equipment functions effectively, it is more than reasonable to look elsewhere. Access vehicles require regular maintenance, and many suppliers don’t even properly fulfil their obligations in this regard – let alone providing the level of 24/7 support you deserve.

Is it time to take the leap?

Ultimately, the question to ask is not whether now is the right time to be switching suppliers. Instead, you should be asking yourself: what does my business deserve?

If you believe your business deserves true quality – both in terms of the Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms you use and the level of service and support you receive – then why settle for second best?

At Access Hire, we’ve helped countless businesses make a seamless transition. With the UK’s largest and youngest fleet, we provide the quality our clients deserve – along with inclusive maintenance, expert guidance and 24/7 support.

If you’d like to discover how we make those transitions happen, reach out to our team today.

How Rising Fuel Prices Could Prompt a Revolution in Construction Vehicles

With inflation reaching over 9% in the UK, the Bank of England has issued an “apocalyptic” warning about rising fuel costs. 

This could spell disaster for many construction businesses – especially those that rely on mobile welfare units, Vehicle Mounted Access platforms and a range of other motorised equipment.

But what if skyrocketing fuel prices became the catalyst for much-needed change in the industry? And what if the apparent crisis actually led businesses to a more cost-effective approach to fuel?

In this article, we explore these very possibilities, demonstrating how innovative ECO products can slash sites’ reliance on fuel. 

But first, let’s see how bad things really are when it comes to fuel costs.

How bad is the fuel crisis?

We began sounding the alarm on rising fuel prices in March of this year. New legislation on red diesel was threatening to double many contractors’ fuel costs, and we’ve since seen a rising wave of fuel theft.

But this has proven to be the tip of the iceberg. From supply chain shocks caused by Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine to the ongoing “cost of living crisis”, upwards pressure on most forms of fuel have been pervasive and intense.  

Petrol and diesel prices both hit new record highs in March – and then once again in May. Petrol was £0.34 more than the previous high of March, and Diesel was £0.39 more.

There is, of course, growing pressure on the government to provide relief for businesses and individuals suffering under the weight of inflation. But the reality is fuel prices are, in the words of a journalist, the “prisoner of geopolitics”. And experts expect the current situation to continue indefinitely.

We need long-term solutions

Many industry leaders have frantically lobbied for government support, or tried to access cheaper fuel sources. But these are already being revealed to be band-aid solutions.

Instead, businesses must seek long-term solutions – the most obvious of which would be to replace their existing vehicles with units that require radically less fuel.

Welfare Hire’s ECOXLi unit is a perfect example of how this can be done. Its hybrid system utilises next generation Lithium cell batteries and full solar technology enabling long-life silent running. And its Biofuel generator is used exclusively for recharge requirements, ensuring your fuel needs are minimised.

On top of that, the welfare unit features a user-friendly Smart Telemetry system that enables you to track and optimise your power usage, ultimately helping further minimise the need for fuel and carbon.

Kelling Group Welfare Hire Units

Welfare Hire can help you through

At Welfare Hire, we have developed our entire range of mobile welfare units, lighting units and welfare vans around these very issues. We help businesses not only reduce their reliance on fuel, but improve their onsite wellbeing, their environmental impact and their bottom line. 

If you’d like to learn more about our range, get in contact today.

1.https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/petrol-prices-rise-again-bank-23977518
2.https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/1609196/Red-diesel-ban-house-price-increase
3.https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/93906/uk-petrol-and-diesel-prices-both-fuels-reach-new-record-high
4.https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-61490614

Three Ways Welfare Hire Can Help You Become More Environmentally Friendly

From tough climate change targets to increasing pressure to demonstrate ESG credentials, the case for a  more environmentally conscious approach to construction is clear. 

Our research has shown that good ESG practices result in better operational performance. And companies can expect an average internal rate of return of 27-80% on their carbon saving investments.

But for many businesses, it isn’t clear how to make this the switch to greener alternatives. 

The construction industry is currently responsible for 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions¹, and many widely touted solutions, such as circular production, require a comprehensive overhaul of existing practices. 

In this article, we demonstrate how much smaller changes can have a powerful effect on businesses’ overall environmental impact – by exploring three key benefits of our innovative Mobile Welfare Units.

1. Reduce emissions

Our welfare units and lighting units operate on hybrid power, enabling them to reduce emissions by as much as 90% compared to other products on the market. This is achieved by making use of solar power and more environmentally friendly lithium batteries.

Across even a relatively small fleet, the result is an enormous cumulative reduction in overall emissions. And if you have a fleet of 100 vehicles in use, that reduction could net to the equivalent of planting 2.2 million trees.

For businesses struggling with fuel costs, this provides an additional benefit. By radically reducing the amount of fuel necessary to power your welfare units, you can mitigate your reliance on highly volatile fuel markets – and protect your bottom line.

2. Avoid unnecessary servicing

On the average construction site, simply servicing a fleet of vehicles has a large environmental cost. Why? Because transporting vehicles to and from site produces a high volume of site externalities and extra emissions.

Much of this servicing is done to refill and empty onsite chemical WC facilities. But our mobile welfare units are fitted with extremely large water tanks and Smart Water Systems, which are far more sustainable. The ECOXLi, for example, runs on 100% recycled rainwater and provides a water wash basin and two separate water-flush toilets.

As a result, the unit’s water usage is far more efficient than others on the market. This means as opposed to chemical WC systems, which are standard in the market,, our XL smart water can go months between services – rather than weekly. And this helps more than halve the emissions produced by service transport.

With a user friendly live dashboard, it’s easy to guarantee correct and full usage of the ECO power and water systems to delver optimal value and usage

3. Optimise energy usage

Introducing more eco-friendly, energy efficient welfare units is vital. But there is still huge value in monitoring, managing and minimising your welfare unit’s energy usage. Which is exactly why we introduced Smart Telemetry to the ECOXLi unit.

With a user-friendly interface, it enables workers to track and optimise the fuel usage of their vehicle – and ensure you only use what is needed. This helps keep emissions as low as possible, as well as demonstrating that your site is doing everything it can to go green.

If you’d like to learn more about these and more eco-friendly features, reach out to our sales team today.

1.https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/energy-news/reduce-construction-industrys-carbon-footprint/108643/