Can Lighting Towers Improve Your Carbon Footprint?

As the days get shorter, construction contractors across the country become more reliant on lighting towers. But with growing pressure to reduce carbon emissions at every level of the supply chain, are traditional diesel lighting towers fit for purpose?

Many contractors assume opting for eco-friendly alternatives will hit their bottom line – something many businesses simply cannot handle in the current economic climate. This is probably driven by reports that reaching net zero will cost $3.5 trillion each year.¹

But the reality is the transition needn’t be hard on all areas of business. Modelling carried out by Cambridge Econometrics has demonstrated that tackling the cost of living while simultaneously accelerating the UK’s low-carbon transition would create “win-wins”². And our research has shown that lighting towers are one of them.

The environmental case for eco-friendly lighting towers

To illustrate the environmental benefits of eco-friendly lighting towers, let’s compare Welfare Hire’s X-Eco HYBRID LITHIUM tower with a standard diesel model.

The X-Eco HYBRID LITHIUM uses lithium hybrid technology to power six 100W LED lights. This allows it to provide 455 hours of continuous light per refill and deliver 80% silent running.

The combination of efficiency and more environmentally friendly energy sources leads to dramatic reductions in CO2 emissions. Based on the assumption that a site would run their units for 60hrs per week, each hybrid lighting tower produces a 288kg reduction each week; over a month, the savings reach 1135kg.

Our exclusive Eco Calculator quantifies how switching your lighting towers to eco-friendly alternatives will reduce your carbon footprint.

The economic case for eco-friendly lighting towers

The amount of fuel used in traditional lighting units is very large. From transporting the units to actually running them, these costs can hit contractors hard. This is only exacerbated by growing fuel prices.

Switching to eco-friendly lighting towers, therefore, presents an opportunity to save a great deal on the cost of fuel, as they require far less to run – and make it go a lot further.

Volumetric data from sites hiring our equipment has shown that every X-Eco HYBRID LITHIUM saves £108 per week in fuel costs – and £430 per month.

switching is easier than you think

These figures make clear the benefits of switching to innovative, eco-friendly lighting towers. But many contractors still assume that sourcing such towers must be difficult.

Welfare Hire ensures it is simple to make the switch. With market-leading customer service; inclusive maintenance and support; and 99.1% perfect hires, we have helped countless contractors introduce eco-friendly lighting towers.


Three Essential Advantages Mobile Lighting and Welfare Units Bring To Your Worksite

Lighting towers and welfare units are vital for modern construction sites. Welfare unit hire ensures your workers have the space and comfort to rest during tough work days; tower lights provide a reliable source of light that allows workers to operate safely and efficiently – regardless of the time of day or location. 

However, traditional types of equipment present challenges. From transporting them to the site, to fitting them into tight positions, traditional static models are no longer fit for today’s agile, fast-moving construction industry.

Enter mobile units: a more flexible, energy-efficient alternative that is becoming increasingly popular with forward-thinking construction and infrastructure managers. Here are three essential advantages they offer:


1. Easier delivery, relocation and collection

While traditional tower lights and mobile welfare units are transported to site using a HIAB vehicle, mobile assets are towable by a van, larger car or pick up. This makes life easier in three important ways. 

First, mobile tower lights and welfare units can be delivered to sites with limited access. There is also greater flexibility as to where they can be located – and they can be moved into tighter spaces.

Second, relocation is much easier and quicker. The tower lights or welfare unit can be moved by site staff whenever necessary, unlocking extra agility for your project. Finally, mobile assets can be collected more easily. This makes the logistical challenge of clearing a site simpler and eliminates the need for HIABs at the end of a project.

2. cost and energy savings

There are significant financial savings associated with mobile lighting towers and welfare units. Hiring and running a HIAB vehicle is expensive, and even if transport is included in your hiring agreement, those costs will inevitably be passed onto the end-user.

Further, removing the HIAB vehicle from the operation reduces the carbon emissions your project is associated with – because tier-3 emissions are counted towards your total GHG emissions.

3. Streamlined admin

When traditional lighting units and welfare units are transported using a HIAB, they create extra complexity for Health and Safety (H&S) compliance. Some sites restrict access to lorries – depending on location and timing – whereas such restrictions may not apply to smaller delivery vehicles.

Mobile tower lights and welfare units are therefore considered lower risk, and require less complicated RAMS. That means fewer administrative headaches and a healthy dose of time saved.

Why Innovation Holds The Key To A Sustainable Future For Construction

World Creativity and Innovation Day has never been more relevant. Earlier this year, scientists issued a ‘final warning’ that serious action must be taken to reduce carbon emissions. Yet despite its net zero pledges, the UK government currently expects demand for electricity to increase by up to 60% by 2035.

Meeting such demand while radically reducing carbon emissions can only be achieved by applying innovative technology to the problem – and that’s what World Creativity and Innovation Day is all about.

Solar power is essential for the future

The concept of solar power has been around for centuries, and the world’s first ‘solar collector cell’ was designed in 1767. But inventing the technology and implementing it – especially on a nationwide scale – are very different things.

Today, we understand that solar power is necessary. According to research from Columbia University, an acre of solar panels producing zero-emissions electricity saves between 121 to 138 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Not only is it far more environmentally friendly and sustainable – the construction of solar power generators is more likely to stay on budget and schedule. Scaling up solar power should therefore be a top priority, but today just 3.3% of UK households are generating power using solar.

Construction must lead the way

The construction industry has well documented sustainability challenges. But we also have the opportunity to champion innovation and normalise the use of solar power and other innovative technologies. 

What is needed to achieve this? It’s simple: projects need to prioritise the use of equipment that makes the most of cutting-edge technology and pushes us closer to true sustainability – which is exactly what Welfare Hire is dedicated to providing.

solar-powered mobile welfare units

Welfare Hire has always been at the forefront of innovation in our industry. As powerful new technology appears, we pride ourselves on using it to solve important problems for our partners – the most important of which today is sustainability.

Our leading mobile welfare units exemplify the qualities of World Creativity and Innovation day. Not only do they feature a Smart Water system, they use innovative technology to make construction sites more sustainable.

Features include:

Solar and lithium hybrid power

Each unit is fitted with XL solar panels, ensuring that the entire unit can be powered purely using solar power. On top of that, there is a next generation lithium battery that acts as a backup for the mobile welfare unit, and which also recharges from the solar technology. The result is a massive reduction in carbon emissions, noise pollution and running costs.

Rainwater harvesting

Helping users reduce water usage and improve their environmental credentials with ease. The toilet system in all of our units is non-chemical, so it can be fed by rainwater.  The rainwater harvesting system helps supply an XL water tank that services the entire system – all of which minimises the environmental and financial cost of servicing your mobile welfare unit.

Smart telemetry

Empowering users to monitor and manage their fuel usage, unlocking new levels of efficiency and eliminating downtime. Users can view live and historical volumetric data via a dashboard, to ensure optimal green silent running from the hybrid power system. The result? Fewer servicing trips, which means lower emissions and a big saving for your project.

Kelling Group Welfare Hire Units

Evolution is never finished

World Creativity and Innovation Day is meant to celebrate bold steps forward. But it’s also important to remember that this process is never finished. While we are proud of our products, it is essential to our ethos to continue improving them. Not just because it’s what our partners deserve, but because it’s what we love to do.

Four Essential Features That Help Mobile Welfare Units Conserve More Water

The construction industry is making great progress in its shift towards more sustainable practices, with 47% of industry executives saying sustainability is top of mind for them. But the majority of sites could still consume less water – all they need is the right technology to facilitate more efficient usage.

For leaders looking to reduce their water usage, mobile welfare units are a great place to start. The Smart Water System included in Welfare Hire’s units delivers significant reductions through the following four key features:

Four steps to reduce water waste:

1. Rainwater harvesting

One significant and easy win to avoid water wastage is harvesting rainwater. This immediately reduces the need for alternate water supplies, both cutting costs and increasing sustainability. The only problem is most welfare units are unable to do this.

That’s why the ECOXLi Mobile Welfare Unit features a Smart Water System which facilitates the harvesting of rainwater. But simply using rainwater is not enough – you need to maximise its usage.

2. Grey water recycling

Much of the water used in mobile welfare units is for sinks. But this ‘grey water’ can actually be recycled and fed back into the system to be used for flushing toilets. 

Our Smart Water System enables such recycling, so that rainwater can be used – and then reused – to create a sustainable water ecosystem. The effectiveness of this is really only limited by the unit’s capacity to store water.

3. increased storage

Harvesting rainwater and recycling grey water is fantastic. But in order to support a full workforce, the mobile welfare unit also needs a very large storage tank. Not only does this mean it can harvest more water; it means the waste tank takes longer to reach capacity, which reduces the frequency of servicing.

Welfare Hire’s Mobile Welfare Units are fitted with XL tanks that take more than twice as long to reach capacity. This reduces the servicing frequency dramatically, which in turn helps to cut costs on transport and lower CO₂ emissions.

4. Smart telemetry

The final step to reduce water usage is monitoring. Leaders need the ability to see how much water their units are using and optimise the timing of servicing.  At the least, mobile welfare units should incorporate clear gauges for fresh and waste water tanks.  

In addition, smart telemetry is also available with some models of welfare unit.  This technology provides live data and the ability to monitor and schedule servicing. This enables leaders to monitor water usage with ease, helping them use resources more efficiently, reduce costs and ultimately be proactive in combating water waste.

Four Key Business Benefits From Fully-Electric Van Mounted MEWPs

UK sales of Electric Vehicles (EVs) hit an all-time high last year.¹ But we are still just scratching the surface of this major shift in transport and technology.

Fully-electric Van Mounted MEWPs are now available to lease and hire for businesses across the country, and this is expected to have a significant impact on construction and infrastructure projects in several ways.

Here are four core benefits businesses can expect:

1. Reduced emissions

The most commonly cited benefit of EVs is their environmental impact. Even accounting for the generation of electricity and battery manufacturers, going electric dramatically reduces the amount of GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emitted through the lifecycle of each vehicle.

This is particularly true for fully-electric Van Mounted MEWPs. Each vehicle produces a large annual reduction of CO₂ every year and across an entire fleet, this equates to an enormous improvement to your carbon footprint.


2. Fuel savings

A common misconception about EVs is that they are more expensive. While brands like Tesla have created the perception that going electric is costly, switching to fully-electric Van Mounted MEWPs can actually result in a long-term cost saving.

Events from last year made clear just how expensive traditional fuel sources can be – not to mention highly volatile. Electricity is far cheaper and businesses can expect to save a significant amount per year on fuel.

3. Noise

Noise pollution is a major issue for the construction and infrastructure sectors – especially when working on inner-city projects. Heavy vehicles are a large contributor to that problem, but few projects can run successfully without them. This ultimately limits the times when projects can operate at full capacity.

Electric Van Mounted MEWPs provide a powerful solution to this problem. They run completely silently, thus entirely removing one of the biggest sources of noise pollution from your site – and enabling work during the night and early morning in areas where noise restrictions are strict.

4. Improved ESG

Whether you operate in the public or private sector, there is growing pressure to demonstrate the steps you are taking to improve your sites’ Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) scores. Opting for fully-electric Van Mounted MEWPs is an easy win in this regard, providing a large improvement that can be actioned immediately.


Three Important Ways Electric Vehicles Help Local Authorities Hit Sustainability Goals Faster

Sustainability is top of the agenda for most local councils. But delivering sustainable infrastructure projects is easier said than done.

Despite the recent announcement of extra Government funding ¹, the process of planning, managing and delivering sustainable infrastructure is a huge challenge. Tier 3 emission accounting means leaders need to implement green alternatives across their entire supply chains – and this creates a serious problem for many councils.

A gap in the sustainability market

Key infrastructure projects require strategic equipment like Van Mounted MEWP. But these are generally seen as a big source of carbon and noise emissions. Today, fully-electric alternatives exist – they have just not been readily available to local authorities. 

Access Zero offers the UK’s first fleet of fully-electric Van Mounted MEWP, enabling infrastructure projects to run more smoothly and with far less impact to the environment. 

Here are three ways electric Van Mounted MEWP help local councils achieve their sustainability goals:


1. Reduced emissions

The construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure are responsible for roughly 16% of the UK’s total carbon emissions ². The machinery and vehicles used during projects is an important part of this – yet these emissions are often seen as inevitable.

Fully-electric Van Mounted MEWP solve that problem – producing zero emissions and requiring far less energy to run. This helps radically reduce the overall output of mobile workforces. It also makes projects easier to run in densely populated urban areas where Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ) are more common ³

2. Easier budgeting

According to recent reports, 7 in 10 UK councils are struggling to finance their net-zero transition. This puts pressure on leaders, even with extra funding from the government. And since green options are generally seen as more costly, many contractors struggle to afford electric vehicles.

This is why Access Zero offers a fully inclusive maintenance solution, enabling local authorities to hire the latest access platform technology in confidence and easily forecast their cash flow due to not having to account for any service or maintenance costs. This means opting for electric Van Mounted MEWP doesn’t mean sacrificing other green initiatives or creating an unmanageable budget deficit.

3. Minimise noise pollution

Noise pollution is less widely publicised than air pollution, but it is just as harmful to the health of the local population. Researchers estimate that excessive noise costs the UK economy £20 billion each year. And Councils have a clear mandate to reduce noise from infrastructure projects – especially in urban areas.

Electric Van Mounted MEWP operate silently. This removes a huge source of on-site noise emissions and makes the environment more pleasant for both workers and civilians.

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Why Good Lighting Is Vital For Work Site Safety

When we think of health and safety on a construction site, most people picture hardhats and high-viz vests. But there is another key factor that keeps workers safe every day on site – and that is good quality light.

Lighting towers are not just vital for working during the darker months of the year; they form an essential part of any serious health and safety plan. From increased visibility to reduced eye strain, good-quality lighting towers are a non-negotiable asset for any project.

That is why Welfare Hire is so proud of our innovative range of lighting towers. They improve on-site safety in three clear ways:

1. Awareness of hazards

Improving the quality of lighting in a workspace has been proven to reduce accidents by 52%.¹ With more light – and less glare – workers can see exactly what they’re doing, so there is less chance they will trip or fall.

They can properly assess hazards or risks, which is particularly crucial when working in dangerous situations – such as operating heavy machinery or working at heights. And oncoming traffic and pedestrians can see clearly that they are entering a construction zone.

2. cognitive load

Poor lighting forces workers to strain their eyes, which can cause long-term harm to their sight. Workers have to make an effort to see what’s going on, which takes focus away from the task at hand. This often results in accidents or errors that can be costly or dangerous.

These problems are collectively known as ‘increased cognitive load’. Research has proven that poor lighting lowers cognitive performance.² So if lighting is poor or inconsistent, your workforce is constantly distracted. It’s the equivalent of asking them to do brain teasers while they work.

3. Wellbeing and health

Increased cognitive load ultimately impacts the mental and physical health of workers. Having to strain to see – or constantly experiencing glare – can cause headaches and increase stress.

This is borne out by evidence: studies have shown that better lighting can reduce the number of sick days employees take and increase output.² With better lighting towers, workers are therefore not only safer – they feel better, are less likely to be absent and are ultimately more productive.

How welfare hire can help

Welfare Hire’s range of innovative lighting towers are not only environmentally friendly – they are a vital health and safety resource. 

Each tower is capable of lighting half a football field, providing enough illumination for the toughest projects. And each of the tower’s six light heads can be individually positioned to ensure optimum light to every area. 

They are the perfect solution for any contractor looking to increase their onsite safety and invest in the best quality equipment for their teams. And with 99.1% perfect hires, we provide a seamless, market-leading service that will make the transition fast and easy.


How Leasing Access Vehicles Can Help Improve Your Budgeting

Staying on budget is one of the biggest challenges construction and infrastructure projects face. 

Recent studies have found that 85% of all construction projects experienced cost overruns¹, with the average project exceeding its budget by a minimum of 16%² – and the majority overrunning by 28%³.

While there are multiple factors that cause budget problems, a major contributor is the cost of strategic equipment and vehicles, such as vehicle mounted access platforms (VMAPs).

In this article, we explore how leasing these vehicles can provide greater financial control and help projects stay on budget.

How does leasing work?

Leasing is the perfect alternative to buying access vehicles. Many contractors don’t want to tie up their working capital to buy top-quality access vehicles outright.  Access Lease provides a cost-effective way of sourcing the latest vehicles on a fully maintained basis. 

With fixed monthly payments – including no hidden fees – contractors can lease innovative, market-leading vehicle mounted access platforms whilst simultaneously protecting themselves from financial uncertainty.

The ways leasing improves your bottom line

1. Spread costs and improve cash flow

The leasing model allows contractors to spread the cost of their vehicles over a fixed period of months, resulting in more affordable, individual payments. When comparing leasing to loan repayments on the same asset, monthly payments could be reduced by as much as 50%.

The fixed monthly payments are predictable and clear, enabling you to create a long-term budget without constantly adjusting to fit unexpected hiring and maintenance costs.

2. Tax savings

84% of businesses are currently transforming their tax and financial operating model to make savings. Leasing enables this, because contractors can generally deduct the full lease rental cost from their taxable income – or claim capital allowances on the asset cost. 

This makes leasing more financially efficient and helps contractors make their limited budget go further.

3. Inclusive maintenance and support

Maintenance is often undervalued in contractors’ budgets, yet it actually accounts for up to 30% of the total cost of a vehicle. 

Leasing with Access Lease comes with inclusive maintenance and 24/7 support, meaning we take away all the headaches of ownership – from breakdowns, replacement vehicles, LOLERs, MOTs, servicing, and specific asset advice. It also reduces the likelihood of on-site breakdowns, as vehicles are rigorously tested before being delivered to the site and fully maintained to the highest of standards. 

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

Five Important Ways to Improve Safety in the Forestry Industry

Physical safety is among the biggest challenges for the forestry industry. In the last decade, 24 arborists have been killed while working – and nearly 1,400 have suffered an injury¹. It currently ranks as the industry with the most fatal accidents in the UK – with 8 times more than the second placed Construction ².

Of course, some level of risk is inevitable in an industry where individuals are working at heights and operating equipment like chainsaws and often working alone. But there are many decisions project managers and leaders can make to ensure their people are safe and secure.

In this article, we explore five important ways Welfare Hire and Access Hire help equip our forestry partners for improved safety, using our range of vehicle mounted access platforms, mobile welfare units and mobile lighting towers:

1. Secure vehicles for working at heights

Falling from heights accounts for nearly a quarter of all workplace deaths in the UK³, and is the single most common cause of injury in forestry. This means extra attention needs to be paid to the vehicles and equipment used to undertake such work.

Access Hire’s market-leading Vehicle Mounted Access Platforms provide the robust support workers need to work at heights. With two person baskets and advanced platform controls, workers feel in control and able to navigate challenging conditions with confidence.

2. Comfortable space to rest

The links between poor quality rest and accidents in the workplace are well established. But in an industry like forestry, onsite errors can lead to far more severe outcomes than most.

Welfare Hire’s innovative mobile welfare units are designed to ensure this is never an issue. They provide up to 20% more internal space for rest, along with a range of vital amenities, comfortable seating and high-quality facilities, so your people are always able to relax during down time and stay present on the job.

3. High-quality lighting towers

Working during periods without natural light is vital to deliver most forestry projects. But this leaves you vulnerable to lighting failure – which not only causes disruptions, but can lead to health and safety risks.

Welfare Hire’s eco-friendly lighting towers provide the perfect solution, providing high-quality, energy efficient light that allows you to keep the work area properly lit at all times. The X-EcoHYBRID LITHIUM lighting tower, for example, offers a whopping 445 hours of continuous light per refill.

4. Reliable support

Equipment failure causes disruption to forestry projects – especially those that are in very remote, difficult-to-reach locations. But it also presents a risk to onsite safety, as malfunctioning equipment may lead to accidents or errors.

This is particularly so given the environmental challenges faced by forestry projects; in a recent survey, 15% of forestry professionals cited “Mother Nature” as the single biggest challenge they face.

As a result, these businesses must have reliable support on hand to handle any issues their specialist equipment presents. Both Welfare Hire and Access Hire provide just such help, with 24/7 dedicated expert support available to every client

Kelling Group Access Hire Maintenance

5. Regular service and maintenance

Reliable support is important, but so are preventative measures. That is why Welfare Hire and Access Hire each also pride themselves on providing regular, rigorous maintenance on all of our vehicles that goes above and beyond the regulatory standards.

We take care of LOLER testing of our vehicle mounted access platforms; every welfare unit undergoes a 62-point pre-delivery inspection; every vehicle mounted access platform undergoes a 50-point pre-delivery inspection; and we ensure seamless delivery of every vehicle, to keep our customers working at all times


Why Taking a Break Can Be the Best Thing For Employee Productivity

64% of construction workers want their employers to do more to support their mental health. But beyond simply hiring a mobile welfare unit, how can contractors ensure their people remain happy, healthy and productive?

A huge body of research suggests a simple answer: let them take proper breaks. From improved concentration and decision making to higher levels of wellbeing and happiness, regular rest on the job is essential.

The problem is, most leaders don’t know how to encourage break taking – and many see breaks as harmful to productivity.

In this article, we bust that myth, exploring why breaks matter – and how Welfare Hire’s mobile welfare units encourage their workers to take them.


When a person focuses on a single task for a prolonged period, their capacity to pay attention quickly depletes¹. They are more likely to make mistakes or bad decisions, and are generally less productive over an extended timeframe.

Breaks allow an individual to “reset”, regaining their focus and segmenting their day into more manageable chunks. This has been found to improve concentration², reduce stress³ and increase engagement. The net result is to actually improve productivity, especially when considered over a period of multiple days or weeks.

Perhaps most strikingly, regular breaks actually change the way people see their jobs. They are likely to see their role more positively when they are allowed to take regular breaks in a welfare van or unit, leading them to feel better about what they do and find more meaning in their work. This can be a profound shift, helping create a better on-site environment, improve retention and build a positive workplace culture.

Kelling Group Onsite Mental Health - Staff Welfare on Construction Sites

Getting the balance right

While breaks are important, they can also become counterproductive. One study pitches the maximum as 12%. Taking breaks that amount to more than this tends to have a negative effect on wellbeing and productivity – probably because inertia kicks in,  and workers simply want to stay relaxing in the mobile welfare unit.

This has led research to the concept of “microbreaks”: brief activities that break up the monotony of the day. This could be anything from a short chat with a coworker to making a coffee. The point is that the “microbreak” is separate from work – and something the person actively enjoys doing. 

Leaders that enable workers to take this sort of “microbreak” will benefit immeasurably – but how can they do that?

How Welfare Hire helps

At Welfare Hire, we include a welcome pack with every mobile welfare unit. It consists of basic daily amenities, like coffee cups, tea bags, and a delicious range of biscuits.  But the effect is surprisingly powerful. 

These amenities make for perfect “microbreaks” inside the welfare van or unit, and help your employees habituate healthy breaks. Simply making a cup of tea, eating a biscuit, or sitting for five minutes is all most people need to reset and refocus. And along with the kitchen facilities and a break-out room our portable welfare units provide, Welfare Hire’s welcome packs ensure you have everything needed to facilitate those breaks.

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