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.

1.https:https://medium.com/swivelpole/poor-industrial-lighting-is-more-than-a-nuisance-db5ff1ec09b6
2.https://https://www.corporateleadersgroup.com/files/clg_uk_the_best_of_both_worlds_policy_briefing_270622.pdfs

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.

1.https://https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/01/net-zero-cost-3-5-trillion-a-year/
2.https://https://www.corporateleadersgroup.com/files/clg_uk_the_best_of_both_worlds_policy_briefing_270622.pdfs

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

1.https://www.hse.gov.uk/treework/areyou/tree-surgeon.htm
2.https://www.forestryjournal.co.uk/news/20269825.forestry-among-highest-rate-deaths-work-related-accidents-uk/
3.https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/pdf/fatalinjuries.pdf
4.https://www.forestryjournal.co.uk/news/20269825.forestry-among-highest-rate-deaths-work-related-accidents-uk/
5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525209/
6.https://www.treeservicesmagazine.com/tree-care-management/industry-survey-results-2017-outlook/

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.

THE POWER OF BREAKS

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.

1.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110208131529.htm
2.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272494415000328
3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20835716
4.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351978915005223 5.https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-12793-001 6.https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1947706

Tea Break with the Team – Meet Harry

To kick off our tea break with the team series, we had a chat with Harry Kidd, our recently promoted National Sales Manager. Harry looks after key accounts and works closely with the sales team to ensure everything sails smoothly.

Tell us a little bit about your role Harry

I have been with the company for around 2 years, starting as a business development manager. This role allowed me to work with clients all over the country in several different sectors. The responsibilities of the role included developing relationships with new and existing clients, putting me right in my element of getting out there and speaking to people!

I was very recently promoted to National Sales Manager; this new role includes managing key accounts and working closely with the sales team. I am very excited about this new challenge and can’t wait to get going!

What did you do before joining Access Hire?

I graduated from the University of Gloucestershire with a degree in sports science. However, I quickly changed my career path by going on a sales graduate scheme, allowing me to see how a business operates from every possible angle. Once I finished my scheme, I entered the hire industry, where I am today!

What do you enjoy most about working here?

Two things stand out to me. Firstly, it’s getting out there speaking to customers face-to-face, and building long-lasting relationships. The other is the team and culture of the company, it is an ever-growing, fast-paced environment meaning no two days are the same.

What do you like about what we do?

The willingness to provide the best possible service and quality of products makes it a privilege to work for the company. Knowing that the company is always heavily investing in improving the fleet and overall service makes speaking to customers very enjoyable as I can be upfront and honest at all times.

What do you do in your free time?

I play rugby league semi-professionally for the Dewsbury Rams, regularly play golf, and support Leeds United.

Tell us something we don’t know about you

I once met and sang with Paul McCartney in Paros, Greece!