KBzine: your kitchen and bathroom industry news - first
25th July 2014
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Good design and ingenuity are increasingly sought in the UK bathroom market and designers and consumers are now turning to solutions that have long been commonplace in European countries such as Germany and Austria.
I often carry information about workplace health & safety but rarely do I feature anything about that essential part of just about any business – driving. Those that have to drive as part of their job, whether as someone physically working on a contract who drives from job to job, delivery driver, the fitter that may have to unexpectedly find their way to the local plumbers merchant to replace a broken part, a maintenance technician or field salesperson and the like – each of them has an important part to play.
Those of us that drive no doubt do our best to do so without endangering ourselves, other road users or members of the public but as an employer, how much attention do you pay to making sure that your team members that spend time on the road on your behalf do so safely? Do you keep a check on them and make sure they’re aware of the dangers and taking sufficient breaks while on the road, or is it a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’?
Writing as someone who many years ago was reprimanded by my then managing director for having taken the decision not to drive from the South East to somewhere ‘up North’ in torrential rain when the windscreen wipers of my company car had stopped working, I wonder whether it could be the latter…
Remember, you have a duty of care to all your employees, whether they’re under your roof throughout the working day or not.
An item further down the page warns of the need for drivers to be aware of the blind spots, which contribute to thousands of accidents – some fatal - globally each year. Technology is available that provides drivers with a better view of what’s going on around them, but if that’s going to break the budget, the very least you can do is draw attention to safe driving behaviour and assure your employees that sensible driving is more important than, say, fitting more appointments or miles into the day than can safely be managed, or perhaps, an extra few £s worth of commission in the pay packet.
This Week's News
One out of three members also indicated that they would be increasing headcount during 2014 as the recovery gathers pace.
UK employers are twice as confident about the economy as they were this time last year and many intend to take on more staff in coming months. But this jobs boom could be at risk from growing skills shortages, according to July's JobsOutlook survey from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation), released yesterday.
As well as a choice of 15 different fittings, the new Athena brassware range from Just Taps Plus offers the option of either a solid or a cut out lever handle. Athena has well defined geometric edges and with so many options available it is easy to find a combination of fittings to suit any contemporary bathroom.
Wall mounted fillers have become increasingly popular and this range includes designs for use with both baths and surface mounted vessel basins. The controls and spout are mounted on to a back plate that makes fitting easier.
The KBSA Designer of the Year, sponsored by Omega, will be chosen from the finalists. Judge Renee Mascari, owner of Mascari Design Solutions and CEO of the kbbNTG, says: “There was an amazing amount of real talent on display in this year’s entries, and those who made the shortlists can be rightly proud of their skills and expertise.”
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health is urging businesses to educate their fleet managers and at-work drivers about the risks of failing to check blind spots before carrying out a manoeuvre.
"It's vital that companies ensure their workers are fully aware of their responsibilities to act in a safe and shrewd manner every time they get behind the wheel," warns IOSH senior policy & technical adviser Phil Bates.
In 2013, Amica Group grew its sales revenue to PLN 1.656 billion representing an increase of 6% on year-to-year sales. The main increase in revenue was recorded in the home market of Poland, here in the UK, in Germany and in the markets of southern Europe.
During 2013, the Group began selling its ranges of built-in and freestanding appliances in new markets such as Belarus, France, Greece and Cyprus.
With a patented interior honeycomb structure meaning surfaces are lightweight and provide the appearance and strength of solid quartz, the product has none of the drawbacks of traditional solid stone, offers 100% moisture protection and comes with a 25 year guarantee.
Similor AG, manufacturer of Laufen brand brassware, has a history that dates back to 1846 - a time when few Swiss homes had running water, let alone a bathroom. It was in that year that Henri Jean Charles Kugler opened a small foundry to produce brass products, oil and petroleum lamps, before officially establishing the Kugler company eight years later, in 1854.
One reason for these problems is due to condensation on toilet cisterns and water pipes. This is particularly prevalent in cold weather when the water entering the cistern is at a much lower temperature than the bathroom which often has a warm, moist atmosphere due to showering and bathing.
Gorenje, which offers a broad collection of appliances that are up to A+++ rated, has scooped three Best Buy recommendations from leading environmental advice provider Ethical Consumer, for its fridge-freezers, microwaves and washing machines.
Creating a full website may not always be right for every business, but maximising social media and review sites really goes a long way in building online awareness. A business with an effective online presence is far more likely to get customers through the door.
The Foundation of Goodness is a charity set up 15 years ago after the devastating Tsunami to provide essential services to the lives of rural communities in Sri Lanka. Its mission is to empower the less privileged rural communities so that they may have equal opportunities to excel in life and one of its key objectives is to ensure that every family has access to appropriate services including sanitation, electricity and clean water.
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The Tile Association has urged the finest tile fixers across the UK to apply for the Master Craft Award, the highest honour that can be bestowed in the industry.