KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
18th February 2011
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Premium Italian cooker hood producer Falmec has introduced Plane On Demand, the new customisable extractor based on its popular Plane model.
In the first nine months of 2010, Grohe has posted further strong growth in terms of both sales and earnings.
German kitchen and bathroom manufacturer Bauformat, hit the Top 10 on several counts in Markt Intern 2010/2011 - the independent survey of German kitchen manufacturers, which is carried out every two years. Even better, it won in the 'Best Representation' category.
Its results were:
No.1 - Representation
Whether you are an experienced exporter or considering trading overseas for the first time, research the world in a day by attending this valuable seminar, being held on Thursday 17th February, from 09:30 - 17:00, at the Copthorne Hotel, Slough-Windsor.
Following the success of its 'Iron In Style' competition two years ago, Brabantia is to run the event again in the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands and France. The previous competition was a huge hit, attracting some 1,100 entries, and the company is keen to repeat that success.
Welcome to the
Over the next month, construction sites across the country will be visited as part of an intensive inspection initiative aimed at reducing death and injury in one of Britain's most dangerous industries.
During 2009/10, 42 workers died while working in construction, nationally, and nearly three quarters of these occurred during refurbishment, repair and maintenance activities. These will be the main focus of the latest inspections by the Health & Safety Executive.
On the unannounced visits - starting this week - the inspectors will ensure that sites are managing work at height safely and that they are in good order, as well as checking that the risk of exposure to asbestos is being properly managed.
Last year inspectors visited 2014 sites and 2414 contractors. They were forced to issue more than 350 prohibition notices to stop dangerous work - much of it relating to working from height, which remains one of the most common causes of fatalities and major injuries in the construction sector in Great Britain, with more than five incidents recorded every day.
"This will be the fifth year that we have run the inspection initiative across Britain and we anticipate that that there will be examples of both good and bad practice - those where employers are taking all the measures they can to protect their workers and those where safety is way down the list of priorities," warns Philip White, HSE's Chief Inspector of Construction.
"A lax attitude to health & safety in one of the more dangerous industries is not acceptable, especially when many of the incidents are completely avoidable by taking commonsense actions and precautions. As we've demonstrated in previous years, we will not hesitate to take action if we find poor practice that is putting the lives of workers at risk.
"This year, we will also be checking that, where appropriate, asbestos surveys have been carried out prior to any refurbishment work. Many workers believe that, because asbestos has been banned as a building material, it's no longer a threat to them. But that simply isn't true. Any premises built or refurbished before 2000 could contain asbestos."
During the inspection initiative, HSE inspectors will be looking at whether jobs that involve working at height have been identified and properly planned to ensure that appropriate precautions are in place, that equipment is correctly installed / assembled, inspected and maintained and used properly, and that sites are well organised, to avoid trips and falls, with walkways and stairs are free from obstructions and work areas are clear of unnecessary materials and waste.
It may be that you run a small operation or that you work alone and as a result believe that you're unlikely to receive a visit from the inspectors. You may even believe that the legislation doesn't apply to you... But it does. Health & safety is part of everyone's remit and we are all responsible for the safety of others.
So whatever part of the process involves you, from manufacture to warehouse operations, delivery or fitting - or even as a customer or passer-by, why not have a close look at what's going on around you and check for yourself that everyone is safe? It doesn't take a lot of effort and indeed much of it is commonsense.
After all, there's so much at stake, isn't there?
This Week's News
KitchenAid's beautifully designed KSCX 3610 built-in coffee machine delivers everything you would expect of a luxury manufacturer renowned for its quality and attention to detail.
The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has this week announced the finalists in the 2011 NKBA Design Competition, honouring the best kitchen and bath designs of the year.
London's status as a leading global capital - financially, socially and culturally - has been the subject of much debate in the wake of the worst recession on record. A modern, commercially effective and sustainable built environment is paramount to the successful development of 21st century London as the city rises to the challenges of economic recovery and growth, climate change or realizing the 'Big Society' vision.
On Wednesday the newly formed and exclusive construction and property forum Forge hosted a debate on this issue, looking at the key forces that will shape London and the world over the coming years.
In its report, Which? magazine said: "The retro-looking microwave with grill from Whirlpool looks more like a TV than a microwave, but the Max 38 cooks, grills and defrosts so well that it fully deserves its Best Buy status."
"This year, even without a direct cross-over point with Spring Fair International, our visitor numbers were 6,116 (unaudited at present) demonstrating that the shows' co-location continues to prove its worth to visitors and suppliers," says show director James Murray.
Ellis Furniture has achieved the Occupational Health & Safety Assurance System (OHSAS) 18001:2007, adding to its ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004 accreditations and thereby fully integrating its quality, environmental and occupational health & safety management systems.
To qualify for OHSAS 18001:2007, Ellis Furniture had to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to the highest standards in its procedures for risk assessment, risk control, hazard identification, structured health and safety training, emergency procedures and response mechanisms.
The Christmas spirit may have been alive and well at Croydex, yet not a single Christmas card was sent during the recent festive season. Instead, the bathroom accessories company, based in Hampshire, chose to donate the money it would have normally spent on cards, to charity.
Michelle Gorst has joined the ever-expanding and successful, Barnsley based, Abode Home Products.
Tuesday's official inflation figures are evidence that little inflationary pressure is coming from the retail sector. The latest numbers from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show Shop Price Inflation running behind both CPI and RPI. The main factors driving inflation are high fuel and transport costs - the result of soaring global commodity prices, not shop prices.
British Retail Consortium Economist, Richard Lim, said: "Inflation is now running at 4.0% and has been above the Bank of England's target for more than a year now. By contrast, the Shop Price Index has stayed at around 2%.
The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialist Association has announced that Smart Systems is the latest industry supplier to become a corporate member.
Smart Systems is a software company dedicated to supplying quality business and operational management systems solely to the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom industry. It was founded 10 years ago and has recently launched a new system called KBBConnect, an internet-based quoting and ordering system which is completely free to use by KBB retailers.
Peter joins Utopia from Waxman Ceramics where he worked for five years in a number of roles, most recently as Business Development Manager. Prior to this, Peter worked for Spanish tile manufacturer, Salona Ceramica.
The Geberit Group generated sales in 2010 of CHF 2,146.9 million (£1,416.2 million at current exchange rate) an increase of 5% on the previous year, despite difficult market conditions.
In stark contrast to 2009, most of the regional representatives of the Group closed 2010 with increases in sales. Sales were up in the UK/Ireland, increasing sales by 10.3%, with the next best result coming from the Nordic countries with a sales increase of 7.2%. The European markets overall posted increased sales of 4.6%.
The financial statements and complete annual report for 2010 will be released at the analyst and media conference in Zurich on 10th March, 2011.
T: 0800 077 8365
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News in Brief
Roman's new collection of stylish shower valves features concealed, semi-concealed and exposed designs, along with drench heads and multi-mode hand showers in a choice of cubist, cylindrical and oval design options. E: firstname.lastname@example.org
LG Hausys is adding nine stunning Hi-Macs solid colours for 2011, to its range of non-porous solid surfaces. W: www.himacs.eu
HiB's new full-surround LED illuminated mirrors have a clever twist - the light is in the door,- but there are no visible wires to the electrical source...how does HiB do it? T: 0208 441 0352
Hästens' Proferia natural bed - 2011's first addition to the Continental collection, will be available from 1st March. Hästens says you get a better night's sleep in a bed stuffed with natural materials... W: www.hastens.com
Sliderobes offers a vast range of sliding doors in countless colours and finishes to make your room personal to you. They also work around awkward features such as alcoves, sloping ceilings, chimney breasts and low beams. T:0800 454 465
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January data signalled a solid expansion of activity in the UK construction sector, with the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index posting 53.7, up from 49.1 in December. An improvement in weather conditions at the start of the year helped to boost construction work, while there were also gains in new business. Despite rises in both new orders and activity, employment nonetheless fell again.
In common with many other associations, The Tile Association has written to The Right Honourable George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, regarding the fuel price increases. It said:
This quarter's Employee Outlook Survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development illustrates the extent to which employees are concerned about their standard of living, as inflation continues to erode the real value of wages. The survey of 2,000 employees finds almost a third of staff say their standard of living has worsened over the last six months compared to 10% who say that it has improved.
Richard Benyon, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, has thrown his weight behind the BMA's Water Efficient Product Labelling Scheme.
EDF Energy, the UK's largest producer of low carbon electricity, has teamed up with Home Improvement retailer Wickes to provide low-cost DIY insulation for domestic households.
Managing workplace grievances takes on average 14 days per case in management time, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development's (CIPD) research, Managing Conflict at Work (2011). This cost, combined with the new Government's proposals to implement employment tribunal charges and extend the time period in which employee's are protected from unfair dismissal from one to two years, means the issue of managing workplace conflict is now top of the agenda.