It is often said that architecture is music frozen in time. But when a building reverberates with the sounds of voices, footfalls of people walking or merely day-to-day activities in such a way that it hinders work performance or impacts on the well-being of employees working in it, serious steps need to be taken to dial down the noise levels. Noise is created when sound energy is transmitted either by impact or by air. In a public or work space where impact sound is often created as a result of footsteps, slamming of doors or dragging of furniture. It can easily be transmitted through the entire building structure and impact all the employees working in a building or sharing a workspace. Other common sources of noise include traffic, weather, plumbing, duct-borne noise or noise entering the building via open windows. “Noise can have an extremely detrimental effect in the workplace and can even significantly impact an individual’s well-being and hinder work performance,” says Tandy Coleman, CEO of Polyflor SA, specialists in vinyl flooring and wall protection solutions. “For this reason, acoustics, sound levels and sound insulation that effectively reduced the noise levels within new and refurbished commercial interiors, are increasingly becoming a primary area of focus for builders, contractors and architects,” she explains. Sound levels and sound insulation values are expressed in decibels (dB). In recent years, more and more countries have begun introducing new legislation aimed at addressing resistance to the passage of sound. In the UK for example, building regulations are in place that stipulate that a suitable floor covering should have a weighted reduction in impact sound pressure level of not less that 17dB when measured in accordance with EN ISO 140-8 and calculated in accordance with EN ISO 717-2. Fortunately, the negative impact sound can greatly be reduced by professional acoustic planning at the outset of a project and with the expert . . .
Johannesburg 29 January 2019 - Enterprise Development (ED) and Supplier Development (E&SD) is one of the most current government and private sector driven programs, after the 2003 Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) document. These programs are racially selective systems to empower previously disadvantaged groups and to enhance the economy, in South Africa. According to the Stellenbosch Business School, Enterprise Development is defined as ‘the act of investing time and capital in helping people establish, expand or improve businesses.’ This certainly presents young entrepreneurs, inventors and those with unique business ideas, with the opportunity of making a difference in society - not just for themselves, but for other economically active citizens as well. At the end of 2018, nearly 800 000 matric candidates sat for their final exams across the country. Of these many will opt to further their studies through a tertiary institution, but for those who will be seeking employment, it will not be easy. According to an article in Fin24, less than a quarter of matriculates will find jobs relatively quickly. The economist, Mike Schüssler of economists.co.za said in the online article - about the previous year’s matriculates - dated January 2018, “Those members of the matric class of 2017 who will not be studying further, but will be looking for a job, will not be easily absorbed by the job market.” He continued, “it will be tough for them to get work. Over 50% of our matriculates under the age of 34 have not found permanent employment and it’s not getting better.” [https://goo.al/pfEP3H] Whilst the facts of the situation are important, seemingly, discomforting news articles make those who just completed their exams, be it in school or a tertiary institution, rather despondent. These are meant to be the years to which they look forward to making a difference and impacting the South African economy; and those communities in which they live. Those . . .
The Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA) has added its voice to a recent warning about substandard high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes that do not comply with relevant product standards, issued by the Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) - the major North American plastic pipe trade association with many of its member companies producing resins, pipe, fittings and components. According to Tony Radoszewski, President of PPI, sub-standard pipes have been found in the oil and gas gathering operations of the Permian and Delaware basins in Texas and New Mexico. SAPPMA CEO, Jan Venter, confirms that similar examples exist in South Africa and that this notice extends to other areas where HDPE pipe is widely used, such as potable water, forced main sewers, industrial and mining applications. "These pipelines are not marked with relevant product standard requirements, and may therefore not comply with product standards. Locally, pipes that do not bear the SAPPMA mark carry no assurance of product quality and may not perform as intended for the application," Venter warns. "Pipes that are not in compliance could jeopardize the safety of employees, the public and the environment," Radoszewski warned. He urged that piping products should be inspected upon delivery to ensure they meet the appropriate standards and the operator’s specifications. This is especially critical for projects in demanding oil and gas field operations, and is also important for pipe used in other pressure applications such as water, sewer, industrial, and mining applications. Both SAPPMA and PPI recommend that purchasers review the pipe manufacturer's certification reports along with physical plant inspections or independent third-party validation and testing. "Not all HDPE pipe is created equally. Know what resin is being used in the manufacture of the pipe. Know what company is making the pipe. Know what company is selling the pipe. There is a considerable . . .
In the modern mining industry, one will find that most of the industry’s reputable operators have implemented a driven safety strategy. We regularly hear the slogan “one life lost is one life to many” and one will find many occupational safety drives around, all with varying success. A clear success story is Mopani Copper Mines PLC, who has implemented the SAFEMINING plan in 2014. This vigorously driven strategy has not only showed great success across Mopani’s several mines, but it is proving to be a beacon of excellence within the industry. At Mopani Copper Mine’s Kitwe operations there is a clear success story in Group R Mining & Exploration Zambia Ltd, an operating subsidiary of Group R Holdings Ltd of Mauritius. At Group R one will see that they did not only embrace the SAFEMINING drive of Mopani Copper Mines PLC but has made it part of their daily conduct and business DNA. The success of this is evident by Group R not having a single work fatality since inception in 2010, as well as boasting with an enviable track record of working 5 Years without a single lost time injury, this was achieved in late December 2018 at its operations at Mopani’s SOB Shaft in Kitwe, Zambia. “We at Mopani are extremely proud of the achievements of Group R and their unwavering dedication to mine safety. We would like to see this dedication and passion from all our contractors in all our operations” say Mr. Chris Vermeulen of Mopani Copper Mines PLC The management team at Group R’s approach to mine safety is firm to say the least. Daily safety meetings are not seen as a tedious task but forms an integral part of their planning, policy making and operational systems. If safety is not front of mind in everything you do and plan it will soon fall to the wayside, is the Group R belief. “Our client, Mopani, introduced and demanded that we work according to their international best standards for safety. As a contractor we had the choice to merely tick the boxes and show . . .
Johannesburg, 3 January 2019 - As the holiday season comes to a close, many of us make plans to ‘spring clean’ our lives, our cupboards, our homes and so much more. However, just as you plan to clean your personal space, de-clutter your surroundings, office managers and those responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of work spaces, should consider the benefits of using the quiet period to give the work or office environment a deep clean. 1. Downtime makes for good organisation While staff are away, there is likely to be very little disruption to the process and more importantly, to the colleagues of the company. The quiet period is the perfect time to get your ‘house in order’, as they say. During the year, when everyone is doing the grind and are too busy to side step their office space or use different bathrooms, it can be a great inconvenience to do more than the required cleaning and upkeep of the office environment. 2. Image is everything First impressions are important. In psychology it is defined as the event when one person first encounters another person, object or scene. In legal terms, a first impression is defined as a first consideration or judgement. In an interview scenario, you are being judged by your employer, however some employers simply don’t think about your judgement of their environment. An unkempt, unhygienic environment does not make for a good portrayal of the work environment and can leave any visitor to the office, with unintended and even unsuspecting forms of a negative mental image of the business. ‘Judging the book by its cover’, is not just a saying, it happens and as beings who are influenced by image, a negative appearance can greatly tarnish the image of your brand - and it does not matter who is affected because word of mouth makes for an impression by everyone with whom this information is shared. 3. Hygiene makes for a healthy work environment Absenteeism from work can be linked to many things in society . . .
While the South African economy may be expanding at a snail’s pace, things are starting to look more promising in the local construction industry. A recent media headline, for example, indicated that the tide may be turning for SA construction sector. “The building industry is an exceptionally cyclical one and has shown little or no growth for the past decade,” that’s according to Philip Smerkovitz, Managing Director of thermal imaging, instrumentation and automation specialist, TeleEye SA. “However, there is exceptional value on offer for local and overseas firms seeking an earnings boost from the South African construction industry.” Mr Smerkovitz adds that TeleEye SA has seen significant interest expressed of late in FLIR thermal imaging cameras that monitor the condition and performance of cement kilns. “Because it’s impossible to imagine the building industry without cement, this local interest in world-leading thermal imaging systems may point to a revival of the South African construction sector,” explained Mr Smerkovitz. Fixed thermal imaging cameras developed by FLIR Systems and distributed by TeleEye SA allow for non-contact temperature monitoring of cement production facilities at a reasonable cost and with due consideration for worker safety. Alarms can be triggered by selecting areas within cement kilns for maximum or minimum temperature thresholds or changes in temperature. Multiple areas can be monitored simultaneously for critical changes. Cement production is a complex process of blending limestone with other components in large rotary furnaces. These furnaces are critical production assets in any cement production plant. By heating the kiln contents to an astonishing 1 500 degrees Celsius, there is always a risk of overheating. Fortunately, thermal imaging cameras from FLIR Systems are available to monitor the intricate heating process within cement kilns on a round-the-clock basis. “Cement production operators are able to prevent . . .
Ernest Lowe appoints new Managing Director It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Deon Krieger as Managing Director for the Ernest Lowe business with effect from 7th January 2019. Deon has been with the Hudaco Group for the past 20 years and started his career as an External Sales Rep at Dosco after spending several years in the S.A.P.S as a Captain in the white-collar crime division. Deon progressed through the ranks during his 18 years at Dosco to the position of Managing Director and gained solid experience in the hydraulics field during this time. Deon then moved to Bauer where he held the position of Managing Director for the past 2 years. Deon has demonstrated great leadership skills and established a track record of good performance in his prior leadership roles and look forward to working with him to make a significant impact in the performance of Ernest Lowe going forward. Please join me to welcome Deon in his new role where he will start the next chapter of his career. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Johannesburg , 30 November 2018 - To step into the shoes of another person can be the most challenging thing for any human being, however they will tell you that the experience is almost always a rewarding education. Such is the case in the cleaning profession, which is often times a thankless job for many, particularly in South Africa, where we are accustomed to "getting ‘help’. The cleaning industry is estimated to be worth around R6 - 10 billion and not regulated in terms of policy, save for salaries of the workers. There is however an association, which was constituted as recently as 1987 and which is dedicated to developing and setting appropriate standards for the contract cleaning industry [http://www.ncca.co.za/]. The cleaning industry forms part of the services sector, which employs close to 71.8% of the South African population [https://goo.gl/f3L1d4] and it is a profession that allows for entry level jobs for the most low-level skilled persons. “It is for this reason that Servest has set up its Training Academy, to ensure that new recruits are trained in the do’s and don’ts, particularly ensuring that they understand that the cleaning business is not about a task, but about hygiene in spaces, and health and wellness of people, says George Ndhlovu, Operations Director of Cleaning at Servest. The fact that the training facility is in-house, enables Servest to roll out training at any given time, without the process being hampered by budgetary constraints. “We instil the understanding in our colleagues, that their work is specialised and not just a job - for example in the healthcare sector, the nature of the work is hazardous and in the hospitality environment, it is specialised. In understanding this, it gives integrity to the profession and the person undertaking the task”, he says. In addition to investing in the skills and development of colleagues, Servest’s philosophy is to continuously upgrade its equipment and technology, to that of . . .
Industry 4.0 – and with it the demands for customised flexible intralogistics solutions – is being increasingly implemented within the courier, express and parcel (CEP) industry. Autonomous guided carts (AGCs) and tuggers prove to be efficient add-ons and alternatives to traditional material flow and sorter systems. This is according to Volker Glöckle, Head of Industry Cluster Intralogistics at SICK Automation. SICK offers its modular Eco-System for AGCs with sensor solutions that make autonomous vehicles safe and efficient tools for enhanced intralogistical productivity. Flexible logistical processes in CEP distribution centres require transportation techniques that can be adapted for the particular tasks – and also in terms of their sensor and control system technology. The aim is to exploit intelligent self-organising vehicle fleets that meet the growing need for flexibility, and thus efficiently network internal material flows in production and logistical processes. “Whether localisation, personal safety, collision prevention or load handling – the modular Eco-System from SICK makes complete sensor solutions possible for all kinds of mobile platforms,” says Glöckle. “This means it offers maximum economic efficiency, functional reliability, and future-proofed investments.” Not every package can be transported via conveyor belts Conveying and sorting systems at CEP sites are designed mainly for objects with clearly defined dimensions. But the variety of goods to be handled has grown considerably with the boom in e-commerce. Furniture, tyres, bikes, and other items are so large in shape and volume that they need special intralogistical handling. “Self-driving tuggers are a smart solution for handling such items automatically,” Glöckle says. “The efficiency of the entire goods handling system in the hub increases significantly because workers are relieved from heavy and monotonous transportation tasks, and are available for high-value skilled . . .
From steel plants to hydrogen-cooled generators, FLIR optical gas imaging (OGI) cameras are helping the oil and gas industry locally and overseas detect methane, sulphur hexafluoride and many other industrial gases quickly, accurately and safely. “Without the downtime that cuts into already under-pressure revenues, FLIR OGI cameras can cost-effectively scan broad sections of oil and gas pipelines and other industrial equipment in areas that are hard to reach with traditional contact measurement tools.” That’s the word from Philip Smerkovitz, Managing Director of thermal imaging, instrumentation and automation specialist, TeleEye SA, who adds that FLIR OGI cameras available from his firm can safely detect gas leaks from a distance. “Invisible gases are displayed as clouds of smoke which helps determine the seriousness of leaks early on when fast remedial action is critical to help prevent a more serious situation from developing,” says Mr Smerkovitz. Especially-susceptible sections of pipeline infrastructure include controlling valves, pig traps, receivers, meters and pressure gauges. “Pipelines remain the safest mode of transporting the key materials that quite literally keep our society running. However, the occasional occurrence of unintended leaks cannot be avoided and for that reason, TeleEye SA provides the local oil and gas industry with the optical equipment it needs to prevent serious financial losses as well as damage to the environment and corporate reputations,” Mr Smerkovitz explains. FLIR optical gas imaging equipment is outstanding. This world-leading robust hardware is capable of imaging gas that is half methane, half propane at a concentration of 10 000 ppm at a flow rate of ?60g/hr from a quarter inch diameter orifice. This sensitivity is specified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States and FLIR optical gas imagers easily meet these targets in an efficient and affordable way. “Sensitivity of gas imaging . . .