Weird & Wacky Road Signs

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What would we do without road signs? I would get lost, very lost (although I have managed to do that even with road signs helping me along), who actually thinks about road signs? They are just an accepted norm, you drive along, you look for the sign that indicates how fast you allowed to go, you approaching a town…..where are we? Need to take the next turn after the white house, next to the elephant waterhole by the spaza shop….you look for a road sign as confirmation that you are heading in the right direction. Who invented them? What purpose do they serve (besides the obvious)?

According to most accounts available, the Romans were the first to invent road signs which were milestones, and they were used by ancient Romans in the Bronze Age. The very first road in Rome was the Via Appia, or also known as the Appian Way. This road was built in 312 B.C. At regular road intervals, milestones were placed, and these often stated who was in charge of the maintenance of that road portion and as well as the completed repairs. The Romans also built mile markers at intersections to specify the distance to Rome. I wonder if that is the origin of the saying….” all roads lead to Rome”?

The first modern road signs erected on a wide scale were designed for riders of high or “ordinary” bicycles in the late 1870s and early 1880s. Cycling organisations began to put up signs that warned of potential hazards ahead (particularly steep hills), rather than merely giving distance or directions to places, thereby contributing the sign type that defines “modern” traffic signs. In 1686, the first known Traffic Regulation Act in Europe was established by King Peter II of Portugal. This act ensures the placement of priority signs in the narrowest streets of Lisbon, stating which traffic should back up to give way. One of these signs still exists at Salvador street, in the neighbourhood of Alfama.

Eventually, with traffic on the roads increasing all the time, some form of standardisation regarding road signs was needed and after some debate, it was agreed on some distinct shapes to be used for various situations. The shapes were as follows:
Round: Railroad crossing warning
Octagon: To stop
Diamond: To show that precautions need to be taken in a specific area
Square: To show some care needs to be taken occasionally
Rectangular: For directional or regulation information
Star-Shaped: A unique shape used to mark highways
In Britain, before the 1950s, road signs were a disaster. It took graphic designers Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert to create standard and easy-to-read road signs. After testing different versions, they created new signs based on the European standard that triangular signs warn, circles command and rectangles provide information. They used drawings or pictograms more than words as a picture can convey a message a lot quicker than words. These pictograms have resulted in some hilarious road signs.

Turning left is usually a straightforward affair, but not at this intersection. You’ll first need to turn right and then go left. But be careful not to get confused, as you shouldn’t block the intersection, either.

Photo by Flickr user Paul Heaberlin

This sign is probably warning motorcyclists about an upcoming downhill turn, but it really just looks like a kid showing off on a rainbow.

Defensive Driving

 

Buzz Nicked

I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful country Namibia a few years ago and the images below are some of the pictograms we photographed:

Sources:
Did you Know Cars
Degemill
Wikipedia


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About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

5 Historical Buildings in Bloemfontein

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To the seasoned traveller, Bloemfontein holds a whole array of history and exciting facts. Being known as “The City of Roses” attests to the beauty the city holds as well as holding a little fame for being the birthplace of J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit. But to the unseasoned traveller, little may be known about this city except perhaps that it is the Capital of the Free State and that it borders on the semi-arid region of the Karoo. If you’re looking for some historical insight and a city that will not disappoint, Bloemfontein is not to be missed on your next road trip. Listed below are 5 historical buildings that are an absolute must on your next South African adventure!

1. Supreme Court of Appeal

Bloemfontein is the judicial capital of South Africa. The Court of Appeal building was built in 1929 and is the highest court. The Court of Appeal is also known as the Supreme Court of Appeal where the final decisions are made. Except for the Constitutional Court, no other court rules over it.
The original building was designed in a free Renaissance style by J S Cleland, the Chief Government Architect, who was also responsible for many other major public buildings in South Africa. The oldest part was built with sandstone from Ladybrand, the newer western wing with sandstone from Ficksburg, and the latest extension with sandstone from Mookgophong in Limpopo. On each occasion, the extensions were constructed to preserve the style and appearance of the building as far as possible.

2. National Afrikaans Literary Museum

The National Afrikaans Literary Museum and Research Centre is a central archive for material and information on the history, development, and scope of literature, music, and drama in the Afrikaans language. The NALN was founded in 1973 by the Free State provincial government and is based in Bloemfontein, South Africa. NALN is located in the Old Free State Government Building. The building housed the various government departments of the Orange Free State government. The first story’s front facade was designed by Richard Wocke and the keystone was laid by President Brand on May 31, 1875. In 1895, the second story was built, designed by Johannes Egbertus Vixseboxse. The remainder of the building was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, an architect of the Union Buildings in Pretoria, and was completed in 1906.
On October 28, 1908, the original building was destroyed in a fire. From 1909 to 1911, it was largely restored based on Baker’s blueprint. Improvements were the work of the government architect F. Taylor. The tower was, among other things, narrower and 10.5 m higher than the original one, and was fitted with a rounded crown.
From 1877 to 1902, the Old Government Building was the headquarters of the Government of the Orange Free State. The Free State Volksraad met in the Third Council Chamber from 1877 to 1893. Afterwards, it remained the seat of the Government of the Orange River Colony, and in 1911 became the provincial headquarters of the Orange Free State. In 1972, the building was declared a national heritage site.
The Human Sciences Research Council began mounting exhibits in the building and using it as an archive for documents on language and literature in 1970. The document archive developed into the Literary Museum of Bloemfontein. On October 9, 1972, the Administrator of Free State, announced the establishment of the NALN. On March 24, 1973, the NALN was officially opened by Johannes Petrus van der Spuy, at the time Minister of National Education.

3. City Hall

Bloemfontein City Hall is a building in Bloemfontein which houses the local city council. The building was completed in 1936 and burned by vandals in 2017. The building lies on President Brand Street downtown next to the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa and facing Hertzog Square. The building is a sandstone structure designed by Gordon Leith. The city hall has a large room, the council meeting room, behind its eastern entrance. The entrance on President Brand Street is designed symmetrically with two towers. Pillars give the east entrance neoclassical elements. Over the symmetrical entrance hang signs indicating Stadhuis and City Hall. Above these lie the former city coat of arms.
During the 1980s, new municipal offices were opened alongside the building. Even after municipal government changes in 2000 and its 2011 reclassification, the local government has continued to use the town hall.
On June 21, 2017, vandals set the building on fire. The fire was lit during a protest by the South African Municipal Workers’ Union held at the building earlier during the day. The municipal archives in the building were lost in the fire.

4. Twin-Spire Church

Established on 13 November 1848, The Dutch Reformed congregation, also known as the Tweetoring Kerk, held its services initially in the Raadsaal, a humble thatched building in St George’s Street. On 6 January 1849 Major Henry Warden, the British Resident Administrator, laid the foundation stone for a new church and, at the same time, presented a bell to the congregation.
The building was only completed on 29 May 1852. By 1862, it had grown too small for Bloemfontein’s needs and the construction of a new hall was proposed. The project was only undertaken in 1874 when architect AW Wocker was commissioned to design a church. The old building was demolished whilst services continued to be held in a warehouse, owned by the firm of GA Fitchardt, immediately across the road.
President Brand laid the foundation stone for the new church on 10 May 1878, and on 7 May 1880, the new building was consecrated. The structure was notable for its twin spires and is commonly known amongst citizens of Bloemfontein as the Tweetoring Kerk. Unfortunately in April 1935 the western spire, including its clock, collapsed. Following fears that the second spire could also fall, both towers were shortened at the height of the church roof and given shorter pointed steeples. Following extensive structural restoration, by the end of 1942, both spires had been restored to their former height. A subsequent fire in 1952, set by an arsonist, fortunately, caused little structural damage, and the building was declared a National Monument under old NMC legislation on 15 February 1963.

5. The Fourth Raadsaal

The Fourth Raadsaal is a historic building in Bloemfontein, South Africa, which serves as the meeting place of the Free State Provincial Legislature, the legislature of the Free State. It is located opposite the Supreme Court of Appeal in President Brand Street. In the early 1880s, it was resolved to build a new presidency office and chamber council. The designs for both buildings were awarded to Johannesburg-based Lennox Canning. The new presidency office was completed in 1886, yet work on the chamber council had not begun until 1889 by another Johannesburg-based architect, TR Robertson. President Francis William Reitz laid the foundation stone on 27 June 1890. Due to construction issues, another tender was awarded to JJ Kirkness. The new building was formally inaugurated on 5 June 1893 when the members walked from the old chamber to the new one.
In March 1900, British forces occupied Bloemfontein and the building became a military hospital. Most of the furnishing were acquired and are now in private homes. The Orange River Colony became the legitimate government in 1907. The colony had a two-chamber legislature consisting of a council and a legislative assembly. The lower council continued to meet in the Raadsaal, while a separate building facing Aliwal Street housed the upper house. In 1910, the Union of South Africa was formed and the Raadsaal housed the provincial council. The chamber and its rooms were occupied by the Appeal Court until its own premises was ultimately built in 1929. After the first non-racial elections in 1994, a decision was taken to house the newly-established provincial legislature in the building.

As one can see, just from the 5 historical buildings mentioned here, Bloemfontein is a city teeming with culture and is immensely rich in heritage. The buildings and museums reflect a historical journey and make Bloemfontein one of the most important cities to visit in the history of South Africa.


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Renewable Energy in SA

What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy is the energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

Not only does renewable energy reduce carbon emissions, but the infrastructure can be built quickly to match the country’s need for electricity. Some renewables already supply cheaper electricity than the newest coal power plants. Renewables will get cheaper and coal and nuclear likely more expensive.

The energy sector in South Africa is an important component of global energy regimes due to the country’s innovation and advances in renewable energy.

Of all South African renewable energy sources, solar holds the most potential. Because of the country’s geographic location, it receives large amounts of solar energy. Wind energy is also a major potential source of renewable energy. Investment in renewable energy in SA can provide decent jobs and increase skills. SA is a solar-rich country with one of the highest solar resources in the world.

South Africa is taking the lead in Africa which gives us the opportunity to become a key global player in this growing industry thus investment in renewable energy in SA can provide decent jobs and increase skills.

Here are just a few of the Renewable Energy Projects that we currently have on our Leads 2 Business website

PPA 26177 – Vortum Solar Park
PPA 26040 – Zoute Kloof Solar Farm
PPA 14457 – Kangnas Wind Energy Facility

Get in the know with these renewable energy projects and more by subscribing to our platform, please feel free to contact me on SharikaR@l2b.co.za to receive daily project leads and updates.

Sources:
Wikipedia
Engerati
Civiconcepts

 


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About Sharika Raman

I have worked for Leads 2 Business from January 2015 till present. I work for the Leads 2 Quotes Department for Directory and Control List.

Tunnel Boring Machines

Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM)

A tunnel boring machine (TBM), also known as a “mole”, is a very large machine designed to excavate and drill with a circular cross-section, through a variety of soils and rock to create a tunnel.
Tunnel boring machines are used as an alternative to drilling and blasting methods in rock and conventional “hand mining” in soil. TBMs have the advantages of limiting the disturbance to the surrounding ground and producing a smooth tunnel wall. This significantly reduces the cost of lining the tunnel and makes them suitable to use in heavily urbanized areas. The major disadvantage is the upfront cost. TBMs are expensive to construct and can be difficult to transport, due to their very large size.
The first tunnelling machine was designed by an Engineer, Marc Brunel in the 19th century. It was used to help build the Thames tunnel in 1843 – the first tunnel under a river. Brunel’s invention was basically just an iron framework with spaces for workmen to stand-in. Tunnellers dug out the earth in front of them with pickaxes and shovels.
According to global tunnelling tradition, a TBM cannot start work until it is given a name. This tradition also sees most TBMs being named after women. Why are they given women’s names? Apparently, it’s a tradition dating back to the 1500s when miners and anyone working underground with explosives prayed to Saint Barbara to protect them from the dangers underground.
Phyllis, Ada, Elizabeth, Victoria, Jessica, Ellie, Sophia and Mary were the names of the eight tunnel boring machines used in London’s mega Cross-rail Project. Big Bertha is the infamous TBM stuck underneath Seattle and Alice tunnelled Vancouver’s new Evergreen Line.
Here in South Africa, the R300 million TMB used to construct the 3-kilometre tunnel stretching from Rosebank Station to Park Station as part of the Gautrain project in Gauteng was named ‘Imbokodo’, or ‘hard rock’. The name, ‘Imbokodo’, flows from the women’s protest march to the Union Buildings on August 9, 1956. This march saw the birth of the phrase ‘wathinta abafazi, wathinta imbokodo’ or, ‘if you strike a woman, you strike a rock’. Project officials chose the name because they believed the TBM would do her work with the “agility and effect of a super kung fu master, yet with a feminine touch of tenderness and softness as she tunnels her way through soft ground and hard rock”.

The world’s largest hard rock TBM is known as Martina, (she has an excavation diameter of 15.62m, a total length of 130m and a total weight of 4,500 tons. It was built by Herrenknecht AG, and is owned and operated an Italian construction company, Toto S.p.A. Costruzioni Generali (Toto Group) and was used for the tunnelling of the Sparvo gallery of the Italian Motorway Pass A1 near Florence in Italy.
Tunnelling machines have had an economic, environmental and cultural effect around the world. Like bridges, tunnels connecting communities, and sometimes even entire nations!
In the UK for example, modern TBMs have helped boost the economy. London Underground’s Jubilee line tunnel has brought redevelopment all along the new line.
TBMs can also be used to improve the environment. The machines that dug the Lee and Thames Tideway tunnels helped improve sewage treatment for large areas of London.
Today’s modern tunnelling machines look very different from Marc Brunel’s miner’s cage, but their function is very similar. The TBMs dig out earth which is carried back behind it – usually on a conveyor belt. The TBM moves forward and continues to dig.

Showing a TBM in action, underground

“Like giant underground factories on rails, they’re the equivalent of 14 London buses end-to-end and a staggering 143 buses in weight”

 

Sources:
Mining
Engineering News
ICE


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About Marlaine Andersen

I have been working for Leads 2 Business, in the Private Projects Department, for 10 years this July. I am Deputy HoD for Private Projects. Researching mining projects and projects through-out the African continent are my areas of research and I find them most interesting.

Leads 2 Business Weekly Quote

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This week’s quote is from Elon Musk a business magnate, industrial designer, engineer, and philanthropist. Founder, CEO, CTO and chief designer of SpaceX; early investor, CEO and product architect of Tesla, Inc.; founder of The Boring Company; co-founder of Neuralink; and co-founder and initial co-chairman of OpenAI.


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About Sasha Anderson

Millennial Mom + wife living the hash-tag life

2020 – A Year in Review

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2020 has been full of crazy experiences: panic buying, social distancing, hard lock-downs, hotel quarantines, hand washing and sanitising, elbow-bump greetings and Skype weddings.

This year is, for many people, the worst year of their lives. This is because the Covid-19 pandemic is not just happening in some distant part of the world, it is here and has to some degree personally affected everyone.

Most of us will be all too happy to see the back of 2020!

But before blowing the year out of the water, let’s add some perspective and consider the passage below.

It’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria.

For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. On your 14th birthday, World War I starts and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war.
Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war. At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict.
On your 62nd birthday, you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, should have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening.
When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900.

How do you survive all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 and didn’t think your 85-year-old grandparent understood how hard school was and how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above.

Perspective is an amazing art. Refined as time goes on, and enlightening like you wouldn’t believe.
Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out.


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About Mark Meyer

I joined Leads 2 Business in February 2009 and serve as IT Director.

Health & Safety Construction Changes since COVID-19

“Oh, Sh#$, My Mask!” – Normal Person on the Daily.

I know we don’t all particularly like change, but times have changed and we, therefore, need to embrace change as well and conform to the new norm and try to remember to wear a mask and sanitize all the time.

The health and safety within the construction industry is challenging at the moment as everyone has to try to adapt to the new way of working.

To reduce the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, plans need to be in place to help identify risk levels in the workplace. They also need to determine the implementation of control measures.

Owners of companies as well as their staff need to remain in the know and up to date with the changing Covid-19 outbreak conditions as they directly affect and relate to community spread of the virus.

This blog is on “Changes since COVID-19” within the Construction industry. I’d like to focus on the construction site itself.

As a Health & Safety officer onsite or the main contractor, you will need to assess the hazards to which your workers may be exposed. You also need to then evaluate the risk of exposure and ensure workers adhere to rules in place to prevent exposure.

Conducting a job hazard analysis can also help you determine whether work activities require close contact (within 2 meters) between staff, visitors, customers or members of the public.

There is so much information on this particular topic, however, below are some points which I believe most stood out to me:

1. Personal Protective Equipment
  • To be honest, most construction workers are unlikely to need more PPE beyond what they already use. What I mean is that the PPE that they should already have to have is a hard hat, gloves, safety glasses, and a face mask. Since Covid-19, the PPE required may now include eye protection, gloves, and/or face shields.
2. Transportation
  • Washing your hands before and after using public transport. Also washing your hands and sanitizing as soon as you get home. All persons should ensure that their hands are sanitized before and after, entering and existing any vehicle.
  • The use of individual transport is much preferred during this crisis. Where possible, workers should use their cars and drive alone rather than collective or make use of public transport. The employer can facilitate this and assist by ensuring there is a car park or open site available to all employees. If you think about it, even a rack for securely storing bicycles would also help. Heck if you live close enough and are fit do to so, then walk to work.
  • The contractor or health & safety consultant should note and assess the number of workers being transported. A log should be kept and the consultant can also implement measures to ensure that social distancing between persons is adhered to.
  • Work buses or work transport should have space where people can sit apart from each other (adhering to social distancing) and the vehicle should be well-ventilated. Masks are to be worn in both public transport & employer transport/buses.
  • Visitors to the construction site should be discouraged to visit. Should there be a delivery of any sort, drivers should try to remain in their vehicles while being screened and provided with hand sanitizer. When goods are being delivered, it is suggested to do so through pick-up or delivery outside of the construction site. It’s not often, but delivery workers could also be allowed to use facilities such as toilets and cafeterias onsite, and these should be sanitized and cleaned thoroughly at all times.
  • Transportation of staff:
    • Vehicles being used to transport workers or being used on site are to be thoroughly disinfected each time before and after boarding
    • Each person onsite is to be screened and have their temperature taken twice daily. A log of the everyone’s details, temperatures, times and dates as well as those of visitors to the site will need to be kept.
    • Stickers or markings on the ground should be placed around the site to ensure social distancing.
    • Wearing of masks is mandatory
    • The appointed Covid19 officer on site would need to monitor staff as they disembark from any transport vehicle to make sure social distancing and sanitizing are done.

3. Site access & workspace

Contractors have specific responsibilities for health and safety and must coordinate all activities of workers & sub-contractors. They are responsible for ensuring the health and safety of everyone and would do so by implementing policies and procedures as well as providing workers with instructions, training and supervision.

It is recommended that a Covid-19 safety co-ordinator or officer be appointed at each site and that everyone is familiar with that person. This officer will ensure compliance with Covid19 regulations and safeguard against infection as well as be able to provide answers to any questions persons may have.

  • Covid-19 compliance procedures are to be included in the contractors existing safety manuals onsite.
  • Site safety manuals should highlight where Covid19 safety procedures are difficult to adhere to, depending on the nature of work. (eg: shared fall protection ropes, tools and equipment that could be potential transmission points)
  • Covid19 signage and posters in all languages necessary should be installed onsite. Especially in high traffic areas such as entries, exits, hallways, meeting points, material docks, canteens and changing rooms.
  • Adopt staggered work schedules – alternating workdays or extra shifts, to reduce the total number of employees on a job site at any given time and to ensure physical distancing.
  • Ensure clean toilet and handwashing facilities. Clean and disinfect portable site toilets regularly. Fill hand sanitizer dispensers regularly. Disinfect frequently touched items such as door handles, soap dispensers, taps and toilet seats.
4. Lunchrooms / Eating Area
  • Stagger lunch hours to reduce the number of staff in the breakroom at one time.
  • Food should be consumed at designated areas only. When you are eating, your mask is off and the risk of infection may be greater. Social and safe distancing still applies.
  • As said before, signage should be in the lunch area creating Covid19 awareness or simply just reminding everyone to wash your hands and wear your mask. Remember this is sort of “new” to us, and its human nature to forget to wear your mask sometimes. 6 months of it and I’m still not 100% used to it, but we have to be. I appreciate the signs and reminders.
  • Seating arrangements now needs be modified to include social distancing.
  • Tables, chairs, microwaves, utensils and any other equipment or surfaces need to be disinfected before and after every use. Where possible, encourage staff to bring their cutlery and crockery and to keep this at their desk or in their locker.

5. Staircases
  • One-way walking on the staircase should be implemented. Basically, have people keep left at all times. This is to avoid social distancing being compromised.
  • The handrail needs to be regularly disinfected and should you use this you need to sanitise before and after use. Staff shouldn’t touch anything.

6. Site Offices
  • Again, Covid19 signage needs to be up at the site office as well as “Restricted Access” so that they know there is a limit to the number of people allowed in that area.
  • Sinks need to be installed with hand sanitizer available for staff and visitors
  • A checklist of commonly used items should be drawn up and those need to be wiped and clean periodically (such as doorknobs, chairs, desks, stationery). The construction safety officer is to ensure this is complied with.

7. Site Sanitation Measures
  • Provide hand sanitizers/handwash and sinks with clean running water.
  • Provide paper towels instead of hand towels. This you can throw away after use, instead of all using the same, dirty hand towel.
  • Provide foot-operated/foot pedal rubbish bins in all bathrooms and site offices.
  • Limit the number of persons allowed to make use of the toilet facilities at any one time. Have a visible sign with the maximum capacity allowed.
  • Toilet facilities and fixtures are to be disinfected by cleaning staff regularly.

8. Material Management

1. Unloading and loading zones should be clearly marked and also have limited access.

2. Any vehicle entering or exiting the premises is to be disinfected. Especially machinery or vehicles used by multiple persons.

3. Documents are to be reviewed and validated in digital formats where possible. If you can fill in contracts or documents online then do so. This is to avoid the physical exchange of paperwork and avoid the spread of the virus.

4. Any delivery that is unloaded should be disinfected before storage at the site.

9. Training & Awareness is to be provided to all employees on the following:

  • Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and the need to report any safety and health concerns
  • All policies and procedures are to be followed
  • Hygiene and social distancing
  • Avoiding physical contact with others and maintaining a distance
  • Appropriate cleaning practice
  • The proper way to cover coughs and sneezes
  • Alternatives to shaking hands upon entry
  • Not touching your face, or anyone else’s
  • Decontamination, removal and disposal of any PPE being used
  • The importance and seriousness of staying at home if you are sick.
  • Wearing a mask, always
  • Any members who have been in isolation, quarantine or had been diagnosed with COVID-19 should be physically separated from any other members of the team. Be it in a different room or on a different part of the site. You can even use closed doors or walls as physical barriers to separate workers.
10. Reporting
  • A team which includes a safety officer could be put together to form a Covid19 response unit onsite. This team can then plan, co-ordinate and provide information to others. They would be involved in decision making and co-ordination with other companies and stakeholders.
  • Daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly reports should now include Covid19 stats. This means Covid19 safety compliance as well as staff screening. The number of workers being screened, their locations and any workers suspected of symptoms.
  • Site safety procedures are to be updated and managed.
  • Documents, including training logs, should be kept and readily available.
  • A three strike policy could be implemented for those who are non-compliant. In the same breath, you can implement a rewards program for those who have done well and adhered to the rules.
  • Meetings. Keep in-person meetings as short as possible and limit the number of workers in attendance. Limit this to less than 15 minutes and use social distancing practices. No more than 50 persons gathered in the same area. If you have to, rather consider holding on-site meetings in open spaces or outside. Another alternative is having staff or team meetings online.

11. Engineering Controls

  • Plastic sheets can be used as barriers
  • Special attention needs to be given to those “High Risk” employees as well as those with family members who are at high risk.
12. Use of Technology
  • Thermal imaging scanners can be used for easy temperature screening of groups of staff.
  • Digital scanners (instead of biometrics) can be used for recording staff attendance.
  • Drones. I’ve even heard people go as far as to use drones to spray disinfectant on-site areas.
  • Spray booths or disinfectant walk-through booths are also used at the entrance to the site.
  • Occupancy of rooms or common areas can be displayed and viewed.
  • Covid19 mobile compliance app which includes chat-bots in multiple languages, are very helpful and should be introduced to employees.
  • A control centre should be set up where you can use remote camera technology to track those who arrive to and leave the site.

13. Mental health

We need to be aware that Covid19 not only affects our physical health, but our mental health as well.

  • We need to assist those who are suffering from anxiety or stress and support should be in place for those persons.
  • This is also a time of uncertainty and many will need advice, support or just someone to talk to.

Additional important points
  • Never mix any of the solutions or different types of disinfectants (e.g ammonia with bleach). Hazardous vapours will be released and can be very toxic.
  • As hand sanitizers result in dehydration, we need to moisturise hands regularly.
  • If any of the staff members develop skin rash or irritation after using disinfectants or the hand sanitizers, they are to inform occupational health practitioner/specialist immediately. They can then establish what the cause is and recommend another brand or type of sanitizer or disinfectant to be used.

.

Sources
Osha
Oshwiki
CIDB
Hseni
Lexology
Ehs Today Construction
Ehs Today Webinar
Hsa
CDC
Ontario
SA Builder
KPMG
PBC Today


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About Michelle Hosford

I started my journey at Leads 2 Business in the Directory Department in 2012. I was then promoted to the Private Projects department in 2014 and have been working as the Regional Gauteng content researcher ever since.

Leads 2 Business Weekly Quote

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This week’s mindfulness quote encouraging you to appreciate all your days is from Anjali Sharma.


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About Marlaine Andersen

I have been working for Leads 2 Business, in the Private Projects Department, for 10 years this July. I am Deputy HoD for Private Projects. Researching mining projects and projects through-out the African continent are my areas of research and I find them most interesting.

OPINION: SA Construction Industry during COVID-19

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An opinion piece on Construction in South Africa during Covid

26 March 2020, the day that everything changed. Hard lock-down. The entire country sequestered to their homes and not permitted to leave, it was called Lock-down Level 5. The ramifications of this decision will still be felt by everyone in all industries and walks of life for a long long time. We were entering the unknown, fearful of everything and everyone and if you listened to the various news broadcasters masquerading as prophets of doom and gloom, the world as we knew it had come to end, normal did not exist any more and life would never ever be the same again. I eventually made the conscious decision to change the TV channel from any and all news broadcasts and limited myself to one broadcast of news per day, this was for my own sanity as the bombarding of constant fear-mongering was powerfully eroding away at me. But this unknown scary time was going to be for 21 days, I would survive. Oh, how little did I know…..

But not all was doom and gloom, I was going to work remotely. I had subscribers that were depending on me to obtain information that was not readily available, they needed this information to assist in their business, they needed to keep their business going which in turn keeps our business going, it seems like an endless circle, but actually makes sense. Gosh, information was very scarce initially, no one knew what was happening (and if they did they did not want to say anything because who knew what tomorrow would bring…) Town planning and environmental notices (where we get a lot of our very new projects) “dried up” and no new notices were being posted, new tenders being published dwindled down to almost nothing, in fact, I noted that most of the tenders that were still going out were for various Eskom entities that needed repairs, Eskom’s procurement department was still hard at work. It was very slow going in the beginning, could not contact professionals, some were on leave, some did not have mobile numbers.

21 days came and went and lock-down continued. Come 1 May 2020 and the country moved down to level 4, this meant a slightly different set of rules, we still could not leave our homes unless it was an essential service, but we could exercise within a 5km radius of our homes between 6am and 9am. It was still dark at 6am and dangerous to leave your home but that didn’t worry me, I am not an exercise person anyway! But I digress, back to work….looks like some construction could start again, essential infrastructure projects and repairs but still the tenders had not really picked up as most of the municipalities remain closed, and they are the ones that put out the tenders according to their budgets…. Great excitement….we are moving to level 3 on 1 June 2020..hooray…many more sectors can open up and construction will definitely pick up now, slowly and surely tenders starting picking up and there was much speculation about all the field hospitals that were being planned (these projects were shrouded in secrecy and very little information was being released) but we persevered and were diligent in our research and managed to add 13 of these Covid 19 hospital projects to our database. Half of the office was still working remotely and the other half were coming to the office under strict hygiene and sanitising conditions. The joy of sitting at my desk, with the familiar all around me was soothing to the soul, maybe, just maybe things are going to be okay, no wait, I know they going to be okay, it might be different, it might be hard but it will be okay. I felt the construction industry was starting to look up and gain a little traction, majority of the projects in various sectors that were under construction when the lock-down was announced were prepping their sites and educating their staff on how to take precautions so that construction could recommence in earnest. Our L2Q department started getting new bills from contractors that required coding and pricing, there was a definite movement in the industry.

Level 2 was the next stage and that momentous day was 18 August 2020, 145 days since the National Lock-down was implemented. Additional industries have been permitted to start again and the number of tenders has increased, in all the different trades that we capture. Even though life might not be the same and the old normal has evolved into a new normal with a face mask and copious amount of sanitiser, there are signs of the Private Construction Sector is moving ahead and the larger privately funded projects are being awarded and construction is starting, new developments are being marketed and researching for updated information is moving at an increased pace.

We entered Level 1 on 21 September 2020 and there has been a substantial increase in public tenders as well as the progress and movement in privately funded projects.

Even though the effects on the construction industry and economy in the whole will likely have long term consequences Leads 2 Business will strive to continue sourcing viable and beneficial information for our subscribers as we did through the entire lock-down.


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About Debbie Wessels

Juggling a energetic, full of surprises life, working full time with two teenagers and hoping to still be sane and normal by the time I retire.

Interesting Facts about North West

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General:

North West which was created in 1994, and takes up 9% of the total land in South Africa. North West is divided into 4 district municipalities, which in turn are divided into 18 local municipalities. North West consists of 24 cities and towns. Agriculture and mining production plays an essential role in boosting the economy in South Africa, providing main products such as diamonds, gold, platinum, sunflower seeds, maize and beef.

Mining:

North West is known as the Platinum Province as most of the world’s platinum comes from its Merensky Reef, which is a layer of igneous rock. The mining in North West is the pillar of its economy and generates more than half of the province’s gross domestic product. The primary minerals are gold, uranium, platinum, and diamonds. Interesting enough in Licthenburg, a town in the North West, was the richest public diggings in the world from 1925 – 1935, where the biggest pure red flawless diamond was found in 1927.

Tallest building:

The tallest building in the North West Province is the Rustenburg City Council building, which is 8 floors above ground and that is excluding the basement

Largest Mall:

The largest mall in the North West is situated in Klerksdorp. The Matlosana Mall is a first-super regional shopping centre at 65,000sqm.

What to do in North West:

North West offers breathtaking scenes of rolling fields and African bushveld and has a big selection of activities to do, especially if you have an adventurous spirit. With a selection of wildlife destinations, visiting World Heritage Sites and enjoying adventure activities, there is definitely something to do for everyone. The most famous place to be in North West is definitely Sun City, offering anything and everything from golfing to safari and wildlife, from Zip lining to Drift Trikes, from lazing in the sun to enjoying the Valley of the Waves to an extravagant nightlife filled with entertainment and that is not even the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to do at Sun City. History was absolutely made when Sun City opened in 1979. It has become the best holiday resort in South Africa. North West also offers a paradise for any hiker or climber at the Magaliesburg mountain range, offering deep ravines and waterfalls.

North West has so much more to offer to anyone who visits this beautiful province.

Sources:
Britannica
Wikipedia
Business Insider


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About Nadine Vermeulen

I started working at Leads 2 Business in October 2014 in the Leads 2 Quotes Department. I managed all the Daily Tender Bill Requests and followed up on BoQ's for our Daily Tender Subscribers. In 2017, I was promoted to L2Q Assistant and now work with Bill of Quantities for Contractors. 🙂

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