Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The big risks for the construction sector

Lucas Fettes has produced a new infographic highlighting the key risks in the construction sector. These include workplace issues, emerging risks and accidents, injuries and illness.

Find out more at http://www.lucasfettes.co.uk/big-risks-construction-sector/.

Construction Safety Week (Ireland)

The Construction Safety Partnership Advisory Committee launched Construction Safety Week today. The week will commence on September 12th and will see a series of week-long initiatives run across construction sites and offices nationally. The aim is to help construction companies establish a safety mindset amongst their employees. This will ultimately reduce workplace accidents and maximise the safety and well-being of their employees. 

Further information is available here

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Latest RiMaCon secondments underway in Czech Republic

Craig Smith and Neil Smith (Computors UK) have both begun their latest secondments to the University of West Bohemia in Czech Republic. They will be staying for 2 weeks and 4 weeks respectively. 

The focus of their secondments will be to continue progressing work package 4 (development of the prototype risk management system), focusing on details such as implementing objective weights, KRI sorting and beginning the process of integrating DB data into the R algorithm. 

Craig and Neil will provide end of secondment reports at the end of their visit.

COSME: Europe's Programme for SMEs

Cosme is the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs, running from 2014 to 2020, with a budget of €2.3 billion. COSME will support SMEs in the following areas:

  • Facilitating access to finance
  • Supporting internationalisation and access to markets
  • Creating an environment favourable to competitiveness
  • Encouraging an entrepreneurial culture

Further information is available at http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/cosme/.



Small construction firms most impacted by “bad debt”

Business Advice say that "bad debt" currently affects more than a quarter of the UK's small businesses, according to the latest statistics. Non-payment of invoices by customers - known as "bad debt" - has resulted in 27% of companies across all sectors writing money off in the last 12 months, with the transport and construction sectors particularly badly affected.

Over half of construction bosses start their careers as an apprentice

Training Journal report how nearly 60% of SME construction owners started their career as an apprentice, according to a study from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). The report also says that 98% of construction SMEs value an apprenticeship over a degree when looking for new staff. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

ISO 31000 - Risk Management

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) launched a handbook to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) better manage potential risks.The new publication, titled “ISO 31000 – Risk management” aims at helping SMEs improve the identification of opportunities and threats, and effectively allocate resources for risk treatment.




Thursday, August 25, 2016

Why late payment hits the construction sector hardest

An article in Smallbusiness.co.uk describes how delays in paying contractors puts jobs at risk all along the supply chain, with the construction sector which includes many SMEs particularly vulnerable.

The Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) says that slow payments of bills is a major reason why the construction sector has such a high number of insolvencies.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Can support for construction SMEs in the UK help meet demand for housing?

An article in The Telegraph (UK) suggests that a "help to build" policy for construction SMEs would help raise the level of house building to the levels required in the UK. The article, based on a report produced by Capital Economics and Shelter suggests that the Government would be 226,000 homes behind the target it set to build one million new homes by the end of parliament in 2020.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Adopting risk management software in 5 key steps

freshbusinessthinking.com describe how risk management software can be a powerful tool to help SMEs deliver projects efficiently and effectively. They outline five areas to consider for SMEs looking at a risk management implementation:

  1. Understand the risk
  2. Have a plan
  3. Engage at all levels
  4. Track and communicate 
  5. Lead by example

View the full article at

Is Your Construction Site a Pokémon Go PokéStop?

Construction Executive have written a topical piece on the risk of the Pokémon Go phenomenon to construction sites, as well as some tips on how to minimise the risks.

Leading entrepreneur Emma Jones appointed as new Small Business Crown Representative (UK)

GOV.UK report how Emma Jones MBE has been appointed to help more small businesses in the UK bid for and win government contracts.

This supports the UK government's manifesto commitment to spend £1 in every £3 with SMEs by 2020.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Builders fear impact of deteriorating exchange rates (UK)

The Construction Index (UK) reports that there appears to be mounting fear in the UK construction industry about the impact of the weak pound on building costs, with two-thirds of construction SME bosses predicting material price inflation.

Upcoming RiMaCon secondments

One of the key features of the RiMaCon project is the transfer of knowledge (ToK) between commercial and non-commercial partners. This ToK takes place by employees of one organisation in the consortium going on secondment to another organisation within the consortium in order to share knowledge and progress work.

Craig Smith and Neil Smith from Computors (UK) will shortly be travelling to the University of West Bohemia (CZ) to undertake secondments with the aim of progressing work on work package 4. Craig will stay for a period of 2 weeks, Neil for 4 weeks. 

Nengi Odimabo from the University of Wolverhampton (UK) will be travelling to Vettorazzo Construzioni (IT) in September for 2 weeks to begin work on work package 5, and Jiri Tupa from the University of West Bohemia (CZ) will also travel to Vettorazzo at the end of September for a period of 2 weeks. 


RiMaCon researcher to attend ESREL 2016 conference in Glasgow

RiMaCon experienced researcher, Alexios Tamparopoulos will be attending the upcoming European Safety and Reliability (ESREL) conference in Glasgow between 25-29 September. ESREL brings together researchers and practitioners in safety, reliability, risk, resilience and asset management to look at new approaches to deal with challenges faced across all industry sectors.


Alexios will also be presenting a paper at the conference titled Towards a Risk Management Prototype for SMEs in the Construction Sector.

Visit http://esrel2016.org/ for further information.

New poll claims the skills shortage is crippling the construction industry

City A.M Limited (UK) report that the skills shortage in the construction sector is at "breaking point" according to a new survey of project managers and contractors.

Read the full article at http://www.cityam.com/247952/new-poll-claims-skills-shortage-crippling-construction

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Welcome to the new RiMaCon website

Welcome to the website for the EU funded RiMaCon project. The project began in April 2013 and will run for four years. The project coordinator is the University of Wolverhampton (UK) with commercial and non-commercial partners University of West Bohemia (CZ), Computors Ltd (UK) and Vettorazzo Construzioni (IT).

The aim of the project is to develop a cost-effective, user friend, risk management prototype system for use by SMEs in the construction sector. The intention is that the prototype system will evaluate, monitor and review both imminent and impending risks with a view to eliminating or minimising their impact.

More information about the project, work packages, consortium and research outputs can be found on the associated tabs. This website is currently under development and will be updated in due course.