Thu, Dec 05, 2019 09:06 EST
PRESS CONTACTS: Thomas Renner Melissa LoParco Catalyst Marketing Communications, Inc. (203) 348-7541 Elaborate Utility Plant at VA Hospital Includes BILCO Doors Floor Access Doo rs Allow Access to Mechanical Equipment at Edward Hines Jr. Hospital NEW HAVEN, CT/ Dec ember 5 , 2019 - A new central utility plant recently started operation at a Chicago-area Veterans Administration Hospita l , ending a 10-year process that required more than 240 drawings. The project at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital include s 15 floor access doors manufactured by The BILCO Company. The doors allow access to vaults for controls of mechanical equipment. The hospital, which originally opened in 1921, was in dire need to replace a boiler plant that was nearly a century old. An 8 0-year-old 12-inch trans mission main feeding the existing plan was among the units that were failing. Architects started design on a new boiler plant in 2009, but flooding in 2010 of the Des Plaines River took out the existing boiler plant and exposed a m ajor flaw in building a boiler plant below grad e . The flooded plant was drained and existing systems repaired to allow the campus to r emain operational until a new plant could be designed and constructed. After years of design, government-requested cost- saving changes and 242 drawings subm itted by a rchitects, work on the new plant started in 2016. The scope of the project included the installation of four new boilers, an emergency diesel generator, and the construction of an underground steam distribution system. "We worked with the design team and needed to install all new equipment, " said Mike Deis, the senior project manager for The Walsh Group, the general contractor for th e project. "Some of the buildings had deteriorated during the flood. The dist r i bution system was directly buried, and was not enclosed in a concre te tunnel. All the tunnels needed to be replaced for the steam system on the campus." Mechanical Inc. of Freep ort, Illinois installed the mechanical products. Due to the complexity of the p roject on the 147-acre campus, the VA employed the U.S. Army Corps of E ngineers to assist with construction . BILCO floor doors used in the project are frequently found in exteri or applications where there is a concern of liquids entering the access openi n g . The doors include a channel frame, aluminum frame and engineered lift assistance for one-hand operation. Illinois Construction Specialties procured the doors for Walsh. Worke rs ascend and descend on ladders equipped with 15 LadderUP ® safety posts, als o manufactured by BILCO. The safety posts feature a telescoping desig n that is spring balanced for easy operation and includes adjustable mounting hardware that accommodates virtu ally any ladder rung size or spacing. "We do quite a bit of work with BILCO f o r this application, especially in maintaining a fire rating o r if t here is a tank underground, " Deis said. "They service the entire country, and we do work all across the count ry. We know that we can count on them to service this product." The new cent ra l utility plant was completed in the spring of 2019. The switch from the existing system to the new system took several months to execute. Demolition of the previous system began in the fall. The hospital recorded more than 850,000 patient visit s during th e fiscal year in 2017, providing care to more than 57,000 veterans from th ree counties in the area. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2013 and is named after the son of Chicago lumber magnate Edward Hines, who purchased the pro pe r t y in 1917. Edward Hines Jr. died while serving on the front lines in Fra nce during the opening months of World War I. The hospital was the first VA hospital to be named after a perso n. ### For more information about commercial products from The BILCO C om p a ny, contact them at 1-800-366-6 530. About BILCO For over 90 years, The BILCO Company has been a building industry pioneer in the design and development of specialty access produc ts. Over these years, the company has built a reputation among architects , a n d engineers for products that a re unequaled in design and workmanship. BILCO - an ISO 9001 certified company - offers a line of roof hatches, automatic fire vents, floor access do ors, natural ventilation products, smoke and fire curtains, and a complet e l i ne of residential access produc ts. BILCO is a wholly owned subsidiary of AmesburyTruth, a division of Tyman Plc. For more information, visit ww w.bilco.com . About AmesburyTruth™ AmesburyTruth™ is a leading manufact ur e r of window and door extrusions, hardware, and sealing systems, which are used by leading window and door manufacturers throughout North America, for both residential and commercia l markets. Based in Edina, Minnesota, the company has facilities througho ut N orth America. The company is a subsidiary of Tyman Plc. (London Stock Exchange: TYMN). Tyman Plc, headquartered in London, is a leading international supplier of components to the window and door industry. Visit www.amesburytruth.com . Keep up with the latest news from The BILCO Company by following us on Facebook and LinkedIn . Pictures of the project are attached and can also be accessed at this link: https://app.box.com/s/tixzo42y2fq38a8ziyq0yg01zoxscj18 Please c redit the photos to James Keller
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 09:00 EST
PRESS CONTACTS: Thomas Renner Melissa LoParco Catalyst Marketing Communications, Inc. (203) 348-7541 Elaborate Utility Plant at VA Hospital Includes BILCO Doors Floor Access Doors Allow Access to Mechanical Equipment at Edward Hines Jr. Hospital NEW HAVEN, CT/December 5, 2019 - A new central utility plant recently started operation at a Chicago-area Veterans Administration Hospital, ending a 10-year process that required more than 240 drawings. The project at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital includes 15 floor access doors manufactured by The BILCO Company. The doors allow access to vaults for controls of mechanical equipment. The hospital, which originally opened in 1921, was in dire need to replace a boiler plant that was nearly a century old. An 80-year-old 12-inch transmission main feeding the existing plan was among the units that were failing. Architects started design on a new boiler plant in 2009, but flooding in 2010 of the Des Plaines River took out the existing boiler plant and exposed a major flaw in building a boiler plant below grade. The flooded plant was drained and existing systems repaired to allow the campus to remain operational until a new plant could be designed and constructed. After years of design, government-requested cost-saving changes and 242 drawings submitted by architects, work on the new plant started in 2016. The scope of the project included the installation of four new boilers, an emergency diesel generator, and the construction of an underground steam distribution system. "We worked with the design team and needed to install all new equipment," said Mike Deis, the senior project manager for The Walsh Group, the general contractor for the project. "Some of the buildings had deteriorated during the flood. The distribution system was directly buried, and was not enclosed in a concrete tunnel. All the tunnels needed to be replaced for the steam system on the campus." Mechanical Inc. of Freeport, Illinois installed the mechanical products. Due to the complexity of the project on the 147-acre campus, the VA employed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist with construction. BILCO floor doors used in the project are frequently found in exterior applications where there is a concern of liquids entering the access opening. The doors include a channel frame, aluminum frame and engineered lift assistance for one-hand operation. Illinois Construction Specialties procured the doors for Walsh. Workers ascend and descend on ladders equipped with 15 LadderUP® safety posts, also manufactured by BILCO. The safety posts feature a telescoping design that is spring balanced for easy operation and includes adjustable mounting hardware that accommodates virtually any ladder rung size or spacing. "We do quite a bit of work with BILCO for this application, especially in maintaining a fire rating or if there is a tank underground," Deis said. "They service the entire country, and we do work all across the country. We know that we can count on them to service this product." The new central utility plant was completed in the spring of 2019. The switch from the existing system to the new system took several months to execute. Demolition of the previous system began in the fall. The hospital recorded more than 850,000 patient visits during the fiscal year in 2017, providing care to more than 57,000 veterans from three counties in the area. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2013 and is named after the son of Chicago lumber magnate Edward Hines, who purchased the property in 1917. Edward Hines Jr. died while serving on the front lines in France during the opening months of World War I. The hospital was the first VA hospital to be named after a person. ### For more information about commercial products from The BILCO Company, contact them at 1-800-366-6530. About BILCO For over 90 years, The BILCO Company has been a building industry pioneer in the design and development of specialty access products. Over these years, the company has built a reputation among architects, and engineers for products that are unequaled in design and workmanship. BILCO - an ISO 9001 certified company - offers a line of roof hatches, automatic fire vents, floor access doors, natural ventilation products, smoke and fire curtains, and a complete line of residential access products. BILCO is a wholly owned subsidiary of AmesburyTruth, a division of Tyman Plc. For more information, visit www.bilco.com . About AmesburyTruth™ AmesburyTruth™ is a leading manufacturer of window and door extrusions, hardware, and sealing systems, which are used by leading window and door manufacturers throughout North America, for both residential and commercial markets. Based in Edina, Minnesota, the company has facilities throughout North America. The company is a subsidiary of Tyman Plc. (London Stock Exchange: TYMN). Tyman Plc, headquartered in London, is a leading international supplier of components to the window and door industry. Visit www.amesburytruth.com . Keep up with the latest news from The BILCO Company by following us on Facebook and LinkedIn . Pictures of the project are attached and can also be accessed at this link: https://app.box.com/s/tixzo42y2fq38a8ziyq0yg01zoxscj18 Please credit the photos to James Keller
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 07:39 EST
Scientists have tested a new way to protect crops from a widespread and devastating bacterial disease, without using environmentally damaging chemical sprays. An interdisciplinary team at the University of Glasgow have revealed a new method that could protect many important crop species against the common crop bacteria Pseudomonas syringae ( Ps ). Ps and related bacterial species attack a wide variety of important crops in the UK and worldwide, including tomato, kiwifruit, peppers, olive, soybean and fruit trees, causing huge economic losses. Plant diseases are responsible for the loss of about 15% of world crops (worth $150 bn annually), of which a third is caused by bacteria such as Ps . The Ps species complex consists of over 50 known variants, which are responsible for diseases like blight, spot and bacterial speck. Once the bacteria infect part of a crop, the disease can spread rapidly because of the lack of genetic diversity in commercial crop varieties. Using genetic modification, the team were able to make plants express a targeted protein antibiotic, or bacteriocin. These plants then successfully fought off the bacterial infection without any damage to the plants themselves or the surrounding environment. The team, from the labs of Dr Joel Milner of the Plant Science Group and Professor Daniel Walker from Bacteriology, are presenting their findings today in the Plant Biotechnology Journal . Currently, chemicals, conventional antibiotics and resistance genes introduced by plant breeding are used to protect plants against these bacteria, but they have limited success and often have adverse environmental impacts. With increased regulatory pressure on the use of chemical treatments and the risk of spreading resistance associated with conventional antibiotics, there is a pressing need to develop alternative strategies to combat bacterial disease in crops. The team focused on a bacteriocin, putidacin L1, which is produced by a harmless soil-living relative of the disease-causing strains of Ps . They were able to express it in test plants and found it guarded against diverse types of Ps bacteria. In order to do this, the team genetically modified plants to produce the bacteriocin throughout their life - the first time this modification has been trialled in plants. Dr Joel Milner said: "Our results provide proof-of-principle that the expression of a bacteriocin in plants can provide effective resistance against bacterial disease. Unlike conventional antibiotics, bacteriocins are highly targeted; in this case they act only against the Ps strains that infect plants. By using bacteriocins we avoid the risks associated with conventional antibiotics; that resistance will spread indiscriminately to other bacteria. In fact, by replacing conventional antibiotics, we take away an important driver of resistance that could even spread to human bacterial pathogens." "Now we know that expression of bacteriocins in crops can offer an effective strategy for managing bacterial disease, we are undertaking research to fully realize the potential of this novel method." Lead co-author Dr Will Rooney said: "All major bacterial species produce bacteriocins, so we should be able to use our research as a blueprint to tackle a wide variety of important bacterial diseases in crops like potato, rice and a variety of fruits." The University of Glasgow is actively exploring the commercial potential by identifying prospective industrial partners to help exploit the technology and has filed patent applications to protect the IP. The study, 'Engineering bacteriocin-mediated resistance against the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae' is published in the Plant Biotechnology Journal. The work was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Wellcome. The full study can be found here https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/pbi.13294 .
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 07:35 EST
Don-Bur, a leading manufacturer of commercial vehicle trailers and rigid bodywork, has completed a major upgrade of its manufacturing capabilities that includes the acquisition of a STOPA autonomous raw material and parts management system complete with high-specification 8kW TruLaser 5030 fiber laser profiling centre from TRUMPF. Replacing two previous CO 2 laser cutters from another manufacturer, the company estimates that its new investment is an impressive seven times faster. Two advanced TRUMPF TruBend bending machines have also arrived at the company's Stoke facility. The name 'Don-Bur' derives from the name of company founder Donald Burton and was first applied in 1981 following a management buy-out. Back then, the company was located on a 4-acre site with just 70 members of staff. Today, still based in Stoke, the Don-Bur group of companies has six divisions, generating an annual turnover of circa £50 million. Don-Bur now covers some 18 acres, much of which has been developed into covered manufacturing and assembly bays. Around 500 staff are responsible for a production rate of about 1,500 units per annum, covering anything from 7.5 tonne rigid bodywork to complex hydraulic moving-deck trailers. "We pride ourselves on operating at the high end of the market, giving customers exactly what they require in terms of height, length and special features," explains Simon Allerton, Manufacturing and Engineering Project Manager. "We make some standard trailers but most are bespoke, high-quality units for UK-wide blue chip customers. Such is our current order book that we're looking to increase the workforce by around 100 in the coming 12 months." Until recently, the company ran two CO 2 laser cutters in-house, supported by some external subcontract resources. "This situation was OK, but ultimately the CO 2 machines were not quick enough to keep up with the growth of our business," says Mr Allerton. "As 99% of our work is mild steel, we knew that moving to fibre-laser technology would give us a huge boost in productivity." Mr Allerton and his team thus set about reviewing the market for a suitable machine, a process that led to the installation of a high-specification TRUMPF TruLaser 5030 fiber laser in February 2019. The TruLaser 5030 fiber arrived as part of a £4 million investment in new plant, software and training to produce a range of products, including curtainsider and box van trailers, together with a pallet-network design double deck trailer. The move supports a targeted increase in turnover of £20 million per annum. Current turnover stands at around £53 million. At the core of the investment is a £1 million STOPA autonomous raw material and parts management hub: a large pallet racking space with room to store 15,795 m 2 (4 acres) of sheet steel. Measuring 25m long by 7m wide and 5m tall, the STOPA stock-handling modules are linked into a new ERP/TruTops Fab software suite which automatically dissolves 3D engineering models into full "bill of material" components. "The STOPA system recognises whether each individual component needs to be cut and pressed or, if not, exports the remainder as an internal order for miscellaneous parts," explains Mr Allerton. "It also anticipates production schedule requirements for laser cut sheeting, pressing, drilling and shot blasting, as well as issue orders for raw material when it believes stocks are running low." Ingeniously, the STOPA also manages 'scrap' material, storing away and reusing remnants of material wherever it can, to maximise yield. The only manual intervention required is to feed the system with raw material and collect prepared job-specific assembly kits. The STOPA system feeds to, and collects from, the TRUMPF TruLaser via synchronous loading platforms, meaning that the laser never has to halt and wait for more raw material as cut shapes are transferred. All in all, the system makes for exceptionally quick processing. Indeed, Mr Allerton says that the new TRUMPF TruLaser fiber "is some seven times faster than our previous CO 2 laser-cutting resources. The fibre optic beam cuts standard 3mm steel sheet at a staggering rate of 1.38m/s. Such is the speed of the machine that we're now processing around 1000 sheets a week. Needless to say, we've also managed to eliminate any previous requirement for subcontractors." Speed, however, is not the only benefit. For instance, the new laser can run with oxygen and nitrogen: oxygen to supplement the laser with an exothermic power boost, and nitrogen to shield the surface of the cut material from oxidisation. An additional jet of compressed air blasts hot material away from the cutting zone, maintaining clean and precise cuts. The 8kW TruLaser fiber 5030 at Don-Bur was specified with a number of TRUMPF smart options, including BrightLine, CoolLine, DetectLine, Drop and Cut, Collision Prevention and Dot Matrix Code. BrightLine technology, for instance, will cut a hole as small as 3mm diameter through 25mm stainless steel without clogging or melting the surrounding material. "The new nesting software and head placement technology is able to reduce a typical nest cut time [for a 3 x 1.5m sheet] from 21½ minutes to just 2½ minutes," says Mr Allerton. "The end result is the ability to process nine times more material with virtually no loading or unloading time. In addition, this is achieved using 70% less gas than our previous laser cutters." Also linked to the STOPA hub are two new TRUMPF TruBend bending machines to cater for the vast majority of Don-Bur's sub-assembly requirements. The machines include a TruBend 7036, an all-electric press brake with a bending length of 1,020mm and 36 tonne press force. Don-Bur makes use of TRUMPF TruTops Boost software to take programming into the office environment and deskill shop-floor operations. "This machine was acquired specifically for the rapid, repetitive processing of small parts," says Mr Allerton. "In addition, the servo drive turns over 60% more pressings and uses 30% less power. For ease and speed of switching from one pressing type to another, the machine illustrates each pressed part and process using an animated 3D model." The second bending machine is a TRUMPF TruBend 5230, which thanks to its 230 tonne press force and 4,230mm bending length, is ideal for larger parts. However, the machine only requires one operator as it is assisted by two front lift-assist robots. In addition, an advanced user interface boasts 3D augmented reality that overlays a 'correct' 3D part placement over a live video feed to ensure the user manipulates the material quickly and accurately. As a result, the system offers a 50% increase in production speed and virtually eliminates waste. The new TRUMPF machines at Don-Bur have been put to work producing a host of different components, including mild steel brackets for trailer bodies measuring from 2 to 20mm in thickness. All machines run 24 hours a day over a two-shift pattern. "We've also processed counterweight brackets from 25mm thick mild steel, which feature a series of 10mm holes," says Mr Allerton. "These parts were beyond the capability of our previous 4kW CO 2 laser cutters." Ultimately, the new manufacturing technology at Don-Bur allows the company to rapidly produce a range of "configured to order" product lines on short lead times, which is attractive to many general hauliers, rental companies and pallet network operators. "The machines have exceeded our expectations," concludes Mr Allerton. "Some weeks we've finished all of our contracted work by Thursday afternoon, which means we can start on next week's work and give ourselves some breathing space. We simply load up the STOPA system and away we go." Such is the pace of growth at Don-Bur that the company is now considering expanding its plant by levelling off an adjoining six-acre site, which is currently unused. -ENDS-
British Fur Trade Association Launches Slow Fashion and Natural Products Manifesto: Next Government Must Fix Fast Fashion Crisis
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 07:14 EST
A week before voters go to the polls, parties are being urged to commit to a five-point plan to tackle fast fashion, actively encourage the use of natural, sustainable textiles, and convene a fashion crisis conference once in power. The Slow Fashion and Natural Products Manifesto sets out viable policies - including tax incentives, improved regulations, and new transparency measures - that, if enacted, would bring an immediate boost to businesses already creating, repairing, and remodelling natural, sustainable products and would incentivise others to adopt these biodegradable materials. They would also increase consumer confidence at a retail level with an improved, enhanced labelling scheme so that consumers can see exactly what they are buying and also understand the environmental impact of their purchases. Additionally, they would help the next Government meet its goal of playing a leading role in driving up animal welfare standards globally. The five-point plan calls on the next Government to: 1. Incentivise garment reuse, repair, and remodelling by removing VAT from those services 2. Spur the slow fashion revolution by halving VAT on garments made of more than 90% natural, sustainable textiles 3. Create a better post-Brexit labelling scheme that includes environmental impact and durability information 4. Introduce transparency obligations on businesses to educate the public on microfibre pollution, environmental impact, product end-of-life, and fossil-fuel derived textiles 5. Drive up animal welfare standards globally , embrace its status as an independent party to CITES, and recognise certification schemes such as Woolmark and FURMARK. The full Slow Fashion and Natural Products Manifesto can be read here and has been published by the British Fur Trade Association. Giles Roca, Chief Executive, British Fur Trade Association, said: "Fast fashion isn't in crisis - fast fashion is a crisis. The public rightly expect the next Government to support slow, circular fashion that uses natural, sustainable materials: the Slow Fashion and Natural Products Manifesto gives them five salient, viable policies to help them achieve their environmental ambitions. There are no quick fixes, but there is still time to embrace and encourage slow fashion."
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 06:57 EST
Unite, the UK and Ireland's union, is warning is that if shareholders vote in favour of a controversial sale of Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) to venture capitalists tomorrow (Friday 6 December) at an emergency general meeting, the workforce face becoming the latest victims of bandit capitalism. Under the controversial plans, Isle of Man based venture capitalists Douglas Bay Capital (DBay) are being recommended by ESL's board which will result in a purported £55 million cash injection in return for a 51 per cent controlling stake in the company. However, a report commissioned by Unite, by consulting service Syndex has revealed that rather than a cash injection of £55 million that as a result of fees and charges demanded by DBay and Stobart's lenders as little as £15 million will be pumped into the business in the medium term. In fact the cash injection will be considerably less than the £23.9 million extracted from the company in the form of a dividend payment to shareholders just a few months ago. A payment, which DBay, which already has a major shareholding did not oppose. In return ESL will be loaded down with debt making the company a prime candidate for being broken up and the profitable parts sold off. Unite has around a 1,000 members at ESL. Unite national officer for road transport Adrian Jones said: "The findings of the Syndex report are deeply disturbing. This deal provides no certainty beyond the very short term for the workforce who are set to be the latest victims of 'bandit capitalism'. "DBay is involved in an elaborate game of smoke and mirrors. DBay, and the management of ESL are claiming that Stobart is at risk of imminent collapse but no one can make their own view as the company has not published any data on its cash position since the publication of the 2018 annual results. "The DBay offer is clearly not as it seems and in reality a fraction of the £55 million that is being touted will be pumped into the business long term. "DBay's investment will be primarily used to pay back the current lenders, the costs of the transaction and Dbay's own fees. "In fact, in the mid-term, the net cash injection from DBay will be less than the money taken out of the business in dividends to shareholders earlier this year. A dividend payout that DBay as an existing major shareholder failed to oppose. "The lenders have never formally warned that a rejection of the proposed deal would result in foreclosure. "Unite fears that if the deal is approved it will not be in the long-term interests of the workforce. The levels of debts and increase in average costs of capital resulting from DBay's offer, will leave the company wide open to being sold off piece by piece in order to ensure DBay can record a rapid profit. "Unite is urging shareholders to delay a decision and to actively encourage other bids to come forward. There is no reason why a long-term solution which meets the needs of the company's workforce and customers cannot be achieved."
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 06:02 EST
Portable gas detection equipment needs to work faultlessly and in conjunction with safety best practice. Lives depend on it. But, faced with many daily demands on a safety manager's time, maintaining compliance across a fleet of equipment is a constant challenge. Matt DeLorenzo, Business Director for Safety io (an MSA Safety Company subsidiary), explains how the Grid Fleet Manager - software service for managing fleets of portable gas detectors - helps to ensure compliance through a proactive safety approach.
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 05:41 EST
The government recently announced that the deadline for the introduction of the domestic reverse charge for construction services has been delayed until 1st October 2020. Here, Jamie Russell from Perrys Chartered Accountants provides some background on what it means and whether it will affect your building firm. The reverse charge will mark a major change to the way VAT is collected across the construction industry. It means that the customer receiving the specified service has to pay the VAT to HMRC instead of the supplier, and the customer, in turn, then recovers the VAT under the normal rules. This may have the effect that some businesses become repayment traders, because they no longer pay the VAT on some of their sales to HMRC. The reverse charge applies to individuals or businesses which are registered for VAT in the UK and which supply or receive specified services reported under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS). Its aim is to assist in the identification and prosecution of perpetrators of VAT-related fraud in the industry. Both the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) and the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) had raised concerns about the 2019 deadline, citing research which found that it could lead to confusion and ultimately company insolvencies. Both organisations stated that many construction businesses were not ready to implement the changes, as well as facing the added complexities of preparing for Brexit, which was at the time of the decision still set for 31st October. In addition, a survey undertaken by the FMB showed that 69% of construction SMEs had not even heard of the new reverse charge. However, it's now essential that affected companies plan ahead for the 2020 deadline to ensure everything is in place. Company owners will need to: Check whether the reverse charge affects sales, purchases or both - HMRC has published a flowchart to help determine this Make sure accounting systems and software are updated to handle the change Consider whether the reverse charge will have cash flow implications Make sure any employees dealing with VAT accounting understand how the reverse charge will operate Review contracts with sub-contractors to see if the reverse charge will apply to services you receive from them
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 05:19 EST
MedRisk has published its 2019 Industry Trend Report on Physical Medicine in Workers' Compensation . The report examines recent changes, including relevant legislation, regulation and research. "The trend toward non-surgical treatment, fueled by recent conservative care studies and some states' 'PT-first' initiatives, continues to impact the industry," said MedRisk's Chief Clinical and Product Officer Mary O'Donoghue, noting that MedRisk's post-surgical physical therapy cases dropped by 26 percent over the last five years. The report also discusses NCCI's finding that the cost of physical therapy in workers' compensation is nearly three times higher than in group health. "While per-unit costs are slightly higher in comp, the vast majority of these costs come from utilization," O'Donoghue said. NCCI says that workers' compensation patients receive 50 percent more visits with 20 percent more modalities per visit than group health counterparts. "Physical therapy is prevalent and valuable in workers' compensation, helping patients recover functionality, avoid opioids, and safely return to work," O'Donoghue noted. "Yet there's a great need to carefully manage the quality and cost of care." MedRisk manages cases through evidence-based guidelines, patient education, initial consultations with a physical therapist, expert providers, PT-to-PT coaching, and clinical recommendations. The company saw a 25 percent decrease in duration of care between 2015 and 2018. "It's not about arbitrarily limiting visits; it's about clinical management, communication and technology that streamlines workflows," O'Donoghue stressed. The trend report can be accessed at https://www.medrisknet.com/industry-trends-report-2019/
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 05:18 EST
China's new industry standard for leather garments - QB/T 1615-2018 - was implemented on July 1, 2019, when the previous version was abolished. Launched by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, QB/T 1615-2018, covers all garments that are predominantly made of leather and which are not aimed at children aged 36 months or less. Compared to the 2006 iteration of the standard, QB/T 1615-2018 contains the following revisions: - Changes in four items: o Scope o Requirements for size and specification o Rules of quality grade classification o Assessment of lot - Additions of four items: o Requirements for leather raw materials o Requirements of physical and chemical properties for leather accessories and attachments o Requirements for textile, fur collar and fur accessories in test methods o Requirements of physical and chemical properties and test methods for leather, textile and fur in Annex B - Revisions on three items: o Wording of materials to be used o Sample size in routine inspection o Requirement for grading superior sample in single sample assessment In addition, the labelling of leather materials has been refined in this updated edition. QB/T 1615-2018 specifies the requirements for each of the materials - leather, textiles and fur. The requirements of physical and chemical properties for leather include: - Tear force - Colorfastness to rubbing - Odor - pH value and dilution ratio (when pH is less than 4.0) - Formaldehyde - Decomposable carcinogenic aromatic amines The requirements of physical and chemical properties for textiles include: - Fibre content - Colorfastness to rubbing - Odor - pH value - Formaldehyde - Decomposable carcinogenic aromatic amines The requirements of physical and chemical properties for fur include: - Colorfastness to rubbing - Odor - pH value and dilution ratio (when pH is less than 4.0) - Formaldehyde - Decomposable carcinogenic aromatic amines - Colorfastness to perspiration for fur collar - Colorfastness to light for fur collar SGS Softlines Services SGS has a worldwide network of over 40 state-of-the-art laboratories specializing in testing of apparel, footwear and home textiles. Their committed team is drawn from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, allowing them to carry out a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. SGS helps companies ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. Learn more about SGS's Softlines Services. [ www.sgs.com/softlines ] SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full China Updated Product Standard QB/T 1615-2018 SafeGuardS. [www.sgs.com/en/news/2019/11/safeguards-16819-china-updated-product-standard-qb-t-1615-2018-leather-garment] Subscribe here , www.sgs.com/subscribesg , to receive SGS SafeGuardS direct to your inbox. For further information contact: Louann Spirito US & Canada Softlines Business Head Tel: +1 973 461 7919 Email: email@example.com Website: www.sgs.com/softlines LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 05:13 EST
Cobham-based independent construction and property services business, Willmott Dixon has been placed as the UK's highest company in the FT's inaugural list of European leaders for workplace diversity and inclusion , coming 3rd out of 700 organisations ranked for their approach to inclusivity. The Cobham office, is one of three regional hubs that supports more than 260 members of staff across the London and South region of the business. That it offers staff the flexibility of working from any of these sites demonstrates the company's commitment in growing a sustainable workforce from local talent. The local employer came above a host of household names like Ikea, Google, Tesla and Rolls Royce. Willmott Dixon featured prominently in the FT's Diversity Leaders supplement which explores the growing importance placed by companies on ensure they provide a diverse and inclusive workplace, where individuals feel valued and able to contribute. The FT's Diversity Leaders 2020 were identified in an independent survey of more than 80,000 employees across the countries and sectors covered, which included surveying the performance of 10,000 privately held and publicly listed companies employing at least 250 people. This was backed by FT readers sharing their views and evaluating prominent employers, with Willmott Dixon scoring particularly high on ethnicity, gender and age. With the spotlight increasingly on companies to demonstrate how their activities affect society and communities, an important benchmark for this is how they treat their own people. That is why the FT list matters as a benchmark on business performance. It's the third major national accolade this year for Willmott Dixon, which was ranked 4th in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work for list and won a Queen's Award for Enterprise in the category of Sustainable Development, its second in this category. Roger Forsdyke, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon Construction, London & South, explained: "I was very proud to see Willmott Dixon representing both the construction industry and the UK in being a top five company in this pan-European list of diversity leaders. I strongly believe that successful companies are those that provide a diverse and inclusive environment where people feel challenged, contented and included within complementary teams. It is something embedded in our values. "The FT's survey shines a welcome spotlight on the business imperative of workplace diversity which will serve as an inspiration to us in how we continue to be a company where our people feel valued and a key part of our growth." The company has already made tacking the balance of gender in its workforce a huge priority, with a commitment to make it gender neutral by 2030 compared with the current 73/27 split between men and women. This is important as the industry is facing a skills shortage so broadening the talent pool available is fundamental to ensure a sustainable flow of future skills. Willmott Dixon was founded in 1852 and is behind local projects such as the WWF Headquarters, the Harris Academy Sutton and Kingston University Town House. It is also currently building the new Members' and Players' facilities for The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon. The company believes it has a purpose beyond profit and aims to leave a lasting positive legacy in the communities that it works. For further information on Willmott Dixon please visit www.willmottdixon.co.uk
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 04:35 EST
On November 1, 2019, the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology officially implemented a new industry standard for waterproof and water-vapor permeable clothing. The standard applies to apparel made from woven fabric that have properties that are: Waterproof Water-vapor permeable It does not, however, apply to clothing aimed at children aged 36 months or less. The new standard, FZ/T 81023-2019, includes test items for: Fibre content Formaldehyde pH value Odour Decomposable carcinogenic aromatic amines Perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) Dimensional change after laundering Colorfastness of shell fabric (colorfastness to washing with soap or soap and soda, colorfastness to water, colorfastness to perspiration, colorfastness to rubbing, colorfastness to light, colorfastness to transfer in joints) Colorfastness of lining (colorfastness to washing with soap or soap and soda, colorfastness to water, colorfastness to perspiration, colorfastness to rubbing) Seam properties (seam strength of trousers back rise, seam slippage) Tear strength Appearance quality after laundering Abrasion resistance Functional items (spray rating, hydrostatic pressure rating and water-vapour transmission rate) Stakeholders should be aware that garments that come under the scope of this standard and which are aimed at children, will also need to comply with GB 31701. SGS Softlines Services SGS has a worldwide network of over 40 state-of-the-art laboratories specializing in testing of apparel, footwear and home textiles. Their committed team is drawn from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, allowing them to carry out a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. SGS helps companies ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. Learn more about SGS's Softlines Services. [ www.sgs.com/softlines ] SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full China Releases New Standard for Waterproof and Water-Vapour Permeable Garments - FZ/T 81023-2019 SafeGuardS. [www.sgs.com/en/news/2019/11/safeguards-16719-china-releases-new-standard-for-waterproof-and-water-vapour-permeable-garments-fz-t-81023-2019] Subscribe here , www.sgs.com/subscribesg , to receive SGS SafeGuardS direct to your inbox. For further information contact: Louann Spirito US & Canada Softlines Business Head Tel: +1 973 461 7919 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sgs.com/softlines LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 04:23 EST
Switzerland has aligned its Toy Safety Ordinance with the European Union's (EU's) Directive 2009/48/EC, the so-called Toy Safety Directive (TSD), and Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). The amendments to make this alignment were published on November 5, 2019. They include, inter alia , the following changes: 1 Clarification that the migration requirements of ≤ 0.05 mg/kg for nitrosamines and ≤ 1.0 mg/kg for nitrosatable substances apply to toys for children under 36 months and in other toys intended to be placed in the mouth (Annex 2 to Toys Ordinance) 2 Strengthening of the migration limit for chromium (VI) from 0.2 mg/kg to 0.053 mg/kg in scraped-off (category III) toy materials (Annex 2 to Toys Ordinance) 3 Expanding the requirement of ≤ 0.1% for the sum of three phthalates to four phthalates (Annex 2 to Toys Ordinance) - similar to entry 51 to Annex XVII of REACH. The four phthalates are: BBP - benzyl butyl phthalate DBP - dibutyl phthalate DEHP - di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DIBP - diisobutyl phthalate (new addition) 4 Revising the list of technical standards for toy safety (Annex 4 to Toys Ordinance), see below: SN EN 71-1:2015+A1:2018 'Mechanical and physical' SN EN 71-2:2011+A1:2014 'Flammability' SN EN 71-3:2013+A3:2018 'Migration of certain elements' SN EN 71-4:2013 'Experimental sets for chemistry and related activities' SN EN 71-5:2016 'Chemical toys (sets) other than experimental sets' SN EN 71-7:2014+A2:2018 'Finger paints' SN EN 71-8:2018 'Activity toys for domestic use' SN EN 71-12:2013 'N-nitrosamines and n-nitrosatable substances' SN EN 71-13:2014 'Olfactory board games, cosmetic kits and gustative games' SN EN 71-14:2018 'Trampolines for domestic use' Electric toys: SN EN 62115:2005 SN EN 62115:2005/A2:2011/AC:2011 SN EN 62115:2005/A11:2012/AC:2013 SN EN 62115:2005/A12:2015 Stakeholders should note that the EU and Switzerland require different versions of EN 71-3 'Migration of certain elements' to demonstrate conformity. The EU requires the 2019 version while Switzerland looks for SN EN 71-3:2013+A3:2018 to show compliance. The provisions of the alignment came into effect on December 1, 2019, but according to the amendment: Toys not meeting the requirements in points 1 to 3 above may be manufactured, imported, labeled and sold to consumers until May 31, 2020 Toys not meeting the other provisions in the amendment may be manufactured, imported and labeled under the old law until November 30, 2020 and can remain on the market until stocks are exhausted SGS Toy & Juvenile Product Services SGS offers a wide range of services to ensure that products comply with relevant standards for toys and childcare articles and equipment. They provide consulting, training, product development, testing, audit and inspection services to ensure that products comply with strict regulations worldwide, demonstrating the safety and quality of juvenile products being brought to the market. Learn more about SGS's Toy & Juvenile Product Services. SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full Switzerland Aligns Toy Safety with EU SafeGuardS. Subscribe here to receive SGS SafeGuardS direct to your inbox. For further information contact: HingWo Tsang Global Information and Innovation Manager Tel: (+852) 2774 7420 Email: email@example.com Website: www.sgs.com/hardlines LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail
Celebrating 50 Years of Innovation - How Primeur's Mighty Mats Can Help You Make An Entrance in the 2020 Season
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 04:23 EST
Following an astonishing year of success in the garden retail industry, Primeur, the leading suppliers of eco-friendly and innovative garden products, is proud to present its extensive Mighty Mats doormat range, which its hope will drive further sales for garden centres in the new year. Primeur has exceeded all expectations in 2019, winning the Sword of Excellence at the GIMA Awards in the summer and the Best Eco Initiative award at Glee 2019, as well as seeing its Eco-Garden collection, made from recycled rubber tyres, fly off the shelves in a year of unprecedented growth. Did you know? Whilst garden centre buyers will be familiar with Primeur's award winning rubber Roman Stone borders, Tierra Verde recycled rubber planters and recycled Rubber Stepping Stones Medallion, they may not know that the business' is also "The Home of Doormats", The company has grown from its humble beginnings and to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, has expanded its 'Mighty Mats' into a newly developed collection, exclusively branded for customers in the independent and garden centre sector. A company steeped in history, Primeur was established in 1968 and originally traded under the name of Clayton Strutt Ltd. Since then it has grown to become the market leader in domestic doormats. Following a rebrand, and with thanks to continuous investment in product development, Primeur was the first company to introduce washable doormats into the UK in 1990. With a team of new packaging and product designers, as well as trend forecasters, the mats have since gone on to be the company's best-selling category. Sales opportunity throughout the store The Mighty Mats collection covers all price points from value to premium and includes the dual action Scrape N Sorb, unrivalled absorbency MicroFibre mats, the stylish and trend-led Designer collection, Dirt Catcher, robust and durable Contours , as well as the traditional Utility and Barrier and Coir/Rubber doormats. The Mighty Mats brand has undergone a comprehensive refresh for the new season, with a new modern logo, offering retailers the chance to channel inspirational merchandising ideas to boost sales. With garden centre customers showing an increasing appeal in the homeware market, Primeur's doormat range is versatile and offers the convenience of being able to purchase products for both their interiors and exteriors at the same time. A simple front door merchandising display can be dressed with potted plants, decorative gravel, paving stones and complimented with Primeur's doormat designs, creating instant kerb appeal, whilst providing retailers with the perfect cross-selling opportunity as consumers are inspired to 'create the look'. The Scrape N Sorb can create a contemporary look when paired with urban planters, perfect for city living, whilst the Designer collection brings a homely feeling to a threshold, when paired with soft interior tones. Indoor living and homewares have increased in sales by 7% in garden centres with the trend only set to continue so Primeur's eye catching mat designs would compliment any soft furnishings, candles, cushions and throws in store, making a garden retailers all-round sales offering stand out and maximising profit potential. Gifting The perfect gift can come in many different forms, and with giftware a way to generate revenue outside of a shorter peak season, Primeur's different designs provide the perfect gifting opportunities to enhance a home. The mats fall into a category that appeals across the shopping demographic and can boost business by accommodating key gifting periods throughout the year, such as Mother's Day, Easter, Father's Day, birthdays, weddings and Christmas. Primeur have added recycled mats to the offering in 2020, boosting the company's green credentials and dedication to sustainability. The business has also shown its commitment to charity this year with the sales of the Greenfingers Christmas Glitter Coir Doormat, launched in August 2019 with £1 from every purchase donated to Greenfingers. Jenny Douthwaite, Sales Director at Primeur said: "As garden centres become more popular as a source of home and garden interior products, Primeur is growing its Mighty Mats offering to match. We know each home is unique to the individual and we want to bring innovation and ideas to show off different styles and tastes to all garden retail customers, whilst underlining our commitment to the environment." To find more about Primeur's Mighty Mats range, please contact the team on 01274 518800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 04:10 EST
China has officially begun implementing its conformity assessment system under Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) for electrical appliances and electronic products. From November 1, 2019, all electrical and electronic (EE) products listed in 'The Standard Achieving Management Catalog (First Batch)', and manufactured in, or imported into, China, must conform to these implementation regulations. This includes the following products: Refrigerators Air conditioners Washing machines Electric water heaters Printers Copiers Fax machines TVs Monitors Micro-computers Handheld phones for mobile communication Telephone sets These products must now comply with the laid down content limit requirements for: Lead Mercury Cadmium Hexavalent chromium Polybrominated biphenyls Polybrominated diphenyl ethers Businesses have two routes to compliance - voluntary certification or self-declaration. When a company chooses voluntary certification, their EE product must be certified by a third-party certification body as compliant with the relevant standards and technical specifications in the RoHS legislation. Successful certification results can be viewed online at: "Public Service Platform for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical Appliances and Electronic Product". Organizations that self-declare must submit to the public service platform a declaration of conformity and related technical documents that support the claim. Whichever route is chosen, the product must display the appropriate label. SGS RoHS Services Through a global network of laboratories and our requirements experts, SGS offers advisory services on requirements and compliance solutions to support companies affected by this Directive, be it for their conformity assessment or risk management in the supply chain. SGS offers RoHS testing services in laboratories accredited for the international standards applicable to these requirements and SGS RoHS Certification which is a voluntary product certification scheme. Learn more about SGS's RoHS Services. SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full China RoHS Conformity Assessment System Implements Officially SafeGuardS. Subscribe here to receive SGS SafeGuardS direct to your inbox. For further information contact: Li Li Technical Support, EET RSTS Tel: (86) 21 60645135 Email: email@example.com Website: www.sgs.com/ee LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail
Thu, Dec 05, 2019 04:03 EST
Atlona, a Panduit company, continues to take its global Atlona Technology Update and Certification Training Events to AV professionals worldwide. Its most recent event attracted 30 representatives from regional systems integrators, dealers and distributors to Panduit's Millenia Tower office in Singapore, with assistance from regional partner Midwich Asia. The day-long event included distinct morning and afternoon segments with a common message for attendees. The morning sessions covering the latest IP-networked Atlona products and technology updates, followed by a tour of Panduit's CBC (Customer Briefing Center). Collectively, the sessions detailed how Atlona partners can effectively design, specify and install scalable, cost-effective AV over IP and networked control systems, and strengthen the overall value proposition for end users by leveraging Panduit's robust network infrastructure solutions at the core. The afternoon sessions covered Atlona's core 100 Level and 200 Level training curriculum programs on Foundational Technology (Understanding Audio/Video Distribution) and Circuit-Based Soltions (Understanding Atlona Products and Solutions). These courses covered all foundational elements of AV distribution, including HDMI, HDBaseT, 4K and category cabling, along with a detailed overview of how Atlona's circuit-based systems provide value for a variety of commercial and residential AV applications. "Atlona continues to offer customers a broad variety of circuit-based and IP-networked options to best meet the needs each unique design and integration project," said Sanket Sawant, Atlona's director of business development, Middle East, India and Southeast Asia. "Our training and education programs offer intimate settings and engaging, hands-on learning environments that efficiently train and certify AV professionals. The attendees of our Singapore event walked away with the knowledge and expertise they need to design, rollout and integrate a variety of systems, including more advanced responsibilities on how to accommodate set-up, management and control of the underlying network infrastructure." Editor's Note: Additional hi-res images from the Singapore event are available on request.
Wed, Dec 04, 2019 22:54 EST
Death and debt: Families hit by funeral plans that don't cover costs A trailblazing funeral company has warned that some funeral plans are leaving bereaved families with unexpected bills, which can amount to hundreds of pounds, because the deceased's plan didn't come with a guarantee to cover the full cost of the service they signed up for. Customer Experience Director Catherine Powell, who co-founded Pure Cremation with her husband Bryan, said: "Far too many families are being hit with huge bills, despite paying for a plan. "If you are dealing with a loved one's death, a funeral plan should offer you peace of mind - not added stress and financial pressure." Pure Cremation is one of the few plan providers to offer a 100% guarantee to cover all future costs of their service, thanks in part to their unique control over almost every element of the care they deliver, including the cremation. The Pure Cremation Plan costs from £1595 and comes with a promise that there will be no extra charges when the service is carried out. More than 6,000 have been sold so far. Their guarantee also rests on the careful management of the funds - either placed in a secure, independently managed Trust or used to buy a whole of life policy from one of the UK's largest mutual life companies. That's how Pure Cremation ensures there is always enough money available to deliver the service to every plan holder. Pure Cremation goes a step further still - very occasionally a plan holder's family will opt for a more traditional send-off and this company makes it easy to transfer the plan value to the chosen funeral director, honouring the original intention to provide for future costs. Only a tiny proportion of the population have made financial provision for their final arrangements, perhaps because most don't realise the scale of the strain their families might face in the future. The issue of mourners struggling to pay for funerals was highlighted in a recent report that families in Dundee have accumulated debts of more than £500,000 paying for funerals. The study, commissioned by Dundee City Council and the Scottish Government and carried out by the University of Dundee, showed some people went without essentials in order to pay for funerals. Catherine concludes: "Our customers tell us they feel great when they've set up their plan, like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders, so they can get on with enjoying life to the full!" www.purecremation.co.uk
IDTechEx Launches Healthcare Sensor Innovations Conference in North Americans Conference in North America
Wed, Dec 04, 2019 22:14 EST
IDTechEx, expert providers of emerging technology market intelligence and events, are bringing the conference on wearables and sensors in healthcare to San Jose, USA. Healthcare Sensor Innovations USA 2020 will focus on the latest developments in the use of wearables and sensors in continuous monitoring of the human body and point of care diagnostics. The conference will be held in San Jose, USA on the 17-18 March 2020. Curated by IDTechEx analysts, the two-day conference will host over 30 speakers spanning the pharmaceutical, medical device, materials, and electronics industries. Speakers include Google, Medtronic Diabetes, GE Global Research and Maxim Integrated. The conference will also feature a tabletop exhibition of innovators in this space. To find out more and to register for Healthcare Sensor Innovations USA 2020, please visit: www.healthcaresensorinnovations.com/usa . Nadia Tsao, Senior Technology Analyst at IDTechEx reports, " Our inaugural event in Cambridge exceeded all expectations and showed that there is a need for innovative technologies in healthcare and an interest from electronics companies to meet that need. We have decided to take our event worldwide, and what better place than San Jose where technology meets healthcare. Technologies such as printed electronics are opening new doors for healthcare sensors that place patient comfort at the forefront. These devices will play a key role in addressing increasing demand and cost of healthcare due to aging populations and rising prevalence of chronic disease. " Attendees looking to learn more about continuous patient monitoring and point-of-care diagnostics are encouraged to join IDTechEx masterclasses held on 16th and 19th of March 2020. Our expert analysts will give attendees technical analysis, commercial understanding and market outlooks across key topic areas of wearables, biosensors, electronic skin patches, and flexible, printed and stretchable sensors. To find out more and to register for Healthcare Sensor Innovations USA 2020, please visit: www.healthcaresensorinnovations.com/usa .
Wed, Dec 04, 2019 21:56 EST
GULFSTREAM OPENS NEW EUROPEAN PARTS DISTRIBUTION CENTER NEAR AMSTERDAM Move To European Union Hub Speeds Parts Delivery Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. today announced it has moved its European Customer Support Parts Distribution Center from the London area to near Amsterdam. The new center adjacent to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol houses high-usage items and provides timely support to company-authorized maintenance facilities in the European Union (EU). "We made this move to ensure the continued speedy delivery of parts and materials to customers in the EU," said Derek Zimmerman, president, Gulfstream Customer Support. "In preparation for Brexit, we began moving parts from our London Heathrow-area distribution center into Amsterdam several months ago. The Amsterdam location is fully operational, and we have already transitioned more than $20 million in inventory. All stock in Amsterdam is customscleared into the EU, allowing for faster access to parts." "Our customers traveling through or based in the United Kingdom will continue to receive support from our company-owned London-Luton Airport service center, which has a parts inventory of more than $45 million. Parts supply and availability in the UK remain a high priority for our organization as the larger European market evolves." Gulfstream's new European parts hub near Amsterdam is approximately 25,000 square feet/2,323 square meters. The facility, located in the Fokker Logistics Park, is expected to have approximately $28 million in inventory by the end of 2019. Gulfstream's partner in this operation is Crane Worldwide Logistics, which provides the warehouse space and handles logistics services. Gulfstream maintains a worldwide spare parts inventory of more than $1.6 billion.
Wed, Dec 04, 2019 21:35 EST
Labour's vow to axe Ofsted and abolish SATs fall flat as primary school teachers reveal favourite education policies proposed by three main parties Labour's attempt to woo teachers with their pledge to scrap SATs, the controversial tests currently used to evaluate children's educational progress at the end of years 2, 6 and 9, has fallen flat in a national survey of primary school teachers just weeks before the General Election. Resources and lesson planning experts PlanBee asked teachers from all over the country to consider the key manifesto pledges of the three main parties for education and identify the single policy they most strongly supported. Just 15.9 percent identified Labour's pledge to abolish SATs for Key stages 1 and 2 as the party policy they most strongly backed - although Labour was ranked top when teachers were asked to rate party education pledges overall. SATs have been one of the most fiercely contested areas of schools policy for many years. Announcing its policy to rapturous applause at the NEU education union conference at Easter, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: 'SATs and the regime of extreme pressure testing are giving young children nightmares and leaving them in floods of tears. 'I meet teachers of all ages and backgrounds who are totally overworked and overstressed. These are dedicated public servants. It's just wrong.' The LibDems' pledge to scrap Sats and replace league tables with a new, broader set of indicators fared a little better, picked by 17.2 pc of respondents as their most popular policy. Similarly, Labour's pledge to abolish schools inspectorate Ofsted and replace it with a new body was identified by only 10.8 percent of respondents as the party's most popular policy. This is despite widespread claims that Ofsted is driving teachers and school leaders from the profession, exhausted by stress and excessive workload. Just last month, NEU joint general secretary Mary Bousted claimed that primary teachers are being drowned by a tsunami of extra work caused by Ofsted's new inspection framework. She said primary school teachers were being required to complete masses of paperwork because schools do not trust the reliability of inspection teams. Similarly, the LibDems' pledge to abolish Ofsted, replacing it with a new HM Inspector of Schools, attracted little support, identified by just 10.8 percent of respondents as the LibDem policy they backed most strongly. Asked to consider the Conservative Party's manifesto education pledges, which fared worse overall in the survey, nearly a third of primary school teachers (32.7 percent) strongly opposed the Conservatives' election pledge to build more free schools. These are non-profit-making, independent, state-funded schools which are free to attend and have complete freedom from local authorities. The Conservative Party claims that they are driving up school standards while teaching unions and other critics say they take money and pupils from existing schools, increase segregation and division and lead to the break-up of the state school system. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the pledges of all the main parties to increase school funding attracted wide support. Asked to consider the LibDem education policies, the pledge to reverse cuts to school funding was identified as the party's most popular policy, attracting 36.3 percent support, the largest of any individual policy. The most popular Tory policy was the £14bn package to increase per-pupil spending to £4,000 for primary school children by 2021-22, which was identified by 22.9 percent of respondents as the single Conservative Party policy they most strongly supported. Funding analysts have pointed out that this equates to £7.1bn extra when double- and triple-counting is taken into account. The same percentage identified the Conservatives' pledge for £780m of extra funding for SEND pupils [those with special educational needs and disabilities] as the top policy. Another of Labour's most overtly political pledges, its commitment to close tax loopholes for independent schools attracted little interest, with just 1.9 percent of respondents identifying it as the party policy they backed most strongly. Rating the three main parties' education policies overall, teachers favoured the Labour and LibDem packages; more than half of those surveyed rated each party's plans as 'excellent'. In contrast, more than half of teachers rated the Conservatives education plans as 'poor'. Labour's policies received the biggest thumbs up, rated excellent by nearly 60 percent of respondents, while for the LibDems the figure was just over 50 percent. Asked to suggest some policies of their own, survey respondents said: 'Restore trust in assessment by teachers and remove meaningless data-driven tasks. Be clear that children are individuals - not numbers to be moved around on a spreadsheet.' 'Have teachers make decisions about how schools are run and not members of parliament who have no educational background!' 'Sufficient funding to allow all SEND pupils to access mainstream education with the appropriate support in class (effectively means more staff).' PlanBee 's Oli Ryan, a former primary school teacher, said: 'At PlanBee , we wanted to examine teachers' views on individual policies rather than simply their voting intentions. And we also wanted to throw a light on the opinions of primary school teachers, who are often overlooked, with secondary schools receiving by far the lion's share of politicians' attention.' He added: 'I was particularly struck by the fact that our respondents care most about the future of their schools, with self-interest in terms of pay and conditions not their main concern. Only 13.4 percent of our respondents identified the Tory party's headline pledge to raise starting salary for teachers to 30k and increase all teacher pay by 3 percent a year as the policy they most strongly backed. 'It's also interesting that the most eye-catching, overtly "political" policies around Ofsted and SATs attracted relatively little support. It's funding and the long-term sustainability of our school system that's their number one priority.'