Fatal Injuries & Working at Height
A total of 137 workers were killed at work in Great Britain in 2016/2017. The Construction and Agricultural industries account for the greatest number of fatalities with 30 fatal injuries in the Construction industry in 2016/2017.
Working at height is high risk and almost one in five deaths in construction work involve roof work. Some are specialist roofers, but many are just repairing and cleaning roofs. The main causes of death and injury are falling from roof edges or openings, through fragile roofs and through fragile rooflights. Many accidents could be avoided if the most suitable equipment was used and those doing the work were given adequate information, instruction, training and supervision.
Getting on or off the roof – Scaffold tower, access scaffold, a properly secured ladder is a minimum requirement
Sloping roofs – require scaffolding to prevent people and materials falling from the edge.
Flat roofs – falls from flat roof edges can be prevented by simple edge protection arrangements – a secure double guardrail and toeboard around the edge.
Additional measures will need to be taken when working on Fragile roofs or areas with Fragile rooflights
Edge Protection – first line of defence to prevent a fall Guard rail, tow bard and brick guard (risk of objects being kicked off the edge of a platform, intermediate guard rails
Work Platforms – Important to provide a secure working platform, in most cases the roof itself will provide this. If it does not (e.g. when working on a chimney on a pitched roof) a platform should be provided. A Mobile Elevating Work Platform may be suitable for some work where it can be carried out from inside the basket.
Falling Materials – Never throw anything from a roof or scaffold. Use of rubbish chutes or lowering materials to the ground in containers. Prevent danger to areas underneath or adjacent to roof work, consider covered walkways, debris netting to stop falling material causing injury.
The above are just a few points to provide you with some information, please refer to the HSE website for more in-depth information.
Source: Health and Safety Executive site
Marketing your business
This guide is designed to offer you a few hints & tips on marketing your business.These ideas are a guide only, each business will require different marketing techniques, so you will need to tweak it to fit your business strategy.
Building your online presence
Your website is your online brochure and must highlight your professionalism, expertise and the services you offer. People expect to get all the information they need on the web so if they can’t find it on your website they will quickly move onto another.
- Make your website interesting and user-friendly. Add information about trees that people would find useful – damage, different types of diseases etc.
- Make sure there are some good pictures on your website, this will help draw interest and breaks up the text.
- Ensure your call to action is clear with your contact details clearly visible.
- Search engine optimisation – to rank higher on Google your website content must be relevant. Think about what keywords your clients would type into Google to search for what you are offering. Type it in yourself and have a look at what your competitors are doing.
Targeting New Clients
- Business directory listings – the more online business directories you are on, the better your chances of people finding you.
- Local publications – magazines/newspapers are a good place to advertise; as many people use these to find local services.
- Specialist magazines – this is a good way to target specific audiences who might be in need of your services.
- Leaflets – design an appealing leaflet highlighting your expertise, services and contact details. A professional looking leaflet will convey a professional image of your business. Carefully target your potential clients with your leaflets and then follow it up with a call.
- Affiliate businesses – Look for businesses that supply other services to your target audience and ask if they will display your leaflets in their shop window or keep some of your business cards on their counter.
- Social Media – this can be very effective in raising your business profile and bringing in new business. A few social media websites you may find worth looking at are Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and YouTube.
Targeting Existing/Past Clients
Targeting existing and past clients is more cost effective than attracting new ones. Once you have established a new client, keep a list with up-to-date contact details.
- Keep in touch with your clients on a semi-regular basis so they will bear you in mind when they need your services. A suggestion would be to send them useful information about tree care/disease/damage etc.
- Try to build up a history of each client and make a note of it for future reference. This kind of foresight in your service will encourage client loyalty.
- It is more cost effective for you to email your clients so it is advisable to get their email address.
- Offer a discount for returning clients to encourage loyalty.
- Affiliate with a range of companies that offer services complimenting yours – so when you are called to do a job and your client needs a horticulturalist or a fencing contractor, for example, you can suggest a trusted contact to them. This works both ways; you could be referred new business through your affiliates too.