Kensington fire doors, Hackitt report, apprenticeships: Readers’ comments

27 June 2018

Kensington in 'urgent' replacement of 4,000 fire doors (CM 30/05)

As far as I’m aware, fire doors are certified as resisting fire in a test rig for 30/60 minutes (as applicable) and may well not last for the specified period in a real fire. While I’m at it, I would also challenge the DCLG logic in removing the requirement for self-closing devices on domestic internal hallway fire doors.

Kenneth Hughes

I completed the Q-mark fire door installers’ certification scheme before the Grenfell Tower tragedy happened. It is not only how the door acts and performs in the case of fire, but the way it is installed. You can have a 30/60 minute fire door fail in only 15/20min if not installed correctly.

Kris Hodgson

As a timber door manufacturer and certified Firas door installer, it is important that the product is installed correctly to maximise the burn time of the product [the fire door].

Alan Brown

Hackitt: Eight key recommendations (CM 21/05)

I think the report portrays what a lot of older construction professionals already felt about the industry. The findings should not be considered as only applicable to high-rise residential buildings [HRRBs], but all buildings under multiple occupation.

Colin McEwen

What Dame Judith proposes is excellent in its own right, but the real test will be whether it is the catalyst for changing our industry's approach to quality standards at all stages of design and construction.

Unless we embrace the spirit of Dame Judith’s report and more widely the CIOB quality commission recommendations, do not be surprised to find future governments bringing in increasingly strong regulations.

Mark Beard

I don’t think that the final report goes far enough. I would like to see much more stringent fire safety laws and regulations put in place to deal with not only high-rise or complicated builds but across the entire industry.

Eric Doel

Apprenticeship starts drop by 25% (CM 18/05)

I think that the reduction is due to the work-based learning contracts finishing in March 2019. The contracts are paid for by European money via European social funding and as Britain will be exiting Europe next year the providers are not accepting new apprentices. After 2019 nobody knows how work-based learning will be funded.

Chris Connelly

I am now retired, however when I first went into the construction industry as an apprentice joiner, firms were paying apprenticeship levies.

Why are companies now reluctant to pay these levies? They have probably benefited from levies paid to train my generation.

Are these the same companies who are bleating about the current skills shortage (because of lack of investment)?

Roy A

Seddon mental health push after worker suicide CM 18/05

Sad as it is, why does the construction industry need to play a big role in this? Is that not the job of the NHS and the families? Next we will be having safe rooms on building sites and cuddling each other on a daily basis.

A building site is a dangerous place to be when you don’t have mental health – let alone when you have suicidal tendencies.

Ronnie Bailey

Wow, Ronnie Bailey [comment above]: “Man up”, snap out of it, get a grip. This is all part of a macho male culture that has perhaps contributed to a young man’s death at 25.

I recall way back in the 1980s, the sports entrepreneur-cum-management guru Mark McCormack identified three hard-to-say things: I don’t know; I was wrong; and I need help.

Some things and people, including the construction industry it seems, are slow to change. Even sports teams have huddles and rather “touchy-feely” celebrations. Perhaps, together with safe rooms, we might have clean toilets and altogether more welcoming environments. Hoping Ronnie might have a heart…

Brian Wood

What is even sadder is the response from Ronnie Bailey [comment above]. Such a typical, heartless and “big tough man” response.

I say well done to this company for their very proactive initiative. May more companies follow their lead. Not every construction worker has immediate family living in the same town or even the same country to be able to turn to in time of need.

A sensitivity to these issues has to be developed across the industry. Ronnie’s response is an indication of just how urgently that is required.

Marjorie Brooker

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