Emergency BMU incident highlights importance of safety measures

Oklahoma City Fire Department were recently forced to secure an out-of-control building maintenance unit (BMU) containing engineers working near the top of a 50-storey tower in the downtown area of the city.

The crane supporting the BMU became unstable, causing it to swing wildly back and forth in the high winds at the top of the tower, smashing a number of windows.

Authorities closed streets around the building to traffic and pedestrians for their safety. Emergency responders stabilised the crane, before lowering the BMU safely to the flat part of the tower’s roof. Engineers were tethered into the unit, as they should have been, which was vital for their safety.

This was an international news story, as reported by the BBC, which resonates with Premier Technical Services Group PLC (PTSG), the UK’s leading provider of specialist services and products to the construction and FM sectors. Much of the Group’s work is undertaken at height and is therefore safety-critical.

While mechanical and human error can give rise to accidents, taking a systematic approach to safety in every project can vastly reduce the risk of accidents and injury. Working at height, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), remains the main cause of accidents in the workplace. In the case of a 50-storey building, such as the one in Oklahoma City – and some of the buildings PTSG’s engineers work on – accidents can easily translate into fatalities.

PTSG was the first organisation of its kind to employ a full-time, dedicated health, safety and environment team. Led by Terry Wilcock, Group Director for Health and Safety, the team has produced an excellent record in terms of AFR, IFR and RIDDORs. It’s a record which has produced a number of high-profile industry awards. This year, the Group was awarded its eighth consecutive RoSPA Gold Award in recognition of its practices and achievements and supporting the organisation’s engineers and operatives to arrive home safely, every day. PTSG is also in amongst a very small group within the FM and construction sectors that have been awarded a RoSPA Gold Medal.


Image credit: Flickr

Parliament revamp signals new direction in fire safety

Premier Technical Services Group PLC (PTSG) has observed, with great interest, the approach to fire safety taken in the restoration of parliament and the construction of the new parts of its surrounding estate.

The chair of the sponsor board has stated that construction firms will be expected to do “everything humanly possible” to minimise fire risks. Plans unveiled this week include proposals for a redeveloped Richmond House building, which will host the House of Commons for between five and eight years while restoration work takes place.

The approach echoed a warning from House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom that “the fire at Notre-Dame showed the potential danger of an old building in the state that our Palace of Westminster is in.”

The Notre Dame fire occurred two years after the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London. Although the two events were different in cause and effect, both highlight the need for the most stringent standards in fire prevention and suppression in buildings.

Grenfell Tower triggered a renewed call for a higher minimum standard in building fire safety and several councils in London alone responded immediately by overhauling their high-rise accommodation. PTSG Fire Solutions Ltd. continues to experience a constant demand for its sprinklers and wet and dry riser systems (installations and maintenance). Other services provided across the Group, include: Fire Detection & Life Safety Systems, Fire Detection & Alarm Systems, Public Address/Voice Alarms (PA/VA), Emergency Voice Communication Systems (EVCS), Fire Suppression, Kitchen Suppression, Portable Fire Extinguishers, CCTV, Access Control, Intruder Alarm and Door Entry Systems.

Image credit: Wikimeida

PTSG to illuminate revamped city square in Birmingham

Premier Technical Services Group PLC (PTSG) will be helping to light up Birmingham’s prestigious Centenary Square.

It’s part of a major multi-million-pound project to transform the popular public square into an attractive and vibrant space for residents and visitors to the city. The work includes water jets and new lighting columns. PTSG has been awarded the contract to earth 43 lighting columns. The Square was officially opened by Sir Richard Knowles on June 9, 1991. The transformed square is due to be completed by summer 2019.

PTSG Electrical Services Ltd. is the largest of the Group’s four divisions, undertaking a wide variety of specialist services across multiple industry sectors. Working out of 29 UK office locations, PTSG’s engineers can be mobilised quickly and easily.
Lighting up public spaces, such as Centenary Square in Birmingham, is a high-profile project that will be enjoyed by millions of people in the coming years. Much of PTSG’s specialist services work is performed to keep people, property and places safe and, while much lower-profile, is equally important.
Lightning, earthing and surge protection systems comprise a large portion of the division’s work, as do fixed wire and portable appliance testing.

Image credit: Birmingham Mail

PTSG to provide protection for spectacular new footbridge

Premier Technical Services Group PLC (PTSG) has been contracted by English Heritage to provide specialist services for its new footbridge reconnecting a divided landscape on the North Cornwall coast.

Tintagel Castle is one of Britain’s most spectacular historic sites, but the path there is challenging, with over 100 steps. In October 2018, Historic England started work on a footbridge to recreate the historic crossing from the mainland to the headland.

PTSG has been commissioned by client America UK Ltd. to design, supply and install earthing/lightning protection. It’s a prestigious project, something that has been in the planning for several years and will show the company’s capabilities on structures other than buildings.

PTSG Electrical Services Ltd. remains at the forefront of the industry in the UK for the design, installation and testing of lightning protection, earthing and surge protection systems.

PTSG experiences a surge in talent

Premier Technical Services Group PLC (PTSG) has bolstered its Electrical Services team in the Midlands and South West, with Andrew McEvilly coming on board in the surge protection team.

PTSG is the UK’s leading provider of specialist services to the construction and FM sectors, with discrete divisions in Access & Safety, Electrical Services, Building Access Specialists and Fire Solutions. After 12 consecutive years of growth, the Group employs 1,200 specialists working out of 29 UK offices, serving 20,000 customers.

PTSG Electrical Services Ltd. is the Group’s largest division. Andrew is based in the Kidderminster office. His 18 years as an engineering professional includes contract, customer service and team leading experience in both the public and private sectors. Electrical surges, also known as transient over-voltages, occur when there are spikes in voltage on power or signal lines. Lightning strikes cause the largest surges, with spikes of up to 6,000V within an electronic installation. Buildings often withstand the strike itself, but suffer huge damage to electrical equipment from the surge afterwards – which can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

PTSG – the UK’s market leader in the design, installation and testing of lightning and earthing protection systems – also has many years’ experience in keeping buildings, equipment and users protected from electrical surges. It provides highly competitive packages in various industry sectors including railway, wireless networks, fixed line networks, monitoring devices and energy/utilities.

PTSG’s pioneering approach to mental health features in PFM Magazine

Premier Technical Services Group PLC (PTSG) has once again featured on the cover and inside pages of industry journal PFM (Premises & Facilities Management).

In April’s issue, the article is entitled ‘Tackling mental health and well-being head on’. Mental health can still something of a taboo subject for some people and organisations. In the UK, one in six adults experience a common mental health problem but very few seek help – either because they don’t feel there is suitable help available or because they are uncomfortable talking to others about it.

PTSG recognises the difficulties in tackling mental health problems and has put in place a number of measures to make things as easy and as helpful as possible for the Group’s 1,200 team members. An example of this is the production and distribution throughout the company’s rest areas and canteens of a series of one-page advice sheets on subjects such as panic attacks, relaxation and sleep. It’s a measure of their value that most are taken away, read and taken on board.

The company’s health and safety team regularly features in PFM Magazine as well as several other trade and association magazines due to its reputation for delivering a ‘best-in-class’ service. The business has an incredibly strong track record in close call reporting and AFR and RIDDOR management which has resulted in a number of high-profile industry awards. This year, the Group was awarded its eighth consecutive RoSPA Gold Award in recognition of its practices and achievements and supporting the organisation’s engineers and operatives to arrive home safely, every day. PTSG is also in amongst a very small group within the FM and construction sectors that have been awarded a RoSPA Gold Medal. In February, the niche specialist service provider also received an International Safety Award with Distinction from the British Safety Council (BSC). According to the BSC, only an elite number of organisations score over 48 out of 58 in its rigorous grading criteria.

PTSG welcomes government investment of £200m in safer cladding

Premier Technical Services Group PLC (PTSG), which undertakes a significant amount of work in the field of fire solutions in public and private high-rise buildings, has welcomed today’s announcement by the government for a major investment in safer cladding in 150 private high-rise blocks in England.

The catalyst for the major £200m investment was, of course, the Grenfell fire of 2017 in which 72 people lost their lives. In one of the UK’s worst modern disasters, it took just minutes for the fire to spread upwards and around all four sides of the building, engulfing it in flames.

PTSG’s rope access and fire solutions teams have worked on a number of private and public sector building removing and replacing cladding over the last 12 months. The team consists of some of the industry’s leading building access specialists.

Commenting on the disaster at the time, Paul Atkins of PTSG’s fire solutions southeast team, told BBC London: “If they’d had a sprinkler system the fire would have been deluged before it got to the cladding. People would’ve had plenty of time to leave the building. To date no-one has ever died in a fire with a sprinkler system in the household.”

All PTSG’s sprinkler systems for commercial and residential buildings are installed in accordance with the BS9251 standard and wet risers are installed to the current BS9990 2015 standard. PTSG’s specialist Building Access and Fire Solutions teams offer a wide range of services to ensure the safety of building users in the event of a fire, including safe cladding installation, wet and dry-risers installation and maintenance, sprinklers and other extinguisher systems, fire alarms and emergency lighting installation and testing.

PTSG Fire Solutions specialist completes incredible charity cycle ride

Premier Technical Services Group PLC (PTSG) has completed another sporting event to raise money for charity – this time, an ultra-endurance cycle event around the mountains of Mallorca.

Richard Castle-Smith, Head of Fire Suppression at Trinity Fire & Security Systems – acquired by PTSG in January 2019 – showed tremendous mettle by taking part in the 312km race, climbing 16,500 feet across the mountains in a time that far exceeded his expectations. That’s a distance and an ascent that would daunt most motorists, let alone cyclists, but Richard completed the event and raised over £4,500 for Brain Tumour Research.

Ultra-distance cycling is a growing trend among cyclists as more and more amateurs want to emulate the professionals by cycling further and harder than ever. The Mallorca 312 sportive allows entrants to experience everything that is great about cycling on the island in a closed-roads, sunrise-to-sunset ride. Of the 8,000 participants, only 1,850 enrolled for the longest course completed by Richard.

The Mallorca 312 comes on the back of the Mallory 100 Plop Enduro, which was completed by Mark Brackenbury, Group SHE Advisor, on 27th April. The PTSG is encouraged to participate in a great many more charity events, both sporting and otherwise.

PTSG team completes eight-hour charity motorcycle event

Premier Technical Services Group PLC (PTSG) has continued its commitment to charitable events with its participation in the Mallory 100 Plop Enduro 2019.

350 riders took part, with teams of four taking turns to ride a Honda C90 during the eight-hour endurance race. Such is the popularity of the Plop Enduro that it attracts some of the UK’s top riders, with the likes of regular competitor and British Superbike (BSB) race winner Richard Cooper and World Supersport and BSB rider Kyle Eyde taking part this year.

PTSG’s Mark Brackenbury, Group SHE Advisor, cut short his holiday in order to take part in the race on Saturday 27th April, which began in heavy rain. Without suitable tyres for such conditions and being one rider down (who failed to turn up), things weren’t looking good. To add to the team’s troubles, the exhaust studs on the Honda C90 sheared at around 11am. Just before lunch, the front wheel bearings had collapsed. However, the front wheel was swapped, the chain tightened and, following a one-hour lunch, Mark’s team got back onto the track in 71st place.

The afternoon went much better and the team completed the race in 39th position in the C90 class and 58th position overall, completing 183 laps with a best lap time of 1:44.19 racing for 7:22.33. (This was after the second bike retired due to a gearbox failure)

The event enjoyed another excellent turnout. PTSG is yet to find out how much the race generated for charity but is delighted to have made a contribution.

PTSG to install sprinklers in a variety of London addresses

Premier Technical Services Group PLC (PTSG) is forging ahead with its Fire Solutions division, with a number of new sprinkler installations contracts in London and the South East.

Fire safety systems, which both detect and suppress fires, are now a requirement in buildings of all kinds. Sprinklers are proven to deluge fires before they can spread out of control. To date, no one has ever died in a fire with a sprinkler system in the household.

PTSG has been contracted for the installation of sprinklers at the following:

o Friars Primary Foundation – a Hazard 1 installation to protect the entirety of the school’s buildings, with systems fed from a pump and a tank;
o London Trocadero – a contract to install sprinklers in the basement areas of the entertainment complex, which is located close to Piccadilly Circus.
o Contracts to install residential sprinklers at four different addresses including Woodstock Studios – a complex in the former BBC studios on Woodstock Grove, immortalised in the 1979 adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, starring Alec Guiness.