Brexit Gives Dublin Office Market a Boost

According to HWBC, the Dublin office construction market heated up in 2016. 818,000 square feet of space was completed during 2016–a 10-fold increase on levels from 2015. 55% of space has already been pre-committed and completions are set to increase by 184% in 2017.

However, the construction market is being cautious.  Space will not be developed without a significant number of pre-lets in place to avoid over saturating the market.

Drastic Drop in Vacancy Rates

At the end of December 2016, the vacancy rate was 7.8% compared to 2010 when the peak rate was 22.8%. The vacancy rate at the end of 2015 was 9%. A clear indication that the vacancy rate continues to drop.

Since 2012, rents in the Dublin area have doubled to €65 per square foot (€700 per square meter). Companies with plans for expansion include Amazon, Grant Thornton, Barclays and Credit Suisse. 818,000 square feet of office space was completed in 2016.

It is expected that many companies in the UK will be looking to relocate their operations in various locations around Dublin. Companies relocating their businesses to Ireland may also be relocating their staff as well adding additional stress to an already tight residential property market. This could be the negative result of Brexit.

Residential Housing Prices

House prices are expected to increase 10-15% in the Dublin area alone. Even ghost estates are expected to be completed to help meet housing demand and ease pressure in the market.


Safe Load Guidelines for Plant and Machinery

Vehicles carrying loads in a public place should ensure that the load weight is evenly distributed and evenly packed. Vehicles should not carry a load with excessive weight. Consideration should be taken with regard to the overall condition of the vehicle. Vehicles should be in good working order with extra attention to tires and brakes.

Vehicle Stability

A vehicle’s stability will be at risk with loads that have a high centre of gravity. For these loads, use vehicles with a low platform height. This ensures the centre of gravity is kept as low as possible making the load more stable and easier to maintain.

Plant and Machinery Load Risks

Loads should be anchored properly to ensure they do not shift during transport. Risks include:

  • The load sliding forward, sideways, backwards or falling off the vehicle endangering traffic and pedestrians.
  • Driver losing control of the vehicle due to an unstable load.
  • Danger to drivers and/or unloading personnel who handle an unstable load.

Restraining a Load

Direct Lashing – photo credit: HSA

There are two types of restraining methods: tie-down and direct restraint.

Tie-down: prevents the load from moving at all. An indirect restraint method.

Direct restraint: preventing the load from moving by attaching, blocking or containing the load to the vehicle.

Use the Headboard (gooseneck) of the vehicle. Securing a load against the headboard of the vehicle blocks the load from shifting or moving forward during emergency conditions where braking needs to be applied suddenly. Caution: do not load above the height of the headboard.

For more detailed information on safe load guidelines, click here.

Other information sources include: Loadsafe,  the European Standard EN 12195 (1-4), and the HSA.

GA1 Lifting Equipment Inspections

According to the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Regulations of 2007, all lifting equipment such as excavators, backhoe loaders, skid steers and telehandler are to be inspected and tested every 6 months or annually. GA1 lifting equipment inspections are certified with a GA1 Certificate, previously known as CR2/CR4.

What is Lifting Equipment?

Lifting equipment is any piece of equipment that lifts and lowers loads such as backhoes. Lifting equipment also includes an accessory that can be attached to a piece of equipment in order to be used for lifting and lowering. (For a complete list, click here.)

GA1 lifting equipment inspections

Each piece of equipment has different inspection requirements. You can use the Appendix in this document to ensure that your company is in compliance with GA1 lifting equipment inspections.

GA1 Lifting Equipment Inspections

At Safeplant, we carry out GA1 Lifting Equipment Inspections at your place of business to ensure that you are in compliance with LOLAR (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations). Once an inspection is completed, you will receive a copy of the report and a sticker to display on your machine. If the machine is found to be non-compliant, the faults found will be provided in a written report on how to bring the equipment up to code. For more information, call us or request a call back.

Good News for the Construction Industry

It has been reported across commercial and housing markets that there has been notable growth in the construction industry recently and it has been steadily rising since September 2013.  Good news for the construction industry. However, civil engineering activity is still weak. In 2016, the construction industry grew by 15% with a further 20% growth expected in 2017. House building activity alone increased by more then 40% in 2016. Sustained growth is predicted up to 2020. Currently, there are 137,000 people working in the construction industry directly.

Employment in the Construction Sector

Employment in the construction industry continues to grow. There were 9,000 new jobs in the construction sector in the third quarter of 2016.  There is a prediction of 1,000 new jobs every month. More  good news for the construction industry.

Job Market

Jobs include forklift operators, dumper drivers, foremen, and site engineers, among others. These jobs, in general, would require at least a valid Safe Pass. Other jobs may require training specific to the type of equipment to be used such as training to use a forklift.


There has also been a surge in construction apprentices recently. Apprenticeships are available for many different areas of construction. For anyone who left Ireland in search of work abroad, now is a great time to return especially if you are in the construction industry.

Safe Use of Site Dumpers

Between 2005 and 2010, the Irish construction industry had seven fatalities involving site dumpers. In one instance, a pedestrian was hit. All other instances involved overturned dumpers. Safe use of site dumpers is critically important to avoid accident, injuries or death.

Dumpers vary in size and capacity and should be selected based on the task being undertaken to avoid overturning. Dumpers should have regular inspections and be deemed to be in proper working order.

Safety Do’s and Don’ts


Employers should ensure that precautions are being taken when operating site dumpers.

  • Ensure that drivers undergo proper training and hold a current CSCS card.
  • Give new drivers induction training covering traffic routes and specific hazards.
  • Drivers should wear the appropriate attire including high visibility jackets.
  • Drivers should wear seat belts at all times while operating dumpers.
  • A daily pre-check prior to operating a dumper. Any defects should be reported.
  • Check tires for wear and tear as well as proper tire pressure.
  • Make sure when loading, that the dumper is placed in neutral gear with the handbrake set.
  • Obey traffic plans.
  • Operate a dumper while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Allow anyone on the step of the dumper while the dumper is moving.
  • Operate a mobile phone while driving a site dumper.

Only employees with the proper training who are deemed competent and authorized should operate a dumper. Extreme care needs to be taken when operating a site dumper as this is a high risk activity. Employers should always ensure the safe use of site dumpers. Contact us for more information on inspections.

What is a GA1 Certificate?

A GA1 Certificate is provided after certain types of equipment have been inspected. Inspections are carried out by qualified personnel. The inspections are in accordance with the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Regulations of 2010.

Employers are required to ensure safe working conditions for their employees. This includes having equipment inspected regularly. If any equipment is deemed to be faulty, it should be remedied immediately or within a reasonable amount of time in accordance with the inspection results.

All equipment is required to be kept in good working order with adequate maintenance so as to reduce the risk of injury to employees.

What Types of Equipment are Inspected?

Our inspections include the following equipment:

  • Skid Steers
  • Evacuators 360
  • Mini-diggers
  • Backhoe 180
  • Telescopic Handlers
  • Dumpers
  • Fibre slings, and more. For a complete list of all the equipment we inspect, click here.

Inspection information includes:

  • Name of person conducting the inspection
  • Date of inspection
  • Location
  • Type of equipment being inspected
  • Identification of equipment
  • Location
  • Faults found
  • Details of remedies or actions to be taken
  • Deadlines for action items

Who needs a GA1 Certificate?

Any site that operates machinery. Any employee who operates the machinery at your site is entitled to see all inspection reports.

How Long is the Certificate Valid?

The GA1 Certificate is valid for 12 months. Other types of equipment needs inspection more frequently. The inspection frequency should be based on how quickly the equipment is likely to deteriorate.

For more information, contact us.

7 Tips for Operating a Forklift Safely

Due to an increase in forklift accidents, forklift training is especially important for anyone in this line of work. Accidents can have serious consequences to employees and the companies they work for. Some of the reasons behind the increase in accidents is due to:

  • Driver error
  • Poor visibility
  • Excessive noise

Below are a 7 tips for operating a forklift safely.


First and foremost, proper training is necessary prior to operating a forklift.

Quick Check

Before operating a forklift, do a routine check. Make sure that the brakes work, tires are in good condition, and steering works well, at a minimum. If you are in doubt about the operation of a forklift, report your concerns to your supervisor.

Wearing Appropriate Clothing

  • Standard wear includes a hard hat, hi-visibility jackets and safety shoes.
  • Clothing should fit properly with no loose areas that could get caught in machinery.

Before Starting a Forklift

  • Ensure the forklift is in it’s designated area.
  • Make sure it’s not near the edge of a loading dock or in an area where it can fall off an edge.

Safe Speed

  • Take corners very slowly to avoid tipping
  • Do not exceed the speed limit

Avoiding Hazards

  • Avoid slippery surfaces, bumps and uneven ground surfaces
  • Do not drive over loose objects. This can cause the forklift load to shift and you risk losing control of the vehicle.
  • Likewise, when approaching a corner use your horn to alert people in the area.

Evenly Distribute the Load

  • Do not lift a load with only one fork.
  • Make sure both forks are under the load before lifting.
  • Do not exceed the capacity of the forklift. Overloading a forklift can cause the rear tires to raise off the ground and the forklift can tip over.

This is by no means an exclusive list. These 7 tips on operating a forklift safely should be kept in mind but proper forklift training  will ensure that accidents are kept to a minimum.

Plant and Machinery Definition

Plant and machinery is classed as an asset and is used by a business to carry out work. Plant refers to machinery, equipment and apparatus used in industrial companies. Machinery has working and moving parts and is most often found in the construction sector. However, computers and other digital products are also considered machinery. Basically, if a machine has working parts, it is considered machinery.

Examples of Machinery include:

  • Mini Diggers
  • Backhoes
  • Dumpers
  • Forklifts
  • Excavators

Plant and machinery equipment is very expensive to purchase new and it is quite common to buy this equipment used. When considering any purchase of a used piece of equipment, check for previous inspection records. If they are not immediately available, ask to see them prior to purchase.

All machinery should be kept and maintained in proper working order. Each piece of machinery should be inspected on a regular basis and have the proper Certificate of Compliance. You can extend the life of your machinery significantly by having it routinely inspected. Safe Plant Certification provide quality inspections of plant and machinery equipment along with certifications for many types of machinery. For a detailed list, click here.

For instance, the GA1 Certification includes forklifts, dumptrucks, excavators and other types of machinery and it is valid for 12-months from date of issue.

Prior to renewing your equipment insurance, ensure that all you equipment has been inspected and has been issued with the proper certificates of compliance. For plant and machinery inspections and certifications, contact us.


Health and Safety Regulations

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) require that anyone working with heavy machinery and/or on construction type sites adhere to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Regulations.

In order to stay up to date on health and safety regulations, it is critically important to maintain compliance for both employee health and equipment health.


Employees should have routine training on aspects such as manual handling, proper operation of forklift equipment, mini diggers, excavators, backhoes, etc. Likewise, equipment should also be routinely inspected to ensure that accident risks are at a minimum.

Having your equipment routinely inspected also ensures that you have very little down time as a result of equipment breaking down or becoming faulty.


Employers are obligated under law to provide employees with a reasonably safe environment while at work. This includes providing proper instruction, training and supervision. Employers should also have plans for first aid, any emergencies that arise, fire-fighting and evacuation as well as protocols for contacting emergency services.

Any event of injury to an employee in the workplace must be well documented. This includes completing an Incident Report and keeping detailed records of any incidents.

Safe Plant Certification can help you stay compliant. Safe Plant Certification provides training as well as plant and machinery certification (GA-1 Certification). For more information, contact us.