Guess who is going to Japan in July 2016,
all expenses paid and why?
Cato Ridge Electrical Construction (CREC) together with Voltex/ MV LV sponsor the GEMS programme in Edendale. This programme was initiated by Ghamiet Aysen at the request and cooperation of The Edendale Community near Pietermaritzburg.
GEMS is a Non-Profit Organization and the focus is on education in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) phase in centres of excellence in the rural area of Edendale near Pietermaritzburg. GEMS is a bottom up approach and there are 15 crèches, 8 afternoon classes, 6 Sunday classes for Adults, a staff of 48 and 559 Children who are fed every day and who are given quality education by qualified staff.
The University of UKZN realizes and supports the GEMS approach which is holistic and that impacts positively on communities and they submitted Ghamiet’s name to present a paper at the conference in Japan. Out of 8400 applications from Doctors and Professors around the world (This fact is documented) Ghamiet was chosen to present this paper at the conference.
Hence Ghamiet will be leaving on the 21st July until the 28th July 2016 all expenses paid to Japan to tell the world about the Cato Ridge Electrical Construction programme. All CREC staff should be proud that the company they are associated with and work for is receiving recognition towards uplifting communities.
ANDRE GROBLER – TECHNICAL SUPPORT MANAGER
First and foremost I would like to congratulate Megan, our company legal advisor, and her husband Andy on the arrival of their daughter Layla May Borgen who weighed in at 3.5kgs and was born on the 30th March 2016. Oh and just by the way, I’m the very proud grandfather.
Getting back to business;
Our harbour Substation Upgrade project is moving along nicely, the lads are putting in a concerted effort at the moment to liven up the new switchgear, which will enable them to swing all the feeds onto the new switchgear and then remove the redundant switchgear. Pieter B is the skipper at the helm on this project and is doing a good job of keeping the ship on course. I must also give a big thanks to Sean who had the tedious task of compiling all the QC documentation and ensuring all the testing and punch list items were conducted in an orderly and timeous fashion. Massive thanks to you Sean, don’t know what we would do without you.
We have quite a nice project at another harbour site to install some LV and MV panels, a generator and a transformer; this project will be implemented by Mike, as soon as the switch rooms are ready and I expect Mike will put in a sterling effort and all will run smoothly and according to plan.
At the moment we are replacing thirteen oil filled transformers at UW, for dry resin cast transformers. Charl is busy with the ninth one so we are nearly there and the client has indicated that the standard of workmanship is very pleasing.
Wesley is busy with two generator installations at Hlabisa and Amatikulu clinics; these are quite involved installations as they are major upgrades involving not only new generators but also new LV and MV switch boards and large above ground diesel storage tanks. So Wes and his merry men have their work cut out for them; but I have no doubt that the end result will be very pleasing on the eye and please the client.
Kevin and his right hand man Clayton have been engulfed in their large installation project in Ladysmith since 2015, and on the occasion when I have visited their site I have been impressed and proud of the quality and amount of work they have managed to get through thus far. This weekend they are taking on a large task in replacing two massive LV boards and we wish them and their crews all the very best of luck and I hope everything runs smoothly, as I am sure it will.
From my little review of some of our projects one might get the impression everything is quite peachy; and things are just flowing along. But it is not always easy to envisage or document the hours of effort and behind the scenes toil that is required to keep the beast moving; and by beast I mean the construction department. It is on that note that I extend a big thank you to our procurement and commercial departments for the unseen but massive effort and long hours they put into the day to day running of our construction department.
Well done and many thanks to everyone at Cato Ridge Electrical for the hard work and monumental effort put in thus far this year; let’s keep the flag flying and make 2016 a resounding success.
HUGH COLEMAN – MECHANICAL MANAGER
Hello from the Mechanical and Transport division. Things are up and down at the moment with a lot of hold ups on some of my projects, not to our bad doing. Unfortunately consultants and clients who are inefficient seem to have all the time in the world not understanding what a deadline is, this just keeps putting you on the back foot.
Some of our more challenging projects are in the Hilton area where I have become quite famous amongst the local community. If you have ever thought that people could complain about the smallest things in the world, then this is the place to be. When I say I am famous what I mean by that is I’m on their local Whatsapp group chat and Face Book page where you can get hold of me and I am the one to sort out any problem, three quarters of them are not even remotely related to CREC work. But with having been able to sort out all their complaints has made me the local hero! Let’s hope that a couple of their wills have been put in my name for better days ahead which should compensate for those midnight and weekend calls whining about nothing.
Anyway enough whinging and lets share the love. We are still currently working up in the midlands being kept busy by one of the local municipalities day and night. The Msunduzi government department are frantically trying to spend their 2015 budgets before the end of June so as per usual everything that we have been waiting for the whole year is a mad rush and has to be done now. We have had a challenging overhead line to build in an open piece of land next to Byrne’s Spruit that runs into the Duzi River in the Eastwood area. This space is obviously used for the local residents that don’t have toilets to use at night. My poor staff had to spend at least two hours in the morning cleaning up all the human faeces so that they could walk to where they had to work and then where they were working do another daily clean up. Just wonder what our beautiful KZN is going to end up as? One thing is that you will never catch me in the Duzi river, that’s for sure.
Besides becoming the local sewage specialists our transport department seems to be very busy with our new Isuzu truck bought 18 months ago. It has already done 80 000 km plus all the crane usage; it just shows you all these short trips add up so quickly.
WIMPIE IN HOSPITAL LOOKING WORSE FOR WEAR.
I would like to wish my Mechanic Wimpie Swift a speedy recovery from a serious bike accident which happened on Saturday 23rd April at the bottom of Fields hill at around 17h00. A Blue Hyundai Tucson deliberately cut him off knocking the bike and causing Wimpie to fall and then sped away.
If anyone witnessed this please let us know.
Ten Things All Car & Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles To Avoid A Car v. Motorcycle Accident
A recent study performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows the dangers of motorcycle driving. According to the study, approximately 76,000 motorcyclists were injured in motorcycle accidents in 2015. Over 4,000 motorcyclists died because of accidents.
Some of these accidents could have been avoided if the car drivers understood more about motorcycles and their role on our streets. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, here are ten things all drivers should know about motorcycles on the road:
- There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don’t “recognize” a motorcycle; they ignore it (usually unintentionally). Look for motorcycles, especially when checking traffic at an intersection.
2. Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look further away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle speed. When checkin traffic to turn at an intersection or into (or out of) a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
- Because of its small size a motorcycle may seem to be moving faster than it really is. Don’t assume all motorcyclists are speed demons.
- Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say 3 or 4 seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.
- Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders, (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle’s signal is for real.
- Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and wind. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off or to allow you to share the lane with them.
- Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle’s better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don’t expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.
- Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because it can’t always stop “on a dime.”
- When a motorcycle is in motion, don’t think of it as motorcycle; think of it as a person.
If you have been injured as a result of a motorcycle v. car accident, you should seek the legal advice of an attorney who handles these types of cases
Until next month drive safely and Think Bike
DENISE VERMAAK – SAFETY OFFICER
ERGONOMICS IN THE WORKPLACE
Ergonomics is the scientific study of people at work. The goal of ergonomics is to reduce stress and eliminate injuries and disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repeated tasks. This is accomplished by designing tasks, work spaces, controls, displays, tools, lighting, and equipment to fit the employee´s physical capabilities and limitations.
Benefits of Ergonomics:
- Prevention of Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSD)
- Reduced fatigue and discomfort
- Increased productivity
- Improved quality of work
What are Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders?
WMSDs are soft-tissue injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, blood vessels and nerves that usually develop gradually. Also known as: Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs) or Neurovascular Disorders or Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs) or Overuse Injuries. Common WMSDs occur in the moving body parts like the neck, back, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers and knees.
Symptoms of WMSD’s:
Discomfort / Pain; Swelling; Loss of range of motion; stiffness or tight muscles; Hands or feet feel like they are falling “asleep”; Numbness/Tingling; Burning Sensations; Shooting/Stabbing Pain; Weakness or clumsiness in the hands; dropping things. Having one or more symptom does not mean you have a WMSD.
Treatment and Prevention:
- Preventing and responding to WMSDs involves:
- Designing or modifying the work environment
- Task variability
- Physiotherapy/ Ergonomist
- Educate and involve employees
Employees are the real experts when it comes to their jobs. They are often the best source for pointing out problems. Chances are they have a solution to offer as well. Educating employees on ergonomics helps them to offer more meaningful suggestions and feel that they are a part of the solution. Keep employees involved for more meaningful results.
Take a look at all of the available data to find problems
Use your workers’ compensation claims data, safety committee meeting minutes, absenteeism and turnover records, employee suggestions and any other data you have available to identify where the biggest problems are. Follow this up by observing the jobs and talking to the employees and supervisors about the problems.
Encourage early reporting of problems
If employees feel comfortable about coming forward with symptoms of injury early on, you have an opportunity to take care of the problem before it results in a workers’ compensation claim. The net result is less pain and suffering for the employee and considerable cost savings for the employer.
Find quick fixes to get momentum going
Don’t get caught up in “analysis paralysis.” It’s easy with ergonomics to start looking at every little task and movement. Sometimes there are simple solutions that could be implemented quickly, with little analysis, like rearranging a storage area to reduce lifting, or raising a countertop to reduce bending. Putting these solutions into place will generate enthusiasm by demonstrating to employees, supervisors and management how effective and simple ergonomics can be.
Some problems are more complex than others
For some work environment problems, a careful analysis is in order. By keeping your options open at this stage, you often can find alternative solutions to the problem that you would have missed if you had moved too quickly.
Focus on effective solutions.
Too often, businesses focus only on solutions like training employees and rotating them in and out of hazardous jobs as a fix. Training in proper work practices is an important part of ergonomics and should accompany any new equipment or procedures that are implemented. But training alone isn’t very effective in reducing injuries. Changes to work practices and equipment often can eliminate or substantially reduce the risk factors for injury.
Don’t just throw money and equipment at the problem
Purchasing equipment, such as a hoist, is often a very good solution to an ergonomics problem. However, changing the way something is done, such as eliminating the need to lift, is often the most effective way to prevent injury.
Make ergonomics part of purchasing and planning
By taking advantage of opportunities to make changes during the planning stage, you may be able to reduce your equipment and facilities costs. Any equipment with an obvious problem should be replaced quickly with something designed to eliminate or reduce the problem. Then, make sure that any old equipment that wears out is replaced with ergonomically designed equipment, where appropriate.
Expect results, but be patient
Ergonomics tools and practices keep workers healthy and increase productivity, quality and employee morale. However, you shouldn’t be discouraged if these results are not immediate. The important thing is to consider all of the benefits when calculating your return, not just reduced claims costs.
Ask for help
Ergonomics isn’t rocket science; most problems can be solved using in-house expertise. However, there will always be a few problems that will be easier to solve with a little help from someone with more experience.
MARKETING & SIGNAGE
There has been a slight change in these departments. The pressure and deadlines of signage were getting a little out of control but luckily there is a new face to assist Taylea. We welcome Charlmari who seems to be head on with signage and really blossoming. I can see she is a graphic designer under all these PA duties. Signage seems to be well but yes it does have its ups and downs. I can assure you that in the last month there has been an outcry for signs for CREC projects from stainless steel signs, core idents and cable tags it surely has been a mad rush. Voltex MV/LV also like to add their requirements to the mad rush. Nevertheless we keep on smiling without allowing the pressure to change our attitudes. It is only matter of time till our next mad rush as there are a lot of outstanding quotes which we are awaiting orders for; which I don’t doubt we’ll get. Otherwise keeping it creative from the signage side.
Marketing is not much of a department here but we have decided to call our tenders and quotes the marketing department. As you know there is an “old” new face in the front, Sindi, who is assisting the marketing department. Tenders seems to be rolling in but choosing wisely now, rather tendering on potential projects. Government quotes were on a standstill but now they seem to be flooding in again. Our team is trying their absolute best to get as much quotes out but also receive the orders. Some companies have a very long winded process but we still keep on being persistent and quietly reminding customers about the quotes.
Below is just a small insight to the difference between marketing and sales – broaden some minds.
|Definition||Marketing is the systematic planning, implementation and control of business activities to bring together buyers and sellers.||A sale a transaction between two parties where the buyer receives goods (tangible or intangible), services and/or assets in exchange for money. 2) An agreement between a buyer and seller on the price of a security.|
|Approach||Broader range of activities to sell product/service, client relationship etc.; determine future needs and has a strategy in place to meet those needs for the long term relationship.||Make customer demand match the products the company currently offers.|
|Focus||Overall picture to promote, distribute, price products/services; fulfil customer’s wants and needs through products and/or services the company can offer.||Fulfil sales volume objectives|
|Process||Analysis of market, distribution channels, competitive products and services; Pricing strategies; Sales tracking and market share analysis; Budget||Usually one to one|
|Scope||Market research; Advertising; Sales; Public relations; Customer service and satisfaction.||Once a product has been created for a customer need, persuade the customer to purchase the product to fulfil her needs|
|Horizon||Longer term||Short term|
|Priority||Marketing shows how to reach to the Customers and build long lasting relationship||Selling is the ultimate result of marketing.|
|Identity||Marketing targets the construction of a brand identity so that it becomes easily associated with need fulfilment.||Sales is the strategy of meeting needs in an opportunistic, individual method, driven by human interaction. There’s no premise of brand identity, longevity or continuity. It’s simply the ability to meet a need at the right time.|
May Friday Specials
6th May – Boss man’s Oxtail
13th May – Prada Salad
20th May – Eisbein coleslaw & mash
27th May – Boss man’s veggie & meat soup
Don’t miss out!!!
G-spot would like to thank everyone that came and supported Virtual Dj Grant on the 20th April, we hope that everyone had a blast!! We are looking forward to getting Grant back in a few months to come play his mixed vibe music. Thank you to everybody that came to show their support, we hope that next time will be just as fun and exciting showing us all your moves.
“Leba – Gooi Mielies”
The 27th April was a good turnout for our Ja Bru braai night, we are very happy to see that everybody had a great evening. We hope that we have more people come and join us on our braai evenings.
G-Spot will be hosting a drinking challenge that will be coming soon, For those who are interested get you’re drinking shoes on, come along and show us your skills.
How to make your own Topiary
Outdoor topiary can create a striking effect in your garden. Taking the time to make your own topiary can save you up to several hundred rands as well as give you a gardening focal point that you can be proud of.
There are essentially two kinds of topiary. There are vine topiary, where vines are encouraged to grow over topiary forms. Then there is shrub topiary, where a shrub is cut into a form.
Make your own topiary with vines
- Choose topiary forms – whether you are making a topiary tree or something more elaborate, if you decide to use vining plants to make a topiary, you will need to choose a topiary form. This will allow the vine to crawl up the form and cover the shape.
- Choose a vining plant – English ivy is a common choice for a vining plat topiary, though any plant that vines can be used, such as periwinkle or Boston ivy. English ivy is generally chosen due to the fact that is grows quickly, is tolerant of many conditions and looks lovely.
- Fill the form with sphagnum moss – While filling the topiary forms with sphagnum moss is not essential, it will help your topiary take on a fuller look much faster.
- Plant the vine around the form – Whether a potted topiary or an outdoor topiary in the ground, plant the vine around the form so that it can grow up the form. If you are using a large form or if you simply want to cover the form faster, you can use several plants around the form.
- Train and prune appropriately – As the plants grow, train them to the form by helping them wrap around the form. Also, prune or pinch back any shoots that cannot be easily trained to the topiary forms.
The time it will take to have a fully covered topiary varies depending on how many plants you use and the size of the topiary, but we can guarantee that when it is all filled in, you will be thrilled with the results.
Make your own topiary with shrubs
Making a topiary with a shrub is more difficult but still very fun.
- Choose the plant – It is easiest to start a shrub topiary with a small juvenile shrub that can be moulded as it grows, but you can accomplish an outdoor topiary effect with grown plants as well.
- Frame or no frame – If you are new to topiary, you will want to put topiary forms over the shrubs you choose to sculpt. As the plant grows, the frame will help guide you on your pruning decisions. If you are an experienced topiary artist, you can attempt to create topiary without topiary forms. Be aware that even experienced topiary artists will use frames to make things easier. If you have a larger shrub, you may need to build the frame around the topiary.
- Training and pruning – When creating a shrub outdoor topiary, you have to take things slowly. Envision how you want your final topiary to look and trim off no more than 3 inches in working towards that shape. If you are working on growing a small shrub, prune 1 inch off in areas where you need to fill in. Pruning will encourage additional, bushier growth. If you are working on shaping a large shrub, take no more than 3 inches off in areas where you wish to cut back. Any more than this will only kill off parts of the shrub and will ruin the process. Remember, when creating a shrub topiary, you are creating a sculpture in slow motion.
- Training and pruning again – We repeated this step because you will need to repeat this step — a lot. Train and prune the shrub a little more about every three months during active growth.
Take your time when you make your own topiary and take it slow. Your patience will be rewarded with a fabulous outdoor topiary.
Examples of topiaries:
The Arnfred Team!!
In Other News
Birthdays May – Happy Birthday to the following people in May:
4th – Innocent Nkabinde
7th – Basie Wessels
17th – Tony Petersen
22nd – Bridgett & Sherry Nichlson
The next edition of our news will be published on Tuesday 31st May 2016