Improve Operational Efficiencies!

In this months edition of Flooring Magazine, Makinex shared an article on how to improve operational efficiencies!

It’s all about efficiency!

Makinex are passionate about inventing and manufacturing products that increase productivity and provide faster, easier and safer ways to get difficult jobs done.

One such product is the Dual Pressure Washer, a hard surface pressure cleaner that combines a rotary and wand in the one machine.

To learn more, read the full article here.

Inside the construction industries substance abuse problem

Foundation House is helping tradies come to terms with mental health and addiction.

Last week VICE media published this interesting article about Foundation House Rehab centre in Sydney.

Tommy sits in a room full of tradies and tells them all about how he used to drink methylated spirits with Coke. The mixer was to stop him throwing up blood; he’d keep a schooner of the concoction next to his bed at his parents’ house, where he lived at the time. Tommy was almost 40 then, and had been in and out of the construction industry for half his life.

“I worked in construction, and I was a functioning addict from when I started when I was 18,” he explains. “At the start it was always pot. Ecstasy pills. Campbelltown coke. And then after that drinking came into it because it’s just part of the culture.

“It’s construction: if you can’t drink you can’t be trusted and be part of it.”

Tommy is a resident at the Foundation House rehabilitation centre, located in Sydney’s inner west. The 28-day residential program has been working with people like him for the past 18 years. A not-for-profit charity, Foundation House doesn’t get any government funding, but is instead supported by the construction industry itself. The centre receives a number of its referrals directly from the worksite via the Building Trade Group (BTG), through which they get most of their clientele.

Sitting here on a Wednesday night, it’s hard not to think there’s something wrong with Australia’s construction industry culture. There are close to 80 men in this room: some of them alcoholics, some of them drug addicts, some of them suicide survivors—but nearly all of them tradesmen.

“It’s the pressures that people are put under,” says Daniel, a therapist at Foundation House, when I ask him why this might be the case. “We’re talking 10 to 12 hour days six days a week, and no downtime.”

Such unforgiving hours are nothing new, and in recent years there’s been some significant headway towards raising awareness around issues of mental health on the worksite. Foundation House is an important next step. They don’t just want to shine a light on the underbelly of the construction industry: they want to offer the workers a way out of the dark.

“Foundation House was born because for all the education, for all the need for something to change there needed to be a place for some one to change,” the centre’s CEO, David Atkin, told me. “Our objective is on the wall: ‘To introduce a person to themselves in the hope that one day they become friends’.”

The 28 day residency is small when compared to the several-month stints of other rehab clinics—but that’s part of what makes it effective. David explains that people can take a few weeks off the job, come into rehab, and then get back to work.

“The workplace intervention doesn’t really work if it’s three months, six months, or 12 months because you’re not going to get the support of the employers,” he says. “But for four weeks, it works.”

Those four weeks are described by the staff at Foundation House as “intense”. After undergoing a detox and an assessment, the clients are stripped of their phones and admitted into a program that sees them meeting one-on-one with a councillor twice a week, and taking part in a rotating series of education groups, communication groups, and relationship-building groups.

Two weeks in, the residents get an opportunity to tell their story: to talk about their life, about what addiction was like for them, and become vulnerable around the other people in their group. It’s this part—this sense of connection and community—that so many of them point to as the thing they valued the most.

“The most important thing for me was coming in here and then meeting other people that have been through a similar thing,” says Alex—another, much younger, graduate of the program.

Alex started as an apprentice plasterer at the age of 18. By 19—and following constant recreational use of cannabis, ecstasy, LSD, ketamine, and cocaine—he was admitted to a psychiatric ward.

“Once I went there it was like Fuck, maybe I’m crazy. And I didn’t know how to talk about that to people at work,” he tells me. “I just wanted to fit in. Then I started to hear my story in other people at meetings, how this has helped their lives, and thought I’d give it a go. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

A third ex-resident, Jim, agrees the construction culture has historically been one that encourages substance abuse while shunning open, serious conversations around issues of mental health.

“Every workplace I’ve ever worked in has started with the culture of bullying the apprentice and going to the pub,” he says. “Some of us would drink at work. Most of us, if not all of us, would drink after work. And definitely all of us would get drunk at night at home, and show up either still drunk or with a massive hangover. It was a competitive culture: who drank more.”

Jim and Daniel both have theories as to why there is such a substance abuse problem within the industry. Jim suggests that the high wages have something to do with it—the fact that “You get a 25-year-old kid earning $400 a day.” Daniel points to the intense working conditions—the 70 hour weeks—and suggests that substances are used as a way to cope with the demands of the job.

“It’s probably moved from alcohol to methamphetamine, too,” he says. “Because they’re working long hours they’re using cocaine and things that are going to be stimulating rather than depressants.”

This “work hard, play harder” culture has a lot to answer for when it comes to the industry’s mental health problem. Many people within construction describe it as a toxic environment that’s too lucrative too leave. The money’s good, and the demand for work is so high that anyone not willing to toe the line is cast aside and replaced within a day. Everyone is expendable, pressures are high, and using drugs and alcohol to blow off steam just is, and always has been, the done thing.

So how do you solve a problem like that?

Forcing people to open up and come to terms with their emotions is one part of it. But when I ask Daniel what it is specifically about Foundation House that these men and women find so effective, based on their feedback, he points to Wednesday nights.

The weekly relapse prevention meet-ups are an extension of the residential program, providing a forum where former and current residents can come together and speak openly with one another. Some are here for the very first time, while others have been coming back, week after week, for years.

“They’re beautiful, Wednesday nights,” Tommy tells me. “Everyone’s here helping each other.”

That’s certainly the energy in the room. One by one, the current and former residents of Foundation House—“Foundo”, as they call it—take turns yelling out their names, to rapturous applause, and talking through their feelings. Others nod, speaking words of encouragement and affirmation. Some of them cry, or laugh, or joke about how they’re only here for the free dinner. Mostly, though, they speak openly and honestly. And Daniel, the therapist, hardly says a thing.

“This place looks after itself sometimes,” he tells me. “We provide support and love, but at the end of the day it’s their community: it’s the ex-residents and the current residents coming together and saying: ‘These are the results’.

“Just having something that’s theirs. This is all they’ve got really.”

If you’d like to find out more about Foundation Hose head to their website

https://www.foundationhouse.net.au/

 

Makinex welcomes Michael Hilti

Everyone was thrilled to welcome Michael Hilti to Makinex Sydney Headquarters on Friday 19th Oct.

 

Michael Hilti and Rory Kennard spent time discussing new products and innovation within the construction industry.

 

Makinex have worked with Hilti for the last 7 years with the Jackhammer Trolley Hilti version and Hilti selling the Makinex Tile Smasher Heads.

 

Makinex and Hilti have a longstanding appreciation and passion for finding innovative ways to make the construction industry more efficient.

 

Hilti was established in 1941, and Makinex aspire to follow in their extremely successful footsteps, they have a business culture most companies admire being in the Top 25 places to work in the world, among many other awards and accolades.

 

Hilti also won Financial Review Top 100 Graduate employer award – which is an excellent opportunity for graduates wanting to enter the construction and design industry.

 

Makinex and Hilti align in many ways especially in the importance design plays in their products, with Hilti winning Red Dot Awards and both Makinex and Hilti winning Good Design Awards over the years.

 

Rory Kennards says “Design is imperative when producing high quality products and tools that will make a difference to the construction industry. Makinex believes there’s always a better way to do things, and is constantly striving to be the best it can be, working with companies such as Hilti drives us to design and produce excellent product that changes the way they work”

 

Having aligned qualities with other players in the construction industry is inspiring and shows that working together in order to build outstanding products and businesses to support to industry is possible.

 

Makinex hopes to continue its relationship with Hilti and learn from this powerhouse business, by continuing to offer outstanding quality and designed products for the construction industry.

Operator fatigue reduces safety and efficiency in hard surface cleaning!

Hard surface cleaning is a physically demanding job and can lead to several health-related issues.

Operator fatigue is a major challenge because of the pushing, pulling and lifting of heavy and awkward mechanical equipment. Shift work is commonly associated with cleaning and can exacerbate the feelings of fatigue.

What is the impact of operator fatigue?

Feeling tired can result in reducing your reaction time and a decrease in productivity.

You want to achieve a great result for your client yet you’re feeling tired due to back to back shifts. As a result, your ability to produce a great job maybe limited and so too is the potential positive word of mouth.

To ensure you stay at the top of your game, there are a few strategies which can help mitigate the impact of operator fatigue including;

  1. Take a break – You may save time and money in the short term by not taking a break but using machinery that is tough on your body without regular breaks can lead to substantial problems in the long run
  2. Protect yourself – Head, hearing, eyes and face, hand and foot protection are essential protection items
  3. Thorough training –train employees to make them aware of the potential dangers of pressure cleaning and how to navigate them safely. Don’t rush this process as you run the risk of missing out key pieces of information can lead to mistakes
  4. Machine maintenance and inspections – without a pressure cleaning machine, you can’t do your job so make sure you look after them. In doing so you limit the risk to the operator and those around him. Make sure you schedule in regular service and maintenance checks.

Makinex Construction products are proud of the innovative range of products they’ve have created which assist in managing some key areas of safety and efficiency within the construction industry.

What products help minimise operator fatigue?

One such product is the Makinex Dual Pressure Washer (DPW) which is a hard surfaces pressure cleaner that combines a rotary and wand in the one machine and enables the user to swap between them at the turn of a handle.

The dual functions of the Makinex Dual Pressure Washer enable users to clean a variety of hard surfaces in a safe and efficient manner. The push behind functionality and rubber mounts reduce vibration providing the user with a comfortable and stress-free operating experience.

This is what Scott from Kangaroo Courts Australia had to say about the Makinex DPW;

“The way a court falls means you’re constantly having to swap between the rotary and pressure wand to clear away the dirty water. The fact the Makinex DPW has both functions on the one machine, has enabled to complete the jobs I do 30% faster!”

To learn more about the Makinex Dual Pressure Washer visit: https://www.makinex.com.au/products/dual-pressure-washer-4000psi.

If you follow the tips and advice from the professionals to rest, protect, train and maintain then you will limit your exposure to the potential pitfalls of operator to fatigue and can rest assured you’re doing everything you can to maintain the safety of yourself and those around you.

For more insights on how to work safely and efficiently, download our ebook here

Makinex Finalist in National Safety Awards

Last week (15th Oct 2018) Makinex become a finalist in Category 2A: Best solution of a WHS Risk (Small Business ) at the National Safety Awards of Excellence Gala Luncheon held last week.

It was attended by Paul Weaver (Managing Director) and Matthew Cape (Design Manager)

This was for the Powered Hand Truck, and amazing safety product helping people safely pick up products up to 140kg.

We have our fingers crossed for the finals being announced soon.

 

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Unsafe work practices putting Tradies lives at risk

Unsafe work practices on construction sites are becoming a real worry for tradies.

AUSSIE tradespeople are lifting the lid on a number of dodgy practices within the industry which could be putting lives at risk.

LAST month, news.com.au reported on an alarming spike in young, fit tradespeople being struck down by a deadly disease right across the country.

A recent increase in cases of silicosis — a progressive, incurable condition so dangerous it has been dubbed “the new asbestos” — has even sparked calls for a national ban on dry cutting techniques in workshops.

Makinex takes safety very seriously and especially dust suppression – see our Hose 2 Go product here 

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

 

Makinex launches new office in the UK

Makinex launches a new office in the UK

Award Winning Makinex Construction Products launches in the UK

Makinex Construction Products launches in the UK this January and will showcase its range at the Executive Hire Show on 7th and 8th February, Coventry.

Makinex Construction products was established in Australia  in 2004 focusing on designing robust light construction equipment for the Hire industry. Over the past decade its business model has been to take these products throughout the world, including USA and Europe. Today, the company is pleased to announce the opening of its UK offices and will appoint Russell Boswell-Munday as UK Sales Manager.

Paul Weaver – Makinex Managing Director said:

Entering new markets around the world can be a minefield. Two years ago, we partnered with Morris Site Machinery (MSM) in the United Kingdom on this journey as we held similar values designing innovative equipment offering our customers a better, more efficient way to do their job.

Morris Site Machinery has represented the Makinex range in a highly professional way during this time- something we are very grateful for. They have set the foundations for the brand in the UK and we now feel the time is right for Makinex to go it alone.

Makinex has big ambitions, and as part of its Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) it aims s to have 20 products in twenty countries within the next ten years. The company currently has offices in Australia and, North America, along with distribution partners in 12 other countries.

With 20 plus years and now in his role as UK Sales Manager, Russell Boswell-Munday will be instrumental to helping the Australian company grow even further and achieve its goal of becoming the most innovative equipment supplier.

Makinex Construction Products has won many awards around the world for innovation including the Executive Hire Show Innovation Trail Award back in 2016 for its Powered Hand Truck, as well as a Good Design Award in Australia and the RER Innovation Award in USA 2016.

View the UK website here 

Makinex are finalists in Optus My Business Award

Makinex Construction Products has been shortlisted for the prestigious Optus My Business Awards.

 

Makinex Construction Products has been shortlisted as a finalist to win the awards in the Innovator of the year category at the 2017 Optus My Business Awards, the premier event of the year for SMEs.

 

Founded in 2004, Makinex offers a range of products to the global construction industry. The award they’ve been nominated for recognises their innovative range of products which provide solutions to not only the construction but also landscaping, equipment hire, infrastructure, materials handling and other related industries.

 

The Optus My Business Awards, which covers 28 categories, acknowledges best practice within a particular industry sector, as well as individual business leaders, excellence in customer service and achievements in innovation, corporate social responsibility and workplace culture.

Winners from all categories will be automatically shortlisted for the highly coveted Business of the Year Award.

Adam Zuchetti, editor of My Business, said Australian SMEs are at the leading edge of innovation and customer service excellence, as represented by this year’s Optus My Business Awards finalists.

“My Business is extremely proud to showcase those companies and their leaders that are thriving by pushing the boundaries and challenging the status quo across a diverse spectrum of industries,” Mr Zuchetti said.

“Determining this year’s finalists was no easy feat, with our selection panel working through an outstanding calibre of entries and the highest submission rate for the awards to date.

“On behalf of the My Business team, I would like to congratulate all of this year’s finalists and wish them the best of luck for the big night”

Rory Kennard, CEO at Makinex said he was humbled by the nomination.

 

“Makinex’s recognition for its excellent contribution to the global construction industry reinforces the strength of the brand in connecting with the community and engaging with its customers,” he added.

 

The winners will be announced at a black-tie awards dinner on Friday, 10 November at The Westin Sydney. Wish us luck!

Most Innovative Product Awards

A few weeks ago Makinex exhibited at The World Of Concrete in Las Vegas.

We have just found out that Makinex won the Most Innovative Products Award for

Concrete Construction Equipment 

Industry Choice: Makinex Construction Products, Hose2Go

 General Construction Tools & Equipment

Industry Choice: Makinex Construction Products, Powered Hand Truck

Presented annually in conjunction with the World of Concrete, the MIP Award program showcases many products exhibited at the show. The MIP award program allows World of Concrete attendees and audiences of CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION, MASONRY CONSTRUCTION, and THE CONCRETE PRODUCER an opportunity to vote for the products they judge as most innovative.

Winners are also selected by a panel of industry experts, many of whom serve on the World of Concrete Educational Advisory Board, as well as by the editors of CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION, MASONRY CONSTRUCTION, and THE CONCRETE PRODUCER. Winning products are chosen based on the innovation they bring to the industry.

Interview at World of Concrete – Makinex Hose 2 Go

Last week the Makinex team exhibited at The World Of Concrete event in Las Vegas.

We were exhibiting a number of products including

Hose 2 Go, Powered Hand Truck,Generator Range, Dual Pressure Washer, Jackhammer Trolley and Mixing Station.

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Rory Kennard – Makinex CEO had the pleasure of being interviewed by For Construction Pros – where he talks about the Hose 2 Go and how it is an idea product for the concrete industry supplying a constant flow of water that allows you to suppress dust when cutting, core drilling and grinding concrete.

The Hose 2 Go is a constant pressure water supply unit.

It is so simple:

  • No pump which mean greater reliability
  • No complicated electronics to breakdown
  • No battery to go flat and expensive replacements
  • No need to manually pump to get the water pressure you need.

If you would like a demo or to request a quote – just get in touch

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