HSE inspections | Now is the time to make sure you’ve got your health and safety in order!

With the HSE rolling out more inspections and the number of prosecutions on the rise now is a very important time to talk to us about our health and safety software.

Why now?HSE inspections builders

Clearly health and safety is not something to mess around with. Nor are the unlimited fines, fees for intervention and potentially company closing prosecutions that can come from not just accidents but having the appropriate paperwork to hand when a HSE inspector shows up nor being able to demonstrate to them a thorough awareness of the legislation, even if no breach has actually occurred.

There are many examples of recent notices where firms simply didn’t have a Construction Phase Plan in place or didn’t have suitable hand washing facilities in place. All offences are saved to the online public register where prosecutions are saved for at least 5 years! For example;

“Contractor – Failed as a contractor to plan, manage and monitor construction work – Regulation 15(2) of Construction, Design and Management Regulations 2015 Employer – Failed to discharge its duty under Regulation 7(1) of Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 – Did not control exposure of employees to Respirable Crystaline Silica – fine £16,000, Total Costs Awarded to HSE £1,377.45.

Check out the Prosecutions database and see for yourself. http://www.hse.gov.uk/prosecutions/

Other than a rather larger number of inspections (which you may well have avoided so far) and a clear focus on small to medium building firms, there has also been a large rise in the number of fees for interventions as well as a rise in the number of prosecutions so it appears the HSE has a rigorous regime of inspections in place.

Why health and safety software?HSE inspections

Health & Safety Xpert is the easiest and fastest way to ensure that you have everything in place to meet your health and safety requirements. This is because the software automatically lines up all the paperwork and health and safety precautions that you should be completing based on your job specification. Every document you could possibly need including Risk Assessments, Method Statements, COSHH Assessments, Construction Phase Plan and more. Then it’s simply a matter of filling in the finer details to complete and printing off ready to inform your site actions and/or saving to your preferred cloud storage provider so they can be on hand whenever needed.

Why the urgency?

The HSE have announced that their aim is to complete at least 20,000 inspections in their 2016 – 2017 annual service plan with the intention of repeating or growing this in the following year. Given that there are approximately 50,000 VAT registered building firms in the UK (ONS, 2016), firms have for a fairly high chance of being randomly spot checked. So best to be sure you’ve got everything in place!

I’ve never needed health and safety software before, why would I now?

HBXL have been doing some research into the common reasons that firms failed on inspection. We found that many, seemingly small things like a access to a loo, lack of a Construction Phase health and safety plan, or  failure to ensure that pedestrians and vehicles could move wit
hout risk has caused fines and failures. Take a look at the full article here.

What happens to my software if health and safety regulations change?

You’re thinking that having all your health and safety sorted for you, automatically, based on your job specs would be great. The peace of mind that, when asked, you can provide all required docs with no hassle would be amazing but what happens to the software if there are regulation changes?

Health & Safety Xpert is regularly reviewed to ensure that it is up to date with the latest regulations and all you need to do is download an update any time there are changes. As long as you have Support and Updates in place (which are free for the first year and include our award winning support service) then your software is futureproof. Never get caught out by regulation changes again!

health-and-safety-software-risk-assessmentHealth and safety software from award winning building software providers

Want to know more about Health & Safety Xpert? We haven’t even told you the best bit! All HBXL Building Software products are integrated with X-Connex connectivity! That means that if you own EstimatorXpress you can import all the information from your estimate to automatically produce your health and safety documentation! Almost no typing required! Don’t believe us? Give us a call on 0117 9167898 and we’ll be happy to show you how and set you up with a free 30 day demo on all of our software. We look forward to your call.

Run a more productive construction site by combining software

You may already be benefiting from EstimatorXpress so you probably already know the time, money and effort saving possibilities of embracing a software solution. BUT, the real clever stuff begins when you combine HBXL software products. Read on to find out why and give us a call to discuss our December deals

Beyond award winning estimating software

EstimatorXpress as a standalone product is still something to be valued as suggested by the number of estimating software awards it has picked up this year alone. This being said, the benefit of using software to prepare and manage your construction projects extends beyond estimating.

Our building software helps with every stage of the building process, enabling efficiency savings which in turn improves your profitability. It’s an essential toolkit for anyone wanting to run a more productive construction site. As Aristotle said “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” and the same can be said for our software range. So extend your suite and start seeing the bigger benefits.

Integrated software from end-to-end

All HBXL products are fully integrated for a complete end-to-end experience to reduce the amount of time and effort required by you. If you are already using more than one of our products, you’ll know how easy it is to share information between the programs so that you don’t have to enter details more than once. If you have been using EstimatorXpress on its own, you’ll be amazed what the software range can do with almost no extra effort! PLUS, because all the information is shared across the package, you can be sure that everything matches up to reduce errors and omissions.

run a more productive construction site by combining softwareStarting with PlansXpress, simple drag and drop tools will help you draft architect quality plans, 2D elevations and 3D models. (Or if you have been given plans from your client, simply scan and trace them to make alterations and capture essential construction information such as dimensions and specification).

Then, for an almost instant quote, import your building plan into EstimatorXpress to get a
complete cost break down of the project. Now that’s efficiency savings – save on architect and QS fees and your time.

Next, import your estimate into Health & Safety Xpert and it will use your job specifications to automatically generate all hethe required health and safety documents you need including Risk Assessments, Construction Phase Plans, site checklists and audits to ensure that you meet required HSE compliance including CDM 2015 and CHAS. There are whole host of site management documents integrated construction software for productive building siteautomatically produced – all the quicker still for using Health & Safety Xpert in conjunction with EstimatorXpress.

Afterward, import your EstimatorXpress estimate into ContractsXpert and it will use your estimate details to directly prepare a watertight customer building contract and ensure you meet Doorstep Selling regulations, as well as properly contracting with your subcontractors. So much better than clients defaulting on payment and causing you cashflow issues, and subcontractors walking off site when a better offer comes along.

Five, use ProjectXpert to ensure you run the most productive construction project possible. Simply import one or multiple jobs from EstimatorXpress to manage single or multiple, simultaneous jobs and keep track of how your whole week, month or year is panning out at any point, not just at the end! If you’re thinking you don’t normally have more than one job at once, then you really need to try the software to see how it improves the management of the individual projects you have on the go. You don’t know what you’re missing out on! (The import is worth focusing on as not only does it bring across your build program, but also your resources and costings…this means you can manage planned build program versus actual, resource allocation and costs versus actual too…

To sum it up…

    • Win more business by offering a ‘design & build’ service that makes you stand out (only 14% of UK building firms currently offer this service).
    • Encourage customer confidence and repeat business with professional contracts and health and safety documents.
    • Return a higher profit on every job and manage your time more efficiently
    • And save yourself a huge amount of time and stress…

Add to your software with existing user discounts!

HBXL reward our existing customers too… we offer exclusive user discounts for anyone who already owns any of our software range. Give us a call on 0117 9167898 to discuss your own deal today!

The latest construction software guaranteed by regular developmentHBXL have had a great 2016 filled with regular construction software updates and a whole heap of awards for our estimating software – EstimatorXpress, our company as a whole and our fantastic support team. Read on to be reminded of all the improvements we’ve made to our range of market leading construction software products for builders and developers so you can check if you are bang up to date with the latest features and regulations.

EstimatorXpress– The best estimating software 2016.

construction softwareWinner of three awards in 2016, EstimatorXpress has just undergone a major transformation to EstimatorXpress 2017 as well as two previous, updates to the 2015 version. You certainly get your money’s worth with a year’s Support & Updates!

EstimatorXpress 2017 comes with new estimating ribbon navigation and a new ‘quick start’ estimating wizard , which remembers your preferences on how you work. This dramatically speeds up the time it takes to get an estimate and also furthers the benefits of the Spring and Summer updates including a whole host of new features such as new drainage and sewage workbooks, improved integration with Health & Safety Xpert, new mini specs for guttering and “no decoration”, updated PlansXpress integration of the Notes Wizard in partnership with Assure Building Control, new build phases for internal renovation and improvements to existing Workbooks.

For existing users of EstimatorXpress 2015, all these updates plus access to our very helpful support team 9-5, Monday to Friday is just £179+VAT. Absolute bargain, I’m sure you’ll agree! Make sure your Support & Updates are in place here. Head’s up…there are LOADS of new EstimatorXpress features and Workbooks planned for launch in 2017. Watch this space.

PlansXpress – Straightforward CAD software for builders and developers.

CAD construction softwareOur fully integrated construction software range starts with PlansXpress, the easy building plans software which has again had some major improvements this year with the release of a PlansXpress spring update.

This huge development took four people around 300 hours or eight man weeks to produce. Included in this major development was an update building regs as part of our partnership with Assure Building Control and improved connectivity with the EstimatorXpress Notes Wizard to intelligently analyse the drawing and identify the relevant Building Regulation clauses required to pass building regulation plans inspection, often reducing the process to a single mouse click! Find out more here

Health & Safety Xperthealth and safety construction software – Ensure CDM 2015 compliance painlessly.

Our construction health and safety software has had two significant developments this year seeing the release of Health & Safety Xpert 2016 and our autumn update just recently. These both included a health and safety regulations review to ensure the software is up to date with all the latest changes in legislation. As part of this we developed 91 additional COSHH Assessments, 15 new or updated Risk Assessments and a new Simple Construction Phase Plan to address the requirement for a CPP for jobs of any size. This helps gets boots on the ground quicker, helps your company avoid unwanted attention from the HSE and work towards a safer construction industry. To find out more about the latest additions to Health & Safety Xpertread the full article.

ContractsXpert – Protect your business and assure your client.building contracts construction software

Back in January we released ContractsXpert 2016 which has been completely revamped and was written (and updated) in conjunction with a leading construction lawyer to ensure all our contracts are watertight yet straightforward so that both customer and builder are on the same page. Payment is made simple and it is easy to make alterations to match changes in the work. All documentation required for Door Step Selling compliance is produced within minutes requiring minimal effort. For more information please read the full article.

Ongoing commitment to research and development ensures best construction software.

We think you’ll agree that we’ve had a busy year and in our eyes it’s all made worth it when you hear back from happy, successful users and receive such great awards. At HBXL we attribute this success to our ongoing commitment to research and development of all our construction software. We reinvest 25% of our turnover back into product development to make sure our users get the most out of their Support & Updates. In order to benefit from all the investment and work we do, AND to be able to use our award winning Support Team, make sure you keep your Support & Updates in place here.

Take a look at the figures and find out which areas are the best and worst for fatalities in construction.

Hopefully I don’t have to explain to you how construction sites can be dangerous places if not treated with appropriate respect and caution. Statistics consistently prove that builders and developers are at a higher risk of work related fatalities than other, non-manual work. This is also the case for occupational sicknesses which you can read about in our article on work related illness. At HBXL we are dedicated to helping builders and developers reduce the dangers on site and therefore reduce incidents, accidents, illness and fatalities in construction.

Fatalities in construction – Total fatalities and sector comparisons.

According to the HSE, construction fatalities remain at the five year average of 43 with around 2 deaths per 100,000 workers. This compares to the UK average rate for all workplace fatalities which is currently at 0.46 per 100,000 *. Obviously we would expect construction to have a higher rate than the average due to the nature of the work but more than four times higher is a shocking statistic and at HBXL we would like to see that figure improve.  This is why we created Health & Safety Xpert.

The software is designed to make it easier for builders and developers to meet health and safety requirements and in turn make construction sites safer places to work. We also keep a close eye on the HSEstatistics to make sure our software is helping to cut down on the most common causes of fatality and injury on site. Read on to find out which areas of the country are the best and worst performing .

Which area has the worst rating for fatalities?

fatalities in construction HSE area table

Taking industry wide fatality statistics for 2015-16, Wales had a fatality rating of 0.93 per 100,000 which was 0.33 more than the next highest mortality rate of 0.60 per 100,000 in Scotland with England’s average at 0.42 and the overall average for Great Britain 0.46*. If you take a look at the table you’ll be able to see industry wide the breakdown of fatalities by regions of England. Notably, the worst and best for 2015-16 were Yorkshire & The Humber at 0.58 and the South East at 0.25 respectively. London was a close second best with 0.34 per 100,000.

Whether you’re looking at your area fondly or shamefully, everyone should be feeling that they can do better. Shouldn’t we be aiming for a situation where there are no fatalities in construction at all? Read on to find out common causes of fatalities and injuries and how to prevent them.

Common causes of injuries and fatalities in construction.

Looking at data from RIDDOR**, the most common cause of fatality in construction is still a fall from height with 14 deaths in Great Britain in 2014-15 which was more than half of all work related fatalities in construction for that year. Falls from height also caused a high number of work related injuries with 643 specified injuries recorded in 2014-15. The second highest cause of fatalities in construction was joint between ‘struck by a moving vehicle’ and ‘trapped by something collapsing/ overturning’ which both caused 4 deaths in 2014-15. The highest cause of over-7-day injuries was ‘Injured while handling, lifting or carrying’ with 1,036 cases reported. Health & Safety Xpert can help you tackle these risks head on by providing you with safer systems of work.

Health & Safety Xpert helps ensure site safetyfatalities in construction risk assessment

Health & Safety Xpert has been designed to help builders and developers produce all the necessary health and safety documentation for work on site and therefore help improve site safety. Users quickly enter what type of project they are working on and all the required documents are automatically loaded and prepopulated. With minimal additional effort builders add finer details and are ready to print and share easily with staff and clients.

Regular updates keep builders on top of legislation changes

Health & Safety Xpert is regularly updated to help ensure all the documents produced correspond to the latest regulations including CDM 2015. On top of this, regular updates allow us to keep improving the speed of the software and ease of use so that builders can have no excuse for not producing their H&S paperwork!

Get a free trialfatalities in construction hse statistics dangerous areas

See how easy it is with a free trial using fully licenced software for 14 days, a complimentary 1-2-1 demonstration and full access to the highly ratedsupport service. Follow the link to fill in a quick form and get started or give us a call on 0117 9167898.


** Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulationshttps://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/

The fastest estimating software, EstimatorXpressis now even faster with the release of a new update. We have developed EstimatorXpress 2017 to be even more user friendly and fast than it was before. Plus, it can now read minds!

Before we discuss what’s new, let’s see why EstimatorXpress is already a winner!

EstimatorXpress recently won the title of ‘best estimation software 2016’ from Corporate Vision in their Technology InnovatorFastest estimating software - estimatorxpress Awards. HBXL also received nominations for other awards including Vonage Business Enabler of the Year in the Lloyds National Business Awards. But, as the forward thinking company we are, HBXL are already looking ahead to 2017. The new update to be released soon will be the fastest estimating software yet!

Plus, this all comes only months after the improvements and additions in the EstimatorXpress Summer Update. At HBXL Building Software we are committed to providing the most advanced software for our users. We continually re-invest and listen to our users’ requests and improvement suggestions. We want our users to rest assured that the software will be continually kept up to date.

What does the best and fastest estimating software do?

EstimatorXpress allows builders and developers to produce 100% accurate estimates, professional quotes and an array of reports in a matter of minutes!

Our experienced construction specialists have designed the software specifically for builders and the construction industry which is why it is not only extremely fast, accurate and able to estimate for any domestic construction jobs but also incredibly easy to use!

This emphasis on speed and usability is two of the top reasons that thousands of builders have chosen our estimating software and now we have made it even faster and even easier! Read on to find out how…

Did you say read minds? Exclusive wizards that remembers how you work?

Sadly EstimatorXpress 2017 cannot remember how you like your tea, BUT it can remember how you like to work to save you even more time estimating in the future! We’ve made improvements to our intelligent software and the New Estimate Wizard – which is HBXL’s unique system that helps builders set up estimates ready for estimating. We have truncated the Wizard with a ‘quick start’ ability to remember your preferences for even faster and even more user friendly estimating.

The software remembers the details you’ve used previously when you’re estimating for a ‘house’ or ‘extension’ for example and will stop you having to re-select them each time and saving you more time in the future. This includes;

  • Specification – type of work you estimate.
  • Group of Workbooks – the estimating calculators that make EstimatorXpress so fast.
  • Price Book – the library of materials, labour and plant prices updated live over the internet.
  • Mini-Specs – the pick ‘n’ mix options that make it easy and faster choosing and changing the commonly different materials such as brick and roof tile types.
  • Build programme chart – To help keep the project on track.

The improvements we’ve made to the Estimate Wizard are also aimed at letting users set things up when they’re ready to i.e. you can chose when you want to review profit and enter a customer’s details – for example you might want to set your Profit level when you’re deciding what price you want to come in at and customer details only when you’re ready to produce a quote.

EstimatorXpress 2017 - fastest estimating softwareNew navigation for faster and easier estimating.

We have also increased usability by adding a new ribbon feature to the top of the screen for easier navigation to all the estimating workbooks that make EstimatorXpress so fast and accurate. Once you’re done in one Workbook you can easily get started with the next Workbook. It’s just a single click on the ribbon. This also brings in a common interface from PlansXpress to further improve the ease of using the combination of EstimatorXpress and PlansXpress to create a design and build process (which we call 3D Visual Estimating).

Automation – EstimatorXpress does the work so you don’t have to!estimatorXpress 2017 - fastest estimating software worksheets

We’ve already packed EstimatorXpress with automatic tricks to help builders win jobs and run them successfully. Automatically produced build programmes and other reports is just one example, and now we have more! We’ve added automatic naming of worksheets and workbooks so that users have even less typing to do. Used with the New Estimating Ribbon, users can get straight into the dimensions wizard for even quicker access to estimating.

 Why should your building firm use our estimating software?

EstimatorXpress estimating software has already helped over 12,000 building firms in the UK win more work, improve their efficiency and bring home a bigger profit whilst saving them time and effort.

Grab a free trial to see what you’re missing.

Not yet used the software? Try it free for 14 days and see just how your building firm can profit from a software solution.

The real impact of work related illness in construction

Work related ill health is something that affects every industry sector adversely but it is an even bigger problem for manual labour industries such as construction. Not only is it bad for workers health but illness also has negative implications for businesses and the economy as a whole. Read on to find out the important figures taken straight from the HSE and how you can help protect your building firm from these detrimental factors…

Negative effects of work related illness in construction

Construction, like other manual labour sectors, sees a higher rate of work related illness, injury and fatalities and therefore also shoulders a higher cost. In Britain, a total of 1.2 million working days were lost last year to construction firms due to work related ill health at a cost of £0.4 billion. Last year, 69,000 construction workers suffered from work-related illness with around 2 in 3 of these cases being due to musculoskeletal disorders and 1 in 5 cases due to stress or depression.

Workers in construction also face a higher risk of common illnesses than the rest of society. Construction is linked to more than half of all work related cancer fatalities in Britain and workers in the construction industry have been found to be more likely to suffer from work related breathing or lung problems than across all industries.

Not only are construction workers chances of illness higher than that of the majority of the working population but their chances of work related fatalities are also higher having been on an average of 43 per year for the past 5 years which is a fatality rate of 1.94 per 100,000 workers. This is significantly higher than the average work place fatality rate across the board which is more than four times lower at 0.46 per 100,000.

These figures are enough to worry anyone working, or with friends and family, in the construction industry but there are measures that builders and developers can take to help reduce the risk.

What can you do to help reduce work related illness?Work related illness in construction -health-and-safety-software-for-builders

The simple answer to reducing work related illness in construction is for employers to carry out Risk Assessments and COSHH Assessments for your work activities. Employers must also control workplace exposures, providing appropriate health surveillance and encouraging employees to report symptoms at an early stage such as back pain, dermatitis and Asthma, and then seeking early appropriate treatment or support.

There are various legal obligations that the employer must meet:

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires that employers assess the risks to health and safety of their employees while at work

Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as amended) requires that employers carry out Risk Assessments on the manual handling tasks that pose a risk of injury

Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (as amended) set out what employers need to do if their employees are habitual users of DSE.

Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 require an employer to take actions to protect persons against risks to their health and safety arising from exposure to vibration at work. Regular long-term exposure to Whole Body Vibration (WBV) is associated with back pain.

Health & Safety Xpert – The easy way to ensure safety

Health & Safety Xpert from HBXL is the easy way to reduce health and safety issues and help ensure workers are working to the appropriate health and safety practices. The software automatically generates the documents required for your business including your Company Health & Safety Policy, which sets out your company approach to health and safety, and also project specific documentation based on the job specifications (e.g. what is being built, and how and with what materials) and prepopulates them so that minimal typing is required. It also covers accident reporting so that ‘responsible persons’ can record and report certain incidents, injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences involving employees, self-employed workers and members of the public to the HSE. Although near misses are not part of an employer’s legal duty, it is also good practice to record non-reportable ‘near-miss’ incidents, workplace accidents and occurrences where no-one has actually been hurt or become ill, so that the company can learn from such incidents, using the old adage ‘prevention is better than cure’.

PLUS, the latest version of Health & Safety Xpert is out now with 8 new Risk Assessments covering areas recommended by our by our health and safety specialists. The issues addressed in these new Risk Assessments directly tackle on going health issues that affect lots builders such as dermatitis.

On top of this it includes our regulations review and update that ensures all documents are complying with the latest developments.

Combined with EstimatorXpress, Health & Safety Xpert automatically produces health and safety documentation to make sure that your project has all the correct documentation.

Try it free today!

We’re confident that you and your building firm will see the benefit of easy, fast and efficient software to help ensure site safety and prevent intervention from the HSE. That is why we give away free trials for 14 days. Try it free today and get access to the full software, combine with the rest of the integrated range, a free demonstration to get you started as well as full access to our highly rated support team and range of resources…all for free! Give us a call on 0117 9167898 or follow the link below to fill in the trial request form.


HBXL announced as National Business Awards finalist.

-Visit www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk for all finalists-

Today, HBXL has been shortlisted for the Vonage Business Enabler of the Year for the 2016 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

The Bristol-based company provides software for the build sector and has revolutionised the waybuilding firms run their businesses to increase their profitability and improve their efficiency. HBXL’s software toolkits helps small to medium sized builders professionally prepare and present building plans,estimates, health and safety documentation and contracts. HBXL’s suite of software has savedbuilders hundreds of man hours and thousands of pounds making them more profitable.

Joanna Mulgrew, product development director said: “HBXL are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for this award. HBXL is the leading software developer for the build sector in the UK and has been at the forefront of transforming the way builders operate for over a decade. I believe that our success stems from our customer focus – by listening to our client needs we develop solutions that are asuser-friendly as possible. Support is a major priority to maximise adoption, enabling users to embrace the time and cost saving benefits of IT in an industry which is not ordinarily known for its IT take-up – and for them to quickly see a return on their investment.”

The finalists were chosen from the hundreds of businesses that entered or were nominated across 18award categories. They will now prepare for live presentations to an expert judging panel who will decide the overall winners.

Described as “the Oscars of great British business” by David Cameron, former Prime Minister, this year’s prestigious award ceremony will take place on Tuesday 15th November, at the Grosvenor House, Park Lane, where the winners will be revealed.

For the first time, Conor McGinn MP recently hosted a reception for the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards at the House of Commons. This enabled finalists to meet fellow entrants, the National Business Awards Advisory Board members, judges (who they will present to in September) and sponsors of each category.

Tom Broughton, Group Brand Director of the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards said: “Due to the high number of entries for this years’ awards, narrowing the entries down to 140 finalists was a difficult task. But through a thorough and comprehensive judging process, the selected finalists demonstrateexceptional quality and diversity across a range of business sectors within the UK. We are now looking forward to the next step of the process and meeting some of the finalists face-to-face.”

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