admin, Author at Hi-Level Mezzanines

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Hi-Level In Top 20 Of Solent SME 100

Hi-Level are very proud to have been featured in the launch of the Solent SME 100!

We feature in the list as number 20 amongst many other businesses across the Solent Region.

You can read more and view the list here: http://www.businessmag.co.uk/solent-sme-100/

 

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25 years of Hi Level Mezzanine Floors

Our timeline below shows the key moments in the first 25 years of Hi Level Mezzanine Floors!

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Why should you use a pallet gate to safely access a mezzanine floor?

Mezzanine flooring can make a significant impact on the productivity of a warehouse, utilising space that would otherwise be wasted. This can help businesses to improve their dispatch times and reduce the need to move to new premises.

However, as we explained in our recent post health and safety should always be at the forefront of your operations. While mezzanine floors are by no means unsafe and can in fact help you to make your business better organised and therefore safer, you should still make every effort to protect your employees.

Pallet gates are one key way to do this. They can be used in conjunction with a mezzanine floor and enable you to safely load items from a height, for example by using a fork lift to offload heavy items on to your mezzanine floor. Pallet gates protect your employees at the exposed opening points on mezzanine floor edges.

Like many of our safety features, pallet gates come with a glossy powdered coat with excellent gloss retention abilities and can be branded with your company colours. In addition to this they can accommodate any standard sized pallet and require virtually no maintenance.

It is vital that businesses take steps to protect their employees in the workplace, which is why we provide a range of different products designed to reduce the risk of accidents. Click here to read more about our pallet gates, industrial handrails and extensive fire protection.

 

Get in touch with us today – Request a quote or call us on +44 (0) 1730 190

Accidents in warehouses & how to prevent them

Accidents in warehouses & how to prevent them!

Handrails for mezzanine flooring: a product guide

Single-tier-mezzanine-floor-for-furniture-retailerIt is important that appropriate safety precautions are put in place prior to the installation of a new mezzanine floor in order to protect those individuals using it.

For exposed edges, edge protection is required and must meet the current British Standards and Building Regulations approved document. There are lots of different options when it comes to handrails; the choice largely depends on what characteristics your business requires. This can make deciding on the right handrails difficult, but here are some useful tips for choosing the right edge protection for your needs.

If you’re faced with choosing the appropriate edge protection handrails for your business then it can be helpful to think about the following questions:

  • Who will see these handrails?
  • How durable do these handrails need to be?
  • What environment are these handrails going to be installed in?

 

For those looking to install mezzanine handrails in retail spaces, your handrails will be exposed to lots of potential customers, and it’s likely that you might decide to prioritise good aesthetics as a result. This is a good choice. It’s well documented that retail environments that look pleasing to the eye are more likely to leave customers with a good impression of your business, add value to your product or service and play an important part in people’s overall product evaluations. In addition, with these handrails unlikely to be exposed to a great deal of wear and tear, a feature handrail might well be a great choice as its high quality stainless steel finish is well suited for placement in a customer facing environment.

On the other hand, those using mezzanines for the purpose of factories or warehouses might see aesthetics as a secondary concern as potential customers are not going to be exposed to this part of the business. Instead, you might choose more durable options that are built to withstand industrial stresses like knocks from pallets and machinery. Industrial handrails come with all the features needed to ensure good performance in warehouse and factory spaces. These can also be fitted with mesh panels to prevent items from falling; useful if your mezzanine harbours lots of small items.

For more information about the edge protection options available to you, visit our product guide or contact us for more information here.

Using partitions to improve your office

Office PartitionsFew companies have the luxury of a custom built office, but in the pursuit of achieving the maximum level of productivity possible, many companies are now starting to see the benefits of installing an office that is designed specifically to fit their organisation’s requirements. However, it is a big decision to make dramatic changes to your office layout, and for that reason a number of organisations have previously preferred to put up with the problems caused by an inefficient office layout rather than face the cost and disruption caused by making changes. In short, they have felt that it is just not worth it. However, one simple but effective solution to the problems caused by ineffective use of office space could be office partitions.

During the 1990s it was popular to create open plan offices, which were light and airy and people felt comfortable in. Many companies are still operating within these same offices, and although they are aesthetically pleasing, this is often at the expense of its main function as a working environment. This article looks at some of the inefficiencies and problems that could be caused as a result of an office not catering to the exacting needs of a business, and how partitions might offer up potential solutions to these common business problems.

Lack of flexibility

In a business environment that is constantly changing, so too must those businesses that operate within it. The demands placed on a business will constantly change, and whilst a particular office design might suit a business at a certain phase, a couple of years down the line this same design may not be relevant. Therefore introducing rigid office structures might not only be expensive, but can also come at a cost to a business’s flexibility and responsiveness to change. Office partitions offer a unique solution to dealing with the succession of different demands placed on the office space, and enable floor space to be quickly adapted and changed depending on the needs at that particular time.

Noise

Anyone working within an open plan office will understand the constant problem of noise. Whether it is phones ringing, people talking or machinery like printers, noise can serve as a great distraction. The more people within that shared space the greater the noise levels and the potential for distraction, which can in turn inhibit the efficiency of those working within this space. With the added benefit of sound proofing, office partitions can resolve this problem, and the installation of these is likely to lead to a much more productive working environment without having to forgo the costly and time consuming process of making permanent changes to the office structure.

Private space

No matter what sector your business operates in, eventually there will be a need for some degree of private space. Managers need to have meetings with important clients, sensitive issues might need to be discussed and private meetings need to take place, all without the rest of the work force listening in. By using partitions to allocate areas of private space, businesses are likely to benefit from the added privacy offered to individuals, thereby improving both the quality of meetings and giving the exclusivity needed.

Team cohesion

It’s known that strong departmental cohesion and identity is likely to bring the best possible outcomes, with members within departments working to spur each other on to complete different objectives. In an open office space, it can be difficult to make clear distinctions between different departments within the company, and this cohesion can be lost as a result. A quick fix solution to this might be the installation of partitions which of course can be moved and changed as teams adapt and evolve. These act to divide up the office space amongst different departments, and increase both team identity and cohesion.

Here at Hi-Level Mezzanine Floors we offer a full service including design, fit out and refurbishment of office spaces and other work spaces like warehouses and factories. We use high specification materials and incorporate unique design features as standard. To find out more please click here or to discuss the particular needs of your business please call us on +44 (0)1730 237 190.

How to use office space more effectively

Office space

An often overlooked consideration is the layout and functionality of an office space. In our blog ‘simple office changes than can create a happier workforce’ we discussed how the working environment can have a significant impact on employee productivity and their wellbeing. While every office space needs to meet its own specific requirements, this guide should provide some useful tips to help you ensure that your office can perform at its optimum capacity.

One of the first steps to creating a more efficient office space is to group employees together based on their job roles. For example, locating the accounting team with the purchasing and invoice processing departments will allow for convenient discussions between the individual teams. To decide how to position your departments into an efficient workflow you should make a list of the key responsibilities of employees and departments which will allow you to easily analyse how your teams interlink.

Providing employees with enough space and equipment that they require to fulfil their job role is essential to productivity. To do this you must provide a work station that offers enough space to accommodate their actions, equipment, paper documents and filling. Shared equipment that is frequently used, such as photocopiers, printers and postage machines, should be located in close proximity to the employees to decrease the amount of time away from their desk. When possible, it may also be beneficial to locate these pieces of equipment behind a group to give team supervisors an unobtrusive opportunity to check on the group’s performance and potentially spot any areas of concern.

Open planned office spaces and low-walled workstations are popular because they allow easy interaction between co-workers. However, this design may not be suitable for all departments, and you should carefully consider who would benefit from private office space. If you feel that any of your teams require privacy in order for them to focus fully on their tasks, then creating a distraction free environment that is segregated from your open planned office space should provide the ideal solution.

The layout and functionally of communal work spaces, like conference and meeting rooms, should be carefully considered as well. If possible, these spaces should be located near the main hub of your workforce and they should be able to accommodate the needs of each department that is likely to utilise them. Additionally, informal areas should be big enough to accommodate several employees at a time to allow for comfortable lunch, tea and coffee breaks.

Office space objectives

Ultimately, to improve your employees’ productivity your office space needs to meet the specific requirements of your staff to allow them to work at their full capacity. A well designed office space should also allow for expansion as a business grows. When considering re-designing or refurbishing your office space you should establish how to:

  • Ensure effective use of space
  • Achieve an efficient workflow
  • Provide improved supervision
  • Improve internal communication
  • Ensure employees can work comfortably
  • Ensure the safety of your staff

Here at Hi-Level Mezzanine Floors we offer a full service including design, fit out and refurbishment of office spaces and other work spaces like warehouses and factories. We use high specification materials and incorporate unique design features as standard. To find out more please click here or to discuss the particular needs of your business please call us on +44 (0)1730 237 190.

Simple office changes that can create a happier workforce

Open Plan Office

Companies are becoming increasingly more aware that the health and happiness of their employees is a significant factor in business productivity. You may be aware of Google’s quirky London headquarters, which were designed by the interior design and architecture company PENSON. The focus of their design was to create a fun environment for employees with an emphasis on comfort, relaxation and efficiency throughout the 160,000 sq ft internal space. Their design features plush sofas, rocking chairs, secret rooftop gardens, ping pong tables and even allotment space for employees to grow their own herbs and vegetables. Whilst we’re not suggesting you go to this extreme, many companies are now starting to invest in their working environments in order to improve their employees’ temperament. This article looks at some of the ways that you can go about this.

Why change your office space?

Many studies have confirmed that happier employees are more likely to have an increased level of engagement, be more productive and produce more innovating ideas. Also, a better environment can lead to a healthier workforce which should lead to reduced levels of absenteeism.

Simple changes

It is possible to make small changes to your business environment on a tight budget. A simple wall colour change to brighten up a dull room would make that space more inviting and pleasant to work in. Studies show that dehydration, amongst other dietary issues, can have a serious effect on fatigue. Providing easy access to water, tea and coffee can make a big difference to your workforce’s levels of focus and productivity. Adding items like plants and other natural components can relax employees and reduce their stress levels. As a species, humans crave natural environments and introducing some greenery into the office space can also aid the wellbeing of your employees.

Bigger changes

Improving the quality of your air through ventilation and air conditioning systems may make the working environment more comfortable, and air purification functions can reduce the level of bacteria, dust, house mites, pet fur and pollen that can circulate throughout your premises.

Making improvements to your lighting can also have a big impact on work satisfaction and productivity. Well-designed illumination can change the perception of a space, improve moods of those working within and increase the desirability of the space. Making improvements to your lighting does not mean you will be spending more on your electrical bills because you can implement energy saving solutions at the same time.

Installing office partitioning can provide privacy for employees as well as creating an opportunity to transform your space into a clean, attractive and functional environment. Partitions reduce cross-office noise which in turn improves concentration levels and improves workers’ sense of personal space. If renting a premise, partitions can be viewed as a temporary solution that is cost effective, easy to install and create very little mess.

If you are looking to develop office space without having a dramatic impact on your ground level workspace, office space built on a mezzanine floor may be the answer. Depending on the ceiling height of your premises, a mezzanine floor can be a great way of increasing your working environment whilst creating stylish, functional office space that benefits your employee’s needs.

Here at Hi-Level Mezzanine Floors we offer a full service including design, fit out and refurbishment of office spaces and other work spaces like warehouses and factories. We use high specification materials and incorporate unique design features as standard. To find out more please click here or to discuss the particular needs of your business please call us on +44 (0)1730 237 190.

How an office refurbishment can drastically change your business

Fitout Refurbishment

When money is tight, refurbishing your office can seem like an unnecessary cost. However, the difference that an improved office space can make to the morale of your staff and the impression that it leaves on clients and customers can not be underestimated. In this blog we will look at how you can go about improving your office space and what impact it can have.

Improving your office space

There are many different considerations to make when planning a refurbishment of your office and before you get started it’s very important to identify your core reasons for making changes.

Every business is different and operates in its own unique ways and because of this your reasons for an upgrade are likely to be quite specific to your own organisation’s requirements. An experienced professional will be able to discuss this with you and make plans which will drastically improve the efficiency of your operations, but what are some of the common reasons for a renovation?

If your business has recently acquired new business and expanded its operations then you might be suffering from a lack of space. Mezzanine floors can help to make the most of overhead space on your shop floor, but it might be mountains of paperwork or new admin / sales staff that you need to find room for – in which case reshaping your work area or creating a new office space can help.

It has been proven that creativity and concentration can suffer in uninspiring environments so if it’s office morale that you are trying to improve then making positive changes to your working environment can have a major impact on the people who work there every day. A specialist will be able to help you create an attractive, well lit and air conditioned area that will help to foster better work from your team.

Perhaps it is clients and customers that you are looking to impress, in which case a tired, cramped or out dated office can send out entirely the wrong message. Updating your HQ with new floor or wall coverings, company colours and glass partitioning can show potential customers that you are a forward thinking and innovative business that has a strong branding message and cares about what they do.

One growing concern for many businesses is their impact on the environment and many are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint in order to benefit future generations. Implementing environmentally friendly materials and technologies such as energy efficient heating and solar power can show you have real dedication and commitment to conservation.

When making changes to your office you need to bear in mind how your business is likely to expand in the next future and any changes that you make need to reflect this. You also need to consider health and safety and how, as a responsible employer, you can align your upgrades with your duty of care.

Here at Hi-Level Mezzanine Floors we offer a full service including design, fit out and refurbishment of office spaces and other work spaces like warehouses and factories. We use high specification materials and incorporate unique design features as standard. To find out more please click here or to discuss the particular needs of your business please call us on +44 (0)1730 237 190.

Injuries in warehouses and how to prevent them

Edge ProtectionWarehouse employees and their employers are often subject to demanding deadlines and timescales which force them to work to the maximum of their abilities. Unfortunately this sometimes means that mistakes are made and corners are cut in order to get the job finished on time.

When this happens, employees can be putting their health and safety on the line which can have damaging consequences for everyone involved, including serious injury as well as costly compensation claims.

In this blog post we will look at some of the most common forms of warehouse injuries and how they can be prevented with good health and safety practices as well as other preventative measures.

What are the most common causes of injuries?

The wide variety of tasks that warehouse workers undertake mean that they can be susceptible to a whole host of different injuries, but what are some of the most common types?

Slips and trips

Slips and trips are estimated to cost businesses an astounding £500 million each year but can be easily remedied by employing good health and safety practices.

It’s not uncommon for chemicals, oils, water and other products to make the floors of warehouses dirty and slippery or for loose items to be left on the floor such as pallets and packaging, but in order to prevent slips and trips regular cleaning and reporting of spills and blockages should take place.

Different types of flooring have different levels of resistance and smooth floors offer less resistance than rougher types of flooring. Correct footwear can also help somewhat to protect against slips and trips. Utilizing proper storage and good lighting is another way to minimise these types of injuries.

Manual handling injuries

As warehouse work can at times be physically demanding, manual handling injuries are not uncommon, with workers typically suffering from aches and pains as a result of physical strain.

Manual handling injuries often occur due to tasks which could have been adapted to be less painful – for example by bypassing the need to manually move items and to use mechanical devices like pallet trucks, trolleys, and lift trucks instead.

Preventing injuries caused by falls from a height

Sometimes workers in a warehouse will have to work at a height – when loading goods onto tall racking, for example. Where possible, the need for an employee to work at a height should be minimised and machinery should be used. However, if it is essential then safety equipment must be used to reduce the chances of an accident.

Employers have a duty to protect the health and safety or their employees and to educate them about health and safety protocols. To learn more about implementing health and safety standards, including risk assessments and other provisions click here to read our article: “A guide to health and safety in the workplace”.

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What our clients say

“Hi-Level’s build team were very efficient and worked very well. I felt we were kept informed of what was going on. On the whole the project went very well. And now we’re getting used to the new space”.
Managing Director, ASAP International

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