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The logistics of hosting the London Olympic Games a cause for concern

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London Olympic Stadium

London Olympic Stadium

When the new stadium for the 2012 London Olympic Games is complete it will stand as a testament to the hard work of thousands of construction workers, plumbers, electricians and engineers, and it won’t look too bad either. Not only is the iconic Olympic construction designed to seat 80,000 spectators, host the opening and closing ceremonies and serve as a launch pad for Usain Bolt’s ridiculous speed, it is also intended to leave a lasting legacy for the British public.

If the UK manages to maintain the stadium as a financially viable resource (which they intend to do by converting it to a 25,000 capacity stadium for other international athletics meetings and possibly football and rugby events), they will be one of the few Olympic hosts who make a profit out of the expense and effort that goes into Olympic construction.

The stadium’s lasting legacy as a sports centre is perhaps less important to the British public than the permanent employment opportunities that result from the London Olympic Games. According to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), construction of the London Olympic Park for the 2012 Games will create a total of 30,000 jobs. Between 9,000 and 10,000 construction workers will be needed when construction for the Olympic Park peaks in 2009/2010. In October, 7,270 were at work on the both the Olympic Park and Olympic Village and that’s not counting the people involved in the Aquatic Centre.

Construction Workers at Rockerfeller Center

Construction Workers at Rockerfeller Center

Imagine, for a minute if you will, the demands that so many workers place on the work environment. It must be a logistical nightmare ensuring that all the health and safety requirements are met at each site, that there is proper sanitation and that there are enough HR officers available to manage all of the employee-related work issues that are part and parcel of such a large workforce.

The ODA has already had to deal with some pretty serious issues, such as the report on health and safety by the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) members who work on Olympic construction sites. According to the report, many employers are failing their workers in terms of health and safety conditions, particularly with regard to lack of appropriate signage, unprotected excavations and not reporting accidents. In addition, construction for the 2012 London Olympic Games has been marred by reports of intimidation and harassment of workers by employers and police.

Safety First

Safety First

The ODA has hit back at reports of malpractice, saying “The ODA claims that it is a wonderful employer, but because of the system of subcontracting out to dodgy employers, workers’ lives are being put at risk … it shows how dedicated, skilled and watchful these workers are when faced with such conditions. Workers deserve to work in conditions dictated by their needs, not by what employers think they can get away with.”

However, not everyone is happy with the ODA; the British Toilet Association (BTA) first raised concerns about the number of portable loos and fixed units at Olympic construction sites in 2008. The London Development Agency consulted with the BTA in June of 2008, but nothing much came of it. Mike Bone, BTA director, says, “The Olympic Delivery Authority wasn’t hugely receptive to our ideas.”

Apparently, one of BTA’s members was told that there would be no need for portable loos at the London Olympic Games because all toilets would be fixed. Later it emerged that at least 10,000 portable loos would be required to cope with the millions of people who are expected to attend the 2012 Games in London. It wouldn’t be the first time that Olympic hosts have under-estimated the sanitation requirements of such a large international event. The Olympics in Athens, Sydney, LA and Barcelona all lacked sufficient fixed, portable and disabled toilets.

No Toilets

No Toilets

Bones says, “A supplier of portable toilets received a late emergency order for a large number of toilets for the 2008 Beijing Olympics because the Beijing authorities had overlooked the fact that Western toilets are very different from the type used in the Far East. We may face the same problem in reverse in 2012.”

While those attending the London Olympic Games may be left in the lurch when it comes to portable toilets, at least workers on the Olympic construction sites haven’t had cause to complain about sanitation – yet.

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Respecting the River Thames and Your Safety

The River Thames is the most prevalent tourist spot in London considering how large it is and many visitors will end up on its shores or even on a boat trip, but they may also let their guard down because of how unsuspecting it can be in the middle of the biggest city in the United Kingdom. However recently, what with the Olympic Games come and gone, rescue services in the capital have been extra vigilant to highlight the proper etiquette when approaching the River Thames. For kids and parents alike, visiting for Thames boat trips is supposed to be one of fun and excitement but that doesn’t mean we should take precautions or at least be aware. If one treats River Thames boat trips as one would treat any trip on a boat, there should be absolutely nothing to worry about but it can be tempting to not be vigilant because the river through the city seems completely safe – after all if one were to fall in it’s a simple case to get out right?

Well conditions on the River Thames can become less than ideal as it might on any river, especially after heavy rain. Rain alone is not enough to spoil a big day on a wedding boat, but it may make for something a little more fast-paced than your average River Thames cruise. The Walton fire station ironically is the guys who get called out when things may get hairy on the River Thames; in charge of a large portion of the map and its protection should things indeed go awry you can count on the men and women of the rescue service to save the day.

The true facts about the River Thames and how choppy conditions can get are no different to any other river in the world but in urban environments with a heavy population we tend to let our guards down because we feel that little bit safer. However we should never forget that the River Thames is first and foremost a river and a pretty big one at that.

Brazil Olympics Creating Valuable UK Ties and Investment Opportunities

brazil olympicsNow that the curtain has been drawn closed on the London 2012 Olympics, all eyes are now on Brazil, who is set to host the world’s greatest sporting event in 2016. Behind the success of the Brazilian Olympics team, business representatives from Brazil were also flexing their muscles in London, making valuable ties and connections with the British professionals and technicians who helped make London 2012 a success, from workers in Dickies coveralls to sports scientists in laboratory coats.

Over the sixteen days of the Olympics, politicians and business leaders from Brazil and the United Kingdom were regularly meeting to discuss sports business ties. For Brazil, these talks were geared towards gaining invaluable knowledge about preparing for a successful Brazil 2016 Olympic Games. On the same token, Britain is eager to lend expertise in exchange for investment opportunities in various sectors, ranging from construction to health medicine. The UK is already the fourth largest investor in Brazil, growing a massive 23% in 2010 and a further 9% in 2011. The Brazil 2016 Olympics, not to mention the FIFA world cup in 2014, will work together to further bolster investment.

In order to streamline delegations and as part of the Brazil 2016 Olympics preparations, Brazil House was set up in central London in order to host business leaders directly related to the Olympic Games, such as sports design and marketing, but also in areas related more to infrastructural and social development, such as housing, jobs and skills. In preparation for the Brazil Summer Olympics, massive infrastructural and economic expansions are taking place in the host city Rio de Janeiro, creating huge opportunities for investment. The UK firm Aecom has already been awarded the design of the 2016 Olympic Park Master Plan. From builders in Dickies work trousers to sports marketing teams, Britain is eager to lend a hand in the Brazil Olympics in any way.

London Olympic Stadium In The Running For Prestigious Architecture Award

More Olympic Excitement

Its 2 days before the long awaited London Olympic Games 2012 and the city is teeming with excitement and anticipation. Just to add further to the festivities, the 2012 London Olympic stadium has also received some accolades for its amazing design. The Olympic stadium has been shortlisted for the UK’s most prestigious architectural prize, just days before the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

London 2012 Olympic Stadium

The extensive architectural planning and building, with many of London’s finest equipped in combat trousers, was a long and tedious process. Their hard work however has been accredited and the Stirling prize for architectural excellence by the Royal Institute of British Architects, is a renowned and impressive award.  The name of the award and prize that the Olympic stadium is in the running for is named after the talented architect James Stirling. The London 2012 Olympic stadium is competing against two other competitors this year; the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery in Yorkshire and the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. After Friday night’s opening ceremony, the public is able to bask in the glory of the Olympic stadium for the very first time since construction began. Apart from the innovative and intricate architecture on show, the London Olympic stadium boasts a capacity of 80,000, which can be intelligently reduced after the Games. Another one of the Olympic stadium’s architectural features is that around 10,000 tonnes of steel was used to build the stadium, substantially less than many other Olympic stadiums. This in turn makes the Olympic stadium more sustainable and the top ring of the Stadium was built using surplus gas pipes.

Architectural Innovation

Apart from the architectural innovations the London Olympic stadium exudes, from its beautiful representation to its sustainable nature, the stadium encompasses the true feel of the Olympic Games with every seat in the stadium having a great view. The city of London appreciates the fine work conducted by the architects involved, as well as the efficient manpower equipped in waterproof trousers behind its extensive building.

The winners will be announced in October.

All Systems Go After London Olympics Preparation Events

The recent lighting of the torch has made it clearer than ever, the London Olympics are almost upon us. However an international event of this scale doesn’t just happen; the London Olympics event schedule couldn’t possibly be predicted without a through run of dress rehearsals and preparation runs. Without proper audio visual installation and staff clued up on the progress of events, there would be disaster before the torch even reached London roads. However organisers have said on Wednesday that the through and exhaustive series of dress rehearsals, dubbed the London Prepares series, has been successfully completed.

The year-long London Prepares series featured 42 test events spread across over two dozen venues both permanent and temporary; the jobs performed for the London Olympics tests dealt with audio visual displays, scoreboard calibration, stage construction and general safety procedures. Among the sponsors, Panasonic is once again an official partner for the London Olympics opening ceremony; an AV event London will not soon forget. Around 350,000 participants observed the test events which included among them a sell-out World Cup track cycling event in the Velodrome and the British Swimming Trials; these events are but a taste of the greatness yet to come. Organising committee chairman Sabastian Coe said that of the test events it was important to test the venues to the specific events they may host and to flex the muscle of the workforce behind the Olympic Games to warm up to the main event.

For many the London Olympic Games is a calendar highlight of the decade, but if there’s anything the London Prepares series has highlighted it’s that there are a few spots to wrinkle out. The BMX track was reported as being too difficult, while the Australian hockey team also raised concerns that the play surface may be too slippery. Aside from that, having London Olympics tickets won’t guarantee you won’t have to spend a while waiting in the lines to enter the venues as airport-styled security checks take place. By and by though, the London Olympics look set to stun and awe with their audiovisual displays, spirit of the Games and athletic prowess.

London Olympics 2012 Creates a Job Boom

With less than 140 days to go before the London Olympics kick off people are getting amped up not only about what the actual games but also about the job prospects that the Olympics may bring. Job search site Adzuna has commented that there should be about 100,000 jobs created in the execution of this monumental event.

Adzuna reckons that people with jobs such as security, construction and in IT are set to earn 30% more on their monthly salaries. This is fantastic news for people seeking jobs or looking for a reason to increase their wages. Companies seem to be more positive about job prospects since the London Olympics is coming to town. Everyone who owns a pair of safety boots and has some experience in construction or security should look to taking advantage of this Olympic opportunity to earn extra cash by working during the event.

Britons want to be a part of this huge event and are making a point of pushing to be employed during the London Olympics 2012. The economic boom in jobs does however not pertain to ‘Games Makers’ who are volunteering their services free of charge for the entire month. They will check tickets, be in charge of crowd management, and event administration. All of this apart from the fact that they have to cover their own travel and accommodation costs. Obviously some are doing it simply for the love of the games.

With only roughly four months to go before the London Olympics takes off, everyone needs to get their workwear, such as Dickies workwear or alike, on for the gruelling jobs ahead that everyone, including those who are not getting paid, are looking forward to.