All posts by Alistair Moses

Sharing the benefits of being a Living Wage employer

The increased costs of paying higher wages are a concern to many businesses, so London Living Wage employer CAM Specialist Support – a commercial high-level cleaning and building maintenance business – was happy to share its experiences of the benefits with a group of local businesses recently.

Speaking at an event organised by Lewisham Council, Sean Canty, Director at CAM, outlined what the Living Wage means to the business and admitted: “we understand why companies might be reluctant to join the London Living Wage scheme, but any uncertainty is behind us now. We have always looked to pay our staff well and paid the London Living Wage rate for a couple of years before becoming officially accredited.”

Since receiving the official accreditation, CAM has seen a better quality of applicants for vacant posts within the company and staff retention and engagement has improved. It has also led to a reduction in absenteeism.

“We’ve found that there is greater awareness of CAM from both existing and potential customers – some of which insist their contractors are accredited – and that we can add value to their businesses now we have the accreditation. This has all helped to grow our business,” said Sean.

Fellow director Matt Johnson added: “Paying the London Living Wage has enhanced the way we view ourselves as a company, and the way we are viewed by existing and potential customers. Our initial fear that we would need to reduce our staff levels to cope with the costs has proved unfounded thanks to the extra business we’ve been able to secure.”

The event was hosted by the Mayor of Lewisham and also featured a presentation from Katherine Chapman of the Living Wage Foundation and the announcement of a business rate rebate scheme for Living Wage employers in the London Borough of Lewisham to help them with accreditation costs.

Training focus for new cam specialist support company

Cleaning and building maintenance expert CAM Specialist Support has launched CAM Training Ltd, a new company focused on delivering a comprehensive range of specialist health and safety training courses.

CAM Specialist Support already has over 20 years’ experience and expertise in training in health and safety management and environmental management, but it is now accredited in its own right to deliver a host of training courses, including NEBOSH; an examined core qualification for people where health and safety is an integral part of their role at work. The first CAM Training Ltd accredited NEBOSH courses start in October 2015.

Tim Jones, Professional Development Director, explained: “CAM Training Ltd sits within the CAM group, but by establishing it as a new company we are able to ensure our focus remains completely on the specialised training aspect of our business. We use our experience and expertise to not only help clients to pass their course and gain a qualification, but also to enhance their career. By training with CAM we encourage individuals to make health and safety central to their work and therefore challenge the focus of their industry from within. Working with our partners our pass rates for NEBOSH Certificate courses exceed 90%, and NEBOSH National Diploma pass rates are usually between 15-20% above the national average. As a specialist training company we will continue to reach or exceed those heights.”

Other courses offered by CAM Training Ltd include:

  • IOSH working safely and managing safely
  • Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
  • Federation of Window Cleaners (FWC) IOSH accredited Cleaning Windows Safely using Water fed poles and Ladder and Risk assessment and method statements for cleaning windows
  • CAM also offers bespoke, industry-dictated training to suit its clients specific needs

Courses offered by CAM Training Ltd carry nationally accredited certification in the areas of Health and Safety and Environmental Management and are run at CAM’s specialist training centre in London or at customers’ premises.

CAM Specialist Support launches brand new company CAM Abseiling Ltd to deliver dedicated rope access services

Cleaning and building maintenance expert CAM Specialist Support has launched CAM Abseiling Ltd, a brand new company focused on delivering a comprehensive range of safe, efficient industrial rope access solutions for building owners and managing agents.

CAM Abseiling Ltd sits within the CAM group and is dedicated to carrying out complex building support services that involve working at height or working in difficult access scenarios, including window cleaning, general maintenance and repairs, construction cladding, and survey and inspection work.  CAM Abseiling also covers interior atria and stairwells where safe access may be an issue.

A consultancy service is available to developers and architects at the design stage of construction projects, to plan strategies for rope access or other working at height operations for the finished building.

All abseiling work is carried out by CAM’s specialist, fully IRATA trained, in-house team, which ensures the highest level of safety and supervision for clients.  Tailored site surveys, detailed customised risk assessments and method statements are provided by IRATA Level 3 Rope Access Team Leaders who identify and evaluate the safest, most appropriate method of access.

CAM Abseiling’s rope access team is also equipped to manage other trades working from building cradles, mobile elevated work platforms, scaffolding and prefabricated access towers, ensuring coordinated service provision for clients.

The new company is headed by its Operations Director, Elijah Howell, who was formerly an IRATA Level 3 Supervisor. Elijah has worked with CAM Specialist Support for ten years and brings with him a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise.

Commenting on the new development, Elijah says: “The CAM group is highly experienced in providing specialist support to building managers and agents in what are usually classed as high risk operations when maintaining and cleaning high level buildings, and the launch of CAM Abseiling represents a natural extension for our business. There are benefits to rope access techniques for our clients, not least because of the versatility and unobtrusive nature of these systems, meaning that our rope access team can proceed with minimum impact on structure and surroundings, often getting the job done at a fraction of the cost compared with scaffolding or MEWPs.”

With more than 25 years’ experience in the cleaning and building maintenance industries, the group has built up a solid reputation for its robust commitment to safety and training at all levels and clients can be assured that CAM Abseiling’s team is highly qualified in providing expert rope access solutions for working at height.

CAM Specialist Support completes rapid refurbishment of toilet facilities at Redhill’s The Belfry Shopping Centre

Cleaning and building maintenance specialist CAM Specialist Support has successfully completed a comprehensive toilet refurbishment project at the Belfry Shopping Centre, in Redhill, Surrey.

CAM Specialist Support was responsible for the planning and design of the works, which needed to fit in with the centre’s least busy period following the New Year sales and prior to the pre-Easter pick up. In total, the works were completed in a tight three-week schedule, including all risk assessments and method statements.

CAM was awarded the project back in January this year, and was responsible for making recommendations for achieving the required results with the budget set by the Belfry’s owners – estate services and investment management specialist JLL – along with samples of materials and finishes.  The specialist contractor had previously worked on projects in the centre’s car parks and neighboring offices, as well as provide regular maintenance at the Belfry and specialist high-level cleaning of the glass lifts that command the interior of the four-storey retail centre.

To initiate the works, the centre’s management team erected information signs around the centre, informing customers of the work and directing them to temporary toilet facilities provided within one of the centre’s stores.  Stripping out alone then took up the first week as everything from sanitary ware to flooring was removed while the large toilet area, which includes male and female toilets, separate facilities for disabled customers and a baby changing room, was sealed off by a hoarding.

A range of trades was involved in the works, all provided by specialists directly employed in CAM’s dedicated contracts team. In keeping with the Belfry’s status as one of the greenest shopping centres in the UK, low-energy LED lights were installed along with water-saving sensor-operated taps. Careful calibration of water pressure was required to ensure these operated efficiently and chemi-cleaning rejuvenated existing wall tiles that were retained. Creatively applied laminate cladding transformed dated burgundy doors, complementing the light grey floor tiles and modern ceramic washbasins and fittings.

Throughout the three-week project, CAM project managers liaised daily with the Belfry team, keeping the works on track, managing the logistics of waste removal and incoming deliveries, and ensuring the health and safety of the team and the Belfry’s customers.

The works were completed on schedule and the toilets were re-opened as promised for Saturday morning shoppers, after the town’s mayor had cut the ribbon.

“We are delighted with the results. The client was very positive and so was the feedback from the public,” comments Ray Williams, Operations Manager at the Belfry. “CAM produced the quality they said they could produce and they were very good, understanding what our concerns were, keeping on top of things and ensuring it all went as smoothly as possible.”

CAM Specialist Support installs ‘eye in the sky’ for amazing views of Aylesbury’s famous  peregrines

Outdoor cleaning specialist spreads wings to help client, Aylesbury Vale District Council, track the birds’ progress

CAM Specialist Support is well-known throughout the UK cleaning and facilities management industries for providing its clients with services that require skills that are out of the ordinary, but its latest job for Aylesbury Vale District Council hits even greater heights – quite literally!

CAM has installed a very special ‘cam’ on the top of the County Hall building, where two peregrine falcons have decided to make their nest. Widely thought to be the world’s fastest animal, with claims that they can reach speeds of up to 240mph when diving and swooping for prey, they have been a fixture at the site in Aylesbury for the last three years.

CAM Specialist Support offers a wide range of cleaning and maintenance services including window cleaning – via platforms or abseiling, cladding and extractor cleaning, gutter and roof clearance, as well as the provision of energy reduction solutions. It drew upon its expertise in the maintenance of tall buildings for this latest project, which gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘bird’s eye view’.

Sean Canty, director of CAM Specialist Support, said: “Specialist high level access is just one of the highly technical services in which we specialise, and this helped us immensely when taking on this unusual but extremely satisfying project. The birds are currently brooding three eggs, which we hope will hatch successfully later in April. The CAM ‘cam’ will enable people from around the world to watch the footage online, something the team are incredibly proud of.”

You can see footage and images at http://www.aylesburyperegrine.org.uk/