Tag Archives: commercial building maintenance

Blog post: Stick or twist

by Sean Canty, Director, CAM Specialist Support

With the EU referendum date finally approaching and facts scarce to non-existent, a decision on whether to vote in or out basically comes down to how keen you are to gamble.

Do you stick with what we know or twist and see what the future can bring us? I’d love to supply you with hard-hitting facts that mean you know what’s best, but as the politicians and experts can’t, I’m afraid that’s just not going to happen. Anyone from either side who is claiming to know the future should either be using their powers for a greater purpose (world peace? winning lottery numbers?) or is wrong.

What I can do is say is that we work with a number of prestigious property managing agents and many have expressed concerns about international clients abandoning London in the event of a vote to leave the EU. London’s place in the financial system will surely be put at risk if Brexit is the chosen path. Why would banks and other multinationals want to be based here if we’re outside the EU?

We know that London is one of the financial capitals of the world and the sleek offices and commercial buildings from Battersea to Canary Wharf are testament to that. As with any industry, there are many subsidiary businesses reliant on their success. In this case the companies that sell suits or sandwiches are just the start.

For our company, a successful financial sector means there are plenty of opportunities to provide commercial building maintenance and high level cleaning services. Those shiny architectural monuments to commercial accomplishment don’t clean themselves you know!

Migration is obviously a contentious issue, with both sides making claim and counter-claim. The cleaning industry is heavily reliant on migrant workers and if there were to be a reduction in the people available to work in the sector, the impact on our city, and indeed our country, could be huge.

We have long sought to make the cleaning industry more attractive to quality applicants, to show it as the place of entrepreneurship and opportunity that it is. Without a sufficient pool of workers to recruit from, standards on cleaning are likely to drop, with a negative impact on our living and working conditions.

Maybe, by opting to stick, we’ll be missing out on a glorious future, but I can’t help thinking that in this case sticking with what we know could be the trump card!

Escalator barriers not money for old rope

Most of us take the humble escalator for granted. However, accidents can and do happen, unless those who manage them plan regular maintenance and the public is kept safely separated from escalators that are out of action.

Sean Canty, Director at CAM Specialist Support, explained: “The most common types of accidents are slips, trips and falls, but there can be much more serious repercussions from poorly maintained escalators, unsafe repair procedures and uncontrolled access when the moving stairs are not in service. In Beijing earlier this year, 31-year-old Xiang Liujuan tragically lost her life when a metal panel collapsed under her feet and she fell into the gap. A problem with the escalator had already been identified, but no action had been taken to rectify the situation. The accident was a rare, but sadly not unique, occurrence.

“Although apparently harmless, stationary escalators can be a hazard. Escalators are designed to be used while moving and the step size alters as they rotate. When stationary, the steps are uneven and can become a trip hazard that is exacerbated by people walking at different speeds and potentially bumping into each other. Unless there is no alternative, public access should be restricted and proper barriers put in place. Roping or taping off an out of use escalator is not sufficient, as all too often people will bypass such temporary measures.

“A further danger is overloading. Escalator weight limits can be exceeded if too many people get on at once; a particular problem if they are using it as a viewing point for an activity taking place below, such as Christmas lights being switched on or a Santa’s grotto. Often managers will think it’s safer to stop an escalator at busy periods, but this can actually make matters worse if people crowd on to them. Secure barriers should always be used to keep people safe.”

Working with the centre management team, CAM Specialist Support recently designed and installed bespoke barriers (pictured above) which can be secured across the escalators at Peacocks Shopping Centre, Woking, to prevent access when the escalators are out of service.

Anyone who manages an escalator should ensure they get advice from experts to ensure that people are kept safely away during any required maintenance.