At Cygnia Maintenance like all professional FM companies we take our safety and procedure team training programmes extremely seriously. Maintaining signage for the major retailers in the UK means most of the time our engineers are working at height on buildings visited by the general public during shop opening hours and the signs we are inspecting, maintaining and repairing are of all ages and conditions, as are the buildings they are attached to. We are immensely proud of our safety record and the vigilance of our engineers to adhere to the safety training they receive.
Just before Christmas we had an incident with one of our teams of engineers involving asbestos. His training truly paid off, he followed every aspect of his training to the letter and as a result a potentially dangerous and highly disruptive incident were avoided. We also received a major commendation from our client.
Our job was one our engineers do day in day out, namely to remove existing signage and sub fascia on a high street outlet and replace it with a brand new sign. Having checked the asbestos register the engineer was reassured there was no record of any asbestos on the site. However, on removing the sub fascia we found suspicious looking material, somewhere where an asbestos audit would not have been able to identify without considerable disruptive investigative work. The engineer immediately stopped work, rechecked that the asbestos register had not highlighted any asbestos where he was working and then advised the client that we were not able to continue until the site was checked and cleared.
The client called their asbestos consultants to site, and they confirmed our suspicions – it was an asbestos material. The job was therefore aborted. We kept our national client informed all the way and he asked if were able to fit a temporary banner until the asbestos issue had been addressed satisfactorily. Doug our engineer had had the presence of mind to bring along a temporary banner “just in case”. We were therefore able to tell the client that this had already been done. Our client was delighted and commended us on how we had handled the situation.
Vigilance for the safety of our engineers, our customers and the general public is at the centre of all that we do.