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British Institute of Cleaning Science

Protecting the operative Stan Atkins, CEO of BICSc, reports.

Obituary: Peter Holt 1944-2014

TheManagement of the Health and Safety atWork Regula- tions 1999 require an employer tomake a suitable and suffi- cient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees and to other persons not in their employ- ment, whomay be affected by the activities of his/her un- dertaking. Employersmust implement preventative and protectivemeasures. Thesemeasures include: • Avoiding the risk. • Evaluating the risk which cannot be avoided. • Combatting the risk at source. • Replacing the dangerous by the non-dangerous. • Issuing PPE. Health and safety is generally assessed by incidents and

accidents, however occupational health often relates to con- tact and exposure/use over time. The effects of the working environment are not always readily apparent. Initial studies carried out in Scandinavia linked an in-

creased risk of breast cancer for nursing staff who work long termnight shift patterns. This information is now avail- able on the NHS website which references Canadian studies that show a 50%increased risk in staff who work long term night shifts. No studies have yet been undertaken regarding atomised chemicals for cleaning operatives who clean mainly on nights when the air conditioning is frequently not operating in the building they are cleaning. Industrial dermatitis is a possible risk. This is not neces-

sarily through the use of chemicals - it can be caused by an allergy to the particular type of gloves being worn by the cleaning operative. An obvious area for concern with regard to cleaning operatives ismuscular skeletal disorders, based on the use of non ergonomic equipment. One example is the fact that broomhandles are a standard length and are not normally adjusted to account for the height of the operative using them.More andmoremop handles are beingmanu- factured with the capability of being adjusted to suit the op- erative’s height. This, however, does not overcome the situation where an operative has to constantly bend to rinse or compress themop head. One of the greatest innovations in recent years has been

themove to central bins within offices. This has not only prompted office workers to considermore carefully which bin refuse is deposited in, it has also benefited the cleaning operatives as they no longer have to empty a bin under each desk. This allows operatives to remove waste faster and with less physical strain. However, as previously stated, there is a potential for

medical conditions arising fromthe nature of a cleaning op- eratives work. It is therefore crucial that the industry effec- tivelymonitors the workforce so that problems can be identified and effectively corrected before they reach unac- ceptable levels. To achieve this employers andmanagers need tomonitor absences correctly by recording them. Also, examining the role to identify where the workplacemay have an affect on an operative’s role. Back to work interviews must be conducted to ensure the operative’s perspective is reflected in any findings. By collating this information data trends could be effectively identified and investigated before long-termissues are allowed to develop. As an industry we have a responsibility to protect our

workforce fromwork related health issues, and as the say- ing goes - prevention is better than the cure! BICScMission Statement point 1 states ‘Protecting the operative’.

8 l C&M l JUNE 2014 l

Further to our previous an- nouncement, It is with great sadness that we now pub- lish a more detailed obitu- ary of Peter Holt, who passed away suddenly on Tuesday, 6 May 2014, whilst attending the Interclean Ex- hibition in Amsterdam. Peter, who was 69 years old, was about to participate in the exhibition’s 25th an- niversary celebrations when he suffered a heart attack. Peter recently retired

from his role as managing director of Truvox Interna- tional, a company he joined in 1991. David Overell, his successor, says that Peter was tasked with turning round the company, which was in decline at the time. With his wealth of experi- ence in overseas business, he quickly formulated the strategy of developing an export customer base and, at the same time, market- ing the manufacturing ca- pacity of Truvox to potential OEM customers. This strategy proved suc-

cessful, and within a short space of time Truvox was busy manufacturing for some of the leading indus- try players, as well as building a core base of loyal customers in markets as far away as Australia and the Far East. The home sector was not forgotten, and Truvox also regained its share of the UK market place in rotary machines. In 1997, Peter led the

project to acquire Trewax Manufacturing Ltd from its owners, which completed in September that year. The move proved highly suc- cessful and saw Hydromist extractor products join the established Truvox range, consequently increasing turnover. New products were also developed, both in-house and using vendor partners, and these also proved there was a place for a small, high quality manufacturing company within the global cleaning equipment market. The Truvox range of

brands and products was further strengthened in 2003 by the acquisition of Cimex International Ltd, another target identified by Peter. He saw the great po- tential offered by Cimex’s three-brush system, and personally oversaw cus- tomer development in both the USA and Japan.

Peter at his installation as Master of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners in 2011.

His work to strengthen the

Truvox business continued and, in 2006, he led the team from Truvox which managed the company’s acquisition by Tacony Corporation, com- pleted on 1 January 2007. This gave Peter the opportu- nity to develop the interna- tional arm of Tacony’s Commercial Floorcare Divi- sion (CFC), marketing and promoting the PowerFlite, Tornado and CFR brands to a global customer base. He sat on the Tacony CFC board, and made a major contribu- tion to the success of the CFC division between 2007 and 2009. Peter made the decision to

retire at the end of 2008, having grown Truvox into a key player in the global cleaning equipment mar- ket. He stayed in an advisory capacity with Tacony until the end of 2009, but remained in contact with both Truvox and Tacony senior management throughout the years, and was a regular visitor to Tru- vox in Southampton. He was passionate about

both maintaining a UK man- ufacturing base, as well as the need to expand beyond Truvox’s traditional cus- tomers. Many of the people brought into Truvox by Peter remain with the company today. Prior to joining Truvox,

Peter had a long career with Johnson Wax Profes- sional Trade Division, pro- gressing through the ranks to senior management. He was responsible for starting up the Johnson Wax busi- ness in the Middle East, based in Cyprus, where he proved to be a very suc- cessful negotiator. On his return to the UK, Peter held a variety of both senior sales and marketing posi- tions. Since leaving John- son Wax, Peter had been an active member of the com- pany’s 20 Years Club. After his time at Johnson Wax, Peter joined Lever Indus- trial and took the lead in its cash and carry business, eventually playing an active role in the transition to Di- versey Lever. Peter was a very active

member of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners, being admitted as a Freeman in 1992. He was admitted as a Livery- man of the Company in 1999, and was promoted to a Court Assistant in 2002, and Warden in 2009. He was elected Master in 2011, and Deputy Master in 2012. All of us at C&M extend

our sympathies to his fam- ily - particularly Linda and Emma - and all his many friends from within the cleaning industry.

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