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Under the microscope

Gary Breach, Managing Director of professional commercial cleaning and facilities management solutions provider NECS, puts facilities management in the life sciences sector under the microscope.   

Most major life sciences organisations work to a multi-site model, with their facilities including offices, laboratories, clean rooms, manufacturing areas and warehousing. Each of these environments generates its own challenges for facilities managers, from ensuring that laboratories meet the standards of hygiene specified by their CL (containment level) designation, to storing chemicals such as reagents, to safely and securely disposing of biological, chemical, electronic and commercially sensitive waste.

Cleaning regimes must support the ability of staff to maintain good personal hygiene levels, which therefore puts hygiene in washrooms, kitchens and communal areas into sharper focus. And of course, there are the tasks which come with operating any large scale, multi-site business, from grounds maintenance and gritting to consumables supply.

Integrating specialist cleaning services with general maintenance regimes, managing repairs while minimising or eliminating any operational disruption… the scope of tasks is complex and requires careful management. It’s all to easy for resources to be mis-allocated, time and energy to be wasted, and costs to spiral. So how can this be effectively and efficiently managed?

At NECS, we took on this challenge for a major multinational life sciences company with multiple sites across the UK, which include laboratory facilities, offices and grounds.

Combining our specialist cleaning services with our expertise in maintenance, we delivered a blended facilities management package to one site, which was then applied across the organisation’s facilities across the UK.

Key to the success of this contract was our ability to manage all of the resources, processes and cleaning and maintenance regimes across the UK, and to establish relationships with local suppliers to support our work on each site. This has reduced administration time for our client and streamlined the coordination and delivery of facilities management services.

Our expertise in cleaning offices, kitchens and washrooms – including deep cleaning – has been brought to bear for this organisation. This is ensuring that excellent hygiene levels are continually maintained throughout the facilities, that risks of cross contamination and infection are minimised, and that workforce and public health is protected. We also supply consumables for the company’s washrooms, including hand towels, soap, hand sanitizers, air fresheners, hygiene bins and feminine hygiene products.

A key element to successfully delivering specialist cleaning services in the life sciences sector is ensuring that staff are equipped with specialist PPE to ensure they can carry out their duties. In this case, the PPE includes EN166 certified safety glasses, EN374/EN455 certified thin blue nitrile rubber gloves and EN374 certified chemical resistant gloves. Some tasks also necessitate the wearing of acid-resistant protective clothing.

Operating from multi-storey buildings, the company also has a requirement for window cleaning at height, and NECS has operators trained to IPAF and PASMA standards to undertake this, as well as access to equipment such as cherry pickers and scissor lifting systems.

However, as well as cleaning services, our capabilities across the facilities management spectrum are being employed for this organisation too.

Given the widespread use of office and laboratory equipment by this organisation, there is a requirement for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) collection and recycling, which we are able to carry out in all locations.

The organisation has extensive grounds across its UK estate, which we have been commissioned to maintain, in line with the standards of external presentation expected by a major multinational company. Indeed, making a positive impression on visitors is highly important to this business, so we supply and clean entrance mats, including branded mats, to its premises.

Our work also includes gritting road surfaces, pavements and car parks, which is crucial in enabling the company’s staff to carry out their crucial work – much of it essential to public health – all year round.

Pest control is another key element of the support we deliver, and NECS is responsible for implementing rigorous pest control regimes across the company’s sites.

NECS’ work for this business demonstrates the array of challenges that are associated with supporting a large, multi-site organisation in the life sciences sector, and how an adaptable partner, which can offer integrated cleaning and facilities management services, can help to overcome these.

Founded in 2006, NECS provides professional commercial cleaning services and facilities management solutions to businesses of all sizes from single premises to multi-site facilities.  Operating nationwide, NECS has extensive experience of working across a wide range of sectors including construction, education, manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, retail and leisure.NECS is ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, Constructionline Level 2 and BICSc certified.

For more information on NECS, visit necscleaning.co.uk  


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