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NJC supports Window Cleaning Health and Safety Study

NJC always seek ways of improving the safety and wellbeing of our employees and other stakeholders, and we are proud to collaborate with other organisations to better understand the hazards which exist within our activities, and to develop new ways of working to reduce those hazards.

A recently completed project, which NJC supported, examined the use of water-fed poles for window cleaning, also referred to as reach and wash. Reach and wash is a window cleaning system which allows windows to be cleaned while the operative stays on the ground, and therefore avoids the risks of falling which are present when working at height. However the poles have weight, and need to be supported from the base by the person using them, which puts strain on the body which could lead to injury.

The reach and wash study used body-worn sensors to monitor the operatives while they carried out their work. The sensors monitored the amount of effort which the operatives' muscles made at all stages during the work, and fed that data to a laptop, where it was recorded for later analysis. Various combinations of cleaning techniques and equipment were tested and the results compared to find the lowest risk methods of reach and wash cleaning.

The collaboration was led by Dorsavi (who supplied the monitoring equipment and analysed the data), was overseen by the HSE, and was supported by NJC and other companies. The guidance document resulting from this study has now been completed, and we are proud to share it, and proud of our contribution which will help improve the safety of the window cleaning industry.

DOWNLOAD THE GUIDANCE DOCUMENT HERE

5 Minutes With Natasha Thomson

My name is Natasha Thomson and I am NJC’s Health, Safety, Environmental and Quality Specialist. I have worked in health and safety for nearly 5 years, starting as an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), regulating and enforcing health and safety legislation in the Field Operation Directorate. I moved into the private sector 3 years ago when I started my journey at NJC and in FM.

 

What does your role involve?

NJC is a prestigious cleaning and support services company with approximately 1000 employees, carrying out horizontal and vertical cleaning services including, specialist cleaning ,rope access and waste management. My role involves assisting with the implementation, update and maintenance of our HSEQ standards and procedures, as laid out in the company's ISO 45001, 9001, 14001 and OHSAS 18001 management systems. I help to protect the health and safety of employees, customers and members of the public by ensuring that risks in the workplace are properly controlled and that impacts on the environment are minimised, whilst delivering a high quality service to our customers.

 

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

My favourite aspect is making a difference and protecting people from harm, which I find very rewarding. To achieve this, it is important to provide the right tools to our operations team to allow them to work safely and to have the right rapport with both management and frontline colleagues. I meet so many wonderful people in my job which makes it all worthwhile.

In addition, I love working with others to achieve best practice and key milestones for the company, for example obtaining full IRATA membership and our ROSPA Gold award.

 

What are the biggest benefits you bring to your customers?

My experience as an Inspector included proactive and preventable inspections, investigating accidents and complaints and preparing and presenting court cases for ‘guilty pleas’ in the Magistrates Court. This means I often approach situations with a ‘legal mindset’, which is invaluable for ensuring NJC remains compliant and our customer's brand is protected from harm. It is my goal to make sure no one suffers an injury at work.

In addition, achieving my work through good rapport with everyone I encounter and with a smile on my face, being assertive where required, makes health and safety ‘approachable’ for customers and NJC operations. This dissolves any negative pre-existing opinions people may have.

 

What is the most challenging aspect of what you do?

The most challenging aspect is continually working to progress a positive safety culture. It is vital to embed the ethos with every employee that health and safety is NJC’s top priority and therefore their priority above anything else. NJC is on a journey and we can demonstrate a positive safety culture, but we are continuously reviewing our performance as we feel we can go further! To fully achieve a positive safety culture, we have some exciting initiatives that we are implementing and have planned for the future.

NJC has a zero tolerance towards harm and unsafe working practices and promoting this message and embedding it within our culture is fundamental.

 

In 2022, we’ll all be talking about?

Mental health! We are only just scratching the surface when it comes to mental health in the workplace. I believe we will see significant changes in legislation and an increase in regulatory enforcement in the workplace to ensure employers are helping their people manage wellbeing and stress. NJC is already a champion for mental wellbeing and I am very fortunate to work for a company which takes a strong approach to stopping stigmatisation in the workplace and encourages positive wellbeing for all their employees.

 

Where will we find you when you are not at work?

I wish I could answer this question with a more interesting answer, but you may find me at aerial hoop classes, at the gym, or relaxing with a hot chocolate (I love them!)

NJC Shortlisted in The Investors in People Awards 2019

We are delighted to have been shortlisted in the Employer of the Year: The Standard 250+ category of The Investors in People Awards 2019. Reaching the finals is recognition of the support NJC provides to its employees to do their best at work and the company’s focus on health and wellbeing.

The Investors in People accreditation demonstrates an organisation’s clear commitment to its employees and its investment in the development, progression and performance of the team. The Awards celebrate companies that are maximising the potential of their employees and leading best practise.

Paul Crilly, Managing Director, NJC commented: “Reaching the finals of The Investors in People Awards is a great achievement and many congratulations to everyone who has supported it. NJC’s ethos has always been that our colleagues are at the heart of our business and their customer focus and willingness to go the extra mile embodies the NJC DNA.”

The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 19th November in London.

NJC wins at 110 Bishopsgate

We're delighted to announce our contract win with Avison Young, the world’s fastest growing commercial real estate firm. The 3 year contract covers 110 Bishopsgate, one of London’s most iconic buildings, encompassing 460,000 sq. ft. spanning 46 floors. The BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated building includes premium office, retail and food and beverage tenants.

NJC’s integrated model will include self-delivery of internal and external cleaning of the common areas, internal and external commercial window cleaning, cladding and building cleaning, washroom services, hard floor restoration and periodic specialist cleans. The appointment reflects NJC’s strong capabilities in complex vertical cleaning and maintenance, one of the client’s key requirements.

Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC commented: “NJC is delighted to have been awarded the cleaning contract at 110 Bishopsgate, one of London’s most prestigious commercial buildings. We are implementing a customer focused service to maximise the occupier and guest experience, ensuring service excellence and value for money.”

NJC wins at 245 Hammersmith Road

We're delighted to announce our contract win at 245 Hammersmith Road, the new flexible, collaborative workplace incorporating offices, retail units, public plaza and an urban park.

NJC’s fully integrated model will include self-delivery of internal and external cleaning of the common areas, window cleaning, specialist cleaning, washroom services and waste management. Social value will be provided through local employment, training and work experience, local supply chain use and working with local agencies in support of communities and disadvantaged people.

245 Hammersmith Road is destined to become “The Big Red Workplace”, a truly sustainable space that is not confined to a place of work, but becomes a destination of choice and a hub for the local community.

Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC commented: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract, which builds on our strength in major London buildings. NJC passionately believes that a socially responsible business is a profitable business and we will be working with all local stakeholders to ensure the largest possible social dividend.”

NJC wins at Cannon Bridge House

We're delighted to announce our contract win with BNP Paribas Real Estate, one of the world’s leading property management companies. The 3 year contract covers Cannon Bridge House, the landmark City of London building comprising two interconnected buildings, award winning roof gardens and expansive river views. The contract includes cleaning of the building common areas, commercial window cleaning, washroom services, pest control, waste management and bee keeping.

Josh Ashim, Building Manager, Cannon Bridge Properties commented: “Since its inception, Cannon Bridge House has established itself as a premier site with prominent occupiers and very high standards of cleaning are fundamental for a building of such prestige. NJC was appointed as a new service partner early in 2019 and their enthusiasm for the contract, a good mobilisation, and the guidance and support provided to the team have been outstanding. With the founding principles and priorities in place, the scoped services are being consistently delivered to our demanding expectations.”

Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC commented: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract, which builds on our strength in major London buildings. Our team are providing the high quality services and customer experience required to support the occupiers’ brands.”

Landsec Award for Terry Latchman

Congratulations to Terry Latchman for being awarded a Landsec Aspire Player of the Month Award.

Terry was nominated by Landsec Customer Experience Director, Ann-Marie Khan, for the key role he played in the launch of the new Customer Service Centre, which NJC is operating.

The AspireAssist 24/7 HelpDesk, which went live on 1st June, is the first point of call for Landsec customers and Aspire service partners for issues, incidents or enquiries. This major project has meant a very busy time for all the people working behind the scenes and Terry has been recognised for being a fantastic help during this period. His excellent customer service skills, professional manner and teamwork have made him a great asset in the successful launch of the new service.

The photo shows Terry with his award, together with other members of the AspireAssist team.

Paul Crilly wins IoD London & South Director of the Year!

We are extremely pleased to announce that NJC Managing Director, Paul Crilly, has won the prestigious Chair’s Award for Excellence in Director and Board Practice, together with the Director of the Year, Family Business category, at last night’s Institute of Directors (IoD), London & South Awards.

The IoD Director of the Year Awards celebrate the very best in UK business and place particular emphasis on individual excellence and achievement. They are open to all directors, members and non-members, across all sectors, in the whole of London and the South of England.

Paul commented: “I am humbled and honoured to have won both of these awards which are fantastic recognition for the hard work of the NJC teams and the great support of our shareholders. To receive recognition from an organisation such as the IoD is amazing and a celebration of all that we have achieved.

As a winner of the London & South Awards, Paul now progresses to the UK IoD Awards, which announces its winners in October at The Brewery in London.

NJC wins with Ballymore

NJC is delighted to announce its contract win with Ballymore, the leading property developer. The contract covers a number of Ballymore’s world class developments in London, including Embassy Gardens, Royal Wharf, High Point Village, West Hampstead Square and Wapping Lane.

NJC is delivering all vertical services including window cleaning, safety equipment inspections and maintenance. The developments have a mixture of cleaning and equipment needs, with a predominant rope access window cleaning requirement, where safety led techniques are combined with excellent customer service standards. Ballymore commended NJC for their comprehensive tender submission and innovative scheduling approach.

Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC commented: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract, supporting prestigious Ballymore developments. The win is testament to NJC’s vertical cleaning and maintenance capability, and the expertise of our in-house rope access team. Our services specifically focus on the safety, wellbeing and environment of Ballymore’s residential and commercial community.”

NJC announced as PFM Awards Finalist

We are delighted to announce that NJC’s partnership with London Bridge City has been shortlisted as a finalist in the “Partners in Cleaning” category of the prestigious PFM Awards.

The PFM Awards recognise the essential requirement of forging effective facilities management partnerships and reward the very best examples of these through its dedicated independent judging panel. The winners will be announced at a black-tie event on 6th November 2019 in London.

Paul Crilly, Managing Director, NJC commented: “We are delighted that our partnership with London Bridge City is a finalist in this year’s awards and we look forward to demonstrating how innovation, achievement and sustainability have enabled us to achieve our goals.”

NJC Customers move to London Living Wage

At NJC, we are committed to sustainable pay and we are delighted to advise that a further 26 NJC customers have recently moved to the London Living Wage.

The London Living Wage is an hourly rate of pay, calculated independently to reflect the high cost of living in the capital, giving an employee and their family enough to afford the essentials and to save.

NJC’s customer contracts are changed whenever there is a statutory change and the April 2019 uplift to the National Living (minimum) Wage and the Pension Increase allowed us to conclude the continuing conversations we have with our customers.

Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC commented: “NJC embarked upon the Living Wage in 2014, as a natural extension of our family values and heritage. That more of our London office cleaning customers have decided to move to the London Living Wage is a humbling and exciting endorsement of our combined commitment to sustainable employment.”

NJC Gratitude Awards for Green Park Team Members

Congratulations to Joanna Tomczyk and Steven Day of the NJC team at Green Park in Reading for receiving NJC Gratitude Awards.

The awards were received following positive comments from clients to NJC Portfolio Manager, Kate Owczarek-Drabik.

"Joanna is so lovely - very nice natured and always happy to help me on top of her duties. Such as lifting the heavy milk to the lift to take to the occupiers and helping with the large post items. Nothing seems too much trouble and I am so happy to be sharing this building with her."

"Steven is extremely conscientious, adaptable and always willing to help. No job is too big or too small. He is polite, well mannered, courteous and goes about his daily duties with a smile, always punctual and happy to assist in any way. He is an asset to the company."

NJC Supports Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week is the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems, and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 takes place from Monday 13th until Sunday 19th May 2019 and we share information and advice in our attached mental health newsletter. Good mental health is essential for a happy, contented life and is the essence of who we are and how we experience the world. Yet, compared to physical health, little is commonly known about mental ill health and how to prevent it.

Our newsletter shares information on mental health, self-help tips and advice around this year's theme, Body Image, how we think and feel about our bodies.

NJC is encouraging everyone to ‘Go Green’ this year by wearing a green t-shirt or top and to donate two pounds to the Mental Health Foundation charity.

Read Newsletter

Paul Crilly shortlisted in IOD Director of the Year Awards

We are delighted to announce that Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC, has been shortlisted for the Family Business Award in the 2019 Institute of Directors, London and South, Director of the Year Awards.

The award recognises individuals in family businesses who have responded to the specific challenges that face directors in family firms and who have contributed to the success of this diverse, dynamic and innovative sector.

Paul commented: “I am proud to have been shortlisted in the awards, which shines a light on NJC’s achievements in a difficult business sector. We have transformed a small, regional family business into an organisation recognised by London Stock Exchange Group as a ‘Company to Inspire Britain’. In doing so we have refreshed every area of the business including people, processes and technology, whilst maintaining our familial values.”

The finalists were chosen from the hundreds of directors that entered or were nominated across nine different categories and the overall winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday 20 June 2019 in London.

David Stringer-Lamarre, IoD London Chair said: “After a year of BREXIT ups and downs for business, it’s inspiring to see so many UK directors leading the way in good governance, leadership and business performance.”

NJC supports Arlington Dream Team’s Race to Yemen

The Arlington Dream Team is cycling over 8,105km for Save the Children, supporting the Yemen Crisis Appeal.

The cycle challenge will take place throughout May on static spin bikes and the team includes Arlington Park Managers, Account Managers, Café staff and service providers. NJC Director, Mark Heppelthwaite, and Day Janitor, Ami Johnson, are part of the team who will be racing to the finish line in 31 days or less, aiming to smash the £1000 target.

Save the Children is treating sick and injured children through 167 fixed health centres and 23 hospitals across Yemen, which is in the grip of the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.

To support Mark, Ami and the rest of the team please donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/arlingtondreamteam

The picture shows Ami (on the right) at the launch of the challenge.

Cleaning and Maintaining Vertical Cities

Robotic technology is constantly being heralded as a significant disrupter of physical maintenance activities, including cleaning. We have already seen the introduction of horizontal cleaning robots, and although the efficacy of these early models remains in doubt, it is highly likely that imminent versions will add positively to the current cleaning toolkit of choice. However, this complement to horizontal cleaning cannot be considered as a wholesale disruption of the service and in themselves the robots may have limited shelf life.

Additionally, vertical robotic cleaning systems are emerging and NJC has established working partnerships with a range of system manufacturers of varying technologies, as we seek to understand which offer the greatest benefit. But in doing so we have asked, “what is maintenance and how best is it achieved”?

Within our existing markets, there is little doubt that London’s transition to a vertical city is underway, but it has commenced within very traditional thinking that relies on untried technologies as the next generation of support functions, with drones being the unelected cheerleader of innovation. Accompanying the vertical evolution of the built environment, we are also seeing the evolution of design methods, competencies and skill sets of those human and technology assets that will operate at height.

Siting a complex crane on top of a building that drops a bath (better known as a building maintenance unit or cradle!) over the side on metal ropes doesn’t currently pass muster and will completely fail the buildings of the future. Salesforce Tower in San Francisco was named “Best Tall Building Worldwide” in the recent Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat awards, but window cleaning is carried out using very traditional cradles which completely fail in matching the design ambitions for genuine innovation. Vertical Maintenance 1.0 requires a completely different mindset and we must challenge design intent and therefore what maintenance is and how best to achieve it.

Tall buildings of the future will cease to be the tired variation of a vertical box or a dysfunctional race to the sky. Many currently may claim to be vertical successes but the reality is that whilst the space may  work for the user it offers significant challenges to the wide range of support functions that constantly seek to deliver high quality services within very challenging physical constraints. The much publicised ‘Tulip’ is already deviating by both function and style but will rely on adaptation of traditional methods to maintain the exterior.

A quick review of the Endless Vertical City (Sure Architects), which was tentatively destined for Shoreditch, offers glimpses of the future of design and its necessary maintenance tasks, and the tried and tested would undoubtedly undermine the design intent.

The future will require wholesale adaptation at the design development phase to accommodate the infrastructure necessary to safely facilitate vertical maintenance. This will require a mindset change by architects, designers, developers and investors, with a new breed of support organisation to maintain these structures. However, this will prompt the question of how do we support this new infrastructure with innovative technologies, and how will this affect the hierarchy of safe use if the primary processes are without human intervention, but may subsequently require it.

Future working at height will require detailed design intervention by maintenance advisors to challenge the intent, product selection and maintenance regime, to achieve a safe maintenance process. The solution will completely change the competencies of designing, managing and working at height, including who maintains the technologies both at height and on the ground.

The future of maintenance of tall buildings will see the technology identified and incorporated within the asset infrastructure, controlled within the suite of other technologies that manage and report upon the user environment. These systems will take internal and external environmental information and automatically adjust schedules, frequencies and activities to better improve the asset performance and user experience and will be supported by a maintenance team that we are already reshaping.

NJC mobilises Landsec Aspire Assist Helpdesk

NJC is delighted to have been awarded the contract to provide the Landsec Aspire Assist Helpdesk service, following a tender process.

NJC is a long-term partner of Landsec and we are evolving the helpdesk service to focus on customer experience, with a single point of contact to access a variety of new services, information and support. The Aspire Assist Helpdesk, which went live on 1st April, supports over 40 buildings in Central London, managing service requests to 15 service providers, 24/7.

Innovative technology is being utilised to provide multiple communication platforms and all customer contact streams, from raising a helpdesk call, accessing documents or requesting concierge services have been consolidated into a single hub.

Ian Burr, Head of Property Management, Landsec said: “NJC demonstrated a real enthusiasm to assist us in evolving the helpdesk into a collaborative knowledge centre, as well as driving positive change and creating amazing experiences for our customers.”

Paul Crilly, Managing Director, NJC commented: “I am delighted that both our drive and acumen to provide next generation Customer Service Centre technology and support services has been recognised by Landsec and we look forward to delivering customer service excellence.”

BRIDGE Award for Antonio Pinto

Congratulations to Antonio Pinto of the NJC team at London Bridge City for receiving a BRIDGE Builder Award.

BRIDGE Builder Awards are presented to service partner team members who consistently display the BRIDGE vision of 'one team working together to achieve excellence' and the BRIDGE values.

Antonio's nomination said: "Whatever the weather, whatever the time of day, Antonio is always out and about cleaning and tidying, or removing moss from the paving. As he conducts all of these tasks, he has a smile on his face. Antonio never fails to be happy and always stops to say hello or share a word, and is without a doubt the unsung hero of the estate. The work he does is tireless, but often goes unnoticed. It is never the grandstand job, or the show stopping achievement, but we would definitely notice if he was not around."

Well done Antonio!

The image shows Antonio being congratulated by London Bridge City Property Director, Amanda Vaughan.

NJC Awarded RoSPA Gold

NJC has received a prestigious award in recognition of its occupational health and safety practices.

The company has achieved a Gold in the internationally-renowned RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Health and Safety Awards, the longest-running industry awards scheme in the UK. The award will be presented during a ceremony at ExCeL, London on 18th June 2019.

The RoSPA Awards scheme, which receives entries from organisations around the world, recognises achievement in health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement. The majority of awards are non-competitive and mark achievement at merit, bronze, silver and gold levels.

Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC commented: “This is the second time that NJC has entered the RoSPA Awards and we have built on the success of our silver award last year. We are delighted to be recognised at the top level of the Achievement Awards and remain committed to the continuous improvement of our health and safety standards.”

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of qualifications, awards and events, said: “The RoSPA Awards have become the key fixture in the health and safety calendar. Highly-respected, with almost 2,000 entrants every year, they allow organisations to prove excellence in the workplace, demonstrating a commitment to the wellbeing of not only employees but all those they interact with.”

NJC moves Head Office to London

NJC has relocated its head office to London, retaining a regional support facility in Berkshire. The move to the Zig Zag Building in Victoria will see NJC located closer to many of its key customers.

The company decided to take advantage of building lease breaks to better target its property needs to regional business requirements, whilst operating from facilities that better reflect the modern, agile working environments it regularly supports.

Paul Crilly, Managing Director NJC commented: “This is a very exciting time for our business. The move to London allows us to place our head office in the heart of customers, operating within an agile working environment aligned with the WELL Building Institute™ standard. We look forward to inviting our customers to experience innovations in cleaning processes and technology in our own office.”

Contact NJC

Our team are here to help with any questions, and to show where NJC can add real value to your colleague and customer experience, so why not get in touch.

Telephone: 0203 984 4450

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