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Protecting & Enhancing Scotland’s Historic Buildings – PTSG and Historic Scotland

Historic Scotland

One of the great advantages PTSG brings to the FM industry is its bundled services provision. This often sees its engineers inspecting clients’ buildings from a holistic perspective, identifying areas where further services or products would improve the building – even finding work of an emergency nature. This saves clients the time and cost of finding different suppliers and often leads to a strong, long-term relationships with PTSG and contracts that are multi-disciplinary in nature.

PTSG began its relationship with Historic Scotland in 2016 by providing vital lightning protection services, testing and maintaining systems to safeguard and preserve some of the country’s most valued buildings. Until 2015 Historic Scotland was an executive agency of the Scottish Government and was directly responsible to Scottish Ministers for safeguarding the nation’s historic environment and promoting its understanding and enjoyment. Its functions have since been transferred to Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the lead public body set up to investigate, care for and promote Scotland’s historic environment.

Many of Historic Scotland’s sites require specialist industrial cleaning to protect and enhance them for all who visit. Through bundled services provision, PTSG was able to extend its offering to Historic Scotland to include a range of high-level cleaning operations, based on its record of success in this area and the existing strong relationship between the two.

‘Working safely is the essence of PTSG and all that we do. As a business, we hold health and safety in the highest possible regard.’

Scale of the Project

A rolling, two-year contract was agreed for PTSG to provide industrial cleaning and maintenance services on some outstanding historic buildings. The group was able to deploy its Edinburgh-based height specialist, Pendrich Height Services (Pendrich), which was acquired and integrated into the Group in 2015. This gave PTSG a strategic base in the north of the UK to service clients who require a range of height services including steeplejacking, lightning protection, steel fabrication and high-level cleaning.

Pendrich sent its specialist rope access team to each of the sites in the contract to carry out a full at-height inspection. This is standard practice on all PTSG contracts before the commencement of any works, ensuring public safety takes priority over all else.

The aims of the works in the contract with Historic Scotland are:

Following the inspections, Pendrich began its industrial high-level cleaning, using specialist rope access techniques to remove any unsightly vegetation. Not only does this spoil the aesthetic of a building, it can also lead to damp problems which, over time, can damage its structural integrity. It also set about removing lamination from any stonework, restoring it to its original condition.

PTSG, through its strategic partners such as Pendrich, is firmly established in the industry as a rope access specialist. Rope access is arguably the safest method for reaching high and awkward places. PTSG’s highly qualified operatives design and install bespoke systems for each building they work on. For the contract with Historic Scotland, this includes Edinburgh, Dumbarton and Stirling Castles and Glasgow Cathedral.

Safety – the First Consideration

It is the conclusion of the Health and Safety Executive that working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries at work. Working at height across a range of disciplines represents a large part of what PTSG does; that is why the company puts safety above every other consideration.

A RoSPA and British Safety Council member, PTSG boasts a full-time Safety, Health, and Environment Manager. As a result of the work of Terry Wilcock, PTSG’s dedicated Health, Safety and Environment Director, the Group now holds 75 individual accreditations including network rail infrastructures and nine of them are from SSIP forum members. PTSG has been assessed and registered as conforming to the requirements ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 and is fully compliant with The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR).

Mr. Wilcock said: “Working safely is the essence of PTSG and all that we do. As a business, we hold health and safety in the highest possible regard – if it can’t be done safely, we don’t do it. So far on the Historic Scotland contract, there have been no reportable accidents or incidents, a record the site team is committed to maintaining. We are proud to protect and enhance a number of Scotland’s most outstanding heritage sites.”

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