Hands On, the UK’s leading store-based hand car wash specialists, has been certified by the cutting edge SAFEcontractor scheme designed to help industry improve its safety record.

The company, which has a £2 million turnover, operates car washes at major supermarkets, with clients including Sainsbury’s, Asda and Marks & Spencer.

SAFEcontractor recognises very high standards of health and safety practice amongst UK contractors. Hands On received its SAFEcontractor award from Conservative MP Adam Holloway at the company’s head office in Ebbsfleet, Kent.

Hands On Commercial Director Bob Dine commented, “As our major clients are participants in the scheme it made a lot of sense to be a part of it. The SAFEcontractor certificate speaks volumes of our commitment to health and safety within the business.”

SAFEcontractor accreditation is expected to enhance the company’s ability to attract new contracts, and this demonstrated commitment to safety will be viewed positively when company liability insurance is up for renewal.

John Kinge, Head of Risk at SAFEcontractor, said, “Major organisations can no longer run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies.

“More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that Hands On has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector.”

Under the SAFEcontractor certification system, businesses undergo a vetting process to examine their health and safety procedures and track record for safe practice. Those companies that meet the high standard are included on a database accessible to registered users via the website www.safecontractor.com.

Organisations that employ contractors sign up to the scheme to access the database, enabling them to vet potential contractors before they even set foot on site. These employers agree that, as users of the scheme, they will engage only those who have received accreditation.

Over 150 major national businesses from across key sectors have signed up to the scheme to procure services such as building, cleaning, maintenance, refurbishment and electrical and mechanical work. SAFEcontractor is applicable to most sectors, although it is particularly relevant to food manufacture, property, facilities management, retail and leisure sectors, all of which are big users of contract services.

Hands On founder and MD, Rick Plowman, opened his first site in 1996 after years of research into developing a ‘secret recipe’ to combine specialised cleaning equipment, low-chemical detergent and water efficiency.

In addition to providing a greener option to shoppers, the car park-based service also saves customers’ valuable time as it takes place when patrons are shopping.

Operators use mobile cleaning units to make sure that the service comes to the customer and there’s no queuing and no need to take the customer’s car keys.

SAFEcontractor is a third party accreditation scheme that assesses health and safety arrangements. Many major clients recognise the scheme and accept the SAFEcontractor certificate as confirmation of competency. You only need to be assessed once, and not by every client and prospect.

For more information about Hands On visit: www.carwashheroes.com

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