(June 14, 2017) A specialist training centre aimed at improving indoor air quality standards has been launched by Simone Hart Sibbald, co-founder of family firm Perfect Service Solutions, a WEConnect International women-owned business.
Scotland’s first dedicated school for air hygiene in commercial buildings and kitchen grease extraction cleaning has opened in Stirling.
The centre is run by AEME Scotland Ltd, a collaborative venture between Ms Hart Sibbald, Managing Director of Perfect Service Solutions and Devon-based training experts AEME Ltd and aims to improve air quality standards and cut commercial kitchen fires.
It will cater to firms working in ductwork cleaning and ventilation hygiene across Scotland and the North of England as well as officials such as Fire Safety and Environmental Health Officers. The first group of students recently graduated and the next training programme begins later this month.
AEME Scotland Director Ms Hart Sibbald said:
“This is the first centre of its kind in Scotland and there’s been a huge gap in the market until now. We want to raise the credibility of the engineering services industry and get rid of bad practice which can happen when people are not trained properly. This is about protecting lives and business assets. If ductwork is not cleaned to a high standard, we will see more kitchen fires bringing with them the risk of death and injury plus financial losses. It is astonishing that in the 21st Century we seem to be losing the battle to clean up the air that we breathe. Air pollution is one of the biggest threats to our health and – particularly shaming – to the health of our children. We need to ensure buildings are ‘safe havens’ which protect occupants from the worst effects of pollution – and by addressing available ventilation solutions it is possible to create indoor ‘clean air zones’.”
Many accidental fires in restaurants and hotels are caused by cooking appliances and can be worse if a blaze spreads through poorly maintained grease extraction systems and ductwork.
Meanwhile, poor indoor air quality has been linked to deaths and long-term health problems and reinforces the need for well-run ventilation systems.
World Health Organisation figures indicate around 25% of global young child deaths are attributable to unhealthy environments including air pollution and a 2016 Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) report highlighted fears among office workers that poor workplace air quality has a negative effect on productivity and well-being.
BESA Chief Executive Paul McLaughlin says: “People spend more than 90% of their time indoors and there is a lot more we can do to improve indoor air quality. A series of low cost, maintenance measures to ensure ventilation systems work properly and incoming air is filtered and cleaned would make a major difference to the health of occupants.”
The AEME practical courses cover all aspects of ductwork cleaning and ventilation hygiene and are being delivered in partnership with AEME Ltd – national specialists in ductwork cleaning training. They will initially be led by the firm’s Chief Executive Peter Reid. He said:
“This training centre will lead the way in improved air quality and standards across Scotland. It will train people to the right standards and make responsible people aware of current regulations for air quality and kitchen extract standards. Simone is a leading light in the industry and the ideal person to take this forward in Scotland. The quality of the training combined with her aspiration and drive will make this a real Centre of Excellence for Scotland.”