Meet the Team - Rob Bevis

Rob joined Clifford Devlin in March 2016 as Contracts Manager for the Asbestos Division. Although Rob is very experienced in the industry, having worked as a Contracts Manager for over 15 years for among others Forest Environmental and Asbestech he started his career in the construction industry as an apprentice electrician.

What constitutes a typical day?
There is no such thing in this industry – every day brings a new challenge and you quickly learn to ‘expect the unexpected’. While we can be occupied for extended periods removing asbestos on commercial projects our bread-and-butter work would typically be a 1-2 day job removing floor tiles or asbestos insulating board (AIB) from social housing. We work for a number of Local Boroughs including Tower Hamlets, Newham, Haringey, Islington and Camden.

How does your FM experience help you manage removal works?
I was employed as the Facilities Manager of the American Community School in Hillingdon for 5 years managing a team of multi-disciplined operatives. Much of the major maintenance and refurbishment work was, understandably, carried out in school holidays or out of hours and subject to tight programmes, so very similar to asbestos works. Another key part of my role there was to liaise with the various occupants and visitors from teaching staff and academics to parents, pupils and admin staff. This has taught me the value that developing and maintaining good communications has to the smooth running of projects which inevitably cause some disruption and disturbance.

What was your most challenging asbestos project?
Every day seems to bring a new challenge, but when working with one of my previous employers, one project that stands out, was a ‘hot works’ project carried out a few years ago to decontaminate pipework in service tunnels under Heathrow Airport. Naturally the services needed to stay live 24/7 which created two health & safety issues for our site team – high temperatures and confined space. We installed cooler plant which introduced cold air into the enclosures to keep operatives cool and they observed a strict 15 minutes on 45 minutes off regime. To mitigate the confined space risk we maintained communications with the removal operatives continuously via 2-way radios and had a rescue team on standby throughout who, thankfully, were never needed. Since then the HSE have tightened-up guidelines on asbestos work in hot environments.

How do you spend your spare time?
For over 15 years I have been working in various capacities from coach to now Secretary of the Sandgate Youth Football Club in Hayes, Middlesex. The Club has teams from Under-7’s right through to Under-18’s, so this dominates most of any spare time I have. All three of my sons have played for the Club. When I’m not coaching you will probably find me in the stands at Stamford Bridge cheering on my beloved Chelsea FC.

How has grassroots football changed since you were a lad?
Twenty or thirty years ago a club like Sandgate would probably expect to see the odd scout on the sidelines looking for future talent. Nowadays, the stars of the future tend to be spotted much earlier and by-pass clubs like ours, going straight into academies. Having said that, the general skill levels of youth football are much higher these days.