Entries by

Making the Unseen Visible

Revolutionising Public Health – Resilience to Biological and Pandemic Threats

Pickwick Group partners with SafetySpect

Recently, Pickwick Group, welcomed CEO and CTO of SafetySpect, Ken Barton and Dr Fartash Vasefi, to Australia. The visit marks the beginning of an exciting partnership between our two companies, whose shared mission to protect people and critical infrastructure is driving much needed innovation across major industry sectors. Addressing clients at venues including the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ANZAC memorial in Sydney, and Deakin University in Melbourne, Mr Barton and Dr Vasefi presented their revolutionary technology.

Through their demonstrations, SafetySpect addressed important questions brought to the fore in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While organisations have ramped up their cleaning and sanitisation efforts, how do we know if something is actually clean? Is a visual assessment good enough? How can we measure cleanliness? Are there economically viable solutions for businesses and organisations to ensure sanitation and keep people safe?

The existing landscape

Prior to COVID-19, concerns around antibiotic resistant bacteria, norovirus, and food borne illnesses were on the rise. Presently, the primary approach to assessing cleanliness is visual inspection, however, pathogens like poliovirus, influenza virus, and salmonella have all been known to remain on surfaces, even after typical cleaning procedures. While surfaces may give the appearance of cleanliness, pathogens invisible to the naked eye may still be present. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, in which perceived cleanliness and the measure of actual cleanliness are paramount, visual assessments fall woefully short.

There is demand for solutions to verify sanitation, and some exist, but their economic viability and practicality varies greatly across industries, scales of organisations and scope of use. For example, one of the most widely accepted solutions is swab-based Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence. While available in the market, ATP swab tests are costly and time-consuming. Further, ATP swab tests can only be used for random sampling during cleaning audits and routine testing of all locations becomes prohibitively expensive.

This is where SafetySpect comes in. SafetySpect’s technology provides real-time and reliable detection of harmful contaminants and pathogens at a fraction of the cost of legacy technologies. But what is it? And how does it work?

The CSI solution
Addressing the current unmet need in these markets is SafetySpect’s Contamination and Sanitisation Inspection (CSI) scanner. A world-first, this patented AI technology detects, disinfects, and documents the cleaning process – including biofilms, human saliva and respiratory droplets – all in one compact, hand-held device.

Using fluorescence-based imaging technology, the scanner reveals contaminants invisible to the naked eye, displaying its findings on a screen, or any attached smart displays. The scanner then communicates the findings to a dedicated cloud service, where inspection task lists are assembled, and inspection reports and video/imaging data stored and managed. The cloud service dynamic risk management system uses artificial intelligence to keep track of the risk status of every location requiring sanitisation. It adjusts risk levels based on frequency of use, physical properties, proximity to contamination sources, sanitisation history, and local risk profiles. The AI algorithm constantly interprets data obtained through the scanner, using it to automatically identify spot vulnerabilities, bottlenecks and compliance shortfalls.

How it works

Put simply, the CSI solution performs the following:


  • Scan surfaces with light
  • Illuminate harmful organisms
  • Analyse video scans
  • Locate invisible contaminants
  • Highlight what needs cleaning
  • Colour-code identified threats


  • Create incident reports
  • Manage regulatory compliance
  • Mitigate risks and liabilities
  • Provide scientific proof of cleanliness
  • Automate internal audits


  • Generate AI dynamic risk assessment
  • Ensure SSOP compliance
  • Easily integrate with SSOPs
  • Customise risk response
  • Supply efficient safety verification
  • Provide immediate remediation

SafetySpect also has a range of CSI scanners. The CSI-D+ has the added feature of disinfecting surfaces – neutralising contaminants as they’re identified. CSI-D+ scanners disinfect surfaces in seconds, using a proprietary UV light system with smart sensors to ensure user safety. These scanners provide immediate remediation, and are particularly useful in high-risk environments, such as various hospital settings.

“SafetySpect envisions a new worldwide standard of cleanliness monitoring and resilience to biological and pandemic threats. Our technology mitigates risk by providing evidence of adherence to sanitation protocols that are beyond industry standards in each and every area we serve.”

 Kenneth Barton, CEO of SafetySpect


Example application – healthcare

Each year in Australia, an estimated 165,000 patients will contract healthcare associated infections (HAIs). HAIs are the most common complication affecting patients in hospitals, and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, increased length of stay, increased resistance to antimicrobials and additional health expenses. The cost is too high when you consider most HAIs are potentially preventable adverse events, rather than unpredictable health complications. CSI scanners offer healthcare organisations a viable solution for monitoring sanitation, particularly across high touch-point areas, and lowering the risk of HAIs. For high-risk areas, where immediate remediation is required, CSI-D+ offers not only instant detection but sanitisation too, using UVC light to immediately neutralise harmful contaminants.

Successful trials of CSI technology within assisted long term care facilities have demonstrated its value within the sector. Within one facility, sanitation auditing was conducted across the main dining area, kitchen, and a resident’s apartment. High touch-point areas were inspected, as when these surfaces are not properly disinfected, residue can remain, creating a risk of contamination between uses. A prep cart was shown to have contamination on it when examined with the scanner, despite there being no visible residue upon visual inspection. A washed chopping board in the kitchen was also found to have contamination on it, as were cupboard handles, and a resident’s walker. After proper disinfection of these surfaces, the scanners showed no contamination, demonstrating how quick and effective sanitation remediation is with CSI technology. Click here to see the scanner in action.

Disrupting the market

CSI technology is a game-changer for the cleaning and facilities management sector; but its implications and applications for industries including healthcare, assisted living, meat and food processing, aviation, hospitality, and retail, shouldn’t be underestimated.

CSI technology not only detects and highlights harmful pathogens, but documents findings for proof of cleanliness, and provides efficient safety verification for risk assessments and compliance purposes. Use case trials for clients across Australia and New Zealand will commence in early in 2023.

“We’re focused on protecting critical infrastructure and people. This ground-breaking technology will revolutionise the industry and aims to address the gap on sanitation standards, at scale and at a level beyond current best practice.”

Pickwick Group

If you’d like to know more, contact us today via our website at: https://www.pickwickgroup.com.au/contact/

If you would like to learn more about SafetySpect’s technology, visit: https://safetyspect.com

Celebrating 40 years

Since 1981, businesses across Australia and New Zealand have relied on Pickwick Group to keep their workplaces clean and safe. On 25 November 2021 we celebrate 40 years of operations and a strong future of continued industry longevity and growth in the post COVID-19 environment. Happy birthday to us! Pickwick proudly celebrates 40 years in […]

COVID-19 vaccination – have you had yours?

Pickwick Group supports Australian Government initiatives that aim to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. Extended lockdowns in NSW and Victoria and the intermittent short, sharp lockdowns experienced in other States around Australia cause challenges to all our employees in offices and on the front line at our client sites. In light of this, we would like to […]

Pickwick wins at recent BSCAA Qld Excellence Awards

COVID-19 may have delayed the BSCAA 2020 Excellence Awards, but it didn’t stop the event from taking place, nor Pickwick Group’s Queensland Division from taking top honours. BSCAA held their 11th annual Queensland Excellence Awards in February, bringing a formal close to the year that was 2020 and the challenges brought about by COVID-19. This […]

Pickwick’s longest-serving employees retire

After almost three decades with Pickwick Group in Queensland, long-serving employees – husband and wife duo Raul and Adriana Capano – have retired. While most of us are likely to experience 3 employers each decade, Raul and Adriana Capano farewell Pickwick after almost three decades of loyal service – a testament to their high standards […]

Security team recognised for commitment to community

A little thank you goes a long way as our Queensland security team will tell you, following the recognition they recently received.   Our security professionals work hard to safeguard clients, their workplaces and communities across the country and have gone above and beyond in recent times. COVID-19 has seen workplaces everywhere adapt to new measures […]

Keeping it safe and clean, behind the scenes

As the COVID-19 crisis unravelled throughout Australia, Pickwick’s network of cleaners mobilised to further protect essential service providers across the nation. Frontline staff across many industries play a vital role in protecting all of us from the impact of COVID-19 and ensuring the continual supply of essential goods and services. But who helps protect them? […]

Pickwick raises funds and spirits for COVID-19 front-liners

Pickwick Group’s Michael Oakden (Key Account Manager – QLD) recently took on the challenge of raising funds to feed front-line staff at the Gold Coast University Hospital. Michael’s aim was to not only support doctors and nurses at the hospital but other crucial front-line workers including cleaners, laundry workers, maintenance crews, security and administration staff. […]

Keep the ANZAC spirit alive this April 25

Covid-19 and quarantine won’t stop this year’s ANZAC day commemorations. Mark this important day by holding a private dawn vigil. At 5.30 this Saturday morning, Pickwick employees and their families are encouraged to join Aussies and Kiwis across the globe in a special ‘iso’ dawn service. While traditional commemorative services are cancelled in line with […]

Protecting iconic Sydney Ferries and passengers

Pickwick Group and our network of cleaners across the nation are working tirelessly with clients to maintain safe and healthy environments for everyone. During challenging times, collaboration is the key to improved risk reduction and positive outcomes. Our partnership with Transdev Sydney Ferries (who operate the ferry service in Sydney on behalf of the Government […]

12th Anniversary of the National Apology to The Stolen Generations

Pickwick Group (Pickwick) attended a special breakfast to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the National Apology. Today marks 12 years since former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd delivered the National Apology to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, acknowledging the impact of past laws and practices as well as the Stolen Generation. We would like to […]

Count on us to keep you safe

For almost 40 years we’ve helped keep Australian workplaces clean and safe from unwanted visitors, including germs. Our cleaning solutions are tested to kill all common viruses as well as lesser-known strains such as 2019-nCoV (also called Coronavirus). We use only the highest quality, environmentally sustainable cleaning products that are also hypo-allergenic and contain no toxic […]

New National HR Manager appointed

Helen Seddon joins Pickwick as new National HR Manager. Pickwick has appointed Helen Seddon as National HR Manager to continue driving our next phase of growth through initiatives designed to attract, engage and retain the best talent across our nationwide operations. Based in Brisbane at Pickwick’s Head Office and reporting directly to the Chief Executive […]

Pickwick a major sponsor at annual TEFMA Grounds Workshop

Pickwick was a major sponsor of the Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association’s (TEFMA) annual Grounds Workshop at Deakin University on November 6 and 7. Last week TEFMA held their 2019 Grounds Workshop. Hosted by one of our major clients, Deakin University at their Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus, this year Pickwick had the exciting opportunity to support the annual […]

Pickwick’s people secure top honours at BCSAA Qld Excellence Awards

Pickwick Group’s (Pickwick) Debra Brownhill and Ben Cassar secured top honours in their respective categories at the recent BCSAA Queensland Excellence Awards. BSCAA recently held their 10th annual Queensland Excellence Awards to celebrate the outstanding contribution and achievements of employers and employees in contract cleaning and security. This year Pickwick proudly nominated 5 of our hardworking […]

Pickwick’s Bilal cleans up at BSCAA Awards

BSCAA NSW held its annual awards ceremony on Friday 11th October to acknowledge and celebrate the industry’s hard–working cleaners, supervisors and managers. Pickwick Group’s NSW division nominated 5 people across 8 categories in recognition of their dedication and commitment, with our Bilal Fouani winning the Excellence Awards in Maintenance of an Educational Facility. Nicholas Jenkinson, Pickwick Group’s […]

Pickwick partner now proudly Supply Nation Certified

We’re proud to announce our partner Pickwick 1A Services is now Supply Nation certified. Pickwick 1A Services was recently awarded Supply Nation certification in recognition of their status as a First People majority-owned, managed and controlled business. Supply Nation connects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander initiatives with procurement teams from government and corporate Australia to […]

Recent bushfires spark community spirit

As recent bushfires ravaged through Queensland and northern New South Wales communities, they sparked kindness and generosity among ours, with Pickwick employees donating $900 in urgently needed goods and other items to help those affected by the devastating events. Upon seeing an urgent appeal for donations from The Rescue Collective and media reports covering the […]

Proud sponsor of AHG Ladies High Tea for HeartKids in Western Australia

On 26th July Western Australia Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) Dealer Principal wives and partners, along with friends, family, staff and sponsors banded together to raise funds for HeartKids (refer https://www.heartkids.org.au/). Craig Tonkin, Pickwick’s General Manager for WA said he was delighted Pickwick was able to join their client and contribute to such a worthwhile cause. […]

Celebrating 2019 NAIDOC Week

With NAIDOC Week celebrations occurring around the nation, it was with the greatest of pleasure our Western Australian staff attended the City of Belmont Flag Raising Ceremony. The event was a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and support the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. This year’s theme of Voice. […]

Helping the Environment – The small things can make a difference

We all know about climate change and the importance of sustainability and looking after the environment. There is so much we as individuals and the organisations we work for can do at the local level to support what are global issues. In the cleaning services industry Chemical-free, Biodegradable, Compostable and Recyclable are all ecological initiatives. […]

Supporting the Local Community – Kurbingui Sports

Pickwick are pleased to provide a donation of $500 dollars to the Kurbingui Sporting Association. Kurbingui Sports is a non-profit volunteer community association that strives to improve the health and fitness of participants. Working with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth for over 20 years on Brisbane’s north side, Kurbingui has a long association with boxing […]

Pickwick emphasises the importance of staff training

Pickwick cleaners at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank – The Bendigo Centre recently completed their Certificate III in Cleaning Operations. The course is designed to develop a broad range of competencies and skills where participants learn current environmental cleaning techniques with relevant industry practices for preparing and cleaning a range of surfaces like carpets, hard surfaces, […]

Lucky Number 3

One of our long standing employees recently scooped the jackpot at the Melbourne Cup sweepstakes at Inala Health in Brisbane where she works. Zoila Butzelaar has continued the tradition of the old saying “Third Time Lucky” by winning the mystery trifecta with a $3 bet. Her winnings tallied close to $1,000 which will come in […]

Congratulations to Maggie Webber

November brought a very special day for Pickwick’s business development lead generator Maggie Webber. Even though she earned her Master of Commerce degree back in 1989 … yes, a quarter of century ago as she does not like to remind herself, Maggie only had her degree conferred this month. Maggie like so many women at […]