Pristine Condition Looking Forward to Next 25 Years

Many businesses were looking forward to celebrating a significant anniversary when Covid struck.  Owners had to change their focus from celebrating to surviving and planning for the future.

Pristine Condition, one of our community sponsors based in Station Road were due to celebrate their first 25 years in 2021.   Pristine Condition CEO and founder, Davy Snowdon, talks about the emerging from Covid.  He explains, “We emerged from Covid leaner, fitter, and stronger than ever. Business has boomed and once again, we are expanding and hiring. For us, as much as anyone else, Covid was a voyage into the unknown. Back in March 2020 when we had to send all the staff home, I did wonder if we would have a business by the end of the year. But we used our time well, conducted a thorough review of the business, addressed its strengths and weaknesses, as well as supporting all our existing clients remotely, including the NHS and foodbank charities and here we are, having celebrated our first 25 years in 2021 and looking forward to the next 25.

Pristine Condition is one of those quiet success stories. Every inch the canny Geordie, Snowdon’s background in Olympic weightlifting was the launch pad for what has become a global business as market leaders in manual handling training. Davy comments “I was just back from the 1996 Olympics when a pal asked me to help out a paper mill where they were experiencing a lot of work injuries and it just went from there. Our first head office was a shed at the bottom of a garden, and it was a case of learning the ropes as we went along.”

The company has come a long way since those humble beginnings and can claim blue chip clients in just about every facet of business and commerce here in the UK, in Europe, and all over the World. Developing the business in the US has been especially satisfying to Snowdon, a died in the wool Americophile. Davy explains, “Everyone knows how hard it is to crack America, whatever you do. But if you have a great product and you are passionate about it, they welcome you with open arms. Bit like Led Zeppelin really!”

Snowdon’s approach to manual handling explodes the “straight back, legs bent” myth and focusses instead on taking pressure off the body and minimising risk of harm. “With any teaching, the aim is to get the message across in a simple and digestible way. If you make it complicated, people switch off,” Davy said. Snowdon is true to his word distilling encyclopaedic knowledge and experience of the physiology and mechanics of weightlifting into four “Pristine Principles”, four readily understandable and practical actions allied to a dose of common-sense risk assessment. As Snowdon puts it, “It’s not about the weight of an object. Most injuries are due to repeated incorrect movements and posture and the solution is correct anatomical position and technique.

But that is not all. “The Principles apply in any given situation.  If they are in a ditch, up an electrical tower, down a mine, in a submarine, or at home, we show them how to lift correctly, but the best part is they can actually physically feel the difference there and then, promoting great behavioural change,” adds Davy.

And it works. Pristine’s Manual Handling has been signed off as assured advice by the Secretary of State and is Primary Authority Approved – a gold standard for any product or service. Davy “Our Race Team apart, we have never advertised or marketed, it’s all word of mouth”. And the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Businesses using Pristine experience a dramatic decline in manual handling injuries and claims and the word gets around. That sort of success has attracted the attention of leading insurance companies for whom Pristine are now the preferred supplier of manual handling training to their insured.

Snowdon himself has been personally recognised for his achievements in his chosen field, awarded the MBE in 2014 for improving the health and wellbeing of the Nation and for charitable donations in the Henley area.

Snowdon is quick, though, to point out that this is anything but a solo effort. He says, “Pristine would be nowhere without a dedicated and committed workforce. No more so than in the training itself which is the sharp end of the business. All our Trainers are ex-services. They bring a level of professionalism, teamwork, and can-do spirit to the table. The armed services do and have done so much for this country, and it is great to give something back by employing them.” As an organisation, Pristine are signatories to the Armed Forces Covenant and a member of the Forces’ “Employer Recognition Scheme.”

Another string to the bow is filming adds Davy, “A big part of what we do is filming our Pristine Principles in context – actually applying the principles in performing the tasks our clients’ employees perform. I must have featured in more footage than some Hollywood stars. The camera has taken us places money could not…all industries globally. It is such an important part of what we do, and I have been lucky to work all these years with a real professional and true friend behind the camera in Ralph Budd.”

Reflecting the Pristine motto “enthusiasm is infectious” Snowdon exudes drive and optimism, and you would not bet against another 25 years’ growth and success. “I may be retired by then, but there is plenty of youth in the business to take the baton, drive on and reach even greater heights.”