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“There is no getting away from the fact that this year has been extremely challenging for the cleaning and FM industry.
But we should also take hope from the fact that whilst the pandemic will pass (in the hopefully not-too-distant future), the increased importance that businesses attach to FM and cleaning must surely remain. Business leaders have recognised the strategic value of their buildings, and hygiene and safety will become an enduring focus.
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Last week, when writing about the industry's need to adapt to new cleaning challenges because lockdown has forced the closure of many of the facilities that had previously required regular cleaning, I didn’t envisage the type of work I saw advertised later that day… The advertisement, placed by a housing co-operative, was for ‘companies to quote/tender for servicing/cleaning three housing estates in the Brentford area’. What made it stand out, was that as well as the work one would expect to be required in such locations, the need to ‘clear up after the local refuse collection service’ was a stipulation!
If you’re one of our UK-based readers you’ll probably be aware of the furore caused by the shamefully inadequate food parcels being supplied on behalf of Government, to children from poor families being home-schooled during lockdown, who are normally entitled to free school meals. If you’re not, our picture shows how the media was alerted to the problem by one disappointed mother.
Parcels subsequently displayed on social media varied enormously but none were what sensible people would describe as value-for-money or substantial. One even included five plastic bottles of water! Each parcel was supposed to provide five healthy meals and was charged out to the taxpayer at £30. That these parcels were the work of a major contractor, has served to inflame the public’s ire towards the practice of contracting out. The pitch I was given by contractors upon joining this industry almost 30 years ago, was that putting services such as cleaning and catering into the hands of specialists, would result in better standards and free up a company to concentrate on its core business – potentially improving the ‘bottom line’.
Although as far as I’m aware we’re not related, I was brought up to follow the mantra penned by Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, to his son in 1746: ‘If you’re going to do a job, do it well’, and I'd add here: 'be it collecting refuse or supplying food parcels to hungry children – or anything else!' This is something our industry, which is already under public scrutiny, would do well to remember, since what’s to prevent clients from taking the work back in-house? And that includes contracted-out refuse collections. I have to ask though, are we clearing up after our refuse collectors because they’re haphazard, or because they’re overstretched?
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This Week's News
A study co-authored by the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), ‘Comparing the European Union System for the Evaluation of Substances (EUSES) environmental exposure calculations with monitoring data for alkyl sulphate surfactants’, is now available in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe.
The British Institute of Cleaning Science has announced the imminent launch of a selection of NHS compliant cleaning skills, which have been adapted from the Institute's long-established Cleaning Professional's Skills Suite.
The selected skills will be compliant with both PAS 5748:2014, and the draft 'NHS National standards of healthcare cleanliness manual'.
Only accurate estimating can lead to good service provision and a content client, whilst meeting the calculated costs.
Purify-One, manufacturer of ultraviolet disinfecting devices, is in receipt of final audited test results from Microbac Laboratories, (a US-based CDC certified lab) confirming the Purify-One UV Disinfecting Wand is highly effective in destroying SARS-CoV-2, known as Coronavirus, which causes Covid-19.
Mircrobac Laboratories reports say that the Purify-One UV Disinfecting Wand has been shown to be ~97% effective in destroying Covid-19 within seconds of exposure. A relatively high percentage of the residual virus, (while remaining living) has also been shown to no longer be able to replicate - effectively deeming it harmless.
Bioarmor tells us that in addition to its UK laboratory certification of 99.9% efficacy against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and MRSA - Bioarmor-nano has now been independently laboratory tested to be effective (on non-porous substrates) against phi6 - an enveloped virus with a similar structure to Coronavirus* and Influenza A viruses.
The testing was carried out to a modified version of ISO 21702.
In the week leading up to Christmas, 126 additional facilities spread over several continents, achieved GBAC Star Facility Accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council - a Division of ISSA - demonstrating their commitment to cleanliness, healthand safety.
These include American Airlines Arena in Miami, home to the NBA's Miami Heat; Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in Charlotte, N.C.; the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore.; Hyatt hotel properties; and more (see the full list, below).
TNT Unlimited, an independent sales agency based in Barrington, Illinois, has won Vectair's 2020 Rep Group of the Year Award. TNT Unlimited is no stranger to success, having previously won the award in 2012.
The winners of the Vectair Rep Group of the Year were announced at the first ever Vectair virtual awards announcements. Normally these awards are held annually at the ISSA show. However, this year, they were held virtually due to the pandemic.
WEPA Professional, provider of sustainable, environmentally-friendly paper and washroom solutions in Europe, is introducing Satino by WEPA; a new brand of cleaning and hygiene products for the UK market.
Available now, the extensive range offers everything from paper towels to washroom accessories and provides a variety of functional options to meet the needs of customers and washroom users alike. Highlights include touch-free soap and paper towel dispensers, toilet roll dispensers, and waste bins.
Following the decision by Government to close all schools, now is the time to introduce long-term protection against all viruses including Covid-19. Bromoco International, makers of Touch Antimicrobial coating, is appealing to local councils and the Government to implement a long term, sustainable plan to protect classrooms and learning environments with antimicrobial coatings.
In recent weeks, the rise of positive cases amongst students and school staff was a strong indicator that hand-washing and cleaning of frequent touch-points was not sufficient to prevent Covid-19's spread.
With the UK entering its third lockdown this week, the question many of the population are asking is 'what more can we do?' With the one year lockdown anniversary fast approaching, are we really at a loss how to slow the spread?
A virus with airborne transmission brings an abundance of complexities to slow the spread. How can we fight something that we can see in the air? Enter LED Direct, a small lighting company based in Sheffield.
Cleaning and soft services provider, Facilicom UK & Ireland, has secured a contract extension with long-standing client, the University of Brighton. The relationship, which began in September 2013, has seen the hygiene specialist deliver daily janitorial and cleaning services to the University's halls of residence.
The contract extension will see Facilicom's team of highly-skilled cleaning operatives continue to deliver these vital services into 2021.
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