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The results are in and according to cleaning managers across the US, 44% agree that the recession is over, up 5% from last year's results. However, despite this optimism, more are reporting pressure to reduce labour and other operating costs. (Ed: now where have I heard that before?)
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Racism is a thorny subject, isn’t is? I don’t know where in the world you are, but in my neck of the woods many people now shake their heads when racism is mentioned, in the same way they do when health & safety is mentioned: ‘Oh no, not that again!’ seems to be the feeling – and the consensus is that in some quarters, racism is used as an excuse for, perhaps, people not getting the promotion or pay-rise, or the best table in the restaurant, rather than because they weren’t the best person for the job, the company had budgets to consider or the table had been pre-booked by a regular. I won’t go on.
The reality is that we all have to be very careful about what we say, just in case it gets taken the wrong way.
Then on the other hand are the people who really don’t care…
Have you come across the flyer this week, advertising cleaning services in Israel?
I still can’t work out whether it’s real or if it’s been put together to elicit a reaction, but as it’s on Israeli journalist Tal Schneider’s Facebook page I suppose it must be true. I’m still struggling to understand how whoever produced it has got away with it.
The offending flyer, (pictured), advertises a menu of charges for cleaning services, based on the ethnicity of the cleaners. i.e. if you can’t afford to pay too much for your cleaning, you can choose an ethnic minority group that allegedly doesn’t produce as good a result in the time, or – if you really want to push the boat out, you can hire a harder working European cleaner for more money and a better result.
Yes – you did read that correctly!
African cleaners are charged out at 49 shekels (£8.70/hr); while Eastern European cleaners who don’t have Israeli citizenship are charged out at 52 shekels and those carrying all the necessary visas and work permits will cost 69 shekels.
The flyer also apparently refers to those that might be considered to be potential terrorists and offers ways to avoid employing them!
A company spokesperson is quoted as saying that the different rates are not illegal, and that European workers are charged out at higher rates because they’re better workers than the Africans are!
Yes I know…
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This Week's News
For the past four decades, Floorbrite has built a reputation as the north's largest contract cleaning and facilities management company and has recently confirmed its stand at the Manchester Cleaning Show.
The family-run-firm, which was set up in 1972 by the late Martin Wyers, now employs more than 1,200 people across the north of England and provides cleaning and facilities management for nationally recognised names such as Aldi, JD Sports, and Manchester's very own The Lowry.
A research team from the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Engineering has achieved what is being hailed a world first by successfully converting paper waste into green cellulose aerogels that are non-toxic, biodegradable, ultralight, flexible, extremely strong and water repellent.
This material is ideal for applications such as oil spill cleaning and heat insulation as well as packaging.
ISS A/S and Rolls-Royce, have signed a new contract whereby ISS will deliver integrated facilities services to Rolls-Royce in the Americas and Asia. The contract covers the US and Brazil (Americas) as well as Singapore, China, India and Indonesia (Asia) and the services will include facilities management & operations, cleaning, maintenance, security, catering, reception duties, office services, grounds maintenance and landscaping.
The portfolio of Deb Stoko hand cleansers, sanitisers and after-work restore creams have been formulated to address and reduce the spread of infection as well as the risk of occupational skin disease.
Girbau's new Smart Load technology on its latest HS Series washer extractors offers on-premise laundries even greater savings in energy, water and detergent use. Smart Load automatically adjusts water consumption and chemical dosing in accordance with load weight, fabric and chosen wash programme to save energy, water and detergent without users needing to do anything.
REACH, the new regulations governing the way in which chemicals can be packaged, sold and used in the cleaning and hygiene industry, is now in force. According to those who have been working with the new regulations, they are business critical.
In partnership with the British Association for Chemical Specialities, the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association is hosting a conference designed to explain fully, the regulations and their impact on your business.
Founded in 1990, Vic Pharma has more than 100 employees and is the second largest independent player in the Brazilian hygiene market. It offers a broad range of hygiene products for disinfecting surfaces, instruments and medical devices, as well as antiseptic solutions for pre- or post-operative care.
The organisers of ISSA/Interclean Amsterdam have published details of the ISSA Educational Seminar programme at the event, which takes place 10th - 13th May 2016 and is expected to attract over 30,000 attendees from over 130 countries.
BOC's new Cryoclean snow+ industrial cleaning process, combines dry ice blasting (using CO2 dry ice crystals) with sand blasting to provide a flexible industrial cleaning method for a wide range of industry sectors including automotive, aerospace, additive manufacturing, construction, food, metal and machine construction, pharmaceuticals, plastic manufacturing and steel.
This new process can be used to clean weathered plastic seating in stadia, industrial products such as machinery, process equipment and conveyor belts. Cryoclean snow+ is also useful in the new, fast-growing additive manufacturing sector, where it can be used to remove oxides from the surfaces of a number of materials, including steels and aluminium, and to clean polymers.
The City of New Orleans Department of Sanitation and JOB1, held a pre-Mardi Gras job fair to recruit 150 temporary employees who would clean the city both during and after the 2016 festival, which has just taken place.
Those attending the job fair were also given information about a limited number of full time, permanent employment opportunities with the City's Department of Sanitation.
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Recent UK News
And while many things about association membership haven't changed, such as the opportunities for networking and friendship it provides, the ability for the industry to speak with one voice and address industry issues collectively rather than as individual companies (i.e. from a position of strength) there are a great many new things planned.
As from last Monday, Crown Courts and Magistrates Courts in England and Wales have been bound by tough new guidelines when sentencing those who have been convicted of breaking health & safety law. For the first time, courts in England and Wales are required to follow comprehensive sentencing guidelines.
Neal Stone, policy & standards director at the British Safety Council, says of the changes: "We broadly welcome the new guidelines and in particular that in future, three factors will be key in determining fines for health & safety offences: the degree of harm caused, the culpability of the offender, and the turnover of the offending organisation.
The ex-BBC Newsnight anchor, speaking in his capacity as patron of the litter campaigning organisation Clean Up Britain (CLUB) said that the UK is at a tipping point in attitudes to litter and that businesses need to collaborate to take action and tackle the problem.
A panel of eight judges, including purchasing director of Reliance Industries & executive housekeeper of the Intercontinental Hotels Group, chose V-Air Solid as the most innovative product for its simplicity, use of new technology and its strong environmental credentials, amongst other factors.
A few years ago, I wrote an analysis of the facilities management sector as a whole and at that stage my feelings were that the market was still clearly separated into two distinct areas: in-house (corporate management) and outsourced (third party). In my view, the FM market is much more blurred in certain respects and, as such, success requires an ever increasingly diverse range of skills, education and attributes.
Lindhaus argues that the periodic cleaning of mattresses is absolutely necessary to prevent the formation of bacteria that can cause allergies and dermatitis.
Mike Mustill, hotel services operations manager, Condor Ferries, called in Kevin Day at Prochem Europe distributor CJS Portsmouth to find a more robust, powerful and faster clean than they were currently achieving.
The Health & Safety Laboratory's new Machinery Directive course is being held on 24th February 2016 in Buxton, Derbyshire. It will give delegates a thorough understanding of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2009 legislation, (as revised) as well as the key current European and International safety standards that support the Regulations.
Delegates will also be shown how to build a technical file and have the opportunity to practice assessing conformity to the essential health & safety requirements. The purpose and content of a declaration of conformity and incorporation will be explained, along with when to use which.
"Murphy's Law states that if anything is to go wrong, then it will happen at the most inconvenient time. It also states that when this happens it will usually be mega expensive and the inconvenience will last for days, if not weeks.
For us carpet cleaners, one of the things that we dread most is a machine breakdown, and this was brought home to me last month when my portable extraction machine had its annual service at the manufacturer's works.
The Board at The Building Futures Group has announced, with regret, that the company has ceased trading.
Events & Exhibitions
Sustainable Cleaning Summit
ISSA North America
Loo of the Year Awards
Manchester Cleaning Show
Budapest Cleaning Show