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Over the past couple of years I’ve occasionally used these Leaders to comment on concerns regarding the PPE issued to frontline workers to help protect them from catching and/or transmitting Covid-19. These concerns involved whether the PPE was fit for purpose, its cost and the way in which the contracts to supply had been awarded. I’m in the industry but daresay that even someone who isn’t, might have wondered how some companies that had previously been involved in a completely different industry, had managed to rapidly set up or alter production facilities to produce PPE which Government buyers deemed a better deal than that being offered by seasoned suppliers. By ‘better deal’ I don’t only mean price, but quality too – for surely under the circumstances, quality should have been a crucial consideration. Yes – demand did quickly start to outstrip supply and often stocks will have gone to the highest bidder… Alternatives needed to be found and fast, but what happened to common sense?
Those in our industry were well placed to ask the right questions and I can recall applauding the ISSA when it announced that it was to work with the PPE Fraud Coalition to challenge the US Government over its ‘unfathomable procurement failures’. The two bodies were hoping to prevent future ‘fraudulent’ transactions and recover the $millions lost. I said we should be doing the same in the UK and indeed anywhere else that appeared to have experienced procurement issues – and, sometimes, fraud.
I’ve not had an update on the ISSA/PPE Fraud Coalition’s progress but the UK Parliament’s Committee of Public Accounts has finally released its report into the management of PPE contracts. As well as tackling important questions regarding supply chain security for the future, this report discusses the huge challenge faced by Government to manage ‘a stockpile of PPE which includes billions of items that are unusable or not needed’, whilst fighting disputes with PPE suppliers on 176 contracts. Apparently, little has been done to address the alleged fraud and up to £2.7billion of taxpayers’ money is at risk. How on earth has this situation been allowed to happen?
It's an interesting read.
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This Week's News
Cleanology has brought together some of the biggest names in the cleaning and facilities management industry to support the launch of a spectacular new annual fundraising event in aid of The Hygiene Bank.
In September 2021, Cleanology held its first charity event which raised over £14,000 for The Hygiene Bank, a national charity that alleviates poverty by providing hygiene products to those in need.
The US House Committee on Energy & Commerce recently held a hearing on ‘No Time to Waste: Solutions for America's Broken Recycling System’. In conjunction with the hearing, the American Cleaning Institute offered its perspective as Congress examines ways to improve America's recycling capabilities.
"ACI recognises the need to mitigate the impacts associated with the creation, use and disposal of our product packaging," wrote Nathan Sell, ACI senior director, sustainability, in a letter to chairman Tonko and Ranking Member McKinley. "Cleaning product packaging is designed to protect the health and safety, while also ensuring safe transport, storage and use of cleaning products during all stages of a product's lifecycle."
Hazel Bulgin, UK sales manager at Slingsby: one of the UK's leading suppliers of industrial & commercial equipment, offers some practical tips on keeping employees safe and comfortable in hot weather:
With England having experienced its first ever red warning for extreme heat this week and much of continental Europe even hotter, it's clear that raised temperatures in the workplace have the potential to become a health & safety issue as employers struggle to keep working areas within the recommended temperatures.
Indoor air quality solutions specialist Rotobrush International has launched a new air duct cleaning machine. The all new BrushBeast DR features next generation smart technology, more vacuum power and more control while maintaining the same portability and ease of use that is known with the brand.
"The revolutionary new technology that the BrushBeast DR features is taking air duct cleaning to the next level," says Bob Elledge, president and CEO of Rotobrush International. "Rotobrush is always looking to improve our products. We want to design equipment that not only is portable and powerful, but also is easier to operate. We have accomplished that with the BrushBeast DR."
Cleaning and soft services provider, Kingdom Cleaning, has recently promoted a former apprentice to its group sales team.
A new collaboration between phs Group and GreenTeck Global is offering UK companies a chemical-free way to destroy, rather than mask, lingering bathroom-related odours. From July, the new Ecoflow will be available across the UK via renowned hygiene provider, phs Group, in an exclusive five-year contract.
Using innovative, patented, diamond flow-cell technology, Ecoflow converts ordinary tap water on demand into ozonated water; a natural, chemical-free liquid with strong oxidisation properties. The reduced maintenance requirements or need for additional products, such as cistern sanitisers and air fresheners, make it ideal for high footfall areas, from train stations and shopping centres to schools and stadia.
ISS A/S has extended its partnership with Danske Bank and will continue to provide integrated facility services to the Nordic bank in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Lithuania for another five years.
ISS has delivered services to Danske Bank for many years and became integrated facility service partner for the bank in 2015. With the new extension, ISS will continue to be the main service provider on a number of services, including facilities management, cleaning, technical, food and support services.
Winning a cleaning contract at Sellafield in 2003 has proved fruitful for Mitie, as almost two successful decades at the site, providing an expanded range of services, have now led to it being awarded a five-year contract to deliver Sellafield's new Integrated Asset Care framework, as a 50/50 partnership with Jacobs, under a joint venture called OneAIM. Sellafield estimates the IAC contract to be worth up to £250m over the full term of the contract.
The IAC framework covers core construction and asset care services at Sellafield, the UK's most complex nuclear site, and replaces the old Operation Site Works framework.
The new technology solution is the latest in a line of tests that uses Eluceda's established E-Sens handheld detectors and is capable of detecting hydrogen peroxide in water at concentrations between one and 1000 parts per million.
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Recent UK News
The shortlist of finalists for the British Institute of Cleaning Science Awards 2022, which celebrate the exceptional efforts of leading lights from the professional cleaning industry, has been announced.
The organisation was inundated with entries for these popular annual Awards
TV presenter and former England international rugby player Martin Bayfield is the celebrity host for the Awards – an event renowned as one of the largest and most influential in the cleaning industry's calendar.
Latin American cleaners from Ecuador and Bolivia who work at Riverside Quarter, a large luxury residence in Wandsworth, London, have won a 16% pay rise bringing them up to £11.05 an hour from their previous rate of £9.50, the national minimum wage.
This pay rise comes after the cleaners, who are United Voices of the World members, voted to take strike action, with 100% of the UVW cleaners balloted, voting to strike.
“Following two years of upheaval, we constantly hear the desire to return to normality, but do we really want that? At the outbreak of the pandemic, it has to be said the cleaning industry was underprepared; cleaning processes were inadequate for the new challenges, and cleaning companies did not hold the necessary equipment to enable the creation of a safe environment. The cleaning industry quickly took stock, and rose to the task, but several problems remained.