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The focus on preventing transmission of diseases through hand-to-mouth or hand-to-hand contact underscores the need for better hand hygiene practices.
More than 80% of hospitalised patients who tested positive for Clostridium difficile were tested outside the hospital or within the first 72 hours of hospitalisation, suggesting that settings outside of the hospital may play key roles in the identification, onset and possible transmission of the disease, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published today in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
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I normally have a somewhat leisurely return to producing Cleanzine following our annual break - particularly as so many European and North American readers still haven't finished their own holidays. This time has been different though, thanks to the Equalities & Human Rights Commission's report into the treatment of cleaners in the UK. I now know what 'having the phone ringing off the hook' means! It was clear from all the calls that I had to stop holidaying and read the report, published just after last issue of Cleanzine was broadcast, to see what had inspired so many people to get in touch.
What I found disturbed me. It's not the conditions that some cleaners have to endure, or even the fact that only a very small proportion of the industry was involved in compiling the report on what is one of the largest industries in the UK - both worrying in themselves - but more the words in it:
"Some cleaners were denied access to staff canteens, and some had to eat their meals in cupboards full of mops, buckets and cleaning chemicals."
Doesn't that ring any bells? Although this report is supposed to be based on findings of a study launched in September 2013, I'd lay money on the fact that we published those very words in Cleanzine around six years ago. After all, the image of a cleaner suffering the indignity of eating lunch in a cleaning cupboard is a hard one to shake off, isn't it?
I wonder how much more of the lengthy report is based on old information and is perhaps, no longer valid? I'm on a mission to uncover my article which I believe contained those words, so I can compare the findings with those of this new report. I'll get back to you on that in a couple of weeks but in the meantime am including two of the emails received on the subject, below.
The report summary and links to the larger work are included. Please feel free to let me know what you think!
I've just registered to visit what promises to be an excellent cleaning show in Glasgow next week. If you haven't registered yet, you can do so via:
Hope to see you there!
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This Week's News
An examination by the Equality and Human Rights Commission published just after the last issue of Cleanzine was broadcast, has revealed that some employers in the commercial cleaning industry are failing to meet their responsibilities to their staff in relation to pay, holiday or sick leave and dealing with their concerns. Many cleaners feel that their employer, client firms and the public do not treat them with the dignity and respect everyone should expect.
The UK's non-domestic cleaning workforce is largely made up of women, migrant and older workers. While the Commission found many examples of good practice in employment and working conditions, many cleaners spoke of being 'invisible' - the 'lowest of the low', being spoken to rudely and treated badly compared to other employees.
The BCC is the voice of the cleaning industry and welcomes any initiative that seeks to raise standards in the cleaning sector. In this respect we do welcome the EHRC's work, as highlighting malpractice gives all stakeholders the opportunity to discuss these issues in an open forum.
Where the Council does have concerns is with the methodology of the investigation. The findings were based on a tiny amount of evidence, with only around 1% of those employed in the industry asked to give evidence. The EHRC itself admits that the findings are 'not statistically representative of conditions in the cleaning sector' and so its conclusions must read in that context.
Analysis of research showing trace elements of antibacterial ingredients in pregnant women and fetuses is distorting the safety profile of the materials, which have been extensively researched and reviewed for decades, according to the American Cleaning Institute.
The research in question was presented at American Chemical Society national meeting and reported that trace elements of the antibacterial ingredients Triclosan and Triclocarban were detected in the urine of pregnant women, as well as some umbilical cord blood samples.
The report reveals that Malaysia retains its position as the world's largest supplier of rubber gloves, commanding over two-third of global market share, and that the US and Europe are the largest importers - especially of nitrile gloves.
Brayborne Facilities Services, has welcomed the recommendations of the Equalities & Human Rights Commission in its report published last week, 'The Invisible Workforce: Employment Practice in the Cleaning Sector' and has joined the call for improved working conditions and employment rights for cleaning operatives.
The report, part of a project to examine employment practices in the cleaning sector in England, Scotland and Wales, has made a number of recommendations which the Commission will take forward to a task force of key stakeholders in the sector.
Veltia now offers the option for its technologically advanced warm air hand dryers to be branded to suit the customer's requirements and Caledonia Washrooms has become the first Veltia partner to give its client an 'own brand' Veltia V7 warm air hand dryer.
Caledonia Washrooms' managing director, Iain Stewart, explains the thinking behind the move, saying: "The concept was to offer my client something special and bespoke to the company. We have been selling the Veltia hand dryer for some time and although Veltia offers a huge colour range, this particular client was keen to show its brand throughout its establishment.
With fears of an ageing workforce and impending skills gap gripping the sector, The Building Futures Group has launched a national campaign with the aim of attracting young people to the cleaning and facilities management sectors.
This drive has the intention of inspiring more people to consider cleaning and facilities management as a long-term career option, showcasing the career progression opportunities and attractive salaries available.
The new branding, designed by Sussex-based agency Jumpstart Interactive, has been applied across the entire Bio-Productions product range to position the company more firmly as a leading choice in ecological cleaning products.
The WoolSafe Organisation is now busy preparing to host its third WoolSafe Educational Conference in the UK, an event that promises to deliver a fantastic mixture of presentations and workshops tutored by the industry's finest while offering an invaluable networking opportunity.
The conference takes place in the historic heart of the British carpet industry, at the Museum of Carpet in Kidderminster, on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th October. With specialist training courses before and exciting guided tours of Brintons Carpets and the Museum of Carpet afterwards, there is the potential for a stimulating two days of learning for professionals from all sectors of the industry.
50 years ago, 3M revolutionised floor maintenance by introducing the world's first synthetic non-woven floor pads. Now the company is setting new standards in high performance floor pads with 3M Scotch-Brite High Shine Floor Pads, precision-engineered to last three times longer than existing high performance floor pads.
The Scotch-Brite High Shine Floor Pad was developed in response to customer demand for a premium pad that boosts productivity and lowers costs, without compromising shine.
It is a well-documented fact that small and medium-size businesses are the life-blood of UK's economy. According to the Confederation of British Industry, they account for 99.9% of private sector companies and provide 60% of private sector jobs, so it's no wonder the UK Government is working to create the right conditions for businesses to fulfil their growth potential.
The Growth Vouchers Programme is one scheme, funded by Government, which aims to unlock growth potential among small businesses that are holding back on investing in growth and encourage them to seek external advice. One of the key findings in Lord Young's 'Growing your Business' report of 2013 was that small businesses that use external help are more likely to grow.
Ol's is the country's major battery distributor and will supply products to both the business and consumer marketplaces. Ol's supports a variety of applications and industries in Iceland, such as floor cleaning, plant maintenance, warehouse management, marine, trucking and recreation vehicles as well as consumer fuel service stations.
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Our weekly updated Hospital Hygiene features current developments and product solutions cleaning and hygiene industry manufacturers are coming up with. Read More.
Recent UK News
ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association & BBS (BICS Business Services) has this week announced details of its second 'Industry Certification Expert' training workshop. These workshops form an integral part of ISSA's acclaimed Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) which launched in the UK and Ireland earlier this year.
UK employers are twice as confident about the economy as they were this time last year and many intend to take on more staff in coming months. But this jobs boom could be at risk from growing skills shortages, according to July's JobsOutlook survey from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation), released yesterday.
Events & Exhibitions
Expo Clean & Expo Laundry
ISSA North America
Loo of the Year Awards
Budapest Cleaning Show