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Detergent manufacturers have shown that by following industry guidelines on the correct handling of enzymes in factories, they can deliver a safe working environment and help ensure good occupational hygiene, according to newly published research.
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I read an interesting article last week, penned by Andy Monteith, Baker Tilly's head of construction, in which has asked readers to consider how they handle contracts that the clients consider to be problematical.
Although the article is aimed predominantly at the construction sector, it could so easily have been written for contractors providing cleaning and facilities management services. In it, Andy suggests that while people tend to expect the contract manager to overcome any issues that the service (or lack of it) throws up, there are many other causes to consider and too many contractors fail to challenge themselves on the root cause. He argues that often the ability to provide the service expected by the client was always going to be difficult to achieve or that the bid price was based on achieving savings that were unrealistic.
Well we've all heard that one before, haven't we?
The costs of submitting a tender can be high when you consider the work and the time involved, yet in Andy's experience it's an area where processes are often not adequately defined and controls are not robust. However, the implications of choosing the wrong contract price can be significantly more severe.
Andy claims that for many internal audit functions, the amount of effort spent focusing on this area remains surprisingly low. He says that an internal audit function should consider how it can play a more proactive role in mitigating contract risk, right at the beginning of the project lifecycle, rather than once things have started to go wrong, and that firms that do this, will reap the benefits time and time again.
This all makes perfect sense, but how does a contractor mitigate for such circumstances as say, an enormous rise in the statutory minimum hourly pay rates that are coming in? Are you able to go back to the clients and ask for more money, or do they expect you to continue as you are and supply the services agreed at greatly reduced margins or perhaps even at a loss? Or do you end up laying people off and expecting already overworked employees to work even harder; damaging your company's reputation because the work is no longer being done properly - and of course, probably losing the contract as a result?
It's a toughie, isn't it?
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This Week's News
The robust market for ingredients in cleaning applications is often overshadowed by that of personal care; however, the recently published 'Ingredients for Household, Industrial, and Institutional Cleaning Applications' report by international market research and management consulting firm Kline, finds that this market carries equally sustainable growth potential, with some country markets increasing at double-digit rates during the forecast period from 2014-2019.
While mature markets like Europe and the US represent a large portion of the total market sales, accounting for over USD 11 billion, developing markets - particularly China, are cleaning the way towards high market share.
Methicillin-resistant Staphyloccocus aureus (MRSA), the antibiotic resistant form of Staphylococcus aureus, is rampant in US healthcare facilities, in the community, in livestock and in the environment, according to Jeanine Thomas, founder the MRSA Survivors Network.
Jeanine is calling for a comprehensive, aggressive approach to reducing infections in healthcare facilities; strict adherence to hand hygiene; the screening of high-risk patients upon admission along with isolation; thoroughly decontaminating the environment, and equipment and implementing a good antibiotic stewardship programme - moves that should be adhered to in every country as this is, after all, a problem for all of us. She writes:
For some time, squeegee users all around the world have been 'Dog Earring' their channels to improve performance and reduce detailing. Unger researched and embraced this concept in 2012, incorporating the improved channel design with special curved ends into its Unger Ultimate Squeegee Limited Edition, launched in May 2014.
"With so much great feedback received from professional users of our Ultimate we decided to make this feature available to everyone by launching the new S-Channel Plus," says Unger's Hannah Maslova. "Precision engineered in Germany from strong and durable stainless steel and Unger Professional soft rubber, it has notched edges for the secure hold of the channel and rubber. It offers greater results with less effort!"
A new WWF cost-benefit analysis of Forest Stewardship Council certification on a cross-section of forest operators finds that tropical and small or medium producers, regardless of geography, can benefit significantly from attaining FSC certification.
The 'Profitability & Sustainability in Responsible Forestry: Economic impacts of FSC certification on forest operators' report, found that on average, the companies examined earned an extra US$1.80 for every cubic metre of FSC-certified roundwood or equivalent, over and above costs associated with certification. The Net Present Value of the decision to pursue FSC was, on average, $6.69 per cubic metre of roundwood or equivalent - a strong positive business case overall for the decision to pursue FSC.
The nations' cars (and that includes company cars that employees have for personal use too) are a breeding ground for bugs and dangerous bacteria, including staphylococcus and eColi, according to new research from car buying and selling website Carfused.com.
After undertaking research which revealed that nearly one in 10 Brits (8%) admit to having a 'dirty' car, Carfused tasked the University of Nottingham to dig deeper and find out what lies beneath the darker recesses of our cars. The Micro-Biology department at the University took swabs from steering wheels, foot wells and seats to find out just what was lurking underneath.
With a two day conference, 15 exhibiting sponsors and social functions, Tissue World Jakarta, which is being held on 28th and 29th October 2015, should provide some answers.
Idexx, the global specialist in rapid microbiological testing for water, has announced the European launch of a next-generation instrument that automates sample handling for bacterial enumeration. The new Quanti-Tray Sealer Plus provides increased productivity through improved functionality when compared to its predecessor.
The Quanti-Tray Sealer Plus is used with Quanti-Tray and Quanti-Tray 2000, in conjunction with Idexx's Colilert and Coliert-18 tests, Pseudalert and Enterolert, to quantify bacterial testing results for coliforms, E. coli, enterococci, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa respectively.
PortionPac Chemical Corporation, which since 1964 has been providing pre-measured, maximum concentrate, portion control detergents in water-soluble packs, tells us that it has improved its entire product line including formulations, packaging and manufacturing, with a view to providing safer, better and smarter solutions for its customers.
This summer PortionPac will complete its transition to manufacturing operations that will increase production capabilities and dramatically reduce lead times. Along with production changes, PortionPac has improved its formulations and upgraded packaging.
A Warrington cleaning equipment business, which was started by three former colleagues, is on target to create new jobs and significantly increase turnover following a new funding facility from Ultimate Finance.
Peter and Deborah Bird, along with Karl Teare, started Rokserv six years ago to sell and refurbish industrial cleaning equipment. They invested less than £3,000 and operated from a small industrial unit. The company was then approach by and subsequently teamed up with international industrial cleaning equipment manufacturer, Wetrok AG, to become its UK distributor.
With a strong presence across the south of England in the specialist education sector, Brayborne has been working successfully with Eastleigh College & Quilley School of Engineering delivering specialist and regular cleaning services for some years.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society, the professional membership body for pharmacists and pharmacy in Great Britain, has appointed Emprise Services to manage its cleaning and waste management services.
The three-year deal will see Emprise provide daily and periodic cleaning, washroom services, consumables and waste services at RPS's new head office at 66 East Smithfield, London.
Totternhoe Metal Recycling has been fined after a worker was injured whilst delivering waste metal. The 40 year old worker from Bedfordshire, who does not wish to be named, lost the top of his thumb and suffered damage to his hand and arm in the incident which happened last April at The Recycling Centre, The Lime Works in Totternhoe.
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Recent UK News
Airedale Chemical Company, which manufactures and distributes surfactants to a number of brand leaders in the cleaning chemicals sector, has been fined as a result of an incident whereby people at a neighbouring company were exposed to nitric acid fumes.
'Cutting Red Tape' aims to get rid of unnecessary bureaucracy. It intends to shine a light on out-of-date legislation and any confusing implementation, such as unhelpful government guidance or needlessly complex inspection regimes, to ensure they make sense. It builds on the successes of 'Red Tape Challenge' and Business/Focus on Enforcement.
The first cleaning contractor to adopt the eco-friendly 1.5 litre Toucan Eco II cleaning system across all of its UK sites, it is working with solution developer Centrego on a further range of models with varying tank capacities devised to enhance service delivery.
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