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The study, led by Prof. Dr. Ing. Karsten Kluth, involved the ergonomic evaluation of floor cleaning systems to determine what - if any - stresses and strains were caused to cleaning personnel, through the various cleaning systems' different designs.
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Over the past decade I've become quite a regular at my local A&E department, not because I'm unwell, but through taking various friends and family members and even my daughter's piano teacher - who'd suffered a stroke mid-lesson - for help from the experts whenever a medical emergency has arisen.
Despite it being long before the pubs closed, (which if you're one of our tens of thousands of overseas readers, has historically proved a busy time for UK A&E departments) Epsom General Hospital's emergency department was heaving yesterday evening and overnight. Having arrived in a sparklingly clean ambulance, we bypassed most of the queue and ended up in a treatment area crammed with patients and their families awaiting help from the nursing teams who were cheerfully rushing from one patient to another.
When I first joined the cleaning industry some 25 years ago, cleaners tended to be referred to as 'the invisible workforce', because they generally had to carry out their work when whichever building or area they were tasked with cleaning, was devoid of human traffic. Not so these days!
Over several hours, I was able to watch several team members from Mitie, weave their way around often-distressed groups of people, emptying bins, wiping surfaces and sweeping debris from the floors, as well as ferrying patients around in wheelchairs and providing security. They have my utmost admiration!
The work is difficult at the best of times but under these circumstances it must have been trying. I couldn't really find fault with anything they did; uniforms were clean and smart, gloves were worn, cross-contamination procedures were adhered to and sweeping and wiping techniques were admirable. Oh yes - and they smiled and engaged with staff and visitors!
The only negatives were that the bin was emptied (no doubt to schedule) when only half full, which meant that an orange plastic sack was used unnecessarily. As you know, I hate the unnecessary use of plastic and I hate waste, so I was willing the cleaner who was weighing up whether to change the bin or not, to leave it until later (I lost). What really got my goat though was the amount of rubbish he had to manipulate around whilst sweeping. How dare members of the public drop their litter around the A&E department to be cleaned up by the very people who are keeping the life-saving facility running? Talk about disrespectful!
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This Week's News
Dr Sally Ferguson, a Hong Kong registered doctor who visits the Macau Grand Prix every year, was dismayed to discover that there was no soap in 'the ladies' at the Lisboa Bend grandstand for an entire weekend at the recent meeting. She spoke to cleaning ladies about the "serious health risk" this posed, but says they laughed and shook their heads.
Dr Ferguson then spoke to those working on the food stalls who told her that this had been the situation for two years and that they had complained about it. A policeman drawn into discussions had said it wasn't a crime while the race organisers said it was the responsibility of the Civic & Municipal Affairs Bureau - and that the Bureau wasn't open on a Sunday.
Simon Biggs, Partner at Monthind Clean, East Anglia's largest independent cleaning company, looks at the return on investment of utilising the services of a cleaning contractor and how buyers should consider the wider impacts of a lack of investment...
"When we meet someone, we can subconsciously make up our mind whether we like them or not within a tenth of a second, and we are just as quick to decide whether or not we want to give our business to a company based on first impressions.
The spin-off from the Leibniz-Institute for New Materials (INM) in Saarbrucken, Nano-Care Deutschland AG, has launched the third generation of ultra-thin coatings. 'Wipe-on Glass', it says, provides any kind of hard surface with a self-disinfecting performance for a period of from several months, to several years.
Simply wiped onto the surface, this robust and effective barrier against hospital germs, odour-causing bacteria, mould, fungi and yeast provides protection against the most substantial problem the 21st century faces: pathogen microorganisms.
Infax, the provider of innovative information technology solutions for airports and other public venues, announced this week the launch of its Trax SmartRestroom facility analytics system at Detroit Metropolitan Airport's (DTW) McNamara Terminal, a Delta Air Lines hub. The technologically advanced washrooms monitor traffic flow, send real-time data alerts to staff, and allow travellers to report any issues they encounter in the washroom, via an installed tablet.
Principle Cleaning Services, the London-centric cleaning and window cleaning specialist, which provides its services to some of the most famous, iconic buildings in the Capital, has partnered with Essity UK to implement the Tork EasyCube system at the Blue Fin Building.
Principle, which has cleaned the 500,000sq.ft, 13-floor Southbank landmark since 2010, originally had pre-set cleaning rounds. However, these led to over-cleaning in some areas and under-cleaning in others, according to the company's general manager Victoria Jaramillo. Pre-set rounds also provided limited flexibility to cope with visitor traffic fluctuations, which average more than 10,000 washroom visits a day.
BICSc won the Award for its 'Initiative in raising the profile of the cleaning sector' in recognition of its commitment to promoting a career path in cleaning through professional standards and education.
Last Monday, on World Toilet Day 2018, Kimberly-Clark renewed its commitment to its multi-national global sanitation program, 'Toilets Change Lives' which launched in 2014 with the aim of improving the lives of nearly one million people in need. The company says it should meet this aim by the end of the year.
'Toilets Change Lives' has actively pursued community-focused sanitation programs around the world through its products, partners and people, by leveraging the power of its well-known brands to bring greater awareness to the global sanitation crisis.
Mitie Waste Management has won five Green Apple Awards - a gold, two silver and two bronze - for environmental best practice, working with clients at Network Rail, Parkdean Resorts, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and JLL. Its success highlights its expertise as well as the commitment of its people to go beyond client specification and deliver excellence to set a new bar for best practice.
The Green Apple Awards began in 1994 and are established as the country's major recognition for environmental endeavour among companies, councils, communities and countries. Competition is tough, with more than 500 other nominations in the Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice.
World Toilet Day, celebrated last Monday, is about taking action to ensure that everyone has a safe toilet by 2030. This is part of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6: sanitation and water - which the world is currently not on target to meet.
This year's theme 'When nature calls', focuses on the building of toilets and sanitation systems that work in harmony with ecosystems. Some 62.5% of the world's population do not have access to safe sanitation, with 4.5 billion people living without a safe toilet and 1.8 billion people potentially drinking water contaminated with faeces.
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Recent UK News
"Making the public and companies aware that they have a legal duty of care to ensure their rubbish/rubble/waste material is disposed of by a licensed operator who's issued a waste transfer certificate, should be undertaken by local authorities and groups like Keep Britain Tidy. Very heavy fines can be handed down by the Courts for those caught, who don't comply.
At a glittering ceremony, with keynote speaker Sir Tim Smit KBE = co-founder of the Eden Project - encouraging the audience to redouble efforts to inspire others to reduce their carbon footprint and develop more sustainable businesses, Clarity-The Soap Co was acknowledged as a social enterprise that is setting best practice in its sector and beyond for reducing its carbon footprint via a series of green initiatives.
Interserve Facilities Management has been fined after multiple safety failings at a laboratory site for the Animal Health & Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge.
Hove Crown Court heard how, in September 2014, mains power was lost at the site which includes high containment laboratory facilities required to safely handle high hazard pathogens that are a serious risk to human health and the environment.
Having been involved, as Director of BTA and owner of Loo of the Year Awards, giving evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee in 2008 demanding changes that would require the Government to make a legal requirement on local authorities to provide adequate public toilets, I welcome the budget changes.
"It has been a good week for toilet talk. First we had the chancellor making numerous toilet jokes as he announced in the budget that owners will no longer pay business rates on public toilets. Then Microsoft founder Bill Gates unveils a futuristic toilet that doesn't need water by making a presentation with a jar of human faeces on show beside him.
A waste management company has been fined after a worker was fatally injured while cleaning a large ballistic separator machine.
Aylesbury Crown Court heard how, in August 2016, a Viridor Waste Management employee climbed into the top level of the ballistic separator - a machine that sifts through and separates recyclable materials - to clean it, before it was suitably isolated from the power supply.
It supports the message used by charity Keep Britain Tidy in their UK-wide initiative to tackle the problem of roadside litter.
A new Resource Management Show is set to run alongside main exhibition and conference, which will once again feature suppliers, manufacturers, training organisations and trade organisations that are all involved in the cleaning, facilities management and waste management sectors.
Events & Exhibitions
The Cleaning Show
Clean Buildings Expo
ISSA Cleantex Africa
ISSA Expo Limpieza 2019
ISSA North America