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Sadly, yet another cleaning industry event has had to be postponed because of the pandemic... This time one more local to me but one that's nevertheless highly anticipated by the hundreds who attend each year and which also attracts the attention of the world's press - perhaps since public toilets still seem to enjoy their own brand of humour, despite being one of the most important parts of our away-from-home activities. Yes... industry colleagues expecting to pick up certificates and trophies at the Loo of the Year Awards 2020 will unfortunately be having to do so away from the joyful celebration, razzle dazzle and toilet humour that make this ceremony so special. This is a real shame.
Public toilets 'across the other side of the pond' are also in the news this week, with the announcement of the 10 finalists in the America's Best Restroom contest 2020. I always enjoy the pictures that accompany the competition's press release. The lengths some organisations go to in ensuring 'guests' have an enjoyable visit astounds me, considering that so often we in the UK encounter facilities which - despite being good - are simply not looked after by the general public. Nor do most of them have money thrown at them either! I wonder whether the fabulous facilities entered into the US contest are sometimes treated with disdain too, or whether because they are so gorgeous and interesting, they're treated with reverence?
During my 20s I travelled across a lot of the US and a little of Canada on a seemingly never-ending series of Greyhound buses, and while the facilities were generally very basic at the many stopovers we made, they were always spotless. That there was often an attendant, probably made a huge difference, but I felt that the attitude of the users in North America was also lots better.
In preparing the two releases for today's broadcast I wondered at the terminology: 'Restrooms' v. 'Washrooms'. Both terms seem to be deliberately avoiding what most of us go into these facilities to do - to 'use the loo' in current speak although many might consider this to be slang. Rarely does one visit one of these establishments to rest and although some of us will pop in just to wash our hands, I think that's probably rare! 'Stalls' v. 'Cubicles' is another one and I can't help but wonder at the origin of 'stalls'. Something to do with horse or dog racing perhaps? If you know the answer, please enlighten me.
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This Week's News
National contract cleaning service provider Exclusive Services Group has appointed Dave Emmerson to the role of solutions director, to support the Hatfield-based contractor's growing use of emerging cleaning technologies and help manage its ambitious sustainability targets.
Formerly divisional managing director (media & leisure) for the group's Exclusive Contract Services subsidiary, Dave has an extensive background in retail including senior roles in soft services management for retail chains, The Co-operative Group and Sainsbury's.
The organisers have unveiled details of the virtual version of the Manchester Cleaning Show, which you can enjoy, for free, on 14th & 15th October. They promise it will be 'unmissable' for anyone connected to the cleaning & hygiene sector and that the experience will come as close to attending the physical event as possible while using a computer, tablet or mobile device.
The Virtual Manchester Cleaning Show will include a chance to visit national and international exhibitors in their virtual booths, the opportunity to listen to relevant and exciting pre-recorded presentations and a way of interacting virtually with other attendees.
Ambius, known for its commitment to helping organisations promote healthy spaces through interior landscaping and scenting solutions, launched Hygiene360, a suite of full-service solutions that tackle the spread of germs on surfaces, person-to-person and in the air.
Because of Covid-19 restrictions on the numbers of attendees at events in England, the 2020 Loo of the Awards event, including Washroom Cleaner of the Year Awards - planned for Friday 4th December 2020 - has been cancelled.
Mike Bone, managing director of Loo of the Year Awards, apologised for the disappointment this action will cause for the Awards loyal entrants, sponsors, exhibitors and other Event supporters. He said that is was essential to maintain the quality high achieved each year, which would not be possible with the current restrictions.
The effectiveness and predictability of combatting the pandemic can be improved by direct changes to indoor environments. Advanced indoor solutions can reduce the risk of a virus spreading by up to 90%, depending on the premises. However, even simple means are worth trying.
"As the epidemic continues, people will need to work and study in shared facilities, and move around and shop in public and commercial buildings as safely as possible," says Tarja Takki-Halttunen, vice chair of the Board of Directors of Finnish indoor air company Halton.
Nilfisk has announced the launch of two high-performance additions to its portfolio of autonomous solutions.
Matrix Cleaning Systems, leading UK steam cleaning machine manufacturer, has - like many other suppliers - had to make many changes to the way it maintains production to meet the global demand for its key products.
“The demand for steam cleaning machine technology has increased dramatically,” notes Matrix managing director, Bob Pownall. “Not only has there been huge demand here in the UK, but demand from overseas has also increased enormously.
With the increased use of personal protective equipment during the pandemic, there is the potential for workers to develop allergic reactions to items containing latex, warns the Health & Safety Executive.
Latex allergy most commonly manifests itself as localised urticaria, however other symptoms include allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma and, rarely, anaphylaxis.
The Associação Portuguesa de Facility Services (APFS) has joined the European Cleaning & Facility Services Industry (EFCI).
Cromwell Polythene and its manufacturing and recycling division, CPR Manufacturing, have undertaken a voluntary litter pick for Keep Britain Tidy's Great British September Clean (11th – 27th September).
Readers have until 19th October to vote for your favourite out of the 10 finalists just announced in Cintas Corporation’s 2020 America's Best Restroom contest – now in its 19th year of celebrating innovative and hygienic public toilet facilities across the US.
"This year's contest recognises a wide range of finalists, each offering a one-of-a-kind experience with the latest technology or imaginative decor," says Sean Mulcahey, marketing manager, Cintas.
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Recent UK News
Kärcher Professional UK has strengthened its team with the appointment of James Gordon as marketing director UK & Ireland.
The move will help the leading global cleaning brand to drive the Professional arm of the business across the UK territory to generate growth and awareness.
A virtual exhibition & conference will replace next month's event, on 14th and 15th October.
"We are sorry there will not be an opportunity for the sector to come together in one place this year, but completely understand the British Cleaning Council's decision."
This move means the CHSA has achieved its strategic ambition of accrediting all members. The combination of the Association's rigorous Code of Practice and its Accreditation Schemes guarantees its members trade ethically and work hard to maintain standards in the industry.
Based on data from 80% of the FM market, the report forecasts a return to pre Covid-19 sales faster than initially expected, with revenue exceeding 2019 levels by H2 2022 with a 10% sales boost.
With Covid-19 still in general circulation, an enhanced focus on hand hygiene is required to prevent the spread of infection.
No mean feat considering the prestigious, corporate company it found itself in.
Events & Exhibitions
Middle East Cleaning Technology Week
The Cleaning Show
Loo of the Year Awards