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“There is no getting away from the fact that this year has been extremely challenging for the cleaning and FM industry.
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Although I've never been one to make New Year's resolutions, I tend to come out of the holidays feeling pretty positive about life. It will probably come as no surprise when I say I'd expected this year to be different, but I had little idea before the holidays, how bad things would get, so quickly. I'd read months ago that we'd likely be in lockdown in England until June but I'd (naively perhaps) expected that the extent of our confinement would be drip-fed to make it easier for us to bear. The announcement this week that we'd immediately be confined to our homes again until the end of March has come as something of a blow to many who are wondering when - and even if - it's all going to end.
Mind you, having spent much of last year not knowing anyone who'd even been hospitalised with Covid-19, to losing two family members in different parts of the country to it over the space of two months - and having a third hospitalised (again, from a household unrelated to the others), has brought home to me how real this thing is. Worryingly, through talking to people in support and social media groups, I've learned that many of those who've caught it can't fathom out how they managed to catch it and from whom or what, as they've had little or no contact with anyone for several months!
With the need to provide hospital beds for the sudden surge of admissions which generally come at this time of year anyway, the protocol seems to once again be to move the elderly who aren't in need of critical care, (but who may be carrying Coronavirus without anyone's knowledge) into nursing homes that are already full of vulnerable people. Once Covid-19 infiltrates a hospital non-Covid ward or a care facility, it can be extremely difficult to eradicate but is easy to spread outside, since the workforce goes home at the end of the shift - and unless everyone's adhering to the same high standards of personal hygiene and top-notch cleaning, any weak link is likely to prove catastrophic. I'm hoping that all those cleaners who are no longer required to maintain our now empty offices and non-essential shops, can be trained to work in our health and social care facilities instead, as without extra help, expertise and commitment, we're never going to shut this thing down, are we? F
inally, if you're planning to vote for the Federation of Window Cleaners in the National Association Awards, today's the last day you can do so: https://nationalassociationawards.co.uk/public-vote/
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This Week's News
In this article, Joe Flanagan, LCIBSE, director of Essex-based Ingenious Probiotics, explains how probiotic cleaning works, and why, we as an industry, should consider its potential impact on the health and wellbeing of cleaning operatives as well as that of the occupants of the buildings we clean…
“The cleaning industry is now a subsection of the health and wellness sector. It's not about making rooms look clean for a price - the health of cleaning operatives and building occupants is paramount.
The impacts of Covid-19 have been felt in businesses across the UK and, despite an obvious need for increased cleaning practices, cleaning companies are no exception with only 75% of UK businesses in the sector currently trading, according to ONS data. Perfect Clean, a Scottish cleaning company, has analysed the latest ONS data to understand how the pandemic has impacted the UK's cleaning industry.
The administrative and support service industry, which accounts for cleaning, has been one of the worst affected industries, second only to accommodation and food services.
As businesses and other organisations emerge from the pandemic, there will be a renewed focus on the health & safety of workplaces. Risk assessments will need to be updated to ensure that staff, customers and other visitors are not exposed to harmful microorganisms.
However, Adrian Gee-Turner from the manufacturer of Nemesis eH2O, says: "In addition to protecting people from enveloped viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, it will also be necessary to protect people from other viruses, bacteria, fungi and some of the more harmful microbes.
Germinator Mobile Sanitizing & Disinfecting, has added Dr Jay Noller to its Scientific Advisory Board. A pioneer in the agricultural field, providing 21 years of leadership at Oregon State University, Dr Noller's will assist with the design and execution of proposed studies to explore the remediation of surface and food acquisition of Covid-19 through grants from the US Department of Agriculture and other entities.
Jeff Gill, founder and CEO of Germinator, says of the appointment: "We're elated to welcome Dr Noller to our distinguished team of public health experts, especially as we address the current misunderstanding and disregard for the genuine risk of fomite and food contamination regarding Covid-19. Dr Noller's extensive career in the field of agricultural research will be a treme
The resurgence of Covid-19 has again emphasised the important role of the cleaning & hygiene industry in ensuring the UK recovers from Coronavirus, says BCC Chairman Paul Thrupp.
The competition is open to all window cleaners who are registered members of the FWC, and to all employees of registered members.
The agreement allows public sector organisations to easily access suppliers providing cleaning services for sites, including schools, universities and GP surgeries. With the agreement designed to facilitate procurement processes, it also allows public sector organisations to work with cleaning experts to review the performance of current suppliers and make recommendations for improvements.
Diversey has announced the acquisition of SaneChem, a Polish-based supplier of specialist hygiene solutions for the Food and Beverage industry. The deal is a significant step in Diversey's global growth plans.
SaneChem, a leading Polish manufacturer with over 30 years of experience in the market, is a trusted supplier of professional hygiene solutions. The acquisition will cement Diversey's market-leading position in the domestic market, while reinforcing the company's growth plans for Eastern Europe in its core F&B sectors of: Brewing, Beverage, Processed Food, Dairy, Agriculture and Pharmaceuticals.
Aphex BioCleanse Systems, a sanitisation solutions company focused on the development and distribution of non-toxic and water-based sanitisation and disinfection products trademarked as Hy-IQ Water, has signed a supply and private label agreement with Qurexx BV in Almere, The Netherlands.
As part of the agreement, and following required European registration processes, Qurexx holds the authority to purchase, market and sell Aphex's DermAphex hand sanitiser and SanAphex hard surface sanitiser throughout the EU, the UK, Switzerland and Eastern Europe.
Vectair Systems has announced Kristy Kenney winner of the Tom Valentino Special Achievement Award 2020. As executive administrative assistant for Vectair Systems, Kristy has been recognised for her truly outstanding dedication to the company.
In honour of Tom Valentino, Vectair's VP of sales & marketing, the award celebrates exceptional effort throughout a particular year. Tom Valentino very sadly died of lung cancer in 2014 after very bravely fighting the disease for two years. During his treatment, he continued to work with the utmost integrity and continued to work building the Vectair business.
The accreditation is a major milestone for PWHLC, which has grown significantly since its inception in 2013 and whose 90 plus-strong team includes eight full-time abseilers, a manager devoted to rope access activities and a technical lead, along with full safety backup.
The honour, gained by the testing facility at the GS Yuasa Battery Manufacturing UK factory in Ebbw Vale, Wales, will enable industrial VRLA batteries to be tested to the highest standard available.
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