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EFCI calls for safety and free movement of cleaning personnel in fight against Covid-19
In the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak, EFCI, the voice of the European cleaning and facility services industry, is calling on national authorities to take into consideration the special needs of the cleaning sector as well as the needs and difficulties cleaning agents and companies are currently undergoing.
“The emergency has made clear the importance of sanitising, in particular in hospital environments, to safeguard the health of users, patients, and of sanitary personnel,” it says.
“Sanitisation operations are ‘all proceedings and operations aimed at making certain environments healthy by cleaning and/or cleaning disinfection and/or disinfestation or through the control and improvement of microclimate conditions regarding temperature’, which are essential to prevent the spread of the virus as well to enable the continuity of other essential activities.
“They need to be differentiated from other services carried out by the sector - including cleaning, disinfestation, disinfection and rat extermination.”
Considering the crucial role of such specific interventions in the current crisis situation, EFCI is calling on national governments that have taken extraordinary measures or are preparing for them, to:
• Take the necessary steps to ensure the sufficient provision to cleaning companies and workers of (i) personal protective equipment - such as protective glasses, facemasks, gloves, surgical overalls and gowns -, and (ii) hydroalcoholic gels and disinfectants, and to ensure that such provision is made free of charge;
• Equalise sanitisation, cleaning and hygiene interventions to sanitary interventions when it comes to guaranteeing worker safety and maximum efficiency.
• Ensure the free movement of cleaning companies' personnel and vehicles, duly identified and pursuing their essential missions, within national borders but also for cross-border workers and companies.
“Governments must recognise the crucial role as well as the risks to which the cleaning sector is being exposed, by providing the necessary instruments to ensure the safety of cleaning agents, who are working together with the sanitary sector and others in the common fight against coronavirus,” says EFCI. “Further, they must take the necessary steps to enable agents and companies to reach their working sites.
“The industrial cleaning sector engages to continue providing its services with the utmost responsibility and professionality. EFCI also expresses its solidarity with the people suffering the effects of the crisis and reiterates its commitment to its employees and fellow citizens.”
19th March 2020