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Tackling floorcare challenges through innovation

18 August 2022

Poor floorcare poses numerous risks, both to public safety and your bottom line. James White explains why investing in innovative cleaning solutions can save time, money and costly litigation. 

FLOORCARE IS a vital part of any cleaning regime, yet so many businesses still do not give it the attention it requires, despite the numerous risks poor maintenance poses. 

Slip and fall incidents are the most common cause of major injuries, with 95% resulting in broken bones. Every year, there are around 35,000 serious incidents, with the average claim against the liable business costing, on average, £14K.

Businesses are hit the hardest financially, shelling out over £750 million per year in fines, healthcare, damage and production delay due to staff absence. The NHS come off pretty badly too, with the cost due to slips and falls estimated to be over £250 million each year. 

Then there is the cost to injured individuals, which is incalculable. Aside from the obvious loss of income, there is the pain, worry and stress, which can significantly reduce their quality of life. 

Despite the impact that these incidents have on so many parties, and the fact that most accidents of this nature are completely avoidable, most businesses do not give floorcare the investment that it needs. 

Health and safety responsibilities 

A business has a responsibility to ensure that its staff and visitors are safe and free from as much risk as possible when on their premises. After all, they have a duty of care to prevent accidents, which can lead to hefty fines. 

Whether it’s the transport, retail, professional services or hospitality sector, if you have public on your premises, you should have a robust floorcare strategy in place to protect people against injury, and yourself against costly liability. 

Challenging times 

Despite the need to invest in high-quality cleaning services, we are facing challenging times at the moment, with rising costs putting all businesses under more pressure than ever. 

Quite often, when the economy takes a hit, cleaning is one of the first things that businesses scale back on. However, we are still in a vulnerable position as a nation, facing rising covid rates. We cannot afford to put hygiene on the back burner. 

To add to these complexities, the cleaning and hygiene sector is facing severe staff shortages. According to the British Cleaning Council (BCC), overseas workers returning home, and operatives switching jobs following the Covid-19 pandemic, have led to a staffing crisis in the industry. 

We must also do all we can to address these staff shortfalls and strained budgets, by working smarter and investing in time and cost saving cleaning innovations. 

The phrase ‘making efficiencies’ often comes with negative connotations. People think it means scaling back or compromising on quality or standards. But that doesn’t have to be the case. It’s all about taking advantage of innovation solutions that save both time and money. 

Investing in innovation 

Many traditional cleaning methods are highly inefficient and labour intensive. Take mopping for example. It not only requires a cleaning operative’s time to cover all areas, but it leaves a sub-standard result.

All too often when a spillage occurs, we see the cleaner wheel out the mop and bucket in an attempt to remove the risk. But this outdated, ineffective method is pretty much useless. All a string mop is good for is spreading the problem around. It doesn’t actually remove the soil and leaves another, usually larger wet surface in its wake. It is a short-sighted response to a serious hazard. 

The best way to boost floorcare hygiene is to invest in innovative cleaning technology that can tackle both daily cleaning and spillages. 

High-flow fluid extraction is the way forward. It uses fresh water and cleaning chemicals, uncontaminated by previous use, dispensed on the surface. It is then agitated, if necessary, to loosen soils, and suctioned away to leave a clean, dry floor in a matter of seconds. 

Crucially, this process ensures that the soils, and any liquids, are removed from the surface, rather than spread around the floor. This method can be used in a range of settings, from shopping malls and stations to stadiums and factories. In fact, it’s highly effective on almost all hard surfaces. 

The right tools for the job

Having the right tools for the job is vital. Machines like the Kaivac Stretch SUV is ideal for rapid response cleaning and reducing the risk of floorcare related accidents. 

Combining high speed push-behind cleaning for large areas, with a precision vacuum wand for smaller or grouted areas, this model can tackle any hard flooring challenge, as well as daily cleaning. And thanks to its cordless battery capability, the Stretch SUV can also address unexpected challenges, such as weather-related issues or spillages, quickly and safely, leaving a dry floor that is ready for immediate use.

The Kaivac UniVac cleans better and faster than a mop, using high flow fluid extraction technology to truly remove all traces of soils and grease, designed for use in restaurants and kitchens. This high-performance hard floor cleaning machine also uses at least 65% less water and cleaning solution than any other machine out there. 

Boosting efficiency and the bottom line

When it comes to adopting new cleaning equipment, we spend most of our time talking with the cleaning teams or facilities managers. Often, they don’t need much convincing about the benefits of slip prevention. 

However, when it comes to convincing other areas of the business, such as finance, it can be a much harder sell. Sadly, not everyone places the same importance on investing in cleaning innovations and how this can impact a company’s total costs. 

It is time that businesses started looking at cleaning as an investment, rather than a cost. In fact, by choosing the right hygiene equipment, you can actually save money on expensive claims caused by negligent cleaning standards. 

Some cleaning machines may seem like a big investment initially, but they more than pay for themselves in cost and time savings long-term. They are easy to use, deliver better results than traditional processes, and have little ongoing costs. 

Putting innovation into practice

Having the right tools for the job will make a significant difference to the cleaning outcome, but you can further back this up with a scientifically led cleaning process. 

Our ‘Remove, Improve and Protect’ strategy works perfectly with the Kaivac products, not only lifting away dirt, grease and soils, but also protecting them from becoming bacteria-breeders. 

Using this process, dirt and grease are removed using the high-flow fluid extraction technology referenced above. This process delivers significant improvements from the very first time it is used, enabling operatives to consistently deliver high standards of hygiene. 

The effectiveness of the process can then be proven by taking adenosine triphosphate (ATP) measurements before and after cleaning, to ensure that surfaces are clinically clean.

If required, fast acting, anti-microbial shields, which offer long-lasting protection between cleans, can be employed, reducing the spread of bacteria and viruses significantly. 

So many businesses struggle when it comes to floorcare, but it doesn’t have to be a timely, expensive job. By investing in the right machines, and maximising their benefits with the most effective processes, you can transform your floorcare regime for good. 

James White is managing director of Denis Rawlins.

For more information visit https://www.rawlins.co.uk/contact-us