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Workers at risk from unclean offices 11/10/2019

A recent survey of over 650 UK office employees has indicated that the items touched the most are neglected during cleaning.

GCC Facilities Management investigated how often office areas and items are cleaned throughout the UK and employee satisfaction levels with the cleanliness of their workplace.

It found that 28% of telephones, 31% of keyboards and 36% of computer mice are not cleaned at all within the workspace. This can come with the risk of carrying Heterotrophic bacteria, E. coli, Helicobacter pylori, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus.

Although it may appear many members of staff are turning a blind eye to office hygiene, a very similar percentage of employees are suffering the consequences of poor cleaning management.

32% stated, due to poor cleanliness, they are using their own personal items to avoid communal chattels. This ranged from mugs, tupperware and bowls.

Worryingly, almost one quarter of employees are suffering financially due to inadequate sanitation in the workplace. 23% said they have used their own personal funds to supply cleaning equipment for the sole purpose of the office.

Communal areas received the highest praise from those surveyed. 39% were satisfied with the condition of the toilets while only 16% were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.

The kitchen scored a satisfaction rate of 38% and the communal fridge was just behind at 37%. As not just a social hub, but the space in which food is prepared and consumed, there is still a concerning 13% who were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with its cleanliness. 

Dr Arun Thiyagarajan, the health clinics medical director of Bupa UK, said: "Surfaces and equipment can harbour dirt, viruses and bacteria that can remain active for months. Without regular office cleaning and good personal hygiene – e.g. antibacterial handwashing – there’s an increased chance of these surface germs transferring to you and giving you illnesses like flu, food poisoning and diarrhoea. 

"If you fall ill, it’s best to take time off work to fully recover and reduce the chance of any harmful germs spreading to your colleagues."

Claire Maclean, managing director of GCC Facilities Management, added: “The findings show that desk cleanliness is easily neglected, despite the health risks that it carries and the knock-on effects it could have for businesses in terms of sickness, reduced capacity and absences. 

"More needs to be done to firstly raise awareness of the health risks that dirtier working surfaces can have amongst office workers and secondly, businesses should take more action to ensure that their staff are working in a clean and healthy environment.”


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One-stop-shop for lone workers 10/10/2019

The Lone Worker Safety Expo Conference returns to London in October after a very successful first year. With expert speakers, interactive workshops and selected exhibitors, this educational event is the one-stop-shop if you need guidance and advice on managing lone working.

‘Lone Workers should be at no greater risk than other employees’ according to The Health and Safety Executive guidance. However, as the level of risk to the safety, security and wellbeing of employees can all be increased by lone working, how do organisations ensure that they are fulfilling their responsibilities?

Help is at hand for those who aren’t sure where to start (or want to check best practice), in the form of the Lone Worker Safety ExpoConference, an interactive educational event with access to experts in the field and selected providers of lone worker solutions.

Nicole Vazquez, organiser and host told us “Last year was extremely well received with the level of positive feedback being overwhelming. It seems that we hit just the right note, with our combination of education and interaction”. The event returns to The King’s Fund, Central London, on 15thOctober.

This year will be opened by Barbara Hockey, Head of the Vulnerable Workers Team, HSE. Nicole comments “We are thrilled that the HSE are engaging with the Lone Worker conversation. Their input is vital, helping to ensure that organisations recognise the importance of managing the specific risks that affect remote or isolated workers. The HSE will also share some exciting news at the event”. 

The main conference sees speakers discussing issues such as practical risk mitigation, current security risks and mental health implications of lone working. Duncan Spencer, Head of Advice and Practice for IOSH will be sharing insights from IOSH’s research and joining the expert panel for a discussion on how to engage lone workers and senior management in the risk control conversation. 

The morning will be rounded off with an inspirational presentation from Jason Anker MBE and Prof. Tim Marsh who will be sharing Jason’s story and exploring ways to protect individual’s mental health and wellbeing. 

An afternoon of interactive workshops includes a case study from Sean Elson, Pinsent Masons LLP, looking at the implications of organisations not fulfilling their legal responsibilities and a very practical session from CMA Training on reducing personal safety risks when travelling. 

With statistics showing that violence against staff is on the increase in most sectors, the team from Worthwhile Training will invite delegates to take part in a drama-based workshop, looking at innovative ways to train staff with skills to defuse aggression and protect themselves. 

Throughout the day there will be plenty of opportunities to network and chat to a small group of trusted providers who supply a variety of lone worker solutions, including training, dedicated devices and smartphone apps.

Nicole sums up, “Our aim is to make this the event that people attend for advice and guidance on all things lone working – a one-stop-shop so to speak. Although lone working is now on most organisations’ agenda, it still seems that a lot of people are not looking at the breadth of the risks, or if they are, there is still confusion about the best way to manage both the risks and lone workers themselves”.

“We are hoping that managers, safety professionals and those responsible for lone workers will take this opportunity to engage with experts in the field. The day is interactive from the very beginning, so if you are going to attend, please come along armed with questions”.

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Floor care machine sales to grow 08/10/2019

The global value of floor care machine reached ~US$ 3.8 Bn in 2018, discloses the recent report on the floor care machine market from Persistence Market Research.

As per the study, the floor care machine market is estimated to grow at ~3% CAGR during the forecast period. Growing demand for floor care machines from the industrial sector is expected to drive the growth of the floor care machine market during the forecast period.

According to the analysis and detailed study, integration of innovative technologies in floor care machines to get them accustomed with futuristic automated products has positively impacted the growth of the floor care machine market. Furthermore, high demand for floor care machines for industrial and commercial applications is directly contributing to the expansion of the floor care machine market over the forecast period.

Substantial demand for scrubbers and vacuum cleaners is fueling the growth of the floor care machine market during the forecast period. The market value for global floor care machine market is anticipated to be ~US$ 4 Bn by the end of 2019, as indicated by market analysis.

M&A Remain a Priority for Key Market Players

Merger and acquisition strategies are executed by manufacturers in order to stay afloat in the intense market competition. Furthermore, manufacturers are aiming to expand their manufacturing facilities for floor care machines, which is expected to drive market growth during the forecast period. For instance, in January 2019, Tennant Company acquired Gaomei Cleaning Equipment Company, based in Hefei, China. It is a renowned company involved in the development and manufacturing of cleaning equipment and solutions for industrial and commercial applications.

Stable Demand from the Industrial Sector Sustaining Market Revenues

According to detailed analysis, prominent market players in the floor care machine market are providing floor care machines with distinctive properties, on the basis of machine type, such as burnishers, scrubbers, sweepers, filters & vacuum cleaners, and specialty cleaning equipment. Concentrated demand for floor care machines is from the industrial sector, followed by commercial, and indicates significant growth in the floor care machine market growth throughout the forecast period.

Leveraging IoT (Internet of Things) for Hygienic Indoor Environment

A spectacular drift is observed in the sector, with the manufacturing of floor care machines, where clean environment remains a prominent focus. Widespread efforts to improve hygienic conditions and health of occupants have led to the introduction of IoT to monitor atmosphere inside the work shed area. Hence, innovative floor care machines are expected to develop at a rapid pace.

Floor Care Machine Market: Vendor Insights

The report also highlights innovative insights about the viable setup of the floor care machine market and characteristic approaches of key market participants. Some prominent market players are Tennant Company, Nilfisk Group, EUREKA S.p.A. Unipersonale, Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG, Hako Group, Fimap S.p.A., International Cleaning Equipment, Clemas & Co. Limited, Comac S.p.A., and Tornado Industries.

Significant players of the floor care machine market are implementing several strategies associated with demand from customers and manufacturers. Substantial expansions, innovations, and R&D investments to improve product portfolio are seen in the market. For example, in March 2017, Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG introduced a new walk-behind scrubber drier BD 30/4 C with disc technology.

Owing to factors such as urbanization, speedy industrial growth, integration of advanced technologies, and stable political background in the region, North America is estimated to hold a significant value share in the global floor care machine market over the forecast period. Presence of key market players in the region and merger, acquisition, and collaboration activities are major factors boosting the growth of the floor care machine market in North America.

This study highlights key opportunities in the floor care machine market and finds that the market would exhibit growth at a CAGR of ~3% during the forecast period.

These insights are based on a report on Floor Care Machine Market by Persistence Market Research

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Bathroom miniatures to be removed from IHG hotels 02/09/2019

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is to remove miniature toiletries from all of its hotels, which makes it the first global hotel brand to make such a commitment.

The UK-based owner of Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels has pledged to switch to bulk-size bathroom amenities in its 843,000 rooms by 2021. This has already been achieved in around one-third of its estate.

The move comes as the world-wide hotel chain continues to build on its efforts to reduce plastic waste as part of a broader sustainability agenda. 

Keith Barr, CEO, IHG, said: “It’s more important than ever that companies challenge themselves to operate responsibly – we know it’s what our guests, owners, colleagues, investors and suppliers rightly expect. Switching to larger-size amenities across more than 5,600 hotels around the world is a big step in the right direction and will allow us to significantly reduce our waste footprint and environmental impact as we make the change. 

“We’ve already made great strides in this area, with almost a third of our estate already adopting the change and we’re proud to lead our industry by making this a brand standard for every single IHG hotel. We’re passionate about sustainability and we’ll continue to explore ways to make a positive difference to the environment and our local communities.”

IHG currently has an average of 200 million bathroom miniatures in use across its entire hotel estate every year. The company expects to see a large reduction in plastic waste as the new brand standard is adopted between now and 2021,

This commitment builds on IHG’s pledge announced in October 2018 to remove plastic straws from its hotels by the end of 2019, and a number of broader waste reduction initiatives already in place.

IHG remains a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index, and recently joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 network, signalling its commitment to working with cross-industry partners to build a more sustainable world.

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Firm fined after serious crush at recycling plant 02/09/2019

A County Antrim recycling company has been fined £25,000 after an employee was crushed between a Refuse Collection Vehicle (RCV) and a mini digger.

ISL Waste Management Ltd, based in Mallusk, pleaded guilty to a breach of health and safety legislation at Laganside Crown Court, after their employee, Mr Grzegorz Mucha, sustained serious injuries after being crushed between the rear of an RCV and the grab attachment of a mini digger on 3 October 2017.

In this incident, Mr Mucha had reversed the RCV into the processing plant in preparation for unloading. The unloading process required the driver to operate controls located to the rear of the RCV. It was while Mr Mucha was working to the rear of the vehicle that the incident occurred.

HSENI principal inspector Kyle Carrick said, “The investigation found the company failed to implement a suitable management system to segregate pedestrians and vehicles on site. 

“Loading and unloading activities are high risk activities and often require drivers to leave the safety of their vehicle cab.  Where drivers may need to leave their cabs to perform essential tasks (such as opening container doors and operating discharge controls), adequate safeguards should be in place to protect them.

“This incident was entirely foreseeable and could have been avoided had appropriate control measures been put in place to maintain an adequate separation distance between vehicles and pedestrians." 

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Smart toilet gives nutritional advice 30/08/2019

Visitors to Lowlands Festival 2019 in the Netherlands have been using smart toilets in an on-site restaurant, which measure a number of health aspects. Based on the collected data, visitors receive a suggestion for a dish that fits a balanced nutritional requirement.

The smart toilets, based in Rabobank's restaurant Brasserie 2050, measure urine, heart rate and blood pressure changes which provides insight into dietary habits.

If the toilet measures a high heart rate, it might suggest that a dish with more fibre and moisture can help. The ion sensor measures the conductivity of your urine and indicates that you may need more fluid. After visiting the smart toilet, visitors receive nutritional advice with food and drinks they can buy at Brasserie 2050. 

The aim of the information is also to question whether you actually eat what you need. Around 10 billion people will live in the world by 2050. To keep pace with world population growth, food production needs to increase by around 60% and its ecological impact reduced by 50%, according to financial services provider Rabobank.

"We are focused on innovations that contribute to solving the global food problem, on all fronts, large and small," Rabobank said. "Thanks to personalised food suggestions that the Smart Toilets provide, we can focus in the future on what food we actually need and perhaps, as an extension of the current project, reduce the negative impact on the environment through food wastage."

The Smart Toilets are developed by imec Netherlands, a subsidiary of imec, the Belgian research and innovation hub in the field of nanoelectronics and digital technology. The Smart Toilet was created in a collaboration between Rabobank, The Food Line-up, MOJO and imec Nederland.

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Contents 15/08/2019



Washroom Hygiene - 14

GOJO looks at how digital innovation can improve washroom maintenance and hygiene; and phs Group provides advice on conserving water in the washroom

Leisure & Events Cleaning - 20

Matthew Bond, MD of Cirka, offers insight into the cleaning requirements of some of the world’s most prestigious venues; and Cleanology explains how leisure venues can benefit from implementing sustainable measures

Commercial Laundry - 28

CleanCloud explains how dry cleaners are using software-as-a-service to manage and grow their business; and Hydro Systems takes a look at the real-time technologies that are enabling laundry operators and chemical suppliers to improve efficiency

Training & Development - 36

 Facilicom explains why agility is the lifeboat that will keep the industry afloat in the coming years; and High Speed Training discusses the importance of compliance training in the hospitality sector

Infection Prevention & Control - 44

Holchem explores the importance of hand hygiene in infection prevention and control in food processing; Miele explains why laundry matters in the battle against infection in care homes; and Berry Plastic looks at the latest wiping solutions that address the issue of cross-contamination without negatively impacting on the environment

Industry Association Update - 53

As Barrie Torbett reprises his role as the Master of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners (WCEC), he champions extending chartered accreditation to a generous spectrum of the cleaning industry.


Washroom Hygiene - 18

Leisure & Events Cleaning - 24

Industrial Cleaning - 26

FM - 32

Sustainable Cleaning - 34

Training & Development - 40

Floorcare - 42

Infection Prevention & Control - 47

Health, Safety & Welfare - 49

Industry Update - 50

Equipment & Services - 52


News - 4

Events - 10

ISSA - 13

Contract Cleaning Insider - 13

BICSc - 48

Sponsored Columns

Denis Rawlins - 12

ICE - 25

Diversey - 33

SEBO - 41

GOJO - 43

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'Hospital workers at risk from toxic cleaning machines' 15/08/2019

A UK firm has been told to tighten up its safety measures following allegations that one of its cleaning machines caused NHS staff to have nosebleeds and burning eyes.

Hygiene Solutions produces Deprox machines which clean and disinfect sealed and empty hospital wards by pumping hydrogen peroxide vapour into them. 

But some NHS employees have complained of suffering nose bleeds, burning eyes and chest infections after entering a room to operate the machines. 

Following a four-year investigation into the Deprox machines, by the Health and Safety Executive, Hygiene Solutions has now been told to strengthen its safety measures. 

The firm must provide hydrogen peroxide monitoring equipment or ensure that customers are fully aware of the associated risks.

Hygiene Solutions of King’s Lynn, Norfolk insists that “Deprox is a ground-breaking technology that when used correctly has been proven to be safe and effective at reducing infections in hospitals”.

A spokesperson added: "Hygiene Solutions provides operator training, support and advice to hospitals using our technologies as part of our commitment to them and their staff."

The NHS is now said to be using an alternative method of decontamination but it has already spent at least £2.1 million on Deprox machines since 2012, according to figures obtained under FOI requests.  

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The hotel cleanliness issues that frustrate Brits the most 13/08/2019

New research has highlighted the aspects of a hotel room which, if not cleaned or attended to properly, would concern British holidaymakers the most.

end-of-tenancy-london.co.uk surveyed 1,448 Brits who have booked a trip this summer. It found that 81 per cent are inclined to complain if they can clearly spot stains on the bed and on towels in their hotel room.

Extensive mould in the bathroom would be a cause of concern for 78 per cent of travellers, while 70 per cent would complain if they found the cupboards/drawers in their hotel room to be overly dirty/stained.

For those relying on the air conditioning unit (AC) in their room to keep them cool from the scorching sun, 66 per cent would make a complaint if they experienced any unpleasant odours coming from the AC. Whilst 62 per cent will have a grievance with the hotel if their room bathroom showerhead, toilet and/or tap is infested in limescale.

Brits would be least worried about making an issue of dirty/stained curtains and/or drapes (25 per cent) in their hotel room. Only 29 per cent state they will make a complaint if the carpet in their room is very dirty and/or stained.

End of Tenancy London also sought to find out what Brits think is the most reasonable compensation hotels can offer when complaining about any serious cleanliness issues.

It discovered that Brits believe a complimentary meal (29 per cent – at the hotel restaurant or at a selected external restaurant) is the most appropriate goodwill gesture a hotel can provide to guests for receiving a valid complaint about room cleanliness. Subsequently, 23 per cent view free or discounted tickets for a popular tourist attraction as fair compensation from a hotel.

Just four per cent feel hotels should offer their guests more than one-night’s free or discounted stay for a room cleanliness related problem(s). Though 11 per cent do feel that a one-night free or discounted stay (11 per cent) is more reasonable.

The survey revealed that 56 per cent of Brits would leave a negative testimonial of a hotel on social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter etc.) if their complaint about room cleanliness was not taken seriously and/or resolved. Similarly, 48 per cent would intend to post a negative review of a hotel on a hospitality focused website (e.g. TripAdvisor, Yelp etc.), if their room cleanliness criticism was not taken seriously and/or resolved by management/employees.

Ivan Ivanov, the managing director of End of Tenancy Cleaning London, said: “The takeaway for hotels is that they should make every effort to thoroughly clean all their rooms on a regular schedule and provide their housekeeping services the appropriate training as well as equipment to do so.”

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Britons shun carpets in the bathroom, study shows 09/08/2019

Carpets are an impractical bathroom flooring choice, according to 84.2% of Brits.

A survey carried out by United Carpets and Beds asked the British public “Would you choose to have your bathroom carpeted?” Only 15.8% of respondents said they would consider carpeting, citing warmth and luxury as the reasons why.

Tahire Khan, head of Ecommerce at United Carpets and Beds, said: “Traditionally, a carpet may not have been an ideal flooring choice for a bathroom, but advancements in technology have meant that carpets can now be constructed to suit particular uses."

Fears that a carpet would become damp put off 42.8% of respondents. However, Khan says this issue could be addressed by choosing a water-resistant carpet specifically for bathroom use. 

The waterproof backing—an element distinguishing a bathroom carpet from one intended for general use—helps combat humidity and prevents moisture from penetrating through to the underlay.

A further 41.4% worried that a carpet would be difficult to clean—again a concern that could be addressed with the correct carpet choice, according to United Carpets & Beds. Bathroom carpets are usually 100% polypropylene, a washable material that is resistant to stains.

The company added that "a carpeted bathroom can provide warmth and comfort underfoot and also help prevent heat loss. Unlike tiles or lino—which can be slippery when wet—carpets can provide a safer, more comfortable flooring option, particularly for young children and the elderly".
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