Media hype or do we have anything to really worry about? How best to disinfect your site.
What classifies a virus as a Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are RNA viruses that are surrounded by an outer coating comprised of a lipid bi-layer (water-insoluble fatty coating). Enveloped viruses spread through a “budding off” process during which a new virus becomes wrapped in an outer coating. However, if this layer is dissolved, these viruses are relatively easy to kill—making them more susceptible to disinfectants than non-enveloped viruses. The Novel Coronavirus therefore falls into a category of viruses that are most susceptible to disinfectants.
So, we know that detergent based products will not be effective against any of the above and we also know that many of the disinfectants on the market today are limited in being validated against killing spores.
In the UK our approach to Infection “Prevention” is fairly limited, we tend to deal with outbreaks as they arise, after much disruption and cost, instead of having robust preventative measures in place.
I have for some years now been promoting a “whole room” disinfection approach; what does that mean I hear you ask? Well, a traditional clean of a room will treat approximately 30% of surfaces in that room, not bad really, but the problem is the bacteria can be (and probably is) all over that room and any that is not eradicated will quickly grow back!
So, a “whole room” approach is required, using a dry mist 5% hydrogen peroxide fogging treatment. This technology ensures a validated 99.9999% disinfection leaving little chance of the room not being properly disinfected.
It used to be that only hospitals and laboratories required a high-level disinfection process, this is no longer the case; everywhere that people congregate requires an appropriate level of protection against viruses, bacteria and spores. The sooner we accept that this level of treatment is not a luxury, but an essential element of the cleaning regime, the quicker we will be able to feel comfortable in public or work spaces such as offices, shops, hotels, bars, cinemas, libraries, public transport, etc.
How do we prevent and disinfect against COVID-2019 Novel Coronavirus?
When preventing the further spread of the Novel Coronavirus, it is critical to listen to guidelines put forth by government protection agencies. According to the CDC, in the absence of an available vaccine against COVID-19, the best way to prevent against infection is to avoid exposure to the virus and take standard preventative actions to respiratory illness (e.g. wash hands; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and avoid close contact with people who are sick).
When it comes to disinfecting environments that have been exposed to the virus, Public Health England (PHE) has determined that the COVID-19 has met the conditions outlined in the PHE’s emerging viral pathogens guidance, meaning eligible products can apply to receive kill claim amendments for the coronavirus. This process helps assist healthcare facilities to select a vetted disinfectant against coronavirus. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended using a hospital-grade disinfectant effective against enveloped viruses.
Maintaining a high level of cleanliness is vital for factories. Not only does it affect the health and safety of the workplace but it affects the quality of the products they’re handling.
Each year an average of 22 workers die in workplace accidents. There was also an average of more than 3,100 reports of major injuries and about 4,100 reports of injuries that kept workers away from work for seven days or more during the last years.
Furthermore, to prevent this from happening; factories need to meet all of the required health and safety standards. Some of which can be met by implementing the correct cleaning methods.
Dirt and grime build up on floors and at high levels which can seriously affect the safety and also the productivity of the work place.
An approach of deep and regular cleaning are recommended to meet the inspection standards. Whilst this can be done in house by employees; hiring a commercial industrial cleaning company with experience in factory cleaning improves the overall cleaning results.
Cleaning each individual machine daily is unrealistic and counterproductive. In other words. cleaning the finer details should be done as part of a monthly clean. This depends on the products your business handles and the mess associated with them.
Regular cleaning is recommended daily to take care of all the main health and safety concerns. Keeping on top of floor cleanliness to prevent slips and trips. Cleaning down workstations and removing waste. As well as meeting hygiene requirements for communal areas as a vital part of a daily cleaning routine.
Peace of Mind
A brought professional cleaning company is better for business as they can clean within a schedule. Ensuring it works best for the day to day running of the business. Cleaning done in house isn’t a good use of time and adds an increased health and safety risk. Commercial cleaners will also conduct regular cleaning audits to ensure cleaning standards are always maintained.
As a example, most factories have vaulted ceilings with steel supports and fixtures. High-Level Cleaning is specialist work and therefore includes: windows; warehouse walls; light fittings; office blocks; roofs, or the inside of factory walls. Dust and debris build up and is blown off the high points down to lower areas contaminating the other factory spaces. This is overlooked until pointed out by inspectors or interrupts and affects the manufacturing process. Avoiding high level cleaning is a false economy as it has a increased fire risk and in the case of a fire even led to fire spreading rapidly.
Due to the nature of high-level cleaning and the dangers associated with cleaning in difficult to reach places. It is essential that cleaning staff are certified to work with the types of machinery for accessing these types of areas. For this reason and for peace of mind using a high level cleaning company makes sense. Not just from a safety aspect but also from a monetary one.
I recently came across an article on factory cleaning that I found very informative and so I thought I would share this information. For operators of warehouses and factories of all shapes and sizes, maintaining clean and organised premises is one of the biggest struggles of the job. To help you out, we’ve put together this guide containing everything you need to know to keep the machines in your production line clean and in perfect working order and the aisles of your warehouse free of debris with the minimum of effort.
So, read on to find out exactly why you should make the cleanliness and tidiness of your factory or warehouse a priority and how to maintain an organised work environment with the minimum of hassle.
The benefits of a clean and organised warehouse or factory
While making sure your factory or warehouse is always clean and tidy requires a bit of effort and forward planning, it can pay itself back several times over.
Firstly, maintaining an organised working environment will make it easy for your staff to find the equipment and supplies they need, directly increasing productivity. It will also indirectly boost staff productivity — if your employees know you dedicate company time and resources to making sure their working environment clean, safe, and efficient, they are more likely to take pride in their work.
Comply with Health and Safety regulations
As a warehouse or factory owner, it’s particularly important that you maintain a clean and tidy working environment in order to comply with health and safety legislature. The Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 1974 requires all employers to ensure the health and safety of anyone affected by their work or in employment — this includes controlling slip and trip risks as far as reasonably possible. Furthermore, under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers must assess workplace risks — including slip and trip risks — and take action to address them wherever necessary. Lastly, the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 require the floors of your workplace to be suitable for the type of work that will be performed on it, in good condition, and free of obstructions.
Failing to comply with this health and safety legislation can not only put your employees in danger, but also lead to your business failing a check from a health and safety inspector, which could lead to a serious financial loss. Make the guidance in the government’s guide to preventing slips and trips at work part of your regular warehouse or factory cleaning routine and you’ll comply with all current health and safety laws, as well as provide your employees with the most productive working environment possible.
In short, maintaining a clean and organised warehouse or factory will lead to increased productivity and higher staff morale, as well as ensure your business complies with all the current health and safety criteria. On the other hand, a dirty and messy premises will not only prevent your staff from working at maximum capacity, but also send out a bad message to your employees and any visitors to your site about the kind of business you run.
Making a factory or warehouse cleaning plan
The type of work you perform on your business premises will affect how often it needs to be cleaned, but you should perform two kinds of cleaning routines: deep and regular cleaning.
Over time, the floor of your warehouse is going to get dirty and your equipment is going to build up with dust and grime. Both of which can seriously affect productivity. Your warehouse needs to be deeply cleaned before it reaches this point. How long this will take depends on what kind of work you perform and may be different for each section of your premises.
When you perform a deep clean of your warehouse or factory, you should set aside several hours to use heavy-duty cleaning equipment and supplies on every surface and piece of equipment on your premises.
If you’ll be enlisting your staff to clean and tidy their own section, you should schedule the deep clean during a slow period if at all possible. If you’re hiring outside help to perform the clean for you, you should schedule them to come in on an evening or weekend so you don’t lose out on productive work hours.
If you’re using your in-house staff to perform the deep clean, each employee should be designated an area of the premises. This area should be their responsibility and theirs only in order to ensure accountability, and before you begin the clean, each member of staff should agree to the area they’ve been designated. This will prevent any miscommunication or arguments down the line.
Each employee should then be provided with the equipment and supplies they need to thoroughly clean everything in their designated area. You should also provide them with the training they need to use any specialist cleaning equipment they require.
The first time you perform your factory-wide deep clean, you should ask each member of staff to note down approximately how long it takes to perform each process in the cleaning cycle they’ve been assigned. This will help you plan the next intensive clean even more accurately. You should also ask for them how they think the process could be sped up, as they may have some useful feedback that could improve the process.
While performing your deep clean, you should take the opportunity to get rid of any clutter that has accumulated since the last one. This can be particularly problematic in storage areas and communal work spaces, which often become cluttered and hard to manage. Organising these areas can help boost productivity for everyone within your business, making it well worth the effort.
Deep warehouse or factory cleaning checklist
Schedule a regular date for a deep clean of your warehouse or factory.
Designate each employee an area they’re responsible for giving a thorough clean from top to bottom.
Provide each employee with the equipment and supplies they need to deeply clean everything within the area they’ve been designated.
Give each employee adequate time to clean all of the equipment within the area they’ve been designated to the required standard.
Have your employees note down how long each process took them and solicit their feedback on how the process could be sped up.
In between your scheduled deep cleans, you should also instruct your staff to perform a regular maintenance routine to keep on top of things and extend the amount of time needed before your next intensive clean.
How often this routine should be performed and what it should entail depends on several factors, such as:
What kind of work do you perform in your factory or warehouse? Do you use machines that create a lot of mess, dust, and debris?
How often do your clients and suppliers visit your site? A messy work environment doesn’t reflect well on your business and may have an impact on whether or not they want to continue working with you.
Do you use equipment that requires a sterile environment to perform at its best? If so, your regular cleaning routine will need to be more intensive in order to maintain these levels of cleanliness.
Just like your intensive cleaning routine, your regular maintenance should be planned in whenever needed. As a rule of thumb, each work station should be left ready for the next person to come in and use straight away. Your staff should therefore be allotted 5 minutes at the end of each shift to clean and tidy their work station or the machine they were using so the next employee who needs to use it can come in the next day and start work without any delays.
If you have any equipment that is used infrequently, it should be given a quick clean every few weeks to prevent dust from building up and potentially affecting its performance.
Employees should also be instructed to clean up any spills, debris, or rubbish as they appear to prevent them from causing a health and safety hazard or obstructing a thoroughfare.
Regular warehouse or factory cleaning checklist
Provide employees with 5 minutes at the end of each shift to get their work space clean and tidy so the next person can come in a use it straight away.
Provide employees with the equipment and supplies they need to clean up any spills and messes as they happen and encourage them to be proactive in tackling mess in the workplace.
Invest in the right factory or warehouse cleaning equipment
If you’re committed to maintaining a clean and tidy factory or warehouse, it’s crucial that you provide your employees with all of the equipment they need to perform their cleaning duties thoroughly and efficiently.
Each member of staff should be provided with basic cleaning equipment so they have the equipment they need to perform their regular cleaning routine. If each of your employees has access to a cloth, a dustpan and brush, and paper towels, they’re a lot more likely to clean up any spills or dirt as it appears. This will not only make your factory or warehouse a safer environment for your staff, but also give them more pride in their work environment.
You should also make sure there’s waste and recycling bins at each work station. This will encourage your staff to dispose of waste as soon as it appears rather than leaving it to build up and become an issue. You should also set up a rota for emptying the bins so they don’t overflow and become a hazard themselves.
You should also invest in cleaning equipment that will help make regular cleaning routines as efficient as possible. For example, if you own a warehouse and use material handling equipment each day, you can invest in an attachment for your forklifts that will allow you to efficiently tidy your premises floor using the equipment that is already in use. It’s crucial to make cleaning your factory or warehouse as easy as possible for your staff, as it is unlikely to get done if it is complicated or inconvenient. Investing in this kind of equipment will therefore help ensure it gets done.
It’s also crucial that you provide your staff with the equipment needed to perform a deep clean of their designated area when the time comes. For example, if you own a factory that quickly builds up dirt due to the heavy manufacturing, you may want to invest in a dedicated floor cleaner, as this will save hours compared to manually cleaning the floor. Buying this equipment outright will save you money in the long run on rental costs, and will also allow you to customise the equipment however you wish — for example, our wide range of disk brushes will allow you to use the cleaner on a variety of surfaces.
Your staff also need access to any specific cleaning supplies they need to perform their deep clean. For example, any chemicals or specific cleaning equipment that they need to clean specialist equipment.
How to make maintaining a clean warehouse or factory part of your company culture
The cleanliness and tidiness of your workplace has a big effect on employee morale and productivity, but it’s impossible to maintain an organised warehouse or factory if your staff aren’t on board. If you’re planning on making a wholesale change in how your run your workplace, it’s important that your employees are invested in the changes.
Here’s how to make maintaining a clean and tidy warehouse or factory part of your company culture:
Communicate the benefits to your staff
If you want your employees to buy in to your plans to maintain a clean and tidy workplace, it’s crucial that you communicate the benefits the new systems you’ll be putting in place will bring to them. Whether you do this through a company-wide email, a meeting, or both, it’s important that you explain exactly how maintaining an organised workplace will keep them safe and help them perform their jobs as efficiently as possible, helping them to meet their targets more easily.
Lead by example
Make sure senior management are pulling their weight and doing as much as anyone else, or your staff will follow your instructions grudgingly, if at all.
Provide them with sufficient cleaning time
Above all else, you should make sure to dedicate staff time and resources to cleaning and organising your warehouse or factory — the resources you put into this will be paid back a hundred times over in improved productivity and staff morale. If your staff are expected to clean up their work space in their own time on top of their already full schedule, it’s unlikely to get done to a very high standard, if at all.
Make sure they have access to the right equipment
If your employees need specialist cleaning equipment to maintain a particular machine in their cleaning remit, then you need to make sure they always have access to it. Make sure you invest in all the necessary equipment and also make sure it’s available to your staff at all times.
Give them the training they need
Every so often, it can be a good idea to retrain your staff to make sure a high standard is maintained during your cleaning protocols. It can also be a good idea to have senior members of staff train new recruits to refresh their memory of best practice.
Keep them accountable
Each member of staff should be given responsibility over their own area of the site, and they should be held accountable if it isn’t being maintained to the required standard. This should apply to senior members of staff just as it does to those further down the chain of command.
Follow these steps and maintaining a clean and organised factory or warehouse will be as easy and hassle-free as possible. While setting this system up will require a bit of forward planning and trial and error, it will pay for itself several times over in increased productivity and staff morale.
Struggling to keep up?
Of course all the above is great advice however as everyone is aware the world we live in isn’t always black and white and even the best companies and teams fall behind due to everyday work commitments and overruns. However there is another option that many factories and warehouse companies use to either keep on top of there cleaning regimes or instead of. By using an experienced, professional cleaning company all the weight of responsibility and delivery can be spread effectively and free your staff up especially during those busy periods to focus on the important incoming generating day to day operations.
A reputable industrial cleaning team will be able to deliver a high quality service that is cost effective and will always be happy to give advice and look at cleaning options that will fit in with your business and your budget. Another good tip when using this option is to look for long term experience and for testimonials and referrals. The proof of the pudding is very much in the eating especially when it comes to specialised cleaning works and you need to be sure that the company you choose can deliver the service they promise.
However if you find the right company to fit in with your company ethos and expectations then they will very quickly not only become a welcome and cost effective solution to what can sometimes be a troublesome issue, but also a valued additional support to your team.
Which ever option you choose I am sure that in time you will develop a strategy that will work as part of your factory or warehouses operational plane rather than as an addition to it.
No matter if your place of business is an office building, warehouse or a factory, cleanliness is imperative to a safe and profitable work environment.
There are a number of industrial cleaning services/companies to choose from that can help you to maintain a clean work facility. However, some are better than others. When it comes to your place of business, you want a cleaning service that’s trustworthy and safe. While every company may claim to uphold these qualities, few to deliver on such promises.
When deciding on which industrial cleaning service to use, consider the length of time they’ve been in business. The longer an industrial cleaning services company has been in business, the more references and experience they’ll have. You’ll want to make sure that the janitorial staff that’ll be in your place of business is experienced in cleaning similar environments to yours. Procedures for cleaning an office building, for example, differ greatly than the cleaning requirements of a factory, construction site, restaurant or medical facility. Each commercial environment has its own set of specific cleaning and sanitation requirements.
An experienced industrial cleaning company will also have experienced management. Experienced managers are needed to inspect employees’ work, and to also address any particular concerns of the client. If you have any concerns or specific requests, you’ll want them resolved in a timely and effective manner.
The hiring practices of an industrial cleaning services company are also important to consider. You’ll want to take the time to ask the manager if they hire workers that have criminal histories.
Ask the manager of the industrial cleaning company that you’re considering for references. It’s the most effective way of determining whether they provide quality work before you invite them into your place of business. Do they rush through things too quickly? Are other business owners satisfied with their work? How well do they address specific concerns?
Does the industrial cleaning company that you’re considering offer services that address your commercial environment’s needs? And if so, how experienced are they in delivering those services in settings such as yours? An industrial cleaning services company that has many years of experience in a wide variety of settings will likely offer the specialised services that you need, including floor care, post construction clean-up, sanitation, and window cleaning.
Reliability and Flexibility
So you’ve established a workable cleaning schedule, and everything is going as planned, but what happens if there’s a workplace incident that requires urgent clean-up or specialised cleaning care that is outside of your usual cleaning needs? Does the industrial cleaning services company you’re considering offer emergency services, or specialised cleaning to address these sorts of scenarios as needed? An industrial cleaning services company that offers emergency cleanup services will help you to get things back in order much more quickly.
Transparent Quoting & Billing
It goes without saying that you’ll want to choose an industrial cleaning services company that you can trust. And nothing conveys trust more than how they handle their clients’ transactions. Everyone wants good value for their budget, and the only way to ensure this—beyond testimonials—is to find out how the industrial cleaning company you are considering will work with your needs, schedule and budget. Look for an industrial cleaning services company that offers no-obligation quotes, and takes the time to ask you questions about your commercial cleaning needs and specifics before agreeing to anything.
The right company will show interest in ensuring your arrangement is a mutual fit, and will be approachable and transparent in handling your questions and concerns.
Quality Control Measures
Last but not least, when choosing a company, ask them what systems they have in place to ensure the same quality of service is delivered consistently. After all, few things are more frustrating than expecting to arrive at a clean workstation, only to find areas that were missed by your cleaners. Attention to detail is especially critical when it comes to employee health and safety, and impressing customers. Because of this, choose an industrial cleaning services company with established protocols that make them proactive—establishing a set of standards and ensuring they are being carried out consistently—rather than relying on their customers to complain. The right industrial cleaning company will have systems in place that make their customers satisfaction and retention their top-priority.
Below are some of the most popular frequently asked questions that our sales ops receive on a daily basis, we hope this helps.
Q: Are you local?
A: We have branches all across the country, covering England and Wales. Click here to find out where our regional offices are based. We assure that every area is supervised and the location will not affect the service.
Q: What will happen to my staff if we change to you?
A: The best way for us to answer this question is by getting you to look at a previous blog post by us. All the relevant TUPE information may be found in blogs TUPE pt1 & pt2.
Q: What type of premises do Ideal clean?
A: We are a business-to-business provider with two divisions. Our Office and Commercial Cleaning division provides regular routine cleaning for; offices, retail, medical surgeries, showrooms, communal areas of social housing and more. Our Specialised Industrial Division offer specialist cleaning in an industrial environment including: production lines and machinery; the removal of waste products using MOVAC Vacuum Tankers and the provision of Legionella Services (we are an LCA registered company). Above all, we are experienced and equipped to work at height and in enclosed spaces.
Q: Can you provide a quote over the phone or email?
A: We can – but this would only be an ‘indicative quote’ or estimate and would be subject to an actual site survey by one of our Field Sales Representatives. A full site survey is the best way to accurately quote for your cleaning needs and allows us the opportunity to discuss your requirements with you in detail.
Q: How can I trust that Ideal will provide a good, reliable service?
A: Established in 1946, we remain family-owned with four generations of experience and investment in the cleaning industry. Meanwhile, we operate and conduct our business in an ethical and transparent way. Ideal’s overarching approach ensures we make every effort to manage required services on behalf of our clients providing; cost-effective, added value and improved services.
Ideal’s senior management take an active role in the set-up and ongoing development of the service. In addition, we meet (and often exceed) our customer’s needs and expectations through; structured contract management and supervision, strong family values, well trained motivated staff, quality goals and customer partnership approach.
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Many people do not understand the importance on managing Legionella in their business. Whether that is down to ignorance or just lack of knowledge, this article will tell you why managing Legionella should be a high priority in your commercial and industrial business.
What is Legionella?
Legionella is a fatal bacterium that is known to cause Legionellosis/ Legionnaire’s disease. Legionella is commonly found in environments such as natural water sources i.e. rivers or lakes. It can also be found in water systems such as cooling towers, air vents and hot/cold water systems. It multiplies where temperatures are between 20-45 °C.
Legionnaires’ disease got its name from an outbreak back in 1976, which affected 220 people and resulted in 34 deaths. This deadly disease is a severe form of pneumonia, which you can get from inhaling mist from contaminated water.
Who Legionella Affects
Offices,Factories, Hotels and Hospitals are of a higher risk of this disease as you are more exposed to water supplies such as cooling towers, air conditioning units, showers, taps and toilets.
You are more at risk of getting Legionnaires’ disease if you are any of the following:-
Elderly, or aged 45 and over
A heavy drinker
Suffer from chronic respiratory or kidney disease
Are suffering from Cancer
Is a Legionella Risk Assessment a Legal Requirement?
Yes. Although it is not a legal requirement to produce a Legionnaires testing certificate, it is a legal requirement for all places of work, with exposure to Legionella, to carry out a Risk Assessment to determine whether the environment is a safe place to work. When having an external company conduct a risk assessment, it is important to ensure that the company is certified to do so.
How much does a Legionella Risk Assessment cost?
The cost for a risk assessment depends on factors such as the size of a building and the amount of water systems. It should be reviewed at least every two years.
Ideal Cleaning Services is a LCA registered company. We provide a comprehensive range of Legionella control services such as: risk assessments; clean and disinfection services for cooling towers; analytical and inspection services.
If you have any questions regarding Legionella in your business, or would like for us to provide you with our services, then please contact our Industrial Department on 0115 913 2222.