“The highest death rate in men was observed in elementary occupations. The ONS says this category includes postmen, builders, cleaners, security staff and other professions that generally don’t require a qualification. The second highest death rate was in those working in caring, leisure and other service occupations.”
We don’t consider cleaning, or any of the others listed, to be “elementary” occupations but that aside, the evidence is that cleaners are at risk.
Our role is to provide contract cleaners, facilities managers and other businesses with the equipment they need to keep their environments clean and safe. We’ve seen increasing demand for cleaning equipment of all types over the last 12 months. Fogging machines and steam cleaners have been an obvious choice for businesses all around the country as they try to make their premises as safe as possible for staff and customers.
Visible cleaning increases confidence
Cleaning was often a “hidden” activity, done out of hours or surreptitiously. That’s all changing now though. As recent research commissioned by ABM UK shows, the majority of people feel that seeing cleaners working in public spaces makes them feel that safety measures are being taken seriously and many also said that it makes them feel safe.
Businesses are quite rightly picking up on this and are strengthening all aspects of their cleaning regimes to not only control the spread of infection, but also to “look” clean, tidy and professional. Sanitising stations and 2-metre markers are now part of life, but people want to see more than that when they’re using public spaces.
The cleaning industry is evolving
COVID-19 has completely changed our attitudes to infection – previously something we gave little thought to, it’s now on most peoples minds much of the time and is influential in our day to day decisions. This means that hygiene is more and more important, and not just hand washing and touch point cleaning – people want to feel that any spaces they use look and feel hygienically clean.
Floor cleaning is important
We’ve also seen increased demand for all types of floor cleaning equipment. This is often the “forgotten surface” when it comes to touch points, but dirt and germs are present on floors in large numbers. They can be picked up on footwear and spread around really easily. Research has suggested that COVID-19 can live for up to 8 days on floors and footwear, so as you can imagine, there’s the potential to invisibly spread germs over wide areas.
For hard floors, regular cleaning is essential both to remove dirt and germs and also to create a “clean” appearance. There is a wide range of floor scrubbers available, which can be especially effective when used with an appropriate chemical. These range from small upright scrubbers like the i-mop Lite Scrubber Dryer, to industrial machines such as the Viper AS1050R Scrubber Drier.
Carpet cleaning is perhaps more difficult. Regular vacuuming is easy to do, but vacuuming can leave bacteria and germs behind, which can then be spread via footwear. Carpet extraction cleaners are designed to deep clean carpets and they can also be used with approved cleaning fluids to kill bacteria.
Moving towards a cleaner environment
Cleanliness was perhaps taken for granted before COVID-19, but we all now understand that there’s more to being clean than meets the eye, so our standards and requirements for cleaning are rising. Professional cleaning companies are enhancing their services to meet the new demands and we wish them every success in their new high-profile role.