Roundup of cleaning news

August 28th, 2015 Category: Local Authority & Housing

Local authority: Health and safety protocols are often ignored when it comes to cleaning wet leisure environments, according to new research.

A study published by cleaning products manufacturer Bonasystems revealed that the vast majority (79 per cent) of “wet leisure” floor surfaces did not meet health and safety standards.

The fines for those who fail to meet safety criteria set out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) can potentially be great and owners of leisure facilities are risking fines of up to 100 per cent of annual profits for breaches.

This is in addition to claim costs of tens of thousands of pounds.

As part of the research, some 379 floors alongside swimming pools were tested by Bonasystems.

It also looked at floors in showers and in changing rooms. To test the safety of the surfaces in question, it used the pendulum test – this is one which is designed to replicate a pedestrian heel strike at the point when most slips occur.

Various types of leisure facilities were tested for the study, and this included private facilities, hotels and council owned buildings.

Commenting on the findings, Christian Harris, commercial director of Bonasystems, said: “This is a very serious issue for leisure centre and hotel operators. 

"Whilst the average cost of a slip and trip claim is some £14,000, in reality we can expect the overall cost to be much higher on account of recent changes to the sentencing guidelines on fines for health and safety breaches."

Floor maintenance was also found to be the biggest problem, with floor specification also an issue.

Researchers found that 75 per cent of floors would reach the necessary safety standards once they were cleaned and properly maintained.

Ms Harris added: "The irony is that whilst companies often think they are saving money on their cleaning and maintenance costs, they are actually storing up worse trouble for themselves ahead. If the UK’s 4,000 leisure centres invested up to an extra £50 each a month on proper cleaning regimes, they stand a far better chance of avoiding a claim which could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

Industry: Cleaning firms have been urged to act quickly to benefit from tax savings.

Asset finance specialist Academy Leasing said that with the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) set to fall from the current rate of £500,000 to £200,000 from January 1, 2016, cleaning firms have a small window in which to claim relief on equipment and assets.

Commenting, Academy Leasing managing director Michael Nolan said: "Although the fall in AIA was less severe than expected in the Summer Budget, businesses can still make substantial tax savings by making their purchases before the end of the year.

"The countdown is on to benefit from the higher existing allowance and the maximum possible tax break."