An overview of the commercial cleaning sector

February 18th, 2016 Category: Commercial

Catering businesses run the risk of failing to meet basic hygiene requirements, it has been suggested.

A report published by the National Association of Air Duct-Cleaners (NAADC) UK revealed that thousands of catering businesses across the country are at risk from fires and fines because they are failing to comply with regulations governing the cleaning of kitchen extract ductwork systems.

Those that do not meet the relevant regulation EC852 are often given notices. Figures published by the NAADC revealed that of the 24,000 accidental fires per year in commercial properties, around 6000 are attributed to cooking and extraction systems.

In addition, the study showed that more than 80 per cent of kitchen extract ducts in the UK are never cleaned.

The Regulation EC852/2004 became effective on January 1 2006 and mandates that there must be suitable and sufficient means of natural or mechanical ventilation.

It also requires that organisations ensure that mechanical airflow from a contaminated area to a clean area is avoided.

Furthermore, ventilation systems must be constructed so as to enable filters and other parts requiring cleaning or replacement to be readily accessible.

The regulation affects organisations operating in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Hazardous Waste

New rules coming into force on April 1st means that UK businesses that produce hazardous waste will need to rethink compliance procedures.

When the new legislation comes in, registration with the Environment Agency is no longer required for businesses in England, and all existing registrations will become void on this date.

Organisations in Wales will not be affected and will need to continue to register with Natural Resources Wales.

Speaking about the findings, Neil Curtis, managing director at B&M Waste, said: “Waste traceability, from production to final destination, is still required, which means consignment notes are still a mandatory document. The format of these, however, is due to change on April 1st at the same time, as the registration process is no longer necessary. This is something we are already planning into our hazardous waste departments’ documentation.”

Shopping centre gets a new sparkle

The County Square Shopping Centre in Ashford, Kent had begun to deteriorate from all of the accumulated dirt, grime and pollution that had blighted the exterior of its building. The centre has over 50 stores including Debenhams, M&S, and Next. 

Cleaning work took place over a series of evenings and required specialist skills, specific equipment and strategic planning.

Industrial jet washers were set at the appropriate pressure to ensure the fabric of the cladding was not damaged.

Frances Burt, centre manager at County Square, said: “The façade had not been cleaned since the redevelopment was finished in 2008 and over time the stones and tiles had slowly become stained. The clean provided the desired results in all areas and returned the façade to a clean and presentable fashion more in keeping with the shopping centre’s image.”

Managing injuries during cleaning

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published new guidance on how cleaning operatives can manage musculoskeletal disorders.

According to the HSE, musculoskeletal disorders are among the most common ailments in the cleaning industry.

However, organisations that manage those risks can reduce the incidence of these disorders.

The HSE state: “Cleaning work is demanding and labour-intensive. Many tasks involve using cleaning machines and heavy manual work, including mopping, wiping surfaces, polishing, moving rubbish bags, furniture and equipment, putting strain on the heart, muscles and other tissues. Cleaners are often required to work in awkward postures for long periods, which may lead to long-term damage.

“Cleaners work in buildings which are generally planned for other workers and not designed with cleaning in mind, where issues such as access, the location of taps and storage facilities, and the use of unsuitable floor materials can also pose problems.”