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Awards, recycling, fair treatment and education: A roundup of the news

Posted on: Friday, October 30th, 2015

Mitie awarded its eighth 'gold' at RoSPA awards: Strategic outsourcing and energy services company, Mitie has won its eighth consecutive Gold Medal Award with the Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents (RoSPA).

RoSPA awards these medals based on regularly attained and highly ranking health and safety results.

The body also awards company commitments to raising awareness in the workplace through safety culture surveys, safety bulletins, workshops and many other safety initiatives.

Mitie was awarded another two Gold Awards for its integrated FM and its contract with the Cumbrian Collaboration for the second year running and celebrated a third year award for its Lloyds Banking Group contract.

In all, Mitie won four awards, as it received a Silver Award for its Vodafone FM contract, stipulating the company's, across the board commitment to high levels of health and safety.

New recycling legislation is 'going to waste': Workplace equipment supplier Slingsby has said that a large number of workplaces are unaware of the updated recycling legislation.

The legislation, which came into effect in January 2015, stated that public and private waste handlers in England and Wales must collect recyclable materials separately.

Previously, 90 per cent of UK waste was sent to landfill, which was an unsustainable resource, the change to legislation aims to increase the quality and quantity of materials recycled.

Legal responsibility for this lies with the waste collectors, who urge commercial customers to separate their waste as it is produced. 

However, many businesses are still adapting to the new legislation and despite reforms in recycling equipment, there is still much to be done to improve nationwide environmental reforms.

Education cleaning sector suffering: Caretakers and cleaning teams in schools and colleges are having to rely on outdated cleaning equipment and methods; leading to them missing out on cutting back on their cleaning budgets and protecting the health of students.

If improperly cleaned, schools, toilets and canteens help spread infection and are a major cause of cross-contamination.

Hygienic cleaning is easy to achieve, but too often, cleaning staff have to use tools like micro-fibre mops which spread contamination instead of stopping it.

Comparably, new and cheaper equipment like the Omniflex hygienic cleaning system have been proven to remove 99 per cent of contaminates.

This new system is low-cost as it controls the amount of cleaning fluid that is spread or sprayed.

However, the education sector is victim to a false economy and it's not certain how quickly these improved and cost-effective changes will come into mass effect.

Campaign to improve working conditions for cleaners: A new campaign has been launched to promote improved working conditions in the cleaning industry.

The campaign is formed by a taskforce, chaired by the Equality and Human Rights Commission deputy chair Caroline Waters, which also consists of businesses, trade associations and unions.

Creation of the taskforce followed a report, which looked into the practices of the cleaning industry and found that most cleaning firms had good policies to promote equality and clients who entered long-term contracts.

Unfortunately, the report also showed that some employers do not provide contracts for their staff in full, or pay their employees' sickness and holiday leave entitlements.

To prevent this from happening, the taskforce develops principles for procurement, which encourages clients of cleaning companies to consider the impact of procurement on cleaning company employees.

It has also developed a poster and postcards titled 'Your Rights at Work' for cleaning firms to distribute to their employees.