One of the most important moments in containing the spread of COVID-19 is when you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your business. Taking appropriate steps to clean and disinfect after the possible or confirmed case is critical in keeping you, your employees, and your customers safe.

While the infection risk from a COVID-19 contaminated environment decreases over time, it is not yet clear at what point there is no risk from the virus.

Scientists know that SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted through respiratory droplets. (Respiratory droplets are the little bits of liquid that are exhaled when someone speaks.) But they’re not yet certain about infectious aerosols. (Aerosols are the smaller, much more numerous particles that people breathe out.) Research indicates that there is at least a chance that these smaller particles of breath can carry the virus. If that’s the case, then it’s possible that the virus could travel further and linger in the air for longer than initially thought. However, studies suggest that, in non-healthcare settings, the risk of residual infectious virus is likely to be significantly reduced after 48 hours.

While researchers are still figuring the details out, there are actions you can take to protect you, your employees and your visitors.

  • Close off any areas the person with a suspected or confirmed virus visited.
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase ventilation, while still indicating that people should not enter the area.
  • If you can, wait 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection. If you can’t wait 24 hours, wait as long as you can.
  • Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect every area visited by the person with a suspected or confirmed virus, as well as anything they may have touched.
  • Ensure cleaning staff have suitable PPE. Use a disposable mask, gloves, and coveralls.

More information for cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside the home can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings#left-area.

Details for the Test & Trace system for employers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance

If you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your building, consider getting the professionals in, at ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services, we can provide a deep cleaning and sanitisation service for your building as well as ongoing professional cleaning services. That way you know you are in safe hands.

Were here if you need us.

Many businesses in the UK have now been allowed to open but, as we start opening our doors and navigating our way through the new normal, maintaining high cleaning standards is just as important as ever. COVID-19 has not gone away so maintaining high cleaning standards in the workplace should be kept in place to help reduce spread of the virus.

There are several steps available to you as a business owner to help control and reduce the spread of the virus. Where possible reducing person to person contact is the most effective method, if people don’t come in to contact with the virus they can’t catch it. Obviously this isn’t always possible, and especially difficult for some businesses. Where people are more likely to come in to contact with each other, PPE is the next preferred option but again, this isn’t always possible. If your business is open suitable cleaning and  disinfection regimes should be put in place.

COVID-19 Cleaning Tips

Here is some basic information to know and first steps to take in order to maintain the cleanest, safest environment that you can.

Know the Terms

Knowing what you’re up against is a big part of fighting it. So’ here’s some clarification:

Coronavirus is a broad category of viruses. There are seven known coronaviruses that can infect people. They were first identified in the 1960s. You may hear people call this latest one “the new coronavirus” or “the novel coronavirus” to specify which one they’re talking about.

SARS-CoV-2 is the specific name of this ‘newest’ coronavirus, which was discovered at the end of 2019.

COVID-19 is the disease that is caused by SARS-CoV-2. The name tells you that it is the COronaVIrus Disease that was discovered in 2019.

It is also important to know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting, we have shared this previously in one of our other blogs ‘’Cleaning and Disinfecting

but as a little reminder…

“Cleaning” means removing dirt and impurities from surfaces. It doesn’t kill germs, but it decreases the number of germs on a given surface, this in itself will help reduce the risk of infection.

“Disinfecting” refers to killing germs, usually with chemicals like EPA-registered disinfectants. The surface may not necessarily look cleaner, and the germs may still be present, but they will be dead.

To reduce risk of infection from COVID-19 or any bacteria or virus, the best way is to use both of these processes. First, clean all surfaces to remove the bulk of the germs and to get rid of dirt. Then disinfect the surfaces to kill any germs that may remain.

Ensure you employees use suitable hygiene and hand washing procedures, especially in the workplace.

You and your employees should wash hands thoroughly, for the full recommended 20 seconds.

If hand-washing is not suitable an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% alcohol content should be used on a regular basis. Hand Sanitiser is now readily available in shops and online or see our previous blog for instructions on how to make your own. You can even download a copy of our Hand washing poster here.

If your employees feel unwell, they should not come in to work.

This should be a standard practice generally to restrict spreading any illness but, it’s especially important right now. Anyone experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 should avoid others. Make sure your employees know that you expect them to stay home if they are feeling ill.

Keep your employees aware of the current Government Guidelines that they should follow if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 and how they can get a test.

For latest advice, see the NHS website.

Use PPE where suitable

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), is an important part of preventing the spread of infectious diseases. PPE includes face masks, gowns, and disposable gloves. These items are important, but they’re only effective if used well.

Masks are most effective when everyone is wearing them. People can carry the new Coronavirus without showing symptoms, wearing a face covering is a best practice for everyone. If your staff are required to wear facemasks, ensure they are aware of how they should wear them correctly (Covering the mouth and nose).

Gloves should only be used in suitable settings, they are only effective if they are disposed of and changed after each ‘single’ use. In most circumstances, it is more effective to wash hands regularly for 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitiser as mentioned above.

COVID-19 Risk Assessments

You are now required to have a COVID-19 Risk Assessment in place for your business. At ServiceMaster we have a Risk Assessment for our cleaners while they are on your site, they will follow guidance within the Risk Assessment which includes information on specific COVID-19 related issues, PPE and general cleaning activities.

How to clean and disinfect your building

If you’re taking the time and effort to clean your building yourself, now is the time to make sure you do it right. Just like with washing hands, the procedures are there for a reason. If you try to cut corners or reduce costs, you could put yourself or your staff at risk. Put together a cleaning regime to make sure you take care of everything you need to.

Sort the cleaning from the disinfecting

Identify what just needs to be cleaned, and what needs to be disinfected, as well. Many surfaces and objects may be fine with a regular cleaning. But High Touchpoint area will probably need to be disinfected as well. Download out High Touchpoint cleaning poster for a list of areas that probably need more regular cleaning and disinfection.

Don’t forget to clean outside spaces too. Think about areas that people touch, door handles, handrails, tables & benches etc. All of these places can harbour the virus for hours or days even though they are outside.

Likewise, if absolutely nobody has been inside your place of business for 7 days, your normal cleaning routine will be fine upon returning. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has not been shown to survive on surfaces for longer than a week. However, once people return and begin to carry out day to day activities, regular disinfecting will be necessary.

For more information see our previous blogs or see the official guidance for cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside the home from the UK Government.

Consider outsourcing to commercial cleaning services provider

Professional cleaners already have the experience and cleaning products needed to help keep businesses and workplaces safe. They have the protective gear that they need. They come in, do the work, and get out. You can focus on your business and keeping yourself, your staff and your customers or visitors safe, while your cleaning provider focusses on your cleaning.

Help prevent the spread of this or any other virus in your business

It’s important to do everything you can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That means enforcing rules about protective gear for your employees where appropriate. It means encouraging employees who feel ill to stay home. It means strictly following appropriate procedures for handwashing, cleaning, and disinfecting. And it means keeping the environment thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

One way to reduce risk is to leave the cleaning and disinfecting to the professionals. ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services can take a giant task off your plate and a giant weight off of your mind. Whether you’re in retail, foodservice, an office environment, a School or even a GP surgery, professional cleaners have the training needed to keep you safe.

Were here if you need us.

Commercial and janitorial cleaning services have become a much more important service since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

While a lot of businesses were forced to close during lockdown, many schools, healthcare providers and other vital service providers were required to stay open throughout the lockdown. Rachael Downer – Managing Director of ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Surrey-London explains how they adapted to the new and evolving situation to keep their staff working safely and ensure their clients could too.

Dealing with the news

When lockdown was first announced, our first thoughts were to contact our staff to reassure them that we will do everything in our power to manage our teams through this unique situation and to reassure them that we would be talking to the sites that they worked at, evaluating the situation and putting steps in place to ensure every one’s safety above all.

Following on from this, our next priority was to contact all of our clients. It was important to us to contact our clients and immediately, assess what their requirements were and what we could do to help.  We also contacted our H&S advisors to ensure that we were adhering to new legislation and guidelines and ensuring both our staff and clients’ safety.

We carried out a full review of the services we provided or would need to provide for every one of our clients initially; most of our clients were unsure about what would be needed as nobody knew what the following weeks and months would bring. The cleaning services were and continue to be reviewed regularly to meet the changing needs of our clients.

In addition to the changing needs of our clients; we had the challenge of working with our staff who also had pressures on their schedules with increased child care issues, with schools being closed.

How we adapted

To help ensure our clients sites were cleaned and sanitised for themselves, their staff and their customers or visitors, we adapted quickly to be able to provide additional services and products for our clients. These additional services on top of our regular contract cleaning included things like: Fogging, touch point cleaning, review of specifications and budgets, PPE and even Display notices. These additional services and products meant our clients could meet their own cleaning & hygiene obligations without having to source additional supplies or suppliers, making it easier for them when there is enough to deal with.

We usually hold regular meetings with our clients to ensure we are meeting our clients service expectations and with the constant changes, we found that we needed to keep in touch with our clients more than ever. Obviously with social distancing, face to face meetings were not ideal so we made the most of remote methods (as many of us have done over these last few months) and kept in regular contact using Phone, email & Zoom.

As lockdown has eased and our other clients have been able to re-open, we are pleased to say that we have been able to get our teams back in and be able to provide our usual or adjusted cleaning schedule within 48 hours of instruction from our client.

Providing more for our clients

As more clients have opened, we have seen an increase in requests for our additional services such as; Fogging, touch point cleaning, review of specifications and budgets, PPE and Display notices.

In additional to providing these services and products, we have also provided extra  training to key employees to understand the science behind the virus and how bio-fogging can help and we are pleased to say our trained staff are now accredited to give extra reassurance to our clients.

Providing exceptional levels of service is and always has been a priority to us at ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Surrey-London and to ensure we maintained our services levels through the pandemic we increased the level of communication in respect of weekly updates on recommended services and update summaries on government guidelines, if we are all informed we are all safer.

As clients are getting back to business

At the height of the lockdown 60% of our clients were forced to close their business, now only 15% remain closed, due to the type of industry they are in. One of our main concerns as our clients came back was bringing our staff back off furlough in time to resume cleaning services rapidly.

In the main, this was actually very smooth, a couple of staff were very nervous about returning and in these cases we have placed cover staff on site and regular cleaners are on unpaid leave until they are comfortable to return.

Throughout the pandemic, our employees have been amazing!  The level of flexibility and understanding to take on new methods of cleaning and new times to deliver the service has been truly impressive. Both the operations team and support teams have adapted to new methods of working and we are delivering a service that makes our clients and staff feel safe in these very challenging times.

Cleaning on clique

Cleaning historically is not that important to many decision makers in businesses but cleaning ‘the right way’ has always been our number one priority at ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Surrey-London. Since the COVID-19 pandemic cleaning has very clearly become a much more valued service and we hope to work more in partnership with our existing clients to meet their needs for their unique environments.

With cleaning becoming more of a priority, not only have we seen requests from our existing client to increase or adjust their ongoing cleaning service, we have also seen an increase in enquiries. We have signed several new contracts recently. There is a growing trend of businesses that historically clean the building themselves want the reassurance of a professional compliant to ensure the cleaning is done the right way as well as clients who have just not received the right service from their existing clients.

Our new clients have required services including 24 hours on site cleaners in the construction industry, communal cleaning for offices and bio fogging services and due to our structure and ability to adapt we are well placed to be able to provide these services effectively. We look forward to our ongoing relationship with our new clients.

Our clients trust us and I believe this is imperative to any relationship working and lasting. They have seen that we have risen to the challenge that the whole world has faced and we have been able to offer flexible solutions to their challenges whilst appreciating the financial struggle some have found themselves facing. I believe going forward clients will expect more but there is a new respect for the cleaning industry which benefits all parties.

Give us a call on 0845 201 1184 or email us at enquiries@servicemaster.co.ukto ask how we can help with your commercial cleaning requirements.

It has never been more important to ensure of a clean, hygienic and safe environment for yourself, your employees and your customers.

COVID-19 has shaken up the entire world. It’s meant that businesses have had to change the way that they operate to accommodate the ‘new normal’. One particular area of business that has been well highlighted is ‘cleaning‘. What should business owners be thinking about?

Revisiting Cleaning Regimes

Are the current cleaning regimes, thorough and regular enough to ensure that premises are as clean and hygienic as possible?

The last thing that any business would want, is for an employee or a customer to potentially contract something after visiting their premises.

Many businesses are now choosing to outsource cleaning to professionals for both deep cleans ahead of reopening and ongoing, daily cleaning to ensure of a clean and hygienic environment.

Products & Processes Effectiveness

Now is a good time to check that cleaning products and processes are effective against viruses, bacteria and infections.

The manufacturer of the product or piece of equipment will also recommend the most effective way of using it. I.e. application, dwell time and other specific instructions for best use.

Employee & Customer Reassurance 

By having proper cleaning measures in place, it is reassuring for employees and customers to know that a business is doing everything that it can to ensure that the environment is clean, hygienic and safe.

Some businesses choose to have visible cleaning throughout the day for that extra peace of mind. High touch point cleaning is an excellent cleaning regime for this, ensuring the most touched places are sanitised often.

ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services specialise in daily and regular cleaning and can help with periodic deep cleaning and sanitisation. We can recommend solutions to suit your requirements whether for a deep clean ahead of reopening, or an ongoing regular cleaning regime.

We understand the importance of ensuring that your premises are clean, hygienic and safe for you, your employees and your customers. Our cleaning products and processes are effective against bacteria, infections and enveloped viruses.

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, cleanliness and hygiene are more important than ever. As we all try to go back to work, keeping the work place properly clean also means helping keep it safe, so it’s important to get it right.

If you are doing the cleaning yourself here are some tips on getting it right.

Make sure common areas are cleaned regularly

All common areas such as reception areas, walkways, stairs and hall ways should be dusted and vacuumed (or mopped of a hard floor) on a regular basis, the frequency will depend on the volume of traffic. Obviously if you have a reception area that customers or visitors use the appearance of these areas says a lot about your company as well.

Cleaning and Sanitising of surfaces

Especially during COVID-19, surfaces should be cleaned and then sanitised to reduce risk of the virus, an approved cleaner should be used and full details can be found at www.gov.uk. Usually an antibacterial product should be used.

Keep kitchen & bathroom areas clean

Office and shared kitchen areas are particularly prone to bacteria. These areas should be cleaned on a regular basis with a suitable antibacterial cleaner. You should ensure you pay particular attention to sink and any appliances that employees use on a regular basis. During COVID-19 you should use an approved cleaner

Keep the office/building rubbish free

Bins can be breading grounds for bacteria and other bugs, have bins placed strategically around the office and building (more bins aren’t always better) Bins should have liners and should be emptied regularly.

Have a tidy desk policy

Messy desks can be a distraction but cluttered desks are also more difficult to clean. Desks are high touch points and should be cleaned and sanitised regularly to help maintain a healthy work place.

Have a system

Have a cleaning system that you work to, know what area you are cleaning when. This way you know that you are cleaning all of the areas when they should be and will be less likely to miss spots.

Clean high touch point areas more frequently

High touch point areas are just that, they are being touched more frequently than other areas, so they should be cleaned more frequently than other areas to help keep them clean. This is especially important during the COVID-19 to help reduce any spread of infection.

Get the professionals to do it for you

As a business owner or manager, you probably have more important things to spend your time doing than the cleaning, so outsourcing the cleaning to a professional contract cleaning company is a good choice to make. Your cleaning can be fully managed for you and right cleaning company will focus on the day to day cleaning so you can focus on your business.

 

How ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Swansea have managed our cleaning teams provided cleaning for our clients over the COVID-19 crisis….

The COVID-19 lockdown has been a challenging few months so far for most, ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services was no exception. Although fortunate enough to not have to close completely like many businesses, a lot of changes needed to be implemented to be able to continue to provide services where required and operate safely.

Jonathan Gethin from ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Swansea explains how they managed changes within their business, operations & services to enable them to continue to operate.

How we have been working

“When lockdown was first announced, our first priority was to ensure that our management team could work from home, but also ensure that we could organise and manage the company and our cleaning teams efficiently. Our next priority was to ensure that we kept in touch with both our clients and staff by sending regular communications with any legislation that may affect them or us and the service we provide.

It was important to us to ensure that our clients were aware that we were fully operational and could meet their cleaning requirements if they needed to stay open, and to convey the steps that we had taken to ensure that we could work within the government guidelines to keep them, our staff and ourselves safe, as well as prepare them for any steps that may have to be taken in the future.

We advised clients that we would do everything possible (in our power) to keep disruption of service to a minimum, but due to the ‘environment’ some disruption may not be avoidable, every client had been updated on a regular basis. Thankfully, disruption of service was avoidable due to our effective contingency planning; and redistribution of a number of staff members from sites that had closed to cover other staff who had to shield.

In the week leading up to and the first weeks of lockdown, we were contacted by many of our clients to discuss their contracted cleaning provision going forward. It was inevitable that some requested to temporarily suspend their contracts; others wanted to ensure we could fulfil their ongoing cleaning needs, some clients that had to remain open, even wanted to increase their cleaning hours to ensure increased levels of cleaning and hygiene could be maintained.

How we have helped our clients

Many of our clients that stayed open have added additional ‘touch point cleaning’ to ensure the sanitation of touch points throughout the building. We also altered the cleaning time for some clients so that our cleaners would be on site out of working hours to avoid unnecessary contact with others and help with social distancing.

To meet the needs of our existing clients we purchased extra SaniMaster 6 products (SaniMaster 6 is ServiceMaster’s antibacterial and virucidal cleaning solution), and distributed to all cleaning staff to ensure sanitizing of work stations – we also instructed all cleaning staff to pay particular attention to touch points during the clean.

We provide cleaning services to over 20 doctor surgeries/medical facilities and a couple of these have required ‘deep cleaning’ of Covid-19 Testing Hubs. We have managed to service these areas additional to the regular cleaning by either working closely with another company offering ‘fogging services’, or by providing PPE and deep cleaning consulting rooms with suspected COVID-19 patients.

On occasion we have provided additional services on top of our standard contract cleaning; as mentioned above we have been working closely with another company who has been providing a daily fogging service to one NHS contract in particular. On another NHS site we have provided deep cleaning for a COVID-19 testing hub.

Additionally; we have provided products and consumables such as antibacterial sprays, wipes and hand sanitizers as well as source dispensers and hand sanitizers for clients who have been open and clients who had closed and are now preparing to reopen. We sourced 50 dispensers and hand sanitizers alone for a car dealership group ready for their reopening.

It was important for us to be able to stay in regular contact with our clients. With almost all of our management team working from home, a skeleton team remained office based to answer phone calls and redirect them to the relevant person. It also allows us to keep on top of cleaning products and consumable deliveries with a delivery driver coming into the warehouse twice per week. This has allowed us to continue as business as usual for all of our clients.

We did suspend all contracts managers visits to fall in line with the only travel when necessary guidance. Instead our contracts managers have been contacting customers via telephone/email instead.

As the country has been allowed to reopen and for our clients, we have been able to restart their cleaning contracts almost immediately.

We have also found that although some clients have decreased cleaning hours due to financial constraints, many have actually increased their hours; all have requested extra consumables such as hand sanitizers and wipes etc.

To meet this returning and additional demand swiftly, we brought cleaning teams back from furlough as and when their sites have reopened. We also have several cleaners who were not put on furlough and were able to cover additional sites.

Customer service

At ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Swansea, we always pride ourselves on our customer service. We have been in constant contact with our clients who have not only remained open but also those that had to close, so that they knew we were here to help when needed.

Our contracts managers have been working tirelessly to ensure client’s needs are met and as little disruption has occurred as possible. Just one of our supervisors has been furloughed to ensure that we can continue to offer full supervision to all of our open sites. As more of our clients open, each supervisor assesses which staff need to come off of furlough to ensure that we can deliver the required service levels.

As more industries have started to open, we have had enquiries from many new prospects looking for a cleaning service after lock down, we are slowly starting to take on these new clients as our current workforce and supervisors capacity allows.

Many of our new enquiries are coming from companies that have been managing the cleaning in house or did it themselves, they are now looking for a professional company to manage the cleaning so that they can reopen and put their staff minds at ease.

In summary

The knowledge and contacts that we have within the cleaning industry is a big positive. We have managed to outsource cleaning requirements where necessary whilst managing it all for the client, such as the fogging service. We have also been able to obtain mass numbers of consumables required, which our clients would have struggled to obtain without our supplier base.

The cleaning products that we use such as SaniMaster 6 and the bespoke and detailed cleaning regimes that we put in place has given our clients the peace of mind that their building is being cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis and keeping them, their staff and their customers or visitors safe.

It’s a common misconception that cleaning and disinfecting are the same thing. To put it simply, cleaning is the process of removing dirt and disinfection is the process of removing or controlling the spread of viruses and bacteria.

In order to do the latter, you must first, clean!

Here are our tips on cleaning and disinfecting:

  1. Use effective products
    Always read the label – Most cleaning products will have a list of the dirt they can remove and the same goes for disinfection products for listing the viruses and bacteria that they are effective against with proper use.
  1. Follow the label instructions
    Instructions on how to use the product effectively can also be found on the label. It’s important to read these, as instructions from product to product may vary. Some require use on a wet surface, some say to spray on to a cloth, not the surface directly and others say that that the product needs to be wiped off after a period of time. It’s important to use the product properly to ensure that the product is effective.
  1. PPE & Equipment
    It’s a good idea to protect yourself whilst using cleaning and disinfection products. Products can get in to broken skin or in to your eyes and cause irritation. Goggles and gloves can help to minimise this risk whilst spraying and wiping in particular.

    It’s best to use a microfibre cloth to clean and disinfect with. The micro fibres in the cloth give you better contact with the surface so that you can use the product more effectively. They can also be machine washed afterwards – just remember to wash all cloths separate to any clothing, bedding or other household textiles and at a high temperature.

  1. Keep it clean!
    That goes for your hands and surfaces.

    Remember to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Regular hand washing helps to minimise the spread of viruses and infections.

    Highly touched surfaces such as door handles, light switches, television remotes etc need regular attention. Ensure that they are free of any dirt and then disinfect.

The last couple of months have been tough for many local businesses and services as they were forced to temporarily close in March when lockdown was put in place; but some had to remain open. Schools, GP surgeries and some businesses all had to remain open to provide vital services. Staying open to provide these valuable services also created its own challenges, keeping staff, patients and pupils safe had new hurdles to overcome.

ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Guildford (Owned by Siva Kugathas) provide daily and weekly cleaning for lots of local businesses, schools, nurseries and healthcare providers all year round; and as their client’s needs changed, they were able to adapt working patterns to ensure that their cleaning staff could meet the increased demand on some of their client’s sites to ensure that they could continue to operate safely.

Not only have ServiceMaster Guildford managed to meet the changing needs of their existing clients but, Siva and his team were more than equipped to help new clients that needed additional cleaning support during the crisis to help them to stay open safely. Suitable PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) was provided for all of the cleaning staff that kept working to help keep both them and their clients safe. All ServiceMaster Guildford staff received and continue to receive regular communication to ensure they are up to date with changing requirements.

It has long been ServiceMaster Guildfords aim to establish a long-term relationship with their clients in which they play a key role in enhancing the image, cleanliness and hygiene of their clients premises.

In 2018 ServiceMaster Guildford invested in EShield technology, a disinfection system using electrostatic sprayers. They were the first approved users of the patented EShield technology in the UK, and this technology has enabled them to also provide COVID-19 sanitisation within 24 hours of a call from their client. ServiceMaster Guildford have sanitised offices and factories that had had positive COVID-19 cases, enabling them to reopen their premises to resume their services as soon as possible. The requirements for general deep cleans and sanitisation is also increasing as more businesses and services are allowed to open.

Siva’s priority is to go above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service, he is working with all of his clients to help them to continue to operate by implementing new or reviewing current cleaning processes to help make it safe for all.

As we change the way we work and live to the ‘new normal’ and adapt to try and reduce the risks of COVID-19, our knowledge and understanding of professional cleaning services should be clarified so we fully understand what we really need to help reduce risk.

For those that manage facilities, be they general offices, schools or medical practices, it is more important now more than ever to know the differences between cleaning, disinfection, sanitisation and sterilisation – because these terms have specific meanings and their implementation produces different levels of health and safety protection in your workplace.

As a commercial cleaning company with more than 60 years of experience in the UK, all ServiceMaster Clean cleaning operatives know the differences in cleaning terminology and the products, methods and procedures required to achieve a clean, safe and healthy working environment.

To help you communicate effectively with your commercial cleaning providers and help prevent the spread of any infection at your premises, the following are definitions for key cleaning terms:

Cleaning is using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove visible dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of infection.

Disinfection kills germs on surfaces or objects through the use of chemical products. The disinfection process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, disinfection can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitisation means reducing the number of germs and microorganisms on surfaces or objects to a safe level. Sanitising is performed after cleaning, by disinfecting surfaces or objects to an approved level that further lowers the risk of spreading infection.

Sterilisation involves the use of high levels of heat, chemicals or other procedures to remove all microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, spores and fungi, from surfaces or objects. Sterilising is rarely required or performed outside of healthcare setting such as hospital operating rooms.

If carried out correctly, cleaning and disinfecting procedures will produce sanitary results. At ServiceMaster Clean, our professional commercial cleaners are experts in creating clean, safe and healthy work environments. We have the experience and resources and national support to help maintain and promote safe practices for infection control for our clients.

We can help you implement effective cleaning, disinfection, sanitisation and sterilisation protocols for your business, school or healthcare facility. Get in touch with your local ServiceMaster Clean and ask how they can help Find your nearest.

DISCLAIMER – COVID-19 is an emerging pathogen and new information becomes available on a regular basis. The information presented here is based on reports available at the time this article was written, in May 2020, and is derived from several sources including the World Health Organization, ServiceMaster Canada, UK Research & Innovation and other sources. The information contained in this article may be updated at any point by the organizations mentioned herein. It is the responsibility of every business to stay current on new information regarding COVID-19 as it emerges. This article should not be construed to be the totality of all information available on COVID-19.

There is information everywhere you look about the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, sometimes it is difficult working out fact from fiction so we have collated a variety of reputable links that will be kept up to date with reliable information.

Health Information & Advice:

Advice for the public from the World Health Organisation

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Health advise from the NHS

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Government Advice for Employees, & employers (Dept for Business Energy and Ind Strategy)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

NHS online self-assessment

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 if you think you have symptoms.

COVID 19 Official Infection Rate Stats England Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland

COVID-19 Cases Update (Public Health England)
https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/f94c3c90da5b4e9f9a0b19484dd4bb14

Information about Financial Support:

Government Guidance for employees (Dept for Business Energy and Ind Strategy & Public Health England)

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

Government support for businesses affected by Covid 19

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Banking Group Solutions for businesses affected by COVID19

Lloyds
https://www.thebfa.org/expert-advice/lloyds-banking-group-ready-to-support-uk-small-businesses-impacted-by-covid-19/
HSBC
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In these unprecedented times, you, like many others around the world may be feeling a little low in spirits. Things may seem a little gloomy but there are rays of positivity shining through.  

I’ve put together a little blog on some of the lovely things which I’ve seen in the last few days in the hope of sharing a little happiness.  

Rainbows Pictures Springing up in Windows 

The trend started online, following the closure of UK schools on Friday 20th March.  

With the view of “spreading hope” the rainbows also provide a lovely bit of positivity for when you are out and about during your daily exercise. If you’re out for a walk / run / cycle, see how many are around in your area.  

Balcony Singing, Italy

You’ve more than likely seen some of the balcony singing taking place throughout Italy recently.  

Here’s one of the best video’s I’ve seen of music bringing people together, boosting morale and staying positive.  

Fortunately for my neighbours, I won’t be recreating this anytime soon! 

 

 

Connecting More  

 Last week I downloaded the “House Party” app. It’s essentially a video call app with function for multiple participants. It’s less formal than other video calling platforms such as Microsoft Teams and really simple to use. My family all enjoyed a drink and a catch up together on Mother’s Day via the app with extended family from further away too. Something which we most likely wouldn’t have done without the social distancing measures in place. Somehow, I think we all feel the need to connect even more with people at the moment.  

Support for our NHS workers 

On Thursday 26th March, Lincoln Cathedral will glow blue as a mark of support to our amazing NHS workers: 

This will be followed by the Nationwide “Clap for our Carers” campaign at 8pmWhereby, people across the UK can clap from their gardens, front doors and balconies to show their support and give thanks to doctors, nurses, carers, GPs, pharmacists and other NHS staff, working tirelessly to help those affected by the coronavirus. 

Supermarkets are already showing their gratitude to NHS workers such as in this clip from Tesco in Swansea, where staff applauded and gave flowers during designated NHS staff shopping hour. 

 

And finally, a brilliant video of staff at Basildon NHS keeping themselves motivated in these challenging times… 

 

 

 

Well, this is different! Being a fulltime working mum, homeschooling wasn’t something I had planned for and if you’re here reading this, I doubt you did eitherBut here I am and I’m trying my best to keep some normality as much as I can considering what’s going on in the world right now. 

I have two children, one of Primary School age and one in Secondary School, my challenge is to keep them entertained and somewhat educated while I work full time, from home (mostly) 

Keep To A School Day Routine  

To keep disruption to a minimum and help keep the kids focussed on their schoolwork, try sticking to a school day routine as much as you can. 

We are starting school at 9am each school day, and Ive found a fantastic YouTube channel ‘The Body Coach’ who are streaming live PE videos each school day. Take a look here – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAxW1XT0iEJo0TYlRfn6rYQ 

What better way to keep the kids active and get them ready for learning? If you want to know why exercising in the morning is so beneficial, this is a useful read: https://www.myactivesg.com/read/2018/2/6-reasons-why-morning-exercise-is-important-for-your-health 

Scheduling The Kids Day 

Most schools have provided a good number of online resources, so why not structure your learning day/week into a school timetable. Evidence shows that children do best when they can follow a routine, this will also make it easier for you to keep on top of things.  

  MONDAY  TUESDAY  WEDNESDAY  THURSDAY 
09.00 – 09.30  PE  PE  PE  PE 
09.30 – 10.15  MATHS  MATHS  MATHS  MATHS 
10.15 – 10.30  BREAK  BREAK  BREAK  BREAK 
10.30 – 11.45  ENGLISH  ENGLISH  ENGLISH  ENGLISH 
11.45 –  13.00  ART/CRAFT  ART/CRAFT  ART/CRAFT  ART/CRAFT 

 

Shhhh… I’m thinking of doing the Science bit at the weekend so I can have some fun too! 

Don’t forget, it’s also important to allow time for the kids to have fun and to entertain themselves, all work and no play is going to make this a long journey and well, we’ve got work to do too. 

If you are looking for more inspiration from an education point of view, below are some other links to a wide range of websites with homeschooling ideas. 

https://www.homeschooling-ideas.com/home-school-ideas.html 

https://www.netmums.com/coffeehouse/education-1071/home-education-873/653184-ideas-homeschooling.html 

https://www.edplace.com/blog/homeschooling/lesson-planning-and-ideas-home-education-days-across-the-uk 

https://www.homeschool-activities.com/ 

https://www.theschoolrun.com/home-education-step-by-step

Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained 

Are you looking for ways to entertain the kids that isn’t YouTube or computer games? 

Make the most of your garden or outside space, we all need some fresh air and sunshine, yes, it is out as I sit here writing this, stuck in the office and looking out of the window. As we all need a bit of a break from work and learning, I thought I’d also share a range of websites with ideas for fun things to do, so here you are: 

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/craft-ideas/how-to/g1389/diy-kids-activities/  

https://www.toucanbox.com/activities/fun-things-to-do-at-home-with-your-kids 

https://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/best-indoor-kid-crafts-activities.html 

https://www.verywellfamily.com/absolutely-free-activities-for-kids-2997490 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/gardening_with_children/ 

https://www.rhs.org.uk/education-learning/gardening-children-schools/family-activities/Activities 

YouTube Channels: 

  • Crash Course Kids 
  • Science Channel 
  • SciShow Kids 
  • National  Geographic Kids 
  • Free School 
  • Geography Focus 
  • TheBrainScoop 
  • SciShow 
  • Kids Learning Tube 
  • Geeek Gurl Diaries 
  • Mike Likes Science 
  • Science Max 
  • SoulPancake 

 This isn’t going to be easy by any means, I’ve already needed to remind my kids that this isn’t a holiday but hopefully, this will help keep you sane that little bit longer and at least give you some ideas to help you through it.  

My Own Personal Favourites;  

  • Home economics – Teach them how to make a cup of tea, for me of course, as I’m busy working!
  • Science – How washing up liquid removes grease from the saucepan and other cooking utensils
  • Mechanical Engineering – How to operate a hoover, the kids always think it’s a hard job! 

Written by Vicky, Commercial Marketing Manager and Full Time Mum 

With all that’s going on in the world now, everyone needs to understand what the differences between Social Distancing, Isolation and Quarantine are.

There is a difference between each of these terms and we’ll explain the difference below.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing should be practised by everyone, whether or not they are exposed to the virus.

Social Distancing includes avoiding handshakes, crowds and staying at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from people.

Working from home/Remote Working has been recommended by the government when possible and if showing any symptoms, you should be self-isolating.

What is Isolation?

Isolation is for those who have been either diagnosed with COVID-19 or showing symptoms of the virus.

Isolation serves as a deterrent to keep the infected away from the healthy in order to stop the spread of the virus. This applies to anyone living with someone showing symptoms, anyone with an underlying health condition or anyone over the age of 70.

What is Quarantine?

Quarantine is the restriction on the movement of people, which is intended to prevent the spread of disease. Preventing the movement of those who may have been exposed to a COVID-19, but do not have a confirmed case.

This is the current situation in countries like Italy & Spain to which they have issued a nationwide quarantine and restricted everyone from leaving their homes as much as they can.

Here are a few small graphics that we’ll be sharing on social media as well that you can share if you like:

Social DistancingIsolationQuarantine

Proper hand hygiene is the number one way to reduce the risk of infection and it’s important to wash your hands frequently and properly, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Here is the proper way to wash your hands as recommended by NHS:

How to Wash Your Hands Correctly

  1. Wash your hands under warm running water
  2. Apply soap and rub palms together to ensure complete coverage
  3. Spread the soap over the back of your hands
  4. Make sure the soap gets in between each of your fingers
  5. Grip the fingers on each hand, ensuring you cover each finger with soap
  6. Rub both thumbs into a clenched fist
  7. Press fingertips into the palm of each hand
  8. Rub your knuckles on the opposite palm
  9. Dry thoroughly with a disposable paper towel

Other Tips on Hand Washing

Your hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds, of which you can keep track of by singing Happy Birthday twice.

An acceptable alternative to hand washing is to use an alcohol-based sanitiser, with at least 60%. When possible, wash your hands using the above method as this is more effective against viruses.

Here is a graphic we put together to show you the different stages of the above method:

Download handwashing graphic here

Here is a recipe to create your own hand sanitiser if you’re having trouble finding any in the shops.

What you’ll need

  • 2/3 cup 99% rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
  • 1/3 cup 100% pure aloe vera gel
  • Optional: 8-10 drops essential oil for smell
  • Bowl and spoon
  • Funnel
  • Empty squeeze Bottle
  • Gloves
Step 1: Mix the rubbing alcohol, aloe vera and optional essential oil in a bowl with a spoon. Be careful to keep the pure alcohol away from your skin (use gloves when and where you can)
Step 2: Funnel the mixture into the empty bottle. Screw the pump cap back on and you now have hand sanitiser.

DIY Hand Sanitiser Warnings

As easy as it sounds to make your own hand sanitiser, you should all be aware that rubbing alcohol in high quantities can damage your skin. Make sure you stick to the 2:1 proportion to keep the alcohol content around 60%. You must use gloves while mixing and follow up sanitisation with hand moisturiser.
And we hope it goes without saying that hand sanitiser alone is not enough and isn’t going to protect you from getting sick. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water when it’s available, and limit how much you touch your face.
Quick Tip for washing hands: Sing Happy Birthday twice while cleaning your hands.
If you need your office clean at all during the outbreak then find your nearest ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services and contact us today.
Good handwashing practice is one of the most important steps we can take to combat the spread of germs to others within the workplace. 

Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands properly with soap and clean running water.

Germs on unwashed hands can be transferred to other areas within the workplace, like door handles, handrails, table tops, phones or laptops and transmitted your colleagues. This can lead to sickness as they will regularly touch their nose, eyes or mouth without knowing it.

Bacteria and germs are also spread through food and drink and some germs will multiply in certain foods.

Removing germs through good handwashing can help prevent stomach bugs, respiratory infections and according to the CDC, hand washing reduces the number of sick people with stomach bugs by 31% and the number of people with colds by 16-21%.

At ServiceMaster Clean, we’re big advocates for ensuring everyone knows about good hand washing practice.

The proper handwashing practice

Follow this simple guide to good hand washing to help remove as many germs as possible…

  • Wet your hands under warm clean running water
  • Apply soap and create a lather by rubbing your hands together – using regular soap as opposed to antibacterial is just as effective if used correctly
  • Spread the lather across your hands, onto the backs of your hands, in between your fingers for at least 20 seconds
  • With soapy hands, grip the fingers on each hand, clean in the creases of your thumbs and press your fingertips into your palms to get under your fingernails
  • Rinse your hands well under clean running water
  • Dry your hands well on a clean towel or air dryer and make sure they are completely dry!
  • Turn off the tap using your clean towel remember your dirty hands just turned the tap on
  • Dispose of the paper towel responsibly by recycling where you can

good handwashing

What about hand sanitiser?

Hand sanitisers are a great addition to your germ-killing arsenal! Most sanitisers do not kill all germs so they should be used as an additional resource rather than instead of a good hand wash.

With a good squirt of hand sanitiser in one palm, rub your hands together well and spread it over your hands and fingernails until it’s dry.

If you’ve experienced an outbreak of a virus in the office, you can always call on ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services to provide a deep-clean and fully sanitise of the property. Click here to find your local ServiceMaster Clean.

Many small businesses find that in order to save money with their cleaning they will “share the cleaning between the staff” or “I do it myself when I have a spare few minutes” or “a friend comes in once a week to give it a once over”.

This is all well and good but when you break down the actual costs of “doing it yourself” you will soon find that this approach is actually costing you more!!
Cleaning it yourself…..
A small business with an office to will usually consist of a few desks, washroom, small kitchen and reception/entrance so on the face of it does not require much attention.

Cleaning Yourself vs Contract Cleaning

Where as the truth is the Office has desks, chairs, bins, computers, drawers, units, skirting’s, carpet, phones, switches, extinguishers, windows, windowsills, lights. The Kitchen has hard floor, units, work tops, microwave, fridge, toaster (with crumbs) skirting’s, bin and the Washrooms have the toilet bowl, Hard floor, sink, taps, pipes, door…..

So when it comes to cleaning’ a small office can become much larger and the “few minutes” can become a good hour!

  • This is just the basics of cleaning and when we go more in depth are you using the right Techniques?
  • Is the ‘friend who helps out’ Insured against damages? Have they been trained on how to Safely Use the chemicals and what to do if an Accident happens?
  • If they go on Holiday who do you get to come in and help?
  • Then there is the Equipment!
  • Is the equipment such as the Vacuum suitable for the job?
  • Have they been PAT Tested?
  • What do you do if the Vacuum Breaks or suddenly stops working?
  • The Mop Heads need changing and you also need new Cloths!
  • The Chemicals you have bought from the shop, are they Suitable for the job?
  • Do these chemicals have COSHH and MSDS Sheets?
  • Is the equipment Colour Coded to eliminate Cross Contamination?
  • If you run out of Toilet Cleaner, Floor Cleaner, Surface Spray do you have to dash out to the supermarket to buy some more?

Running the company office is your main priority……..

Let cleaning the company office be ours

To the majority of Small Business owners the various aspects of cleaning mentioned above would not cross their mind, it didn’t me until I began working with ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services, but all are important and need taking into consideration to not only keep your office clean but also safe and hygienic too.

Factor in that with the Cost and Time taken to purchase the Chemicals, the Equipment, the Maintenance and Repair, organise someone to Cover “The Friend” when they are off and to check that they are Cleaning to your Standards.
These are all things to be considered but most importantly do you as a business owner have the Free Time to organise the cleaning, the Free Time to take an hour to clean the office or the Free Time to buy and replace things that the cleaner needs?

My bet is no…but we do.

At ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services we have the time to provide you with all the safe and documented equipment and chemicals you need, we have the time to ensure cover is provided if the cleaner is off, we have the time to replace broken equipment and most importantly we have the time to ensure you are getting the service you deserve.

Having Contract Cleaners such as ServiceMaster in place may look like an added cost to your business but when you look a little deeper, it is not as much as you may think!

 

Find out more about our services here