Losing the ground war against food contamination

In the high-pressure environment of food service, lapses in hygiene make casualties of customers, reputations and even businesses. James White of Denis Rawlins Ltd focuses on a forgotten front in the war against food contamination where outdated methods abet the enemy.

Safeguarding food safety is a constant battle, requiring consistently high standards in processing and storage, personal hygiene, staff training and supervision, and cleaning.

One slip – not washing hands, under-cooking food, failing to chill it properly, cross-contaminating cooked ingredients via a surface or knife used for raw meat – and the consequences for customers and the business can be catastrophic. So in the heat of the kitchen, it’s not surprising if the surface that staff stand on is not seen as a major risk.

Yet the contaminants lurking beneath our feet can easily be transferred to hands and utensils. The risks from poorly cleaned floors are not so well appreciated. And this is where the battle against the ever-present threat of germs and pathogens can often be lost.

Kitchens generate greasy soils that coat floor surfaces. In this warm and damp environment bacteria multiply, especially in crevices and grout lines between tiles. Workers’ footwear also tracks dirt and invisible microbes from other areas, including toilets and washrooms, into cleaned areas. So, whether floors look clean or not, they can end up harbouring a stomach-churning mix of microbes.

Studies in the US and elsewhere have shown not only that floors can become reservoirs of health-threatening pathogens, but also how staff have many direct and indirect contact with floors every day. This could be tying a trailing shoe lace, picking up a dropped utensil, gathering an electrical cord from the floor, or lifting a carton of food that had been placed there.

It’s estimated that 70% of all floors in the UK are still mopped by hand, and that includes many kitchens as well as dining areas. The obvious problem with mopping is it spreads rather than removes soil. Even if cleaning solution and mop heads are changed frequently, mopping inevitably returns some of the soils to the floor. And a mop cannot be expected to dislodge dirt ingrained in crevices.

This whole process – mopping with a degreaser or bleach, and then rinsing with ‘clean’ water – is as laborious and time-consuming as it is ineffective. Moreover, in this constant war against germs, mopping is effectively aiding and abetting the enemy. Hence the Denis Rawlins campaign to Chop the Mop.

In kitchens, or any environment where hygiene matters, cleaning has to remove soil, leaving a sanitised surface. For floors, this means dispensing fresh cleaning solution and recovering the liquid along with soils, by suction or squeegee. Whether this is achieved mechanically by a scrubber dryer or other machine, it’s also essential the floor is left virtually dry and thus safe to walk on.

Food factories test work surfaces to check they’re not contaminated. We too advocate science-based cleaning, and have extended this to floors and touch points, including those in washrooms. Like the food industry, we use ATP meters to measure the universal (adenosine triphosphate) marker for animal, bacterial and mould cells. We test before and after cleaning to show how effective the process is. And we have researched the global market for cleaning equipment to identify the most hygienic and cost-effective methods.

We were impressed by a comparatively low-tech cleaning system that achieves very high standards. As a supplier of wide range of cleaning equipment, we were struck by how this modular system could match more sophisticated, and expensive, technology.

This was borne out by a three-way test by university scientists who compared manual microfibre mopping, a scrubber dryer and the OmniFlexTM system. Based on a patented trolley bucket, as components are added it can be configured to dispense and vac, spray and squeegee, or spray and vac.

The tests involved a solution of Escherichia coli (the E. coli organism responsible for many food poisoning outbreaks) with ‘before’ and ‘after’ measurements using ATP monitors and bacteria plates.

The microfibre mop at best removed less than 51% of the soil, but that dropped to 24% as the plates revealed how the mop dragged bacteria from dirty areas back into cleaner parts of the floor.

By contrast, more than 99% of the bacteria were removed by the scrubber dryer. Significantly, the same standard was achieved by the AutoVac – which is the OmniFlex unit with a drop-down squeegee head.

The Food Service Dispense and Vac uses the same technology as the AutoVac, is simple to use, even for kitchen or casual staff with minimal training. It has proven its effectiveness and productivity cleaning hard floors in the manufacturer Kaivac’s native US, becoming a staple floor cleaning machine in the food service sector.

Studies show the OmniflexTM Dispense and Vac is 30-60 times more effective than a mop and bucket. At least one fast food chain halved its cleaning time while achieving superior cleaning results for no more than its annual spend on mops and buckets.

Given our Chop the Mop mission this is compelling, as it means that food processors and outlets using traditional methods can save money while raising the standards of hygiene in their premises.

 

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An ally in the germ war

Infectious outbreaks may seem like a risk too far to control. But facilities managers should know they have a trusty ally in fogging, says Ashley White, Commercial and Safety Manager of cleaning and FM services specialist Nviro.

An essential element of the facilities manager’s job is ensuring the health and safety of the people who work in or visit the building. From avoiding slip and trip hazards to monitoring air conditioning systems to guard against legionella, the risks to be managed are legion.

The threat posed by bugs and microbes is not new, but the expectation that building managers need to consider infection control is spreading. More employers are concerned about workers’ wellbeing. Minds have also been concentrated by outbreaks of the Norovirus winter vomiting bug and contingency planning for bird and swine ’flu pandemics.

Whether reacting to – or pre-empting – a germ attack, there are a variety of weapons available to facilities managers and their cleaning teams.

Common methods include deploying hand sanitisers in wash rooms and communal areas, steam cleaning of both soft and hard surfaces, and wall-mounted sanitisation units that use UV light to decontaminate air in toilets and elsewhere.

Until relatively recently, chemical fogging had not been so commonplace outside industrial clean rooms and food factories, but it’s a method with benefits that facilities managers should understand.

Modern biocides now mean that bio-fogging is a highly cost-effective sanitisation technique. Also, fogging no longer entails major disruption or health risks of its own from potentially toxic chemicals.

The water-based anti-microbial we use is non-hazardous, odourless and non-corrosive to materials and surfaces. This solution is harmless to the environment and does not require rinsing. The only real concern is the potential for an allergic reaction for people in the area during fogging.

As the anti-microbial is sprayed as a fine mist, fogging must be done outside working or opening hours. And cleaning staff need to take all necessary precautions, wearing the PPE recommended for the agent used.

A biocide is effective against airborne viruses and bacteria because the fine particles in the fog remain suspended in the air long enough to kill them. These particles also spread throughout the space being treated, settling on surfaces, including walls and ceilings, furniture and floors.

An effective biocide – we recommend using a solution with four different biocides to combat any resistant bacteria – will eliminate a very wide spectrum of microbes and pathogens. These include E. coli, MRSA, C. difficile, listeria, salmonella and Legionella pneumophilia.

In practice, the effectiveness of fogging will be limited only by failure to deliver sufficient biocide or obstacles that stop it reaching the surfaces in a room. A fogger machine is not difficult to operate, while evidence strips can be used to check that enough of the agent has been delivered.

Dust, debris and other extraneous materials are more likely to come between the biocide and the sanitised surface that fogging can achieve. Which is why a thorough deep clean is essential in advance of fogging.

While facilities managers may trust the evidence of their eyes when judging the standard of a deep clean, we recommend a more scientific approach when it comes to sanitisation.

Microbes and all living things produce the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which can be accurately measured. A hand-held luminometer gives a ready indicator of living cells on a surface. So it’s practicable to take ATP readings before and after fogging, and thus test its effectiveness.

We have carried out many trials both in the Nviro offices and on clients’ premises, and the results show a dramatic reduction in ATP levels after fogging.

Moreover, the sanitisation effect is not short-lived. Chemical suppliers claim that fogging agents have a residual efficacy against contamination that can last for months. The chemical continues acting as a bactericide and virucide, so that – if applied following an outbreak of infection – it can help prevent repeat outbreaks. Our own testing showed that ATP readings after several weeks had not returned to the levels recorded before fogging, indicating that surfaces were not being re-contaminated as one might expect.

ATP data can be used by facilities managers to gauge the cleanliness of common touch points in their buildings, and the effectiveness of a cleaning regime. But it can also be used to demonstrate the value of enhanced cleaning; to inform fellow managers, including those responsible for health, safety and welfare; and to justify the cost of sanitisation.

Fogging agents are more expensive than conventional cleaning solutions, and the service provider must invest in the necessary fogger machines, luminometers, PPE and staff training.

But the results we have achieved give us and clients confidence that fogging is a cost-effective sanitisation technique. This may be most apparent when an infectious outbreak has caused high levels of illness and disruption, perhaps with loss of business or reputational damage.

But every organisation should consider what role sanitisation, including fogging, should play in its contingency planning, if not its annual cleaning plan. For clients aiming to minimise the risk to employees or customers of ‘flu or other contagious infections, we recommend that areas are fogged twice a year to maintain a good level of protection. Facilities managers should be reassured that in the germ war they have a powerful ally.

http://www.nviro.co.uk

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A clean air conditioning system: the key to lower building costs and fresher air

Good air conditioning hygiene increases a building’s energy efficiency, lowers its carbon footprint, improves indoor air quality and saves building managers time, energy and money. Barry Lea, Chairman of Advanced Engineering, explains why – and offers essential advice to facilities managers on preventative A/C maintenance.

Does your building surround people with fresh, beautifully clean, air-conditioned luxury? Or does it subject them to odd smells, allergies and air-conditioning misery?

If the coils of your air conditioning system are dirty, the results will include unpleasant odours, allergic reactions and the spread of diseases. In short, poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

All of these avoidable symptoms stem from the microbes that gather and breed in dirt collecting on the air conditioning coils and in their associated condensate trays.

Take away the dirt and these objectionable organisms will have nowhere to live.

What’s more, by keeping your coils clean you will increase the effectiveness, energy efficiency and service life of the air conditioning system – which means major cost savings for you.

The costs

The dirt coating any air conditioning coil’s surfaces acts as an insulating blanket, seriously affecting its ability to function effectively.

To achieve the same cooling effect, your system has to work harder, using more energy and putting extra pressure on its components – particularly the compressor, an expensive item to replace.

If the compressor were to fail, it could lead to water leakage and damage to the very fabric of your building.

Dirty air conditioning coils can cause many varied problems:

  • Reduced heat transfer within the system
  • Decreased capacity to cool
  • Increased energy consumption
  • Increased operating pressures and temperatures
  • Increased wear on the system, which can lead to component damage, system malfunctions and reduced life expectancy
  • Reduced building energy efficiency
  • Poor indoor air quality and potential for contamination (evaporators only)

The microbes

Changes to the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) are one of the first things to be noticed by building occupants.

The main culprits involved in poor IAQ are fungi, bacteria and viruses. As we all know, bacterial activity often causes nasty smells. Fungi produce spores and defensive toxins which, along with the dead cells, waste materials and other by-products of the microbe colony, can trigger allergic reactions.

The bacteria and viruses include a number of organisms that cause disease in humans via airborne infection. All of these contaminants are constantly being pumped into the air by dirty systems.

Preventative maintenance

To avoid all of the problems described above, coil cleaning needs to become part of a planned regime of routine maintenance.

Advanced Engineering recommend a three-stage treatment process:

  1. Clean and disinfect the coil and condensate tray.

Use a good quality combined cleaner and disinfectant… one that meets the appropriate British and European Standards for both bactericide and fungicide. Examples include “SuperClean”, “CondenCide”, “EnviroCoil”, “EasyFoam” or the RTU range of products.

  1. Apply a protective coating to the coil and condensate tray.

This is not rinsed off. It remains in place (depending on the environment) for a minimum of 6 to 12 months, acting like a non-stick layer, preventing dirt and microbes sticking to the treated surfaces. The “CondenCide” and “Guardian” cleaning products are designed for this.

  1. Place a disinfectant strip in the condensate tray.

“StayClean” strips will slowly leach out a disinfectant, killing any microbes washed into the tray and preventing any further micro-organic growth. This helps control odours, and the “StayClean” and condensate mixture will also clean and disinfect the drain lines as it washes away.

As a finishing touch, a fragrance-enhancing gel (e.g. “SmellyJelly”) can be added to the unit to give a pleasant ‘just-cleaned’ freshness.

For further information on suitable cleaning products for you and your system, or to arrange a free site survey of your air conditioning, visit the Advanced Engineering website at www.advancedengineering.co.uk.

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CLEANING SAFETY FLOORING: TIME TO FACE FACTS

By Peter Daulby, Technical Services Manager of Altro

Since its invention by Altro back in 1947, safety flooring has become indispensable, providing slip resistance and preventing accidents in buildings across the world. Over the years, however, various misconceptions have grown up around how to clean it, and the myths and mumbo jumbo (not to mention the unsubstantiated claims about different detergents) have obscured the facts. So here is a practical, no-nonsense guide to the cleaning of safety flooring.

Altro2The right kit

The most common mistake is the use of cotton mop heads. This is a bad idea because the surface profile of a safety floor differs significantly to the smooth surface of an ordinary vinyl floor. It incorporates surface aggregates which increase grip between foot/shoe and the floor, reducing the potential to slip. The surface aggregates are of sufficient size and number to break through contaminants reducing the risk of a slip to one in a million. This means, however, that if safety flooring is cleaned with a cotton mop, small fibres from the mop head can snag on these surface aggregates and be left behind after mopping. This increases the likelihood of dirt and contaminant build-up on the surface of the flooring, giving the flooring a disappointing finish and reducing its slip resistance.

The solution is to substitute the cotton mop head for one of the recommended mechanical, manual or steam cleaning processes (step-by-step guides for each of these methods can be found on our website). A deep clean is advisable first, to ensure that any mop head residue has been removed before moving to the new cleaning regime. If you decide to move to a microfibre mop head, look for one with an abrasive aspect which will collect soil without becoming torn.

Spotlight on soil

Another tip is to understand what causes the soiling of your floor. Effective cleaning does not lie in the magical properties of any product or piece of equipment. The key is to identify the nature of the soiling and to choose the most appropriate cleaning regime to tackle it. You can identify key characteristics of soiling as follows:

  1. Is it organic or inorganic?
  2. Is it soluble or insoluble?
  3. If it is insoluble, is it greasy or particulate?
Organic Inorganic
Material that is alive: bacteria etc common where there is food waste (such as kitchens and canteens) or human waste like skin, faeces or blood, (such as bathrooms or hospitals). Materials that are not carbon-based such as glass, salt, rust and brick dust.
Material that is part of a living thing, such as food or sawdust.
Man-made materials such as plastics, mineral oil, paints and glues, common in factories or where building work is underway.

 

If soil is organic it is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and will need disinfecting or steam cleaning.

Soluble Insoluble
Soil that will dissolve in water such as sugar, salt or detergent powder. Soil that won’t dissolve in water, such as oil and skin, that will need detergent to remove it. Other insoluble materials such as plastic fragments or wood shavings can be removed by first stage cleaning, by sweeping or vacuuming.

 

Different types of insoluble soil will demand different cleaning methods.

Insoluble and greasy Insoluble and particulate
Soil which sticks to surfaces and smears when touched. Likely wherever there is food, but also carried on foot into other areas. Soil in powder form, such as sand, skin, washing powder and broken fibres.
Insoluble greasy and particulate soil are typically found together as the powdery soil will stick to any grease it comes into contact with. In this category you may also encounter abrasive soil, which can scratch surfaces, and stubborn/tacky soil which sticks to the surface such as syrup, wax or glue.

Detergents

If the soil requires a detergent, which do you choose? Altro manufacture their own detergent and there are alternatives from other manufacturers, but the crucial factor is the dilution ratio. If cleaning teams are using the ‘glug glug’ method of unmeasured detergent use then you will get a disappointing finish and spend more than necessary on cleaning chemicals. This method can also leave a residue on the flooring which undermines both its slip resistance and its aesthetic impact. A build-up of detergent residue on the surface of flooring can also attract contaminants and encourage bacteria growth. If this is the case, you can carry out a deep clean to remove residue and then introduce a method which ensures correct dilution.

In conclusion, the ‘magical key’ to cleaning safety flooring already lies within the powers of every facilities manager and cleaning professional. One mop head does not fit all. The ‘glug glug’ method of handling detergents does more harm than good, and knowing what you are dealing with in terms of soil will make all the difference. Armed with these facts you can achieve a much better result.

For more information why not visit www.altro.co.uk

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Rawlins unleashes battery AutoVac in UK

 

OmniFlex Crossover Cleaner bridges the mop v scrubber-drier divide

Denis Rawlins Limited has unleashed the battery-powered OmniFlex™ AutoVac™ – a Crossover Cleaning machine designed to do the job of advanced scrubber-driers at a fraction of the cost.

The OmniFlex™ range is a modular cleaning system that allows building managers and cleaners on tight budgets to ‘cross over’ from mopping to hygienic, automated cleaning in easy and highly cost-effective steps.

Topping the OmniFlex™ range, the AutoVac combines the capabilities to, dispense, spread, clean, vacuum and remove soils in a single powerful unit.

Now the even more flexible Battery AutoVac™ version boosts productivity further – to a highly impressive 20,000ft2 (more than 2,000m2) per hour – outdoing all but the largest ride-on scrubber-driers.

Significantly, the Battery AutoVac™ also matches the more complex machines’ cleaning performance. Independent scientific tests in the US showed that the AutoVac™ and a scrubber-drier each removed more than 99% of bacteria from a contaminated floor – compared with just 24% for a microfibre mop.

“This is truly a game-changer in UK cleaning,” said James White, Managing Director of Denis Rawlins Ltd, and the man behind its ‘Chop the Mop’ campaign. “We introduced Kaivac’s OmniFlex™ crossover system to spur the evolution in cleaning. The AutoVac™, and now its battery brother, take that further. It’s revolutionary for clients who need auto-scrubbing efficiency without the cost and complexity of scrubber-driers.”

Other advantages of AutoVac™ versus Scrubber-driers:

  • AutoVac™ is easy to use as it combines the multiple steps required with a scrubber-drier in a single pass.
  • Not just cheaper up front, AutoVac™ is mechanically simple, with few moving parts, and easy to repair – slashing maintenance and unplanned costs.
  • AutoVac™ is a multi-purpose, floorcare system. It can strip and finish floors, and with accessories, it can clean toilets, extract grease and more besides.
  • Scrubber-driers can make hard floors dull by wearing them down. AutoVac™ is more gentle, except with dirt and contaminants, extending the floor’s shine.
  • Light and easy to take apart and reassemble, AutoVac™ can go anywhere – from cleaning stairs to transportation.
  • Switches between mains power cord and lithium-ion battery for ultimate flexibility.

To see the battery OmniFlex™ AutoVac™ in action, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcG98Llotyg

Denis Rawlins Ltd is UK and Ireland distributor for Kaivac, the US manufacturer of the OmniFlex™ Crossover Cleaning and No Touch Cleaning® systems.

Further information is available on the Denis Rawlins Limited website: www.rawlins.co.uk/autovac or contact the sales office on 0121 351 4444.

 

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Mould-busting FILA ACTIVE1 launches in UK

Fila has launched a new active mould remover – FILA ACTIVE1. The new spray treatment is designed for internal walls, floors and cladding; it removes harmful mould allergens, irritants and toxins within minutes and leaves surfaces sanitized. As well as kitchens and bathrooms, FILA ACTIVE1 is ideal for swimming pools, saunas and other areas where excess moisture and condensation gathers.

New FILA ACTIVE1 can be used on stone, terracotta, ceramic, marble and glass tiles, as well as bare plaster, painted walls, concrete and grout joints. To apply FILA ACTIVE1, spray directly onto the contaminated surface.   The treatment is then left to act for 15 minutes, before the surface is wiped with a damp cloth. The ergonomic trigger spray is easy to use and the product’s liquid viscosity is ideal for application onto vertical surfaces. For stubborn mould, a second application may be necessary.

FILA ACTIVE1 is approved by HSE (HEALTH AND SAFETY EXECUTIVE) Registration Number 9667. It is available in 500ml bottles and gives approx. 5-10m2 coverage per unit, depending on the surface absorption rate. For more information, please contact Lisa Breakspear at Fila UK on tel. 01584 877286, email filaUK@filasolutions.com or visit www.filasolutions.com

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Clean gutters for life

Hitchin Girls’ School (HGS) continuously monitors its maintenance costs and their value for money. Gutter and high level indoor cleaning had become outrageously expensive as each task required scaffolding totalling over £5,000 every 2 years.   Gutter cleaning is an essential annual task but budgets only enabled it every 2-3 years.

The result was blocked gutters and downpipes which regularly overflowed causing dampness to the brickwork and expensive rectification.

Tony Hankin, HGS’s Director of Finance and Resources, bought a SpaceVac high level vacuum powered cleaning system to enable annual cleaning of the gutters (four storeys high) and high ledges in the gym.

He said: “The SpaceVac system is an obvious solution – we bought the kit and many accessories including some tools specially made for our needs. This package was less than the cost of a one week’s scaffolding hire.   We can clean high level beams and gutters when required and not only when budgets allow. There are now no damp walls to repair and we have this kit for life, saving £2,500 per year on scaffolding.”

SpaceVac provided a free demonstration and after sales staff training, so the school can now put high level cleaning on the monthly maintenance schedule.

The school is in a Conservation Area with over half inaccessible by cherry pickers and scaffolding is impossible in some areas – now everywhere inside and out, is constantly maintained in top condition and cleaned as often as is required with no worries about working at heights. www.space-vac.co.uk

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Rawlins ups the pressure with rights to Kaivac range

No-Touch Cleaning® backs up campaign for science-based approach

Denis Rawlins Limited has secured the rights to distribute Kaivac cleaning systems throughout the UK and Ireland in support of its campaign to promote science-based cleaning.

The company, which has been providing cleaning advice and equipment for more than 40 years, recently launched the campaign by calling on facilities managers and contract cleaners to ‘Chop the Mop’.

Managing Director James White says its exclusive deal with the innovative US manufacturer will help it break a widespread and unhealthy attachment to outdated and inefficient cleaning practice.

“We’re astounded that, given today’s higher awareness of hygiene and infection control, around 70% of hard floors are still mopped. Yet we know that mopping spreads rather than eliminates potentially harmful contaminants,” Mr White says.

“Our campaign to ‘Chop the Mop’ is borne out of our consultancy-led approach to selecting the most hygienic cleaning method based on scientific evidence. We undertake site audits and ATP* testing to measure the levels of bacteria before and after cleaning.

“This approach is well aligned with the Kaivac philosophy,” Mr White adds. “Kaivac is leading the way in the US with science-based cleaning that promotes hygiene and protects health and the environment.”

Based in Hamilton, Ohio, the US manufacturer developed the Kaivac No-Touch Cleaning® System, which combines pressure washing, chemical injection, wet vacuuming and other tools in a single platform.

Kaivac has been proven to deep-clean toilets and washrooms faster and more effectively than other methods. Studies show that Kaivac No-Touch Cleaning® is up to 60 times more effective than mopping, and takes between a third and half the time.

The system is also multi-purpose. Using a range of attachments, Kaivac cleans just about every surface and space from floors, walls and ceilings to classrooms, stairwells and kitchens.

The range is designed to meet the needs of most establishments. Each model is powered to pressure-wash at up to 34.5 bar (500psi), the main variations being in the size of machine, capacity of water and recovery tanks and vacuum hose length.

  • The Kaivac 2150, which has a 75-litre (21 gallon) water tank and slightly smaller vacuum tank, has the capacity and accessories to clean large facilities such as airports, stadia and factories efficiently.
  • The Kaivac 1750 – with 64-litre (17 gallon) tanks, and a removable ‘Black Box’ engine compartment for easy access and repair – caters for a wide variety of buildings from schools, nursing homes and restaurants to retail stores and residential properties.
  • The Kaivac 1250 – similar in design but even more compact and lighter, with a 45-litre (12 gallon) capacity – is highly manoeuvrable for smaller buildings or more cramped facilities.

Denis Rawlins Limited provides a free, no-obligation demonstration on your premises.

* ATP meters measure levels of Adenosine TriphosPhate, a universal energy molecule found in all animal, plant, bacterial, yeast and mould cells.

Further information is available on the Denis Rawlins Limited website: www.rawlins.co.uk/kaivac or contact the sales office on 0121 351 4444.

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New SpaceVac backpack and heads

Stand No E27 The Cleaning Show

SpaceVac, the world’s No 1 high level pole cleaning system is launching a new easy to use unit operated by a ProTeam® backpack.   This development increases portability and ease of use enabling SpaceVac operators to walk between machines without trailing a traditional vacuum.

This model will clean up to 929 square metres an hour and comes with a 5.7litre HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter system to trap smaller allergens. It has a high powered motor and multi-level filtration system to remove the smallest particulate down to 1 micron.

The comfort harness enables the backpack to rest on the operator’s hips making it less tiring to operate than traditional vacuums.

Colin Lewis, Managing Director of SpaceVac said: “Reliability and vacuum power are key to all our equipment as we can be working at four storeys above – we now have the best traditional vacuums with Nilfisk Alto and the best backpacks from ProTeam.   We expect a big take-up of the backpack model throughout our worldwide sales operation.”

New head on proven shoulders

Also launched at the show is the new lightweight aluminium head with a special locking system for either 50mm or 38mm tools.   There are two other interchangeable tools supplied as standard – a spike and a crevice nozzle for narrow openings and neither have any plastic parts.

Further information: Spacevac Technologies Ltd, Unit 62, Rothersthorpe Crescent, Northampton, NN4 8JD.
Tel: 01604 760282. www.space-vac.co.uk. Email: info@space-vac.com

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Spotless puts focus on People as it grows UK business

Spotless Commercial Cleaning Ltd has announced its annual results with turnover of £10.1m and profits of £256K. While the financial performance is broadly at the same level as last year (£10.2m turnover and £275K profits), this year’s figures were delivered on the back of significant focus and investment in people and staff development measures across the business.

The company also opened a new premises in Manchester following recent new business wins in the Northwest and Midlands areas of England, including a significant deal with national property management firm Capital Properties.

Over the past year Spotless has been working with renowned business coaches Shirlaws and has put a strong focus on its people, introducing new staff ‘surgeries’ across its network of UK offices. The sessions are run on the same lines of an MP surgery where staff members are encouraged to share any work-related issues with the senior management team, including the company’s CEO, Niall Moffat (his pic is attached).

“The sessions are all about achieving greater levels of engagement across the business and we have a number of new and exciting initiatives now in place to improve the extent of this,” said Moffat. “We are focused on creating a cleaning business with a difference, one where our people are properly valued and, just as importantly, energised; where any issues or challenges which they face in the work place are shared; and one where great ideas and suggestions on how we can deliver a better service to clients can be harnessed and actioned.”

“We pride ourselves on being a premium, added-value cleaning business. Last year’s launch of the Spotless services management app was another great example of the innovation we are committed to within this company. Our investment in promoting strong company values and sharing our vision with all of our people, clients, prospects and the general public will enable us to build on this objective. I’m confident that these efforts combined with the on-going expansion we’re experiencing across the UK will enable us to further grow our business and increase revenues going forward.”   www.spotlessclean.co.uk

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