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Hygiene and good sanitation practices are always a top priority for a professional cleaning business, now more so than ever. Cleaning procedures have strengthened in response to the global efforts to combat Covid-19, but companies must also look at the way they carry out jobs not only for the public’s benefit, but to safeguard their employees.
We spoke to Billy Russell of Billy Russell Cleaning Ltd, a fellow member of the UK-based National Carpet Cleaners Association, to get his thoughts on how the cleaning industry has been changed by the global pandemic.
Guidelines for cleaning during Covid-19
In response to the pandemic, there are new guidelines and suggested best practices for the cleaning industry or any business that routinely goes into other offices. Following these recommendations can help keep your employees safe, but still, companies should ask themselves:
- Which employees are vulnerable and at a higher risk of severe illness?
- Do you need multiple cleaners for larger jobs?
- Can employees worked in fixed teams that do not overlap?
- Are there any jobs that can’t be completed with social distancing measures in place?
“We’ve had to shift our business to commercial sites, as we’ve not been able to do domestic jobs,” says Mr. Russell. “We’ve even changed the type of cleaning products we use. It’s more important than ever that we do a thorough job, so that nobody gets sick, and that includes our staff.”
Protecting your workers while they clean
By now, we are all familiar with the recommended guidelines concerning personal protective equipment and social distancing, but it’s recommended that businesses whose employees routinely enter other businesses or homes should take special caution. You can help by:
- Supplying your cleaning staff with face masks and gloves in addition to standard safety equipment
- Enforcing social distance guidelines and mandating that employees always stay a minimum of six feet away from each other
- Providing unlimited access to handwashing facilities and encouraging employees to routinely wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
- Routinely cleaning objects and surfaces that are used by many people such as shared cleaning supplies and equipment
For Billy Russell Cleaning, the new procedures protect his staff and make it possible to have more than one worker at bigger sites. “Our employees wear gloves, but they have to wash their hands on arrival and departure,” Mr. Russell says. “When they are working together, they must wear masks and keep to the social distance restrictions.”
Keeping your fleet connected
Cleaning companies with vehicles that are driven by employees need to be sure that everyone is using company property responsibly and for business only. Some businesses have only recently had employees take vehicles home, to avoid having multiple people gather at an office to collect vans for the day’s work and vehicle tracking can help make this transition easy.
If you have a reliable vehicle tracking service, that will go even farther towards meeting the challenges that Covid-19 presents. Quartix can help by:
- Monitoring vehicles and vehicle equipment: You will know where your vehicles are in real-time, 24/7, as well as which vehicle is closest to a specific site, if there is a last-minute job.
- Providing a record of when and where your vehicles and employees were at all times: Even as restrictions ease, the pandemic is not over. If there is an outbreak at a site your employees have been to, you need to know who was there and when, for testing and reporting. Quartix timesheets and daily route reports can help you to identify this.
- Helping you keep up with routine maintenance: With current conditions causing a lot of chaos, maintenance and inspection dates might slip through the cracks. Quartix can keep important dates in one place for every vehicle and show you at a glance what’s upcoming or overdue.
Following these simple guidelines, ensuring that your cleaning practices are up to current standards can help create a safe working environment for your staff and possibly even win new jobs and customers.
“Before the pandemic, when customers were considering us for a job, they usually just had one question: how much will it cost?” Mr. Russell recalls. “But now, they want to know what kind of products we’re using, who will be at the site, and what kind of precautions will they be taking. Winning a new customer isn’t just about price anymore. Now it’s even more about what level of service you can provide.”