There’s been a lot in the news recently about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for key workers on the frontline of the Coronavirus outbreak here in the UK. Reports that hospitals have begun laundering single-use gowns to preserve stocks are understandably distressing and we’re keeping a close eye on the situation.
In a statement to the media, Dr Susan Hopkins of Public Health England, said: “PPE is a precious resource and it is crucial that everyone in health and social care has access to the right protective equipment.”
At APM Cleaning and Repair, keeping our staff safe and well during the COVID-19 crisis is our number one priority. Cleaners are classed as key workers during this time and play an essential role in keeping people across the North of England safe.
Here’s what we’re doing to keep APM Cleaning and Repair staff safe:
- We’re proud to announce that we have invested in an ATP testing kit. This means we are cleaning non-clinical surroundings to the equivalent of 50-100 RLUs (relative light units), which is the standard for NHS public spaces.
In addition, we tested all of our products with our ATP testing kits and found that chlorine gave the best disinfectant results, so as a business we moved to using chlorine tabs straight away following soil removal. To ensure a spotless finish that meets our high standards, we then clean glass reflective surfaces a second time to ensure a non-streaky finish.
Whether our staff have been with us for several years or they’ve just joined us, we’re providing mandatory training on infection control, COSH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations), manual handling and safeguarding. This is taking place remotely, where possible, via our online training portals.
- Daily updates
We’re also keeping our staff up to date on the latest Government briefings via our daily staff briefing “toolbox talks”.
- Suitable PPE
Following Government guidelines, the minimum amount of Personal Protective Equipment to be worn for cleaning an area where a person with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) is disposable gloves, sessional use mask and an apron.
- Upgraded face masks
Our go-to FSP2 reusable masks have been unavailable due to demand so we’ve gone a level up and invested in FSP3 moulded face masks at a cost of £70 per mask to keep our staff safe and also issued all with goggles.
As part of our business continuity plan, we’re in constant communication with our three approved suppliers and keep three weeks’ worth of stock at all times to keep up with demand without resorting to stockpiling vital equipment.
- Support guides
Advice published on www.gov.uk on 12th April 2020 in line with the current COVID-19 pandemic outlines that re-usable PPE can be used. In order to use this equipment effectively APM Cleaning and Repair staff has been trained in safely putting on and taking off PPE. Videos are available for training so learners can learn at their own pace, while safe at home.
8. Risk assessments
Before every job, our team undertake a risk assessment to see whether a higher level of virus may be present (for example, where unwell individuals have slept in an Extra Care flat.)
- Regular breaks
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, we encouraged staff to take regular breaks and rest periods and this remains unchanged during the current situation.
- Close communication
The mental and physical wellbeing of our team is paramount. We’re in close communication with all members of staff and those who are not self-isolating and happy and healthy are continuing to come to work, following social distancing measures in order to stay safe and provide our key service across the north. APM has multiple Whatsapp groups where staff are asked to check in daily to let their Supervisors know they are okay and to enable them to support.
Can we help you today?
APM Cleaning and Repair can come into your office, Care home or home of a relative to clean. All work is guaranteed across the North East region. Call us on 0191 273 4600 to speak to a member of our team to enquire about availability.