16 Infection Prevention www.cleaning-matters.co.uk
2020 and what
can we learn?
WELL, WHAT a year it’s been for all of
us! Some of us very busy, some of us not
so busy, but it has been a steep learning
Fortunately, at Safety Solutions we have
been terribly busy. We were requested to
attend a campus to carry out a full system
audit that combined cleaning, health &
safety and compliance. The New FM
knew there were issues, however, they
needed a report from an independent
company to take to the directorate.
A famous proverb states ‘you cannot
judge a book by its cover’ which was
true in this case, as when I meet with
the heads of cleaning they said all the
right things. However, upon deeper
probing they could not evidence the
training, audits and schedules.
The first real insight to the issues were
discovered at 4am on the morning shift.
There was a lack of colour coding, a mish
mash of equipment, lots of duct tape and
old, dilapidated, machinery - most of
which was not being used.
It was obvious by the lack of method
to the cleaning that there had not been
adequate cleaning task training, which
would have been picked up earlier if
audits had been undertaken and
When looking in the cleaning
cupboards on the campuses, there were
many areas that could be improved.
Overall, there were 264 different
chemicals and a lack of MSDS and
Upon looking at the cleaning
cupboards, I knew that I needed to work
with the management to give them the
skills and training on how to audit
chemicals and machinery.
So, it was back to basics - I was lucky
that the facilities manager and their
director understood just what a big
mountain we had to climb and the
investment that was required.
It was the next month that the first
lockdown started, this brought its own
issues obtaining chemicals, PPE, the
correct sanitising gel etc.
We began by streamlining the
chemicals, looking at machinery that
would benefit the cleaning, introducing
audits, schedules and training the staff
on the job.
Due to the pandemic, we were having
to change our strategies as we went
The biggest change was when the
students came back. I was then asked to
project manage the setting up and
running of four COVID-19 testing
centres on site.
The project was a long and detailed
project – starting with retraining,
introducing new equipment, and
auditing and new working practices.
Due to the hard work and co-operation
– the campus went from an unhygienic
campus to a hygienic campus with a
knowledgeable, highly trained team.
Lorraine Larman reflects on the impact of COVID-19
lockdowns on UK facilities - and what resources are
now available to ensure properties’ cleaning and
hygiene strategies are maintained.