What is Fogging Disinfection and why should you use it
During these challenging times for our nation, many companies are trying their best to keep their services running and preventing this country’s economy from facing difficult times. As a cleaning contractor, we have been providing fogging disinfection to many of our clients and the results have been fantastic.
Many deep cleaning companies in London have also been adapting their services in order to fulfil the needs of their clients by adding new services or amending the existing ones. As many offices and workplaces are now reopening, the priority for any company is so their staff returns to a safe environment.
BRS deep cleaners have been helping companies across the south of the UK by providing what’s called “Fogging disinfection” as the preferred method when it comes to sanitising/killing bacteria at a work place.
What is fogging?
From its definition itself, it is a form of very fine mist of a mixture of water and chemicals which is then sprayed to all areas using a fogging machine. After a very careful research, BRS has taken this information on board and decided to use fogging as the perfect tool for disinfecting work premises, schools, care homes, hospitals, homes, etc. It can be said that fogging is similar to dry cleaning procedure however the product that is used is not heated to the point where it turns into a fogging from but it is more dissolved into the fine mist which is called fog.
Why choose fogging?
One of the benefits of using fogging is that it is very easy to reach areas which seem difficult to disinfect. For most part of a fogging disinfection procedure, it is unnecessary to move furniture around which saves a lot of time and increases productivity. Our London deep cleaners have been very busy offering this service in the pas few months disinfection and making workplaces safe once again.
Another benefit of using the fogging method is that the use of chemicals is at minimum. In addition, with the product that we use, there is less than 1% chemicals which are also 100% natural and they are all human body produced. “Sheildme”, the company who has created this amazing product that we use, guarantees that this product has been tested and aproved to be used in all areas as well as food or sprayed on humans and it is 100% allergic free.
Where is Fogging used?
When using fogging the limitations in regards to the surfaces that this can bu used are very low. Depending on the product that is used, fogging can be used pretty much in all areas. however, it worth noting that the fog comes in a wet fine mist which can damage areas which need to stay dry.
Dry fogging however overcomes this limitation by producing a dry “cloud” of chemicals which doesn’t moist surfaces where it is applied. Dry fogging is however less effective and it requires more application on particular surface in order to work efficiently.
Another benefit of using the disinfection method is that when the mist is applied on a surface, it evaporates withing a minute and creates a layer which kills 99% of the bacteria
Back to Work Cleaning
With the potential end of the official lock down in sight, many are turning their attention toward planning and preparing for the return to work/ return to office. This planning process will involve making sure that Government guidelines are followed and that the workplace is made as safe and clean as possible ready to welcome back returning employees.
Many workplaces have been closed for several weeks now, as many companies began initiating working from home policies even before the official lock down had been announced. Concerns of the lasting impact of the Coronavirus on businesses and the wider economy are rife, with more and more companies eager to return to work. It makes sense then, to begin planning for a return to work, as soon as is physically safe and possible. This will of course vary from industry to industry, depending on the nature of the works carried out. A critical step in the planning process for most workplaces will be the implementation of additional cleaning measures to ensure that the workplace is clean, safe and hygienic for its returning staff. It is important however that premises are not only given an initial thorough Deep clean, aka a ‘Back to work clean’, but that practices are in place to ensure regular maintenance is achieved.
At BRS we carry out specialist decontamination and disinfection cleans, allowing your business to resume its operations. Our services can be carried out 24 hours, at anytime of the day or night, allowing your business to go back to normal as soon as possible, with minimal disruption. We also offer a very fast turnaround with a rapid response.
In adherence with Government guidelines and advice from the British Institute of Cleaning Sciences, we have tailored a service which involves the correct use of chemicals and cleaning procedures to ensure that our cleaning methods are effective and safe. BRS provide all appropriate cleaning chemicals and equipment, including NHS approved cleaning products and PPE.
Types of Businesses currently using our services:
– Construction Sites – Temporary offices, porta cabins, welfare facilities
– Retail Businesses, especially those that experience heavy footfall
– Communal areas/ shared facilities/ shared offices
– Accommodation organisations and Housing Associations
Click here to read more about our services…
Our back to work deep cleaning can involve any of the following options:
- Disinfection of all visible and accessible areas with a fogging machine – this is the quickest solution and the cheapest, and also gives a fast turnaround meaning staff can return to work quicker. However, it is not as thorough as a deep clean. This is particularly recommended for large workplace premises.
- A manual deep clean of all areas from top to bottom including disinfecting touch points by hand – this is the most thorough method but is also the most time consuming and is not always practical for large areas.
- A combination of the above 2 methods – fogging of all visible areas with the fogging machine and then focusing on disinfecting touch points by hand – this is the method that we would recommend for most workplace premises as it is quick and practical.
- Fogging of all areas combined with a thorough manual deep clean and further disinfecting of the entire premises by hand – this is the golden choice but is inevitably the most time consuming and thus the most expensive of these options.
Back to Work Cleaning – Work premises Cleaning /Office Cleaning/Retail environments Cleaning
Many work places have been empty for quite some time now. Before an imminent return to work, protecting the welfare of staff and reducing the chances of sickness, especially Covid-19 related, must be a priority for all businesses, and it is therefore recommended to arrange to have a full professional deep clean of the premises. This would ensure the removal of any dust that would have settled whilst the premises have been empty, as well as a thorough disinfection of all areas to remove any germs and bacteria. This is particularly important for retail environments that receive a heavy daily footfall.
Arranging for a professional Deep clean and disinfection of the workplace will also reassure returning staff that their Employer has done all that they can to make their work environment as safe and hygienic as possible, and thus would encourage a more positive attitude amongst returning work colleagues. As the old proverb goes, ‘A tidy house is a tidy mind’, and the same applies to the workplace. If the workplace is clean and tidy, staff will feel more positive and in turn, are likely to be more productive.
Back to Work Welfare Cleaning – Construction Sites
Construction output in the UK is more than £110 billion per annum and contributes 7% of GDP with more than 2.73 million people working in this industry. This fact emphasises the importance of the role the construction industry plays in our economy and thus how important it is that we try to make it as safe an environment as possible, ready for all those employees set to return to work, for those sites that have closed. We have already been assisting those sites that have managed to remain open during the lockdown by implementing social distancing measures, etc with regular deep cleaning and disinfecting of their welfare areas.
As a company, we are After Builders cleaning specialists and so all of our teams are experienced and used to working in construction environments. Our staff are CSCS qualified and we also have SSSTS trained supervisors and First Aiders.
We offer a quick mobilisation of our teams to site and our teams can clean outside of hours in order to minimise disruption to works on site. This makes particular sense in the construction industry where the hours that welfare cleaning is carried out are particularly important due to the heavy footfall in this industry.
Back to Work Cleaning – Public Sector
Our teams are currently involved with projects that are critical to the national effort to reduce the spread and impact of Covid-19, including carrying out Public Health deep cleans such as cleaning hospitals and care homes.
For instance, we are currently assisting our construction client, Laing O’Rourke with the early handover of a hospital in Wales (The Grange University Hospital) in order to provide an additional 354 beds to the NHS. Our teams are busy carrying out deep cleaning of the new wards ready for imminent handover.
Other Public Health projects that we have been involved with include The Royal Hospital of East Surrey, a care home in Tottenham which our team worked hard to transform, ready to be used as temporary accommodation for Covid-19 patients and schools where we have been carrying out precautionary Deep cleans so that they are ready, should Government decide for them to re-open fully.
Regardless of your sector, budget and required scope, we can help! Get in touch with us today to plan your first steps to re-opening your workplace and to what we hope will be a gradual return to normality!
Call us: 01992 676 392 Email us: email@example.com
Coronavirus: Its impact on Small Business owners & the Construction industry
It is a challenging time for us all right now but for small business owners, the pressure is immense.
From an individual perspective, we all have bills to pay, a family to feed and a roof to keep over our head. But while the unemployed are offered financial support from the Government to help to cover their bills and many employed staff are working from home with their usual salaries, where does this leave small Business owners?
Small Business owners and the self employed are fighting for survival. This means constantly adapting and trying to keep things afloat, maintaining a positive morale and keeping teams motivated through hard times. And most importantly, setting an example for all.
These issues resonate most poignantly at present with the construction industry, where the self employed and business owners are struggling massively. UK construction activity has declined at a rapid pace since March, as many builders have halted work and cut jobs as Coronavirus hit the economy. According to Duncan Brock, group director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, “As measures to contain the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic were put in place across the UK, construction sites closed and builders lost their jobs on a frightening scale as overall activity fell to an extent not seen since April 2009”.
Due to client contractual obligations however many construction firms and their suppliers have no choice but to continue their works, despite the increased difficulty in doing so. For others, it’s literally about putting bread on the table – if they don’t work, they have no income. This is leading many to appeal to the Government for consideration of small business owners in general, and for those in the construction industry who at the moment, simply don’t have the choice to stay at home. Last Friday,for instance, Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders, which represents small-to-medium sized contractors, called for further government action to help the “industry survive and recover from the coronavirus”.
At BRS, the majority of our clientele are in the construction industry and we understand the dilemma many of them face as to whether or not to shut down their sites. Despite how unpredictable and delicate the situation is at the moment, we are here to support our clients by being as flexible and accommodating as we can. We are also supporting them with our services, whether this be with regular Site Welfare Deep cleaning and Antiviral sanitisation if they stay open, or by arranging a ‘Return to work’ Deep clean before they re-open, if and when things ever go back to normal!
Right now it is all about leading by example, showing resilience and not succumbing to the pressure. That way, we hope that together small businesses and the construction industry can continue to thrive.
Deep cleaning, positivity and Coronavirus
At BRS we are facing new challenges daily and doing our best to stay positive, adapting to the situation and learning as we go along. As a Deep cleaning services provider and Responsive cleaning specialists, we have a role and a duty within the community to serve and join the front line in the fight against Corona virus. We are approved corporate members of the British Institute of Cleaning Sciences (BICSc) who are constantly keeping us updated and offering advice and instructions.
Positivity – staying strong and optimistic during these times is the best defence that we have against the Corona virus. It is well known that the strength of your mind has a powerful effect on your body. Immunity is one area where your thoughts and attitudes can have a particularly powerful influence. In one study, researchers found that activation in brain areas associated with negative emotions led to a weaker immune response to a flu vaccine. Not only can positive thinking impact your ability to cope with stress and your immunity, it also has an impact on your overall well-being.
During these unsettling times, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the current Coronavirus pandemic, which isn’t helped by the mass panic being spread by the media.
We are following Government guidelines with regard to how we conduct our deep cleans during these times and how we protect our staff. We have responded proactively to the outbreak by arranging for our operatives to attend a 2 day specialist Enhanced infection control training course with a particular emphasis on the Corona virus, in association with the BICSc, all of our staff have been provided with hand sanitiser, appropriate PPE and we have stocked up on disinfectant products in order to keep up with the increasing demand for our services.
New Government guidelines set out this week have stressed the importance of cleanliness in construction environments in order for sites to stay open. We are helping our existing construction clients, as well as new clients, to meet the new legislation by carrying out regular deep cleans of their welfare facilities on construction sites while still continuing with our usual Builders cleaning works so that our clients don’t fall behind with their main projects.
Regular deep cleans, followed by regular maintenance visits can be arranged daily or weekly, depending on site traffic. It is very important not just to carry out a one-off deep clean, but to maintain it with regular visits, especially during this critical time. Our director, Hannah Uruci was recently interviewed live by Love Sport Radio and asked her opinion on the significance of deep cleaning right now, in our fight against Coronavirus. Hear what she has to say on this topic by visiting our Facebook page where you can hear the interview live…
Welfare deep cleans typically involve a thorough clean and disinfectant of all surfaces, paying particular attention to touch points and high risk areas such as door handles, doors, desks, switches, banisters, handrails, etc and deep cleaning any toilets and bathroom areas, staff kitchen and food prep areas, canteens, meeting rooms, offices, etc.
We are also supporting other businesses in their quest to remain open during this time and in their fight against the Coronavirus by carrying out precautionary deep cleans of the workplace premises which includes warehouses, distribution centres, offices, schools, nurseries, cafes, restaurants and retail outlets.
We remain open for business, positive in spirit and ready to fight this together!
-What is the Coronavirus?
From washing our hands extra thoroughly, to frantically re-applying hand sanitiser and deep cleaning surfaces with disinfectant, the Coronavirus is the villain that we are all currently battling against, and it seems to be terrifying us all more than terrorist threats or the prospect of another Economic recession. We as cleaning contractors are carrying coronavirus cleaning and we are trying to do our part in these challenging times. But what really is the Coronavirus , how bad is it and how can we fight it?
Click here to find out more about the virus!
Coronaviruses or Cov, are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-Cov) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-Cov).
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning that they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-Cov was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-Cov from dromedary camels to humans.
Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.
-What is Covid-19?
Covid-19 is a particular strain of virus that belongs to the Coronavirus family. Until lately, Covid-19 was just generally referred to as “Coronavirus”, as we had such a limited amount of information about the virus available.
The virus shares similar traits with the other coronaviruses but, is more unpredictable and difficult to contain.
Typical symptoms include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Scientists believe that the spread of the new Coronavirus could be inevitable and experts are concerned about the recent rapid surge in the number and size of outbreaks outside of China. Some are even predicting a pandemic.
-What makes Covid-19 so dangerous?
Covid-19 is transmitted more readily between humans than SARS-Cov, though it is less violent.
Computer modelling suggests that on average, each new case has infected 2.5 other people in the early stages of the epidemic. The virus has caused severe respiratory diseases in around 20% of patients and killed 2-3% of infected individuals. Older people, whose immune system have declined with age, and those with underlying health conditions are much more vulnerable than the young. What make this virus scary is that it takes approximately 10 days to show symptoms. This means that an individual could be spreading its symptoms, without even being aware that they are themselves infected.
-How is the virus transmitted?
Respiratory infections are most commonly spread through the air by viral particles in droplets from a cough or sneeze, but contact with objects that have been touched by infected people could also be a potential cause of spreading such infections.
Office spaces, elevators, public toilets, public spaces, public transport, the workplace and even visitors or friends could be potentially spreading the virus, especially if the visitors/friends have recently travelled to/from infected countries.
-What can you do to help?
There are some important measures that we all need to focus on in an effort to help in fighting this potential pandemic.
As highlighted by the NHS and endorses by UK Government, the most important steps are:
- Frequently wash your hands with an alcohol-based rub or warm water and soap.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing.
- Immediately dispose of any used tissues.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or a cough.
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products.
Seek early medical advice if you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and share your travel history with healthcare providers.
-What can BRS do to help and what role does deep cleaning play?
As a deep cleaning company this is a call for action. Hospitals, schools, shopping centres, airports, railway stations, modes of transport, banks, care homes, gyms/leisure centres, restaurants and any other locations frequently visited by the public need more than just regular cleaning.
To cut costs, deep cleaning is all too often neglected by companies who do the minimum, to tick a box such as having a daily cleaner in for an hour or so to wipe around, empty bins and vacuum the floors. This is maintenance but the problem is, it is impossible to adequately maintain somewhere that is not properly clean to begin with. Think about your workplace or home, or a place that you frequently inhabit such as a university classroom or a train, when was the last time the walls were cleaned and sanitised? Or the ceiling? When was the last time upholstery, seats or curtains were steam cleaned/washed? I think that we would all rather not know the answer…
Click here to find out more about our coronavirus cleaning
Inspiration can be taken from cities around the world such as Dubai, where a tireless ‘clean-up’ team work the streets throughout the night and clean up the day’s detritus. The city is constantly sparkling, and airports and malls are spotless, with a constant flow of cleaners permanently in sight. Dubai also imposes strong penalties for those who litter and spoil the city’s beauty in any other way. Perhaps we can take Dubai as an example and take more pride in our premises, invest more in cleaning and see it as a way of life, inextricably linked with our general health and wellbeing, as opposed to just something that has to be done every now and again.
In general, a clean and hygienic environment goes hand in hand with a healthy family, workforce or population. Recent studies have even highlighted the links between cleanliness and positive psychology, a healthy state of mind and mental wellbeing. While we all still remain hopeful that the Coronavirus scare will calm down and that things will gradually resume as normal, the current threat of the pandemic should serve as a wake-up call to us all, as too many people are neglecting their cleaning duties and settling for second best where cleaning standards are concerned.
The Coronavirus outbreak is an important reminder to us all, of the importance of maintaining standards of hygiene and cleanliness, especially to those who have a duty of care, such as Employers/Business owners, Health and Education providers and Government institutions.
At BRS our teams of professional cleaners are experienced in carrying out deep cleans which can include professional carpet cleaning, floor scrubbing, high level cleaning, pressure cleaning, steam cleaning, upholstery cleaning, wall cleaning, window cleaning and generally sanitising and disinfecting.
Such cleaning services can be undertaken in a variety of environments, ranging from domestic houses to commercial offices and industrial premises, as well as the retail, education and public sectors. Instead of waiting for the event of a Coronavirus outbreak to occur within your organisation or home, what we would recommend is to first carry out an initial precautionary deep clean. After all, prevention is better than cure.
Health and safety is at the forefront of our organisation. Thorough risk assessments are carried out and supplied, prior to the undertaking of a professional deep clean, and COSHH assessments and data sheets supplied for cleaning products used (read more).
BRS exist to provide a clean and safe environment for our clients, our clients’ clients and the general public. An unhealthy, unclean world is not a world we want to be part of, and thus it is our duty as a Deep cleaning services provider, an Employer, parents and as ordinary citizens to play our part in the battle against the Coronavirus… and we are ready to serve!
The 2nd decade of the 21st Century
We are in the second month of the new year and we can already feel a wave of change upon us. The UK has left the EU, a new virus is alarming the world, technology is improving daily, people are becoming bombarded by all of the information available from all types of media. And the new decade is going to be all about information.
Social media has become the number one source of information and the main tool of marketing for companies of all sizes. But not all information is good information. A company’s reputation can be built but also destroyed all through the digital world. All it takes is a couple of bad reviews. This shows the importance of consistently delivering a high quality service.
At BRS we work hard to maintain our reputation as high quality Builders cleaners providers and we do this by consistently delivering high standards of service in a safe manner. BRS are CHAS, SMAS and Achilles accredited, and are also Constructionline Gold members which demonstrates our compliance with Health and Safety law and legislation.
In this new decade, the push towards becoming more environmentally friendly will become even more prominent and we will see more and more environmentally friendly strategies and tactics in the business world. Companies, especially SMEs are turning paperless in the UK and outside. Big companies are also investing on electric vehicles and low emission initiatives are undertaken from various organisations around the globe. Machinery is replacing more and more humans and humans themselves have turned suicidal, with a striking record of suicide being among the leading causes of death.
This decade will also bring a new generation of workforce. Gen Zen is the generation from 1998-1999. Many researchers in leadership and organisational behaviour argue that organisations will find it challenging in finding ways and leadership styles to manage them. They are the “generation of digitalisation”. Their whole world is linked with and through the world wide web.
Many companies are heavily researching and investing in understanding and training the new generations and training in particular is something that BRS are strongly committed to. BRS is investing in a culture of diversity and understanding. At least 40% of employees are Millennials, 35% are Gen y, around 10% are Gen Z, and the rest are Gen X. Regardless of age, race, ethnicity or culture, it is important to utilise diversity in order to generate an output of creativity and innovation.
It is easy to say that a diverse team brings new perspectives but what it can also bring is conflict. Our philosophy at BRS however is built around harmony, understanding, and communication. We are a fast-growing Builders cleaning company with over 60 multiskilled employees and all share the same vision, driving us toward success and working hard together to maintain what we have built, and to continue to grow our reputation as high quality Builders cleaners providers.
This year we are working towards another certification to add to our wide portfolio – ISO.9001 certification. The implementation of this quality management system will help us increase the control of our business processes thus improving our consistency and ability to to provide high standards of service.
We have also applied to become a Tier 2 sponsor which will enable us to recruit highly skilled employees from around the globe. Globalisation is here and we can’t ignore it.
We are excited to see what the new decade will bring for BRS, amid this period of change as we continue to provide our clients with a cleaner, safer and sparkling future.
End of Year Review
Key events in 2019
With the end of year fast approaching, it is the ideal opportunity for us to reflect on the past year, and to review our progress and any challenges faced.
2019 has been a very productive year for BRS with many different achievements, awards and significant projects undertaken. Such achievements have enabled us to continue to grow our reputation as high-quality Builders cleaners providers in the UK. Subsequently, our client list has continued to grow rapidly; we have welcomed the likes of global construction firm ISG, national housebuilders Countryside Properties, national construction firm McLaughlin and Harvey, Buckingham Group and many more, whilst continuing to gain repeat business from our existing clients such as global construction firm Laing O’Rourke, Kier Construction, Caledonian Modular, Readie Construction and many more.
2019 kicked off to a great start with us securing the Builders cleaning package at the Post Building, New Oxford St, for Laing O’Rourke, following our successful completion of Builders cleaning works at the Hinkley Point C power plant back in 2018. This ignited a positive relationship with Laing O’Rourke, who later awarded us another significant project, the Builders cleaning package at The Grange Hospital, a 55,000m2 hospital in Wales. Being trusted with a project of this size and significance is a huge turning point for us as it is our biggest yet. We commenced our cleaning works in September and works are anticipated to last for at least a year. Although this is our most exciting project yet, it is also our most challenging due to the scale of it and the high standards required for handover. However, we have one of our most experienced Builders cleaners teams there and one of our most experienced and trusted supervisors, and so we are confident that the job is in good and capable hands. We hope that we will be able to successfully complete this project to the high standards that we are becoming renowned for.
Another significant highlight of 2019 includes the two MOD projects contracted to us by one of our longstanding clients, Caledonian Modular. Both packages were awarded to us in the summer of 2019. The first package consisted of 296 studios of MOD accommodation in Lyneham, with Kier Construction being the main client, and the second consisted of 352 studios in Winchester with the main client being Skanska. Works at Lyneham are now complete whereas works at Winchester will continue into the new year. Lyneham was handed over to a high standard and the client was happy with the works carried out by our teams of Builders cleaners. Works are also progressing well at Winchester, where we hope to leave a good impression to main client Skanska who we haven’t yet worked for directly (only through their supply chain).
Other exciting projects that we have been involved within 2019 include a project for new clients, McLaughlin & Harvey in Wokingham. Works at this site commenced in the summer (phases 1 & 2) and our successful completion of these two phases led to us being awarded phase 3 which our teams have recently commenced. This site includes a Premier Inn, a cinema and various retail outlets. This is the first project that we have worked on for McLaughlin & Harvey and we are confident that this too will be the start of another positive relationship with another new client.
We are also pleased to have gained repeat business from a relatively new client of ours, housebuilder Telford Homes. We successfully completed all phases at their development at St Paul’s Way, Bow in 2018 and as a result of our strong performance on this project, we were awarded a new project with Telford, 235 apartments in Kilburn. Works at this site commenced in November and will last throughout 2020.
2019 has also been dubbed “the year of the awards” for BRS as this year saw us secure five award wins! These include ‘High Growth Business of the Year’ at the Hertfordshire Business Awards in June, Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the East of England for our director Hannah Uruci in April, National champions in the Construction and Property sector at the National Family Business awards in July, Young Entrepreneur of the year for at the Forward Ladies regional awards for London and National Young Entrepreneur of the year at the national Forward Ladies finals in December. We were also recognised as one of the top 100 small businesses in the UK out of 5.8 million small businesses across the UK when the ‘Small biz 100’ list was unveiled by the Small Business Saturday movement back in September. Our involvement with this campaign also saw us attend a lunch reception at the House of Lords early December where we were able to network with the other 99 businesses listed in the ‘Small biz 100’, inauguration of Small Business Saturday which took place on 7th December. On this day we were delighted when our local MP for Epping Forest, Dame Eleanor Laing, stopped by our office to congratulate us on our awards successes and to join in with our Small Business Saturday celebrations.
As the saying goes “Learning never exhausts the mind”, and at BRS we never tire of learning and striving to continually improve via our commitment to training, career progression opportunities for our staff and investment in educating ourselves from director level down. We learn from every new project that we undertake and in 2019 in particular, we have enjoyed new learning opportunities. In October our director Hannah attended an ISO 9001 Internal auditor course which we hope will assist us greatly in our quest to become ISO 9001 accredited. We have also trained up additional experienced members of staff as Supervisors who are now SSSTS qualified. We believe that it is very important for all of our teams to be well trained and well informed, and our passion for this will no doubt continue to seep into all we do, next year and beyond.
A huge thank you is due to all of our amazing teams who work tirelessly, many of them staying far away from their homes, consistently working as hard as they can. Their effort is well appreciated and as a thank you, we recently organised our annual end of the year gather together party, where our staff had the chance to get together, have dinner and celebrate another fantastic year. A special thank you goes to our experienced supervisors/drivers who continue to deliver day after day.
Goals for 2020
We have ambitious plans for further growth and are currently in the process of upgrading our office to a larger one, with the intention to expand our office team in the new year. We also plan to add to our fleet of vans as we currently have a high volume of live projects and are currently in the process of pricing for a lot of exciting projects for 2020. Watch this space! We are also in the process of working towards ISO 9001 accreditation and aim to achieve this in 2020, wish us luck!
The impact of Builders cleaning on the environment
Builders cleaning and the environment
Most chemicals used in the construction and cleaning industries are harmful for humans, animals, plants and the environment. For instance, when cleaning companies use strong cleaning products such as bleach or other hazardous products to clean buildings and houses, solutions are drained down the sinks. Water is mixed with chemicals and is it usually partially cleaned up before it falls straight into a river or lake. All of the chemicals that are not removed by the sewerage system affect the lives of animals, impacts the environment by causing harm to living animals and ultimately destroy the environment.
A non-biodegradable material is a type of material that ground soil, water or air cannot decompose or breakdown. Some examples of non-biodegradable materials are plastics, glass, cans or hazard chemicals. Unfortunately, plastic, glass and aluminium packaging are commonly used in the modern world and make a high contribution in general to the total waste production of the population.
What are the effects of such materials on the lives of humans and animals?
The primary consequence of the constant rise in non-biodegradable waste is global warming which in the long term has several detrimental effects such as causing the rise of sea levels, more frequent extreme weather changes in turn leading to problems such as heat waves and desert expansion. Flooding is another negative consequence of non-biodegradable materials on human life and can cause significant financial losses and even tragic deaths. In addition, marine life is put in danger when plastics and other hazardous chemicals are present in the sea.
According to a report prepared by the UK Government Statistical Service for the Department of Environmental and Rural Affairs, in 2016, the UK generated 222.9 million tonnes of total waste. The Construction industry was responsible for 64% of this which is an incredibly substantial figure for just one industry to be solely responsible for!
With these figures increasing year by year, it is becoming more and more challenging to maintain an environmentally friendly approach. However, with the UK currently having a set target to recycle at least 50% of waste by 2020, environmentally friendly practices and approaches are more critical than ever.
But is recycling really the only option or what else can we do to minimize the effect of waste produced by the construction and cleaning industries?
Some of the most efficient ways that all companies, including trades within the construction industry such as After Builders cleaners, can strive to manage waste in an effort to become more environmentally friendly are outlined below:
- Cut waste
- Use environmentally friendly products and choose more sustainable suppliers
- Consider ways in which to support the protection of animals and the environment
- Implement recycling procedures to be followed by all staff
As we have already established, the construction industry, which includes trades such as After Builders cleaning companies, makes a significant contribution to the UK’s annual waste figures, and so businesses within the construction sector should consider ways of reducing their waste such as via maximum utilisation of materials. An example in the After Builders cleaning industry in particular, is sticking to correct dilution amounts and following appropriate methods and procedures so as to avoid unnecessary waste. For example, manufacturers could select a smaller lid for the cleaning products or even a dilution cap which could be designed into the packaging methods to help cleaners to use only the necessary amount of product as required for the task at hand. Builders cleaners should be well trained in COSHH (the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) and the appropriate use and handling of the chemicals that they use. They should have assigned supervisors responsible for making sure that all chemicals are being used correctly, including the following of dilution techniques. Builders cleaning companies could even appoint a specific person within their organization who specifically studies policies and methods to reduce waste and who is responsible for implementing them. Absolutely every little bit of waste adds up and could have a detrimental effect on the lives of animals and humans and on the environment.
Another very important element to be minimised is to cut down on the use of plastics which could be achieved by using cardboard packaging for instance, instead of plastic. If something more hardwearing than plastic is necessary, then it is better to use a recyclable packaging such as stainless steel or glass packaging. It is worth remembering that a single plastic bag can take up to 1000 years to degrade! It is therefore vital to minimise the use of non-degradable materials.
Unfortunately, environmentally friendly products are still not very popular, so there are still not huge array of companies who produce ‘Green’ products. In the construction industry, focusing again on the Builders cleaning trade, environmentally friendly products are not always the first choice, due to the lack of effectiveness of many of the product options currently available on the market.
Cleaning companies have often complained that environmentally friendly products are not as efficient as the ones that they currently use. It will take time for the market to change and for reputable industry brands to follow suit and adapt their existing preferred products so that they are more environmentally friendly, examples include well known cleaning products such as Cif and Fairy liquid detergent. If big players such as these were to start selling themselves as being ‘Environmentally friendly’, then for sure, their competitors would fall in line.
Marketing and advertising campaigns play a big part in spreading the word. If the government was, for instance, to promote programmes that encourage the use of or production of environmentally friendly products this would likely help to increase their popularity and help towards environmentally friendly products and services no longer being seen as a niche, but as mainstream.
Protection of animals and plants and the environment.
It is crucial to preserve plant and animal life, especially the lives of endangered species. Fortunately there are various laws and legislation in place in support of this such as the Endangered Species Act.
Similarly, the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) and other relevant UK Laws regulate the disposal of hazardous waste and how other waste is managed. The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) implemented legislation such as the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), both of which serve to protect water from pollution from hazardous chemicals such as those used and incorrectly disposed of into the main water supply by the construction and cleaning industries. The goals of these acts are to eliminate waste that is discharged into water by activities which, if carried out incorrectly could include pollution of water, ultimately impacting the lives of plants and animals.
A significant measure that companies can take to play their part in the reduction of pollution is to follow COSHH regulations – of paramount importance in the Builders cleaning industry. COSHH offers guidance on the correct usage of and safe disposal methods for hazardous products. By disposing of cleaning chemicals in the correct way in accordance with COSHH regulations, cleaning companies can contribute toward minimising water pollution so that the river and sea are cleaner and safer for all. An example of how Builders cleaners might comply with COSHH regulations is to avoid pouring buckets of water mixed with bleach down sinks directly into the water supply and instead to pour it down an external waste drain or at least down the toilets instead of the sink.
Although there are increasing efforts by UK government to raise awareness to recycle with care, laws that enforce the recycling of waste by companies and households do not yet exist. However, with the UK’s target set to recycle at least 50% of waste by 2020 as previously discussed, local authorities, households and businesses are actively encouraged to do all they can to contribute to the effort.
Several local authorities in the UK have implemented independent waste collection systems and such initiatives provide a tremendous contribution to the country’s recycling efforts. However, more needs to be done to enforce recycling. For instance, financial penalties could help to improve recycling figures and in turn, help companies to become more environmentally friendly.
On a daily basis, companies can choose their purchases more carefully and select recyclable materials. An example in the cleaning industry is to use microfibre cloths which can be washed and recycled, as oppose to using paper towels and wipes which are used for a quick wipe and then disposed of.
Although there have been many positive steps in the direction of improving the environment via recycling, reducing pollution and suchlike, cleary there remains a lot to be done.
Mainstream brands should adapt and large corporate organisations and well established businesses should lead by example, others would then be likely to quickly follow suit. Preference of environmentally friendly services and products needs to become the norm, and not a niche.
However it is not just the collective responsibility of larger firms but it is also an individual responsibility that we all need to be accountable for, regardless of our role or trade. The construction industry though, being responsible for such a large segment of the UK’s annual waste production, has a particularly important role and the most work to do to implement changes. Those working within this industry such as Builders cleaners, need to pay particular attention to what they can do to impact the drive for environmentally friendly construction.
Award winning Builders cleaners…
From owning and managing a specialist Builders cleaners company to being national recognised award-winning company, which started off as merely a humble conversation between a husband and wife Back in June 2013, with nothing but a few cloths in the back of a Fiat and a laptop in our small flat, we launched BRS and put our hearts and souls into putting it on the map. Slowly but surely we began to build up our client base and thus our quest to becoming one of London’s preferred Builders cleaners suppliers began!
One of the biggest challenges that we faced in our early days was persuading potential clients to trust us. When people had never heard of us or seen examples of our work before, this was very difficult. We didn’t yet have any references, case studies or any accreditation or suchlike. Getting that first foot in the door wasn’t easy but 6 years later and we are fast growing a track record of consistently winning repeat business from our clients, as well as securing new contracts with new clients, all of which is keeping us busier than ever.
Our main goal has always been to grow our reputation as expert After builders cleaners in the construction industry and our dream is be renown as professional Builders cleaners in London and beyond.
Conventionally, businesses rate themselves according to client feedback/reviews, repeat business from existing clients, qualifications/accreditations attained and awards won. Indeed these are very effective ways of determining the success of a company and are also attributes that clients look for when choosing a new After Builders cleaning supplier.
At the start of our journey, BRS lacked the aforementioned attributes as we were still trying to carve our mark in the market and this doesn’t happen overnight. But once we got going, the word began to spread and most of our current workflow still continues to come from recommendation and repeat custom. Our reputation as high quality After Builders cleaners in London and the South began to grow and this was particularly apparent in 2016 when our turnover tripled, we added several new vans to our fleet and our director Hannah’s efforts were recognised at the Hertfordshire Business
Awards where she won the title of ‘Young Business Person of the Year’. We also won an award in the same year for our commitment to Training and Development at the FSB East of England Awards. At BRS our strong emphasis on the importance of training and continuous development and improvement from director level down, is embedded in the ethos of our company and so this particular award gives testimony to how we put these values into practice. Our 3 years of determination was beginning to pay off and finally, it was time to celebrate our success.
Our rapidly increasing industry knowledge and experience also allowed us to gain our first official Health & Safety accreditation in 2016 – CHAS, followed by SMAS and Constructionline in quick succession, all of which opened up more doors for us and generally granted us more respect in the industry and which we of course continue to renew on an annual basis.
2016 was definitely a year of emancipation for BRS, with industry leaders and global construction firms beginning to take us seriously and awarding us with significant contracts which in turn paved the way for our continued success in our mission to becoming a trusted ‘go-to’ for leading construction firms requiring national or London Builders cleaners.
BRS continued to grow rapidly in the subsequent 3 years and in April this year, our director Hannah was crowned ‘Young Entrepreneur of the year’ at the FSB East of England awards 2019. The awards were very inspiring and set our director apart from many other young entrepreneurs in the East of England.
Our next award came shortly after and coincided with our 6th birthday in June. That night, our hard work and consistent growth since our establishment was recognised when we brought home the trophy for the “High Growth Business of the Year 2019” category. Click here for more information.
Our company was built on the foundations of family and we believe that our family ethos which is at the heart of what we do, is key to our success. In July this year, we treated some of our chief staff to a night out in Wembley at the National Family Business Awards and were delighted to be the National Champions in the Construction and Property sector. Click here for more information.
Our winning streak this year has continued and indeed we seem to be on a roll. Again we were victorious, this time at the National Forward Ladies Awards last month. Being among the winners at the UK’s largest business support network for women in business was an incredible feeling; the event itself was full of inspiring and motivating businesswomen. Click here for me more information.
Last month we were also one of the businesses named in the ‘Top 100’ small businesses in a campaign launched in association with Small Business Saturday 2019. This is a really exciting movement to be involved with and we look forward to celebrating Small Business Saturday in December and to attending a business luncheon at the House of Lords! Click here for more information
Being an award-winning cleaning company showcases many different strong aspects of a company. Increasing customer loyalty is one of the biggest challenges that every company faces throughout their journey. Having successfully achieved to be an award-winning organisation with many different awards at a wide variety of different events we hope will enable us to continue to build the trust of our clients and our reputation as specialist Builders cleaners.
Our experience of being an award-winning company and involvement with various awards have also given BRS the opportunity to attend various important national events on the business calendar, which have in turn granted us the opportunity to be able to network and connect with likeminded individuals as well as new potential clients. The awards have helped to slowly enhance the visibility of our company and highlight our key services such as our niche, Builders cleaning and the subsequent exposure from winning such awards is priceless. A recent example includes when we received a retweet from one of the notorious Dragons, Theo Paphitis when we were chosen as one of the weekly SBS winners on Twitter and we are really excited to attend an event in February where we will be given the opportunity to network with other winners and even meet Theo himself.
Our experience with business awards has allowed us to meet and network with a range of inspiring business entrepreneurs ranging from celebrities and multi-millionaires to smaller business owners of more modest size. We have been able to learn something valuable from each and everyone and just to be sat amongst owners and founders of household brands and high street names was a phenomenal experience. I can remember signing in for a judging day in Central London and hearing the lady in front of me say her name and then realising that it was the owner and founder of one of my favourite clothing and household goods brands. Click here for more information.
We are immensely proud to be an award-winning organization of all of our awards and achievements to date. Our biggest achievement that has stemmed from our experience with and involvement with various awards schemes, however, is being given the opportunity to inspire others. It is natural to have an idol in life to aspire towards and when we first started BRS, winning at any awards – let alone becoming an national award cleaning business seemed like only a distant dream and we idolised those with such achievements. However, winning multiple business awards has meant that the coin has flipped to our favour, taking us from having idols of our own to becoming the idols of others. We must now continue to work hard to maintain and continue to build our business so as to not only continue to unleash our potential and fulfil our own dreams but also to inspire and empower others. As employers of over 50 staff members, it is very important for us to lead by example and to support others to fulfil their own ambitions, wherever possible.
Builders cleaning and mental health
Builders cleaning and mental health awareness
With yesterday being World Mental Health Awareness day, I felt the need to pause and reflect on the impact that occupations within the construction industry and in particular, the Builders cleaning industry, could potentially have on the mental health of an individual. The focus in the construction industry has long been on Health and Safety in the physical sense; it is only more recently that there has been a shift in thinking about health and well being in the mental sense. This blog has a particular focus on Builders cleaning and mental health.
The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year. This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is suicide prevention. Suicide is a poignant topic and in fact, recent trends reveal that suicide kills more in the construction industry than falls at height. Recent reports from the Office of National Statistics reveal that male site workers in construction are three times more likely to commit suicide than the average UK male. This shocking mental health statistic is a vivid reminder of the difficulties faced by many working in the construction industry every day.
When carrying out risk assessments before commencing with works such as Builders cleaning services on a construction site, one usually stops to consider hazards such as slips, trips, and falls, working at height, manual handling, excessive noise, dust, etc. Rarely however does one stop to consider the potential impact that the works being carried out could have on one’s mental health and well being. Campaigns such as World Mental Health Day yesterday and Mental Health Awareness week earlier this year in May and the efforts of charities such as Mind and The Samaritans have resulted in a general increase in awareness of the mental health risks posed by the construction industry in particular. We, therefore, need to take note and implement what we have learned in our businesses, especially those in positions of responsibility such as Health and Safety professionals and business owners, directors and managers.
Whilst a job working in the construction industry – ground workers, electricians, painters/decorators, Builders cleaners or any similar trade might not sound particularly stressful, the long and demanding working hours such works involve can soon lead to exhaustion and a general sense of stagnation. In an increasingly competitive industry, there is also a lot of pressure to get the job done to a high standard and finished quickly. Therefore there is a stronger link between trades such as Builders cleaning and mental health, than we might initially expect there to be.
Builders cleaning for instance often involves carrying out projects far away from home for weeks at a time, away from family and loved ones. This is especially apt for migrant workers and indeed, non-UK nationals accounted for 40% of the construction of buildings workforce in London in 2018.
Those working in non-skilled trades such as Builders cleaning are also at high risk of experiencing stress and depression due to financial pressures – Builders cleaners and indeed other trades are often paid a low wage and feel uncertain about future career prospects. Such uncertainty is heightened further by the general apprehension about the future of the UK Construction industry following Brexit and following the collapse of construction giant Carillion last year.
However, it is important to note that it is not just the Builders cleaners and other workers out on site feeling the pressure. SMEs make up a large percentage of suppliers in the construction industry and business owners and directors are under increasing pressure to make ends meet. Builders cleaning companies face increased competition and thus have to rethink their pricing strategies in order to maintain a competitive edge and to continue to secure works. As a director and business owner myself, I know too well how stressful this can be. Business owners have all sorts to juggle and one of our number one priorities is to maintain a consistent flow of work in order to maintain our staff. However this often relies on things out of our control – it isn’t in our hands, for instance, the extent to which developers are going to continue to invest in new sites after the UK leaves the EU later this month.
These are just some of the factors linking Builders cleaning and mental health, as well as other trades in the construction industry. In a workforce that is predominantly male, specific risks associated with male mental health also need to be considered. The “tough guy” image widespread in the construction industry is very much to blame. Asking for help and opening up about emotions are just not things that come naturally to many of those working in the industry. The combination of these factors results in many suffering in silence.
Whilst poor mental health can manifest itself differently from individual to individual, the Construction Financial Management Association has set out some useful signs to look out for that can indicate untreated mental health conditions:
- increased lateness, absenteeism and presenteeism (showing up to work physically, but not being able to function)
- decreased productivity
- lack of self-confidence
- increased feelings of being overwhelmed
- decreased problem-solving ability
What can employers do?
The statistics as they stand are clearly unacceptable, mental health needs to be made an urgent priority by all employers in the construction industry.
- Culture check – Undertake a culture check to establish the culture of the workforce and identify any issues that could be causing work-related stress.
- Culture change – A change in the culture surrounding mental health needs to start at the top. Leadership teams can show commitment to creating a culture change towards mentally healthier workplaces and workforces by investing in a Workplace Wellbeing Strategy to create culture change in a safe and structured manner.
- Mental health safety net – Employers should ensure their employees have access to and are aware of the support available through counseling and therapy services.
- Up-skilling and education – Team leaders responsible for supporting employees should have sufficient knowledge and skills to be able to spot the signs of poor mental health and to provide support and guidance.
- Peer support – Employers should up-skill and educate employees so they can look out for any peers who may be struggling with their mental health. Knowing how to start the conversation and knowing how to safely signpost peers to mental health services can make a huge difference at the early signs of mental health difficulty.
- Reduce stigma – Employers need to reduce stigma, raise awareness, change attitudes and provide knowledge to empower employees to look after their mental health and wellbeing.
- Embed and repeat – It is essential that employers continue to provide these interventions, services, and training in order to embed culture change – not just tick the mental health box.
Insensitive words or phrases can increase the stigma surrounding mental health and make it even harder for the people around you to feel like they can talk about any issues they’re facing.
Employers need to prioritise mental health in the workplace for commercial reasons too.
Unrecognised and unsupported mental health issues can have a massive impact on a company’s revenue. According to the National Building Specification, mental health issues account for people taking almost 70 million days off sick per year – the most of any health condition – costing the UK economy between £70Bn and £100Bn a year.
The way forward
Physical health and safety is already taken extremely seriously in the construction industry. However, statistics suggest that the most dangerous thing on a building site is the human mind. At a time where suicide kills more people in the construction industry than falls from height, it is only right that mental health and safety is given the same level of thought, time and investment as other site hazards to ensure that the workers in the industry are truly protected.
The construction and Builders cleaning industries have taken steps to reduce the stigma around mental health and to improve support but there is more that each and every one of us can do just by being aware of the signs and encouraging people to talk. Do not underestimate the impact you can make just by talking to someone. You could change someone’s life.
In the words of Mother Teresa, ‘It starts with a smile’ and indeed just smiling and being kind to somebody can make an incredible difference to their state of mind.