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Qualifications Count


Health and safety is an essential consideration in every business sector. WAMITAB emphasise the role that qualifications and training can play in raising cleaning standards.


You can never be quite sure of the response you will receive when you mention the phrase ‘health and safety’. However, it’s probably safe to say that the ‘default’ response will be a groan and mutterings about ‘nanny states’ and ‘red tape’. This viewpoint is fuelled, in part, by the media, which loves a health-and- safety-gone-mad story, but as the HSE Mythbusters Challenge Panel regularly reveals, these stories are rarely based on actual legislation.


Highlights of 2014 so far include a shop that kept its front door open continually, even in the coldest weather, to allow wheelchair users access, and a gym that refused to put up shelves in changing rooms because of health and safety implications. These sorts of stories can raise a smile and provoke a good-natured discussion, but health and safety in the workplace, and particularly in the cleaning industry, is no laughing matter.


The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) uses its healthy workplaces campaigns to raise awareness and, since the campaigns began in 2000, various subjects have been highlighted. These have included preventing musculoskeletal disorders, handling dangerous substances, noise issues, safe maintenance, and risk prevention. This year’s campaign, which starts in April, focusses on managing stress and psychosocial risks at work, demonstrating just how wide-ranging health and safety issues can be.


Cleaning Sector Hazards The UK cleaning industry employs a large number of people, providing


34 | TRAINING & EDUCATION


services for a diverse range of organisations such as healthcare, education, transport, catering, leisure facilities and much more. The HSE lists the following issues as having a significant impact on health and safety in the cleaning sector:


• Slips, trips and falls • Working at height


• Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH)


• Work-related contact dermatitis


• Back pain and musculoskeletal disorders


The Right Career Path WAMITAB recognises that cleaning can offer a viable career if individuals are willing to develop their skills to meet the demands of modern cleaning service provision, which is becoming increasingly complex due to new technological advances and the development of cleaning agents. We are pleased to provide many cleaning and street cleansing qualifications, apprenticeships, training programmes and routes to a wide range of organisations across all industries.


The cleaning qualifications that WAMITAB offer include:


• Entry Level Award in Practical Cleaning Skills


• Level One Award in Practical Cleaning Skills


• Level One Certificate in Cleaning and Support Services


• Level Two Award in Practical Cleaning Skills


• Level Two Award in Cleaning Principles


• Level Two Certificate in Cleaning and Support Services


www.tomorrowscleaning.com


• Level Two Certificate in Cleaning Principles


• Level Three Certificate in Cleaning Services Supervision


• Level Three Diploma in Cleaning Supervision Skills


Sections on health and safety are a major feature of this suite of qualifications, with modules including:


• Reducing risks to health and safety in the workplace


• Working safely at heights


• Health and safety for the cleaning and support services industry


• Developing and implementing a risk assessment plan


• Providing guidance, resources and support to enable staff to minimise the risks of spreading infection when cleaning


Cleaning is a hugely important part of the fabric of society – an essential service to which we all have a right, ranking alongside access to health, education, warmth, water and heat. We therefore need to ensure that the people who provide our cleaning services are correctly qualified, and of course protected by relevant, up- to-date training on health and safety matters. By providing clear and consistent health and safety training, contract cleaning companies not only show a commitment to the well-being of their staff, they also demonstrate their professionalism and dedication to making this sector a safer, more successful place in which to work.


www.wamitab.org.uk


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