Best for business

The cleaning industry is vital to keeping the UK open for business, says ABM Facility Solutions’ Managing Director, John McPherson.

UK industry is officially open for business. Over recent weeks, we’ve seen companies welcome staff back to work, albeit with ways of working we couldn’t have imagined just eight months ago.

Essential to the reopening efforts, the facilities management and cleaning industries have had to innovate at warp speed to give clients the confidence to welcome back their employees and customers.

However, the work is far from done. The cleaning industry has a vital role to play in the UK’s economic recovery. Contract cleaners must face the challenge of building resilient programmes that incorporate frequent high-touch disinfection while continuing to take broader measures based on each facility’s risk profile. While getting business open was important, keeping them open as we continue to fight COVID-19 is vital.

At ABM we recognised the magnitude of what we needed to achieve for our customers and just how quickly they needed results. We also recognised that those needs would continually change as we navigate this crisis, and any that may follow. While it’s key that we all remain vigilant in monitoring the most up-to-date safety, infection control and cleaning protocols recommended by the likes of the Department for Health and Social Care, and the World Health Organization, we want to ensure our customers receive the best possible service possible, backed by world- class expertise.

That’s why we established an Expert Advisory Council, composed of external leading experts in infectious disease and industrial hygiene to advise on changing best practice, including our proprietary EnhancedClean programme. ABM’s Expert Advisory Council provides independent, third- party perspectives to support our internal experts in the value we deliver to clients.


Founding members include Dr Ruth Carrico, Professor and Director of the Global Health Initiative and Director of Epidemiologic Research for the Centre of Excellence for Research in Infectious Diseases (CERID) at the University of Louisville School of Medicine; as well as other global academic chairs and private consultants for occupational and public health.

While we’ve helped hundreds of businesses reopen, we are now focused on building a resilient infrastructure for recovery through step two and three of our EnhancedClean programme, which takes into account that no two facilities are the same. It is critical to assess all aspects of the built environment, such as potential bottlenecks, peak occupancy times and the movement of people.

Step two of our programme includes site-specific SOW for each facility type based on occupancy levels and disinfection of all high touchpoint areas. It also provides occupant communication kits, the use of HSE-registered disinfectants, full PPE and a microfibre programme.

The final step of the EnhancedClean programme takes a macro view offering a certified, more thorough disinfection process to help occupants feel confident that their environment is not only healthier day-to-day but reset to even higher standards.

This includes the use of electrostatic sprayers; HSE- registered disinfectants with faster kill time and broader pathogen spectrum; continued product testing; UV devices and UVC lighting; antimicrobial and environmental coating solutions and robotic disinfection.

As our industry and the UK economy works towards recovery, we can continue to give customers the confidence they need to succeed by creating services which combine internal knowledge and external expertise.

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