Paul Casson, Technical Field Manager at Rentokil Specialist Hygiene outlines the essentials to consider when cleaning above ground.

A regular, proactive cleaning regime is essential for maintaining basic hygiene standards on any premises. This not only helps ensure your premises are presentable; it also goes a long way to preventing the spread of infection and disease.

“FMs should first conduct an audit of all the areas on their premises that might require high level cleaning.”

Making sure that high traffic areas, such as reception areas and washrooms, remain clean and hygienic will always be a top priority for facilities managers, but it is also important to consider those areas which have a lower footfall. Many facilities will have internal and external high-level areas that can be difficult, and even dangerous, to clean, but over time will accumulate dust, dirt and grime, and will potentially become a hygiene risk.

“Staff who have not been

trained should not attempt to try and reach risky areas under any circumstances.”

So how can facilities managers keep these hard-to-reach areas clean? Employing the expertise of specialist cleaning technicians who have the correct training and equipment to reach and clean these high-level areas effectively, but most importantly, safely, is often a good option.

Assessing the situation FMs should first conduct an audit of all the areas on their premises that might require high level cleaning. This will vary depending on the facility, but common areas include ceilings, lights, windows, ducts and vents. The exterior of the building should also be considered. A specialist hygiene consultant could then be invited to visit your site to carry out a thorough site survey, to assess your hygiene requirements and recommend the appropriate course of cleaning action. It is common practice for specialist cleaning companies to offer this initial survey of requirements and services for free, so there’s no harm in getting one booked in.

Leave it to the experts High level cleaning can be a difficult process to carry out.

30 | TOMORROW’S FM High rise access equipment includes:

Scissor lift - can reach heights from 7 metres to 35 metres, using linked folding supports in a criss- cross pattern.

Cherry picker - an option for heights between 15 metres to 50 metres, a cherry picker is an aerial platform that consists of a platform or bucket at the end of a hydraulic lifting system.

One person lift platform - a smaller platform that can reach up to 9.5 metres, allowing technicians to work in tight, more difficult to navigate, spaces.

Mobile scaffolding - a free standing and stable platform that remains easy to move, depending on the area being cleaned.

Rope access cleaning - specially trained technicians can use rope access to abseil around facilities, allowing them to access otherwise unreachable areas of the facility.

In addition to high rise access equipment, technicians will also have access to other cleaning equipment, in order to get the job done more efficiently, including jet washers, back pac vacuums, ATEX vacuums, wet and dry vacuums, water feed brushes and long reach poles.

Staff who have not been trained should not attempt to try and reach risky areas under any circumstances. The safest approach is to bring in specialist technicians with the appropriate training and equipment - they’ll perform a full risk assessment before carrying out any work, to ensure maximum levels of safety. Accredited certification from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) is a sign of a quality technician.

Tools of the trade High level cleaners have a plethora of tools available to them in the fight against grime. The equipment used depends on the height of the area that requires cleaning, but also on how confined the space is.

Final thoughts When it comes to cleaning, ‘out of sight, out of mind’ really isn’t an option. While hard-to-reach areas may not need to be cleaned as frequently as other areas, ensuring they remain in a hygienic state is important for any premises. The most important thing to remember is never to attempt to clean a risky high level area yourself or allow others to do so. It is always safer and more effective to call in specialist cleaning technicians to do the job properly.

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