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  • How to choose the right hygiene tools for your business


    Vikan hygiene equipment


    How to choose the right hygiene tools for your business

    Hygiene is a huge part of every business regardless of the work you carry out. Whether you’re in catering, education or construction, keeping things clean and safe is an integral part of a safe and productive workplace. Therefore, when choosing your hygiene tools and products it’s important you ensure they are going to meet your requirements. Here’s our guide.


    Consider what you are most frequently going to clean up...

    The first thing you should consider when exploring products is what exactly it is you will be cleaning away. Is it grease, dirt, bacteria or something else such as soil and mud? What risks are involved with the cleaning? Will using an ill-suited product result in mere grime build-up or could it lead to the spreading of bacteria and illness?  If you know what it is that you’re removing, then every product you buy should have this goal in mind so make sure to read any product descriptions thoroughly.

    For workplaces such as food processing plants, anti-bacterial cleaning solutions and cleaning tools which are designed so there are no nooks or crevices to harbour germs are a wise investment, for example.


    What areas and items need to be cleaned?

    After determining what you will be cleaning away, you need to be aware of which surfaces you will be cleaning on. A brush that is suited to flat surfaces will differ greatly to those that are designed to clean around grooves and protruding materials. Similarly, when looking at which cleaning solutions to use make sure to examine the chemicals used carefully as some could be harmful to certain surfaces. After all, you are not just cleaning, you are helping to provide longevity to your products and machinery.


    Are your products helping you to meet safety standards and regulations?

    If you work with food, you will be well aware of any hygiene standards you will have to comply with. Luckily, most tools that are used for hygiene purposes, especially if they are food-related, will state whether they conform to certain standards. If you don’t see whether or not a product meets all applicable EU and FDA standards, then it's best to check.

    You can find a helpful summary of regulations relating to cleaning products and equipment here: www.ukcpi.org/ask-an-expert/cleaning-regulations. The Health and Safety Executive also have a microsite dedicated to cleaning in the workplace, including helpful case studies and guides: www.hse.gov.uk/cleaning/index.htm


    Which cleaning tools and products are the safest and easiest for your staff to use?

    When choosing your hygiene tools, it’s a good idea to keep in mind what will help your staff perform their jobs effectively and efficiently. If choosing between two products, go for the product that will save time and make your employees lives easier due to a more ergonomic design or the product that has been specifically designed for that task. While multi-purpose products are great and certainly have their place, choosing something that is tailor-made for a specific task is often the right choice when it comes to choosing hygiene tools.

    Invest in hygiene tools which will last and which are easy to clean

    Another important factor to consider is whether a product will support good hygiene practices. Just as the age-old riddle asks what gets wetter the more it dries; it is possible for a brush or other cleaning tool to get dirtier the more it cleans. Therefore, when choosing brushes and similar tools, make sure they will be easy to clean themselves. This will not only help support a clean working environment, but it will encourage a clean and safe work ethic.

    While it is always tempting to opt for the cheaper choice, investing in high-quality tools is just that; an investment. A tool that lasts longer performs better, and helps improve overall hygiene in the workplace is an investment you won’t regret making.

    Are your hygiene tools designed so they are easy to store?
    Cheap or ‘budget’ tools often can’t be hung up or stored properly. Professional tools will have matching brackets or hooks to keep them stored safely, kept dry and out of the way.


    Consider how well the tools can be colour coded
    An important part of any hygiene regime is colour coding equipment so that it is only used in the appropriate zone -- for example, green for areas where food is prepared or processed and red for sanitary fittings and washroom floors. Look for tools that come in a consistent range of colours. Buying a disparate range of odd-ball products may result in having several shades of green or blue in your production area, or having bought a cheap brush you may find there isn’t a squeegee available in that colour…


    Add to basket...

    Here are some useful bits of kit to kickstart your hygiene tool wishlist.




    D327 cleans and sanitises in one operation and is specifically designed for use through a pressure washer or lance with a foaming attachment. A hypochlorite based, highly alkaline food plant cleaner, it incorporates a high foam formulation to produce a dense clinging white foam in application. Designed for use in food preparation, food handling and food storage areas, D327 is effective at removing carbonised deposits, dried grease and oil, blood and protein, and starch from plastic walls and ceilings, ceramic tiles, vinyl and plastic coatings, stainless steel machinery and equipment.





    Ergonomically designed short-handled churn brush with stiff bristles. This is a versatile brush suitable for every-day cleaning, ideal for stubborn dirt on conveyor belts, production lines, machinery and food preparation surfaces.




    These blue antibacterial wipes in 13cm x 13cm size are great for cleaning probes and similar utensils. Eliminating cross-contamination quickly and easily with one wipe over, these wet wipes are effective against gram positive and gram negative bacteria, viruses and fungi including H1N1, salmonella, listeria, e-coli, Staphylococcus aureus, c-difficile, MRSA, candida albicans, and aspergillus niger, with a kill rate of 30 seconds. They are tested and approved to European norms EN1276 bactericidal efficacy and EN1650 fungicidal activity and are ideal for the disinfection of small to medium food preparation surfaces, weighing scales, microwave ovens, utensils.



    This large 20-litre bucket by Vikan boasts multi-purpose functionality, hygienic design and unmatched durability. With its hygienic design and premium-quality, durable materials, the Vikan 20 Litre Bucket is a multi-purpose powerhouse you’ll find yourself using everywhere. It is an ideal “mixing station”, where you can mix ingredients stored in smaller Vikan buckets or in multiple 20 Litre buckets.

    Ideal for solid or liquid ingredients, it’s big enough to mix in, small enough for lifting and transporting. There are measurement markers inside for accurate measuring and a bottom handle and non-drip lip to facilitate lifting and pouring. Save space by stacking two buckets on top of each other.

    The lid snaps securely in place for enhanced food safety and you can transport straight to and from storage areas with ease thanks to the dual handle system for carrying alone or with a colleague. The large size lets you move more and save trips while the colour coding ensures proper segregation. This bucket makes an ideal cleaning and disinfection station for all sorts of food-related tools and utensils. This and all Vikan products meet all applicable EU and FDA standards.

    If you’d like some advice about what hygiene tools and products could help to improve safety and productivity in your workplace, our team are really knowledgable and happy to offer advice. Call us on 01726 74264 or email sales@cisafety.com


  • How to care for hi vis and waterproof workwear

    Thoughtful middle aged man, male builder foreman, worker, contra

    As the winter months appear, your employees will be reaching for their hi vis and waterproof clothing far more often, adding that extra bit of use that can see the fabrics wear down that little bit faster. To avoid having to restock earlier than you would like, ensure you have good policies in place to keep all PPE in good condition so it will protect your employees and maintain regulatory standards.



    After a long day on site, it can be tempting for your employees to simply pull off their hi vis clothing and leave it in a crumpled pile on the floor until they need it the following day. Unfortunately, this will not help prolong the life of their clothing.

    If you have the space, allowing staff to store their outerwear at their place of work is ideal. While adding a sense of routine in how the garments are removed and cared for, it will also make it easier to conduct inspections to discover when clothing is need of replacing.

    Ask all employees to remove their hi vis and waterproof clothing as soon as they are inside. If they’ve been working in the wet or in close proximity to mud, ask them to brush off or wash any dirty clothing or footwear before storing as dirt and sand can be very detrimental to the longevity of PPE.

    Of course, damp is also a concern so ensuring the storage is warm and that items of clothing are allowed enough space and time to dry is another tick in the box. Similarly, allowing hi vis and waterproof garments to be hung up will ensure they are aired and will help them keep their original shape.



    It should go without saying that all attire should be cleaned on a regular basis, but it’s surprising how people often don’t apply this to their outerwear. Of course, how often you will need to wash hi vis and waterproof clothing depends largely on the type of work your employees are carrying out so in most cases common sense will be the deciding factor.

    When it comes to hi vis clothing, removing stains and dirt is very important as not only can it cover the hi visibility panels on a garment rendering them ineffective, but long exposure to dirt and other materials can degrade the fabric irreversibly. It is therefore important that you instil a nature of cleanliness within your team. Make sure they know how important it is to keep their hi vis clothing clean and up to standards. Similarly, make it easy for them to act on it. Keeping clean and dry cloths and a mild stain remover where the clothing is kept will encourage workers to remove stains as soon as they can, in turn, keeping their clothing up to code.

    When the time comes for a deep clean, you have two options. There are plenty of companies who offer professional laundering services and who will collect, wash and deliver your garments on a regular basis. Alternatively, you can ask that employees take responsibility for their own clothing. Luckily, all hi vis clothing must come with clear instructions on the labels. However, a good rule of thumb when washing hi vis or waterproof clothing is to use gentle detergents and to avoid fabric softeners and bleach, as this will protect the reflective tape and waterproof membranes in the fabric.

    It’s important to include workers’ boots in the policy as well. Although they might look hardy, a build-up of mud and dirt is just as detrimental to a leather boot. Using a brush to remove dried mud and dust and water to wash the rest away, workers can ensure their boots stay clean and effective. Providing them with leather food and water repellent spray is also a good way of keeping the boots treated and up to standards.



    Of course, no item of clothing is going to last forever, especially heavily used PPE. Knowing when to replace each garment is an important part of caring for your staff. Luckily, regulations are there to help you know when it’s time to ditch the old in favour of the new.

    With hi vis clothing, a garment will be in need of replacing when the overall reflective surface area falls below the minimum area, which are as follows:

    Material Class 1 Class 2 Class 3
    Fluorescent material 0.14m2 0.50m2 0.80m2
    Reflective strip 0.10m2 0.13m2 0.20m2


    If a garment falls below these coverage areas, then it’s time to hang up the garment for good and replace it. Once replaced, it’s also important to remember these figures when workers are wearing the clothes. Even the act of tucking trousers into a pair of boots can reduce the reflective surface area enough for it to fall under the required amount. Similarly, if your company adds logos to its workwear, ensure it does not cover too much of the reflective surface areas or again it will not be up to scratch.

    Other signs that an item of clothing is in need of replacing includes: damage beyond repair, it has been stained so heavily that cleaning no longer restores it, or it has simply reached its shelf life, which can be the case with some PPE items.

    An important thing to remember when replacing PPE is to look for the CE mark, as this means the garment has been rigorously tested and has been approved for use alongside the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002.

    If in doubt, check the HSE for advice and regulations for PPE for hi vis clothing see page 32.




    When it comes to PPE, there are rarely ifs or buts. If it is required that an employee wears a hi vis vest when conducting his or her job, then there must be one available. With this in mind, it can be helpful to always have back ups on-hand in case of sudden damage to current clothing.


    Add to basket

    Here are some useful bits of kit that will allow your workplace to maintain an effective PPE care policy.



    Chelsea Leather Food

    It’s important to look after leather, especially when it regularly gets wet. Natural oils in the material can be washed out and if they’re not replaced, the leather will crack. Periodically treating your boots with Leather food will rejuvenate the leather and maintain its water-resistant qualities.

    PPE Metal Storage Cabinet, 550x250x750mm, £379.99 PPE Metal Storage Cabinet, 550x250x750mm, £379.99

    Keep PPE safe and secure but still to hand with this wall mounted storage cabinet with lockable door and interior shelves. Your PPE won't get damaged or broken in this, thanks to the tough metal construction, and it is always visible where wearers can see it easily - reinforcing good practice.

    The interior section has a raised lip among the front to prevent items falling out, and this cabinet size will suit several items such as masks, helmets, gloves or a complete PPE kit. Front symbols can be changed on request to suit the application.

    COTTON RAGS- 10KG, £9.96 COTTON RAGS- 10KG, £9.96


    Useful to keep on-hand for cleaning PPE, these cotton rags are great for use with mild cleansers and stain removers as they are not harsh and won’t cause too much friction with reflective tape, leather boots or waterproof clothing.

    If you would like more information on caring for your workwear, or you are in need of replacing your current workwear, give us a call on 01726 74264, email us at sales@cisafety.com or take a look at the clothing we offer online atwww.cisafety.com

  • Eye protection with prescription lenses



    Research shows that approximately 25% of all workers wearing protective eyewear will need prescription safety eyewear. In this guide we set out the main regulations to be aware of and also the key things to consider when setting out policy and procuring prescription eyewear.


    What the regulations say:

    All prescription safety eyewear must meet the requirements set out in Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002. A CE marking which  signifies that the protection satisfies the necessary requirements of regulations and in some cases will have been tested by an independent body is also required.


    It’s important to note that standard prescription eyewear for reading, driving, etc is not a substitute for safety eyewear as it does not offer any relevant impact protection. For those who use prescription glasses (and this includes most people over the age of 40), a safety overspec must be used or the employee must be provided with prescription safety eyewear to meet their needs.


    The main requirement of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations is that personal protective equipment (PPE) should only be used as a last resort and where risk to health and safety cannot be controlled in other ways.


    If, following a risk assessment, certain tasks and areas do require that staff need protective eyewear, then a clear policy for training, provision, storage and maintenance of the PPE must be set out and implemented.


    Anyone using PPE will need to be informed why they need the eyewear, when and how it should be used, repaired or replaced and if there are any limitations.


    Attention should be given to the following:

    • The safety eyewear is suitable for the hazardous task or environment. Possible hazards include: Chemical or metal splash, dust, projectiles, gas and vapour, radiation

    Make sure the eye protection chosen has the right combination of impact/dust/splash/molten metal eye protection for the task and fits the user properly

    • The needs of the wearer
    • Compatibility with other PPE
    • If overspecs are worn there should be an adequate gap between the prescription glasses and overspecs that are worn over the top of them
    • All eye protection should have safety codes embedded or etched onto the lens and frame and should, at the very least, meet BS EN166 standards.
    • Ensure the eyewear is CE marked to indicate conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA).

    Click here to find out more about EN166 standards for eye protection here.

    What options are available?

    Face screens, face shields, visors

    This PPE is suitable for environments where projectiles or splash could harm the whole face, not just the eyes.





    Good value face visor offering excellent strength and durability. Lightweight at just 160g, these polycarbonate visors give great protection against impact, projectiles and scratches and also offer splash protection (acetate version also available for better chemical resistance). 200mm length.


    Over-goggles (or eye shields) are suitable for many environments and it’s good to have some available if you have visitors to a site where everyone is required to have protective eyewear. However, these shouldn't be provided as a long-term solution glasses-wearers as they don't give comfortable vision, due to the effect of light refraction through two sets of lenses.




    Eiger offer an excellent ski-style goggle with soft and flexible seal. They have indirect vents for protection against dust and liquid splash and anti-scratch and anti-mist polycarbonate lens, for excellent all round vision. Tested and CE Approved to BS EN166 1 B 3 4:2002

    Prescription spectacles or goggles

    Prescription eyewear is fitted with lenses which meet an individual's requirements for corrected vision. Protective eyewear lenses are made using the following materials:

    Glass lenses are scratch-resistant and offer excellent optical quality. However, glass lenses are rarely used as PPE as it shatters on impact and can only be fitted into fully rimmed glasses which limits the field of vision and the range of products it can be fitted with.

    Plastic, also known as hard resin, is approximately 50% lighter than glass and comes in the widest variety of lens styles of any material. It is far less scratch resistant but can be covered with a scratch-resistant coating and a UV coating for protection from harmful ultraviolet light.


    Polycarbonate is one of the thinnest and lightest materials available and it is usually preferred to conventional plastic (also known as hard resin) because of its impact resistance and lighter weight. Polycarbonate material blocks both UVA and UVB light.

    The nature of the hazard will often determine which lenses are best for the protective eyewear.


    Clients requiring prescription lenses can try Terminator safety spectacles which are available as prescription lenses, including bifocal lenses.

    You can also see a range of protective eyewear frames from our supplier INFIELD here.

    Prescription eyewear does require the wearer to have an assessment, and our team can offer advice on the process of procurement and products available.

    Click here to see our full range of protective eyewear


    Our sales team can give you more information regarding prescription eye protection available. Call us on 01726 74264 or email sales@cisafety.com

  • Introducing the new Instagate!


    When you need to safeguard and segregate pedestrians from workplace hazards or moving vehicles, or if you need to direct the flow of pedestrians for security and safety, pedestrian barriers are an ideal option.

    We’re really pleased to be offering the new Instagate by Armorgard which is the next generation crowd control barrier.

    • Instagate can be easily moved and deployed by one person.
    • It is available in 2 different heights (4ft and 6ft) with a unique latching system for adding additional modules to create any length.
    • It’s designed to be weatherproof and wind-resistant
    • Ideal for indoor or outdoor use.
    • Its unique rounded design allows it to be used with standard scaffold clamps for fixing to scaffold or turning corners.



    Made from strong, lightweight aluminium, the Armorgard mobile barrier is also designed for easy movement and secure placement. With its braked wheels and a unique latching system, InstaGate can extend to any length and be opened and fixed single-handedly. Once expanded and braked, InstaGate forms a highly visible red and white barrier. Multiple units can be easily locked together.

    All in all, it’s a multipurpose piece of equipment which is robust and designed for a wide range of settings and uses.


    Click here to find out more about Armorgard Instagate and see a video of it in use.

    Our customers want a product that is quick to order and quick to deploy,” says said Armorgard Managing Director Terry Mitchell. "InstaGate ticks both boxes."

    If you would like to talk to us about this new product or simply ask advice about pedestrian barriers and other ways of safeguarding the public and your workforce from workplace hazards, call us on 01726 74264 or email us at sales@cisafety.com

  • Measuring & storage: tubs and troughs


    When it comes to the storage of bulky materials and foodstuffs, tubs and troughs are often the ideal solution.


    Using plastic tubs allows you to store large quantities of materials, including foodstuffs and store it in an insect-proof and airtight container, reducing risk of damp and bacterial contamination.


    Freestanding plastic troughs, or troughs which can be held in steel, moveable trolleys are tough, durable and hygienic products with a variety of uses and they are frequently utilized within food processing and manufacturing, bakeries, the meat industry and catering trades. They are often used as washing and cleaning units for the cleaning of utensils and apparatus as they are very easy to clean and allow water to be drained freely and easily.


    What materials?

    Stainless steel 

    Stainless steel does not leach chemicals.

    Bacteria are a greater food safety concern than leaching chemicals. You minimize bacteria with tight sealing lids. ...Metal containers with slip-over metal lids seal as well as the best plastic containers.

    Do bear in mind that metal containers with plastic lids tend not to seal very well.

    Metal containers with slip-over metal lids seal as well as the best plastic containers.



    Plastic tubs are often less expensive and lightweight as well as being durable. However, not all plastics are safe for use with food;


    There are seven types of plastic, usually indicated by a number in a triangle on the container bottom.


    1. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE)

    E.g. Disposable soft drink and water bottles.


    2. High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)/

    E.g. Liquid detergent bottles, shampoo bottles


    3. Polyvinyl Chloride (V or PVC)

    E.g. Meat wrap, cooking oil bottles.


    4. Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

    E.g. Clingfilm, sandwich bags


    5. Polypropylene (PP)

    E.g. Syrup bottles, yogurt tubs,


    6. Polystyrene (PS)

    E.g. Disposable coffee cups


    7. Other (misc.; usually polycarbonate, or PC, but also polylactide, or PLA, plastics made from renewable resources)

    E.g. Baby bottles, medical storage containers.


    • The best type of plastic for use in long-term food storage is high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is indicated by the "2" symbol. HDPE is one of the most stable and inert forms of plastic, and all plastic buckets sold specifically for food storage will be made from this material.
    • Also take note of any food-handling symbols imprinted on the plastic item. A standardized system of symbols is used on plastics to indicate their appropriate uses around food. A symbol depicting a cup and fork means that the plastic is safe for storing food, and is therefore a food grade container.


    Key features to look for in tubs

    • Hygienic design: Smooth internal and external walls to ensure easy cleaning and avoid areas where bacteria can be harboured.
    • If plastic, made with food safety approved polymers. See above for more guidance on the different kinds of plastic.
    • Colour coding: helps to avoid cross-contamination.
    • Easy to read measures: Accurate measures inside can help with stock taking and informing staff on how much product is stored / can be added to the container.
    • Durability: Investing in containers made from durable materials means you don’t have to replace equipment, but also, there’s lower risk of contamination from bacteria gathering in damaged edges.
    • Close fitting lid: to enable materials and foods to be stored in hygienic, airtight conditions.

    See our range of tubs on page 14 of our brochure:


    For larger containers and tubs please contact us at sales@cisafety.com or call 01726 74264


    Key features to look for in troughs

    • Plug chains on the outside of the unit: this ensures the user does not have to get wet to drain the trough.
    • Hygienic design: Smooth internal and external walls to ensure easy cleaning and avoid areas where bacteria can be harboured.
    • If plastic, made with food safety approved polymers. See above for more guidance on the different kinds of plastic.
    • Colour coding: helps to avoid cross-contamination.
    • Easy to read measures: Accurate measures inside are useful particularly if containers are used for concentrated solutions.
    • Durability: Investing in troughs made from durable materials means you don’t have to replace equipment, but also, there’s lower risk of contamination from bacteria gathering in damaged edges.
    • Close fitting lid: to enable materials and foods to be stored in hygienic, airtight conditions.


    120 LITRE WASH TROUGH C/W LID, 762 X 548 X 838MM, £470.47 120 LITRE WASH TROUGH C/W LID, 762 X 548 X 838MM, £470.47 227 litre capacity, insulated double-skinned body for superior heat retention. Durable and hard-wearing. Rounded profile, one piece construction with smooth surfaces - very easy to clean. Manufactured using 'food grade' material giving a Hygienic surface. 38mm drain outlet including plug - quick draining. Mould-in legs reducing the lifting height. Plug chain is fixed to outer edge so that the user does not need to get wet.


    If you would like more information on products that would suit your workplace, please email us at sales@cisafety.com or call 01726 74264.


  • Measuring & storage: scoops and buckets


    Nearly every food processing plant uses buckets and scoops in a variety of day to day tasks. Although they seem to be common and fairly insignificant items of equipment, investing in the right products can make a big difference to profit margins and to compliance to food safety regulations. Here’s our guide to key features and good products which are available.

    Key features to look for in scoops

    Choosing the right scoops means you can ensure that you measure the right quantities easily and efficiently, saving time, reducing wastage and ensuring you meet regulations.

    Here are some key features to look for:

    • Ergonomic design: lightweight scoops which are easy to hold mean staff can work more quickly, efficiently and with reduced risk of Repetitive Strain Injury. A spout on each side of the scoop, means the scoops can easily be used by both left and right-handed staff.
    • Hygienic design: Particularly when used for chemicals or foodstuffs, choosing scoops which are made in one piece, and which have smooth surfaces means lower risk of bacteria gathering or residue substances remaining.
    • If plastic, made with food safety approved polymers. Click here for more guidance on food contact materials.
    • Colour coding: In all areas of food production, and for general manufacturing, colour coding makes it easy for staff to avoid cross-contamination of scoops.
    • Easy to read measures: Accurate measures mean less waste while adhering to weights and measures regulations.
    • Durability: Investing in scoops made from durable materials means you don’t have to replace equipment, but also, there’s lower risk of contamination from bacteria gathering in damaged edges.



    Vikan Square Hand Scoop, 1 Litre, £2.59 Vikan Square Hand Scoop, 1 Litre, £2.59


    Our Vikan range of scoops come in a variety of colours. They are lightweight and durable, and designed with hygiene in mind. The smooth surface makes it extremely easy to clean, ideal for use in food production areas for moving food ingredients.

    Key features to look for in buckets

    The humble bucket fulfills so many roles. Common uses include the following:


    • Storing dry or wet ingredients
    • Small cleaning tasks using a chemical solution and a brush, cloth or pad
    • Storing/dosing chemicals that have to be placed in a safe area
    • Soaking cleaning tools or small spare parts, such as couplings or scrapers
    • Segregating allergens
    • Waste collection (often in black buckets)
    • Gathering up glass debris (along with a bench brush and a dustpan)
    • For washing hands

    Depending on what a bucket is to be used for, the following features can be hugely beneficial:


    • Ergonomic design: handles which easy to hold mean it’s easier to carry heavier contents without hurting hands and less risk of dropping or spilling from the bucket. Extra handles can make it easier to pour from the bucket. Some buckets, such as those from our Vikan range also have scoops to make it easier to fill buckets with dry materials and spouts to enable more accurate pouring.

    Click here for more information on our Vikan range of buckets and scoops.

    • Hygienic design: Particularly when used for chemicals or foodstuffs, buckets which have durable, smooth surfaces are easier to clean thoroughly. A self-draining base also means water won’t collect when a bucket is stored upside down.
    • If plastic, made with food safety approved polymers. Click here for more guidance on food contact materials.
    • Colour coding: In all areas of food production, and for general manufacturing, colour coding makes it easier to avoid cross-contamination.
    • Easy to read measures: Accurate measures mean less waste while adhering to weights and measures regulations.
    • Durability: Investing in buckets made from durable materials means you don’t have to replace equipment as often, and there is lower risk of contamination from bacteria gathering in damaged edges.
    • Signage. Some buckets, such as our green mop bucket and ringer are not only ideal for mopping floors but come with Wet Floor hazard signage to reduce the need for extra equipment.


    Mop bucket and wringer, green, £9.35 15 litre Mop bucket and wringer, green, £9.35 15 litre


    If you would like more information on products that would suit your workplace, feel free to email us at sales@cisafety.com or call 01726 74264.


  • Choosing the right chopping boards and tables

    Chef using a chopping board

    For commercial food businesses, choosing the right chopping boards is important in helping to maintain high standards of safety and food hygiene and in ensuring costs for replacement equipment is kept to a minimum.

    In this guide we’ll outline the options from color-coded sets which help to avoid cross-contamination, to wooden and plastic boards and tables, along with offering tips to help you ensure your boards and tables are kept in good repair.

    Colour Chopping Boards

    Plastic colour-coded chopping boards help avoid cross-contamination of food in your kitchen. Although individual businesses may have their own systems, in common practice there are six different colour-coded chopping boards which are often matched with food groups that are recommended by the Food Standards Agency in the UK.


    WHITE -- bakery and dairy products.

    YELLOW -- cooked meats.

    BROWN -- root vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips or turnips.

    RED -- raw meats only.

    BLUE -- raw fish only.

    GREEN -- salad, fruit and fresh vegetables.



    PURPLE chopping boards

    Purple has recently been introduced into some colour-coding food preparation systems as a board where foods which are  ‘free-from’ allergens such as gluten.


    Currently this colour-coding system is only recommended and as yet is not enforced by law. Wall charts or posters put up throughout food preparation areas are a good option  are available as a quick reference for employees, to help them see which colours are suitable for each task at a glance.

    We offer a range of colour-coded chopping boards, at custom sizes. See page 7 of our brochure for more information.




    Colour coded chopping boards


    There are two main materials used to make plastic chopping boards:

    • High-density polyethylene (HDPE) - HDPE boards are often slightly more expensive, but they are stronger and more resilient to knife scratches and warping. Thicker board widths are advisable in commercial kitchens.
    • Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) - LDPE is a lightweight plastic designed to be replaced often, helping to cut out food contamination. These boards can warp and bend under high temperatures, such as dishwasher drying cycles.

    Tips for maintenance and replacement:

    • A plastic chopping board should be replaced when its surface is deeply scored. Bacteria can grow in these areas and be transferred to food, even after the board has been washed.
    • A plastic chopping board should also be replaced if it is warped. Plastic and acrylic chopping boards can ‘warp’ particularly if subjected to high heat, for example in a dishwasher during the drying phase. The bend in the board means that someone chopping is more likely to slip and injure themselves while using a knife.



    Wooden chopping boards are more resistant to bacteria growth than plastic chopping boards. Wooden boards also have a lower erosive effect on knife blades, helping your knives to stay sharper for longer. However, laminated wood boards are not usually dishwasher-safe and are therefore more difficult to clean. Wood can also be ‘scored’ to leave grooves and the boards can crack, exposing more areas for bacteria to latch on to.

    Tips for maintenance and replacement:

    • Wooden chopping boards should be replaced if they are cracked, scored, or if the seams between the boards begin to separate.
    • Wooden chopping boards should not be submerged in water, as this can cause them to warp and crack as they dry.
    • Seasoning a wooden board or table with mineral oil can help to prevent cracking. Once a month, rub the oil along the grain and removing excess oil with paper towel.
    • To clean the board, wash both sides in hot soapy water and use anti-bacterial spray to ensure any bacteria is eliminated. Air drying is the best option.
    • Keep your chopping boards upright with space between them to ensure they are kept dry, which reduces risk of bacteria growth.

    For commercial food preparation, we offer bespoke boards cut to the required size and thickness. We can also supply tables with chopping boards and sink units fitted to specific specifications to help ensure that your food preparation area is as safe and efficient as possible.

    table 4 a (2)

    If you’d like more advice on these or other products which will suit your workplace our team are happy to offer advice. Contact us on 01726 74264 or email sales@cisafety.com


  • Safety signage in the workplace

    3D render of set of basic Safety at work warning and information signs on white background


    Are you aware of the legal requirement for employers to ensure that safety signage is provided and maintained in the workplace? Here’s our guide

    Health and Safety Executive regulations in the UK require employers to ensure that safety signs are provided (or are in place) and maintained in circumstances where there is a significant risk to health and safety that has not been removed or controlled by other methods. This is only appropriate where use of a sign can further reduce the risk.


    Click here for a full guide to HSE regulations on safety signage.


    You can also get more guidance a full range of products from us.





    Step one: Determining where safety signage may be needed

    To check this, it’s necessary to look to the risk assessment carried out for your workplace premises under. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (the Management Regulations) this risk assessment should identify hazards and risks associated with those hazards, and the control measures to be taken. For example in a noisy area, access may be restricted and those working in the area required to wear ear protection.


    When those control measures have been put in place there may be a significant ‘residual’ risk such that employees must be warned of any further measures necessary.


    Safety signs should be used if they will help to further reduce this residual risk, for example warning visitors and staff not to enter a particular area. If the risk is not significant, however, there is no need to provide a sign.


    It’s important to remember that safety signs are not a substitute for other means of controlling risks to employees but rather a supplement to measures that are already in place. For example, in some workplaces where there may be a risk of a foot injury, it may be appropriate to remind staff using the sign indicating that wearing foot protection is mandatory.


    Another point to note is that fire safety signs are regulated separately to the HSE safety signage and these may be required even where the risk assessment suggests there is no significant risk in a specific area.


    Step two: the different kinds of signs and choosing the correct ones to use.


    Safety signs may not be simply visual images and text on signboards. HSE definitions also include acoustic signals (such as fire alarms), verbal communication or hand signals.


    When it comes to visual signboards, the regulations set out that they should meet the following requirements:

    • Be sufficiently large and clear to be easily seen and understood.
    • Have adequate illumination
    • Size appropriate for intended viewing distance;
    • Durable, securely fastened and properly maintained (eg washed or resurfaced) to ensure they remain visible.
    • Use pictograms or symbols which are identical or similar to those shown in the HSE Signs and Safety Regulations.


    Generally, signs come under the following categories:



    STOP: A prohibition sign – a sign prohibiting behaviour likely to increase or cause danger (e.g. ‘no access for unauthorised persons’);

    Prohibition signs are generally round with a black pictogram on white background, red edging and diagonal line (the red part to take up at least 35% of the area of the sign).


    warning sign

    BE CAREFUL: A warning sign – a sign giving warning of a hazard or danger (eg ‘danger: electricity’);

    Separate regulations cover hazardous substances, but generally speaking, warning signs are triangular in shape and contain black pictograms on a yellow background with black edging (the yellow part to take up at least 50% of the area of the sign).


    AN ORDER:  A mandatory sign prescribing specific behaviour (e.g. ‘foot protection must be worn’). These signs should be round with a white pictogram on a blue background (the blue part to take up at least 50% of the area of the sign).

    INFORMATION: Signs giving important safety information, for example, the location of emergency exits, first aid, or rescue facilities. These signs should be rectangular or square in shape with a white pictogram on a green background (the green part to take up at least 50% of the area of the sign).




    The signs should be rectangular or square in shape with a white pictogram on a red background (the red part to take up at least 50% of the area of the sign).

    Step 3: Implementing the signs


    The HSE Safety Sign Regulations also set out useful points, such as ensuring that you do not put too many signs close together so that they become confusing. Acoustic signals should not be sounded together for a similar reason.

    It is also important to ensure that staff training incorporates basic knowledge and information so that workers are made aware of all safety signs used in the workplace.

    You can order signage which meets the HSE regulations and also get advice and help regarding the best signage for your workplace from us here at CIS Safety.

    Here are some examples:






    You can also get more guidance a full range of products from us.



    For more details of more products or advice or information on the right safety signage for your business, call us on  01726 74264 or email us on sales@cisafety.com

  • Helpful tips on marking & labelling



    An organized system of labelling is an essential activity in any facility. Ensuring safety is a key benefit, but it can also help to improve efficiency and organisation. It’s not always simple, however, particularly when a facility needs to label on difficult surfaces, such as sacks or food crates. Here is a guide to ensure you have a proactive labelling policy and helpful products to make the job easier.




    Proper labelling is a key requirement of Health and Safety Executive regulations in many cases. If you are using hazardous chemicals, for example, even if simply for cleaning purposes, you will need to have the containers labeled to meet appropriate standards. Click here for the HSE guide to labelling hazardous chemicals.

    There may be other regulations where you need to have proper labeling too. For example, Regulation 4 of the Manual Handling Operations Regulations (MHOR) requires employers to take appropriate steps to provide general indications and, where it is reasonably practicable to do so, precise information on the weight of each load, and the heaviest side of any load whose centre of gravity is not positioned centrally. You can find more information about HSE regulations on labelling of loads here: www.hse.gov.uk/msd/labellingloads


    An effective and simple way to achieve this is to introduce a system where crayons are used to identify the weight and heavier side of crates or boxes as they are moved into storage areas so they can be handled more safely in the future.




    Crayons based on paraffin waxes and paraffin oils. We use high-quality pigments to achieve an excellent colour quality. They write exceptionally well on practically all surfaces, are colour-fast, smudge-proof, unbreakable and temperature resistant. The markings can be easily removed from smooth surfaces using cleaning spirit. A suitable holder can be supplied upon request.



    Making safety equipment clearly visible can help staff or visitors to respond more quickly to emergencies and this can save lives in some situations.

    Fire extinguishers, first aid kits, emergency eye washing stations are among items that should be clearly labelled.



    A clear and consistent labelling process is vital when organising storage areas.

    Make sure you have a clear, well thought out system and write it down in process and training manuals.

    For example, you can use specific colours to label particular categories of products, enabling instant visual processing -- but this only works if everyone understands and sticks to the system.

    You can also use these labels in other parts of the facility to help improve organization. If you are working with items which are particularly difficult to mark, there are some great products which can be used to mark items such as crates, seafood boxes or even metal or clear plastic.




    For opaque marking on almost all surfaces even on dark or transparent ones, e.g. paper, plastic, metal, glass, wood, leather and stone. Also for use on wet wood. This marker is waterproof and does not bleed through paper.


    Benefits come in saving staff time in seeking out items and in reducing lost items which have to be replaced. Studies reveal that we spend 2.5 days per year looking for lost items, so the number of staff hours reclaimed by simple and effective organisation can add up to a significant boost to productivity in your workplace.



    Using your own system of labelling to identify different computers, machines or vehicles is much simpler than checking serial numbers and makes maintenance and repair of these items much easier.

    Marking pipes and wires with labels that match a written and thought out system can also save time and help to avoid accidents or unnecessary disruption. It’s essential to mark pipes which carry hazardous material, such as steam, for safety reasons of course. But labelling pipes and wires can help staff or external workers to track them from the source to the destination and make it easier to carry out maintenance or other work.

    This type of labelling can be something as simple as a solid colour that represents a specific type of pipe, or you can print off a written label, or write words, such as ‘cold water pipe 1’ every 20 feet or thereabouts.


    While most workplaces will have commonly used signs like ‘wet floor’ already available, having markers and a signage system for more unusual or ‘one-off’ signs is helpful.




    Having a simple and well organised labelling system makes it much easier to train and inform new employees as well as making it easier for staff from different departments to communicate and interact with each other and carry out their work throughout the premises.




    When choosing markers, it is now possible to choose products such as wax crayons which use fewer chemicals than permanent markers which are usually made from non-recyclable materials and plastics, or aerosols which nowadays emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which contribute to smog and ground ozone levels.



    Crayons based on special waxes and paraffin oil. We use high-quality pigments to achieve an excellent colour quality. The sticks are set apart by effective writing capability on hide, temperature stability, colour intensity and high luminance. The ingredients are harmless for humans or animals. Packaging and any unused materials can be discarded with residual waste. Contaminated fabrics and/or surfaces should first be roughly cleaned using a cloth and then washed with water and soap/detergent.

    If you’d like more advice on products and systems which can benefit your workplace our team are happy to offer advice. Contact us on 01726 74264 or email sales@cisafety.com

  • How to get the best out of your PPE workwear



    You can save unnecessary costs and help to protect yourself and staff by taking some simple steps to maintain workwear. Here’s a guide to ensuring your workwear lasts as long as possible.

    Research before you buy

    It’s always worthwhile considering how much workwear will cost per lifetime when making a purchase as well as considering current cashflow and budget within your business.

    Buying from respected manufacturers who have a good reputation for producing reliable, durable and high quality garments is key.

    We offer PPE from some excellent manufacturers including Elka and Mascot, for example. Both have a strong reputation for producing high-quality products with excellent functionality. They are also ethical and have robust Corporate Social Responsibility policies.




    You can find out more about particular PPE items as well as manufacturers by looking at review sites such as TrustPilot.

    Ensuring that you choose PPE made from good quality materials is also important.

    Another issue to consider is buying the correct size. If workers are wearing workwear which is too big or too small, it will not be as effective in protecting them, and it’s also more likely that items will get worn, damaged or simply discarded as being uncomfortable and unfit for purpose.

    You can also buy single-use disposable items such as aprons or coveralls to protect more expensive workwear which is worn underneath.


    Click here to see our range of disposable workwear.


    Check workwear before and after use

    Always check workwear for damage before use. Checking there are no ripped seams, for example, is important both before and after use. Having a simple reporting process for damaged PPE and a trained member of staff responsible for carrying out and recording checks can help you to reduce costs in completely replacing items which could have been repaired quickly and easily at the first sign of damage.

    Of course, this also ensure that you meet good health and safety standards and maintain PPE to a high condition.

    Wash with care

    When washing it is important to wash at the appropriate frequency to ensure that workwear is kept free from oil, grease and other substances which can render it unfit for use, but also not to wash too often.   Hi-vis garments, for example, can only be washed for a limited number of times before the reflective tape is damaged.


    Always check the care label to ensure that items are not washed at too high or low a temperature, and that they are not put in a spin wash if this is likely to damage clothing. If you are asking staff to wash and maintain their own uniforms, be aware that clear guidance is important, and even then, this process will increase risk of damage to items due to workwear being washed at the wrong setting.


    Close all zips, check pockets for objects, and turn items inside out to reduce fading on the outside of the workwear.

    Hi-vis clothing should be washed separately as sometimes dye from other items of clothing can reduce the visibility of the workwear.


    Click here to see our range of hi-vis clothing.


    Take care of waterproof clothing

    If washing waterproof or breathable clothing, non-biological detergent is generally best, but always check the care label on each item. There are also products which can be used during or after washing to help ensure waterproof PPE continues to keep water out while retaining breathable qualities.



    Ensuring that workwear is stored somewhere dry and clean, away from UV light or workplace chemicals will increase longevity. Wet garments should be hung to dry in a warm, well-ventilated area away from dry clothing.

    If you’d like more advice on what PPE is best for your workplace and how best to ensure it lasts as long as possible, our team are happy to advise on latest products to suit your needs.

    Contact us on 01726 74264 or email sales@cisafety.com

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