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  • Coronavirus update: We are still here to help

    wash-hands-4906750_1920

     

    The UK Government have confirmed that those involved in the production and distribution of PPE & hygiene products are classified as key workers and deemed as essential services, and therefore should remain open.

     

    This means we will continue to supply these products, which can help in the fight against the coronavirus, and confirm that orders will continue to be delivered to your premises.

     

    Orders will be confirmed when placed and also before any dispatch is made, to ensure we are not attempting delivery to a business that is currently closed.

     

    We are advising, however that supply of many products including face masks, disposable gloves, sanitisers and paper products are under extreme pressure and we are experiencing sustained delays as vital supplies are diverted to the NHS.

     

    If you are still operating, please prepare carefully, plan wisely and work with us as we do all we can to support those that need continued supply of these products. We are confident that the situation will be managed in time and we will win as the world responds to what is being asked of it.

     

    Whilst we are open for business, we are taking the following actions to guard against the spread of this terrible disease and protect both yourself and our staff:-

     

    • Staff are mostly working remotely, with the exception of a skeleton warehouse staff and operations.
    • Our trade counter is closed to collections, we are undertaking to deliver all orders during this crisis. Signatures will not be required however we have tracking and the driver will take a photograph of the goods at point of delivery.
    • The staff that are at work are segregated and work separately.
    • We have increased cleaning and disinfection routines.

     

    So what does this mean for you? The sales team is still available to take calls, video conference and email, and so if you have any queries or requests for information please do not hesitate to get in touch using the normal contact details.

     

    Tel: 01726 74264

    Email: sales@cisafety.com

     

    We would like to thank our customers for their patience if deliveries have been affected during this unprecedented outbreak.

     

    We will continue to do all we can so that we can maintain this vital supply to the frontline services that are in greatest need. There is good news emerging around the world, so keep positive and by working together we will come through!

    Thank you and stay safe.

  • Simple ways to help your staff avoid coronavirus

    human-hand-under-pouring-water

     

    As with any situation, clear, helpful and accurate information is always useful. Here we offer some simply guidance to help you minimise risk to your staff and visitors of coronavirus infections, or indeed any other viral infections (including the common cold).

    Provide the right hand-washing provisions

    In a recent survey (by Initial, November 2019), one in five workers said that their employers failed to provide hand-washing products such as soap or towels.

    While it can be argued that the responsibility for clean hands lies with the individual, making it easy and providing good products and educating people about efficient hand hygiene is the first very basic step which every employer should be following.

    It is important, however, to ensure you are providing the right products.

    These anti-bacterial wipes, for example have been tested and found effective in working against coronavirus.

     

    SANISAFE ANTI-VIRAL ANTI-BACTERIAL WIPES, TUB OF 100, £5.40 SANISAFE ANTI-VIRAL ANTI-BACTERIAL WIPES, TUB OF 100, £5.40

     

    Soap and water are the most effective way to wash hands, but only if the person dries their hands effectively too.

    Hand sanitizers are also effective if soap and water is unavailable, but it is best to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.

    Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However,

    • Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
    • Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

    Click here to see our full range of hand-washing products 

    Put up information with hand-washing guidance

    These are the simple steps advised for effective hand-washing:

    • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
    • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
    • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. As a general guide, hum   Happy Birthday twice.
    • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
    • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

    You can also download free posters from the World Health Organisation here: www.who.int/gpsc/5may/resources/posters/en/

    How to use hand sanitizer:

    • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
    • Rub your hands together.
    • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.

     

    When to wash your hands:

    • As soon as you get home or into work
    • When you blow your nose, sneeze or cough
    • When you eat or handle food
    • Before you touch your eyes, nose and mouth

    Ensure surfaces and desks are cleaned regularly
    Because it's a new illness, experts are still not certain how Covid-19, the new variation of coronavirus spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough or sneeze droplets. These droplets fall on people in the vicinity and can be directly inhaled or picked up from a contaminated surface on the hands and transferred when someone touches their face.

    Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 24 hours, and even more so by 48 hours.

    Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses. Use detergent and water to clean visible dirt and the US Center for Disease Control recommends then using a disinfectant or cleaning product with at least 70% alcohol

    Special care should be made to clean areas where someone who has cold and flu like symptoms has been working, and all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as toilets, door handles and telephones.

    We have a range of cleaning and sanitizing products available for workplaces, including ones specially tested against coronavirus such as this disinfectant AX Ultra.

    AX ULTRA VIRUCIDAL/BACTERICIDAL DISINFECTANT, 750ML, £2.73 AX ULTRA VIRUCIDAL/BACTERICIDAL DISINFECTANT, 750ML, £2.73


    AX Ultra is a proven virucidal/bactericidal disinfectant which is safe to use on all touch surfaces that are washable. Use daily to maintain clean and hygienic conditions.Virucidal activity against all enveloped viruses including Coronavirus, Influenza and HIV. Certified to BSEN 1276 and BSEN 14476. Chlorine free.

    Check your cleaning and safeguarding healthcare policies and send your staff updates
    Now is also a good time to look at our policies regarding cleaning, not just of office surfaces, but also PPE equipment and items which will be used and shared by multiple members of staff. Training should include when to use PPE, what PPE is necessary, how to properly don (put on), use, and doff (take off) PPE, and how to properly launder and dispose of PPE.

    When it comes to providing PPE, face masks play a very important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals but there’s very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use outside of these clinical settings. Face masks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly and disposed of safely in order to be effective.

    Employers should educate staff and workers performing cleaning, laundry, and trash pick-up activities to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19 and provide instructions to all staff on what to do if they develop symptoms within 14 days after their last possible exposure to the virus. At a minimum, any staff should immediately notify their employer and call 111 if they develop symptoms of COVID-19.

    Avoid unnecessary meetings
    Many people can phone in or use video conferencing links rather than being physically present for meetings. It’s worth considering this as an option, and it is one which might in the longer term prove a useful way to save your organisation time and expenses.

    You can find more advice for employers and businesses here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

    Meanwhile if you would like to find out more about which products will suit your needs, or enquire about stock levels on high demand products, please call us on 01726 74264 or email sales@cisafety.com for free advice.

     

  • Packaging: Sustainable options that will save you money

    Fast Food Packaging From Eco Friendly Paper And Recycled Cardboa

    Many businesses are recognising the part they have to play in working towards a more sustainable future. Many are also discovering that as well as communicating ethical values to customers, sustainable packaging options can also help to cut costs.

    Product packaging is a valuable platform to share information and promote your brand. Choosing sustainable materials can also communicate environmental sensibilities, and with more and more consumers actively seeking out companies with eco friendly ethics, more and more options are becoming available. More good news is that some of these options can save you money.

     

    How much packaging do you need?

    Most businesses begin choosing sustainable packaging materials without considering how much packaging is actually needed. As a first step, consider the amount of materials used in your packaging and whether these are actually really needed to ensure products arrive undamaged. Perhaps you can switch from boxes to biodegradable polyolefin shrink wrap which is made from 100% recyclable materials and generally low cost in comparison to similar options. Or, you might try making the packaging for all of your products a uniform size in order to cut down on waste. Some food manufacturers, for example, have started to cut down on the size of their boxes. They still offer the same volume of product, but where they might once have made larger boxes to attract more attention they are now cutting down on the size and notifying customers that they have done this to help protect the environment. It is also, of course, an immediate way to save on the cost of packaging.

    Reusable packaging

    Many companies are finding ways to make their packaging reusable. If you’re a B2B supplier, you could offer discounts for returning crates or reusable bags. If products are going out to consumers, you can use reusable packaging to improve brand awareness. For example, Puma now pack their trainers in bags instead of boxes, meaning that consumers get a tote bag branded with their logo that they can use again and again rather than discarding the packaging.

    Sustainable materials

    Switching to recycled paper or plastic packing options is one option. Another is making use of excess waste offcuts, such as our paper offcuts below.  As well as being more sustainable, making use of waste materials also makes your organisation more efficient. If products need cushioning to avoid damage, styrofoam has been a standard loose-fill packaging. This material, however, tends to break down into micro plastics, entering marine ecosystems and even the human food chain. For businesses looking for an alternative, biodegradable air peanuts are now available to replace them.

     

    WHITE NEWS OFFCUTS, 375 X 500MM 12.5KG, £19.91 WHITE NEWS OFFCUTS, 375 X 500MM 12.5KG, £19.91

    White news offcuts, £19.91

    Click here for an article on more sustainable packaging options.

     

    Labelling

    There are times when printed labels are important, but thinking, quite literally, outside the box when it comes to labelling can help you find some solutions which will also cut costs. Using markers such as our omnigraph crayons rather than printed labels, for example, will mean that you can use recycled boxes, crates or even glass for shipping. This also saves on printer ink and the paper and electrical energy needed to run the printer.

     

    LUMOCOLOR PERM OMNIGRAPH CRAYON, BLACK PK12, £12.40 LUMOCOLOR PERM OMNIGRAPH CRAYON, BLACK PK12, £12.40

     

    We can offer a number of packaging solutions, so if you’re interested in ways that we can help you to be more sustainable and save money, please call us on 01726 74264 or email sales@cisafety.com for a free consultation.

     

  • Keeping your computer clean

    young business man cleaning computer on dark background

    In February a range of organisations run clean your computer campaigns, but why is this important and how do you keep your computer clean? Our guide can help you to improve productivity and save money...
    Cleaning your computer regularly will help you keep it working properly and avoid expensive repairs.

    The keyboard
    It’s easy for dust, crumbs and liquid to end up on a computer keyboard. If these elements get stuck under the keys, they can stop the keyboard from working properly.

    To clean your keyboard, take the following steps:
    1. Ensure your computer is shut down and if necessary, unplug the keyboard.
    2. Turn the keyboard upside down and gently shake it to let dust or crumbs etc fall out.
    3. Use a can of compressed air to clean between the keys.
    4. Use a special computer wipe or moisten a cotton cloth or paper towel with rubbing alcohol and clean the keys. Don’t put any liquid directly onto the keyboard.
    5. Use a cotton bud with the wipe or rubbing alcohol to gently wipe the areas around the keys.
    6. Use a dry wipe or cloth to dry the keyboard.
    7. When the keyboard is dry, reconnect the keyboard if necessary.

    The mouse
    There are two main mouse types: optical mice which use light (LEDs) to track movement and mechanical mice which have small balls which roll over the surface on which you move the mouse.

    Optical mice require no internal cleaning because they do not contain any rotating parts; however, they can stop working well if dust or dirt collects near the light emitter.
    Mechanical mice are especially susceptible to dust and particles that can accumulate inside the rotating ball inside the mouse. This can stop the mouse pointer from working smoothly.

    To clean your mouse:
    1. Unplug the mouse if it is not wireless.
    2. Use a computer cleaning wipe or moisten a cotton cloth with rubbing alcohol, and
    use it to clean the top and bottom of the mouse.
    3. If you have a mechanical mouse, remove the tracking ball by turning the ball-cover
    ring counter-clockwise. Then clean the tracking ball and the inside of the mouse.
    4. Use a dry cloth or allow the mouse to dry before reconnecting the mouse.

    The mousepad
    Wipe your mousepad clean with a damp cloth, using water and a small amount of mild detergent. Allow to air dry.

    The monitor
    Dirt, grease from fingers and dust can make your computer screen difficult to read.
    There are monitor-cleaning kits you can buy, but make sure you use the right kind of cleaner for the material your screen is made from. For example, some cleaning agents will work for glass screens but are not suited to LCD screens. The safest method is simply to use a soft clean cloth moistened with water.
    Avoid using glass cleaning agents as many screens have anti-glare coatings that can be damaged by glass cleaner.

    1. Shut down your computer or laptop.
    2. Unplug the monitor if it has a separate power source.
    3. Use a soft clean cloth moistened with water to wipe the screen clean.
    Do not spray any liquids directly onto the screen.

    Other computer surfaces
    Schedule time once a month to clean your computer case and the sides and back of the monitor to avoid a buildup of dust and dirt.
    ● Use an anti-static cloth to dust your computer casing. Do not use furniture cleaners or solvents.
    ● Use a can of compressed air to blow out debris from the air intake slots.
    ● Clean the monitor housing and case with a computer wipe or slightly damp cloth which you wipe downwards. Gently rub dry with a cloth or wipe afterwards.

    Dealing with spills
    If you spill liquid on the keyboard, quickly shut down the computer and disconnect the keyboard. Then turn the keyboard upside down and allow the liquid to drain.

    If the liquid is sticky, you will need to hold the keyboard on its side under running water to rinse away the sticky liquid. Then turn the keyboard upside down to drain for two days before reconnecting it. Please note that keyboard may not be fixable at this point, but the method above is probably the best option. To prevent this situation altogether, we recommend keeping drinks away from the computer area.

    Allow air circulation around your computer
    A computer can generate a lot of heat, so the casing has fans that keep it from overheating and it is important to allow good airflow around the device for this reason. Avoid stacking papers, books, and other items around your computer.

    If your computer is enclosed in a compartment or cupboard, make sure it is not pushed close to the sides and leave a door or panel open if possible to ensure good airflow.

    Helpful products

    TELEPHONE & VDU WIPES, £2.86 TELEPHONE & VDU WIPES, £2.86

    Multi- purpose wipes targeted for office use and are ideal for cleaning keyboards/ computer screens etc.

    MICROFIBRE CLOTHS, 40CM SQ RED, £8.32 MICROFIBRE CLOTHS, 40CM SQ , £8.32
  • What do you need to do to prepare for Brexit day?

    Brexit image

    Brexit will be upon us soon, but how will it affect your business and what tasks need to be tackled before and during the transition period? Here is a guide to some of the key things to be aware of:

    HEALTH AND SAFETY

    Health and safety laws will remain largely the same...

    Under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, all EU law in existence immediately before Brexit is converted straight into UK law as soon as Brexit occurs. These laws have to be interpreted in line with the principles laid down in the European Court as they apply immediately before Brexit day. That means most courts in the UK will be bound by these principles with the exception of the Supreme Court.

    UK courts don’t have to follow any decisions made by the European Court after Brexit, but they may still be taken into account if the UK court considers them to be relevant to a particular case in hand.

    In addition to this  the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) came into effect before the UK joined the European Union. It’s a robust and long-lasting piece of legislation which demonstrates the UK’s commitment to ensuring the safety of workers.

    In addition, most employment laws affecting workers rights are likely to remain the same too as many originated in the UK.

    You can find more information on how HSE regulations will operate should a no deal Brexit occur here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/health-and-safety-executive-information-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal

    SAFETY MARKS

    In most cases, you can continue to use the CE safety mark

    According to government advice, “In the majority of cases you will still be able to use the CE marking if you are selling goods on the UK market after the UK leaves the EU.” Goods on sale in the UK before Brexit takes place will be considered “placed on the market” and can continue to be sold without any changes.

    However, once Brexit takes place, the process of replacing the CE mark with the UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) mark will begin.

    The government will give businesses notice about the change to using UKCA markings, and importantly, the rules for using them will be very similar to the current rules for using CE markings. One key point is that the UKCA marking will not be recognised in the EU market.

    Meanwhile, most PPE suppliers in the UK will still be able to use the CE marking for products being placed on the UK market if any of the following apply:

    • you currently CE mark your good on the basis of self-certification
    • any mandatory third-party conformity assessment was carried out by an EU-recognised notified body
    • the certificate of conformity previously held by a UK body has been transferred to an EU-recognised notified body

    If PPE is CE compliant, it will continue to be compliant in the UK.

    For more detailed advice and guidance on the CE  and UKCA mark click here:
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prepare-to-use-the-ukca-mark-after-brexit

    LABELLING

    Food and drink

    Companies which label food and drink will need to make changes to their labelling.

    Although the UK will have a 21-month transition period for labelling changes after exit day, there are some instances where a transition period is not possible. The main examples of this are:

    • the use of the EU organic logo,
    • use of the EU emblem
    • labelling food as originating in the ‘EU’

    Defra is encouraging a pragmatic approach to enforcement of these rules within the UK.

    For more guidance on labelling food and drink click here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/food-labelling-changes-after-brexit

    For advice specific to organic food, click here:

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/trading-and-labelling-organic-food-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

    You can also find general guidance if your business is in the food and drink sector here:

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-food-and-drink-sector-and-preparing-for-eu-exit

    Textiles

    The rules for labelling textiles will largely remain the same should a no deal Brexit occur:

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/textile-labelling-after-brexit

     

    USING CHEMICALS

    If you’re using, making, selling or importing chemicals in the EU, you need to follow REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) regulations.

    Find out what you must do to meet REACH requirements.

    For more information, click here:

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-comply-with-reach-chemical-regulations

     

    DATA PROTECTION

    If your company is GDPR compliant and you have no contacts or customers in the European Economic Area (EEA), then you do not need to prepare to be data compliant if a no deal Brexit happens. If you do have contacts and customers, or a presence in the EEA, you will need to take steps. Mainly, this will involve working on your Standard Contractual Clauses.

    The Information Commissioners Office has full guidance and some helpful toolkits here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-and-brexit/data-protection-and-brexit-for-small-organisations/

     

    TRADE MARKS AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

    There have been some changes to intellectual property laws to try to help protect UK businesses in advance of Brexit. After Brexit, however EU Trade Marks (EUTMs) will no longer protect trade marks in the UK. On exit day, the IPO will create a comparable UK trade mark for all right holders with an existing EU trade mark.

     

    For more information and help on trade marks, copyright, patents and design click here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/intellectual-property-and-brexit

     

    FURTHER GUIDANCE

    These are some of the key points which our customers and contacts will need to be aware of.  If you are looking for more advice, you can find a helpful list of advice by topic at this link on the governments Brexit advice website: https://www.gov.uk/find-eu-exit-guidance-business

     

    Of course our team are also happy to talk to you about how we can help to make sure you are ready for a no deal Brexit. Call us on 01726 74264 or email sales@cisafety.com if you would like a free consultation.

  • 5 New Year safety resolutions every business should make

    Safety at work. Conceptual hand writing showing Work Safety. Business photo text policies and procedures in place to ensure health of employees Female human wear formal work suit presenting smart device.

    When it comes to safety in the workplace we often tend to focus on what we are doing wrong or ticking the boxes to ensure we are compliant and meet regulations. Of course we all want workplaces to be safe to ensure no-one is harmed or injured unnecessarily, but building good health and safety practices into the workplace culture will also help to improve efficiency and morale as well as benefiting productivity profit margins.

    We have selected 5 effective safety resolutions you can adopt which will result in better health and safety in your workplace as 2020 gets underway.

    Have a weekly tidy up
    A tidy and well-organized workplace improves safety by ensuring that trip hazards are removed and that important safety equipment such as PPE and first aid kits are kept in a location where staff can find them quickly and easily. The regular maintenance through weekly tidying ensures that the drift of misplaced items and general untidiness is habitually kept in check. It also improves productivity, saving the average two to three hours per week which the average worker spends looking for lost things. Studies reveal that a tidy workplace generally reduces stress in workers and ensures that anyone who visits the workplace feels a sense that things are running smoothly and efficiently. You can find out more about the productivity and stress-reducing benefits of a tidy workplace in this article: The case for finally cleaning your desk.

    Encourage staff to wash their hands
    It sounds unimportant, but improving basic hygiene standards by providing hand sanitizers, training and signage to encourage your workforce to wash their hands regularly can dramatically reduce the time staff are unwell. According to a 2014 study, a virus sample placed on a doorknob and tabletops in an office spread to 40-60 percent of workers and visitors within just 2-4 hours. As well as reducing sick leave, it can also mean fewer accidents which occur due to staff members who have turned up for work not feeling alert and at their best because they are poorly.

    Plan monthly PPE spot checks
    A very common cause of incidents is the mis-wearing or mis-use of PPE equipment. A survey released by Kimberly-Clark Professional, revealed that 89 percent of safety professionals said they had observed workers not wearing safety equipment when they should have been and 29 percent said this had happened on numerous occasions. At the start of each year, it is a good idea to organise refresher training and handouts to remind staff of key things to remember when it comes to wearing PPE. Spot checks can also help to identify issues such as loose-fitting items, worn straps or items being worn incorrectly. The spot checks will also reveal if PPE is not fit for purpose because it is uncomfortable or not working as it should and opens up channels of communication between management and staff using the PPE for reporting other safety issues that concern them.

    Have a session to refresh and discuss lifting and carrying techniques
    Another highly common cause of injuries and indeed legal action in the workplace are incidents which happen when workers are lifting or carrying heavy objects,. Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are the biggest risk to British workers with more than a million cases reported each year, at a cost more than £5.7 billion. At this time of year, hold or plan in a refresher session for staff to make sure they are aware or have been reminded of the proper techniques to lift or carry heavy objects. Also, include the storage of heavy objects, checking that all staff understand the importance of placing heavy boxes and items in the correct places around the workplace. You can also use these sessions to ask staff if they have any concerns or requests around other safety issues.

    Send short and sweet safety updates throughout the year
    Regular fire drills are required by law (click here for UK regulations on fire drills), but it's also a good idea to involve workplace first aiders and staff in quarterly dummy runs or refreshers of other incidents. These can be drills based on what needs to happen if a minor injury occurs, to what someone needs to do if they believe a hazardous chemical has been spilled. Ensuring that you include a health and safety article in a regular workplace newsletter or bulletin can be a habitual way to remind all staff of key information such as where the first aid box is, or who the current first aiders are and break down key health and safety information into bite-sized, digestible portions, rather than assuming staff will read lengthy policy documents and remember all the information. The article below also suggests ways in which you can introduce training techniques to help ensure workers don’t forget safety training, but actively get into good habits which ensure workplace safety: Why do employees forget their training.

    Of course it is always a good idea to make sure you review your safety procedures and equipment and our team are always happy to help and suggest options that would suit your business needs. Call us on 01726 74264 or email sales@cisafety.com if you would like a free consultation.

  • How to take care of your hygiene tools

     

    Cleaning Products With Cleaning Material, Isolated On White

    Once you’ve chosen the right hygiene tools for your business taking time to make sure they are used, cleaned and stored properly will not only prolong their life and maintain their quality and effectiveness but will help to ensure that you meet required health and safety regulations. Here’s our guide:

     

    Keeping it clean

    You might think that this goes without saying, but it’s always worth mentioning that a hygiene tool is only as good as its cleanliness. There are six main steps when cleaning your tools. Start with a  pre-clean during which you remove excess food waste by knocking, wiping or pre-rinsing the tool. Then, during the main clean, loosen surface waste and grease with a detergent. After this, rinse to remove loose food waste, grease and detergent. While this might seem like a good place to stop, you must now follow with a disinfectant or heat to kill bacteria before completing a final rinse to remove the disinfectant. Once this is all complete, you must let your hygiene tools dry completely, ideally through air drying, but paper towels or clean, dry cloths can also be used. Instilling these practices during training, policies and visible materials to remind staff of cleaning procedures will not only ensure that health and hygiene standards are maintained, but your tools will last longer and work more effectively.

     

    Keep to a schedule

    To ensure your tools are being cleaned consistently and to the correct standards, it might be beneficial to create a cleaning schedule and guidelines so that everyone knows what needs to be cleaned, how often and when they need to be cleaned and by who. Of course, instigating a ‘clean as you go’ ethic is also a good practice for any tools that are used regularly or which come into contact with food. Having a weekly, monthly or quarterly intensive clean can also be a good back up, particularly for items which may be forgotten or used infrequently.

     

    Read the instructions 

    It can be easy to lapse into a groove and assume all products can be cleaned the same way and with the same chemicals. Make sure staff read any instructions and labels before cleaning as some materials will be affected by certain chemicals and avoiding these chemicals will help to preserve your tools. This is particularly important for hygiene tools which come into contact with food as the plastic or polymers can be damaged by inappropriate cleaning techniques which in turn can cause a breach in health and hygiene standards.

     

    Store items correctly 

    Putting particular thought into how you store your tools might not be a priority but it’s worth noting that if you don’t store cleaning equipment in a hygienic manner it can result in a non-compliance according to the food safety standards set out by BRCGS (BRCv8: 4.11.6 – ‘Cleaning equipment shall be cleaned and stored in a hygienic manner’). For example, if you have colour coded hygiene tools, it is important to store each tool with tools of the same colour to avoid cross-contamination. When exploring storage solutions, keep in mind units that are designed to increase cleaning efficiency and reduce hygiene tool and cross-contamination.

     

    Click here to see information about Vikan Shadow Boards Click here to see information about Vikan Shadow Boards

     

    Some of our suppliers, including Vikan have storage equipment such as wall brackets, shadow boards and colour-coded brackets that can help you to implement effective storage solutions.

     

    It’s also helpful, when designing your cleaning procedures, ensure your storage accommodates only the tools required for cleaning each specific area of your site.

    If you would like more information about this, our sales team are happy to help and suggest options that would suit your business needs. Call us on 01726 74264 or email sales@cisafety.com

  • 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.

     

    d327D327 FOOD SAFE FOAM CLEANER & SANITISER, 20L, £29.96 D327 FOOD SAFE FOAM CLEANER & SANITISER, 20L, £29.96

     

    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.

     

     

     

    VIKAN SHORT HANDLED STIFF WASHING BRUSH, 255MM £5.76 VIKAN SHORT HANDLED STIFF WASHING BRUSH, 255MM £5.76

    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.

     

    FOOD SAFE PROBE WIPES, 200 TUB  £3.75 FOOD SAFE PROBE WIPES, 200 TUB, £3.75

     

    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.

    VIKAN LARGE 20L HYGIENE BUCKET C/W HANDLE, £26.07 VIKAN LARGE 20L HYGIENE BUCKET C/W HANDLE, £26.07

     

    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.

     

    Storage

    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.

     

    Cleaning

    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.

     

    Replacing

    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.

    http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/ppe.htm

     

    On-hand

    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, £11.38 CHELSEA LEATHER FOOD, £11.38

    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

    safety-eyewear

     

    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.

     

     

    CLEARWAYS POLYCARBONATE VISOR, £8.01 CLEARWAYS POLYCARBONATE VISOR, £8.01

     


    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

    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 SAFETY GOGGLES, CLEAR AS/AF/PC/UV, £10.56 EIGER SAFETY GOGGLES, CLEAR AS/AF/PC/UV, £10.56

     

    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.

    TERMINATOR SAFETY SPECTACLES, CLEAR AS/PC/UV, £6.35 TERMINATOR SAFETY SPECTACLES, CLEAR AS/PC/UV, £6.35

    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

Buyer, Cornwall Glass Group
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Site Manager, International Minerals company
Special note - Amelia has done a great job this year for our site, quick, efficient, good follow-up and courteous, everything you need at the customer interface.
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After our BRC audit we received grade : A . I`m really happy, thank you for you and all the CIS team for your help.
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You are amazing!!!!

Technical Manager, Seafood
A very good local company delivering a prompt and informative service. Excellent!
Health & Safety Manager, Waste Cleansing & Drain Clearing co
A company that always performs to the word "quality", helpful with innovations in PPE, guidance and support. A company that is a valuable asset to us as a supplier.

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