Food Manufacturing 101: Why Hygiene Matters

There’s no denying that food manufacturing demands strict hygiene. 

While many industries must comply with good hygiene practices to improve product quality and safety, hygiene and cleanliness is particularly vital in the food manufacturing realm. This is due to the type of environment that staff are constantly exposed to, meaning that it’s necessary to maintain their own personal hygiene to avoid contamination. 

More importantly, employees involved in food processing and manufacturing are responsible for the public health and wellbeing of consumers. If they are equipped with the proper hygienic procedures and cleaning products – whether this be washroom services, protective floor mats, industrial cleaning equipment or professional workwear – then the product quality and general safety to everyone will be considerably maximised. 

Let’s take a further glimpse into why hygiene matters in the Food Manufacturing industry!

Prevents Risk of Hazardous Contaminants 

Hygiene is obviously crucial in the production and manufacturing of food (or beverages). Not only do they ensure both quality control and quality assurance throughout the entire manufacturing process, it means that these foods and beverages will be adequately suitable and safe for human consumption amongst the general public. 

Keeping this food manufacturing process as hygienic as possible involves eliminating hazardous contaminants that could present a fatal risk to human health. There are 4 main types of food contaminants – chemical, microbial, physical and allergenic. Every food is at risk of contamination from these types. That’s why food manufacturers have a legal responsibility to protect the consumer and must take stringent measures to ensure that their food preparation is safe for everyone. Here’s a list of specific hazards to avoid: 

  • Microorganisms (e.g. bacteria, viruses, parasites and moulds)
  • Toxins or metabolites produced by microorganisms
  • Chemical residues e.g. from cleaning and sanitising agents, agricultural chemicals (namely pesticides), heavy metals, antibiotics and veterinary drugs
  • Physical foreign matter (such as dirt, pieces of plastic and liquids) 

Hygiene matters in food manufacturing because if these potential hazardous contaminants manage to get inside the final product, then there could be severe consequences involved. This could include many health risks such as food poisoning, salmonella and staphylococcus. 

Minimise Food Spoilage & Negative Environmental Impact 

Food hygiene also prevents food spoilage and minimises wastage, while also reducing the negative environmental impact. If your business takes the necessary steps to ensure that your products are completely hygienic and safe for everyone in the first place, then there’s no need to conduct a widespread product recall or massive product disposal – which in turn, leads to enormous environmental consequences. 

Instead of contributing to environmental waste and pollution, you should invest in proper cleaning products and services to maintain food hygiene in the workplace, while also following industry-standard precautionary policies in the food manufacturing industry. This is a proactive way of ensuring that both food hygiene and environmental sustainability go hand-in-hand. 

To reduce food waste, many food manufacturing businesses, retailers and other food service operators are taking improved measures such as tracking how much they throw away, donating leftover food and composting. As both laboratories and kitchens introduce these new processes, it is important that there are also strict food hygiene practices to minimise potential hazards, while also improving the industry’s eco-footprint.

Need A Clean & Hygienic Work Environment? 

The food processing industry should always prioritise hygiene. 

Alsco can provide solutions to help keep your food processing areas sparkling clean and hygienic throughout. Our economical regularly Managed Rental Services include food processing garments, tea towels, colour-coded food wipes, protective floor mats, and we can even help with your first aid requirements and washroom! Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information! 

Importance of having a Defibrillator in your Workplace

Cardiac arrests can happen anywhere – and if it’s not treated quickly, it can lead to death. It’s the number 1 killer in Australia. Every year, around 250,000 individuals suffer a cardiac arrest outside of hospital of which there is only a 10% survival rate. For every minute that passes after cardiac arrest occurs, without effective CPR and an Automated External Defibrillator, the chance of survival decreases by 10%. 

That’s why Defibrillators are incredibly important to have around the workplace. Even more importantly, the WH&S Legislation recommends that all workplaces should install an automated external defibrillator (AED) on-site. This will ensure that your workplace is properly equipped to deal with any sudden cardiac arrests, heart problems or loss of consciousness experienced by your employees. Keep reading to find out more about why having a defibrillator in the workplace is absolutely crucial!

Boost the Chances of Survival 

Defibrillators are important because they substantially increase the patient’s chance of survival. In fact, when a person suffers from sudden cardiac arrest, their chance of survival decreases by 7-10% for each minute that passes without defibrillation! Additionally, when deployed within 3 minutes, defibrillators can enhance a person’s survival rate by a cardiac arrest from 6% to 74% if the casualty is in a shockable rhythm. There’s no doubt that AEDs can deliver a life-saving electric shock, which often means the difference between life or death. 

Respond to Emergencies Quickly 

Workplaces should provide defibrillators to reduce the risks of fatality from cardiac arrest and quickly handle any emergencies. While CPR can prolong life, defibrillation is the only way to actually restore a fatal heart rhythm back to normal. According to Safe Work Australia, any workplace which potentially exposes their staff to electrocution should consider investing in an AED to minimise these dangers. Even more, sometimes ambulances and paramedics can arrive late to the workplace – so by having an AED, and training your workers how to use them properly, your workplace will be adequately prepared in dealing with unexpected situations.

Promote a Safe Workplace 

Every business in any kind of industry should be actively promoting a safe workplace. This will ensure that your employees’ health and wellbeing is constantly maintained, while also conveying a supportive workplace that values reassurance and security – this will then facilitate better worker satisfaction and stronger productivity. There’s nothing more important than emphasising your staff’s protection and promoting a safe work culture by installing an AED in your workplace – especially in areas where it is clearly visible, accessible and not exposed to extreme temperatures. 

Why Choose Alsco’s Defibrillators? 

Alsco’s portable defibrillators (AEDs) are practical, durable and lightweight (just over 1kg only!) to minimise any workplace hazards and injuries. They also have simple press-button technology and step-by-step voice instructions, which make it suitable for both professionally trained medics and even untrained staff. 

Our HeartSine Samaritan 500P is an incredible defibrillator which contains easy to follow visual and voice prompts, including any necessary changes to CPR or shock delivery, along with a two-button operation that simplifies the whole defibrillation process. Check some other awesome features listed below: 

  • A System Status Indicator notifies you when the entire system is ready for use, while having its own weekly self-check for safety and operation purposes
  • The advanced technology of the HeartSine 500P features SCOPE™ and cardiac arrhythmia detection technology, allowing the most effective shock delivery for the patient to be delivered safely and quickly
  • It’s very durable due to its shock, dust and moisture resistance, meaning that it is incredibly resilient and versatile for even the most dangerous workplaces

Within 5 minutes into a Sudden Cardiac Arrest, the chance of survival decreases by 50%, so why hesitate when having a defibrillator is clearly a must in ANY workplace? When your business chooses Alsco’s managed defibrillator service, you can be rest assured that your staff will receive the best treatment during a cardiac emergency. Every minute matters because every life matters.

The Importance of having a Clean Uniform in the Healthcare Industry

Pharmacist

Having clean uniforms sets a professional tone for your company, regardless of the industry. However, due to the nature of work in the healthcare industry, it is even more important to have a clean uniform than any other industry such as retail, where there is less chance of contamination.

It is quite common to see nurses, medical technicians and other workers in the healthcare industry out in public in their scrubs or work uniform. They’re out grocery shopping, catching public transport or walking home. What you can’t see on their uniform is the amount of bacteria that could seriously harm the public. Although it may appear visibly clean, healthcare uniforms are great hosts to various bacteria and viruses. 

A clean uniform has many definitions. Although most people perceive clean as having no stains on their uniform, is it truly clean it contains bacteria invisible to the naked eye? It is recommended that healthcare uniforms be washed in a minimum of 60 degree heat, for 10 minutes in order to kill most of the bacteria. However, most staff are unaware or were not provided with the correct uniform laundering guidelines and are returning to work the next day with uniforms still covered in bacteria.

Hospital acquired infections are on the rise. With healthcare workers wearing uniforms outside of clean, sterile environments, they are increasing the chance of contaminating other surfaces, causing more infections than necessary. 

The risk of contamination can also affect the health of the worker and their families. Another study on nurses uniforms found that, when soiled uniforms were washed with other sterile items, a number of E-coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria survived, and contaminated the other items. This poses a large risk to the health of the workers’ families, as usually the uniforms are washed with the families laundry, resulting in all of the items in the laundry being contaminated. 

Having a clean uniform can also increase patients’ confidence. When individuals arrive at a healthcare facility, such as a hospital or a rest home, they expect a clean and sterile environment, thus increasing their confidence that they will be well looked after for their medical procedures and needs. If the environment is messy or dirty, or the staff’s uniforms are not clean, patients feel uneasy and unsafe.

When you use a managed uniform rental service like Alsco, you can guarantee that all of your staff’s uniforms will be laundered to the highest standards, ensuring that your staff will always look their best with freshly washed, clean uniforms. Get in touch with us to organise your uniform needs today!

How to Clean Your Business during COVID-19?

A person with full PPE

With the rapid spread and growing clusters of COVID-19 in various restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues around Australia, maintaining hygiene procedures and cleanliness is extremely important for businesses. 

According to the Australian Department of Health, COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through microscopic respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This highly contagious airborne virus can be contracted by touching an infected surface and then touching your own mouth, nose or eyes. 

While not touching your face and social distancing is recommended, it’s not enough. You need to ensure that your business is properly cleaned and disinfected. To succeed in the battle against coronavirus, there are more stringent precautionary measures to be undertaken within your business. This involves effective routine cleaning procedures and the use of proper advanced cleaning equipment. 

Cleaning & Disinfecting – What’s the Difference? 

Cleaning means to physically remove any impurities (germs, dirt and organic matter) from surfaces. However, cleaning does not actually eradicate germs; it only reduces them and the associated risk of infection. This means that cleaning alone will not be effective in killing any of the germs that already exist on the surface. 

Proper cleaning works by using a detergent and water solution, which is designed to break up oil and grease, combined with water. Any products that have been labelled as a detergent can be used to clean.

On the other hand, disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill the germs on surfaces and objects. This process does not necessarily ‘clean’ dirty surfaces, therefore it is important to clean before disinfecting, as having dirt and grime on the surfaces can reduce the disinfectant’s ability to kill the germs. Disinfectants typically contain a minimum of 70% alcohol, which is acceptable to be used on hard surfaces and any labelled disinfectant can be used.

A combination of cleaning and disinfecting is the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 or other infections around your business. 

How to Clean? And When and Where should I do it? 

Firstly, you should carefully clean surfaces or objects with detergent and water, beginning from the cleanest to dirtiest surface to reduce the transfer of germs. This should be followed by disinfecting with a bleach based solution with a minimum of 70% alcohol. Ensure the disinfectant claims it kills viruses (usually chlorine based disinfectants) and is not an anti bacterial cleaner.

Different surfaces require different cleaning methods and products so ensure you do not damage any of your business items, furniture or decor with abrasive chemicals. 

When you’re cleaning, it is preferable to use single-use gloves to minimise infection. If you have reusable gloves, these should be washed with detergent and water after each use and should only be worn with hands that have been thoroughly washed before each cleaning session.

Workplaces should be cleaned everyday, whenever possible. Depending on the type of business, more frequent and rigorous cleaning may be required, especially if your workplace operates on a shift roster with many individuals entering the premises at different times.

It is important to clean and disinfect the frequently touched surfaces within your business, such as tabletops, door handles, light switches, office desks, printers, staircases, bathrooms, toilet doors, and kitchen surfaces. All objects or surfaces that are used frequently throughout the day should be repeatedly cleaned if possible. Safe Work Australia offers a comprehensive guide on the optimal areas to focus on for intensive cleaning. 

Recommended Cleaning Products for Your Business 

Photo Credits @ Kelly Sikkema 

Cleaning and disinfecting your business is the best armour against the invasion of COVID-19.

However, there are additional cleaning products to use in order to optimise your business’s hygiene and sanitation, particularly in high-traffic areas around the work space. Washrooms in particular need special attention, since many employees do not adequately practice hand hygiene, which is essential for combatting the coronavirus. 

Washroom Services 

A clean and hygienic washroom is essential for all kinds of businesses. Unfortunately, bathrooms can be an easy source of infection and contamination, since people are in close contact with many harmful germs and bacteria on different surfaces. This makes COVID-19 easier to transmit. 

To avoid this, it is highly recommended that your business invests in a premium customised washroom service, which provides technologically advanced cleaning products tailored for your workplace. With these managed rental services, you won’t even have to refill supplies or fix damaged hygiene units since it’s all done for you! 

  • Hand Hygiene – Hand hygiene acts as the front-line defence against COVID-19. Get access to the best, superior-quality hand hygiene products, including instant hand sanitisers, hand soap dispensers, along with disinfectant and moisturiser barrier hand creams.  
  • Washroom sanitisers – Designed to eradicate harmful germs and dangerous invisible microbes, washroom sanitisers are one of the best ways to keep your business spaces clean and healthy. Toilet seat sanitisers and Urinal/WC Digital Sanitisers are powerful and designed for maximum efficiency against grime. 
  • Clinical Service – Alsco’s Sharps Containers and Clinical Disposal Bins for business washrooms ensures the disposal of hazardous waste and unsanitary objects. This will minimise any risk of contamination with body fluids, blood, toxins and chemicals. 

Dust Control & Floor Protection Mats 

Floor mats are a great option to provide complete floor protection in your business, as well as maintain dust and dirt control. With evidence showing that pre-existing lung problems (such as asthma and lung cancer) can substantially worsen the respiratory effects of COVID-19, it is important that businesses create a safe and clean environment for those who are especially vulnerable or immune-compromised. 

This involves minimising potential asthma triggers including pollen, dust mites and tobacco smoke. Luckily, Alsco’s Dust Control & Floor Protection Mats ensure that 80% of dirt, dust and water are captured before even entering the workplace. These highly absorbent mats not only keep your workplace cleaner, they also reduce floor wear-and-tear while mitigating the risks of accidents and workplace injuries, keeping your clients and staff safer. These mats can be strategically placed around the busiest and dirtiest areas, where there is often high foot traffic including doorways, hallway entrances and work areas. 

Continuous Hand Towels 

Proper hand-drying procedures are often overlooked when maintaining hand hygiene. However, in order to completely and effectively eliminate these germs, hand drying is an essential weapon against COVID-19. 

Hand-drying removes dirt and microorganisms from the skin surface which come from the initial hand-washing, therefore preventing them from being re-deposited back onto the skin. Alsco’s Continuous Hand Towels enable you to dry your hands quickly and economically, meaning improved cleanliness and reduced chances of bacterial cross contamination. 

Our cloth towel dispensers have separate chambers for the new and used portion of the towel, which ensures no contact and an unparalleled level of hygiene. During cleaning, towels are processed at over 150°C to ensure complete sterilisation.

Return to work with confidence with the help of Alsco. Our back to work range of essential products can help your business return to work with confidence with message mats, safety mats, sneeze guards and personal protective equipment for your staff. Get in touch with us today to organise your back to work essentials!

Eye Wash Stations – Do you need them?

Alsco Eye wash stations

An eye injury can be described as any physical or chemical wound to the eye or eye socket. Eye injuries cost Australia around $60 million per year, with male workers aged between 25 – 44 years being most at risk of workplace related eye injuries.

Although we’re surrounded by toxic chemicals and agents in our daily lives, dangerous levels of exposure usually occur in workplaces. In Australia, 60% of eye injuries occur in the construction, mining, agriculture, forestry and fishing industries.

Having access to an easily accessible eye wash station is crucial. It should ideally be located within a 10-second walk from the chemical incident. Immediate flushing of the eye is the most effective way to remove harmful substances and prevent further damage to the eye. 

Common Workplace Eye Injuries 

  • Chemical Eye Burns – chemicals (either acidic or highly alkaline) are highly toxic and can cause chemical burns to the eye
  • Foreign Body Invasion – foreign particles can cause irritation and inflammation to the eye
  • Blunt Trauma Injury – injuries to the eye which do not penetrate the eye, however can cause internal bleeding
  • Conjunctivitis From Allergens – common amongst workers in the food industry who have been regularly exposed to large varieties of fruits and vegetables

What is an Eye Wash Station?

A station where an affected user can drench out their eye when dust, chemicals or irritants enter the eye. Eye wash stations are useful as a first defence for eye injuries, but all accidents should be investigated further to avoid long term damage.

Advantages of having an eye wash station

  • Protect staff from further injury – having an eye wash station can flush out unwanted particles and protect the eyes from permanent damage
  • Reduce workplace compensation premiums. Decrease the likelihood of your staff claiming workplace compensation from accidents at work. 
  • Providing a safe environment for your staff. A safe workplace is a happy workplace. When employees feel safe, productivity levels increase, absenteeism decreases and overall company morale is increased. 

Alsco’s Eye Wash Station features:

  • Simple, easy to understand instructions on how to use the station
  • Easily visible, wall mounted cabinets that are easy to use in times of emergency
  • Due to its small size, easily installed in cramped spaces, designed to not take up much room
  • An easy no-mess flush system means that liquid is neither spilled or wasted when being applied to the subject
  • Each station comes with 2 x 500ml saline flushing solutions and a small mirror for self-assessment

Contact us today to organise an eye wash station for your organisation!

First Aid Skills Everyone Should Know

Learning first aid skills is vital for everyone. In any life-threatening emergency within the workplace, employees must act promptly and treat any potential medical issues. The quicker someone administers first aid, the greater chance they have of saving someone’s life.

Businesses should be ensuring that their workers are properly trained in first aid by implementing First Aid Training courses and strategically placing First Aid Kits around the workplace. With these resources, everyone will be aware of the crucial first aid skills needed in case of unexpected emergencies. We’ve outlined the main points below!

1. Perform CPR & Defibrillation

CPR is an absolute must for first aid training. Performing CPR will provide you with the skills and knowledge to maintain breathing and circulation in a person following a cardiac arrest.

Check out the Red Cross’s step-by-step guide to performing CPR on adults.

Alternatively, an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), can be used to handle cardiac emergencies in the workplace and beyond. It is a portable electronic device that automatically sends an electric pulse or shock to restore a heartbeat. It is highly recommended by WHS legislation. 

2. Heimlich Manoeuvre

The Heimlich Manoeuvre is used to help someone who is choking. In any emergency situation, choking can be identified if the individual cannot talk. You only have a 5 minute window to dislodge the foreign object before brain damage occurs.

To perform this first aid skill, you should stand behind the victim and wrap your arms behind them. Then, you place a fist between the person’s rib cage and belly button, before placing your other hand over that fist. Do several quick thrust upwards until the foreign object is dislodged.

The Heimlich Manoeuvre for children requires a different approach due to their smaller bodies.

3. Treat Burns

There are several types of burns, which all need to be treated differently:

  • First Degree Burns only affect the top layer of the skin, causing painful tenderness and mild swelling. These can be treated by running cool water over the skin or taking an aspirin. Antibiotic ointment can also be applied, along with loose gauze wrapping.
  • Second Degree Burns can be identified by blisters and thickening of the skin. The affected area should be run under cool clean water for 15 minutes. Placing ice on top is not recommended since it can tear off delicate skin. Antibiotic ointment and gauze can be used.
  • Third Degree Burns are the most life-threatening burns. They take on a white, leathery appearance and due to their deepness, they are very difficult to treat and can require amputations.

4. Treat Hypothermia

Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can generate it, leading to an abnormally low body temperature. Extreme coldness can cause confusion, fatigue, slurred speech, a weak pulse, and even loss of consciousness.

It is important to ensure that the victim is warmed up slowly and gradually to the right temperature. Heating or massaging the limbs of the affected person can also create stress on the heart and lungs.

Treating hypothermia involves gently removing and insulating the victim from the cold. This could mean removing wet clothing and replacing these with warm blankets or coats. Offering warm (non-alcoholic) drinks is also an option, alongside towel-wrapped hot water bottles and packs.

5. Stop Heavy Bleeding

When a main artery/vein is severed and the blood clot cannot be formed, the victim can bleed out within 10-15 minutes. This can be treated by putting pressure on the wound with a sterile cloth. Raising the wounded limb over the heart can also minimise heavy bleeding.

Identifying signs of arterial bleeding is especially important because the victim could potentially bleed out and die in just minutes. Arterial wounds are usually pulsating and have bright red blood. You must immediately put pressure on the wound until paramedics arrive and add any extra cloth if required.

6. Treat a Concussion

Concussions are defined as a mild traumatic injury caused by impact, resulting in a temporary loss of normal brain function. They are often silent assassins, so as part of first aid training, it is important to recognise the various symptoms such as headaches, concentration and memory problems, delayed speech, loss of balance and coordination.

For more information about how to diagnose and treat concussions, click here.

7. Soothe a Sprain

Many work environments can cause injuries and accidents for employees, along with any strenuous physical activity. As such, sprains can become quite common, so it is essential to know how to treat them, whether they involve rolled ankles, bruised knees or twisted shoulders.

An ace bandage can help soothe the pain of a sprained joint. After resting, the victim should make sure to avoid any physical exertion to prevent long-term cartilage and tissue damage.

8. Revive Drowning

After a near-drowning incident, first aid training becomes crucial.

You must ensure that the victim has an open airway by thrusting the jaw open, enabling the person to breathe. Pinch the nose of the victim closed and then place your mouth over theirs, creating an airtight seal. Give 2 breaths followed by 30 chest compressions – keep repeating this process until medical help arrives.

So that wraps it up – the essential first aid skills that everyone should know. To spread awareness of these crucial life-saving information and safety tips, share this article with people around you! 

For comprehensive first aid equipment and resources, visit Alsco First Aid Training. It’s affordable, flexible and compliant with WHS regulations – perfect for your business’s safety.

Importance of having Industrial Workwear – Compliance

As an employer, it is your responsibility to provide a safe environment for your staff to work in. Due to the nature of the work, the industrial sector can be very dangerous if proper safety precautions aren’t in place. Within the industry, there are several uniform legislations to help keep your staff safe. The standards are used to ensure your staff are visible (both day and night) and protected from the sun and flames.

Uniform Visibility Standards

Standard: AS/NZS 4602.1:2011- Retroreflective materials and devices for road traffic control purposes Part 4: High-visibility materials for safety garments

These standards were created to ensure high visibility of individuals who may be exposed to high risk situations such as a construction site or roadwork site. The specification details day and night uniform requirements, defines the design of the garments, including the pattern options for the reflective tape, and the area for fluorescent materials.

Importance: Makes workers more visible during the day and night in dangerous environments, thus reducing the risk of workplace accidents

Uniform UV Protection Standards

Standard: AS/NZS 4399: 1999: Sun protective clothing – Evaluation and classification

These standards outline the methodology to test fabric and classify how much ultraviolet is transmitted through it.

Importance: Protects workers from UV damage, which could possibly lead to long term health implications

Uniform Flame Retardant Standards

Standard: NFPA 2112: Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire

This standard outlines the guidelines for Flame Resistant Garments in order to protect individuals from flash fire. It outlines the minimum performance requirements, methods recommended for flame resistant fabrics and components, designs and certification requirements.

Standard: NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace

Defines and outlines the requirements for electrical safety in the workplace. This includes safe work practices and personal protective equipment that must be worn.

Importance: Flame retardant uniforms self extinguish or don’t ignite to begin with, protects wearers from clothing melting on their skin, provides thermal insulation from the heat which all in turn reduces burn injury and increases chance of survival.

Alsco works hard to keep your employees safe. Our uniforms meet the industry standards to ensure your employees always remain safe and clean. Get in contact with us today, and increase your staff’s safety!

Promoting Healthy Workplaces

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the globe, the importance of a healthy and clean workplace has become the highest priority. Providing that security and safety, and comfort of mind, for your staff and your visitors has never been more critical. Ensuring the good health of your staff can reduce absentee rates and increase staff engagement leading to greater overall productivity and staff retention.

There are many ways that you can ensure that your workplace provides facilities services, floor solutions, and sanitary solutions, which organisations such as Alsco are ideally positioned to help you with. Beyond that, studies have found that implementing comprehensive and structured health programs actually led to increased savings due to higher productivity levels and reduced staff turnover.

Health promotion is the process of enabling individuals to increase control over and improve their health. Three ways this can be achieved is through:

  • Health Education: educating the individual on nutrition, hygiene and other health topics
  • Health Prevention: regular health checks and immunisations
  • Health Protection: providing a healthy environment (e.g. smoke free)

So as an employer, what can you do to promote a healthier workplace?

As seen in recent months, education around the importance of good personal and hand hygiene should be prioritised. Having good hygiene – for instance, regular supplies of hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes available for staff – is one of the best ways employees can protect themselves and their colleagues from getting illnesses, and has been highlighted as key to the fight against the spread of diseases such as COVID-19. Simple education surrounding hand hygiene, refraining from hand shakes, using tissues when you sneeze, and binning litter, used masks or tissues immediately after use can make a difference.

Other ways to promote a healthier workplace include:

  • Physical Activities
    • Encourage walking meetings, subsidising gym memberships and provide standing desks
  • Health Screenings
    • Provide regular health checkups for employees, provide wearable technology to monitor health indicators
  • Stress Management
    • Provide free or subsidised stress management or counselling sessions
    • Mental health first aid and education
    • Provide rest areas and sleep pods
  • Work Life Balance
    • Provide flexible working hours
  • Workplace Infrastructure
    • Provide stairs, showers and bike racks to promote physical activity
    • On site gyms or fitness programs
  • Chronic Disease Management
    • Insulin testing on site
    • Subsidised GP or specialist checkups
  • Nutrition
    • Provide healthier cafeteria options
    • Eliminate or reduce foods with high fat, sugar and salt content
    • Provision of free fruit or other healthier options

Investing in the short and long term health of your employees can provide a great return on investment for your organisation and your employees.

At Alsco, we value the health of your employees. We provide staff education on first aid, first aid kits, uniforms to protect the health of your employees and washroom services to improve hygiene around the office.

We have also developed a new range of Back to Work products outside of our traditional portfolio that we are delighted to make available to you for direct sale, to help you keep operating in the most hygienic way possible.

Get in touch with us today to improve the health and wellbeing of your staff.

What types of floor mats does your facility need?

Although floor mats are generally used for protection, decoration and comfort in private homes, did you know that having the right kind of mat can be used to improve your workplace safety, hygiene, and employee well-being?

The use of strategically placed floor mats can increase your organisation’s productivity and improve hygiene. A lot of thought is put into creating the perfect environment for your employees, with standing desks, ergonomic chairs and the like, but organisations rarely look at what could be done below our feet to enhance their employee’s work experience, especially if a majority of their shift is spent standing.

So what kind of mats are available and how can it help my organisation and employees?

Service Not Purchase

The first thing to consider is whether simply buying a few mats outright is the right solution for your business. Whilst it is a one-off purchase, you need to remember that these mats will get dirty and worn quickly – and you need to clean these just as stringently as any other item or surface in your business, especially during any time where hygiene is of paramount importance.  That is why a managed service is the best solution for many organisations, so that they can benefit from the improved floor solutions at the same time as benefiting from the peace of mind of regular replacement and professional cleaning.

Once you have made the choice to have a managed service, though, you still need to choose the mats themselves!

Wet Area Mats

Designed for areas that are frequently wet, whether it is from the nature of the job or the weather, having a wet area mat provides a safe barrier to prevent any slips occurring in your workplace. These mats are carefully designed for the environment they are in, with holes in to allow liquids to flow through, ensuring traction remains high for maximum skid or slip resistance. Ideal for wet markets, restaurants, bars, commercial kitchens and factories, these mats are made from durable, quick-drying, antimicrobial rubber, to ensure maximum staff safety.

Alsco’s Wet Area Mats:

  • Are highly resistant to oils, solvents and water
  • Fight off bacteria growth with anti-microbial properties
  • Reduce pressure and strains with a cushioned design
  • Textured, gripping material for safety
  • Permeable to allow scraps and liquids to pass through

Anti Fatigue Mats

Wet Area & Anti Fatigue Mat

Often your staff can be on their feet all day, which can lead to fatigue, leg and back pain, tiredness and reduced productivity – even to sick leave if problems escalate. Ideal for areas where staff are standing for a long period of time such as bars, retail and hotel receptions, these mats can also be more specialised to serve more than its original intended purpose, e.g. Wet area anti fatigue mats.

Alsco’s Anti Fatigue Mats:

  • Are Designed to be comfortable and minimise injury
  • Have an antimicrobial treatment that stays with the mat it’s whole life
  • Are textured for grip and safety
  • Have bevelled edges for safe step up

Dust Control and Floor Protection Mats

Dust Control Mat

The busiest areas in your workspace are often the dirtiest due to high foot traffic. Ideal for the front doorways and entrances to your hallways, dust control mats trap 80% of dirt, dust and water before it’s tracked right around the organisation – and before that dirt is spread throughout the building!

Alsco’s Dust Control and Floor Protection Mats:

  • Are environmentally friendly, made from recycled PET bottles
  • Won’t stain or fade
  • Have super absorption qualities
  • Lay flat every time
  • Have a choice of backing patterns to ensure they stay in place on all surfaces

Get in touch with Alsco today to organise floor mats for your organisation! Our range of high quality, technologically advanced mats will save your business cleaning costs, eliminate the need to replace expensive flooring and help keep your staff and customers safe.

COVID-19: Employers Guide for Returning to Work

The time has come for companies to start thinking about getting their staff back to work. Rules and regulations are finally relaxing, to try and get normality into everyone’s lives again. But where do you start? What do you need to know to ensure a safe and hygienic workplace for your employees?

Regulations are different for each industry, depending on how close you’re required to get to other individuals. For some such as hairdressers or nail technicians, it is crucial for employees to return to the business premise in order to provide the service, while for office based employees, services can still be provided from those working from home depending on the company and circumstances.

Firstly, a COVIDSafe plan needs to be developed prior to staff returning to work. The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission has created a template which businesses can use to prepare. The toolkit comprises three sections; keeping people safe, adapting your business for COVID-19 and advice on accessing support and assistance. The template includes links to regulations and information that is regularly updated to ensure your business is on top and aware of any changes and helps you prepare for different states of the pandemic. It should be revised frequently, particularly when restrictions and conditions change.

Some employees may be hesitant to return to work, fearing that their health may be at risk with the increase of social interaction. Employers need to reassure their staff that a COVIDSafe plan has been created to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, while still being mindful of their employees health and wellbeing, especially if they are deemed vulnerable. 

If possible, employers could plan a staged introduction with portions of staff returning at different times. A rotating schedule with different groups of employees working at the office during different days of the week is a great start. Employers should enquire about their employees’ mode of transport into work. For those that require public transport, they should be allowed to start at staggered times, in order to avoid peak hour on public transport systems. 

With modern open plan workplaces, employees are usually seated in close physical contact with one another. Physical setup of offices should be rethought to ensure regulations around social distancing, employee gatherings and hygiene practises are still met. Social distancing regulations recommend a minimum of 1.5 metres between individuals which can affect general office setups, hot desks and shared spaces like the lunch room. 

At Alsco, we’ve been providing hygienic and sanitised professional textile rental services throughout Australia since 1963. Known for our commitment to cleanliness and hygiene, excellence in service, and our friendly approach, we’re here to help you through this. Get in touch with us today if you require a commercial linen service, an uniform rental range, corporate clothing, chef uniforms and rubber floor matting to assist in your workplace getting back to normal.