Why the Colour of your Chef’s Uniforms Matter

Chef's in white uniforms by Alsco

Chef’s uniforms are integral to any food-related or hospitality establishment. 

Not only do they help protect your staff from any greasy liquids or bacteria, and promote a more hygienic work environment, chef’s uniforms are crucial for the overall business image conveyed towards your patrons. Even more interestingly, the COLOUR of your chef’s uniforms can play a major role in terms of how your restaurant is perceived by customers. In saying that, let’s briefly dive into the reasons why the colour of your chef’s uniforms matter! 

Create a Positive Impression on Customers 

The colour of your chef’s uniforms can actually create a great impression on your customers. And you’re probably wondering why – well, the answer lies in the intriguing psychology behind colour symbolism and its associated influences on customer behaviour. 

A traditional chef’s uniform usually includes a professional, crisp white jacket with a matching white cap. According to many psychological studies, the colour white evokes sensations of purity, safety and cleanliness. This makes sense because the absence of colours or any discolouration (stains and blemishes) can be easily noticed on a white shirt. This historical perception of strict hygiene and sterility even applies to the medical or clinical professions, along with scientists in their white lab coats! 

If your chefs are dressed in proper white uniforms, this undoubtedly evokes a strong pillar of hygiene and sanitation across the workplace, while customers will be more inclined to trust your staff with the handling of their food or beverages. The white uniforms means that your chefs are not trying to hide any suspicious stains, defects or grimy pigment – this generates a transparent atmosphere and enhances the positive impression of your restaurant. 

Enhances your Staff Professionalism & Branding 

Nothing conveys staff professionalism better than workplace uniforms. Traditionally, white chef uniforms conveyed a sense of prestige, admiration and expertise. Even today, many food, beverage and hospitality establishments still honour the classic white chef uniform as a tradition. 

Lower-level chefs, apprentices and waiters/waitresses also typically wear the colour white to further emulate this sense of professionalism, creating a cohesive branding aesthetic across the entire dining establishment. The use of colour to create a strong brand identity can be seen with the consistently crisp, white uniforms in restaurants. The colour white also evokes cleanliness and hygiene, associated with highly respected professions of medicine and science. 

While the colour white is often used in chef uniforms, it is not the only colour which can improve your staff professionalism. In fact, black is another popular choice for many restaurants, especially since it evokes stability and power, according to colour psychology. Additionally, black chef uniforms tend to appear very stylish and very practical in concealing food stains and spillages, making it an outstanding choice for various chefs and restaurant workers operating in exposed, open kitchens.

Effective Identification of Staff 

From a practical perspective, strategically using different colours or consistent branding across your chefs’ uniforms can ensure an easy identification of staff around the workplace. With so many restaurant staff rushing about, frantically taking orders and serving diners, while different-level chefs and cooking apprentices are bustling around the kitchen, it can be hard to keep track of who’s doing what in your business. 

That’s why the colour of your chef’s uniforms matters in any context. To properly identify and differentiate the different groups of staff, some restaurant owners can designate a specific colour scheme. For example, the head chef (and other main cooks) can be dressed in white uniforms, the prep cooks in black, while other kitchen staff can wear blue. 

Notably, it is quite common for lower-level and mid-level cooks to wear black-and-white checked trousers, while higher level chefs wear solid black. However, the colour of chef’s uniforms can certainly extend beyond just traditionally black and white colours – depending on your restaurant’s branding aesthetic and styling choices, you might want to opt with more vibrant hues, such as red or yellow, to signify urgency or enhance visibility for example. 

Need Stylish and Comfortable Chef Uniforms? 

If you’re in need of Chef uniforms and kitchen staff uniforms, then look no further. Alsco can take care of all your food and beverage garments so that your staff don’t need to worry about buying, washing, repairing or storing uniforms ever again. 

Under Alsco’s Managed Rental Service, we launder to the stringent Australian Laundry Standards AS/NZ 4146 2000 to provide you with hygienic, fresh, crisp and pressed uniforms, delivered right to your doorstep.

We offer a fantastic range of Chef’s jackets and pants with a size range to fit – and even better, we can customise each garment with your brand to promote your company’s image and add different coloured trim for easy identification of staff. Contact us now for more details!

Office Safety: Why Floor Mats can Increase Your Staff Wellbeing

Floor mats used to substantially improve staffs’ wellbeing

The workplace environment has a huge impact on your employee’s wellbeing. If businesses can create comfortable spaces, this can yield great results for the overall happiness and productivity of staff. And yet…we rarely ever consider the potential of floor mats in creating the most optimal workplace. Find out below why floor mats can substantially improve your staffs’ wellbeing! 

They reduce fatigue and discomfort 

Staff may be constantly on their feet all day long, whether this be in a corporate office or industrial warehouse. People who work in certain occupations will have it tougher than others, yet every employee will ultimately go through this discomfort at some point. Even standing in the same spot for extremely long periods can negatively impact your staffs’ wellbeing! This includes fatigue, leg and back pain, tiredness and aching muscles. 

By installing anti-fatigue floor mats in your workplace, particularly in critical spots such as high-use industrial areas and high-traffic areas in building entrances or exits, you can enhance your staff’s overall comfort, safety and wellbeing. These anti-fatigue floor mats are specially designed with underfoot cushioning, textured grip and bevelled edges for maximum safety. 

They keep you safe and sound

Floor mats not only reduce fatigue, they are a fantastic way of keeping your workers safe and sound. Wet Area floor mats can minimise the risk of any accidents by making wet areas and slick floors less slippery. This feature is especially advantageous around bathroom or kitchen areas, where there tends to be a lot of moisture and liquid substances. Every business can benefit from having wet area floor mats in the workplace, especially those dealing with food and beverages, or chemicals.

Constructed from durable, quick-drying, anti-microbial rubber, these mats are highly resistant to oils, solvents and water. Aside from eliminating potential hazards, wet area floor mats also typically have incredible anti-fatigue properties, which can alleviate any stress felt by your staff. Enhancing the wellbeing and safety of your workers should be one of the biggest priorities of any business, so why not install a wet area mat to help you achieve these goals? 

They improve hygiene and cleanliness 

Many commercial buildings and facilities have a lot of foot traffic, meaning that all kinds of harmful dirt and liquids can be brought inside. Not only does this endanger your employee’s safety by increasing the risk of slippery falls, it generates nasty bacteria and germs which could seriously harm your employee’s health and wellbeing in the long-run. 

Floor mats can tackle this issue because they possess unique absorption properties that enable them to trap 80% of dirt, dust and liquids in your workplace. These dust control and floor protection mats can be strategically placed in your front doorways, hallway entrances and busy work areas. With these floor mats, your staff (and clients) will be protected from accidents, while your workplace will look more sharp and professional. 

Want to increase your staff wellbeing and boost productivity? 

Alsco’s Floor Care solutions will provide your business with the essentials – this includes floor protection, dust and dirt control to anti-fatigue options. These high-quality and innovative floor mats will reduce cleaning costs while keeping your staff happy, safe and comfortable above all. 

Our managed rental service means that your mats will be laundered, dried and delivered straight to your door on a regular basis — a great way to keep your workplace clean and your staff safe!

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!

Essential Back to Work Products

Woman putting on a mask while outside

With the emergence of COVID-19, it has never been more important to promote cleanliness and hygiene in the workplace. While social restrictions are relaxing and businesses are gradually returning back to work, Alsco has created a high-quality range of essential products designed to help you feel more confident about your work environment.

This product catalogue steps outside of our traditional portfolio and we are delighted to make them available to you, so that you can take precautionary measures which can readily prevent the spread of COVID-19, while also enhancing the health and wellbeing of all your stakeholders. 

If you’re interested in our Back to Work range (you can scroll down this article and browse for our recommendations or visit this page), then simply fill in this contact form and one of our friendly Sales Team members will get it touch! 

Message Mats 

Keeping your workplace safe, clean and hygienic is one of the top priorities right now. Yet, many businesses fail to properly enforce social distancing policies and hand hygiene reminders to their staff, which can make them more susceptible to the dangers of COVID-19.

There’s no better way to protect your workers than by using visual cues, captivating symbols and well-designed signs. Alsco’s brand new Message Mat enables your business to get back on its feet. We have 4 different designs for your choosing, each intended to promote physical distancing rules and remind employees to wash their hands.  These bold, attention-grabbing designs will effortlessly make sure your staff and customers maintain hygiene levels at all times. 

Hand Sanitiser & Stands 

Hand sanitisers are one the best defences against COVID-19. When a person coughs or sneezes, the highly contagious virus is released as respiratory droplets into the air, which can land on surfaces or objects. Since individuals often make physical contact with our surroundings, this can lead to a huge spread of infection. 

Safe Work Australia recommends that you get an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient. The sanitiser must be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions when it is not possible to wash and dry hands. 

Alsco’s new Hand Sanitiser is available for your business’s back to work needs and meets all the stipulated hygiene requirements. We have even included a Hand Sanitiser Stand, which can be carefully placed around your workplace entrances and exits for optimal cleanliness. If you don’t have access to hand sanitisers, it is highly recommended that you place posters near handwashing facilities showing how to correctly wash (with soap and water) and dry hands. 

Washable Reusable Face Masks 

While single-use disposable face masks offer you protection against COVID-19, they are extremely wasteful and can become very costly in the long-run. Additionally, these face masks are used primarily for the pharmaceutical and chemical-processing industries, where they can be easily disposed of in a heavily controlled medical setting. 

As a result, reusable cloth face masks are being manufactured due to high demand and to reduce any supply burdens for those crucial health-related industries. By using a washable reusable face mask, you can return back to work with greater confidence with the knowledge that you are contributing to environmental sustainability and supporting the health sector. Check out Alsco’s washable reusable face masks and contact us for more info! 

Surface Sanitiser

Surface sanitisers act as an invisible armour cleansing the vulnerable spaces in your business and preventing your employees from becoming infected. These antibacterial sanitisers can be applied on all kinds of surfaces and equipment, a perfect hospital-grade solution for your back to work business needs. 

With Alsco’s brand new Surface Sanitiser, you are able to clean targeted areas of your workplace, including kitchen benchtops and sinks, food processing areas, office printers, industrial machinery, door handles, and so much more. Minimise the risk of infection and bacterial contamination by effectively cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting thoroughly. Combine this powerful solution with our premium, specially designed microfibre wipes

Infrared Thermometers

Infrared thermometers are unique digital thermometers that can measure the temperature of a surface from a distance ranging from a few inches to several feet. They must be verified by the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). Most handheld infrared thermometers include a laser to help aim the device, meaning that your employees can be easily trained to use this tool around the workplace to detect any positive COVID-19 cases.

Infrared thermometers are often used as a cost-effective substitute for thermal imaging cameras, yet they perform just as well. Other than identifying whether any of your staff or customers have contracted COVID-19, they can be used to detect hot or cold spots on walls, ceiling and duct systems. With Alsco’s Infrared Thermometers, you can easily prepare yourself for the gradual return to business. 

Sneeze Guards 

A sneeze guard is another effective product which will prepare your business for a post COVID-19 work environment. It is a barrier (typically made out of plastic or glass) that is intended to curb the spread of germs, especially from sneezing or coughing, which are the main triggers for airborne virus contagion. 

Sneeze guards are effective for public spaces, such as salad bars, food counters and buffets in restaurants. They prevent food and people from being exposed to respiratory droplets, which are released via nasal or oral excretion. The guards are transparent, still enabling you to socialise with others while maintaining the necessary physical defences against COVID-19. If your business operates in the food preparation and hospitality industry, this product is highly recommended. 

Disposable Gloves 

While washing your hands with soap and water (or using hand sanitiser) is still the best control measure against COVID-19, disposable gloves are also useful for certain practices such as food handling and preparation, cleaning, agriculture, healthcare and manufacturing. Depending on your business, you’ll need to undertake a risk assessment to examine if your workplace would benefit from using gloves. 

According to Safe Work Australia, if gloves are not used appropriately, they can pose a risk of spreading germs and endangering workers. When a person wears gloves, they may come into contact with germs which can be transmitted to other objects or their face. As a precaution, gloves are not a substitute for frequent hand washing.  

It is important that gloves are replaced regularly. Multi-purpose gloves should be washed and stored according to the manufacturer’s instructions or workplace policy. Disposable gloves should not be re-used and multi-purpose gloves should not be shared between workers. 

Check out Alsco’s disposable gloves in our new essentials range.

Personal Protection Kits 

With the prevalence of COVID-19 news and warnings, you may have come across the term Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This equipment basically includes essential garments and workwear designed to protect health care workers or any individual from getting infected. 

Some examples of PPE include: gloves, face masks, sterilised gowns, coveralls, overshoes (shoe covers), goggles, respirators, head covering or rubber boots. 

You can check out Cleanroom Garments for more PPE products. Alsco’s personal protection kits allow you to seamlessly return to work and get back to business. Our kits contain all the necessary personal protective equipment to help you manoeuvre these challenging times and create a safe, hygienic environment for everyone. Together, we can work towards rebuilding our businesses and fighting the coronavirus.

Don’t hesitate to contact Alsco for more info about these essential back to work products! 

Continuous Hand Towels: Are they a Hygienic Option?

Alsco Continuous Hand Towels

Hand hygiene is an absolute MUST for any business.

There are so many options available to improve one’s hand hygiene, ranging from hand sanitisers to soap dispensers. For industrial workplaces, hand hygiene becomes more paramount since workers often have to clean oily, greasy surfaces or machine parts on a regular basis. This means dealing with lots of harmful bacteria and chemicals which can damage your workers’ health and safety.

However, not many people understand that to eliminate these germs, we need to use effective hand-drying mechanisms. Not only does proper hand-drying remove dirt from the hands and enhance cleanliness, they also remove microorganisms from the skin surface which come from the initial hand-washing. In other words, this hand-drying prevents any dirt or microbes from being re-deposited back onto the skin.

That’s why Alsco provides businesses with the Continuous Hand Towel option – for quick, economical and hygienic hand-drying. When it comes to drying our hands, cloth towelling is a fantastic way to maximise comfort and absorbency. In fact, international research has actually proven that a majority of people prefer to dry their hands using cloth towels, rather than the paper towel alternative.

Compared to Continuous Hand Towels, hand dryers are also not the most effective and hygienic method since many people often leave the restroom with their hands still damp. This lingering moisture contains bacteria which means a greater chance of infection. On the other hand, Continuous Hand Towels enable your hands to be completely dry and bacteria-free. Additionally, unlike with disposable towels, the germs are contained within the cloth towel cabinet instead of the trash cans or on the floor.

By using Continuous Hand Towels, you truly are opting for a great hygienic option in the workplace. Alsco’s Continuous Hand Towels provide extremely quick drying for the hands, which ensures a more thorough clean and minimises the risk of bacterial cross-contamination.

Additional features of the Continuous Hand Towels include:

  • Absorbent, hygienic, fresh and soft
  • Easy to use cabinet system
  • Avoid overflowing bins and the inconvenience of empty dispensers
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Average of 200 uses per towel

These cloth towel dispensers also provide a more efficient method for people to dry their hands. They contain separate chambers for the new and used portion of the towel, which ensures that there is no contact and creates an unparalleled hygienic environment. During cleaning, towels are processed at over 150°C to ensure complete sterilisation.

Aside from being very hygienic and efficient, cloth towels are also immensely eco-friendly, with less than half the environmental impact of paper towels, using up to 63% less energy, and creating 48% less greenhouse gases and up to 79% less waste.

Since Alsco’s Continuous Hand Towels are manually operated and don’t use electricity (unlike hand-dryers), your business won’t have to spend excess costs on energy bills, while also reducing pollution and deforestation. Not only will you be picking the best hygienic option for hand-drying, you’ll be helping the Earth!

Need Continuous Hand Towels for your Business?

If you want to get your hands on our special Continuous Hand Towels, Alsco’s Managed Rental Service is the cost-effective alternative to buying.

We eliminate the need for large capital outlay and keep your equipment maintained, replenished and up-to-date. Our economical solution ensures that you will avoid any purchasing, re-ordering and storage costs, with the available supplies delivered punctually whenever you need it!

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!

The Importance of Clinical Waste Disposal

Person getting blood taken

What is Clinical Waste?

Clinical waste is defined as any waste generated by health care industries such as medical, dental, pharmaceutical and other clinical related activity. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 15% of medical waste produced is considered hazardous as it may be infectious, radioactive or contain chemicals that have the potential to cause further injury, infection or offence.

What are the different types of waste?

Waste and by products of waste, can include:

  • Infectious waste – waste contaminated with blood and other bodily fluids (e.g. from discarded diagnostic samples) or waste from patients with infections (e.g. swabs, bandages and single-use medical devices)
  • Pathological Waste – human tissues, organs or fluids, body parts and contaminated animal carcasses.
  • Sharps Waste – syringes, needles, disposable scalpels and blades, etc.
  • Chemical waste – solvents and reagents used for laboratory preparations, disinfectants, sterilants and heavy metals contained in medical devices (e.g. mercury in broken thermometers) as well as batteries.
  • Pharmaceutical waste – expired, unused and contaminated drugs and vaccines.
  • Radioactive waste – such as products contaminated by radionuclides including radioactive diagnostic material or radiotherapeutic materials.

Why is it important to separate the waste?

It is important to understand the different types of waste and how to separate them in order to protect the environment and individuals from harm. Risks associated with medical waste include:

  • Health Risks – clinical waste can contain infectious agents, radioactive materials or hazardous chemicals which could infect patients, health workers and the general public if not disposed of properly.
  • Sharps Related – Around 16 million injections are administered by syringe or needle each year. Of these 16 million, a large portion are not disposed of in the correct manner. This can cause further injury and re-infection. An individual who accidentally encounters an injury from a needle used on an person infected with HIV has a 30% chance of being infected. 
  • Environmental Impact – Incorrectly disposing medical waste can lead to health risks through the release of pathogens and toxic pollutants which then spread into the environment. Untreated health care waste can also lead to contamination of underground soils and drinking water, affecting the wider population and putting the general public at risk.

How to dispose of medical waste correctly?

Due to the potential health and environmental impact medical waste can have, it needs to be disposed of correctly. This is to ensure the waste is treated so that it no longer has the dangerous properties of medical waste and can be reclassified. After treatment, the waste must no longer be injurious, infectious or able to give rise to offence in order for reclassification to occur.

At Alsco, we have a sharps container and clinical disposal bins for workplace washrooms that have been designed while keeping the ease of use and the privacy of the user in mind. Our secure sharps bins disposal service ensures disposal of hazardous waste and sharp objects in accordance with EPA regulations.

Sharp Waste Bin

Sharp Waste Bin

  • Suitable for syringe and needle disposal
  • Secure steel container with dual locking system
  • Available in 1.4 litre and 7 litre containers

Waste Disposal Bin 

  • Suitable for medical waste disposal
  • Units available in a range of sizes
  • Complies with local and federal legislation

Get in touch with Alsco today to organise your rental service for your clinical needs!

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!