Coronavirus: How professional cleaners are dealing with the outbreak
As people try to protect themselves from Coronavirus, the services of commercial cleaners are in high demand. But how are those tasked with protecting others and keeping themselves safe?
Prosper spoke to Debra Lawrence of Lawrence Cleaning, a Chamber Platinum Group member. “It is frightening really,” Debra told Prosper.
Running the cleaning business in Dudley with husband Paul and son Alex, Debra found herself part of a team which was called to deep-clean a doctor’s surgery after a patient was sent for COVID-19 testing. As we write, the West Midlands - and Black Country, in particular, is being viewed as a hotspot for the virus with a substantial number of UK deaths from COVID-19.
The 35- year old company is now busier than ever.
Donning personal protective equipment (PPE), and using colour-coded equipment to prevent cross-contamination throughout every clean as they work through schools, offices and medical centres to ensure each venue is safe and clean for the general public.
Debra said, “The job can be exhausting, physically demanding and my staff are under a lot of pressure.
“A team of 15 of us went into deep-clean a school and it took each of us four hours to clean our individual areas.” She said.
“People don’t realise that we’re in the middle between the health service and the general public - we’re the people tasked with keeping everyone safe in work, schools, at the doctors and dentists, and in factories, so we take it very seriously.”
Staff at the business, which employs 300 people aged between 18 and 75, have become worried about contracting the virus themselves.
Debra continued, “I am conscious of the vulnerabilities of our older staff but would never put any of them in a situation that would put them at risk. A lot of my team have been worried, asking what would happen if they got sick, how best to protect themselves.”
“If we found out they were at risk, we’d pull them in straight away.”
She continued, “As a company we have refreshed out training and protocols, keeping staff updated on all the latest safety advice.”
“It’s such a new experience in dealing with this that we’ve had to respond to things as and when they’ve happened too.” She said.
We’ve been trusted to go in and do a job that is ultimately about keeping people safe, so it’s a big responsibility.”
Top tips from the cleaning professionals:
- Clean your entire home often, not just once a week
- Pay special attention to areas such as the kitchen and bathroom
- Touch points, such as door handles, push pads and telephones, are a particular concern
- Use good quality antibacterial sprays or wipes as well as soap but be mindful of any allergic reactions your family members have