#TheWaterFight: WaterAid’s Campaign for Clean Water

The Water Fight

Glastonbury is here again! The annual festival features a starry line-up of bands and musicians who are guaranteed to draw the crowds. Somerset’s fields are awash with colourful, tightly-packed tents and yurts as far as the eye can see.

Often mud-drenched and raining, Glastonbury is an institution amongst festival-goers, with tickets selling out within minutes of them going on sale.

This year, WaterAid have created the Toilet of Dreams at Glastonbury –  a luxurious, fancy-pants loo for festival goers to use, as part of their more serious campaign, #TheWaterFight, to help bring clean toilets and water facilities to schools globally.

Across the world, three in 10 schools don’t have clean water and one in three don’t have decent toilets. WaterAid are lobbying the UK government:

“to include taps and toilets for every child in their plans for schools worldwide.”

#TheWaterFight

(L-R) Tahiana, 11, Lanja, 9, and Esteffy, 10, posing with their face paint in Tsarafangitra village, Belavabary commune, Moramanga district, Alaotra Mangoro region, Madagascar. May 2017 [Image from WaterAid.org]

Having basic and clean toilet facilities, which here in the UK we take for granted, children in poorer countries suffer because they don’t have this opportunity. Accessing good, hygienic facilities at school, children’s health can be improved and their ambitions to regularly attend school and better their education are more likely.

You can sign WaterAid’s worthy petition aimed at the UK government, here. Find out more about WaterAid’s work here.

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Workplace Hygiene: Office Bacteria Hotspots

bacteria

In honour of global Hand Hygiene Day promoted by the World Health Organisation, we thoughts we’d focus on the workplace. Do you know the levels of bacteria that potentially are having a noisy party in your office area?

Office template company, Hloom, conducted a study to find out which were the most germ-ridden surfaces within an office. They swab-tested five businesses, ranging from small up to corporate headquarters, to get an average sample size.

Coffee Pot or Germ Hotspot?

Their findings showed a variety of high bacteria levels present on items such as door handles and photocopier buttons. Results from an office coffee pot handle produced bacteria levels 34 times higher than a school toilet seat. 99% of bacteria found, was gram-negative rod bacteria, which around 90-95% of this type can be harmful to human health and resistant to antibiotics. All on the handle of an office coffee pot. Pass the alcohol wipes, please.

bacteria

 

bacteria

[Image from Hloom.com]

Keyboards: a Health Hazard?

A previous study within a London workplace office, found that computer keyboards were a haven for bacteria. Out of 33 keyboards that were swabbed, four were regarded as potential health hazards, and one was found to contain more bacteria than a toilet seat. A most grim finding.

bacteria

Both sets of results from these studies demonstrate the everyday items and surface areas within an office environment that have the potential to host and spread bacteria. And where there is bacteria, illness can be encouraged, especially in close proximities such as offices and shared points of contact, like door handles and telephones.

The University of Arizona carried out a research study in 2014 which suggested:

“…that viruses can be spread from an office door handle to more than half the workforce in just two hours. The research involved researchers planting a harmless bug with similar properties to Norovirus on an office doorknob at the beginning of a working day.

“They then sampled other surfaces such as light switches, lift-push buttons, coffee pots, taps and computers at two-hourly intervals. The study revealed that up to 60 per cent of the workforce in the building had been contaminated by the ‘bug’ in just two hours.”

The UK has one of the highest rates of absenteeism in Europe, with 25.9 million work days lost in 2015/2016 due to work-related illness: this makes sickness caught via the office environment, an expensive outlay.

Ways to Minimise the Spreading of Germs

There are ways to encourage colleagues and staff members to pay close attention to hand hygiene and minimise germ-spreading in the office:

  1. Wash your hands regularly! It may sounds very basic, but it’s an essential component of germ-reduction. For effective hand washing techniques, check out this guide from the World Health Organisation.
  2. Keep your desk, gadgets and equipment – including telephones and keyboards – clean. Use an antibacterial spray or wipes regularly.
  3. Have tissues on-hand to catch sneezes, instead of your hands! A sneeze can actually project inner fluids from a person’s mouth and nose, up to 26 feet across a room, thus potentially contaminating anyone in its wake.
  4. Use antibacterial hand gel if it’s available when hand-washing is not – after using a shared photocopier, for instance, where many hands have touched the surface. Bacteria will be present here.
  5. Make sure your workplace washrooms are well stocked with soap, functional hand dryers or paper towels to encourage good hand hygiene in the bathroom.
  6. If you’re truly sick: stay home. Don’t be the one who brings their germs to work to share with colleagues. You won’t be thanked!

 

 

Nexus Hygiene Ltd is a family-owned hygiene service company, based in Preston, Lancashire. We are specialists in all washroom services. Our areas of coverage include:

Accrington – Bamber Bridge – Blackburn – Blackpool – Bolton – Burnley – Bury – Chester – Chorley – Cleveleys– Clitheroe – Colne – Darwen – Fleetwood – Fulwood – Garstang – Heysham – Kirkham – Lancaster – Leigh – Leyland – Longridge – Lymm – Lytham  – Morecambe – Nelson – Oldham – Padiham – Penwortham – Preston– Rossendale – Runcorn – Skelmersdale – Southport – St Anne’s – Stockport – Warrington – Wigan – Wirral

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Why Choose Nexus Hygiene?

Nexus Hygiene

Who do you trust?

When it comes to choosing who you work with, trust is an an essential part of that choice, but hard to demonstrate. We know that bad customer experiences lead to negative public perception of companies: you’ve only to look at the recent fiasco when United Airlines’ policy of ‘re-accomodating’ passengers lead to a serious physical assault upon a travelling doctor. The following $1b slide of United’s shares and stocks serves as a reminder of how bad publicity can ruin a business with speed.

 

Nexus Hygiene

We like to think that one of the reasons that our customers remain loyal to us year after year, is that we are a trustworthy company. Honesty is an important building block to all relationships, and we see our services to you as no different.

Nexus Hygiene have provided quality washroom hygiene services to companies across the northwest for over ten years. From sanitary bin service and disposal, to warm air hand dryer solutions to air fresheners to floor mat services…if you have washroom needs in your business, we’ve got it covered!

Customer-focused

Because we’re a family-run business, our priority commitment is to provide you with friendly and excellent customer service at all times. We think this great quote from one of our customers, describes us so well:

“I use the services of Nexus Hygiene at multiple sites and have always enjoyed the care and attention paid by Simon and his team. They offer great advice and the personal touch a local operator brings, while delivering a service comparable to any of the ‘big boys’ at a very competitive price.”

 

Areas of Coverage

Accrington – Bamber Bridge – Blackburn – Blackpool – Bolton – Burnley – Bury – Chester – Chorley – Cleveleys– Clitheroe – Colne – Darwen – Fleetwood – Fulwood – Garstang – Heysham – Kirkham – Lancaster – Leigh – Leyland – Longridge – Lymm – Lytham  – Morecambe – Nelson – Oldham – Padiham – Penwortham – Preston– Rossendale – Runcorn – Skelmersdale – Southport – St Anne’s – Stockport – Warrington – Wigan – Wirral

Don’t see your area on our list? Give us a call! If you’d like a chat to discuss your washroom service needs and how we could help you, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or drop us an email.

To Flush or Not to Flush? That is the Question!

Don't Flush

Let’s talk toilets. It’s definitely not a sexy subject, however, it’s an essential one. Following last week’s Water Saving Week, we’ve been thinking about the questions we’re asked the most and a common one is: What Can I Flush Down The Toilet?

The Water Industries Act 1991 states that:

“No item should be flushed that could cause a blockage within the sewer or drain.”

Don't Flush

Water UK says that more than 80% of flooding in the UK is due to blockages in sewers.

“In the Thames region alone, disposal of unsuitable products, combined with fats, oils, grease and food waste poured down the sink, causes 1,000 homes and 5,000 gardens to be flooded each year. The nationwide cost of unblocking the sewers maintained by the water and sewerage companies already runs to £88 million a year.”

Earlier this month, Thames Water was slapped with a unprecedented £20.3m fine over what is the largest freshwater pollution fine levied to a utility company up-to-date. Over 1.4bn litres of raw sewage leaked into the River Thames, killing thousands of fish and leaving humans and animals sick.

Domestic drainage pipes are only, on average, 10cm in diameter. They are not designed to carry anything more than toilet tissue. The International Flushability Statement from Water UK, lays out things that can be flushed and is quite simple:

“Only the 3Ps – Pee, Poo and toilet Paper.”

Let’s look at six everyday items which are regularly flushed down the loo.

  1. Sanitary Products

Did you know sanitary products shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet? A survey suggests that over half of UK women flush their sanitary products. With over 80% of flooding being down to sewage blockages, it’s probably a fair assumption that a large proportion of all blockages are down to flushed sanitary products. Even when the packaging of these items suggests that they are flushable or biodegradable, they do not break down once they reach the sewers and can take many years to degrade. All sanitary waste should be placed in a suitable waste receptacle.

According to Anglian Water,  every week, a horrific 800 tonnes of wipes and sanitary waste products are flushed down the toilet, leading to them needing to be physically removed from sewers.

Don't Flush

If you’re a business or premises, by law, you are required to provide a disposal system of sanitary products for females in your establishment. The waste system should actively control odour and fight bacteria. The removal and disposal of waste items must be completed by a registered waste carrier, as is your Duty of Care.

  1. Wipes

Wet wipes – baby, face, cleaning etc – are generally made from materials that do not degrade. Additionally, they are thicker than toilet tissue and do not break down in the same way that regular loo roll does. Even if the packaging states they are biodegradable, it doesn’t mean that they are therefore flushable. Another for the bin-it list.

 

  1. Paper Towels

These type of products are bulkier and denser than regular toilet tissue, therefore can cause blockages in domestic drainage pipes. Bin it, don’t flush it.

 

  1. Dental Floss

This is another type of non-flushable item that contributes to blocked pipes and sewer build-up. Put used floss in the bin, never flush it.

 

  1. Condoms

Just no. Ever. Don’t flush condoms: they are a definite bin-it item. Used condoms are a major cause of blockages in sewerage works. Thames Water sewer operative, Simon Evans, stated: “I’ve been down the sewers in central London and seen what appear to be fish on the surface. They’re actually condoms filled with air, bobbing around. It is pretty grim.”

 

  1. Nappies

Nappies are classed as non-hazardous, offensive waste. For average households, nappies should be disposed of alongside municipal (black bin) household waste.

If you have a nursery or child care facility, and produce more than 7kg of nappy waste, or have more than one bag in a collection period, you must separate this from this waste and have a dedicated bin collection service to adhere to your Duty of Care. Never flush nappies. Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital discovered that a major leak of raw sewage running down the walls of their new £28m Women’s and Children’s Unit was caused by someone flushing a nappy and a baby vest down the toilet. True story.

Don't Flush

 

*Since 2008, Nexus Hygiene Ltd have provided professional and reliable washroom services to customers across the North West. From the point of installation, we efficiently deliver everything as promised, which is just one of the reasons why our existing customers remain loyal to us year after year.

Please call us on (01772) 671500 or (07958) 764499 for more information, site survey or direct price comparison: we’re always happy to help.

 

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Mats: Improving Floor Hygiene

Mats

Mats

Studies have shown that up to 70% of dirt on floors within businesses or establishments is actually brought in via people’s feet. That’s a lot of potential mess and bacteria to spread around a building, if it is allowed to walk-in without a barrier.

You can help to reduce the need for heavy floor cleaning in your premises by using a designated dust mat. A dust mat is specifically designed to trap walked-in dirt and moisture as soon as it is stepped upon. This improves the cleanliness of your building and means that you won’t have a continual need to clean the floors.

Mats

 

Mat Service

Here at Nexus, we provide a dust mat service. The service we provide for our customers ensures that the mats we provide are always well-presented and clean. Our staff members visit your premises at regular service intervals, removing used dust mats and exchanging them for fresh and professionally laundered ones. There is no inconvenience for our customers – we take care of it all.

Having a dust mat at the entrance to a business is a good health and safety measure. By trapping in water and dirt from customers’ shoes as they enter your premises, you are effectively reducing trip-hazards resulting from wet floors, leaving the moisture contained within the dust mat. These mats are a perfect solution for high-traffic areas of a business or for heavy industrial use.

Logo Mats

You could always take your company image one step further with a bespoke logo dust mat situated at the entrance to your building. This is an instant brand-awareness method, advertising your business to a potential customer or visitor as soon as they enter your premises.

Mats

 

By using a logo mat, you can still utilise all of the benefits of a dust mat service, whilst incorporating your brand or message displayed on the mats. Our multi-coloured logo mats come complete with your company logo or message, creating a highly professional business image with a practical hygiene solution for your customers, suppliers and staff members.

Nexus Hygiene carry out a dust mat service, along with a full washroom hygiene service throughout Lancashire and the north west, covering the areas of Accrington – Blackburn – Blackpool – Bolton – Burnley – Chorley – Cleveleys – Colne – Fleetwood – Garstang – Lancaster – Leyland – Lytham St Annes – Morecambe – Nelson – Preston – Skelmersdale – Wigan

 

Business Benefits of Washroom Services

business benefits of washroom services

First impressions last!

Have you ever walked into a washroom and an awful smell is the first thing you immediately notice? The impression of a clean and hygienic washroom must be a major priority for any business or organisation that hopes to to present a professional and lasting positive image.

Clean and well-supplied washrooms are also the mainstay of employee and visitor health – both encouraging people to use the facilities you have carefully thought about supplying, and also, to help improve hand hygiene in the workplace. This is especially relevant for businesses that are office-based.

Office Hygiene

A study within a London workplace office, found that computer keyboards were a haven for bacteria. Out of 33  keyboards that were swabbed, four were regarded as a potential health hazard, and one was found to contain more bacteria than a toilet seat in the same office! One keyboard, under orders from the microbiologist monitoring the study, was found to contain such a high level of bacteria, it was removed and quarantined for heavy cleaning: it tested positive for over 150 times the recommended safe levels of bacteria.

business benefits of washroom services

Bacteria Spread and Health

You can see how the London office study demonstrates the opportunities for bacteria to rapidly spread from surface-to-surface. No doubt levels of bacteria on surfaces affects employee health and wellbeing. Limiting bacteria transmission in the workplace can help with fewer worker sick days, consequently increasing your business output. On average, UK workers take 9.1 days off sick each year.

Increase awareness and benefits of excellent hygiene practices in your workplace or establishment. Encourage scrupulous hand hygiene routines to prevent further germ transmission from the washroom into the workplace. Ensure computer users keep their own keyboard and computer area clean, especially if staff eat lunch at their desks.

 business benefits of washroom services
Benefits of Washroom Services

  • quality hygiene standards in a washroom
  • complete service management
  • positive workplace image
  • a fully-stocked washroom
  • a professional and valuable service to your staff and visitors

business benefits of washroom services

For more information on professional washroom services from Nexus Hygiene Ltd, please contact us on 01772 671500 or fill in our contact form here.

 

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Waste Transfer Notes: All You Need To Know

Waste Transfer Notes: What Are They and What Do They Do?

Waste Transfer Notes:

A document that details the transfer of controlled waste from one site to another. You must ensure that every consignment of controlled waste that you receive or pass to others is covered by a Waste Transfer Note.

Waste Transfer Notes

Nexus Hygiene Ltd’s Waste Transfer Note

All controlled waste must have a Waster Transfer Note (WTN). This is to show accountability that a premises’ waste is collected by a licensed waste carrier. All controlled waste, such as clinical or sanitary waste, must have an accompanying WTN. This is sometimes issued annually by some companies and they may charge their customers for the privilege.

Here at Nexus Hygiene, we issue Waste Transfer Notes at every visit when we remove waste. We also provide this service free of charge. Nexus Hygiene take our responsibility as a registered waste carrier very seriously.

Copies of your WTNs must be by law, kept for two years. These can be requested by official agencies such as the Environment Agency as proof that waste is being disposed of in the correct and legal manner.

Waste Transfer Notes should also have codes for each type of waste that is to be disposed of. The Environment Agency is the official body who is responsible for the monitoring of waste disposal in the correct manner.

As a business, you have a Duty of Care. This means that you as a “waste holder” are responsible for ensuring the safe and correct disposal for any waste that comes from your premises. The Environment Agency’s description of a waste holder is:

Waste holders are a:

Waste Producer – any person whose activities produce waste. This includes private sector businesses such as shops, offices, factories and tradesman (eg electricians, builders, glaziers and plumbers) and public sector services such as schools, hospitals and prisons, as well as charities and voluntary and community groups

Your Duty of Care extends until you transfer your waste to an authorised person or company. This could be someone like ourselves, as a registered waste carrier for any controlled waste, or a local authority refuse collection. When your waste is collected by ourselves, a Waste Transfer Note will document this

Some of the common codes you may come across on Waste Transfer Notes include:

18 01 03  wastes whose collection and disposal is subject to special requirements in order to prevent infection

18 01 04 wastes whose collection and disposal is not subject to special requirements in order to prevent infection (for example dressings, plaster casts, linen, disposable clothing, nappies etc.

18 01 01 wastes of a sharp nature – needles, syringes.

A full list of all types of waste for disposal and their accompanying codes can be found in the Environment Agency’s guidance document here.

For more information on washroom hygiene services from Nexus Hygiene, please call us on: (01772) 671500 or email us here.

 

Washroom Hygiene: The Elephant in the Room?

Air Freshener Service

What do your business or premises washrooms look like? What would be the first thing a customer or client notices, upon entering the washroom?

Survey

A survey of over 1000 adults conducted in the USA, found that 94% of the respondents would avoid a business in the future if they encountered dirty washrooms. Survey respondents said that they would avoid these types of business if they judged them to be dirty:

  • Restaurants: 79 %
  • Hotels: 79 %
  • Healthcare Facilities: 77 %
  • Supermarkets: 50 %
  • Retail Stores: 45 %
  • Fuel Stations: 45 %
  • Car Dealerships: 39 %

 

Washroom hygiene

 

A later survey showed that perceptions of washroom hygiene were critical. Women respondents were show to be more sensitive to poor washroom hygiene than male respondents.

Concerns

Issues that rated highly as concerns were.

  • Paper towels or toilet paper on the floor – 80%
  • Lack of toilet paper – 67%
  • Empty soap dispensers – 55%
  • Water around the sink area – 42%
  • Old or outdated soap dispensers – 29%

How often are your washrooms checked during the day? If your premises have a high footfall through the toilet area, more regular monitoring is needed. Perceptions of washrooms are crucial to a person’s overall view of your business. Your washroom can look incredibly clean and tidy, but any hint of a dirty smell will change the experience to a negative one.

Social Media Shaming

The age of the internet is well and truly upon us. Furthermore, if you provide a poor service like dirty or inadequate washrooms, photos can be broadcast across the ether in a matter of seconds. Customers are swift to take to social media in order to endorse, or worse, condemn, businesses in a full public view.

Washroom hygiene

Make sure your washrooms are of the highest standards and provide quality services for your staff, customers and guests. It reflects on your business operations as a whole and it could make a big difference to your ratings and image!

 

*Since 2008, Nexus Hygiene Ltd have provided professional and reliable washroom services to customers across the North West. From the point of installation, we efficiently deliver everything as promised, which is just one of the reasons why our existing customers remain loyal to us year after year.

Please call us on (01772) 671500 or (07958) 764499 for more information, site survey or direct price comparison: we’re always happy to help!

Areas of Coverage

Accrington – Blackburn – Blackpool – Bolton – Burnley – Chorley – Cleveleys – Colne – Fleetwood – Garstang – Lancaster – Leyland – Lytham St Annes – Morecambe – Nelson – Preston – Skelmersdale – Wigan

 

Blade Dryers, Warm Air Dryers or Paper Towels?

 

Warm Air Hand Dryer

This week, The Guardian published an article on the battle between the mighty blade style hand dryer and paper towels in public washrooms and workplaces.

Warm Air Hand Dryer

The article stems from a recently published piece of research from The Journal of Applied Microbiology. They focussed on the comparison between a warm air dryer, a jet air dryer and paper towels. The results suggest that the blade-style dryer spreads germs further than either the standard warm air dryers or paper towels.

Results suggested:

60 times more germs than standard air dryers, and 1,300 times more than standard paper towels.”

Warm Air Hand Dryers

At Nexus Hygiene Ltd, we prefer our standard warm air dryers over the blade style models and paper towels. We have found during our extensive research and testing, performance and maintenance levels of the warm air dryers far surpasses the blade-style drying systems. Paper towels are an acceptable form of hand drying in public washrooms but produce waste in large volumes. They also require constant monitoring for topping-up and storage.

Warm Air Hand Dryer

Our serviced warm air hand dryer are the most economical method for washrooms. There is no requirement for the refreshing and monitoring of paper towel stocks, emptying any blade dryer reservoir or cleaning up water spillages from the floor or wall areas. The surface area for fitting is also small and less intrusive than a blade-style dryer.

Overall, we feel warm air hand dryer produces the best solution for washrooms. The dryers are both hygienic and economical. Other benefits include minimal-to-no intervention needed by businesses in-between our service visits.

Warm Air Hand Dryer

 

 

*Nexus Hygiene Ltd is a family-owned hygiene service company, based in Preston, Lancashire. We are specialists in washroom services, including: Sanitary Bin Service, Air Fresheners, Warm Air Dryers, Water Management Services, Hygiene Vending, Sanitiser Service , Soap Dispensers and Dust Mats. 

Our Areas of Coverage include: Accrington – Blackburn – Blackpool – Bolton – Burnley – Chorley – Cleveleys – Colne – Fleetwood – Garstang – Lancaster – Leyland – Lytham St Annes – Morecambe – Nelson – Preston – Skelmersdale – Wigan