Cleaning on the front line

9th of July 2020
Cleaning on the front line

Anna Garbagna in Italy on how the cleaning sector has been in the front line in the COVID-19 crisis, and how associations are working to protect workers.

The difficult situation that Italy has been facing, along with the rest of the world, has led all companies to act in a concrete manner to face together a nasty reality that we never wanted to deal with.

It could not be otherwise for the cleaning sector, on the forefront of this battle, which sees hygiene and sanitisation as crucial tools. All companies, staff and obviously the associations in this industry, have taken action quickly.

Starting with Afidamp (Association of Manufacturers and Distributors of Technological Supplies for Professional Cleaning) which wanted to express gratitude to all the member companies which found themselves in this situation - for responding extremely quickly to the demand for materials and products in much higher quantities than usual. All the companies are responding effectively and for this reason they have modified their work schedule in order to supply vital products for hygiene and disinfection to those who request them.

“The cleaning sector,” commented Giuseppe Riello, president of Afidamp, “is responding with professionalism and great speed to a very critical situation in Italy. I want to  personally thank all the member companies, especially the chemical industries that are working every day to guarantee supply. There is great difficulty in obtaining raw materials at a time when they are having to respond quickly to safeguard people and facilities that are already under pressure.

“I also thank all the workers of our member companies who, with a spirit of solidarity, have increased their working hours and pace of work. We have always stressed the importance of correct cleaning practices in all facilities - public or private. Today we stress it even more.”

Lorenzo Mattioli, president of ANIP-Confindustra (National Association of Cleaning Industries and Integrated Services) highlighted the importance of sanitisation in all environments, especially those hosting activities such as school buildings.

Letter to the president

He sent an open letter to the president Giuseppe Conte asking him to take measures to safeguard workers and companies in the cleaning sector who are now working on sanitisation everywhere in Italy. It has also been asked that the government  places sanitisation operations on an equal footing with health operations so cleaning operators can also be guaranteed better safety at work.

A common statement from FISE Assoambiente and FISE Unicircular to the government said: “In the current serious emergency situation caused by COVID-19, over 90,000 workers from waste management companies are continuing to guarantee essential public services of collection and disposal of urban and special waste.

"In this emergency phase, we ask the institutions which are, like us, involved in fighting the virus to guarantee us security and adequate support, so we can best manage the inevitable operational difficulties that have occurred - including the boom in hospital waste.”


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