Is the cleaning industry ready for Ebola?

22nd of January 2015
Is the cleaning industry ready for Ebola?

The ECJ correspondent in the UK asks how the cleaning sector can help in the fight against Ebola.

There is an apocryphal story told of US president Lyndon Johnson climbing board Air force One and saying to the pilot: “Go any place. We got troubles all over!”

This could in fact apply to any succeeding president and particularly President Obama at this time. Not that he is alone. Almost all the worlds’ leaders are in  the same position as are many of their citizens.

What have we got to worry about? There are many choices -  Ebola, Syria, radicalisation, ISIS, Ukraine - and so on almost ad infinitum. As the weather heads for the winter all these topics are being avidly discussed.

All of these things could affect us all. It may be that by the time this article is in your hands, Ebola will be under complete control or it could be creating a worldwide epidemic. Of all the doom scenarios, Ebola is the one most relevant to the cleaning industry. “We are in advanced state of preparedness,” say those who should know but even in the USA there have been errors.

When Ebola was first discovered more than 40 years ago, work could have been done on preparation of a vaccine. Alas, such work is expensive and the potential purchasers were Africans without any money to buy the resultant drugs. Now we are attempting to do 10 years’ work in six months because it appears that the West may be threatened. The media, which has yet to produce anything that is constructive and of lasting value, is quick to blame the WHO and the rest of the world apart from the handful of western nations offering assistance. Of course this enhances the story!

The first thing we can do is to stop wringing the hands and concentrate on our own hygienic preparations. How many contract cleaning companies have equipment ready to deal with the appearance of bodily fluids? We know that the presence of bodily fluids is a major source of infection not only with Ebola but other unpleasant complaints.

Is the area clean and hygienic? Can it be made so as part of a laid down routine? Have we trained staff to deal with the event? A double question here.

Over-reaction to scaremongering headlines? No. Just plain common sense.

Radicalisation. Not our fault, we stood while politicians let it happen - unhindered immigration, our usual easygoing attitude allowed a totally foreign concept to flourish, feeding on gullibility and unemployment - attractive to impressionable young people. What can the cleaning industry do?

Enhance the status of the cleaning operative, involve them in company social activities and convey information on company policy, strategies and its progress in the  world of business.
We hope to follow on with some ideas for tackling the problems that lie ahead and are here now. Many we cannot solve but we have something to contribute.


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