Archive for the ‘ Peak bodies ’ Category

OH&S requirements for commercial cleaning sites

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Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

These days most commercial cleaning work is serviced by contractors. A flow-on effect of this is the rise in workers compensation premiums from 2.67% to 10.52%. This notable increase has resulted in greater emphasis being placed on OH&S requirements to ensure that contract cleaning is carried out in the safest possible way.

The process should begin during the planning stage. Both the client and the contracted cleaning company have a responsibility to each other to clearly demonstrate their respective commitments to specific health and safety requirements.

 

Two sides of the story

Generally speaking, one of the main tenets of the contractual agreement from the property owner’s/manager’s side is the guarantee of a safe working environment for the cleaning contractors. This includes under normal day-to-day duties, but also heavily applies to post-hazardous situations, ensuring that work can and will only resume after an area has been deemed safe again.

Cleaning contractors are required to demonstrate that they possess the below systems which property owners/managers generally now regard as an absolute minimum:

  • Compliance with Health and Safety legislative requirements
  • OHS managements systems
  • Compliance with workers comp. and injury management requirements
  • Risk Management systems
  • OHS Incident notification
  • OHS Performance reporting
  • Property Specific Safety Management Plan

 

The above accreditations need to be proven before cleaning equipment has even been touched. Despite common misconception – commercial cleaning is inaccurately reflected by an individual in overalls boasting a sub-standard vacuum cleaner. This industry has become a science, and credible cleaning contractors provide safe and structured services.

To maintain a certain level of standard; cleaning contractors need to provide their staff with career development and ongoing training. Whether the individual executing the cleaning services or overseeing them – being able to identify issues before they become problems is becoming a necessity.

Supervisors and managers are now more commonly able to identify potential hazards and risks without the necessity to engage OHS consultants. This means immediacy in developing real solutions to avoid the avoidable, as well as cost savings for clients.

Who are the ‘peak bodies’ in the Australian cleaning industry?

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Thursday, October 11th, 2012

‘Peak’ bodies are associations that have been set up to govern and guide companies within their industries. They are authoritative and respected organisations that have been set up with the purpose of representing the industry. They are usually member-based, and companies choose to join them because of the benefits and services they offer. While the specific roles of peak bodies may vary between industries, they all share the following responsibilities:

  • maintain industry standards
  • address any issues and complaints of the industry
  • speak and act on behalf of members when lobbying the government
  • promote the interests of members
  • keep members up to date with the latest news
  • alert members of any policies and changes that may affect their businesses and livelihoods

While these organisations do overlook many aspects of the industry, their key role is to represent the industry. A major part of this is providing a strong, unified voice for their members. They also make themselves available to deal with any concerns raised by members.

Below are some of the peak bodies that we frequently encounter in our work as commercial cleaners. They represent different areas and sectors of the industry, which explains why there are quite a few of them.

ACCORD Australasia – ACCORD is the national association for the consumer, cosmetic, hygiene, and specialty products industry. Many cleaning companies that offer washroom and ancillary services hold memberships with ACCORD.

Australian Cleaning Contractors’ Alliance – This Sydney-based association assists medium to smaller-sized contracting firms across the country. They openly acknowledge that the industry is competitive, and that sustainability is a challenge.

Building Service Contractors Association of Australia – The BSCAA is the peak body for the building services industry. Their members include contractors working in cleaning, security, facilities management, and grounds maintenance.

Cleaning & Hygiene Council of Australia – This not-for-profit association is establishing itself to become the peak body in the cleaning and hygiene industry.

National Cleaning Suppliers’ Association – This organisation represents manufacturers and suppliers, as well as their distributors and dealers. The NCSA has a national reach.

Property Council of Australia – The PCA is the representative body for Australia’s property industry. They have property-oriented members such as investors and developers, but they also represent a range of professional services and trades.

Specialised Cleaning & Restoration Industry Association – This independent organisation represents the interests of commercial carpet cleaners as well as professionals involved in fire and water damage restoration.

 

These peak bodies are instrumental in ensuring the various sectors of the cleaning industry are efficient, sustainable, and profitable. Currently, Broadlex is a member of the BSCAA and the PCA.