fire extinguisher hire for events

Fire extinguisher hire for events

Fire extinguisher hire

Fire extinguisher hire for events

Across your event site fire extinguishers need to be located within fire points. Identifying where these fire points are, should be part of your Fire Risk Assessment and Event Safety Plan. They need to be in locations that are either marshalled or regularly checked, to avoid misuse and tampering.

Within venues extinguishers are positioned on walls or stands, with appropriate signage placed above, to reduce the likelihood of incorrect use. Where you are in an outdoor or temporary environment this can be more challenging.

Rigid plastic fire stands and signs are available for hire, or alternatively you could print of appropriate signage and place that above the fire points on steel shield or hoarding.

It always helps to have a visual dot plan of extinguisher locations for your event. This helps in advance of the event to evaluate your cover of extinguishers and how close people are to them, then on the day for your teams to check they are still there and also as a guide for control should they be directing supporting teams to a situation.

Can fire extinguishers be stored outside?

You need to make sure that your extinguishers are protected from the elements, but this needs to be proportionate.If your event is for a number of weeks or months over the winter and is outdoors, you would be wise to position extinguishers inside cabins and marquees where possible and then provide water proof case protection for those that cannot be located under cover.

For short term events it may be appropriate that they are left outside, as long as you check them and ensure they are protected from vandalism, damage and weather conditions. You need your extinguishers to work when someone goes to use them in an emergency.

Foam and water extinguishers are at risk of freezing or spoiling if the temperature drops below 0⁰C. For safe outdoor storage, these extinguishers should have anti-freeze added to ensure that they are ready for action in an emergency. ABC Powder extinguishers can operate normally to a temperature of -20⁰C.

Types of extinguisher

There are 5 fire extinguisher colours: Red, Cream, Blue, Black and Yellow.

Each colour represents a different type of extinguisher, which has different properties and are to be used on different types of fires.

Since 1997 all extinguishers have a red (or chrome) body with the identifying colour on the wide band at the top of the extinguisher.

As a quick guide the extinguishers are usable as:

Fire extinguisher types and their uses on events

Type Used on Not used on Event use Event Considerations
Water Paper and cardboard fabrics and textiles

wood & coal

Fires involving electrical equipment, kitchen fires, flammable gas, and liquids Fire Exits

Portaloo Toilet areas

Store Areas (containing Class A materials)

Campsites

Water conducts electricity so is dangerous to the user if used on electrical fires. Do not use on electrics!

 

if there is a high risk of accidental use of an extinguisher or where the likelihood of using them and refilling is high e.g. a festival campsite. Where a water fire extinguisher would therefore be preferrable.

 

AFF Foam Organic materials like:
Paper
Cardboard
Material
Wood
CoalPlus, Flammable liquids, such as petrol, paint, and turpentine
Kitchen fires
Electrical fires
Flammable metal fires
Fire Exits

Portaloo Toilet areas

Store areas

Office spaces

Bars

Catering

 

A safer option for use than Water.
Dry Powder Organic materials like:
Paper
Cardboard
Material
Wood
CoalPlus:
– Flammable liquids, like petrol, paint and turps
– Flammable gases, like liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and acetylene
– Fires involving electrical equipment up to 1000vSpecialist dry powder extinguishers are only used on flammable metals, such as titanium and magnesium.
Cooking oil /chip-pan fires
Fires involving electrical equipment over 1000v
or in enclosed spaces, such as offices or domestic dwellings
The most common use of a dry powder extinguisher is within the generator compound areas or areas where there are fuel storage and LPG stores.

 

Specific tasks involving hot works or flame cutting during the build would also need this type of extinguisher.

 

They shouldn’t be used in enclosed spaces because the powder can be easily inhaled and the residue is very difficult to clean. Standard dry powder extinguishers can be used on some electrical fires, plus specialist dry powder extinguishers are used for fires involving flammable metals and running fuel fires. Caution always needs to be taken when using outside as the powder will be taken by any prevailing wind.

 

CO2 Flammable liquids, like paint, petrol and turpentine
Fires involving electrical equipment
Kitchen fires or chip-pan fires
Organic materials like paper, wood, cardboard or fabric
Flammable metals
We would expect to see 2kg CO2 extinguishers located with AFF Foam extinguishers in general areas of event spaces, such as offices, portacabins etc

CO2 extinguishers are important to be on stage, performance areas, Front of House control desks, side of stages where large distro boxes are located etc.

 

We would expect to see 5kg CO2 extinguishers located within generator areas.

 

Wet Chemical Chip-pan and cooking fat fires

Organic materials like:
Paper
Cardboard
Material
Wood
Coal

 

Flammable liquid or gas fires
Electrical fires
Fires involving flammable metals
Any kitchen or trader area which has fryers and hot oils.

 

Water Mist Paper and cardboard fabrics and textiles

wood & coal

 

Plus:
– Flammable liquids, like petrol, paint and turps
– Flammable gases, like liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and acetylene
– Fires involving electrical equipment up to 1000v

 

Cooking oil /chip-pan fires
Fires involving electrical equipment over 1000v
Locations where a dry powder extinguishers would be suitable but where you are in an enclosed space.

 

Suitable for offices, schools, workshops, churches etc

The extinguishers are very expensive to buy and replace, so are hired less than conventional extinguishers.

 

The water droplets created by the extinguishers are so small that electricity cannot travel through them. In addition, the water mist extinguishers contain only de-ionised water which cannot carry electrical current.

 

As a rule there should be a fire extinguisher within 25M of any point within the event space, however, this can be more or less depending upon what is located within the event space, what activities are being undertaken, where is the event being held, is it outside in a wide open space or indoors within a historic building.

Fire extinguishers must be serviced annually, and this can be checked on the service label located on the side of the extinguisher and should always have the pin located in the top and a tag holding this in place.

At Number 8 Events we hold a huge stock of fire extinguisher hire for events, which can be foind here https://number8events.com/catalogue/product-category/fire-safety/fire-extinguishers/

and our safety officers can assist with putting together an event fire risk assessment for your event and advise you which extinguishers you need to have on site.

We also provide onsite trained fire officers to events, these staff can assist you with:

  1. Pre event fire safety compliance checks with traders
  2. Oversee extinguisher placement
  3. Proactive peak performance inspections
  4. Routine checks of escape routes
  5. Response to an emergency situation.

If you would like some downloadable templates for forms to check onsite for fire safety, the National Fire Chiefs Council have some great templates which can be found here https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Event-safety

Please get in touch with one of our team who will be happy to help with any of your requirements.


PPE event safety

Casual worker PPE

Casual worker PPE

PPE Regulation Changes and effects on Event Safety

The regulations relating to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE – hard hats, gloves, goggles etc) are being updated and they come into force on 6th April 2022. With some changes possibly effecting how companies manage the health and safety of events and casual workers.

 

The duties and responsibilities for PPE on employers and employees are unchanged, but what the new amendments do is extend the responsibilities on employers to workers that are of more of a casual or irregular status (HSE refers to them as limb (b) workers). As opposed to persons who are on a permanent contract of employment (limb (a) workers).

 

This then means that there is no difference in how you provide PPE to both full time employees and casual staff. So you need to assess the risk and ensure that suitable PPE is provided, to all people that fall under the definition of worker.

 

The PPE provided must be free, compatible, maintained and stored correctly. All workers must use the PPE properly following training and instruction in its use from the employer.

 

How does this affect event safety?

Unlike other work environments, events and brand activations have changing PPE requirements, and sometimes staff will be called in on casual basis to help out at events which at the time have PPE enforcement in place.

 

Some tips to help make sure you are compliant with the regulations:

 

  1. Consider what PPE you are purchasing, make sure that you have discussed the work practices and requirements with the supplier of the PPE or with a specialist. Always make sure they are CE or UKCA marked.
  2. What sizes will be required for the staff? PPE that doesn’t fit wont be worn by the user or will be worn incorrectly.
  3. Make sure the PPE issued is in line with the requirements from the risk assessment.
  4. Think about how you are instructing those to wear the PPE, do they know how to put it on and wear it correctly? Is it worth making sure they have done an online short course?
  5. How are you checking that PPE is being used correctly? Is it worth having some spot checks that are recorded?
  6. Where will the PPE be stored when not in use?
  7. Are the PPE requirements communicated in the site rules that are sent out pre event?
  8. Do you have a register of who has had PPE and who has been instructed on its use? Is it worth having a register that workers can sign to say that they have received their PPE and understand how to use it, how to store it and what to do if its defective?
  9. Do you have spare appropriate PPE available onsite, so that if there are any defective items or casual workers arrive without any, it doesn’t hold up the build?

If you would like to find our more on how Number 8 Event can help you with navigating these regulations and many more please see our webpage on safety.

For more information on all of the changes to the PPE Regulations please read the HSE Guidance


fire extinguisher hire for events

Event Barriers

Event Barriers

Barrier hire for events

Knowing what barrier hire for your event can be a tricky minefield of acronyms and names for different types of barrier. Which can be infuriating, because surely a barrier hire is a barrier!!

Here is a brief guide to some different types of barriers that are commonly hired on events.

Crowd Control Barrier Hire (CCB/Ped Barrier)

Crowd Control Barrier which is abbreviated to CCB, or often called ped (short for pedestrian), or ‘bike rack’. Are all the same style of barrier.

Barrier hire

They come in 2.3m and 2.5m lengths in the UK, and can be lightweight or heavy depending on the manufacturer.

Further details on these barriers can be found via our website at: Crowd Control Barrier Page

They also come in different colours, some hire options can be red and black:

These barriers have no load bearing capability to them and should only be used for channelling people into the correct queue lane or area. As opposed to a static forward force possibly being applied.

Heavy Duty Met Barrier Hire

These are the sort of barriers that you will see in Central London outside No.10, or on the edge of a red carpet event.

They are normally 1.5m wide and very heavy. They come in upturned stillages, and need manual handling trained crew to install.

Stage Barrier Hire (Pit Barrier)

This is your front of stage, load bearing (rated) barrier, which is installed by professionals and is rated to take a forward force of pressure.

They have a footplate on the operator side, that means staff can elevate themselves above the heads of the crowd for safety reasons.

Stage Barrier is mainly used for concerts and stages, but also used for any area where there is a significant forward force applied by a crowd. Such as separation lines at London Stadium, high profile red carpets and popular product launches.

The IStructE Guidance for Temporary Demountable Structures 2017 is a great document for the considerations in the design and risk assessment for both structures and load bearing barriers such as stage barrier IStructE Guidance

Tensata Barrier Hire

These are premium barriers used when there is absolutely no forward pressure, but a more premium look is required than a crowd control barrier.

Further information can be found here on our website Tensata Barrier Page

They come in a range of styles and colours. But the normal hire ranges are chrome or black posts, with either black or blue tape.

Tensata barrier hire

These are the sort of barriers you would of have queued endlessly past in airports, but we offer a portable version as opposed to a permanent installation bolted to the floor.

They also come with options for A4 sign holders that slot over the top to assist with client branding and directional information.

Rope and Post Hire

The nicest of the non load bearing barrier range, and the one that every red carpet would be lost without.

They come in chrome or gold options, with black and red rope being the most popular.

You can see the various options Number 8 has here Rope and Pole

Rope and pole event hire

The rope lengths for these are 1.5m, but allow 1.2m for planning perspective, as you will want a nice hang in between the stanchions.

Exhibition Barrier Hire

A very low level barrier, used in art galleries and exhibits. These are used where you do not want the barrier to be in the way of an impactful piece of art.

museum barrier

The rope is custom cut to each order, so you can specify what colour best suits your installation.

Picket Fence Hire

A plastic version of the popular wooden picket fence. As a freestanding option this is ideal for country fairs and events where you want a softer barrier to segregate an area.

picket fence hire for events

Mesh and Block Fencing (Heras) Hire

The mesh and block fence is a 2m high fence, with 3.5m wide panels. This is widely referred to as heras fencing, although ‘heras’ is actually a company name of one of the providers. Bit like how vacuum cleaners are sometimes referred to as hoovers!!

This fence is used to separate work areas during builds, and for creating back of house areas to secure plant and generators.

heras fencing for hire

The range of options Number 8 has for hire can be found here Heras Fencing Page

These come with two types of feet, black rubber feet and yellow rubber feet.

The yellow feet are a newer range, which with the appropriate bracing can have weights applied above them to increase the wind resistance of the fence panel, useful if you want to install branding on the fencing.

This type of fencing has options for covering as well. The four main types are:

  1. Branded scrim either in a roll or per panel
  2. Fire Rated black scrim which comes in a rolls of 100m
  3. Opaque black panel sheets
  4. Echo Sound barrier (which have a noise reduction quality to them, perfect for generator compounds in city areas)

But some people also like to be a bit more creative and use bamboo, natural materials to clad the heras. Whatever you choose, just make sure you have assessed the wind, ensured you have stakes/weights applied and you take it off if the wind is too much!

Chapter 8 Barrier Hire

This barrier comes in a range of visible colours, but you will mainly see orange on the market. They are used by companies when bartering off road works. But they are also perfect for events that need a visible barrier in a traffic situation.

Chapter 8 barrier hire

They are also commonly used in brand activations during the build and derig in stations because of the fact that they are non conductive, and increasingly used in shopping centres within boulevard areas during the build and derig.

If you are still unsure which barrier would best suit your event please get in touch with us and we can discuss the options with you. We have a huge stock of barriers available for hire, along with other essential kit for your events.


Superheroes

Superheroes

Did you spot the news about our new superhero status? If you haven’t, then keep reading…. Are you in a jam or have a problem? Is your event causing you stress? Don’t panic, just like Batman, here at Number 8 we can come to the rescue and you can escape unharmed.

We have assembled teams of our own fellow Justice League professionals from Logistics teams, to H&S experts to Event Producers that can help any issue you might be facing.

So getting back to our superhero statues, you might have seen that orange 8 illuminating high in the night’s sky and wondered what it is? It’s basically our modern day UK Bat Signal and our most trusted clients are issued with a lamp for their times of need.

The last time it was used was only last week when we had a client ring us from site at 10pm, short of barriers and needed them for the next morning. Our team spotted the signal in the sky and immediately mobilised from our Number 8 cave to get the kit ready and into the client’s event.

There are always other calls for help that are more in-depth and need more work, but when the pressure is on to deliver don’t panic and give up altogether if you are facing an emergency like this. Number 8 can help. Even with a short lead time, we can pull off a successful and creative event for you. We are known for working to tight deadlines and problem solve where other companies say it can’t be done. At Number 8 we have an ethos that we can ‘make it happen”. Here at Number 8 our super hero team can make the impossible possible.

We are one of very few companies that have so many different business disciplines across the Events service and beyond. Just like the Justice Leagues team you don’t have to worry about speaking to multiple people and companies, with Number 8 you can select the level of service you require. We can be a one stop shop to cover all your business needs, reducing the pressure on you. For more information please see our webpage.

So get on our orange bat phone and give us a call to discuss your needs or concerns. We are here to make your life easier!

But all jokes aside, if Joker or The Riddler have arrived at your place of work and are causing you trouble, you probably do need Batman!!


External COVID Advice

External COVID Advice

With an International Pandemic it is understandable that the control measures need to be amended on a regular basis to keep up with the increases in knowledge and the changing nature of the virus. As such your COVID Plans need to keep up.

It is therefore important that you appoint someone in your organisation who is the appointed lead for researching changing legislation and how it affects your company or services.

There are lots of sources of advice out there, so it is important to ensure you research across the various sources of information.

Here are some useful links to some external sources of information:

HSE Guidance https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/index.htm

National Outdoor Event Association https://www.noea.org.uk/resources/covid-19/

Association of Event Organisers https://www.aeo.org.uk/covid-19

Mayor of London https://www.london.gov.uk/coronavirus/re-opening-london-safely/guidance-events-during-covid-19

Number 8 Events https://number8events.com/2020/10/06/covid-plans/

Once that person in your organisation is appointed and knows their responsibilities, they can then digest the relevant information and updates, and then relay this info to your staff and contractors with advice which is relevant to your organisation.

If you’d like to chat with us about your COVID-19 safety plans, please ring 0203 743 7292 or email support@number8events.com.


Exhibition Shell Scheme

Exhibition Shell Scheme

Your exhibition shell scheme team are here to make your life easier

 

If you are gearing up for 2021 trade shows and exhibitions, it’s time to start thinking about shell schemes. They are the structural backbone of your event, and getting the right team on the job is crucial. That’s right, it’s not just the quality of the shell scheme itself that you need to consider, it’s also the team in charge of it. Fortunately, we’ve got our best people assembled. Team Number 8 Events are ready to help you.

 

Let’s talk about the kit first of all.

 

You want one critical thing from your shell scheme – it must be robust. After all, it’s giving your event or exhibition its framework. The kit we use is strong, durable and smart. It does the job well and can be easily adapted to your specifications. Once the shell scheme is in place, it’s easy for exhibitors to customise it with their branding and décor.

 

You might want to standardise the top fascia so that it’s easy for visitors to navigate the event and for your team to see where each business is located. Our shell scheme comes with adaptable fascias to do just that, helping to ensure everything is uniform if that’s what you need.

 

Bring in the experts

 

Our event industry expertise means we’ll be the perfect partners to help you achieve what you need. There won’t be time to waste, and since we don’t need you to explain how this all works to us, we won’t be using too much of yours. Instead, you can trust us to get on with the job, safe in the knowledge that we understand the pitfalls and challenges you face and the reasoning behind decisions.

 

Event organisers bring us in at the planning stage, while they’re still working out the floor plan. Not only does that ensure we are fully briefed, but we can also make suggestions or give advice based on our extensive knowledge of these events. Once you’ve cracked it, we’ll schedule the time for our shell scheme to be delivered and built, ensuring you’ve got everything you need when you need it.

 

Let’s get building

 

On the day of the build, our team will arrive with everything they need to get the shell structure in place in good time. Having built many shell schemes in our time, you can rely on us to work quickly without fuss. There aren’t many things that surprise us after decades in events, so we’re not fazed and can adapt wherever you need us to.

 

We’ll make sure the shell structure is up and ready for use with plenty of time to spare. After checking it over, you’ll be ready to welcome the exhibitors, knowing that the venue framework is now in place.

 

Throughout the time we’re building your shell scheme, you can focus on the other essential jobs on your list. It’s our intention to give you peace of mind and time back to deploy in other areas of the event. We know that for event organisers, time is the most precious commodity of them all.

 

No-fuss de-rigging

 

When your show or exhibition is over, our team will swoop in again to dismantle the structure. You can rely on us to get everything out of the venue in a timely fashion so that you can hand it back to the owner. Thanks to the number of shell schemes we’ve built and de-rigged over the years, we’ve got it down to a fine art. So, that’s another thing you can cross off your list because we’ve got you covered.

 

If you’d like to chat with us about your shell scheme needs, please ring 0203 743 7292 or email info@number8events.com.


Air Purification Unit

Catch and Kill

In the fight against coronavirus, professionals need to be diligent about securing the spaces their teams are working in. Under such stringent conditions, being able to ensure that clean air is being pumped around the area is fantastic, but it’s not enough. That’s why we’re delighted to introduce our latest bit of for-hire equipment – hospital-grade air purification units.

These dynamic and multi-functional units offer two layers of protection. Not only do they pump clean air throughout your workspace, but they also trap and kill airborne viruses, bacteria and microorganisms. Testing by Eurofin and the University Of Oslo proved that the efficiency of this ground-breaking technology is an incredible 99.97%. For your people, that is the sort of protection that ensures everyone can work knowing the risks of infection are substantially decreased.

The good news is, you don’t have to invest big to get the benefit of these air purification units – we’re able to hire them to you for a competitive rate.

How Does It Work

Let’s look inside the air purification unit to understand how the technology vastly improves on less-sophisticated systems. At the top of the unit is a powerful fan that works to draw in the air and push it down into the cylindrical HEPA13 filter below. When the air reaches the inside of the cylinder, any particles become trapped on the pleated inside, and that’s where viruses, bacteria, etc. are stopped in their tracks. Inside the bottom of the unit is a UVC lamp that shines continuously, destroying the DNA contained in the aforementioned nasties. What leaves the unit is purified, clean air.

The other significant advantage of these systems is to do with airflow capacity. You’ll find each unit can process 560m³/hour (20,000ft³/hour), a much larger area than traditional systems. This capability means it’s a terrific solution for people operating commercial or retail spaces, and if you need to cover more area, you can just hire multiple units.

We’re working with professionals operating photo studios, event venues, restaurants, bars, offices and many other types of premises. The units provide them with the ultimate protection and reassurance that they are keeping their visitors and teams safe.

Getting Started With The Kit

It’s not complicated to start using the air purification system we hire you, you simply plug and play. Their portable, minimalist design means you can fit them easily into your space as long as you have access to a plug socket. The system begins working immediately, which is great for days when you may be arriving early to transform studio space and have crews moving in and out of the area for multiple tasks.

Plenty of big-name operators are already using this ground-breaking technology in their business. The likes of Bentley, GlaxoSmithKline, Triyoga London, Discovery Channel and many NHS hospitals already have the systems up and running. While their budgets might be significantly bigger than yours, the opportunity to hire the kit from us means you can enjoy the same level of protection at an affordable price. We can also advise you on how best to deploy the system in your space and talk you through any other considerations for COVID safety.

If you’d like to talk to one of our experts about hiring the air purification proven to catch and kill COVID and other viruses and bacteria, please call us on 0203 743 7292 or email info@number8events.com.


risk assessment matrix

Matrix or No Matrix?

Do you still use risk matrices?

Risk Assessment risk matrices

Are you still using risk matrices?

We’re not – here’s why.

In 2019, we removed risk matrices from our risk assessments after discovering they can do more harm than good. As you probably know, they are not mandatory, yet many professionals continue to use them regardless. However, after an ex-HSE inspector raised the subject with us, we took time to explore the benefits and drawbacks, to make sure we were using best practices. Our research helped us conclude that in many instances it makes sense not to use them.

The official line

Just to be clear, before we take you through our key reasons for not using risk matrices anymore, let’s talk about the law. There’s no mention of risk matrices in any health and safety legislation, the HSE’s risk assessment guidance, or HSE document indg163: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg163.pdf. Therefore, you are not obligated to use risk matrices by the regulators.

Our findings:

After a thorough examination of the subject, these are the key reasons that we’ve decided to abandon the use of risk matrices.

  1. Risk matrixes do not usually take into account the findings of psychological research concerning the cognitive biases that impair most people’s ability to assess risk.
  2. The verbal labels used in ordinal scales (e.g. high/medium/low likelihood) are interpreted inconsistently among different users and by the same user. For example, one person’s perception of likelihood is different from another’s, based on personal experience or their level of competence.
  3. A multiplicative model, for example, will assess the likelihood and impact of several different risk activities as if they were entirely independent. When the scores are aggregated, three different activities may be considered to be medium or low risks. However, if the activities are correlated and have an impact on one another, three low-to-medium risks could together produce one very high risk.
  4. Hazards of low severity and high likelihood will receive the same risk value as hazards with high severity and low likelihood. Although the risk values may be the same, the response to these different hazards in terms of priority for correction may be very different (source: St John Holt, 1999).

Taken together, these four findings indicate that the scoring methods of risk matrices are likely to be poor tools for risk assessment.

A potential exception

Using a matrix may still be worthwhile for more complex situations, or those where a score might help provide context to stakeholders during discussions around a particular issue. However, it does require experience and expertise to judge the severity and likelihood accurately. Getting risk scores wrong can result in failing to implement important control measures, or implementing the wrong control measures

Moving forward

We advocate removing risk matrices for the most part. Instead, we advise concentrating your efforts on assessing what the risks to your event or activity are, as well as considering the control measures that are likely to reduce that risk.

If you couple this with being clear about who is responsible for actioning the control measures, what instructions or information persons need to receive to control the hazards effectively, and how you are recording what you are doing, you are likely to achieve a better overall outcome.

For more help with event risk assessments, see our webpage for further information.


How clean is COVID clean?

How Clean is COVID Clean?

How clean is COVID-clean? Combat cross-contamination to secure your space.

Right now, the biggest risk to the customers and workforce who use your space is cross-contamination.

It only takes one person infected with the virus to come into your premises and be in close contact with objects, surfaces or other people for transmission to happen.

The consequences could include a temporary closure of your business and all the loses that entails, so you must do everything you can to avoid them.

Face masks and social distancing are vital control measures to mitigate the airborne spread of the virus. However, only a thorough cleaning regime can help you control potential fomite transmission too.

Since March, we’ve been advising clients on how to ensure their premises are as COVID-secure as possible, which involves a combination of measures to ensure they have every base covered.

Like you, we want both customers and employees to feel confident in venturing out to visit the places they socialise and work. So, establishing an enhanced cleaning regime is vital.

What does a COVID-secure cleaning regime look like?

It goes without saying that all your employees should be fully briefed on the personal hygiene standards expected of them now. For your cleaning team, you need to go much further.

Start by having a meeting with your cleaning contractor to discuss everything you require from them and to get their agreement to use enhanced methods to tackle cross-contamination.

Your new cleaning regime should involve the cleaning team doing a preliminary deep clean of each area and then a second round of disinfection throughout. Only through a two-level approach like this can you achieve a COVID-secure clean.

Make sure the products used conform to the standards set by Public Health England and that all cleaning staff have received the training required for the cleaning methods they should use.

They will likely be working in spaces with different requirements. That’s why we advise having a colour code for each area to avoid cross-contamination during the cleaning process itself.

For example:

  • Yellow for higher risk areas
  • Green for food preparation and bar use
  • Red for toilets and washrooms
  • Blue for general areas

The beauty of a colour-coded system like this is that these primary colours are widely used by cleaning equipment manufacturers, which makes it easy to implement and for staff to remember.

Strategies should include extra cleaning of high-frequency contact areas, and extra sanitising for high-risk areas too.

Getting your paperwork right is also critical. Make sure you have a detailed COVID Secure Plan and Risk Assessment.

We’ve been meticulous when preparing paperwork for clients who’ve asked us to handle this for them, and Local Authority Environmental Health Officers have commended our work as exceptional.

This is not just about getting a pat on the back, it’s proof to visitors that your business or venue is competent and proactive about COVID security. In these challenging times, that’s an excellent position to be in.

Taking it to the next level: do you need to use hygienic air cleaning as part of your processes? 

There are plenty of clients who need to go further in their efforts to provide COVID-safe environments. For them, we suggest hygienic air cleaning, aka fogging.

This cleaning method allows you to reach all parts of your venue at a micro-level, so even areas that are difficult to access or time-consuming to clean can be reached.

If you are running a photo-shoot or something similar, for example, this is an excellent solution. A team can come in to build the set and any equipment first. Then, before the artist or models arrive, the area can be sanitised using hygienic air cleaning to achieve the desired level of safety.

Another advantage of fogging is that you can establish secure groups of people moving in and out of your space.

By staggering arrival times, having separate welfare areas and staff bubbles denoted by colour-coded lanyards, you can mitigate cross-contamination between the groups by fogging between use.

The beauty of this proactive approach is that if one person needs to self-isolate due to potential COVID exposure, you can simply remove their working group from the project. The procedures you have in place will contain the possible transmission and enable you to continue without having to halt work.

Once again, document all of this in your COVID Secure Plan and Risk Assessment. If a suspected or confirmed case happens, you’ll be required to prove it’s safe to keep your venue open.

If you can’t demonstrate that the likelihood of infection between groups is minimal and that you have a robust cleaning regime in place, you may be shut down.

We’ve all seen the catastrophic financial impact this can wreak on businesses in 2020, so do whatever you can to prevent that happening to your venue.

Please remember that our team are here to help, and we’ve got a lot of experience in putting COVID-Secure Plans in place and conducting thorough risk assessments.


Struggling to manage fast-changing COVID regulations?

Struggling to manage fast-changing COVID regulations?

Operating in a pandemic is tough, particularly given how quickly the rules around COVID-safety change from week to week.

Businesses now have to operate within the regional tier system while maintaining social distancing and other measures to flatten the curve, as well as preparing for potential ‘circuit breaker’ restrictions.

Throw in leaked reports across the media about the next set of Government proposals and suddenly you can feel completely overwhelmed and unsure about exactly what your business should be doing.

Our advice to clients is straightforward – in a world this complicated, you need to keep it simple. We’re going to show you how to do that.

Appoint your dedicated COVID-19 officer

Achieving COVID compliance is a team effort, but we advise that you put one person in charge of keeping up with the latest regulations.

By appointing a COVID officer, you’ll have a person in place who is checking the regulations and requirements every day with credible sources and getting the facts.

They will take on the responsibility of checking COVID compliance across all your projects, keeping up to date with the very latest advice and ensuring your business is operating correctly.

Your COVID contact will also be able to keep potential upcoming changes on their radar and brief you as soon as they come into play.

Provide bite-sized advice for the whole team

You may have briefed your team on your COVID Secure plan, but as things move fast, you need to keep updating them.

We recommend that you put together a simple COVID-19 table that covers each part of your plan succinctly. It should be easy-to-follow and accessible for all staff, contractors and stakeholders, so they can check precisely what you are doing and what’s expected of them.

By keeping a quick-reference resource like this to hand, you can ensure that the control measures are implemented correctly.

Here’s an example of a table we created for a client working on photoshoots in their space. With different teams moving in and out of the space during the shoot, everybody needed to know exactly how to work within the COVID Secure plan we’d created for them.

COVID-19
Protect & Detect A self-assessment declaration will be carried out by all staff prior to leaving home for work

Staff which were previously in protected groups will be assigned the safest possible roles on-site. Personal circumstances will be discussed with each employee

Face Coverings All staff working on-site will be wearing a face covering.

Although staff are working outside in a well-ventilated area, due to their proximity to one another during certain work tasks, they will need to apply the 1m plus rule which requires

·       Mandatory face coverings

·       Side-to-side or back-to-back working (not face-to-face)

·       Work tasks planned to take the minimal amount of time

Face coverings will be enforced on-site

Hand Hygiene Hot handwashing is available on-site in the production area, with anti-bacterial soap and disposable hand towels.

Alcohol hand rub is located on-site at the production area and all staff will be issued with personal alcohol hand rub in small bottles.

There is a strict policy of sanitisation before smoking, eating, drinking or touching one’s face.

Signage will be displayed prominently to act as a reminder to all persons on-site

Equipment All equipment is coming from the warehouse and will be held in isolation for 72 hours before being delivered to site. This will be achieved by loading the van 72 hours prior to departure.
Contact Points BS EN 1276 wipes will be used to clean any items coming from other sources or within the 72-hour rule from the warehouse.
Working Bubbles To ensure the risk of cross-contamination amongst the crew is reduced, they will be working in bubbles of 2. So if one of the team is either tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19, the bubble will be isolated as opposed to the whole working team.
Sanitisation Number 8 sanitisation service occurring at 0900hrs on Monday ahead of site hand over.

 

As you can see, the table itself is clear and concise, and it acts as a useful summary of the more detailed COVID Secure plan we’d already put together for the client.

As things change, it’s a useful document to have as a reference as you update and enhance your infection control strategies.

It allows you to separate each risk and put in the correct measures to mitigate it, plus the people using this table won’t have to wade through more complicated paperwork to get a good grasp of what they need to do.

Unravelling advice and working with it

Needless to say, examining each process and making it as COVID safe as possible gets complicated when you start putting the whole plan together.

Reducing aerosol and fomite transmissions in one area could have an impact on another part of the project, or contravene the safety procedures you already have in place, particularly around employee welfare.

However, if you want to continue delivering inspiring and engaging projects, you have to wrap your head around it.

We’ve stepped in to support clients with complicated logistics, helping them untangle the amalgamation of legal requirements and risk assessments. Inevitably, some clients brush up against scenarios that aren’t covered in the guidance the Government has provided, and we’re there to help them navigate the project while operating in the spirit of the official advice.

In some circumstances, our advice has pre-empted Government regulations. For example, we worked with a client who had chefs and back of house staff working in a confined space and recommended they wore face masks during each shift three weeks before it became an official requirement. We identified that masks we’re imperative for the workers’ personal safety and to mitigate potential transmission from the kitchen area.

Remember, the rules are broad because they have to apply to businesses across numerous sectors and people working in vastly different ways. You need to take that general guidance and make it work for your business, ensuring you operate safely and successfully. Each company is unique and requires a bespoke solution.

Living in a pandemic is our new reality and each business must treat COVID-19 as another hazard in the workplace that needs to be controlled. So, assign your COVID officer to take in all the information available, put a COVID Secure plan in place that works for your business and how it operates and apply the hierarchy of hazard control (which we’ll explore in detail in our next blog).

You can continue to deliver excellence and keep the people using your space safe, it just requires careful thought and planning.