Keeping cleaning staff safe and healthy during COVID-19
DOC Cleaning shares insights into its efforts to keep staff and customers safe and healthy during COVID
“DOC Cleaning is a family-owned cleaning contractor with a varied client portfolio that includes landmark City office towers, major London museums and art galleries, and many Grade 1 and 2 listed buildings. Almost uniquely among cleaning contractors, our company was for ten years the proud holder of a Royal Warrant as a result of our work with the Royal Household.
Keeping our cleaning operatives and customers healthy and safe
We employ around 500 staff across different sites in the City of London. During the COVID-19 pandemic we have been working hard to keep our staff, and customers, safe and healthy, and to reassure them and support them. Regular communication and making a range of resources available has also helped to build trust to demonstrate that we are helping them in the fight against COVID-19.
Communication and training:
A key part of this has been to make sure we provide our colleagues on the front line with the correct information and training so they can remain as safe as possible when attending work. This includes information about carrying out their regular tasks as well as new ones required to help break the chain of infection.
Many of our operatives do not have work email addresses, so all interventions we have made available can be accessed on a smartphone, and we also send staff SMS messages to their phones, with links to resources, so they can be more easily accessed. A few operatives do not use smartphones, and we have also helped them to get digital access, so they don’t miss out.
To assist with providing information to staff, we turned to UhUb – a smartphone-based training and engagement platform designed specifically for the cleaning industry. We have been able to upload relevant health and safety documentation from the Government and the World Health Organisation, as well as a set of training videos, onto the platform.
Training videos include UhUb’s own COVID-19 Awareness video, as well as six more videos produced by our in-house training and development team. All staff have access to UhUb, so this means that both those who have continued to work, and those who have been furloughed have been able to benefit from the resource.
Our operations management teams have been at the forefront of communicating the importance, benefits, and how to access, rapid and PCR testing for COVID-19, as well as the COVID-19 vaccine, to staff.
Often these team members are from the same communities as our operatives, so this has helped to build trust and ensure that the messages are sensitive and resonate with them.
Our Operations Managers, Area Supervisors and Team Leaders have also become vaccination “champions” within the workplace. They have encouraged staff to take the vaccine when it’s their turn to do so, and have also supported others when they have had concerns or needed some more information to make a decision.
By regularly providing our staff with information at a site-level, we have seen increased confidence among our colleagues when it comes to taking the COVID-19 vaccine. We have also been encouraging our colleagues to speak openly in the workplace about their experiences in getting the vaccination. This has had a positive knock-on effect in building confidence among their co-workers.
Implementing additional infection prevention and control measures:
To support efforts to break the transmission of coronavirus, we have adjusted our business model to reflect our clients’ new requirements for a more flexible approach to cleaning. This includes routine cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting, as well as new activities, such as touchpoint cleaning and continuous cleaning of washrooms. In addition to measures such as the vaccine, thorough cleaning of workplaces is important and is – understandably – an expectation of those who work in or visit commercial and public buildings. This is driving a new requirement amongst building managers to protect their stakeholders and look for experienced cleaning partners to help them overcome the new challenges of cleaning.”
– Vince Turner, Operations Director, DOC Cleaning