With the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) announcing that New Zealand has entered the flu season the shocking fact remains that there are no national standards in the commercial cleaning sector that could help minimise the impact on the public, pointed out CrestClean in a 7 July press release.
“In the last week of June 75 flu cases were identified with more expected as the weather cooled, yet schools and workplaces can’t be assured that their cleaner can actually do the job properly,” said Grant McLauchlan, managing director of CrestClean.
“As a result we’re going to see more Kiwi kids and teachers absent from schools, resulting in not only poor academic performance, but budgetary pressures for these schools as temporary relief teachers are needed,” added McLauchlan.
“It is as simple as this; If school cleaning is not up to standard, inevitably the spread of bacteria and other virus will result in more children (and teachers) being absent from school.”
CrestClean, New Zealand’s largest privately owned commercial cleaning company believes this is wrong and is advocating for the introduction of a national standard for cleaning. It believes this could be an answer to not only help reduce the impact of the annual flu season, but reduce teacher and students’ risk of illness and effectively reduce absenteeism from school.
With young children succumbing to about 12 colds per year, the common cold is the leading cause of visits to the doctor and absenteeism from school , with about 47,000 students absent from school each week .
“The comment by Dr Sue Huang, a virologist at the ESR, that this year’s flu strain is a ‘nastier strain’ than last year, reinforces the urgency for the Government to take the need for a national standard for the country’s 30,000 commercial cleaners a lot more seriously,” McLauchlan emphasised.
“Something as simple as a national standard applied consistently across the commercial cleaning sector could have the potential to reduce annual wage costs, and improve academic performance of students at school.
“This year’s flu season is yet another reminder that there is a $1 billion industry operating without any national standards of cleaning or hygiene. It’s time the Government acted,” stated McLauchlan.