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Mould at work: An OHS risk

Moulds, bacteria and viruses are everywhere — the air, on your skin, on your phone — though many are helpful within the broader ecosystem. For the most part, those with a healthy immune system can fight back against pathogens, but as we've seen with the spread of COVID-19, cleanliness is essential to maintaining community health. Moulds are one potential issue with ill effects on health which can also cause commercial building damage. Mould is an incredibly resilient life form. The fungi kingdom is ancient; these were among the first living things to exist on land. Flashback to 420 million years ago, and you'd find 6-metre tall fungi columns near freshwater sources. For millennia, the humble portobello's ancestors would slowly leach minerals from rocks and break them down in the process, creating the ideal positions for plants and animals to come millions of years later. Smaller fungi like the common mould you'll find on that old loaf of bread are still everywhere, including in your commercial building. The good news is, professional mould cleaners can easily remedy mould. Why is there mould in my commercial building?  Mould loves moist, humid environments, hence its prevalence in bathrooms, laundries and kitchens. It also shows up where there are leaks in pipes or after flooding, where places such as the carpets' underside cannot properly dry. Poorly sealed concrete and damp earth below a building can also contribute to moisture and mould. Humans in an enclosed space also add to the moisture content through our respiration. You'll notice that clearly as your breath fogs up the windows of your car on a cold morning (at least until you blast the heater with the vent open). Lots of people equal lots of moisture. Some activities and manufacturing also create humidity, such as food preparation in commercial kitchens and restaurants, where it is imperative to avoid mould, which can cause food spoilage. Is black mould at work dangerous?  Stachybotrys chartarum has been linked to 'sick building syndrome', but that claim has not been widely backed up in scientific literature. Stachybotrys has been linked to an infant's death who had extraordinarily high exposure in the lungs. Mould is considered a health risk in severely water-damaged buildings, as some moulds can be a risk to asthmatics and those with allergies. One thing is clear though: mould has an unpleasant odour and is unsightly. Many moulds can stain surfaces permanently as it 'eats' through the material — just like its ancient cousin — and its prevalence can lead to product damage or inventory spoilage. DIY removing mould in a commercial building  We do not recommend DIY removal of large mould colonies, particularly if you suffer allergies or asthma. Heavy exposure to mould has been known to trigger a reaction in some people when precautions are not taken. A Kleenit mould removal professional will use PPE, including a particulate respirator, gloves and eye protection. Bleach and vinegar can kill the mould; however, vinegar is much more effective for removing mould from porous materials. Mixing the substances (or any substances) is not recommended. Even if the mould has been killed, getting rid of the stains left behind takes a lot of elbow grease. Many home remedies include a mix of salt and baking soda, which we've found to be minimally effective. Choosing a professional commercial mould removal service.  With Kleenit, a free initial inspection will include detailed findings and a recommended course of action to remove the mould. Following removal, we can also advise on mould prevention measures such as ventilation, sunlight entry, and ways to remove excess moisture from the affected area. We use commercial mould cleaning substances paired with hot water high-pressure cleaning — using steam and pressure to blast away the residue from tiles, grout, metal and paint. Occasionally, where mould has permeated a surface thoroughly, there will be a need to replace the gyprock or carpet, for example. A professional mould removal service such as Kleenit will bring their own water and cleaning agents and are covered by public liability insurance. A skilled professional reduces the chance of damage to a property and will save a commercial property owner time. After each mould cleaning removal, we also provide a certificate of compliance - so you can rest assured that the mould threat is gone. Get a free quote for commercial mould removal in Australia by contacting us today.

Safety Line Marking

7 step guide to identifying and reducing slip hazards

Although many people who suffer slip and fall injuries may have a genuine claim, there is an increasing number of cases where local government departments, councils and other public bodies have become the victims of false claims and expensive “slipigation”. Successful slip and fall claims can result in payouts of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But fraudulent or scam claims can also be very costly and time-consuming. The first step to preventing slips and falls – and avoiding the legal consequences – is to make sure that all potentially dangerous areas are treated with an appropriate anti-slip coating. Understand the environment Make regular, documented assessments of slip and trip risks both inside and outside the building. High hazard areas are those which are frequently wet – like kitchens and washrooms, or smooth concrete outside areas which are exposed to the elements. Access ramps are also prime candidates for slips as are concrete walkways and polished timber or tiled floors. Listen to the location As part of your assessment, you should ‘listen to the location’. Is it often used by elderly or disabled people who are more prone to slips or falls? Or is it a work area where people are carrying big or heavy loads which make a fall even more dangerous. Is it a busy work or high-traffic area that’s prone to dirt, grime or grease build-up on the floor? Recognise your duty of care Your duty of care to both your employees and the public means you must manage health and safety risks associated with slips, trips and falls by eliminating – or minimising the risk so far as is reasonably practicable. It’s your responsibility to ensure your floors and walkways comply with Australian Standards’ anti-slip codes. You’d be surprised how many floors don’t. If you don’t comply, you’re leaving yourself wide open to litigation. If in doubt, get it tested Rather than leave things to guesswork, you can have your floors professionally tested for their slip resistance or R rating. The test uses a pendulum-style meter which gauges the amount of resistance the floor would create under skid circumstances Consider your options There are many ways to make a floor less slippery. One common method is using granules or beads in a polyurethane coating which, when cured, creates a nonslip, sandpaper-like texture on the floor. Other options include hard-wearing epoxy coatings incorporating a fine grit which are particularly suitable for factory or workshop floors. A professional can advise you which coating is most suitable for your needs. The economics of prevention vs litigation Trips, slips and falls are on the rise. Every year, there are thousands of incidents in Australia, 23% of which lead to serious claims. 56% of all slips, trips and falls are caused by environmental factors, such as slippery floors and the average cost of each case amounted to $104,370. As you can see, the cost of prevention far outweighs just one claim against your organisation – be it real, or a scam Get a grip. Get a quote. Given the serious consequences of a slip in your premises, it’s essential that your anti-slip solution is applied by a professional who can assess your requirements, recommend the most appropriate coating – and then apply it so it will meet the necessary codes and last for years. At Kleenit, we’ve been providing Australia with anti-slip solutions for 30 years and have the expertise, equipment and materials to produce the right result every time. Our anti-slip coating services are available in Sydney NSW, Melbourne VIC, Perth WA and Canberra ACT.