Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Duct Work Cleaning – Commercial Cleaning London – Kitchen Health and Safety





Duct Work Cleaning – Meeting Your Basic Health and Safety Responsibilities


As a restaurant owner, if you avoid duct work cleaning as part of your health and safety requirements, you are putting staff and customers at risk and could damage the reputation of your business.

Making health and safety a priority is a legal responsibility for employers and is designed to reduce accidents and provide a healthy work environment. The first step is to carry out a risk assessment to ensure that all the right safeguards are in place. 

Duct Work Cleaning

Although maintaining your duct work cleaning may not be one of the first things that springs to mind, the consequences of not doing so can be considerable, leading to a dangerous build-up of grease in the pipework. 

At a low level, avoiding duct cleaning can lead to staff sickness and lost work hours; but in the worst case scenario it can lead to fatalities, resulting from major incidents such as fires. By failing to tackle duct cleaning, you could face the possibility of legal action against you, which will damage the reputation of your restaurant, and may ultimately lead to business closure.

Duct work cleaning should be part and parcel of your risk assessment, and it is essential to assign a staff member with responsibility for this, which can either be you or a manager.  The cleaning work should to be carried out by experts, so it is important to call on a commercial cleaning company that specialises in this area – such as Ingot, which serves customers in London and across the UK

What Can Happen if You Don’t Meet Your Responsibilities


Staff off sick – Each year millions of work days are lost through work related accidents or illnesses. This can have a detrimental effect on your company as lost work days create a backlog that can be hard to catch up on. Small companies, in particular, rely on healthy staff to keep the business running. 

Damage reputation of business – If your staff or customers fall ill as a result of badly maintained duct work and air conditioning systems, this can have a knock-on effect on your business. Yet, organising the cleaning and maintenance is so simple to do: it just takes one phone call to the specialists who will take the worry out of your hands.

Risk of fatalities – Dirty duct work is a fire risk and can have potentially life threatening consequences. Contacting the experts in commercial kitchen cleaning can prevent fatalities and create a safe working environment. 

Insurance becomes invalid – If a fire breaks out on your premises and the cause is down to the lack of duct work cleaning, this can invalidate your insurance; the costs can be considerable and could ultimately lead to business closure.  

Potential court cases – If a staff member sustains a work related injury, this can leave you wide open to legal action.  However, having a regular maintenance programme will avoid this by showing that you have taken your health and safety responsibilities seriously, and will save money in the long run by avoiding pricy legal battles.

About Ingot Services
To find out more on how Ingot can help with your duct work cleaning and to obtain a free quotation for their services, telephone Ingot on 0800 731 7892 or click on the above link.

Ductwork Cleaning – Commercial Cleaning Contractors – Germs in Your Air Conditioning


Ductwork Cleaning – Ingot Services puts the spotlight on germs that can be harboured in your air conditioning duct work.

Germs, Bugs and Other Nasties that Can Thrive in Your Air Conditioning Ductwork

Whether you run an office based organisation or are in the hospitality trade, it is vital to the health and safety of your staff and customers that you organise regular professional ductwork cleaning

Air conditioning can harbour all sorts of germs, bugs and contaminants; so if cleaning and maintenance work is overlooked, this can create an unhealthy work environment and contribute to staff sicknesses and absences. 

Some employers put ductwork cleaning on the back-burner because they are worried about cost and don’t see it as a priority, but professional duct cleaning is essential for your organisation. As well as being important for the health of your employees, it also saves money in the long run as it prevents lost hours from staff off sick, so will help your business run more efficiently. 

Here are three contaminants that can be harboured in unclean air conditioning ductwork:

Mould and Fungi

Mould and fungi thrive in areas of warmth and high humidity and can be found in parts of the air conditioning duct work, such as the internal insulation, the coils, and in the air conditioning filters. Their spores are carried through the air, so mould and fungi will multiply if there are any leaks in the system. 

These contaminants can be detrimental to health as moulds produce mycotoxins, which are toxic to humans, and can cause breathing difficulties, allergic reactions, fatigue, mild fever or headaches in some people. 

To minimise the risks, it is vital to organise the services of professional commercial cleaners, such as Ingot, who will not only clean your air conditioning duct work, but also inspect it for leaks. 

Dust Mites

The existence of dust mites in a home or business isn’t down to the air conditioning system alone – as dust mites can be found everywhere such as in upholstery, carpets, and clothing – but having a thorough clean-out will help. 

Although dust mites are too tiny to be seen with the naked eye, the chemicals in their droppings can trigger allergies and asthma. 

So, the more dust there is in your air conditioning system, the bigger  the problem. Maintaining your system, and keeping the ducts clean, will help control the population and prevent dust mite excrement re-circulating throughout your business.

Germs and Bacteria

An alarming recent study in China showed 75 per cent of the air conditioning units tested had filters that contained the bacteria that caused Legionnaire’s disease, a form of pneumonia that can be fatal. 
A separate study, led by the European Respiratory Society in 1997, revealed that those working in air conditioned buildings were found to be two and a half times more likely to have breathing difficulties, than those who didn’t. 

It is important to prevent this by regular professional duct cleaning – as germs and bacteria trapped in dirty air filters will just be circulated around your office building, posing a health threat to staff and visitors. 

About Ingot Services

Ingot provides a full, thorough, and competitively priced ductwork cleaning service which also includes inspections and filter cleans. To find out more and to obtain a free quote, contact Ingot on 0800 731 7892.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Duct work cleaning – Disasters That Can Occur if You Avoid Good Kitchen Hygiene Practices


5 (Scary) Disasters that Can Happen if You Put Duct Work Cleaning on the Backburner

Don’t put your air conditioning and duct work cleaning on the back burner - that’s the message from Ingot! If you avoid calling on the experts for regular air conditioning and grease extract cleaning, the consequences can be devastating for your restaurant and your staff. With Halloween just gone, here are five horror stories that could turn into a real-life nightmare if you don’t maintain your duct work:


Don’t Get Burned

Did you know that as many as 6,000 fires are caused by cooking appliances in commercial buildings per year? Recent years have seen a number of high profile blazes caused by the lack of duct cleaning – including a fire in Brighton’s oldest Italian restaurant at the start of 2013. The sad fact is that fires such as this one could so easily be avoided with proper kitchen hygiene practices and regular grease extract cleaning. However, according to Erimus Insurance brokers as many as 80 percent of restaurants avoid this to cut costs. It just takes one stray spark to ignite the grease and the consequences could be fatal. 

Avoid Exposure to Disease

Lack of duct cleaning can create a host of health hazards, from the aggravation of existing allergies and minor breathing problems, to worse, potentially fatal diseases such as Legionnaires Disease, a severe form of pneumonia. The legionella bacteria are known to thrive in water, including manmade systems such as air conditioning systems. However, you can reduce the risk of disease and illness by organising regular air conditioning cleaning and duct work cleaning. 

Prevent Vermin in Your kitchen

As well as being a breeding ground for bacteria, dirty grease extract ducts can attract mice and other rodents – the last thing you want in your kitchen when the health inspector calls! Vermin can contaminate food with bacteria, such as Ecoli and salmonella, which can threaten the health of your staff and customers and could threaten the future of your business. 


Keep Your Finances Afloat

While some restaurant owners are worried about the initial cost of duct work cleaning, proper hygiene standards will save you money in the long run and prevent a possible disaster. Restaurants that don’t employ proper hygiene standards could face a fine or prosecution and, if a fire breaks out in your premises as a result of unclean grease extractor ducts, the chances are you won’t be covered by insurance.


Save Your Restaurant’s Reputation

If word gets out about poor hygiene practices at your premises, resulting in illness or an outbreak of fire, this can cause untold damage to the reputation of your restaurant and ultimately result in business closure.  

The best way of avoiding any potential disasters in your kitchen is by employing good hygiene practices, which includes regular air conditioning clean ing and duct work cleaningJust contact the experts, Ingot Services, today on 0800 731 7892 for a free of charge quotation.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Ductwork Cleaning – Preventing Restaurant Fires Caused by the Build-up of Grease





Ductwork Cleaning – What Three London Restaurant Owners Are Wishing They Had Done

If you are a restaurant owner, avoiding good safety and hygiene practices, such as regular ductwork cleaning, can have catastrophic consequences – as three London restaurant owners discovered to their peril on the same day earlier this year (July, 2013). All of the fires detailed below started in the ventilation system, and London’s Fire Brigade warned that the likely cause of all three blazes was the lack of commercial duct cleaning.

At the start of the day, more than 20 fire fighters tackled a morning blaze in a Central London restaurant in Lisle Street. Station manager Charlie Pugsley said the fire started in the building’s ventilation system, and urged businesses to keep their equipment clean to prevent the build-up of grease and fat.

The nine people who were in the building at the time were uninjured in the blaze, which ravaged the building’s ventilation system and tore through part of the basement.

In the afternoon, 21 fire fighters took just over an hour to bring flames under control in a restaurant in Boundary Road, St John’s Wood; the blaze wrecked two floors of the eatery’s extraction system.

Finally, crews issued another warning to restaurant owners after four people escaped unscathed from a takeaway restaurant in Bartholomew Street, Southwark. The blaze - which occurred just over an hour after the second incident - was severe enough to completely destroy the shop’s ventilation system.

A spokesman for the London fire brigade warned restaurants to take heed and have the right measures in place for ductwork cleaning to prevent a build-up of cooking materials which can cause a fire.

How to Prevent Duct Work Fires


Unfortunately, fires caused by a lack of ductwork cleaning are not just possible in theory, but almost inevitable if the restaurant owners don’t have proper measures in place to eliminate the build-up of dirt.  

If grime and cooking materials are not cleared from the ventilation system, a stray spark can ignite the grease, due to the presence of flames and high temperatures involved in the general cooking process.

The consequences of poor hygiene practices can be catastrophic, as they will not only put staff and customers at risk, but can also cause damage the business as a whole.

Restaurants with ductwork that has not been cleaned by competent specialists also almost certainly aren’t insured in the event of a fire – so a fire could be more than just a temporary blip in your business.

However, restaurant fires can be so easily prevented by regular duct cleaning, and this is simple to organise. Just contact Ingot Services, the experts in commercial duct cleaning, who will take all the worry out of your hands.

About Ingot

Ingot provides a complete duct cleaning service which also includes inspections and filter cleaning. Give Ingot a call on 0800 731 7892 for a free of charge ductwork cleaning quote and get complete peace of mind today.





Thursday, 10 October 2013

Duct Work Cleaning: Ingot Services Gives Health and Safety Advice


Ten Ways to Improve the Health and Safety of Your Commercial Kitchen


Health and safety issues are vital in all workplaces, but there are special rules governing commercial kitchens. Duct work cleaning specialists Ingot Services have put together 10 tips to help ensure your kitchen meets the highest standards of hygiene and safety.

Assess Risks – Carrying out a risk assessment is a legal requirement, but it is also the vital first step in ensuring that the workplace is as safe as possible.

Training – Ensure that staff are fully trained in dealing with all the hazards in the workplace, including any aspects highlighted by the risk assessment. Training must constantly be adapted to any changes in equipment or kitchen layout, as well as any updates in the law. 

Maintaining Equipment – It's estimated that around 65% of accidents in catering are related to maintenance. This emphasises just how important proper upkeep of equipment is, especially in the case of gas and electrical appliances, where there are strict regulations to follow. Be careful during maintenance, as there can be a risk of accidents while this work is being done.

Cleaning Regime – Commercial kitchen cleaning is a vital daily regime, and essential for the health of staff and customers alike. However, the strong chemicals used for cleaning in a commercial kitchen pose hazards, and it is important to use all these substances correctly. Make sure floors are not left wet after cleaning, as many accidents are caused by slippery surfaces.

Fire Safety – All cooking equipment must be correctly installed and operated, including deep fat fryers which can pose particular hazards. Duct work cleaning is also part of fire prevention, as grease in HVAC systems can cause a blaze. You also need to ensure you have appropriate fire extinguishers, a fire blanket and smoke detectors. Sensitive detectors are now available which will not be set off by normal cooking.

Handling Equipment Correctly – Kitchen staff face many hazards during their working day, from chemicals and hot ovens to machinery. Accidents from knives are especially common, so it is vital that staff are properly trained in using and sharpening them. 

Heavy Lifting – Some kitchen equipment is heavy, and injuries can easily be caused by lifting or pulling items. It is important to be careful to avoid staff hurting their backs, and you could consider actions such as using trolleys where possible. 

Storage – Equipment, chemicals and food must all be stored safely and any flammable substances must be kept away from sources of heat. Cleaning chemicals should be kept in their original containers where possible, while knives need to be stored suitably and never left lying on surfaces.

Wear the Right Clothing – Covering or tying back hair in the kitchen isn't just important for hygiene, but also to prevent hair getting caught in machinery or posing a fire hazard. Staff should also wear the right protective clothing when handling dangerous substances.

Ventilation – One of the most vital health and safety measures is to carry out regular duct work cleaning. This will ensure that there is no build-up of dirt and grease which could pose a fire hazard and create hygiene risks. To comply with the law, this work must be done regularly and by professionals. Ingot Services are fully accredited HVAC specialists who can help you ensure that your ventilation system is clean and safe and complies with all relevant regulations.

Duct Work Cleaning  – click here for details about our service.


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Duct Work Cleaning: Advice from Ingot Services on Keeping HVAC Systems Clean


Flu Season: The Importance of Clean Ventilation Systems


As the flu season arrives, it is essential to be meticulous about hygiene in order to avoid spreading germs, and duct work cleaning is an aspect of this that must not be forgotten.

Every winter, many of us have flu jabs at the start of the season. These are provided on the NHS for older people and those who suffer from various health conditions. Small children are now also being offered a routine immunisation via a nasal spray. In addition, some employers provide injections for their workforce and it is possible to have an injection privately at a chemist's. 

There are also annual advertising campaigns advising people to be careful about hygiene, for instance by washing hands frequently and throwing away tissues rather than leaving them lying around. Recent outbreaks of swine flu have raised awareness of how vital these measures are and there is an increased knowledge that surfaces can harbour germs and pass them on to other people. 

To minimise this risk, sanitiser gels are used in many workplaces, especially in hospitals and health clinics, but also in offices and factories. Some people even carry a bottle of gel around for extra reassurance. Wrapping up warmly, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and giving up smoking are additional ways to boost health in the flu season.


Workplace Hygiene to Guard Against Disease


At the same time as emphasising personal health and hygiene, it is also important to ensure the workplace itself is spotlessly clean and that germs and bacteria are not being spread around. Daily cleaning routines need to be carried out carefully and, in premises such as commercial kitchens, regular deep cleaning is also vital. Allowing any build-up of grease can all too easily let bacteria breed. 

Installing ventilation systems will boost to health by raising the air quality in a workplace. However, it is essential to realise that, if HVAC systems are not maintained properly, they can carry cold and flu viruses and spread them to other people. More serious illnesses, such as superbugs, can also be spread via ventilation pipework.

Another problem is that if dust and dirt are allowed to build up in ductwork systems, these can also lead to allergy symptoms and sinus or respiratory problems, which can make it harder to fight off colds and other infections, including flu. This means that duct work cleaning is vital to remove the risks of spreading dirt and illness. It is also important this is done regularly and professionally to avoid any build-up of debris and maintain a high standard of cleanliness. There is a legal requirement for all HVAC systems to be cleaned every two years, but in some types of building this needs to be done more often, depending on the type of business and the level of use.


About Ingot Services


If you want your ventilation system cleaned as the flu season approaches, Ingot Services are experts in duct work cleaning and provide a professional and reliable service to customers in Suffolk and across the UK. We will advise you on drawing up a schedule for cleaning your HVAC system regularly, clear filters in between full cleans, and provide you with the paperwork you need for your records.


Duct Work Cleaning  – click here to find out more.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Commercial Kitchen Cleaning: Making Sure You Meet Hygiene Standards



Commercial Kitchen Cleaning: Experts Ingot Services advise on making sure you meet hygiene standards 


Commercial kitchen cleaning is the foundation of hygiene in any establishment preparing or serving food to the public. With the introduction of the Food Hygiene Ratings system, many food businesses are putting their current hygiene practices under the spotlight and considering whether there is room for improvement, and at Ingot Services we are ready to support those efforts.

5 Potential Hygiene Problems in Commercial Kitchens


Daily cleaning, even if done regularly as required, can often miss some areas, in particular  grease, which can harbour bacteria. There is also a risk that hard-to-reach crevices can be overlooked, so that dirt builds up without you realising.
Some areas can't be reached in a daily clean – for instance, kitchen extracts and canopies, or walls and floors behind and under large appliances.
Some kitchen equipment requires specialists to take it apart and clean it thoroughly.
Deep cleaning requires kitchen being out of operation for a period of time. Establishments find it hard to set time aside for this to be done without disrupting business, so it gets put off.
Daily commercial kitchen cleaning routines may not always be thorough enough. If the cleaning regime that has been drawn up doesn't address all the areas that need to be included, then hygiene problems can arise, even though staff are following the set routine to the best of their ability.

5 Solutions to Ensure You Beat These Risks


Regular deep cleans, together with the following of a daily cleaning routine, will mean that dirt and grease can never build up to levels which would concern a hygiene inspector.
Scheduled cleaning of canopies and extracts by specialists ensures no dangerous build-up. Ingot Services are specialists in ductwork cleaning and can advise you on how often this needs to be carried out for your particular kitchen. Deep cleaning also needs to be carried out regularly to ensure that there is no build-up of dirt in hard-to-reach areas.
Ingot can also carry out commercial kitchen equipment cleaning, including difficult jobs such as tackling restaurant deep fat fryers.
Having a deep cleaning session scheduled makes it happen. Also, Ingot can arrange overnight cleans if required to minimise any downtime. Regular deep cleaning sessions act as a complement to daily cleaning to ensure that your kitchen hygiene is always up to the expected standards.
It is important constantly to check that the daily cleaning regime which has been drawn up for the kitchen is addressing all the areas where there could potentially be any problem, and to keep up to date with the latest hygiene regulations and requirements. There is a regulatory requirement for a planned cleaning protocol, enforced by environmental health officers. 

About Ingot Services


As experts in commercial kitchen cleaning, we at Ingot Services provide regularly scheduled deep cleans, which are the best way of ensuring consistency, and can draw up a schedule to suit you. We can also provide one-off deep cleans where these are needed, for instance when taking over a business or at the start of a new season. To discuss your requirements, contact us on 0800 731 7892 and we can talk over your needs before visiting the premises. 

Commercial Kitchen Cleaning – click here to contact Ingot Services.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Ductwork Cleaning - Ensuring Fire Safety in the Workplace


Ensuring Fire Safety in the Workplace and the Importance of Ductwork Cleaning


It is the responsibility of every employer to ensure fire safety in the workplace, and ductwork cleaning experts Ingot Services have put together some advice on making sure you safeguard your staff and customers from fire hazards.

Most small and medium-sized businesses, including offices, shops, restaurants, clubs and pubs, are covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and need to comply with its requirements. As an employer, you are required to carry out a fire risk assessment and need to consider the needs of everybody who visits the premises, including customers and any visitors as well as your workforce.

Undertaking the initial assessment includes identifying any possible fire hazards, such as cooking equipment, ventilation systems and any areas where waste, such as paper or food, is collected for disposal. You also need to identify any individuals who may be at particular risk, whether because of their job, as in the case of kitchen staff, or because they are especially vulnerable – for instance, if your business has elderly or disabled customers who might take longer to get out of the building. 

After working out what the risks are, the next step is to reduce or remove the risks wherever possible, for instance by ensuring that flammable items are not stored near to heat sources. Grease build-up in ventilation systems is another possible fire hazard which you need to guard against. Ductwork cleaning specialists Ingot offer a professional service to ensure that your HVAC system is kept clean and safe, as well as keeping proper records which will ensure that you meet all legal requirements in this area. Kitchen extract cleaning will be needed more frequently in some premises, such as restaurants or canteens, and we can advise on how often it should be carried out in your particular business or organisation.

Fire precautions will vary depending on your type of business and how the building is laid out, but in every case it is vital that you have a suitable alarm system in place to alert people if a blaze does start. Other essential steps are installing fire extinguishers – you will normally need a minimum of one on each floor, and may require more depending on the size of your premises – and working out safe routes for people to leave the building by if and when the alarm does sound. Staff must also be informed about the arrangements and trained in how to react in the event of a fire.

Once you have drawn up a fire risk assessment, it will need to be reviewed at regular intervals and also if there are any alterations to your building or changes to the way your business operates, such as a new shift pattern. You can keep up to date with the latest legal requirements by visiting the Government website on fire safety in the workplace. Local fire and rescue authorities have the responsibility for inspecting premises to check that requirements are being met. 

About Ingot Services

Ingot Services is HVAC registered and specialises in professional ductwork cleaning and commercial kitchen cleaning. We can provide you with a top quality service putting health and safety first in everything, and advising you on how to meet all legal requirements. 

Ductwork Cleaning  – contact Ingot now for more details.



Friday, 2 August 2013

Advice on Food Standards Agency Hygiene Ratings



Food Standards Agency Hygiene Ratings – Duct Work Cleaning Company Ingot Services Explains What They Mean For Your Business


Duct work cleaning specialists Ingot are keen to advise and support customers in all aspects of their business. We know that Food Standards Agency hygiene ratings are a particular concern for catering businesses and food retailers, especially as the ratings are now shown on the door. This means customers may decide whether or not to eat at a restaurant or buy takeaway food on the basis of the rating shown.

The Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme (FRHS) scores are decided by food safety officers visiting your premises, who carry out a series of checks including looking at how hygienically food is handled at all stages, from preparation through to serving and storage. They also assess the building's structure and condition, including everything from its layout to your regular cleaning regime, and how well your business keeps records on its actions to ensure food safety.

Checks on the building's condition include an examination of the ventilation system and its cleanliness. It is therefore vital to carry out regular duct work cleaning and to employ a specialist contractor such as Ingot, who will ensure the ventilation system meets top standards and keep proper records to satisfy the official requirements.

Once your business has been assessed, it will be given a food hygiene rating. The top rating available is 5, or “very good”, meaning that you have achieved high standards across the board, and this is the rating all catering businesses should be determined to gain and maintain. The lower ratings range from 4, or “good”, meaning you are working on the right lines but need to take action in some areas, right down to 0, or “urgent improvement necessary”. 

If you do not receive the top rating of 5, the food safety officer who has carried out the inspection should explain why, pinpointing any problems which have been noticed and suggesting what you can do to improve. This could include making repairs to your building, improving your kitchen extract cleaning arrangements or ensuring that staff follow more stringent hygiene procedures when working with food. 

The local authority will then carry out further checks to ensure that the improvements are carried out. Normally inspections are carried out at intervals ranging between six months to two years, depending on the type of business, but if you have been given a low rating and then make immediate improvements you can ask for a repeat inspection to be carried out more quickly, so that your rating can be raised as soon as possible.

Businesses are encouraged to display their hygiene ratings on the doors of the premises and this will attract customers if the sticker shows a top rating of 5, but may put them off if a lower rating is shown. They could also be put off if they don't see any rating displayed, wondering why this is and perhaps assuming you have a low score that you don't want known. Bear in mind that it is also possible for prospective customers to check out your rating online, via the Scores on the Doors website, before deciding to pay a visit. 

Businesses need to keep up to date with the latest rules on food standards and you can do this by regularly visiting the official Government website to check if any regulations have been updated.

About Ingot Services

When you are seeking professional duct work cleaning specialists to ensure the highest standards, Ingot Services are the people to call. We have over 25 years experience and keep full records as well as issuing you with certificates and advising you on the best cleaning schedule for your ventilation system.


Friday, 5 July 2013

Hygiene in Your HVAC – How Duct Work Cleaning Can Help


The Next Generation of Superbugs and What You Need To Know – Advice and Guidance from Duct Work Cleaning Company Ingot Services


The danger of superbugs is always a concern when it comes to heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), so it is vital to carry out regular duct work cleaning, which is a good way of helping to keep them in check.

The current superbugs which most people have heard of are MRSA and C Diff, both of which can have devastating effects, especially in a healthcare environment. The bacteria causing MRSA are carried by many people, often in the nose or throat. Hospital and nursing home patients are at particular risk of MRSA infections because they often tend to be elderly and have weakened immune systems. There is a risk of the bacteria getting into the body through a wound or after surgery. MRSA usually starts as a skin infection but can quickly spread to other organs and cause severe illness or even death.

C Diff is another bacterial infection which also spreads quickly in hospitals, causing diarrhoea and high fever. Like MRSA, it can also lead to serious illness and death, again with the elderly being most at risk. There have been many cases of hospital wards being closed because of outbreaks of these superbugs, and the NHS has taken action to combat them, with a high level of success, for instance through deep cleaning and placing hand gels on wards for visitors to use before going in so that they avoid any risk of infecting patients.

However, while a lot of work is being done to combat MRSA and C Diff, another threat is on the horizon. A new generation of superbugs is anticipated which are resistant to our current antibiotics and could wreak havoc on the healthcare sector’s ability to provide even minor surgery. Among these is the new resistant strain of Klebsiella, an infection which can cause pneumonia as well as other illnesses such as urinary tract infections and septicaemia. New drug-resistant strains of TB and E Coli are also causing increasing concern among health professionals.

England's Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, has called upon politicians to sit up and take notice of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and has also warned the healthcare sector to take action now. She has made 17 recommendations, including 

  • A call to put the risk of these infections on the national risk register and take the problem seriously at an international level, including at G8 and the World Health Organisation
  • Collection of better surveillance data across the NHS and worldwide to monitor the situation as it develops
  • More work to be carried out between the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries to preserve existing drugs and to develop new antibiotics 
  • To build on the success of the NHS in cutting MRSA rates, which have fallen by 80 per cent since the 2003 peak, as a result of better hygiene measures
  • Making sure that infection control measures are fully applied not just in hospitals, but also in nursing homes and other care settings in the community 

Hygiene in Your HVAC – How Duct Work Cleaning Can Help


Duct work cleaning for your HVAC equipment is a vital tool which can lessen the chances of superbugs taking hold in any situation and, especially with healthcare organisations, this type of cleaning is essential to ensure a safe environment for patients who are particularly susceptible to infections.

Any HVAC which doesn’t have regular duct work cleaning carried out can be a breeding ground for superbugs, spreading them from one patient to another, so it is important not to forget about this preventative measure. If they go uncleaned, ventilation ducts will see a build-up of debris and dust which then grow bacteria, and this can easily be carried into the building, spreading illness rather than fresh and clean air, especially if the building is also warm and humid. 

There is a legal requirement for ventilation ducts to be cleaned at least every two years in order to maintain a safe and clean atmosphere, but some will need cleaning to be carried out more frequently depending on factors such as how heavily the premises are used and the level of pollution, so, if in doubt, the best move is to seek professional advice from a firm such as Ingot Services.

Ingot Services – Professional Duct Work Cleaning Specialists

Ingot Services have more than 25 years of experience and are fully registered to carry out duct work cleaning throughout the UK to meet regulatory requirements. We will issue you with a certificate for your records after carrying out cleaning and will also advise you on the best cleaning schedule for your building's HVAC system. We can also advise on filter cleaning in between full duct cleaning and carry out regular inspections on your behalf.

Duct Work Cleaning Click on the link to get in touch with Ingot Services.



Monday, 17 June 2013

Making Health and Safety Positive – Duct Work Cleaning Professionals Ingot Services Share Their Secrets



Making Health and Safety Positive – Duct Work Cleaning Professionals Ingot Services Share Their Secrets


At Ingot Services, as well as offering guidance on duct work cleaning issues, we are often asked for our advice on health and safety in the workplace. 

When it comes to workplace health and safety , the law is clear, and laid out mainly in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The extent of your duties will depend very much on your business and the aspects within it, for instance, regular duct work cleaning is a requirement by law if you have a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system within your workplace. But as a minimum, every employer has a duty of care to ensure that the workplace is safe and that safe working practices are adhered to. 

Negative associations with health and safety policies can hinder not only compliance with regulations, but can also endanger lives. So how can managers make sure that their employees buy into health and safety policies?

A Positive Health and Safety Culture

The culture of an organisation reflects how it operates – how, where, who, when and why things are done. The health and safety culture within an organisation does the same, describing how health and safety is managed, where it applies, who is responsible, when it applies and why policies are in place. Within the HSE document 'HSG65 – Successful Health and Safety Management' health and safety culture is defined as “the product of individual and group values, attitudes, perceptions, competencies and patterns of behaviour that determine the commitment to, and the style and proficiency of, an organisation's health and safety management”. As with the productivity and success of business, to successfully implement health and safety policy, the culture has to be a positive one, and the key to this is communication.

Assessing Your Health and Safety Culture

Reviewing the culture of health and safety within your organisation, there are key aspects that can highlight either a positive or a poor culture.  These include:
  • Are health and safety policies well communicated and understood?
  • Is it clear how people should behave?
  • Are health and safety systems complied with?
  • Is management all on board?
  • Is safety put above cost and productivity?
  • Are health and safety systems realistic?
  • Is the workforce involved in all aspects of health and safety?
  • Are opportunities for improvement sought and implemented?
Once all of these areas have been evaluated, if a poor health and safety culture is discovered, positive moves to change this should be planned and implemented. Culture per se cannot be altered directly, instead, aspects relating to it, such as management backing and communication need to be enhanced. When it comes to gaining buy in for any culture, employee engagement is key and positive associations with the vision and values of the company will encourage buy in of all policies.

Reacting Positively To Health and Safety – Duct Work Cleaning Professionals Ingot Services

At Ingot Services, with duct work cleaning being a key part of adhering to health and safety law, health and safety is a key aspect of our business, and making sure that we have buy in from the whole team is essential. Putting health and safety at the fore, we safeguard our employees by ensuring that they are well trained to all of the latest standards, and our policies are communicated effectively. With buy in from the top down, a positive attitude to health and safety and the procedures and safeguards we have in place is clear.

Added to this, we ensure our duct work cleaning and other services comply with health and safety legislation – we are HVAC registered, as well as being a member of the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme and a Safe Contractor Registered company.

Duct Work Cleaning -  Find out more about our duct cleaning services



Thursday, 13 June 2013

Motivating Your Employees To Pay Heed To Health and Safety – Advice and Guidance from Duct Work Cleaning Company Ingot Services


Duct work cleaning company Ingot Services take health and safety very seriously, both in our own business and when visiting customers. The fact that heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems attract such stringent regulations when it comes to duct work cleaning highlights the importance of health and safety in this area, and ensuring your employees pay attention to the health and safety policies your business puts in place is vital. Often asked during the course of our duct work cleaning services how to get employees engaged in health and safety, here we have put together some advice on this important business issue.

Responsibilities for Health and Safety at Work

By law, health and safety is the responsibility of everyone at work, and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 sets out many of the responsibilities that employers and employees must take charge of.

All employers, whatever the size of their business, have a duty of care to their employees and to the public to make sure that the workplaces that they provide are safe and that safe working practices are followed:
  • Make the workplace safe
  • Prevent risks to health
  • Ensure that plant and machinery is safe to use
  • Ensure safe working practices are set up and followed
  • Make sure that all materials are handled, stored and used safely
  • Provide adequate first aid facilities
  • Tell you about any potential hazards from the work you do – chemicals and other substances used by the firm – and give you information, instructions, training and supervision as needed
  • Set up emergency plans
  • Make sure that ventilation, temperature, lighting, toilet, washing and rest facilities all meet health, safety and welfare requirements
  • Check that the right work equipment is provided and is properly used and regularly maintained
  • Prevent or control exposure to substances that may damage your health
  • Take precautions against the risks caused by flammable or explosive hazards, electrical equipment, noise and radiation
  • Avoid potentially dangerous work involving manual handling (and if it can't be avoided, take precautions to reduce the risk of injury)
  • Provide health supervision as needed
  • Provide protective clothing or equipment free of charge (if risks can't be removed or adequately controlled by any other means)
  • Ensure that the right warning signs are provided and looked after
  • Report certain accidents, injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences to either the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland or the local authority, depending on the type of business
As well as having rights to a safe and healthy working environment, employees also have the responsibility to take reasonable care with their own health and safety and also to cooperate with their employer, making sure that they have been given the right training, that they are wearing appropriate clothing and that they are not putting anyone else at risk.

Engaging Employees in Health and Safety

As an employer, when it comes to abiding by your duty of care, engaging your entire workforce in good health and safety practices can help ensure understanding and cooperation.  Every business is unique and making sure that policies work for your organisation is essential, but successful health and safety working practices will always include:
  • Ensuring that management are all behind health and safety practices and that they abide by them themselves.
  • Involving employees within the process – appointing health and safety representatives from within the business to champion good practice.
  • Being visible in the processes and initiatives that are taking place and gaining feedback whenever appropriate.
  • Offering suitable learning programmes on safe working practices generally, as well as specific training on the use of tools and equipment.
  • Continually improving the processes you have put into place and openly seeking suggestions for improvements.
Health and Safety at Duct Work Cleaning Company Ingot Services

Offering professional duct work cleaning as well as commercial kitchen cleaning, from deep cleans through to equipment, at Ingot Services we are a HVAC registered company. Taking health and safety seriously, both to protect our own employees and our customers, Ingot Services is a member of the Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme and is Safe Contractor Registered, and we incorporate good health and safety working practices into everything that we do. 

Duct Work Cleaning - Choose Ingot Services for quality duct work cleaning and more.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Health and Safety In Your Commercial Kitchen – Advice and Guidance from Duct Work Cleaning Company Ingot Services




During the course of our kitchen and duct work cleaning business, at Ingot Services we work closely with many commercial kitchens, and are often asked for advice on health and safety within them. So, as well as our kitchen and duct work cleaning, we are keen to help our customers by creating guidance on related issues.

Having a direct impact on the general public, as well as your workforce, health and safety within commercial kitchens is an important factor of day to day routine. From accidents, illness and fire, the risks within a commercial kitchen can result in minor injury right through to being fatal, and it is for this reason that health and safety laws are so stringent.

From Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs and the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 (as amended) and their equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – these laws are there to protect not just your customers and your workforce, but also your own business interests.

Here are just some of the risks that can occur in a commercial kitchen, and how to help avoid them:

Equipment

Your kitchen equipment will range from knifes through to electrical appliances, such as food mixers, coffee machines and the like. Training for your workforce for safe use of all equipment is critical –as is ensuring you keep well maintained records of this. Protective equipment is also vital, and assessing risk together with your workforce will ensure that any special requirements are catered for.

Knives are a particular risk and it is wise to keep them well sharpened and to always cut on a stable surface using the blade that is suitable for the food you are cutting. They should always be handled carefully, especially when washing up and carried with the blade pointing down.

When it comes to your electrical equipment, regular servicing and inspection, including PAT testing every 1 – 5 years by a qualified electrical engineer, are essential. 

Slips and trips

Every year in the hospitality industry there are hundreds of injuries resulting from slips and trips. Once again, assessing the risk within your commercial kitchen provides the essential starting point for managing slips and trips – this will include checking the condition of the floor and repairing any damaged areas, as well as ensuring procedures and training are in place for cleaning and appropriate footwear, as well as for occurrences such as food spillages, water leaks and storage to ensure no trip hazards are left scattered around. 

Harmful substances

The cleaning chemicals used in commercial kitchens are often much stronger than their domestic equivalent, and are certainly needed in much larger quantities. Ensuring that your workforce is fully trained in using these is essential under Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) as are evaluating the risk and putting a clear plan of action into place for controlling their use. Suitable protective clothing such as goggles and rubber gloves should be at hand and manufacturer’s guidelines for use should always be adhered to. 

Gas

From carbon monoxide poisoning to fire, gas equipment poses a big risk and should be treating with care. Your gas equipment should always be installed, moved or maintained by a properly qualified, recognised CORGI engineer, as required by the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (GSIUR). Training for your staff is once again vital, as is a daily inspection to ensure that there is no damaged pipework and that flame supervision devices are working correctly. 

Ventilation

Providing safe clean air for your workforce, as well as removing odours and steam from the cooking process, your ventilation will also help to prevent creation and build-up of carbon monoxide. As such, regular duct work cleaning is essential. In fact, it is a requirement by law to have your duct work cleaning carried out by professionals regularly, and this will also go a long way to preventing fire caused by the accumulation of grease and grime within the ducts themselves.

Ingot Services – Duct Work Cleaning and More

At Ingot Services, as well as providing services such as your equipment, deep kitchen and duct work cleaning, using our day to day knowledge and professional qualifications as a base we make it our business to support our customers and the industry in their continuing success. 

Find out about commercial kitchen safety, duct work cleaning  and more with Ingot Services.


Friday, 10 May 2013

Your Duct Work Cleaning – The Importance of Choosing Professionals With The Right Accreditations




Duct work cleaning is an essential element of health and safety in the workplace and as such there is a strict set of legislation in place to help you manage it. In fact, in order to stay legal, and to keep your insurance company happy and your policy valid, workplace health and safety laws state that you will need to choose a professional duct work cleaning company with the right accreditations to carry out this work.

This ensures that your duct work cleaning is carried out using the correct tools and equipment and that specific standards are met to ensure the air that is circulated is safe, and that any potential blockages are cleared. The accreditations that your duct work cleaning company hold will assure you that they have the right levels of training to make your ventilation safe.

Accreditations To Look For

In the course of their duties Ingot Services have chosen the following three accreditations as a base for their work.  Of course, there are many others that companies may choose from, but the HVAC accreditation is key to ensuring you meet your requirements by law. 

  • HVAC

    Managed by the Heating and Ventilation Contractors Association, there are around 1,500 HVAC accredited members in the UK. HVAC is the UK’s lead trade association and is the recognised accreditation for compliance with the law.
     
  • Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme

    The CHAS provides assessment and accreditation to ensure compliance in acceptable levels of health and safety. Assessments are carried out annually offering you additional peace of mind that your chosen duct work cleaning company takes health and safety seriously, across the board.
  • Safe Contractor Register

    With over 18,000 contractor members, the Safe Contractor Register is another health and safety accreditation scheme, with the purpose of ensuring that your chosen duct work cleaning company is competent in their field. 

When it comes to keeping to the letter of legal requirements, it isn’t just for your company and the law that you need to keep stringent records for. Your insurance company will probably also require legal compliance in order for your policy to remain valid, and in the case of an incident involving your duct work, such as fire or the spread of harmful bacteria, if you have not adhered to the legislation surrounding duct work cleaning, your insurance may not pay out.

At Ingot Services, we pride ourselves on our professional and customer friendly services. With health and safety at our core, for both our customers and our own company, we will provide you with the paperwork to prove your legal compliance, as well as keeping records and photographic evidence for you.

Choose Ingot Services – your professionally accredited HVAC duct work cleaning.


 






Thursday, 11 April 2013

Is Going Out To Eat Going Out of Vogue? A Fast Food Recession Review from Duct Work Cleaning Company Ingot Services




Carrying out kitchen deep cleaning and duct work cleaning within commercial kitchens and talking with our customers, at Ingot Services we are in a prime position to see the results of changes taking place in the hospitality and food services industry, as well as the effects that the economy is having on catering businesses . 

A Change In Choice

While going out certainly isn’t going out of fashion – and in fact more people than ever seem to be taking advantage of a night off and having a sociable meal out – looking for cost effectiveness has become a fact in all aspects of life. Looking at value first and foremost, and expecting it across the menu, the recession has changed the way in which diners choose their restaurants, and therefore their dining experience too. 

This can be seen in the fact that the fast food industry has not been adversely affected by the recession and in fact, has seen something of a resurgence. Having previously been the ‘unhealthy option’ and therefore often shunned in favour of more expensive restaurants, the economic downturn has sent  many people back through their doors. 

Clawing back positive association, big brand names have also used the fact that the spotlight has turned once again to them during the recession, in their favour. Refreshing their identities, creating healthier menus and embracing corporate social responsibility and environmental issues, many more people now feel that fast food offers a safe and cost effective dining option for the family – a new reputation that may well see them retaining a more loyal customer base even once the economy has started to right itself.

Taking this all into consideration, value offers have also become much more common across the board, and we have seen many of our duct work cleaning customers  such as pubs and cafes cutting their prices to the bone in a bid to stay competitive, creating offers for free additional courses or unlimited fries.

Recession Proofing Advice From Our Customers
Many of our duct work cleaning customers across the board are recession proofing their own restaurants and eateries with a variety of offers and strategies, and their tips include:

Targeting
Entice your diners with relevant offers, such as pre-football lunch menus. You should have a packed house at lunchtime, plus the opportunity to engage and enhance loyalty for future dining.

Menu
Offer a set menu as well as a la carte – this will highlight the good value that the set menu offers the customer while also providing you with a financially manageable option.

Social Media
Jump on the social media and deal of the day ‘Groupon’ style websites bandwagons, which can fill your restaurant while allowing you to manage from a limited promotional menu offering. 

Loyalty Offers
Take some guidance from the coffee shops and try a loyalty scheme where diners get, for example, their 6th meal for free – everyone likes something for nothing.

Staff
Don’t cut corners by cutting costs on your staff – while customers want value, they still expect service, and your best staff are also your best salespeople!

Ingot Services – Deep Kitchen Cleaning,  Duct Work Cleaning and More

With our customers’ business interests at the heart of everything that we do, whether you need our duct work cleaning, deep kitchen cleaning, canopy, extract or equipment cleaning services, at Ingot Services we are fully accredited HVAC professionals, with a reputation for high quality work and excellent service. 

Duct Work Cleaning  - Find out more about the full range of professional cleaning services from  Ingot 


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Reducing Restaurant Food Waste – Advice and Guidance from Duct Work Cleaning Company Ingot Services


As well as our duct work cleaning services, at Ingot Services we are keen to help our customers succeed in all aspects of their business. Talking with them, we know that food wastage is a big concern for many in the catering and hospitality industries, so we have put together this useful advice and guidance on reducing food wastage within your commercial kitchen and what it means to the environment.


Reducing Food Waste in the Hospitality and Food Service Industry

While for a number of years there have been different organisations set up to help reduce waste in business, reducing food waste is a relatively new topic. In fact, it was only in June 2012 that WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) launched their Hospitality and Food Service Agreement, setting targets for a 5% reduction in waste food and associated packaging , and a 70% increase in the amount of waste food and packaging that is recycled by 2015. However, many still feel that the infrastructure to support this is slow to be put into place.

This support includes the likes of AD (anaerobic digestion) facilities, which break down biodegradable matter such as food waste, releasing energy through fermentation that can be used as a renewable source (biogas), helping to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels too.  

Reducing Food Waste – Good For Your Bottom Line

Reducing food waste is not just good for the environment – research from WRAP suggests that around £720 million a year could be saved by the hospitality industry if avoidable food waste was stopped and unavoidable food waste was sent to AD facilities. Many customers are also now very aware of environmental issues and therefore interested in eating in restaurants that are more sustainable, and this can be seen by the rise of organisations such as the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) supported by leading industry figures such as Raymond Blanc.

Top Tips For Reducing Commercial Food Waste

Taking some time out from our duct work cleaning, we have put together these top tips on reducing commercial food waste:

Planning
  • Plan your menus so that you can use all parts of the food item – for instance using chicken carcasses for soup stock
  • Train your staff to create as little waste as possible when preparing food  – perhaps serving potatoes with skins on
  • Try to order for delivery just when you need the food items to avoid spoilage

Plating
  • Offer two different portion sizes – ample and generous – to suit differing appetites
  • Make a note of customer eating habits and review your menu to suit
  • Offer customers the option to take away their leftovers
Marketing
  • Make your customers aware of your commitment to reducing food waste and encourage them to help
  • Encourage your customers to tell you if there’s something they’d rather you didn’t put on their plate,  e.g. “I’ll have a salad but please don’t give me any tomatoes”
Waste
  • Create a separate food waste bin which can be collected separately and taken for composting or AD
  • If there is no provision to take away your food waste separately, consider creating your own on-site composting
Introducing Ingot Services – Duct Work Cleaning and a Whole Lot More

A duct work cleaning company with a passion for our customers’ welfare, at Ingot Services we place great emphasis on service. Working with commercial kitchen clients for over 25 years, offering duct work cleaning, kitchen deep cleaning and more, we have built a firm understanding of the commercial health and safety needs of kitchens within the food service industry.

Duct Work Cleaning (link) - Find out more about how the team of professionals at  Ingot Services can help your business.