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Walking on Water NCCA General Meeting 2013

October 2013

The official journal of the National Carpet Cleaners Association


Published monthly by:

03 From the Editor: The National Carpet Cleaners Association General Meeting 2013 04 Stoneman’s Corner 08 The British Cleaning Council’s Annual Conference 2013 10 Water damage restoration 14 Looking for a new hobby? 16 NCCA tours of the National Trust Textile Conservation Studio & Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk 18 Walking on water 20 Potions and brews 22 COSHH Part 2: Protecting yourself and your customers 24 Work related skin diseases - managing the risks Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Association or it’s officers or members. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the statements within this publication, we cannot accept responsibility for any errors, or omissions, or matters arising from any clerical or printing errors, and whilst every care is taken of manuscripts and photographs submitted to us, we can accept no responsibility for any loss or damage. ©Carpet Cleaners Association Ltd 1994 (Trading as the National Carpet Cleaners Association). No part of this Newsletter may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the Carpet Cleaners Association Ltd.


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The National Carpet Cleaners Association, 62c London Road, Oadby, Leicestershire, LE2 5DH. Tel: 0116 271 9550 E-mail: Website: Editor Nikki Law Editor in Chief Keith Robertson Design Editor Nikki Law President/Technical Director Paul Pearce Vice President/Marketing Director Keith Robertson Vice President/Events Director Nigel Lay Member Liaison Director Glyn Charnock Assistant Membership Director Martin Johns Franchise Liaison Director Denise Pitt Corporate Liaison Director Rob Whitbread Training Director Christian Ramsey Co-opted Director Billy Russell Co-opted Director Allan Simmons

The National Carpet Cleaners Association General Meeting 2013


he NCCA 2013 General Meeting (GM) will be held in Leicester on 16th November at the Leicester Racecourse. All NCCA members will by now have received an invitation to attend the General Meeting either by post, together with a voting slip, or by an email containing a link to the members’ area of the NCCA website where votes may be submitted online at: (login details will be required). The online and postal voting is provided for those who know in advance that they are unable to attend the GM but would still like to cast their vote on the election of Directors for 2014. Votes will be counted by an independent party and therefore must be received no later than midday on Wednesday 13th November. Votes received after this date and time will not be counted. The GM will begin in the afternoon at 1pm and is open to NCCA members only. The Board of Directors highly recommends that members attend this important meeting to review the accomplishments and activities of the Association since the General Meeting last year and to be part of decisions that will shape the future of the NCCA. To accompany the GM there will be a marketing seminar at 10am presented by NCCA Board members Glyn Charnock and Allan Simmons Jnr. This will be followed at 11.30am by a pre-meeting members Q&A session and a buffet lunch at 12pm.

The seminar, titled 'Five Easy RealWorld Steps to Make More Profit' will focus on successful marketing materials and techniques currently used by cleaning companies of all Nicky Law Newslink Editor sizes, from owner/operators to larger businesses with multiple vans. Glyn and Allan will share with you examples of reminder letters, emails, key copywriting phrases and ethical upselling methods amongst others. More importantly they will also explain WHY the examples provided work so well. Attendees will leave the seminar not only equipped with some excellent ideas on reducing their marketing spend and increasing their profits, but also with proven ready-for-use marketing materials to assist in their business. So, if you haven't already notified us of your attendance at the GM, but think you would like to come along please call us now on 0116 271 9550.

PLEASE NOTE: The minutes from last year's General Meeting, together with the latest audited Association accounts, can be found in the members' area of the NCCA website within the folder titled 'Documents'. Should you require these documents in hard copy format they can be obtained from the NCCA office.

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Stripping paint from stone


growing number of NCCA members are now adding stone and ceramic tile cleaning and polishing to the list of services they offer. If this applies to you, have you considered the restoration of painted Georgian or early Victorian tiles? Many homeowners are now showing a desire to uncover the flagstone floors in their properties and to remove the paint from the edges of these stones or from the sides of their staircases. There are a number of extreme removal methods which can cause serious and unsightly damage to the surface of the stone but, in the past, many professionals found that chemically removing the paint with paint stripping products containing dichloromethane was very successful. These DCM-based paint strippers were particularly effective at removing the very durable coatings including leaded paint often found in Victorian, Georgian, or older buildings, as used correctly it removed coatings without damaging the substrate. However, from the 6th December 2010, formulators of DCM-based paint strippers have not been allowed to put their products into the supply chain for use outside industrial installations. Retailers were initially allowed to sell existing


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Keith Robertson

Stoneman’s Corner

stocks to professionals or the public for a further year, until 6 December 2011. It was, nonetheless, suggested that paint removers containing DCM should still be available for use by 'professionals' who were accredited in accordance with the provisions of the derogation (exception) to the EU regulation. It was expected that the scheme would have been approved no later than October 2012 and that a format of the training and details of the derogation would be finalised by the regulatory authority. However, this has not happened.

Some chemical manufactures state that suitable alternative paint removers are available for all coatings that could previously be removed with dichloromethane-based paint strippers. Have any of you who are stripping paint from stone found one yet? It is understandable that there were concerns about the use of methylene chloride as, if not used correctly, it can be dangerous. A bath renovating company found that they were facing £81,000 fines and costs after one of their workers died whilst stripping a bath. The individual, who was a franchisee, died from inhaling toxic fumes in the bathroom of a South West London flat. When the case was heard at Southwark Crown Court it was found that he was using an industrial paint and varnish remover to strip a resin coating from a bath at a housing association property. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the death and found there was insufficient natural ventilation in the bathroom. The stripping agent contained dichloromethane which is a carcinogenic toxic chemical. Fumes rapidly built up in the confined space and he died at the scene as a result of over exposure. His body was discovered by the occupant of the flat. Although the franchisor had provided written documentation that work of this nature should only

be carried out in well ventilated areas it appears they didn't provide suitable mechanical ventilation equipment presuming the franchisee would do so. After the hearing, HSE inspector Steve Kirton said: "This is a shocking death resulting from totally inadequate ventilation in the enclosed bathroom space in which the individual had to operate”. He continued, “The risks associated with stripping agents containing dichloromethane are well known, yet he was exposed to lethal fumes with virtually no protection. Mechanical ventilation equipment is often a necessity, but all he had to rely on was a small open window, a basic mask and pot luck”. The firm was found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: "It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees". You may be wondering why I am talking about this when dichloromethane-based paint strippers are no longer available. Well, believe it or not, dichloromethane is still permissible in some other products such as adhesive removers. Continued on next page

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Continued from previous page So, if you remove adhesives from floors you may already be using a product containing dichloromethane (you may also have noticed the effect that this has on any paint that may be underneath the adhesive). If you are still using products containing dichloromethane, or contemplate doing so, be aware of the hazards. Breathing in DCM vapour can produce narcotic effects and although superficially this might seem entertaining, the outcome may be considerably less pleasant. It is important to realise that the initial feelings of drowsiness and giddiness could progress through to, at the very least, a nasty headache and that in high concentrations the inhalation of fumes from dichloromethane could lead to unconsciousness and ultimately death. Skin and eye contact should also be avoided since DCM is a defatting agent and exposure may cause irritation, or worse. It is essential to ensure that there is there is adequate information, instruction and training for technicians in the use of this and other products that contain potentially dangerous chemicals and that, when used, there is effective ventilation. In case you or your technicians are working where natural ventilation is limited you should purchase (and use) a portable fume extractor. The rule is that if you can't prevent exposure you need to control it adequately, so in some situations Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) may be required. In addition, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should also be used in compliance with Directive 89/686/EEC, in other words comprising: suitable protective gloves, safety


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goggles and protective clothing and appropriate respiratory protective equipment where compliance with relevant occupational exposure limits cannot be otherwise achieved. Simple dust masks are completely ineffective. There are various solvent masks, some more easy to wear than others, and of course there are more sophisticated systems which include battery powered air turbo units. Gauntlets can be useful to protect wrists and lower arms from being burned, but as they are solvent permeable it is important to wear suitable gloves underneath. If you are working in a short sleeved shirt or uniform there are also Tyvek sleeves that can improve your protection. There are many niches where you can enhance your earnings and the deep stripping of surfaces is one of these. It is not uncommon for specialist companies to earn ÂŁ2500, or more, for stripping a domestic staircase or ÂŁ1000 to strip and protect a hall.

Member referral report Since publishing a referral statistics report in last month's Newslink there have been 147 recommendations for full members provided by the NCCA. This number is made up of 87 referrals from the NCCA office, 58 potential customers contacting members direct through the website and 2 referrals to members without an email address, which have been tracked by the office.

The British Cleaning Council’s Annual Conference 2013


oin the front runners of the cleaning industry at The British Cleaning Council's annual conference at the CBI Conference Centre in London's Centre Point Tower on Thursday 28th November 2013 from 9.00am until 3:30pm. The conference will focus on 'Future Proofing the Cleaning Industry' and will once again include a high-profile speaker line up as follows: Alex Depledge, Co-Founder of Teddle Pulling the rug out from under us - Start-ups and new entrants. Alex will deliver a 'journey so far' seminar concentrating on technology in the industry and the need to embrace it moving forward. Andy Mudd, Principle Consultant, Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) Public Sector - The next commercial competitor? Andy will deliver a presentation on how to keep winning contracts despite the rise of the public sector as the next commercial competitor. The above will then be followed by breakout sessions as follows: Option 1 - Mark Jennings, ActionCoach Growth Health Check Mark will present his five ways to business growth model, which looks at the numbers associated with businesses leads, conversion rate, average sale, number of customers and profit margin. Participants will leave the session with a set of


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skills leading to increased profit. Option 2 - Priscilla Morris, Loud & Clear Voice Coaching Does Your Voice Have Impact? Priscilla will present a workshop in which participants learn how their voice impacts on their professional life. The session will have a commercial focus and will provide attendees with skills for business presentations and networking. Oliver Kamm, Chief Economics Lead Writer and columnist for The Times, will MC the conference and will also moderate a final Q&A session of industry leaders including:

ŸSarah Bentley, Chief Executive, Asset Skills ŸMark Woodhead, Sales Director, Selden Research ŸRhys Moore, Director, Living Wage Foundation ŸIsmena Clout, Chair, BIFM Early Bird Tickets cost £99.00. Standard tickets (from the beginning of November), will cost £149.00. To purchase, simply register online at:

For further information, email or call: 0203 468 0923.

Limited sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, contact Suzanne Howe at 0203 468 0923. “The BCC annual conference is a must-attend event for anyone concerned with commercial success in

Diary Dates 2013/2014 NCCA COURSES

the UK cleaning industry,” says Doug Cooke, BCC Chairman, who will be making a presentation at the conference on the 'Inside the World of the Secret Boss'. “We anticipate over 150 senior executives in attendance to discuss, debate and disseminate the latest economic trends and managerial thinking within the sector” he added.

NCCA Member Benefits Adelante Merchant Services: 01628 820500 BeValued - Home Options (specialist claims management - insurance work): Call Shaun Mulvey on 01323 418432 Control Account PLC: 01527 882901 EMJ Management Ltd (workwear clothing and accessories): 02392 434650 Hibu (previously Yell) - ask for Corporate Advertising Department: 0808 100 7890 HMCA (free legal and counselling helpline): 0117 934 2600 HMCA (medical health cover): 01423 866985 MF Oils (fuel discounts): Call Jake on 01202 339197 Payatrader: 01296 660177 SiteWizard (website creation): 08450 608860 Thompson Local - ask forCorporate Advertsing Department: 01252 390385 TrustMark (Diversity): 0115 9673767

Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning 22nd -23rd November 2013 17th - 18th January 2014 21st - 22nd March 2014 23rd - 24th May 2014 4th - 5th July 2014 19th - 20th September 2014 21st - 22nd November 2014 Advanced Spot & Stain Removal 21st February 2014 20th June 2014 10th October 2014 Leather Identification & Cleaning 21st November 2013 NCCA courses held at NSPCC Training Centre, Leicester unless otherwise stated. Visit: for booking forms and further details.

NCCA GENERAL MEETING 2013 16th November at Leicester Racecourse, Leicester

THE BRITISH CLEANING COUNCIL’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2013 28th November at CBI Conference Centre, London

IICRC COURSES (HERTFORDSHIRE) Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician with Paul Pearce 12th - 13th November Held at Alltec Network, Royston, Hertfordshire. Tel: 01763 208222

IICRC COURSES (SURREY) Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician with Adam Jankowski 6th - 7th November Applied Structural Drying Technician with Adam Jankowski 3rd - 5th December Held at National Flood School, Surrey. Tel: 01252 821185 Visit: for further details on all IICRC Training Courses.

Water damage restoration

Peter Collins (Honorary Member)


n our industry it is not uncommon to be called into a property to clean/restore soft-furnishings and flooring where a water damage situation has occurred. Usually the work will involve cleaning up after water spillage from an overflowing sink or leakage from a faulty washing machine and the risk to health is relatively low, but for those of you directly involved in flood restoration the risks are considerably higher. Water contamination in a building is categorised in the following three ways: Clean water This would include an overflowing sink, or broken water pipes. Clean water situations, if not quickly and properly attended to, can become grey or black water situations if the water comes into contact with other contaminates that are harmful to the human body.


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Grey water This includes washing machine, dishwasher and broken fish tank overflows. This is usually contaminated water, which contains chemical or bio pollutants. It can cause sickness and often carries microorganisms as well as nutrients for microorganisms. These situations if not dealt with swiftly and effectively can become black water situations. Black water This is usually sewage or flood water and will

contain pathogenic waste and often a mixture of toxic chemicals. A black water situation is unsanitary and a health hazard. Most sewage contamination situations are usually from backflows caused by blockages. Health and Sewage: Sewage contains urine and faeces and can have a high percentage of pathogenic fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites of the tapeworm variety as well as pathogenic protozoa. Anyone who comes into contact with a sewage contamination without proper protection and precautions is at risk of becoming ill. Older people, those on medication, small children, pregnant women and people with health conditions and poor immune systems are especially at risk. Below are some of the basic facts concerning sewage organisms, health concerns, exposure routes and secondary problems if sewage is not dealt with properly. Disease Causing Organisms: There are thousands of species of bacterial organisms found in sewage. The five most common are: Echerichia Coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Klebsialla and Enterobacter, causing gastroenteritis, salmonellosis, shigellosis, dysentery and typhoid fever. Also found in sewage are a large number of viruses causing a variety of illnesses such as hepatitis, gastroenteritis and respiratory disease, as well as Protozoa organisms causing amoebic dysentery and giardiasis. And, as if that isn't enough, there will also almost

certainly be a significant number of organisms such as pin worms, hook worms and tape worms present as well. Exposure Routes to Humans: Direct skin contact Poor cleaning and disinfection will leave sewage contamination on surfaces and objects. This could cause humans who touch them to catch an infection directly through sensitive areas of the body such as hands and feet, or by touching the eyes and nose with contaminated fingers. Inhalation Airborne contamination is a danger, especially if the surfaces and objects have not been cleaned and disinfected properly and then drying equipment is used. Injection Surfaces that are contaminated by sewage pose another problem if a human cuts or punctures their skin on a surface that was not cleaned or disinfected properly. Accidental Ingestion If surfaces are not cleaned properly after contamination, there is a risk of ingestion by hand to mouth contact. Secondary Contamination and Health Problems: Sewage in the structure of a building could also cause a secondary level of contamination because a backflow would have micro-organisms present. For instance many serious respiratory disorders and rhinitis-causing allergic and toxic reactions are Continued on next page

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Continued from previous page

started by organic matter from sewage, which acts as a nutrient source for other organisms such as fungi. Structures that are not dried properly allow mould to multiply causing mycotoxins to develop. Recommended Procedures and Technician Training In Sewage Backflows into Buildings: Sewage backflows into buildings are a serious threat to human health. Sewage waste does require a high level of restoration methods, much more so than in a fresh water damage situation. A technician would be required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and undertake extra training. Extra training for technicians employed in sewage work would include blood borne

pathogens, waste handling and disposal and confined space training. A health and safety programme should be in place for technicians and they should be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, polio and tetanus. They should also be trained in the safe removal of harmful effluents, contamination, proper transportation and safe disposal. The job should be monitored from start to finish, clearance testing for proper decontamination of the building after the job is complete to ensure a healthy and safe environment for people to re-occupy.

New NCCA Members Donnington Ltd London, W14 8BJ Cleaning Bros. Ltd Romford, Essex Tatton Carpet Care Knutsford, Cheshire Churchdown Carpet Cleaning Gloucester, Gloucestershire Feel Clean Stevenage, Hertfordshire Rainbow Services Northampton, Northamptonshire


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Looking for a new hobby? Derek Bolton


orget all your 'boy's toys', put away all thoughts of train spotting, stamp collecting‌. do people do such things these days anyway? I rather doubt it. I have to admit the train spotting bug passed me by, thank goodness, although I did have some indulgences in my misspent youth‌ until I discovered girls that is. They, or should I say she, came into my life in my late teens. Over the years I have been allowed to indulge in a few new hobbies which I have somehow managed to fit in to my business and home/family life. The trouble is that I am a bit fanatical about things and my collections (not stamps I hasten to add) did, and still do, get a little out of hand at times. One of my hobbies is collecting fabrics. I love fabrics (it must be my feminine side coming out). There are so many different styles, weaves and blends and they can change almost on a monthly basis, so I am forever adding to my collection. Why do I do it? Well, sad as it may seem, I love to play/experiment to see how my samples react to various cleaning chemicals and techniques (see my other article called 'Potions and Brews' further on in this month's Newslink). Now, here is something that you may already know, but if you don't then read on‌ Were you aware that Marks & Spencer very kindly produce a range of fabric samples together with comprehensive informative labels in the 'Home' section of their large retail outlets? It's almost as though these fabric sample cards were produced especially for us cleaning technicians. So you could pop along to your local store and start your collection now if you wanted to. What a superb opportunity to see what fabrics will be coming into the cleaning cycle in a few months' time. If you collect these fabrics you will be able to experiment (as I do) with your own

range of cleaning chemicals before they ever hit your customers' homes! Yet another source of free samples is your local upholsterers. When they re-cover an item of furniture they throw away the old coverings and probably pay to do so. Why not offer to take a few cushion covers off their hands? It's something else to try out new cleaning techniques/chemicals on. Again, these are items that won't matter if they get damaged, better than damaging your customer's expensive three piece suite any day.

Whilst you are at it you can build a few useful relationships with the upholsterers, who will pass on some of their customers when items of furniture they have re-covered require cleaning. Who will the customer usually ask first when their expensive suite needs cleaning? The upholsterer of course. And who will the upholsterer recommend? This is a win-win situation. It's a mutually beneficial relationship. When we come across furniture that either requires re-covering or repair, we can now pass this work on to our newly

acquired friend and member of our sales team‌ the upholsterer. When they need to find someone to clean their customer's upholstery, they will contact us. So, picking up a few free samples is yet another way to expand your knowledge of fabrics, not to mention helping you to acquire more work. Hey, if you fancy it, you could even bring a few samples along to next year's NCCA Carnival so that we can swap a few items‌. you see, it really is just like stamp collecting!

NCCA tours of the National Trust Textile Conservation Studio and Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk Following the success of our visit to the National Trust Conservation Studio in Norfork this year, we have managed to again secure one of their exclusive tours for NCCA members. Working to preserve some of the most historic fabrics in the country, this is a unique opportunity to see their work and they have kindly agreed to allow access to their laboratory and wet cleaning area, as these are of particular interest to our members. The tour is booked to take place on the afternoon of Friday 9th May next year. It is one hour long and there will be limited spaces. Because of the tours short timescale we have also

TrustMark Update The final obstacles to having our own category with TrustMark have been resolved. We are formally submitting an application to become Scheme Operator for our own Carpet Cleaning category and, all being well, this should be up and running by 1st January.

NCCA Newslink online Every month you will receive an email notification informing you that Newslink has been published online. So, if your email address changes at any point, please email Nicky immediately on: with your up-to-date details. PLEASE NOTE: IF WE DO NOT HAVE YOUR CURRENT EMAIL ADDRESS YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE NOTIFICATION EACH MONTH WHEN NEWSLINK HAS BEEN PUBLISHED.


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booked a visit to Felbrig Hall (situated nearby) during the morning. This tour is exclusive to NCCA members and their friends/family as the Hall is closed to the general public on this day. For more information about Felbrigg Hall, including prices, please visit their website: If you wish to make it a weekend break, Felbrigg is not far from the lovely market town of Aylsham and close to the Norfolk coast, with the popular beach resorts of Cromer and Wells. Or you could even take a boat trip to see the seals at Blakeney Point. More detailed information will be available soon.


COMPETITION NNER! STILL NO WI Would you like to train as a floor sanding professional? Well... this is your chance! Simply identify what you think caused the stain (right) on an oak kitchen work top and, on a less serious note, what you think it resembles, AND YOU COULD WIN A PLACE ON OUR FLOOR SANDING COURSE - WORTH £395 + VAT! For your chance to win, email your answers to Terry Guilford at:

HERE’S A CLUE: famine staining newslink

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Walking on water

Terry Guilford (The Ultimate Floor Sanding Co.)


illions of people walk on water every day‌ without even knowing it! Well, water-based lacquers on wood flooring anyway. It all started with the Californian Air Resources Board (CARB), who developed regulations prescribing such low VOC concentration limits for products that solvent-based solutions couldn't compete. The Europeans followed on some years later, with legislation finally starting in 2007 and getting stricter as time went on (see earlier article – Newslink August 2013). Despite the fact that water-based lacquers were starting to be formulated as early as 1979, the truth is that without legislation they would probably never have caught on. They are more expensive to manufacture and therefore buy, more difficult to store and require a higher skill level to apply. The transition from solvent-based products to water-based was not an easy one. Bona captured the market early and in fairness to them, at that time they did do a certain amount of training. But for most contractors it wasn't until


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the legislation finally kicked in that they started to use water-based products and, at a time when training programs should really have been offered, they were conspicuous by their absence. So what are the main differences between waterbased finishes and solvent-based ones in terms of application? As stated in the earlier article, firstly the sanding needs to be of a higher standard; water causes wood to swell and raise its grain so finer sanding is required to 'shut down' the grain and minimise water ingress. Secondly, water does

not have the ability to 'cut' the resin as easily as solvent, therefore you need to apply more finish to get the correct amount of polyurethane down and achieve the same level of protection for the wood. In order to do this you need a specialist roller frame, roller sleeve and application technique. The frame has no cage, just a handle turning 90 degrees. The roller itself has sealed, built-in bearings so that the lacquer cannot clog them up; it is essential this sleeve spins VERY freely. The roller pile is a special material capable of holding a lot of finish and is always around 10mm deep to help it do so. When I first learnt the application technique necessary for water-based lacquer, I found it totally counter intuitive having been used to applying solvent-based finishes. The amount of finish you put down seems totally wrong, but it is essential to ensuring the floor has the correct level of protection (in the event of a claim against a manufacturer the first thing that is measured is the

depth of finish). In order to get that depth the roller is dipped completely into a plastic lined paint scuttle, taken out dripping wet and applied to approximately one square metre at a time, first in one direction and then ramping off at 90 degrees to ensure complete and even coverage. The hand holding the middle of the roller pole should be held lightly BENEATH the pole so there is no downward pressure and the roller should 'glide' across the top of the floor. There should be little noise when applying the finish, any audible evidence that the finish is too thin (which can only be described as schticking sound‌ sorry best I can do) should be listened for and, if heard, more finish should be applied. As with all finishes the correct primer should be used, the correct product for the level of traffic (cheaper finishes have less polyurethane and more acrylic) and of course the correct number of coats need to be applied. An important thing to remember is that water is merely the carrier for the polyurethane, if all the guidelines are followed and the customer is correctly advised as to maintenance, there is no reason why a waterbased floor finish shouldn't last for many years.

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Potions and Brews


have always been a bit of a collector and NO… before you even think about it, I don't collect stamps or train numbers, that would be going a little bit too far. I do, however, like to indulge in a few nice antiques, in a limited way of course because 'The Governor' (she who must be obeyed at all times) says they are just 'dust harbourers'! I have also collected my fair share (and probably some other peoples share too) of cleaning kit over the years. My mantra being that “if you haven't got the right kit, how on earth can you do the job?” Hence my mention in a previous article of my brush fetish/collection. So where am I going with this you may well ask. Well, over the years I seem to have acquired a selection, you could say quite a substantial collection, of cleaning chemicals, spotters etc. You name 'em and I will probably have a bottle/tub somewhere in the corner of my garage… or maybe the shed. Some I have sought to purchase, as it seemed a good idea at the time. Some I have been sold by an enthusiastic salesperson with

accompanying promises that “this product will deal with a specific stain - like magic”. I reckon my magic wand could do with a new battery. Many more have been samples freely and cheerfully dispensed by our colleagues at NCCA seminars and conferences over the years. I even diversified into Fire and Flood work some twenty years ago and in doing so invested in yet more brews and potions, many still lurking in a dark corner of my workshop/garage merrily effervescing and bubbling away looking more decidedly evil every time I come across them. Now, there's nothing more enjoyable that dabbling in a bit of alchemy when the Governor has taken the day off to indulge in a little retail therapy. Surrounded by bits of fabric and carpet, not to mention oodles of stains that the items have been subjected to over the previous few weeks (in anticipation of this day) I am in my element. With safety goggles in place, of course, and wearing my lovely green (they match my eyes) chemical resistant gloves and laboratory coat, I like to play, er… I mean… experiment. In this gloriously hot, smelly environment one can practice techniques to ones hearts content knowing full well that if any damage occurs (and it often does) it's not a customer's upholstery or carpet that is being destroyed. OK, I know I

shouldn't have but, in the seclusion of my 'den', I have mixed the odd chemical or three. I have had some bizarre reactions, including fireballs at one point (Harry Potter eat your heart out). A not so gentle reminder to NOT experiment in a customer's home! It's a good idea, when experimenting, to keep beside you a magic spell book. When you've created a potion that works on a particular stain (without melting the fabric/fibres or setting your garage on fire) make sure that you write it down. Having, some years ago, devised a procedure for successfully removing an evil mix of summer fruits from a carpet, I then promptly omitted to write it down in my book of 'spells', leading to my utterance of that unforgivable expletive… TREACLE! I digress, the main reason for writing this is because now that I am, technically, retired I have seriously got to think about the disposal of some of my extensive collection of potions and, like many of you I presume, I am not sure of the best way to do this. I can't just tip them away down the drain, whatever might it do to any creatures lurking in the sewers? After all we don't want any mutant rats, mice or even turtles emerging to terrorise society do we? Having checked up on waste disposal procedures there seems to be conflicting information out there. It would appear that putting chemicals down a toilet with copious amounts of water is OK in some areas. Certainly we have been

informed that waste water from cleaning machines may be dealt with in this way, but what about chemicals in concentrated form? Maybe a call to our local water authority or even the Health & Safety Executive to get their views on disposal might be a good idea. However, my own experiences with these sort of bodies over the years has been pretty dire, their staff must all have a diploma in evasive answering techniques. Of course we could always turn our redundant chemical mixes into wine. Now there's a thought… hang on a minute, I don't drink wine! Seriously though, it would be interesting to hear how other cleaners dispose of their chemical waste. So, why not write in to our editor, Nicky, at: and she'll print your various disposal solutions in Newslink. (“Mixing up chemicals and creating fireballs… hmm, probably better to take up the stamp collecting” - The Editor).

Derek Bolton (Honorary Member)

COSHH Part 2: Protecting yourself and your customers Steve Scotter


ast month we covered COSHH regulations in relation to the safe use of chemicals, which is ordinarily one of the biggest concerns for carpet cleaners in terms of work safety. However, some carpet cleaners also undertake work in flood or fire damaged buildings or even properties which are the location of a trauma or crime scene and, if this applies to you, it is likely that you will come into contact with additional potentially hazardous substances (other than chemicals) during the course of your work; for example sewage contamination in the case of a flood. In a fire/flood or trauma/crime scene situation, it is possible that the homeowners may still be living in their property when you are called in to do the work and, if this is the case, you will need to carry out a risk assessment on their behalf. You may need to contain damaged areas of the building with plastic sheeting and extraction fans to create negative air pressure etc. If homeowners are at risk


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you need to inform them and the Loss Adjusters or insurance company immediately. Please bear in mind that homeowners in the property that you are working in are not responsible for your health and safety, but you are responsible for theirs. On arrival at any property where an abnormal event has occurred, whether currently inhabited or not, the first thing you must do is carry out a general risk assessment to ensure a safe environment for all possible building occupants while work is taking place. You will then need to

Compliance with Health and Safety may seem like a complicated affair, but bear in mind that it is in your own interests to comply with the regulations set. However, if you feel that you are struggling to understand current regulations, or to integrate them into your working procedures, it may be worth engaging in some Health and Safety training.

undertake a Control of Substances Harmful to Health (COSHH) risk assessment, to decide what harmful substances may be present and what control measures are required to make the workplace and work task low risk. It is absolutely imperative that a COSHH risk assessment is carried out before work commences. This is stated in Health and Safety regulations; it is a statutory requirement and non-compliance is easily prosecutable. Remember, if anyone is harmed by your omission you could be liable.

Note: The NCCA run an excellent Health and Safety course specifically for the carpet and upholstery cleaner. 2014 Health and Safety course dates are to be announced soon. Please see Diary Dates within Newslink or visit: for all current NCCA course dates.

Steve Scotter was a carpet cleaner and a member of the National Carpet Cleaners Association for many years. He now works for NCCA Corporate Member, Hydro-Dynamix Ltd, as a NEBOSH qualified Health and Safety Manager.

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Work related skin diseases - managing the risks Sophie Tompkins (Eversheds LLP)


hilst at work, the welfare and health and safety of employees is protected by law. The implications of this are far reaching, and there are numerous rules and regulations imposed on both employers and employees to ensure a safe working environment. Proper assessment and management of risk is crucial for both the welfare of your employees and for the successful running of your business. This article considers the procedures necessary to protect employees from work-related skin diseases that are caused by exposure to harmful substances. These conditions are not only painful for the employee but they are burdensome for the employer, having to manage employee absence and, in some cases, compensation claims. The risks Work related skin diseases are caused or exacerbated by contact with, or exposure to, hazardous substances. Exposure to chemicals can lead to burns, irritant contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis and other skin diseases. Most hazardous substances are identified by hazard warnings and risk and safety phrases on product labels, however there are often less obvious


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hazards which may be generated from general work activities; for example, wood dust from sanding or prolonged or frequent skin contact with water, especially when used along with soaps and detergents (work of this nature is known as 'wet work' and can lead to dermatitis). The regulations The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) govern the use of hazardous substances at work, and apply to employers, employees and to the self-employed. An employer must not carry out any work which can expose employees to substances hazardous to health, unless a suitable and sufficient risk assessment has been carried out. Where it is not possible to prevent exposure to hazardous substances there must be adequate control of

exposure, which is considered further below. Hazardous substances The term 'hazardous substance' is defined in COSHH, and covers, amongst others, substances carrying the very toxic, toxic, harmful, corrosive or irritant symbol and substances whose chemical or toxic properties, and their use, create a risk to health (this includes wet work). Assessing the risk The risk assessment undertaken must be 'suitable and sufficient'. It must therefore be thorough, and include consideration of the substance itself and any information available of the health effects associated with its use. Exposure to the substance must be considered, taking into account factors such as the duration of the exposure and the circumstances of the work. It is not sufficient to undertake a single risk assessment; it must be reviewed regularly and changes introduced as necessary if the risk has increased. Controlling exposure When minimising the risk, you should always keep in mind the principles of good practice. Control is adequate when the risk of harm is as 'low as reasonably practical'. The first thing to consider is whether or not it will be possible to remove the risk entirely. Often this will be highly impractical, especially where the harmful substance in question is water. If the risk cannot be removed, it must be controlled. There are a number of different ways of achieving adequate control, and each will vary according to your own specific type of work. Measures taken must include (in order of priority):

the use of appropriate processes, systems and controls; the control of exposure at source; and finally the provision of suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Practical methods of achieving this may include the substitution of the harmful substance for something safer, the use of gloves (being one of the most common examples of PPE) or using tools rather than completing the job by hand. When using tools also consider increasing the 'safe working distance' between the substance and the skin by working with long-handled tools instead of short-handled ones wherever possible. Conclusion In an industry which deals frequently with water, chemicals and other potentially harmful substances the risks associated with work related skin diseases are present on a daily basis. However, there are straightforward ways of managing and controlling the risks and ensuring that the pain and problems caused by work related skin disease are something that you never have to deal with.

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Items for sale BUSINESS FOR SALE Small, long-established, reputable NCCA Registered, working carpet, upholstery and soft furnishings cleaning company. Essex based. Owner Operator retiring. To be sold as a complete package only. Mobile HWE and dry cleaning system. Domestic and commercial clients. Genuine interested parties only please to call 07903 497298 and leave details. BUSINESS FOR SALE Small, well established carpet, hard floor and upholstery cleaning business (London and Kent borders). Package includes: 57 plate Vauxhall Vivaro LWB Van with 53k miles on the clock, Prochem Blazer GT Truck Mount machine with only 270hrs on the clock, established interactive website (which had SEO programme last year), chemicals, turbo drier, 250 feet of solution and suction hose and van mounted hose reels, together with a property maintenance company name, website and promotional materials. Contact telephone number 020 8309 6517. Sale price: £18,000 O.N.O. EQUIPMENT FOR SALE - £2950 Top of the range Ashbys Ninja adjustable up to 400psi with inbuilt heater and Hot Solvent Functionality. 2 x25m vacuum hoses, 1 x silencer hose, 1 x wand, 1 x upholstery tool, 1 x dry cleaning solvent tool. Sebo Duo agitator, Sebo Vacuum BS36, 1.5hp blower dryer, Truvox high speed buffer, Prochem Stain Removal kit, 2 x 6 litres pressure sprayers, 1 x 1 litre upholstery / spot sprayer, vinyl mat for Ninja, and 1 terrapaulin sheet, Huge array of chemicals including: Prochem Power Burst, Defoamer, Prochem Pre Spray Gold, Prochem Natural Carpet Cleaner, Ashby's supreme Anti Grease, Prochem Browning prescription, Prochem Fabric and Fibre Rinse, Ashby's Extra Fresh, Prochem Odour Fresh. Box of other bits including shoe covers; brushes, polystyrene pads, measuring jugs, dry compound. All in excellent condition. Selling as my second business is consuming all of my time. Contact Richard 07903 841534. VACANCY & BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY Experienced full time Carpet and Floor Care Technician required. Own van and equipment an advantage but not essential. Good business incentive package (profit share or buy in). Area coverage M4 corridor from Bristol to London. Apply by email to with full CV, etc.) or telephone: 01672 871882 or mobile: 07831 172743.


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EQUIPMENT FOR SALE Mobile container/bin (red) - comes with lid. Heavy duty container on wheels. L55” x W32” x H31”, ideal hose and other carpet clng equipment storage. List price: £199 - selling for £75. Whole room drier/air mover. List price: £534 - selling for £175 (no VAT). Contact: Chis on: 02380 898 212 or or phone Chris on: 07970 040729. TRUCKMOUNT Banclene truck mount complete with base unit, stainless steel 80 gallon recovery tank, 100 gallon solution tank, 150 feet of Vaccuum/solution hoses, floor, stair and various upholstery hand tools, inline heater and misc parts etc..The van has been sold seperately. Selling due to retirement and will consider the highest offer. Call Derek at Aquamaster on 01845 537640 - mobile 07976 218304 or email derek CLEANING AND RESTORATION MACHINERY EQUIPMENT - ACCESSORIES Dri-Eaz Dehumidifier 1200 as New Boxed £450.00. Dri-Eaz Sahara Pro TurboDryer - New Boxed £150.00. Dri-Eaz Dri X Airchanger Dehumidifier New Boxed. Normal Price £1900.00. Our Price £500.00. Plus much more. For a complete list please telephone: 07580 182 325 or E-mail: MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT 3 Ozone plates 4'' x 6'' to fit Jetazone 600 ozone generator - £15.00 for the 3, plus £5.00 p & p. Chemspec stainless steel 4 jet floor wand in good condition - £100.00 plus delivery charge if applicable. Please phone Pete Collins on 07885 804560. BUSINESS FOR SALE Well established (November 2000) Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning business. Selling due to retirement. Centrally located covering Nottingham, Derby and Leicester (all within 20 miles). The business includes 04 reg'd Transit Van, taxed Feb 2014, MOT Aug 2014, Triple Vacuum Alltec Advance 0-600psi machine capable also of Tile and Grout cleaning, spare machine - Alltec Pro Plus, Rotovac, wand, carpet and upholstery hand tools, chemicals, hoses, air mover, plus numerous marketing materials, (Joe Polish, Pirahna Marketing) existing website and large customer database. If interested please contact Colin Wakefield at Breedon Carpet Care on 01332 865565 or 07811 963317.

NCCA Corporate Members EQUIPMENT FOR SALE Prochem 250 ft vacuum hoses for truck mount £150.00. Chemspec hose reel for truck mount plastic - £200. Prochem sadle tank for truckmount 227 litre/60 gallons - £250.00. Contact for further information or contact Andy on: 07970 544806. OFFICE PRINTER/COPIER Duplo DP-2211 Single colour A3 or A4 duplicator. Full working order, any fair trial. Ideal for low cost Flyers. Some consumables. PC Interface, prints direct from P.C. or printed copy - £250.00 o.n.o. For further Information Contact or call 0116 2672720. Based in Leicester WHOLE ROOM DRYER 360 degrees air mover, ex company stock used for 18 months only (Truvox) - Cost new: £500. Selling cost: £150. Contact: 02380 898212. BUSINESS FOR SALE Small long-established reputable NCCA registered working business, specialising carpet, upholstery and hard floor cleaning. Northumberland based owner/operator retiring. To be sold as a complete package only. Sign written 55 plate Iveco Daily van with fitted Prochem Blazer Truck Mount High pressure and extraction hose reels complete with hoses, including wands, hard floor surface spinner 3 turbo dryers fans, 4 dehumidifiers, MMs Plus, Sebo vac and duo, Rotary scrubber, plus lots of other equipment and chemicals. Plus a fully SEO website. Genuine interested parties only please. Call 01670 787185. EQUIPMENT FOR SALE Whole room downdraft dryer from Power Flite. Versatile air mover - multiple positions. Hardly used. Was: £325. Accept: £150. Victor Sprite 12" Rotory Machine. Used once. Was £855 - Accept £450. Collect from Coventry. Tel 02476 620444.

+ Allied Insurance Services Ltd: 0844 8156211 (I) + Alltec Network: 01763 208222 (C/M/F/T) + Amtech UK: 01444 232211 (C/M) + Ashby's Cleaning Equipment: 01322 227806 (C/M/E) + Asset Finance Solutions UK Ltd: 01254 584404 (FI) + Bio Productions Ltd (inc. Stapro): 01444 244000 (C) + Camberford Law (insurance brokers): 0208 315 5000 (I) + Chemdry Franchising Ltd: 01482 872770 (C/M/Fr) + Chemspec Europe Ltd: 01274 597333 (C/M/T/D/F) + Cleanerswarehouse Ltd: 01772 434333 (T/C/R/M) + Cleaning Systems UK: 01334 656787 (C/M/T/F) + Cleanpro Software Solutions Ltd: 01582 518467 + Cleansmart Ltd: 0115 8240034 (T/C/R/M/K) + Cleantec Innovation Ltd: 0870 733 7733 (T/C/W/M) + Columbus Cleaning Machines Ltd: 01772 426527 (M) + Dri-Eaz Products Ltd: 01908 611211 (C/M/T) + Dry Fusion UK Ltd: 01772 433711 (C/M/T/W/Fr) + Forum of Private Business: 01565 634467 + Get Booked Up Software: 01405 813665 + Gleaming Insurance (insurance brokers): 0845 4740068 (I) + Hi-Tec Cleaning Group: 02866 341416 (C/E/F/M/T) + Host Von Schrader Ltd: 0151 347 1900 (M/C) + Hydro Dynamix: 01622 664993 (Fr)T) + Mailboxes Etc: 01628 633336 + McGregor Lloyd (insurance brokers): 0121 706 0616 (I) + NSL Restormate: 01670 590099: (M/C/Tr) + Nu Life Stone Care Ltd: 0161 480 7284 (M/C) + Oates Laboratories (Europe): 01772 433711 (C) + Prochem Europe Ltd: 0208 974 1515 (C/F/M/T) + Rainbow International: 01623 422488 (M/C/Fr) + Restoration Express: 01252 726106 (M/C/T/A) + Robert Saunders Marketing Mentor: 08450 537129 (K) + Sebo UK Ltd: 01494 465533 (M) + ServiceMaster Ltd: 0116 275 9000 (M/C/Fr) + Stainshield Ltd: 01372 841467 (C)

The Association advises that all goods are checked to be in a satisfactory condition, and comply to electrical and health and safety standards, etc. It is recommended that equipment serial numbers should be checked to ensure the seller is the legitimate owner. The Association accepts no responsibility or liability arising from any transaction or dispute between the buyer and seller.


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+ Textile Cleaning Solutions: 01934 521155 (M/C) + The Big Clean: 0208 3934778 (M,C,W,K) + The Ultimate Floor Sanding Co.: 00353 91846488 (M/C/Fr) + The WoolSafe Organisation: 01943 850817 + Truvox International Ltd: 02380 702200 (M) + Worldwide Cleaning Support: 01279 422220 (C/M) C - Chemicals / M - Machinery / W - Wholesalers / Fr - Franchises / I - Insurance / K - Marketing / T - Technical Services / F - Fire Retardents / A - Auxiliary Services (Restoration Cleaners) / E Supply/Repair of Curtains and Blinds / Fi - Finance / Tr - Training.

Chemtreat PLUS - Order yours now! Order Chemtreat PLUS Insecticide* before the end of December to get 10 free promotional leaflets and use of the T.I.P. logo. *You must quote your T.I.P. licence number. If you haven't got one you can qualify by e-mail for just ÂŁ25.00 plus vat. Look out next month for the editorial all about the Textile Insect Pest industry and the massive potential to increase your profits within the textile cleaning industry. Chemspec Europe, Tong Park, Otley Road, Baildon, West Yorkshire, BD17 7QD. Tel: 01274 597333 Fax: 01274 597444 E-mail: Website:

October 2013