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Our Standards. Your Guarantee.

By Lorcan Mekitarian, Chair of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association

Cleanliness and hygiene have never been more important than during the coronavirus pandemic. The cleaning operatives and teams being celebrated at the Kimberly-Clark Professional 2022 Golden Service Awards are testament to the professionalism and commitment of those working on the front line.

To keep workplaces, public spaces and health and care settings safe these teams needed cleaning and hygiene products fit for purpose. It should have been straightforward, but in the context of unprecedented and urgent demand, the unscrupulous made the most of the opportunity. They flooded into the market, making spurious claims and peddling faulty products. Differentiating between these rogues and credible and ethical companies is not straightforward.

With no expertise or track record, people set up businesses or new operations overnight to sell aprons, gloves, hand sanitisers and products for cleaning hard surfaces or soft tissue. They claimed expertise, knowledge and product excellence.

The UK hand sanitiser market has been described as a ‘wild west’, organisations with no relevant track record, turning to the production of alcohol hand gels.

Shiploads of products like masks and gowns have been rejected as not fit for purpose, a consequence of the increase in imported Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with fake or no CE marking. The CE certification mark indicates conformance with European Union health and safety and environmental protection directives.

There have been extraordinary claims about cleaning chemicals, including cleaning once with a hard surface sanitiser will keep a surface sterile for days. It sounds perfect, but it’s only true in laboratory conditions. New methods of application, including fogging and misting, have been described as the panacea but the evidence suggests they are more about the drama of cleaning and hygiene.

Buyers and users need to look behind the headline claims.

Our advice is simple. ‘Be cautious.’

  1.  Be skeptical about product claims. It if sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Ask for evidence to back up product claims. A reputable manufacturer will be pleased and able to show you data sheets or other relevant evidence to support the claims made for the product.
  3. Ask for the CE declaration and any other test reports to show conformance to specification. Check if the testing was carried out in the UK or Europe.
  4. Buy from a reputable supplier with a track record. Getting customer references is always a good idea.

Finally, look for the CHSA Accreditation Scheme mark.

We operate Accreditation Schemes for manufacturers of paper-based and woven, plastic-based, and cotton-based products, and for manufacturers of cleaning and hygiene chemicals. We also operate an Accreditation Scheme for Distributors of cleaning & hygiene products.

Every CHSA member has also signed our rigorous Code of Practice. It requires them to “maintain a high standard in the conduct of its business”.

The combination of our Code of Practice and Accreditation Scheme membership means every member:

  • Trades ethically and sustainably;
  • Provides quality, fit for purpose products; and
  • Makes sure what’s on the box is what’s in the box.

Our commitment to standards is underpinned by Independent Inspection. An auditor, an experienced quality assurance professional, visits every member to ensure compliance.

If you want to buy from an ethical business with a respected track record in providing good quality cleaning and hygiene products, look for the CHSA logo and CHSA Accreditation Scheme mark.

It is our long-standing commitment to standards that means we are proud to be the Gold Sponsor of the Kimberly-Clark Professional Golden Service Awards, which celebrate excellence on the cleaning frontline.

The CHSA’s Accreditation Schemes

Accredited Manufacturers:

All CHSA manufacturing members commit to making sure the labelling on every product clearly indicates dimensions and quantity, guaranteeing ‘what’s on the box is what’s in the box’.

In specific, each Scheme ensures manufacturers:

Of paper-based and woven products guarantee the dimensions and count of every product and other required information is as indicated on the label.

Of plastic-based products guarantee they are fit for purpose and the dimensions and count and other required information are as indicated on the label.

Of cotton-based products guarantee the weight, absorbency and, where relevant, the cotton content. They also guarantee the dimensions and count and other required information are as indicated on the label.

Of cleaning and hygiene chemicals guarantee the product volume and other required information is as specified on the label and fully supported by relevant test data. In addition, they guarantee the containers and plastic bottles holding the chemical products are recyclable and clearly marked with the relevant recycling symbol.

Accredited Distributors:

Each has committed to buy cleaning and hygiene products from a CHSA Accredited Manufacturer. They also guarantee cleaning and hygiene products not covered by a CHSA Accreditation Scheme for Manufacturers conforms to the clear and rigorous commitments within the Code of Practice.

For more information visit www.CHSA.co.uk or @CHSACleaning.


To have your industry news published in the pages of FMJ’s news section, Month in FM, and here online on fmj.co.uk, please send your news and image to Danny Grange danny.grange@kpmmedia.co.uk

The view or information contained within these unedited press releases, are that of the company producing it and not necessary the views of kpm.


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