I WAS glad to read that the GMB are championing the health and safety

concerns of the Cityclean workforce. In the past I have worked in the

field of heath and safety (for the city council) so I'd like to make some

observations to further help the staff.

Firstly, though their concern about catching the coronavirus by touching

contaminated surfaces is a real one, they should be reassured that this

method of transmission is a much lower risk than the direct

person-to-person spread associated with inhaling the exhaled breath of

an infected person (even a person who doesn't realise they have the

virus because they have no symptoms). The virus may survive for a

limited time on an object but it only lives and multiplies in our living

cells. It's killed by simple things like soap and cleaning wipes. I

don't know what the working practices are for crews during the pandemic,

but I assume there is some sort of "bubble" system so that people

generally work with the same people each day, limiting the number of

direct contacts at work.

I would be interested to know if that same crew

generally always use the same vehicle, again limiting their potential

indirect contact with others.

If crews are changing vehicles, I'd expect

a wipe-down of touched surfaces between users (door handles, controls

etc), much like a taxi driver should clean before the next fare.

The article made reference to the vehicles coming back from the workshop; a

similar wipe-down would again be recommended. But a deep-clean should

not be necessary unless there is a particularly high risk identified by

a risk assessment by a competent person. My car is going for MOT soon

and I won't expect the garage to deep-clean it, just wipe the controls

with a clinical wipe, even though I know that most mechanics routinely

wear gloves to protect their skin. My biggest concern for staff health

is based on the photos with The Argus article; instead of being out on

rounds in their crew "bubble", workers are shown sitting and standing in

groups in the yard, talking with co-workers with no masks or adequate

social distancing. The risk of catching Covid-19 is far higher in those

conditions than working out of a vehicle that hasn't been deep-cleaned.

Please guys, protect yourselves and your mates, stay safe and don't

spread the virus.

Dr Steve Waters