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Fighting Coronavirus – Can Window Cleaners Help?

Fighting Coronavirus – Can Window Cleaners Help?
14 April 2020

The Federation of Window Cleaners says that thousands have the kit needed to disinfect public areas nationwide, to aid the COVID-19 response.

The window cleaning industry wants the government to launch a nationwide rolling programme of sanitisation to disinfect problem areas in public spaces.


“The army does not have the equipment to spray disinfectant in the quantities needed and neither do local councils, but thousands of the nation’s window-cleaners do.”

–Paul Thrupp

FWC Executive Member and Director for Retail Destinations, OCS


Window cleaners could play a "major role"


The industry body for window-cleaners says that the thousands of colleagues who have van mounted, backpack or trolly water-fed pole systems have the necessary equipment to disinfect public areas.

The FWC wants the government to fund councils to pay and coordinate local window-cleaners to regularly spray disinfectant in key public outside areas, such as outside food shops which have stayed open and hospitals, in high streets and at car parks and bus, tram and underground stops.

Andrew Lee, Chairman and Safety Officer at the FWC and MD at J A Lee, said: “I think this is a great idea and a great opportunity for FWC members and the industry to contribute to the country’s response to COVID-19. I know my own company has these resources.”

Paul Thrupp, FWC Executive member and Director for Retail Destinations at OCS, said: “A national sanitisation programme employing window-cleaners could play a major role in defeating Coronavirus and saving lives.

“Other countries have launched sanitisation programmes and we strongly believe that the UK should use this approach as well.

“The army does not have the equipment to spray disinfectant in the quantities needed and neither do local councils, but thousands of the nation’s window-cleaners do.

“With the country in such a crisis, we have to think outside the box and use all the resources at our disposal to fight Coronavirus."


Sanitisation programme


David Saville, Operations Director at Principle Window Cleaning, said: ”We could provide a sanitisation programme in preparation for re-opening of sites.  It would be great for seating areas, doors, balustrades, smoking areas - any open or public spaces.”  

Scott Smith, Managing Director at Smiths Services said: “I think this is good news and a good opportunity for window cleaners to play their part in helping beat this virus.

Michael Lamont, Managing Director at Lamont’s Cleaning Services said: “It would be great if we could supply an essential service like this to help protect NHS and work towards a cleaner, safer working world.”


Is mass sanitisation of public spaces necessary?


The World Health Organisation has suggested that Coronaviruses may persist on surfaces for “a few hours, or up to several days”.  The exact time that the virus can survive is not yet known.

However, the possibility that the virus can live on surfaces such as door handles and street furniture for some time has led to large scale disinfection efforts in Iran, Turkey, China, Italy, South Korea and many more countries already.

According to the BBC, the Department of Health and Social Care has said there are no plans to disinfect outside on a large scale in the UK.


Picture: A group of window cleaners, cleaning multiple large windows

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 14 April 2020


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