Monthly Archives: March 2020

COVID-19 Cleaning PPE

COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. cleaning an area with normal household disinfectant after someone with suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) has left will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people
2. wherever possible, wear disposable or washing-up gloves and aprons for cleaning. These should be double-bagged, then stored securely for 72 hours then thrown away in the regular rubbish after cleaning is finished
3. using a disposable cloth, first clean hard surfaces with warm soapy water. Then disinfect these surfaces with the cleaning products you normally use. Pay particular attention to frequently touched areas and surfaces, such as bathrooms, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells and door handles
4. if an area has been heavily contaminated, such as with visible bodily fluids, from a person with coronavirus (COVID-19), consider using protection for the eyes, mouth and nose, as well as wearing gloves and an apron
5. wash hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, and after removing gloves, aprons and other protection used while cleaning

BACKGROUND
Experience of new coronaviruses (SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV) has been used to inform this guidance. The risk of infection depends on many factors, including:
* the type of surfaces contaminated
* the amount of virus shed from the individual
* the time the individual spent in the setting
* the time since the individual was last in the setting

The infection risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) following contamination of the environment decreases over time. It is not yet clear at what point there is no risk. However, studies of other viruses in the same family suggest that, in most circumstances, the risk is likely to be reduced significantly after 72 hours.

PRINCIPLES OF CLEANING AFTER THE CASE HAS LEFT THE AREA
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
The minimum PPE to be worn, for cleaning an area where a person with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) is or has been, is disposable gloves and an apron. Hands should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds after all PPE has been removed.

If a risk assessment of the setting indicates that a higher level of virus may be present (for example, where unwell individuals have slept, such as a hotel room or boarding school dormitory) or there is visible contamination with body fluids, then the need for additional PPE to protect the cleaner’s eyes, mouth and nose might be necessary. The local Public Health England (PHE) Health Protection Team (HPT) can advise on this.

CLEANING AND DISINFECTION
Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time, such as corridors, but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids can be cleaned thoroughly as normal.

All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected, including:
* objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
* all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells

Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean all hard surfaces, floors, chairs, door handles and sanitary fittings, following one of the options below:
* use either a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1,000 parts per million available chlorine
OR
* a household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm av.cl.). Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants
OR
* if an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation, this should be checked and ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses

!Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning!

Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into waste bags as outlined below.

When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning should be used.

Any items that are heavily contaminated with body fluids and cannot be cleaned by washing should be disposed of.

LAUNDRY
Wash items in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest water setting and dry items completely. Dirty laundry that has been in contact with an unwell person can be washed with other people’s items.

Do not shake dirty laundry, this minimises the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.

Clean and disinfect anything used for transporting laundry with your usual products, in line with the cleaning guidance above.

WASTE
Waste from possible cases and cleaning of areas where possible cases have been (including disposable cloths and tissues):
* should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full.
* the plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied.
* it should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known.

Waste should be stored safely and kept away from children.
You should NOT put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known (or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours).
– if the individual tests negative, this can be put in with the normal waste
– if the individual tests positive, then store it for at least 72 hours and then place it with the normal waste

If storage for at least 72 hours is not appropriate, arrange for collection as a Category B infectious waste either by your local waste collection authority if they currently collect your waste or otherwise by a specialist clinical waste contractor. They will supply you with orange clinical waste bags for you to place your bags into so the waste can be sent for appropriate treatment.

Manufacture of Biocidal Hand Sanitiser -DEROGATION (COVID-19)

MANUFACTURE AND SUPPLY OF BIOCIDAL HAND SANITISER PRODUCTS DURING THE OUTBREAK: coronavirus (COVID-19)

Some of the UK’s existing manufacturers of biocidal hand sanitiser products have reported that they are facing significant challenges to their normal supply chains from increasing demand for the raw ingredients needed to meet unprecedented and urgent demand during the Covid-19 outbreak.

In response HSE has taken the following steps.

* DEROGATION FROM PRODUCT AUTHORISATION REQUIREMENTS FOR HAND SANITISERS CONTAINING Propan-2-ol
Article 55 (1) of the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) enables HSE, in cases of danger to public health, animal health or the environment which cannot be contained by other means, to provide short term derogations from the requirements for product authorisation.

Biocidal hand sanitiser products containing Propan-2-ol (also known as isopropanol or isopropyl alcohol/IPA), will not be required to obtain a product authorisation if they meet the relevant WHO-specified formulation II (PDF)- Portable Document Format.

Manufacturers wishing to place products that meet the WHO specified formulation onto the UK Market must contact HSE via biocidesenquiries@hse.gov.uk using ‘Propan-2-ol Article 55’ as the subject title of the email. HSE will respond quickly to request details about the products being manufactured and once provided, issue a derogation certificate.

Products should not be placed on the market until HSE has confirmed that the derogation applies to you and issued you with the certificate.

* HAND SANITISERS CONTAINING Propan-1-ol OR Ethanol
WHO does not specify a formulation for hand sanitisers containing propanol-1-ol. Therefore, although Article 55 derogations may be possible for hand sanitisers containing propan-1-ol, these will require more information from applicants to enable HSE to determine their efficacy and the risks associated with their use. Such applications will take longer to process than those for hand sanitisers containing propan-2-ol.

There is a WHO-specified formulation for hand sanitiser containing ethanol(https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf). Under the transition arrangements in the biocidal product regulations manufacturers do not require product authorisations to place hand sanitiser products containing ethanol on to the UK Market.

* RULES FOR SUPPLYING CHEMICALS FOR USE IN BIOCIDAL PRODUCTS
Article 95 of the BPR aims to create a level playing field across industry by ensuring that all suppliers of biocidal products have paid a share of the cost of supporting the active substance dossier through an evaluation process.

Article 95 requires suppliers of active substances for use in biocidal products to have obtained a letter of access to an active substance dossier, to have submitted their own dossier to the European Chemicals Agency, or to be a participant in the European Commission’s on-going review programme of active substances.

There are currently 44 companies recognised under Article 95 for supplying propan-2-ol as a biocidal active substance, including 4 based in the UK. In addition, there are currently 98 companies recognised under Article 95 for supplying the alcohol ethanol as a biocidal active substance, including 7 based in the UK.

The sources are listed on the European Chemical’s Agency’s (ECHA) searchable database: https://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/active-substance-suppliers

* NON-ARTICLE 95 SUPPLIER’S CHEMICALS FOR USE IN HAND SANITISER
During this exceptional time of increased demand due to the coronavirus outbreak, it may be necessary for hand sanitiser manufacturers to find alternative suppliers of raw ingredients to supplement those obtained via regular supply chains.

HSE’s primary concern is that safe and effective biocidal hand sanitisers are available in the UK to help protect people during the coronavirus outbreak. HSE will adopt a pragmatic and proportionate approach to regulatory requirements that relate to supply chain obligations during this period. The focus of any HSE activity by inspectors will be to ensure that products on the market are effective in combating the coronavirus and do not pose an unacceptable risk to people or the environment.

HSE would expect product manufacturers to have taken all reasonable steps to source ingredients in such a way that they are compliant with Article 95 obligations.

However, HSE Inspectors will take a sensible and proportionate approach if they come across hand sanitisers that are not strictly in line with normal BPR supply chain requirements under Article 95, recognising the urgent wider need for safe and effective products.

In making commercial decisions, manufacturers need to be mindful of maintaining high levels of safety and efficacy of the products they make available to the public and others.

* ACTIVE SUBSTANCES NOT YET SUBJECT TO AUTHORISATION UNDER THE BIOCIDAL PRODUCTS REGULATIONS
Suppliers of hand disinfectants and sanitisers should bear in mind that where the product is not yet subject to authorisation under the BPR, eg those containing ethanol, any product placed on the market must comply with other relevant legislation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and Mixtures (CLP) and other general product safety regulations.

Any workplace producing or using or storing ethanol and isopropyl alcohol must also comply with relevant health and safety regulations.

* HAND SANITISERS THAT DON’T CONTAIN ALCOHOL
This guidance relates to alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

Other active substances are available but Public Health England has advised that hand sanitisers should have 60% or higher alcohol content to be effective against the COVID-19 virus.

Further information and advice
* speak to your supplier
* contact biocidesenquiries@hse.gov.uk
* sign up to the biocides e-bulletin: https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/subscribe/index.htm
* visit the HSE Biocides website: https://www.hse.gov.uk/biocides/index.htm

(COVID-19): support package for your workforce

The Chancellor outlined on 20th March an unprecedented package of measures to protect millions of people’s jobs and incomes as part of the national effort in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

A new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be set up to help pay people’s wages. Employers will be able to contact HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages of their workforce who remain on payroll but are temporarily not working during the coronavirus outbreak. Any employer in the country- small or large, charitable or non-profit will be eligible for the scheme.

Universal Credit and tax credits will also be increased as part of an almost £7 billion welfare boost, as he outlined one of the most generous business and welfare packages by any government so far in response to Covid-19.

To ease cash flow pressures for UK VAT registered businesses, VAT bills from now until the end of June, will be deferred until the end of the tax year.

* UK workers of any employer who is placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can keep their job, with the government paying up to 80% of a WORKER’S WAGE, up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month. These will be backdated to 1st March and will be initially open for 3 months, to be extended if necessary.
* VAT payments due between now and the end of June will be DEFERRED. No VAT registered business will have to make a VAT payment normally due with their VAT return to HMRC in that period. INCOME TAX PAYMENTS due in July 2020 under the Self Assessment system will be DEFERRED to January 2021, benefitting up to 5.7m self-employed businesses.
* Additionally, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, launched at Budget, will now be INTEREST FREE for TWELVE months.
* The standard rate in Universal credit and Tax Credits will be increased by £20 a week for one year from April 6th, meaning claimants will be up to £1040 better off.
* Nearly £1bn of additional support for RENTERS, through increases in the generosity of housing benefit and Universal Credit. From April, Local Housing Allowance rates will pay for at least 30% of market rents in each area.
HMRC are working night and day to get the unprecedented Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme up and running and we expect THE FIRST GRANTS TO BE PAID WITHIN WEEKS.

UK international trade

(COVID-19): Government support for UK businesses trading internationally

This guidance is issued by the UK Government and it advises UK businesses on:
– DIT support for UK business trading internationally
– financial support for business trading internationally

1. DIT support for UK businesses trading internationally
This advice is for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It includes:
– DIT support for UK business trading internationally
– financial support for business trading internationally

DIT can support businesses by:
– providing assistance with customs authorities to ensure smooth clearance of their products
– offering advice on intellectual property and other issues with business continuity

British businesses that may face disruption due to the spread of coronavirus can contact DIT’s dedicated business support team by emailing COVID19@trade.gov.uk.
This team will discuss the challenges faced by UK businesses that trade internationally to understand how best the department can support them.

Further guidance for employees, employers and businesses is also available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-employees-employers-and-businesses

1.1 Supply chains affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)
If your supply chain has been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), DIT can help you to find alternative suppliers. The department has relationships with a global network of businesses across the world and will be able to advise you on the options available.

If you have an advisory or professional services firm that can help UK companies to find alternative suppliers, email COVID19@trade.gov.uk with the subject line “Supply chain support”.

1.2 International support for businesses involved in overseas projects
If you are operating projects in other countries, follow local guidance and speak to your nearest UK embassy or consulate. Alternatively, you can read the general advice on Overseas Business Risk in the relevant country: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/overseas-business-risk

2. Financial support for British businesses trading internationally
The Chancellor announced (17 March 2020) an unprecedented package of government-backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses, making available an initial £330bn of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of GDP. See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19

This was on top of a series of measures announced at Budget 2020, where the government announced £30 billion of additional support for public services, individuals and businesses experiencing financial difficulties because of COVID-19.

On 20 March 2020, the Chancellor announced a further workers’ support package to protect millions of people’s jobs and incomes as part of the national effort in response to coronavirus. (SEE SPECIFIC ARTICLE ON BAMA’S BLOG)
A new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be set up to help pay people’s wages; Universal Credit and tax credits will also be increased as part of an almost £7 billion welfare boost; and to ease cash flow pressures for UK VAT registered businesses, VAT bills from now until the end of June, will be deferred until the end of the tax year.

Your business may be able to get support to lessen the cost or financial effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) through:
– the business interruption loan scheme from the British Business Bank as part of the Enable Finance Guarantee
– changes to Statutory Sick Pay
– the UK-wide Time to Pay – scheme for tax payment relief for businesses and self-employed people
– an increase in the Business Rates Retail Discount in England to 100% for a year, now expanded to the leisure and hospitality sectors
– cash support to all business in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) and funding for Local Authorities in England to support businesses that pay little or no business rates because of SBRR or Rural Rates Relief
– the temporary lowering of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for Universal Credit for those who have COVID-19 or are self-isolating following government advice

2.1 Financial support for exporters
UK Export Finance (UKEF) works with banks and insurance brokers to help companies of all sizes fulfil and get paid for export contracts. It provides guarantees, loans and insurance on behalf of the government that can protect UK exporters facing delayed payments or transit restrictions.
Help from UKEF:
– if your business is facing disruption due to late payments, UKEF can help ease cash flow constraints by guaranteeing bank loans through its Export Working Capital Scheme
– if you are concerned about getting paid, UKEF offers an export insurance policy that can help you recover the costs of fulfilling an order that is terminated by events outside your control

UKEF can also support finance for overseas buyers through the Direct Lending Facility scheme, so they can continue to buy your goods and services

UKEF has over £4 billion of capacity to support UK firms exporting to China, as well as significant capacity across other markets affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to help cover these risks.

To find out if UKEF covers your region, email customer.service@ukexportfinance.gov.uk

2.2 International business travel
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers the latest advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.

2.3 DIT coronavirus (COVID-19) business support contacts
If you have questions on international trade and coronavirus (COVID-19) email COVID19@trade.gov.uk

There are DIT offices around the world that can offer advice to businesses specific to your region or country. Contact your local embassy for further information.

BAMA Innovation Day moves to Summertime!

*New date for BAMA Innovation Day 2020*

Dear All,

Although UK Government has not yet formally restricted large gatherings, a number of companies have restricted staff movements due to the COVID (19) outbreak. To ensure speakers, exhibitors and attendees get the maximum from the day, the British Aerosol Manufacturers Association (BAMA) has taken the decision to postpone its 2020 Innovation Day.
The event will take place on Tuesday 7th July still at the original venue, the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.
Patrick Heskins, chief executive of BAMA, said: “BAMA is grateful to the Royal Armouries for working so positively with us to organise another date at such short notice. We take the health and safety of our members and delegates extremely seriously, and it is with their best interests in mind that we have taken the decision to re-schedule this popular event.
“We look forward to welcoming some of the industry’s most creative manufacturers and influential thought leaders on the new date in July.”
Several speakers have already been confirmed, including Simply Breathe – Aerosol of the Year winners – who will examine the technology used in their Air for Life product. Sustainability Award winner, Triple Line Technology, is also set to demonstrate and discuss its revolutionary aerosol foam system.
The Innovation Day is open to both BAMA members and non-members and provides an excellent opportunity to network, share ideas and make new connections in the drive for sustainable growth.
Anyone wishing to attend should contact Sally Tilbury at sallytilbury@bama.co.uk, or by calling 020 7828 5111.