The new Meade Clinical Centre at Waikato Hospital is a modern, attractive building with wide spaces and high atriums. Like many new buildings, the design creates some interesting dilemmas for those who maintain and clean these spaces.
Since the centre’s completion in June this year, dust has built up on the external ledges of the internal walkways.
These ledges are on each floor up to level 4, and have safety glass panels that prevent them being reached from the internal corridors. The fall is up to 20 meters, making it too dangerous to work off a ladder from the bottom, and the glass panels make it impossible to reach the ledge easily from the top.
The challenge facing ISS, the cleaning company contracted by the hospital, was how to remove the dust and accumulated debris safely?
Luckily for ISS, Bob Bourner is on its payroll. ISS cleaning contract manager Neil Moselen describes Bob as “the go-to man” in the company for ideas and problem-solving regarding the cleaning equipment used at the hospital.
Bob Bourner is, in his own words, “a man who likes to tinker around with engineering stuff.” Back in the day, he had a degree in automotive engineering, and today he builds 2 metre radio-controlled warships, so sorting out this challenge was a breeze.
“Bob seized the opportunity,” Neil says. “He waited until we took ownership of our new battery-powered cord-free bacpac vacuum, then measured all the dimensions and went to work in his garage.”
It took him about a day to invent a purpose-built tool using surplus vacuum parts, PVC tubing and joiners to take all risk out of the job of maintaining a previously high hazard area. All the parts have been glued together to minimize the risk of the unit falling apart when over the safety glass.
There is additional safety from using the bacpac vacuum which has no cords and therefore no trip hazard.
Bob has made the unit adjustable to cope with the differing height of the glass on the various floors.
Neil says it is very refreshing to work with people who can think outside the square. “Bob has also developed the curved flat mop to clean the coved sections of the hospital corridors. Someone came up with the issue of cleaning the coved areas properly, so Bob has solved that problem too.”
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