Zetes helps retailers tackle compensation culture with mobile cleaning app

Zetes has launched a mobile app – Cleantrak – designed to control retail cleaning and facilities management in response to the increasing cost of compensation claims made by consumers after accidentally tripping in retail stores. 

According to Zetes, the system provides irrefutable evidence to enable service-based businesses like retailers, as well as restaurants, leisure or entertainment venues and hotels, helping them to defend personal injury claims made by customers following an accident. 

Research conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has showed over 20% of all claims for compensation are due to slips and trips, which result in typical pay outs of between £3,000 and 10,000. Industries shown to be most at risk of legal costs from claims included retail, food and hospitality, warehousing and distribution, plus construction, with larger companies in particular perceived as ideal targets for no-win, no fee opportunists. 

Cleantrak is a real time cleaning management software application that monitors routine cleaning and facilities management operations to ensure they are completed properly throughout the day by capturing data for reporting. The solution, which works using Wi-Fi or GPRS on any rugged mobile terminal, helps maintenance and cleaning staff record when facilities have been checked and cleaned, providing irrefutable evidence in the event of a legal dispute, said Zetes. It eliminates the need for manual, paper-based reporting and therefore also contributes to targets to reduce paper consumption.

Currently, the frequency of what are often trivial or even false claims for accidents caused by unseen trips and falls cost larger retailers and leisure companies millions of pounds each year, said Zetes. The regularity of payouts even requires some retailers to set aside annual liability expenditure in excess of £10m to cover legal expenses and compensation claims, the company reports. Through ongoing monitoring and reporting, Cleantrak helps to reduce the incidence of accidents occurring and any resulting personal injury claims, Zetes said.

Zetes said it has worked closely with legal experts on the software solution in order to incorporate the most legally-appropriate dialogue and help ensure accident and personal injury claims can be defended, therefore reducing the size of payouts.

Cleantrak also helps control ongoing facilities management costs by identifying ways to improve productivity and efficiency levels, Zetes said.

How Cleantrak works

When cleaning personnel begin a shift, they log onto Cleantrak and receive a list of the tasks to be completed. As they go about their individual daily tasks, they are required to scan in and out of the different locations to be serviced using a small, rugged handheld computer with a barcode scanner to scan barcodes located around the store or workplace. 

All scans or completed tasks result in a date and time stamp being recorded, which provides irrefutable evidence facilities have been cleaned and maintained in accordance with health and safety requirements, said Zetes.

The solution allows a company to create cleaning schedules or cleaning tasks and to ensure they are adhered to, recording when and where something was completed. 

The software also has a multi-lingual capability to support workers for whom English is a second language, allowing them to work in their native tongues.

Easy to use, two-part system

Said to be a straightforward and simple to use system, Cleantrak consists of two parts – firstly a mobile device captures data in the store or workplace; and secondly, a web based management console allows the user to set up locations, devices, access rights and data reporting. Because data is collected across multiple locations, customers using Cleantrak can examine organisation wide resourcing levels to monitor the cleaning resources in use, for instance, creating standardised store profiles with janitor cleaning schedules across an entire network of sites, which helps to control costs, said Zetes. The solution records cleaning procedures for a variety of areas including: core and high-risk areas, reactive checks in response to spillages and instant checkpoints.

Secure hosted solution is live within days

Cleantrak can be implemented in days and is hosted at Zetes’ secure data centre, making it simple and cost effective for users, the company claims. Companies using the system pay a monthly fee, which includes all hardware, software and support services, allowing them to see an immediate return on investment and cash flow benefits.

“Many negligence claims cannot be defended because there is no data available to prove floors have been kept clean and safe, making this a big grey area,” said Shane Clifford, client solutions manager at Zetes.

“Specific reports detailing what checks were completed on a particular day in a particular location can be produced. Cleantrak takes away any doubts by providing legally binding evidence of due diligence, which can be easily retrieved from the system in minutes. 

“Because Cleantrak provides full visibility of what is happening, users can better manage cleaning processes, monitoring time efficiency or comparing throughput rates by worker.”