LO6 of Unit 2 – Routine maintenance and cleaning in a gym environment

Routine maintenance and cleaning in a gym environment

Learning outcomes
By the end of this section, you will be able to:

6.1 Identify cleaning resources used in a gym environment and include:

  • equipment
  • cleaning substances
  • their uses and suitability.

6.2 Describe the standard operating procedures for routine maintenance and cleaning

6.3 Identify possible hazards in a fitness environment, relating to:

  • activity areas and gym
  • people
  • physical risks.

6.4 Explain the cleaning routines and organisational standards relevant to the gym environment

6.5 Describe how to maintain the safety of themselves and others

6.6 Identify the different types of waste and how to dispose of it

Cleaning resuorces used in a gym environment

Sweating creates the ideal environment for germs, bacteria, mould, mildew, and viruses to spread. Therefore, environments and premises should be inspected and cleaned regularly.

Germ types found in gyms

  • Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph) – a common bacterium that lives on the skin and can cause a range of mild to severe infections.
  • Staphylococcus saprophyticus – a bacteria that is a leading cause of urinary tract infections.
  • Salmonella – a gastrointestinal illness with symptoms including fever, diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Influenza – an airborne virus that, when inhaled, spreads to the respiratory tract where it multiplies.
  • Rhinoviruses – viruses that cause many types of common colds and upper respiratory infections.
  • Dermatophytosis – a fungal infection of the skin also known as ringworm, tinea, jock itch (when around the groin) or athlete’s foot (when on the feet).

Hygiene statistics in gyms

A recent study by a gym equipment comparison website compared 27 equipment pieces in three gyms and discovered the following:

  • Using free weight equipment (dumbbells and barbells) contained 362 times more germs than the average toilet seat.
  • The treadmills had 74 times more bacteria than a tap in a public bathroom.
  • The exercise bikes had 39 times more bacteria than a tray from a food court.

Clean changing and gym areas directly impact membership revenues. Dirty areas quickly lead to germs spreading, risking infecting members and other users. Also, dirt and sweat cause deterioration of padded areas such as flat benches, pads on machines and rusting of weight stacks. Very unsightly. Also, dirt, grime and the build-up of sweat effects tracking and heart rate sensors leading to faulty readings. Members take it for granted that facilities are clean to use, so it won’t be long before members complain or vote with their feet if facilities are dirty. A clean and regularly inspected facility is non-negotiable when running a gym or health club.

Cleaning product types

Cleaning products include:

  1. Wipes
  2. Liquid chemicals
  3. Hand sanitiser gels

Cleaning products help protect employee and customer health and well being by removing germs and bacteria from surfaces. Many cleaning products are available, so it’s essential to use the right products for the job or emergency—for example, wiping away blood versus minimising the risk of COVID.



1: Cleaning is the act of removing substances, particles or objects from a surface area such as debris, discarded items, microorganisms, and organic matter (blood, faeces). The act of cleaning involves using soap (or detergent) and water to remove germs from surfaces physically. Cleaning works lowering the number of germs rather than killing them all. Having a lower number of germs is what reduces the risk of infecting others.

2: Disinfecting uses a potent chemical cocktail to kill germs and pathogens living on surfaces and objects. The result is a lower germ number, thus reducing the risk of infecting others. Chemical disinfectants come in various grades of strength to meet the facility’s environmental needs. Disinfectants are extensively tested due to their risk of human ingestion and, of course, killing germs and pathogens. Facilities should consider the following criteria in choosing the correct disinfectant to use:

  • Effectiveness
  • Kill time
  • Safety
  • Ease of use

3: Sanitising works on surfaces and objects, especially on the hands, to lower germ numbers.


Wipes offer a quick, antibacterial clean. Place the wipes near selected equipment and in dispensers. Wipes are versatile and used for multipurpose cleaning activities such as cleaning, sanitising, and disinfecting. Overall, a great all-in-one cleaning product.

Gym spray bottles

It’s good practice to encourage members to clean down equipment after use, especially if there is a high likelihood of sweating, such as after aerobic and repeated anaerobic efforts (HIIT sessions). Strategically placed spray bottles containing a pre-mixed ammonia-based cleaning solution is perfect for wiping away germs, bacteria, sweat and dirt.

High-strength antibacterial cleaner

Store high strength cleaning liquid securely, so it’s not readily available for general use and only available to the dedicated cleaning team to use. High strength cleaning liquid kills bacteria and viruses. The best protocol is to use it to wipe equipment and surfaces once or twice per day. Ammonia and disinfectant aerosol sprays are usually used.

Paper towel dispensers

Paper towel dispensers (usually in the form of a roll) to use in conjunction with spray bottles can be strategically placed on the gym floor for members to use. Once used, have bins readily available for members to discard towels when finished.

High filtration vacuums and floor scrubbers

To keep carpets and floors clean and clear of dirt, high filtration vacuum cleaners are used as they can penetrate carpet fibres to remove debris and germs more effectively than vacuum cleaners used in the typical home.

Hand sanitisers

Hand sanitisers instantly kill thousands of different germs and bacteria, preventing them from being transferred to a dumbbell, kettlebell, yoga mat or rowing machine. The presence of hand sanitisers will instil greater confidence in potential and current members that you take cleanliness very seriously. Hand sanitisers must be placed at the gym space entrance, especially in free weight, CV functional matted and resistance machine areas.

Antibacterial hand soap

Antibacterial soap is not the same as hand sanitiser. Unfortunately, people often confuse the two as being the same, which is a mistake. Although hand sanitiser kills 99.9% of germs, people should use antibacterial soap to wash their hands. Conditions easily spread by the hands include influenza, rhinovirus (the common cold), and norovirus. Antibacterial hand soap is commonly found in changing areas and toilets.

Protective clothing and gear

Personal Protective Equipment or PPE is, as it sounds, designed to protect people from getting hurt by providing a barrier between the environment and the skin. It’s imperative whereby employees may be in contact with hazardous chemicals.


Surgical gloves protect the hands from contact with dangerous pathogens or other substances such as bodily fluids such as blood and vomit. Other types of gloves also protect the hands from irritation or damage when using toxic chemicals. Surgical gloves should be discarded when used as they too can become germ loaded when used.

Face masks and face shields

Face masks and face shields protect people from inhaling airborne pathogens from simple activities such as talking, laughing, coughing, sneezing, and breathing. COVID-19 is an example of a super transmissible virus that kills if infected. Face masks and shields is a crucial safety strategy for anyone in close contact with people. They can also be worn when using chemicals and disinfecting contaminated surfaces.

Gym cleanliness is a priority

A regular cleaning schedule ensures that gyms do not become venues to spread germs and diseases. Cleaning schedules have to be drawn up to include when, who and what needs inspecting and cleaning. Evidence must be recorded for quality assurance and provide an audit trail.

Cleaning must be woven into the fabric of a gym business, and members expect environments to be clean. Customer satisfaction and reputation depend on it.

Standard operating procedures for routine maintenance and cleaning

All gym and health club operators have a document containing details on their operations called the Standard Operating procedures or SOP. The SOP documents every aspect of operations to open a club, including safety, maintenance and cleaning schedules.

Standard Operational procedures

Operational procedures are implemented to protect everyone within the fitness environment, including staff, clients, and visitors. Failure to understand and follow the operating procedures can create hazards. Instructors should be aware of the organisation’s operational procedures and how to comply with them. Failure to follow the operating procedures regarding the opening and closing of the facility could cause a potential fire hazard or security hazard.

Cleaning SOP

The aim/objective is:

  1. To provide a clean and safe environment for users
  2. To create the right impression

The Club’s Manager is responsible for ensuring the daily and periodic cleaning schedules are available in the SOP. Cleaning schedules typically include the following:

Daily Cleaning


  • All cardio and stretching areas
  • All resistance machines and free weights
  • Water fountains/coolers/dispensers
  • All bins
  • Floors
  • Offices
  • Walls, mirrors, doors, fixtures
  • Vacuuming
  • Windows
  • Television screens
  • Toilets, changing rooms, reception, and studios.

Equipment, including gym machines, are also logged as part of the daily cleaning schedule. Instructors and cleaning staff are expected to confirm that cleaning has been completed and to a satisfactory standard. Cleaning is part of an instructor’s role while they are on shift.

It is the duty manager who reviews the previous days cleaning evidence before signing off the cleaning schedule. Completed cleaning schedules are kept for a minimum period of 12 months.

Periodic Cleaning

General Manager’s set the minimum periodic cleaning requirements for the centre areas and equipment. Third-party vendors carry out more specialised cleaning needs. Specialised cleaning includes:

  • Air conditioning vents
  • Music System (incl. speakers and large TV’s), windows, frames, window ledges and skirting boards
  • Cleaning beneath Cardiovascular machines
  • Thorough cleaning of any matting
  • Mirrors, doors, blinds and rail wash bins
  • Under treadmill hoods
  • Cable covers

The periodic cleaning schedule will indicate the dates to clean areas and the gym. Instructors are expected to carry their cleaning duties while on shift and initial the cleaning schedule on completion. The manager usually countersigns on checking the task is completed.

Maintenance SOP

The aims:

  1. To ensure that gym operated facilities provide a safe environment for all members at all facilities
  2. To ensure that all equipment is always in good working order


Facility maintenance is usually the responsibility of the entire fitness team, who must visually inspect each equipment piece for signs of wear and tear, broken or frayed cables, general damage and overall suitability for member use. Equipment not suitable is immediately placed out of service. Typically, a “Temporarily Out of Service” notice is attached to the equipment. Also, the notice includes a description of what action has been taken. It ensures members have been informed correctly. The instructor’s next step is to notify the key people by using the centre’s reporting system involving the fault being recorded on the fitness equipment checklist. The duty manager is responsible for immediately reporting the fault to the relevant maintenance provider using a maintenance request form.

In addition, the assigned team members organise the ongoing periodic maintenance of equipment within the gym. Periodic maintenance is undertaken per the Equipment Checklist schedule.

Ongoing Maintenance


  • All Cardiovascular machines
  • All Resistance machines
  • Group Cycling equipment
  • Studio equipment

It’s essential fitness and maintenance teams refer to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for every equipment piece.

The Equipment Checklist indicates the dates and tasks required to fulfil the required additional maintenance of the fitness equipment. The Fitness Instructor will initial that the maintenance has taken place. At the end of each week, the manager reviews the previous week’s maintenance before signing off the fitness equipment checklist.

Out of Service Notices

While completing daily visual checks or periodic maintenance tasks, the General Manager would decide whether the equipment is suitable for use or not.

Should any item of equipment be deemed unsuitable for use (and agreed by the manager), then a temporary “Out of Service” notice is placed on the item of equipment, which will be dated and signed by the manager with an expected date of repair.

Equipment Checklists

When an item of equipment is put out of action, the General Manager would record the details on the Equipment Checklist and request a maintenance visit from the appropriate provider, using the Maintenance Request Form.

Each piece of fitness equipment in the gym would have an individual service record, tracking and documenting its service history.

Audit Items

1: Completion of periodic maintenance records and logs.

2: “Temporarily Out of Service,” notices on equipment. These signages are to be ordered by our Approved vendor.

Storage of equipment after use

All equipment must be stored safely in the designated areas after use and, where appropriate, per manufacturer’s guidelines. Staff must be aware that any equipment not stored correctly has the potential to cause injury.

Possible hazards in a fitness environment

Risk assessment

Risk management ensures members can exercise in relative safety—management of risks is through a risk assessment process. All gym operators conduct a workplace risk assessment. However, UK law does not expect operators to eliminate every type of risk, only to protect people as much as possible through appropriate measures. A qualified designated person carries out the risk assessment process. Conducting risk assessments ensures risks are minimised that would otherwise cause actual harm.


Five steps to assessing risks:

  1. Look for any hazards (e.g., slips, falls, trips)
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how.
  3. Evaluate the risks and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or whether more needs to be done.
  4. Record the findings and implement any necessary changes.
  5. Review the risk assessment and update, as necessary.

The principles of risk assessment

A risk assessment aims to identify who might be harmed and involves the following actions:

  • Walking the gym floor to identify the hazards or what could cause harm to users
  • Asking employees if they have concerns
  • Visiting the Health and Safety Executive website – www.hse.gov.uk – for practical guidance on where hazards occur and how to control specific hazards
  • Checking the manufacturer’s guidelines on the maintenance and safe use of equipment
  • Chemicals: they sometimes specify specific hazards
  • Reviewing the previous accident record books, as they may identify less apparent hazards


Assessing risks involves looking at the facilities normal operations and the member’s journey. Understanding the current controls in place and whether they are sufficient. Compare current protocols with good practice to identify if current protocols need updating.

Consider the following:

  • Can the hazard be taken away completely?
  • If not, how can the risks be controlled to make the hazard less likely to occur?


Gym environments change over time. New equipment, refurbishments and even extensions mean new hazards and risks appear, so regular risk assessments are needed.

The Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974, published by the Health and Safety Executive, includes all matters relating to health and safety at work, including risk assessment strategies, policies, and procedures.

Risk assessment for planned sessions

In the same manner, a risk assessment is carried out in the workplace; instructors must undertake a risk assessment before any planned exercise session with members and clients. Each environment a session is conducted needs a risk assessment, i.e. gym, studio, outside or pool. The principles underpinning risk assessment and the process is the same.

  • What are the hazards (e.g., slips, falls, trips)?
  • Who might be harmed and how?
  • Evaluate the risks and decide whether existing precautions are adequate or whether more needs to be done – if possible before the session begins.
  • Review each session.


The following five steps apply:

  1. Environment
  2. Equipment
  3. Other people exercising in the same area
  4. Planned activities
  5. Emergency procedures

The table below summarises several risks and hazards and the solutions to minimise or eliminate the risks:


Reduce the risks


Slipping due to water on the floor.

Wipe the floor before the session begins. Keep areas around hydration stations dry.


Injury to a participant due to a frayed cable.

Make regular machine checks. Put an ‘out of order sign on the machine.

Other people

Bumping into other people in the area due to lack of space to perform the planned activities.

  • Change the session or activities so that the exercises performed require less space.

Planned activities

Planned activities chosen are no longer appropriate due to a change in the participant’s medical condition. This could lead to an injury.

Choose alternative activities suitable for the participant.

Emergency procedures

Bags are blocking the door and exit from the studio.

Ask participants to move their bags and store them in an appropriate place.

What to do with uncontrolled hazards and risks?

If a hazard or risk is poorly controlled, the correct people in the organisation need to be notified. Follow the organisation’s reporting steps and document the risks or hazards stated in the organisation’s health and safety manual. In general, ensure the general manager on duty is aware of gym-related concerns.

Instructors operating services outside of the standard gym environment should report their concerns to the person responsible for the operating of the facility. Be sure to obtain the relevant contact details of the responsible person.

Cleaning routines and organisational standards relevant to the gym environment

High-touch areas are the facility areas and objects experiencing constant contact interactions, which may be overlooked during day-to-day cleaning.

Front of house

The front of the house is the term used for the gym’s entrance and reception area. It’s the first impression members of potential customer’s get on entering the building. As you might expect, perception is everything, so it’s essential it’s clean. Staff should clean the front of the house regularly throughout the day.

High touchpoint spots:

  • Door handles
  • Water fountains
  • Writing utensils
  • Scan-in systems
  • Vending machines
  • Countertops & sides
  • Front desk surfaces
  • Brochure or flyer displays

Changing and toilet areas

Changing and toilet areas need regular inspection and cleaning.

High touchpoint spots:

  • Faucets
  • Counters
  • Hand dryers
  • Door handles
  • Bin lids
  • Toilets
  • Urinal handles
  • Soap dispensers
  • Paper towel dispensers

Gym floor

Weight rooms usually have a high footfall leading to multiple touchpoints. Users of CV equipment will be sweating; the gym floor is the perfect environment to spread germs to other gym users. The gym floor and equipment should be cleaned daily and deep cleaned once a week. Gym members can play their part by wiping down equipment with a general-purpose cleaner, spray and wipe before and after each use. High touchpoint spots:

  • Barbells
  • Benches
  • Kettlebells
  • Dumbbells
  • Free weights
  • Punching bags
  • Fitness accessories (foam rollers, exercise balls, resistance bands)

Cardio machines need a lot of extra attention to the nature of their use. Also, machines may need moving to use a vacuum cleaner to pick up dust and dirt. High touchpoint spots:

  • Touchscreens
  • Machine handles and rails
  • Control panel buttons
  • Seats (such as on stationary bikes)

Maintaining user safety


Employers have a duty of care to maintain members and employees’ safety in fitness environments. Duty of care is maintained by following current UK legislation and regulations. Meaning, employers must have a solid health and safety policy to follow, such as dealing with workplace incidents and who needs training. Also included are procedures for dealing with challenging particular customer behaviours, personal security and property and guidance on lone working.


Fitness employers must provide safe and secure environments to:

  • Protect staff and customers from illness and injury
  • Protect the fitness facilities against prosecution
  • Follow regulations set out in the law
  • Protect the reputation of the organisation and loss of business.

Current legislation and regulations

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (also referred to as HSWA, the HSW Act, the 1974 Act or HASAWA) covers occupational health and safety in the UK. The Act contains the duties required for employers “to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare” of members of the public, employees, and the responsibilities they have to themselves and each other.

The act covers accidents that occur and safe activity requirements and ensures that it is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. For facilities with five or more employees, the Health and Safety at Work Act must be openly displayed and a copy of it to each employee.

To comply with the act, employers must:

  • Provide and maintain safety equipment and safe systems of work
  • Ensure materials used are safely stored, handled and used
  • Provide information, training, instruction, and supervision
  • Provide a safe place of employment
  • Provide a safe working environment
  • Provide a written safety policy and risk assessment
  • Look after the health and safety of others, such as the public

It is against the law for employers to charge employees for any measures that they are required to provide in the interests of health and safety (e.g., personal protective equipment).

Employee responsibilities

Employees have specific responsibilities too – they must:

  • Take care of their health and safety and that of other persons (employees may be liable)
  • Cooperate with their employers
  • Not interfere with anything provided in the interest of health and safety

What is an Act?

An ‘Act’ is a UK law passed by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

What are regulations?

Regulations are mandatory requirements contained within an act. Regulations set out how laws are interpreted and applied.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

Primary employer duties include:

  • Carrying out assessments of risk’ on the health and safety of its workforce, and put measures in place to reduce any risks identified
  • Appointing competent persons to oversee workplace health and safety
  • Providing workers with information and training on occupational health and safety
  • Operating a written health and safety policy

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

The main provisions of these Regulations require employers to provide:

  • Adequate lighting, heating, ventilation, and workspace
  • Staff facilities, including toilets, washing facilities and refreshment
  • Safe passageways, i.e., to prevent slipping and tripping hazards.

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

The main provisions require employers to:

  • Ensure that suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided free of charge “wherever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways.”
  • The PPE must be suitable for the risk in question and include protective face masks and goggles, safety helmets, gloves, air filters, ear defenders, overalls, and protective footwear.
  • Provide information, training, and instruction on the use of this equipment

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002

Better known as COSHH, the provision of this regulation requires employers to:

  • Carry out a risk assessment
  • Provide control measures to reduce harm to health and making sure they are used
  • Provide information, instruction and training for employees and others
  • Plan for emergencies. COSHH covers substances that are hazardous to health. For example, chemicals, fumes, dust, vapours and mists.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)

Employers are required to report a wide range of work-related incidents, injuries and diseases to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or the nearest local authority environmental health department. The Regulations require an employer to record, in an accident book, the date and time of the incident, details of the person(s) affected, the nature of their injury or condition, their occupation, the place where the event occurred and a brief note on what happened.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981

Requires employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities, and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work. These regulations apply to all workplaces, including those with less than five employees and the self-employed.

The regulations include:

  • Whether trained first aiders are needed
  • What should be included in a first aid box and if a first-aid room is required

The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996

Regulations require employers to ensure that safety signs are provided (or are in place) and maintained in circumstances where there is a significant risk to health and safety that has not been removed or controlled by other methods. This is only appropriate where the use of a sign can further reduce the risk. Employers must consider the results of the risk assessment.

Identify hazards and reduce risks

Gym owners, by UK law, must carry out a risk assessment as part of their provision. The aim is to identify the most obvious hazards and take steps to minimise them.

A typical assessment involves the following:

  1. A thorough examination of the premises, equipment, and procedures
  2. An evaluation of the risks involved
  3. Implementing sensible control measures

Keeping members and staff safe is essential as if there is an accident, the business could face a hefty fine or even criminal prosecution.

There are several measures all employers must consider:

Maintain equipment in working order: Centres must check that equipment is in good working order ready to use.

Health and safety training is necessary for all employees to include first aid training.

Supervising gym members

New members may require increased guidance. The easiest solution is to provide a facility induction. Inductions allow members to know more about using the facility, feel more confident in using the gym equipment, understand the emergency protocols when needed and provide members with information on additional services.

Emergency operating procedures (EOP)

Emergency operating procedures are the guidelines that employees need to follow when there is an emergency incident at their facility. The procedures form part of an employee’s training and development. Centres will rehearse drills and set up scenarios as part of the training.

All employees must know what to do in the event of an emergency.

Procedure types include:

Fire procedures

Guidance in the event of the fire:

  • The sound of the alarm
  • Location of fire exits
  • Location of assembly points
  • The types and locations of fire extinguishers

Major first-aid incident

In the event of a major first aid incident, the EOP details the following information:

  • Who are the first aiders?
  • Instructions for first aiders
  • What the duty rota is for the first aiders
  • Contact details
  • Reporting needs to be done and by whom.

Emergency evacuation

The EOP covers emergency evacuations by giving guidance such as what to do in the event of a fire or chemical link.

Contacting emergency services

The EOP details who is responsible for calling the emergency services, such as fire or a major first aid incident.

Theft and vandalism

The EOP must have a straightforward procedure for dealing with theft and damage to property to include:

  • Who is responsible for taking details and completing paperwork?
  • Who should contact the police?

Waste disposal

Waste is anything thrown away. The management of waste is contained in The Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994. The regulation contains a list of substances and objects that are legally considered to be waste. Waste fits into three broad categories:

  1. Hazardous
  2. Non-hazardous

Hazardous waste

Hazardous waste is waste that is harmful to human health and the environment due to its properties.

Properties include:

  • Explosive
  • Flammable
  • Poisonous
  • Toxic
  • Ecotoxic
  • Infectious

[IMAGE 1] Labels of hazardous waste

Hazardous products typically found in facilities include:

  • Acids
  • Disinfectants
  • Paint
  • Batteries
  • Electronic

By UK law, hazardous materials require clear labelling by manufacturers so that final users of the product can quickly identify them.

Non-hazardous waste

Non-Hazardous wastes are waste that does not present an immediate danger to human health. However, depending on how the waste is disposed of, it could present a danger to the environment. Examples of non-hazardous waste typically found in gyms include:

  • Plastic bottles
  • Food wrappers
  • Drinking cans
  • Paper towels
  • Glass bottles

The above waste types can be recycled and are discussed in another section.

Disposing of HAZARDOUS waste

There are four methods of disposing of hazardous waste:

  • Recycling involves reusing specific waste components. As well as reducing the need for raw materials for other products the process is beneficial to the environment.
  • Incineration is the destruction of waste material by burning.
  • Pyrolysis: Pyrolysis involves heating organic matter at temperatures between 280–850°C leading to matter decomposition.
  • Landfill: Waste is placed into the ground.

More details on guidelines for disposing of hazardous waste, visit https://www.gov.uk/dispose-hazardous-waste

Disposing of non-hazardous waste


To benefit the environment, centre’s will have a recycling policy for waste.

Recyclable waste includes:

  • Paper and card, including mail, newspapers, and magazines
  • Plastics
  • Aluminium and metal cans
  • Food packaging
  • Glass and ceramics
  • Inkjet cartridges and batteries
  • Bulbs

Lorax EPI - Signs and symbols: what do they mean?

Facilities have bins for different waste types. Plastic for plastic, aluminium cans for aluminium cans and glass for glass. Waste must be separated and placed in the correct bin.


Recycling image


Being only one cell thick, capillaries are the smallest type of blood vessel, so they’re incredibly thin. Blood pressure within the capillaries is very low (otherwise you would bleed to death), declining along their length from less than 35mmHg to about 18mmHg.

The thin walls allow oxygen, nutrients and carbon dioxide to exchange (via diffusion) between the capillaries and the body’s cells and from the body’s cells to the capillaries.


The role of veins is to carry mainly deoxygenated blood towards the heart. However, the pulmonary vein is the exception, carrying oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left atrium.

Venous pressure is low, only about 18mmHg from the venules to the right atrium. Due to the low pressure, veins have thin walls and a large lumen. The low pressure in veins means blood would struggle to return to the heart without a sufficient mechanism to aid return. Fortunately, several mechanisms assist venous return to the right atrium, which enable them to deal with low blood pressure flow. One striking feature is that veins below the heart level are lined with non-return valve structures. Once blood is pumped through the valve system, they shut, stopping any backflow of blood which would otherwise pool in the lower extremities.