Monday, September 30, 2019

Employ Common-Sense Solutions to Eliminate Workplace Germs

From office buildings and educational facilities to shops and warehouses, workplaces are a hotbed of germs. With the advent of flu season, the National Safety Council (NSC) reminds facility managers and cleaning staff that simple policy changes combined with thorough cleaning methods can eliminate pathogens and keep employees healthy, Occupational Health & Safety reports.
Workplaces are the site of 2.8 million non-fatal workplace illnesses and injuries every year, with many of these from poor infection control, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As a result, businesses spend close to US$46 billion on workplace cleaning every year
Some simple solutions include enacting policies requiring workers to stay home when they are sick and making sure workspaces are well-lit with natural light, as UV light from the sun can help destroy harmful bacteria. Focused cleaning of high-touch areas, such as light switches, door handles, and surfaces in break rooms and other common areas, can keep the germiest areas more hygienic. Employers should also encourage their staff to regularly wipe down electronics, including company computers as well as personal devices such as mobile phones.

Article by Cleaning & Maintenance Management.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

5 Reasons Commercial Cleaning Clients Switch Cleaning Companies

Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” This is an old saying that does not often apply to most commercial cleaning clients because what they want is value for their money. Industry research indicates clients are likely to switch cleaning companies after the contract time expires or when they are dissatisfied by the service. Commercial cleaning providers are bound to have occasional hiccups when it comes to service delivery. This is because the human element involved in service delivery is not perfect. Most of these problems can be resolved with proper communication. However, how many mistakes are too many.
Here are 5 reasons commercial cleaning clients switch their cleaning companies

1. Your cleaning service people’s problems become your client’s problems

2. Poor communication

3. Security Lapses

4. Professionalism and training

5. Poor Quality Control

Just like every service business out there, cleaning is a service based business that relies on people to get the job done. Because of that, the biggest asset for cleaning companies is their workforce. A janitorial service that takes shortcuts in any of its hiring processes is bound to have service delivery problems. Shortcuts such as inadequate employee screening, illegal subcontracting or hiring, and lack of training and oversight, results in high employee turnover. This means new faces frequent your client’s facility resulting in inconsistent service delivery which leads to losing clients. At Cleanway Maintenance, we take pride in hiring vetted cleaning agents, and receive thorough customer service training to ensure we maintain a 100% customer satisfaction rating.
Just as earlier mentioned, a commercial cleaning service provider will always experience hiccups, in line of service delivery. However, effective communication can effectively iron out these issues. Professionally speaking, a service provider should get back to the customer within 48 hours. How else will you know whether or not you are meeting your client’s expectations if you don’t communicate regularly? The client is likely to opt for another service if they do not get prompt responses every time they try to reach out to your service. Cleanway Maintenance offers direct access to a professional cleaning service representative, as well as 24/7 phone access to answer any questions or remedy any concerns.
Security is paramount and depending on the type of company, security lapses can be a severe and dangerous problem. Do your employees often leave alarms off, doors unlocked or not properly locked? One of the major concerns for the clients when dealing with cleaning agents is the security of their premises. As such, clients will work only with companies they can trust. This trust includes being responsible for security measures. A high employee turnover is also a security risk for the client. It is usually difficult to recover when trust is breached, especially when dealing with security issues. Cleanway Maintenance keeps a close eyes on all employees and ensures they all follow proper security protocols to ensure the safety of our clients facility, equipment, and inventory.
The commercial cleaning services goes beyond cleaning the facilities. It also involves having the right knowledge and skills to get the cleaning job done well. This can only be achieved through proper training and hiring of the right people. Having unprofessional workforce is the root cause most of the other problems on this. Resulting in termination of contracts. Cleanway Maintenance provides employees with monthly, weekly and daily training and motivation, to ensure work is getting done with efficiency, excellence, and professionalism.
Most vendors deliver quality service for a while, but this quality starts to fade away with time. It may not be possible to achieve quality service always. However, the good service should not be a once in a while affair; it should be nearly always. The client needs consistent and reliable service, or else they will start looking elsewhere. Cleanway Maintenance offers customized cleaning plans to ensure the quality, expectations, and demands of clients are being met every step of the way.
Don’t entrust your facility to just anyone. Ensure you have done the proper due diligence and work with an experienced company that can provide the security, guarantee, and satisfaction you’re looking for from your cleaning provider.

Article by Cleaning & Maintenance Management.

Monday, September 9, 2019

10 Safety Considerations for Construction Clean up

Unlike standard janitorial services, construction cleanup requires attention to every surface. From drywall dust to large sawdust and paint-splatter, there’s a wide range of service to implement.
Keep in mind that initial steps involve removing debris before getting down to surface cleaning. Due to the nature of drywall dust, literally every surface has to be considered: Walls, light fixtures, and window frames and sills. In some cases, even ceiling surfaces demand cleaning. It can be a massive job.
You will probably hear the following fibs from the client whose building you are servicing:
  • Fiction No. 1: You will be the last contractor through the building. After three decades, I have yet to see this happen. Cleaning contractors typically have to clean, and then clean again after construction is complete.
  • Fiction No. 2: You have five days to complete the cleaning. In fairness to construction companies, a lot of services go into developing a building. In my personal experience, no construction crew has finished the job when specified.
  • Fiction No. 3: The area will be clear and empty for your service. This just never happens. Carpenters, plumbers, flooring installers, and electricians are all at work. Items may be left behind; cardboard boxes and pallets that shed debris are very common. After you clean around them and move them, there will be a dirty spot.
1. Floor Care
2. General Contractors
3. Timing
4. Documentation
5. Timing and Leadership
6. PPE
7. Other Safety Factors
8. Training
9. Insurances
10. Create Solutions
More than Cleaning

With these points in mind, here are 10 areas for outside contractors to consider to best prepare for a construction cleanup project:
Knowing what flooring materials you’re working on is a must. Using the incorrect process or materials can damage a flooring surface. No one wants to be responsible for creating these kinds of headaches.
Laminate flooring, luxury vinyl tile, and ceramic tile all have different care requirements. Grout will likely develop a haze during construction. This will require special attention with an acid cleaner.
One of your best choices is to stay in close and friendly contact with the general contractor. As other contracted specialists are in the space, cleaning services staff will be interacting with a lot of people. Remember that regardless of when construction is complete, your cleanup deadline will have a fixed end date and will not change.
Let’s assume the project specifications provide “five days to service the building with a crew of 10,” and the job is due on the 30th of the month; however, by the 25th, the construction isn’t complete. Most likely, the lost days that you originally allotted to complete the job will be taken from the cleaning schedule. That’s the truth.
Now, let’s say you end up with three days to clean instead of five. You now have new questions to answer: Will your crew of 10 still be able to complete the job on time? Will adding more hours to each of the three remaining days be enough? If you need to add more personnel, are they trained and available? Perhaps most importantly, are they adaptable?
A punch list is a follow-up list for the commercial cleaner after the cleanup is complete. These items can vary from a missed area to a new cleanup duty as a result of another contractor. For example, if an electrician adds a wall outlet, he will cut a hole, leaving a small amount of debris. The cleaner probably won’t miss it during the initial cleanup process, but if it was added late in the game, it will show up on the punch list as a to-do item.
For this reason, documentation is extremely important. For each shift, have the general contractor perform a walk-through with a check list of required cleaning tasks. This doesn’t mean repeat work will disappear; however, your work will be verified. Take pictures of completed areas. In the event you need to charge for additional hours, good documentation is the best defense.
Additionally, if the general contractor requests something you advise against, have them sign off on your recommendations. Should there be any issues after the fact, you will have documentation of your recommendation to back you up.
Understand that construction cleanup will require physical and mental agility. There will be surprises. If you are mentally prepared, those will become less daunting. In addition, providing strong leadership to your crew and having an open working attitude toward the general contractor can help ease tensions.
In some cases, contractors in the space will create work for the cleaning crew. Prepare your cleaning crew for this. In the event this occurs, they should know to bring the issue to the cleaning crew leader, so he/she can work it out, instead of instigating a conflict with the contractor.
Be sure your crew is familiar with all personal protective equipment (PPE) and risk factors. Note the potential existence of silica from concrete and other airborne debris, and be sure to put respirators through a fit test. This will ensure that your crew is trained and familiar with this equipment.
Safety glasses, nitrile gloves, and dust masks are a given in construction cleanup jobs (see our article on PPE). If construction cleanup is performed in the evening, bright reflective vests are also strongly suggested. Use leather gloves in the event of moving heavy equipment or pallets. Other items include hard hats, steel-toed shoes, and full-length pants.
We see a steady increase of cleaning crew members who want to listen music during their service. On sites where we perform construction cleanup, this is strictly forbidden. The ability to hear what’s going on around you is a matter of personal safety.
Make sure all staff are ready to act at a moment’s notice. Instruct your cleaning staff on the contents of your first-aid kit and proper use of the supplies in it. Last, construction cleanup is hard work – stay hydrated. This begins with training yourself and then your staff. ISSA’s Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) is excellent for these needs. You will need a plan in place to address emergency needs should they arise. When working in large spaces with high ceilings or racking, cleaning takes on a new dimension. The cleaning contractor will need to ensure that staff members have passed training for working on lifts, and tying off areas for safety tethers. Before submitting your bid on construction cleanups, speak with your insurance carrier. Some services may be outside your scope of coverage. There are options, but doing so without the proper insurances can put you at astronomical financial and personal risk. Should you have an area that’s ready before others and can be closed off, tape off the doorway and mark it as “cleaned” to signify that you are done in that space and have honored the general contractor’s request. Most importantly, remember: You’re working with people. Whether you are dealing with your crew or the general contractor, everyone is working to get the job done. Every general contractor has their own personality. Get to know who you’re working with, as positive interaction with the general contractor can set the tone for the entire service. Understanding who they are will help you complete your service with as little friction as possible.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

How to Maintain a Healthy Breakroom

Germs spread easily when people spend a lot of time indoors, in close proximity to each other. This is especially true in the workplace, where several factors combine to create a perfect storm of contagiousness: numerous people occupying a closed space, highly trafficked common areas, and, sometimes, a culture that discourages sick employees from staying home.
According to a recent survey Staples conducted of workers throughout the United States, 44 percent had the flu last season, and nearly half of those people (45 percent) believe they caught it from a co-worker. Moreover, employees report taking an average of just 2.7 sick days to recover from the flu, meaning they’re coming back to work when their disease is at its most contagious (i.e., three days after symptoms first occur).
Every space in the workplace, from a private office to the shared restroom, provides an opportunity for germs to spread. The breakroom is particularly vulnerable. Consider how employees use the space: they congregate there throughout the day; touch common objects like faucets, doorknobs and drawer handles; and their hands are often near their mouths as they munch on snacks. One ill-timed sneeze during lunch can lead to several colleagues coming down with a cold within the week.
Facilities managers can take several proactive, simple steps to stop any office outbreak in its tracks. There are many tried-and-true cleaning methods and products out there that can keep the breakroom a welcoming place while also protecting employees’ health. Here are a few tips:

Stock the Breakroom With Hygiene Supplies

Keeping hand soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and facial tissues readily available will help workers practice good hand hygiene. Make it convenient for them to make healthy choices. 

Regularly Clean and Maintain the Breakroom

Given the volume of people moving in and out of the breakroom over the course of the day, the cleanliness of the space can quickly decline. Be sure you’re checking in throughout the day to wipe down tables, drawer handles, etc., and dispose of waste including used tissues or napkins. At the end of the day, you (or a cleaning service) should fully clean the room from top to bottom with appropriate disinfectants. Communicate to your colleagues that they should be cleaning up after themselves, too.  

Procure Effective Cleaning Products

Not all disinfecting products are made equal. Some are effective against certain germs but not others, and some require more work to disinfect effectively.
For example, several types of cleaning wipes require that you wet the surface you’re cleaning with the wipe—and keep it wet—for up to 10 minutes. However, the surface may dry on its own before 10 minutes, and employees will likely need to use that table or counter during that time. Peroxide-based wipes, on the other hand, require less contact time (one to five minutes) and can be effective against a broad range of pathogens, including cold, flu, norovirus, and tuberculosis.
It’s important to read cleaning product labels to note the ingredients as well as the directions for use, to ensure the product’s safety and efficacy. In addition, never use aerosol cleaning products in the breakroom, as they can contaminate food containers and potentially make employees sick. 

Provide Education

Preventing the spread of illness in the workplace is a collaborative effort requiring buy-in and participation from everyone in the building. Facilities managers can play an important role in providing the education their colleagues need to keep each other healthy. In the breakroom, this could include posting signs describing the correct way to wash one’s hands and tips for avoiding the spread of germs, such as coughing into one’s sleeve.
Of course, it isn’t possible to completely avoid illness in the workplace; you can’t control your colleagues’ hygiene habits, where they go, and what they do outside of the office. But maintaining a clean, safe breakroom—in addition to all of the efforts that go into creating a hygienic workplace—can have a significant impact on the health and wellness of all employees, and by extension, the organization’s success and productivity.

Article by Cleaning & Maintenance Management.