Tag Archives: CleanLink

Tips to prevent illness from running rampant within your facility in 2017

Preventing the spread of illness within your facility should always be a top priority. It is especially true this time of year as colds and the flu can severely disrupt workplace productivity.

A common concern in workplace wellness is “presenteeism” – working while sick –which leads to productivity loss, poor health and exhaustion. Poor worker health and related productivity losses cost U.S. employers hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Much of this is attributable to germs being spread within the workplace.

Below are some areas to focus on to help keep the spread of illness at bay within your facility:

 

Educate building occupants on the importance of personal hygiene.

Clean hands save lives and hand washing can be a “do-it-yourself” vaccine. Frequent hand washing, especially before certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to others.

The CDC has a series of videos explaining how to properly wash your hands to help fight and avoid the spread of germs. Sending out an email communication to all building occupants with the link to these videos can help educate and remind everyone about the importance of washing their hands.

You can also include the below image on proper hand washing techniques in your email with the link to the videos. Printing this image (or one similar) and posting it in appropriate areas throughout your building can also help inform everyone on proper handwashing techniques.

Hand washing technique

It is also critical to remind all building occupants to please cover their nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing. The below graphic can be downloaded from the CDC website and shared with building occupants as well.

Cover your cough

 

Get a flu vaccination!

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that “the flu causes U.S. workers to lose up to 111 million workdays at an estimated $7 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity.”

Every flu season is different and influenza infections affect people differently regardless of health. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the risk of getting the seasonal flu and spreading it to others. In 2017, the CDC recommends using injectable vaccines. Nasal spray flu vaccine should not be used this year.

Here is the link to the CDC website with some relevant facts, the availability of flu vaccines, and several other commonly asked questions people may have with the vaccines.  

 

Install touchless hand towel dispensers and hands-free soap dispensers.

Touchless hand towel dispensers and hands-free soap dispensers

Restrooms and kitchens are two popular areas employees visit throughout the day. These are also areas in which germs are spread, especially on commonly touched items such as soap dispensers and hand towel dispensers. Installing touchless hand towel dispensers and hands-free soap dispensers is an excellent way to reduce employee’s exposure to high-touch items in your restrooms and kitchens.

 

Place hand sanitizing stations in common areas throughout your building.

Hand Sanitizing Stations

Offering hand sanitizing stations, in addition to proper handwashing stations, can help increase usage and prevent the spread of infection and illness. It is important to have alcohol-based hand sanitizers where your building occupants can easily access them. Such areas can include:

  • Entrance/lobby
  • Elevator banks
  • Work areas
  • Reception desk
  • Fitness facility/locker rooms
  • Restrooms
  • Break rooms and cafeterias
  • Conference rooms and meeting rooms
  • Shared workspaces

Do you clean or disinfect or sanitize? 

Many building occupants may commonly mistake cleaning as disinfecting or vice versa. Clarifying the difference can help greatly educate your building tenants on the importance of each, and inform them of when they are appropriate to use.

Below is a brief explanation for your building occupants clarifying the difference of cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing:

Clean – Cleaning involves using soap (or a detergent) and water to remove germs. Cleaning doesn’t necessarily kill germs, but it can lower the risk of spreading an infection by attempting to remove them from the cleaning process.

Disinfect – Disinfecting uses chemicals to kills germs on surfaces. Using a disinfectant is not the same as cleaning (just like cleaning is not the same as disinfecting). If a product is labeled as “disinfectant only” then federal law requires surfaces to be cleaned first before applying a disinfectant. Also, when using a disinfectant make sure to read the label carefully to determine how long the solution needs to be on the surface before removing.

Note: When using bleach as a disinfectant, make sure to dilute the solution and comply with state or local regulations. A recommended dilution is 1 part bleach to 10 parts of water (or 1 oz. of bleach and 9 oz. of water).

Sanitize Here is a link to a CleanLink article that provides a good explanation of sanitization. From the article:

“Sanitizing should only be applied to food contact surfaces, which is required as part of the food code… Since sanitizing does not make anti-viral claims, sanitizing offers no confidence of killing the flu or other viruses commonly found on surfaces.

…Sanitizing a surface makes that surface sanitary or free of visible dirt contaminants that could affect your health. Sanitizing is meant to reduce, not kill, the occurrence and growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi…When you sanitize, you are killing/reducing the number of bacteria present by 99.9 percent (3 log10) but doing nothing about viruses and fungus. Sanitizing is better than cleaning alone but the reduction of pathogen populations on environmental surfaces is exponentially better when you disinfect.”

 

If you are sick, do not come to work! 

This is by far the most important communication to send your building occupants. While an employee may not want to miss work for an array of reasons, it is best to have that employee stay home, rest, and telework until fully recovered. One person who comes in sick, forgets to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and touches several items throughout the building, can cause an outbreak.

Below is a short Mister Kleen video of what you don’t want to happen with a sick employee in your office. It is best to send the employee home ASAP and disinfect contaminated areas immediately.

The winter season can lead to the spread of illness-causing germs within your facility as more people spend their time indoors. Focusing on the areas above can significantly help improve your chances of preventing the spread of illness within your facility, and keep your building occupants healthy in 2017.

We hope you find these tips helpful. Should you have questions or need to consult on products (e.g. dispensers and hand sanitizers) for your building, feel free to contact us.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

5 Misconceptions of Concrete Floor Maintenance

With its affordability, sturdiness and sleek design options, concrete has become a popular flooring material inside commercial and high security facilities. While one major advantage of having concrete floors is their ease of maintenance, there are common misconceptions on the proper restoration and maintenance of these floors.

A recent article on CleanLink shares an excellent list of common misconceptions provided by the Institute for Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Such misconceptions include:

Misconception 1 – Chemicals aren’t required when cleaning concrete floors. Dirt and debris that make any floor dirty can also be found on concrete. Safe cleaning chemicals are used to break these substances down so they can be removed.

Misconception 2 – All concrete walking surfaces are the same. There are two major kinds of concrete walking surfaces: coated surfaces and polished surfaces. Depending on the material of the coating and the mechanical procedure of the polishing, surfaces may be more or less durable or prone to wear and tear. It is vital to consider the kind of surface you have before deciding on a concrete floor maintenance program.

Misconception 3 – The cleaning staff knows how to clean concrete floors. Many cleaning companies may seem like they know the proper materials and processes for concrete floor maintenance, but few have the extensive experience or training. It is imperative that you select a company that can provide the proper care of your concrete floors and have the credentials to back up their claims.

Many manufacturers recommend IICRC certified firms to care for their warrantied products. The IICRC certification cannot be purchased-it is earned through study, experience and the successful completion of formal, written examinations, and maintained by completing continuing education credits.

Misconception 4 - Concrete lasts just as long if it isn’t maintained. Concrete, just like any other surface, requires proper maintenance to maximize its longevity. The quality of the coating along with how the floor is maintained will help determine the longevity of your concrete floors. For surfaces that are mechanically polished the restorative methods used along with the execution of those methods will define how long your concrete floors will last.

Misconception 5 – The amount of soil and the type of soil do not impact how a concrete floor is cleaned. The type and amount of soil, along with the amount of foot traffic will determine the restorative cleaning and frequency that needs to take place on your concrete floors. Concrete floors should be treated no different than any other type of hard floor surface with regards to soil levels.

To read the full CleanLink article click here.

Ultimately, proper restorative care and maintenance is vital for the health and longevity of your concrete floors. A certified and trained concrete floor technician will recommend a proper restoration and maintenance program based on the type of surface and the amount of soil and traffic levels you have.

If you have a question regarding the restoration and maintenance of your concrete floors then please contact us. We are more than happy to help you protect one of the best interior investments inside your facility.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.