Greetings, Partners in Quality Service Outcome,
Now that we have the holidays behind us, we are now in the the thick of the cold and flu season. It is recommended by the Center for disease control and Prevention that everyone takes advantage of the “flu shot” to lessen the likelihood of catching the flu, or if we do catch it, to lower the high-risk complications and symptoms that are associated with influenza.
The cold and flu season are responsible for lost time at work and study, it is estimated that the average person will lose an average of six days of productive time per year as a result of cold and flu viruses.
Facilities of Higher Education are among the higher risk populations as students usually do not eat, sleep or practice proper sanitation techniques. The fact that so many live within dormitory facilities that are poorly ventilated, humidity controlled, and in some cases poorly-cleaned adds to not only the risk of illness but also to cross-contamination of higher pathogenic strains as the Nero Virus, Streptococcus and Aspergillums.
We, members of the Facilities Management Action Team, can lower such risk and the lost time of our own staff memberships as a result of such exposure by practicing well-defined cleaning methodologies and inspection processes. The following list of surfaces should be on every housekeeper’s daily surveillance list, as they are the front line infantry of the battle against microbial warfare.
The following surfaces should be inspected, cleaned and re-inspected daily:
- Restroom entry door contact surfaces
- Partition stall latches and grab points, remember after using a toilet the door is handled prior to possible hand washing
- Manual sink faucet levers, ideally hands free are available
- Flushometer and toilet tank levers (ideally, auto-flush technology is present)
- Hand dryer air intake vents and air discharge throats (ideally paper toweling is used instead of air dryers)
- Restroom waste container cabinet trap doors (ideally a free gravity depository is available for intended discards)
- Elevator call buttons
- Elevator car control panel buttons and telephones
- All public and private phone keypads and handsets
- Building and space entry door hardware and panic bars throughout the building
- Vending machine selection buttons and ATM key pads
- Laundry appliances, folding tables and lint traps
- Locker room benches and locker interiors
In addition to protecting the campus community from these high risk contact surfaces, we need to protect our staff by providing adequate inventories of PPE’s and one of the most important factors, PROPER AND FREQUENT HAND WASHING, COMBINED WITH MODEST USE OF HAND SANITIZERS. It has been revealed that overuse of hand sanitizers is much like the over use of antibiotics: the microbes we are combating become smart microbes with higher resistance to bactericidal and bacteria static approaches.
I look forward to addressing any specific concerns you may have as we move into the most critical time of the year.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish each of you and your families the most peaceful, bountiful, and fulfilling New Year.
John M Moran, President