As so many of you are aware the rustle of leaves on the ground and the occasional snowflake in the air signals the start of the cold and flu Season. A Performance-Q-base contractor is always prepared as they subscribe to the philosophy that cleaning is designed to meet four basic principles:
- Preservation of Assets
It is no accident that the most important outcome of professionally organized cleaning and sanitation practices is to promote a healthy environment. I have been reviewing commercial sites for over twenty years and see some rather scary appearance factors that do not support the philosophy described above. When I make my quality reviews on site I am looking for the presence of any soil load that will trigger a deduction from a perfect score. The components within any space I review are weighed depending on the significance of the Area type and the significance of the Building System reviewed. The weights change slightly from client to client but remain rather constant in high-risk environments of possible contamination Area Types such as; Restrooms, Locker Rooms and Food Prep and Dining areas. Although these are the most recognized areas of potential contamination that my not directly lead to illness, the cold or the flu, they have the potential of lowering one’s immune system allowing more dangerous pathogens like viruses to infect the body. There are many surfaces and components of a facility that are suspect to cross contamination leading to personal illness. The following list are my favorites and are part of my routine review process with a heightened focus during the late fall and winter months. I just gave you a hint and if I am due at your facility soon, you can bet that this list should be on your “Let’s Do” list for sure. The Top 20 Touch Surfaces, not in any specific order are:
- Elevator call buttons and interior car control panels
- Door and window hardware (door knobs, pulls, and panic bars)
- Toilet flush handles
- Toilet seat (underside where seat is raised by hand)
- Urinal Flush Handles
- Sink Faucets
- Privacy and Urinal Partitions (especially locking latches)
- Paper and Soap Dispensers
- Shower and Tub Mixing Valves, Faucets and Drain Levers
- Push Door on Waste Containers
- Remote Control Devices, Phone Keypads and Handsets
- Hand Dryer Air Vents, discharge Throats and Controls
- Dining Tables, Seating Backs and Chair Arms
- Light and dimmer Switches
- Vending Selection Pads and Retrieval Bays
- Cafeteria Trays (Dietary Service Responsibility)
- Locker Door Latches
- Water Fountain Controls, Mouth Piece and Hood
- Community Computer Keypads and Touch Screens
- Stairwell Handrails
Most of these contact surfaces should be in your routine service protocols, having them in the program does not insure that the service and best Practices executed are rendering these surfaces safe. Take a few moments to reorient yourself to you assignments, training and more importantly internal Quality Measurement process. These twenty items are not the sexiest or gratifying when serviced correctly as say a freshly finished tile floor at 12.0µ. However, you will provide your staff and your customers with a healthy environment free of pathogenic growth and cross contamination – not to mention lost points from my next review process.
I think contact surface #21 is in someone’s future:
Premier Facility Solutions is currently working with a global leader in Five Star Hotel and Hospitality Quality Assurance Software and is moving toward the ability of providing each member site in the Performance-Q-base Network with a quality measurement tool that is the exact replica of the System currently being used during our inspection processes. Premier Facility Solutions will be looking for a couple of test sites for the software, which will work on a Smartphone or iPad, allowing for paperless documentation and report generation. It is estimated that within 60 days the software will become available. I am sure this will peak your interest and provide you with an internal tool that will eventually replace my cheerful visits – just kidding.
T.E.A.M. WATCH FOR DETAILS IN NEXT ISSUE
As a result of increased OSHA site visits to facilities of higher education I am seeing a rise in business inquiry and training proposals. There appears to be a pattern of four violations that are being documented by the field Teams and substantial fines are being levied. The four common violations include:
- Incomplete labeling of chemical products in Ready to Use (RTU) containers
- MSDS Stations that are not specific to site inventory, language of employee and present in adequate locations
- Lack of documentation relevant to chemical selection, and proper PPE’s
- Lack of Eyewash Stations with continuous flow capabilities.
Many of these violations are straightforward but I wanted to take a moment to discuss the last item, Eyewash Stations. Many facilities of higher education are in a false sense of security when it comes to proper eyewash stations. Many feel the ones available at the laboratory building or the portable eyewash bottles will suffice. The fact is that OSHA does not set the recommendation for the presence of an eyewash station, this jurisdiction falls under the American standards National Institute (ASNI). Federal Registry Code 29 CFR 1910.1000 The American Standards National Institute determine the need for an eyewash station based on risk criteria and OSHA will penalize and fine the facility if the criteria is present and the station is not installed. The criteria states that in the Janitorial Department if products or coatings are present and the MSDS sheet indicates under “First Aid Administered” “Eye Contact- flush for 15 minutes with fresh water source” then the space in which these products are inventoried, distilled to Ready To Use (RTU) and dispensed in cleaning, a continuous flow eyewash station is required. The fine for each location void of compliance can be $1800.00 per. Green inventories are not exempt as some do require continuous eye flushing for a period of 15 minutes. Managing where and how many locations these products are in your facility will allow you to achieve compliance in an economical manner.