Team Clean, Inc.Team Clean, Inc.
Quality Assurance

The Importance of Quality Assurance Program in Janitorial Services

When selecting any partner/vendor for your custodial and janitorial needs, a key factor is that company’s Quality Assurance program.  You need to find a partner that has a cleaning system engineered to consistently produce a sanitary and healthy environment, whether the commercial facility is a school, public building, multi-tenant residence or office, business or industrial location.

Quality control is a large part of any facility manager’s job.  Making sure that your facility or facilities are clean, and that upkeep and safety standards are maintained, is crucial, as is discovering possible efficiencies.  There are a few benefits you should look for from a custodial/janitorial company’s cleaning system, such as a proven system of employee selection and training.  Qualified employees are the foundation of consistent service.  You need a partner that has an aggressive personnel program that finds and systematically trains employees to assure high cleaning standards.

Also, you need to find a company with technical expertise.  Commercial cleaning has moved past the “mop and bucket.”  Consistent quality requires state-of-the-art equipment, supplies, and compliance with Federal, State and local standards and regulations.  A good commercial cleaning company needs an ongoing technical research program that provides the right equipment, cleaning techniques, and protection.

Your commercial cleaning company should also have a robust Quality Assurance program.  Their program should include inspection reports, regularly verifying the quality of their work after the cleaning is complete. This reporting is shared with you and archived for your records.  That commercial cleaning company will also ask their customers to rate the quality of their service regularly, possibly once a month or once per quarter.  This rating provides objective feedback regarding your individual satisfaction.

A great commercial cleaning company also regularly visits your business on a regular, personal basis, taking the initiative to visit your facility (or facilities) during business hours to discuss your needs, as well as checking in on the progress of their efforts at your location.  They will have a clear and responsive contact person for you to communicate with on a regular basis, especially in case of an emergency.  They should have a way of tracking your customer communication and requests, to ensure timely completion, and be accountable with records and reviews of all categories for both management and cleaning staff to confirm consistent service excellence.

The objective of any commercial cleaning company’s Quality Assurance program should be to promote a pro-active facilities stewardship philosophy. Their inspectors should inspect, evaluate and document the appearance of your buildings. With additional information on the buildings, operations and facilities managers can plan appropriate cleaning and maintenance actions before they find the need to initiate a call.

Finding the right commercial cleaning company takes a little time, but identifying a vendor with a proven Quality Assurance program is a critical factor that will help you make the correct call.

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The Importance of Having a Clean & Professional Work Environment

Spring is nearly here, and while some thoughts turn to baseball, others think about March Madness, have you thought about some spring cleaning at work?

Take a moment right now, and give a good look around your office.  Ask yourself, when is the last time it was thoroughly cleaned? You probably have a lot of other things on your plate right now. However, it is always important to make sure that you are not neglecting the need to have a clean office.

The office is the main headquarters of your business, where your employees spend at least eight hours of their day, and where all the hard work and innovation happens. It is also the environment in which you meet with business associates and clients, whom you want to give a good impression.  If your office is dirty, messy and unorganized, it will have numerous negative effects on the success of your business.

There are many commercial cleaning companies who will provide this service for you, giving the office a thorough cleaning from top to bottom very efficiently.  There are numerous advantages that a clean office can bring.

Healthier employees is a big one — if your office space is dusty and unclean, it is much more likely to foster the spread of the flu and other diseases between your employees. The airborne dust will also cause your employees with allergies to suffer from sneezing, sore throat, runny nose and itchy eyes. When your employees feel sick because of a dirty office, they need to take time off work to recover. If they are suffering from allergies because of a dirty office, they will feel tired and irritated all day long at work, and therefore they will be less productive workers.  Keeping the office clean avoids this.  Employees who are healthy and happy are more productive and perform better work, so taking care of their health will help the bottom line of the company.

A clean and tidy office and work environment also gives your business a professional image.  A messy office can make your clients and business associations think that you are unprofessional and disorganized. They could assume that if you can’t be bothered to clean your own office, how much effort will you put into doing good work for them?  A negative first impression could cause you to lose clients, and could lose you a lot of respect in the professional world. A clean and tidy office will impress any guests and let you show off your business properly because it shows that you pay attention to the details.

Thoroughly cleaning the office means not only removing the dust and dirt but organizing files and work stations so that they are more efficient, leading to higher productivity.  Disorganized offices cause a huge amount of stress because folders, files and memos are always going missing under huge piles of paper on desks. Employee desks should be organized and clear rather than so cluttered that you can’t see the surface.  Having clean and fresh smelling air, as well as sparkling facilities, will give your employees a mental boost which will allow for better concentration and a stronger work ethic.

Once your office has been professionally cleaned, you can encourage all employees to do their best to keep spaces organized so you can continue to enjoy the benefits of a clean office.  It could be a fun way to get your team further involved in the business, and keep everyone happy and healthy.

New Clean SNew Clean Standardstandards

New Standards for Facility Managers to Prevent Legionnaire’s Disease

Are you aware of the new standards for facility managers to prevent Legionnaire’s Disease?  ASHRAE Standard 188 establishes minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for building water systems. Building owners and facility managers are now responsible for implementing Water Management Plans that will keep building water systems free of Legionella contamination.

It was passed to protect building occupants from legionellosis. The standard aims to minimize occupant risk by outlining the minimum steps required to prevent Legionella contamination of building water systems.

Legionellosis refers to two illnesses: Legionnaire’s Disease and Pontiac Fever. Both illnesses are caused by exposure to Legionella bacteria and commonly lumped under the name “legionellosis”.  The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 8,000 and 10,000 people are infected with Legionnaires’ disease every year. But it’s likely that underreporting puts the number closer to 100,000. Legionnaires’ disease is a serious concern because more than 10 percent of cases are fatal.  Pontiac Fever is a less-severe, flu-like illness that can also result from exposure to Legionella-contaminated water.

ASHRAE Standard 188 is “is intended for use by owners and managers of human-occupied buildings and those involved in the design, construction, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and service of centralized building water systems and components.”
Note that while the new standard affects various professions, building owners and facility managers will have final responsibility for building water system safety and meeting ASHRAE Standard 188 requirements.

The new standard applies to both new and existing buildings, and their associated water systems (potable and non-potable).  Per the new standard, building owners and/or management must:

  • Meet minimum legionellosis risk management requirements for building water systems (both potable and non-potable), as specified by the standard.
  • Conduct a Building Survey to identify risk-factors for Legionella-contamination and occupant exposure.
  • Appoint a team of staff to develop and implement a Water Management Program that meets risk management principles outlined in the Standard.  While the Standard outlines necessary elements of a Water Management Program, it does not require use of any specific control strategies to meet risk management requirements.

 

Five high-risk water systems features are singled out, including: potable water systems, cooling towers and evaporative condensers; whirlpool spas; ornamental fountains and other water features; and aerosol-generating misters, atomizers, air washers and humidifiers. Very specific compliance requirements are outlined for these water system features because they present a greater risk for legionellosis. If your facility has any of these features, you will want to check out both Standard 188 and ASHRAE Guideline 12.

 

If you’re looking for the standard to provide a ready-to-go legionellosis risk management plan, you won’t find it. While the standard sets out requirements for risk management plans and offers general suggestions, it does not dictate exact steps or regulations that must be included in legionellosis risk management programs.

So, for example, the standard requires building owners and managers to control microbiological activity, scale and corrosion through water treatment methods. But the standard does not require that any specific water treatment methods that must be included in legionellosis risk management programs.

Instead, the standard is meant to provide a basis for building owners to work from, so they can develop Legionella control strategies and maintenance procedures that will be effective in their facilities. In other words, the standard tells you what requirements your plan must meet, but it doesn’t tell you how to meet those requirements.

We recommend working with a qualified janitorial and custodial cleaning services vendor to inspect and identify any possible areas of concern, and developing a strategy for future preventative measures.

Spotless RestSpotless Restroomroom

Spotless Restrooms

Whether you like it or not, a restroom at your place of business is a front-line location for keeping your employees, your customers and your visitors happy.  It’s a first, last, and lasting impression that we hope will be a good impression, not something that detracts from your image.

We’ve all been in places where the restroom makes you stop and think, is this what they think is right?

There are some businesses that do not take pride in keeping their restroom area looking and smelling great for their employees and customers.  You should not take that same approach.

A great looking restroom can leave a positive, lasting impression on a customer, and being on the other side of that perspective can mean the loss of customers or a poor reputation.

We know – it’s just a restroom.  That’s true – but think how uncomfortable a terrible looking restroom makes people feel.

If you are the type of facility manager that wants a great looking restroom, there are a few simple ways to keep it looking great.

First, keep up a good stock of restroom supplies.  Hand soap, toilet paper, paper towels and seat covers are a few items that need to be replenished daily. Forget about these items and you may leave customers unhappy.

Remember to empty the trash. Nothing is worse than a trash bin overflowing. Especially with a lot of traffic throughout the day, consider checking and emptying the trash multiple times a day if needed.

Keep the sinks clean.  A lot of bacteria builds up in a restroom sink. Clean these daily to reduce risk of bacteria and to keep it looking shiny for customers.

Also, keep the toilets clean. Urinals and toilets get a lot of use throughout the day, especially with a lot of traffic. For obvious reasons, clean these daily.

And don’t overlook the restroom stalls and walls. Although these probably don’t need to be cleaned daily, restroom stalls and walls should be wiped down at least weekly.  The restroom floors are also a big issue.  To prevent long-term damage to tile, wood or linoleum, consider moping the floors daily or a few times a week.

Daily restroom cleaning can be difficult to handle on your own if you don’t have the resources. If you don’t have the internal resources, you should consider hiring a janitorial services company to clean your restrooms daily.

Commercial Janitorial Services

Protecting Your Visitors and Employees from Winter Slips and Falls

As the temperatures fall, as the weather changes and we get closer to winter, we need to recognize the conditions that will expose all of us to injuries due to slip and fall accidents caused by rain, sleet, snow or ice.

We are acutely concerned with the potential perils that visitors to our clients’ offices or facilities can face, after successfully walking during wet weather, only to slip and fall after entering a lobby or reception area because there were no “walk-off” mats or “runners” present to capture moisture from footwear.

Now’s the time to purchase and install walk-off mats and runners to protect your staff and your visitors from slip and fall accidents while visiting your facilities.  The investment in walk-off mats and runners is relatively small, when compared to the cost of litigating one major injury caused by an unprotected wet and slippery floor.

Team Clean will be happy to provide a floor safety evaluation for you.  Please feel free to contact us to help you protect your visitors and staff during the coming winter months.  And always remember to wipe your feet before you enter the building!

 

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