Great Researchers May Know Germs Best…But Trained Custodians Keep Buildings Healthy
It takes well-trained warriors to deal with terrorists and it takes well-trained custodians to deal with germs.
Achieving a germ-free facility is impossible and not necessary. But, it is imperative for cleaning managers to dig into why a problem persists. The key to minimizing the risks of infection, flu, allergy triggers, etc., is to make sure that custodians remove maximum amounts of soileach time they clean. As with great warriors, quality resources and effective training are a must.
Germs are micro-organisms that can make people ill, and micro-organisms are natures recyclers. In our stomachs, micro-organisms break down food as in digestion. At the landfill, micro-organisms break down everything as in rotting or rusting. Micro-organisms dont have stomachs and therefore cannot be separated from their host (soil, food, body fluids, metal, etc.). They must stay with their hosts. Removing the host, as in washing, wiping with clean material, vacuuming, etc., removes the germ.
To try to kill all the dangerous germs in a facility using a disinfectant solution is tantamount to trying to kill every cockroach by dropping a gihugic bomb. So, why go in a direction of proven failure?
Read the label on a disinfectant product… Paraphrased, it says that the surface must be cleaned before product application. Disinfectants are designed to kill airborne germs landing on a clean surface in medical procedure areas, and not to be used as “magic” germ killers to be splashed around in blind faith. Disinfectants are NOT holy water against germs! Trying to simultaneously remove soil and disinfect can be a double-edged sword.
Why do doctors use antibiotics against germs, you ask? Because a living thing has an immune system, the doctor does not have to get every last “bad guy”. The immune system takes over making drugs to keep the “bad guys” under control once the antibiotic does the major kill.
Good cleaning practices minimize the availability of soil… Our immune systems can handle the rest.
Bottom line: Focus on removing soil and not leaving a detergent/soil residue. During flu season, add a clean water rinse step to all cleaning jobs. Make paper towels available in restrooms serviced by electric hand dryers. If hands are not thoroughly washed, hand dryers cannot provide friction to help remove soil as may a paper towel.
Electric hand dryers add to hand cleaning time. Many people will just skip hand washing all-together. Hand dryer vendors correctly stress the sanitation aspect of “no-touch” drying… But, Im stressing the reality of impatient and imprudent people during heightened health risks.
Another step: Five minutes before the end of class, have a few students pass out paper towels while they spray a small amount of a detergent solution onto each desk. Have each student wipe their desk top clean, wipe their hands well with the damp paper towel, and discard the soiled towel as they leave the room. Arriving students will get clean desks and leaving students will have less soil on their hands with which to spread germs.
From top executives down to facility visitors, the need for education on how to win the battle against germs cannot be ignored or mismanaged. Communications and custodial management personnel are invited to attend our One (1) day work shop on theArt of Cleaning. Your empowered team will have beneficial information to share with everyone.
Thank you for allowing me into your day. Please feel free to call us whenever we can be of assistance.
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