The FDA ruled that beginning September 2017, soaps and sanitizers will no longer be able to contain the cleansing agent, Triclosan. Triclosan was removed because it has a negative impact on health and the environment, and contributes to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance has been a concern for decades, but concern increased when an antibiotic-resistant superbug popped up in Pennsylvania early this year.
Many businesses often provide hand sanitizers in high traffic areas for both employees and customers. Hand sanitizers have become popular because they are a quick way to clean up when users do not have access to soap and water, or do not have the time to step away and wash their hands in between customers. Research has found that although these products are intended to kill bad bacteria, they often attract bacteria because their ingredients leave a sticky film on hands that traps germs on the skin. It is recommended that individuals using hand sanitizers wash their hands with soap and water after every four or five times of sanitizer use. Sanitizers kill bad bacteria but also wipe out good bacteria on the skin that are part of the body’s natural defense against germs.
Instead of using hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps, the CDC recommends using plain soap and water, scrubbing hands for twenty seconds (time yourself by singing two rounds of Happy Birthday to You), and using a clean towel to dry hands. Washing hands significantly reduces the spread of germs in the workplace by bacteria that cause illnesses like colds, flu, and norovirus.
Other ways to reduce the spread of germs through your business and protect your health is to hire a professional janitorial cleaning service to clean your business. Professional cleaning companies will disinfect and sanitize high traffic areas and target places where germs live and thrive.
It’s that time of year! Kids are heading back to school, and that means homework, bustling hallways, and germs! We’ve all heard of back to school illnesses, like norovirus, strep throat, or the flu, running rampant through a school, and the resulting high numbers of students (and teachers) absent from class.
Back to school is also the perfect time to hire a professional janitorial services company to manage cleaning at your school, preschool, or daycare. Many schools districts and education centers are hiring professional janitorial services companies to clean their facilities because cleaning companies recognize cleaning schools is a serious responsibility, they clean efficiently and effectively, and they can cut overhead. Professional cleaning also protects kids’ health, minimizes sick days for both students and staff, and ensures that your school is presenting its very best to parents and visitors.
Janitorial service companies clean and disinfect classrooms and restrooms, and pay special attention to areas that may collect germs and bacteria, such as light switches, door knobs, and desks. Special rooms like computer labs, cafeterias and gymnasiums (and gym mats!) are areas of high use and need cleaning and disinfection thoroughly and regularly. Regular cleaning ensures helps to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria that cause illness such as the common cold, flu, or stomach illness. Professional cleaning companies also will make sure your floors are maintained throughout the year and can handle seasonal cleaning projects like window cleaning.
You can also protect students’ health by encouraging them to wash their hands. According to the Centers for Disease control, regular hand washing is one of the best ways to reduce germs and prevent illnesses. Also, teach students to cover their mouths and noses when they sneeze or cough, avoid touching their eyes or mouth, and dispose of used tissue properly.
Need a janitorial service for your Dallas office or business? A long list of companies can be had with a quick Google search, but how do you know who is reputable and will do the quality job you need?
Frequently, when businesses search for a janitorial service, they don’t take the time to research and qualify candidates. This is because they are looking for a specific price point, or need someone that can start quickly. Unfortunately, hiring a company just based on these factors can often mean inferior service and frustration.
You can avoid upset if you approach your search for a janitorial service like you would a search for a new employee. Interview cleaning service candidates like you would a potential new hire; ask questions, ask for qualifications, and ask for references.
Questions. Questions to ask potential vendors should cover topics like customer service (response time, communication, and how complaints are handled), employees (how employees are hired and vetted, training, and certifications), and billing (frequency, terms, and types of payments accepted). Another area to cover with a potential vendor is insurance coverage – be sure to ask if the vendor you are interviewing carries liability and workers comp insurance.
Also, you should expect questions. Any vendor you interview should have questions for you regarding your expectations and cleaning needs.
Qualifications. Be sure to ask for any qualifications from potential providers. Such qualifications include how long they have been in business, number of clients, and any special abilities like handling hazardous waste or specific sanitation requirements.
References. Ask for a list of references. Call these references and inquire about their satisfaction and level of service. Another way to follow up is to visit their references to visually inspect them to see if the level of service is on par with your needs.
Hot tubs are a popular way to unwind or soothe sore muscles at a gym. As a result of frequent use, hot tubs can become one of the germiest places in the workout facility.
As people use the hot tub, water can become contaminated. Most facilities have posted signs cautioning against use if an individual is ill, has a rash, or has open cuts or sores, but these warnings are often ignored. If contaminated water is accidentally swallowed, it can cause infections in eyes, ears, and nasal passages. Fecal, fungal, and staphylococcus microbes are often found in hot tub water samples, and can cause serious skin infections. Skin infections are the number one reported side effect of using hot tubs according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Because hot tubs may simply smell of chlorine or appear to be heavily chlorinated, many people believe that hot tubs are germ free. While chlorine does kill most germs, it does not kill all germs. Chlorine treatment also does not sterilize the water in the tub. High water temperatures can speed up the evaporation of chlorine and other sanitizing chemicals, making it important that chemical levels be consistently monitored and maintained in order to ensure a high level of safety.
Gyms and other facilities with hot tubs should have a maintenance and sanitation program in place, or utilize a reputable, professional company to maintain and sanitize the hot tub and its equipment. This maintenance and sanitation program should include draining the tub completely in order to thoroughly sanitize the tub (including interior pipes). The maintenance program should also include the removal of any debris from drains and filters. Finally, a well-managed chemical treatment system should be established and followed at all times in order to minimize the growth of germs and minimize risk.
Fitness centers and gyms can be contaminated with germs, especially during cold and flu season. Cold and flu viruses can live on surfaces like free weights, mats, and treadmill handles for minutes to several hours. Other microbes, such as staphylococcus and MRSA can linger much longer.
In many fitness centers, sanitation is frequently left up to the customer. Patrons are expected to wipe down machines post workout. Gyms typically provide sanitizing spray and paper towels for this purpose, and although many people do take a moment to spray down the machine or mat they’ve been sweating on, they may not do correctly or thoroughly.
Because customers don’t always do the best job, it is critical that facility management establish a regular cleaning schedule. Machines, free weights, and other common areas should be wiped down several times a day with paper towels and cleaning solution, or, ideally with pre-soaked antibacterial wipes designed to kill a wide range of germs. Locker rooms and showers also need a thorough sanitizing regimen, and towels need to be washed with hot water and bleach and dried thoroughly.
Some gyms and fitness centers employ a professional janitorial service company to ensure the facility is being cleaned thoroughly, as well as to ensure safety and prevent illness. However, cleaning and sanitation usually falls on facility employees, who may not be properly trained in sanitation and germ prevention. This means that machines, mats, and common areas are likely not being cleaned properly.
Whether you are utilizing employees to clean your facility, or employing a professional janitorial services company, it is important to make sure they are properly trained/licensed, and are maintaining a routine cleaning schedule. Also, be sure they’re covering all areas of the facility – including reception, saunas, and locker rooms.