Expert Interview – Safety & Savings Through Chemical Management

CMS Dispensers New LabelsFor this expert interview Laura Craven, a member of the marketing team, spoke with one of the many experienced professionals here at Imperial Dade. Lynn Miller, Orlando Branch Chemical Manager, has worked in the janitorial industry for over 35 years including 18 years with Imperial Dade.

Laura: Tell me about your role? What does a Chemical Manager do?

Lynn: I love my job as Chemical Manager. I work alongside our sales consultants, assisting them in developing solutions for their customers. For example, in one of our grocery chain accounts we created customized cleaning programs for each department. We trained their staff on proper procedures helping them maintain a clean, safe and appealing store. In addition to the hands-on training we also provided written manuals and tools to ensure that the programs were consistent across all store locations. I enjoy the interaction with both management and employees when they grasp the concepts of the training. We are helping them be more successful and that is really rewarding.

Lynn: I also love to solve problems. A cleaning contractor called me just the other day to just tell me how much time and money he saved on a very large job after installing the chemical management system that I had recommended.

Laura: Please describe a chemical management system.

Lynn: It is the best thing since sliced bread! A chemical management system, or CMS, is an automated dispensing system that controls the precise amount of chemical concentrate mixed with water in reusable spray bottles. The system can be set up with multiple products depending on the cleaning needs of the customer.

Laura: What are some of the benefits of this type of system?

Lynn: Safety is a big one. Because the mixing is done automatically, there is no “glugging” of chemicals from one bottle to the next which can pose risks in improper dilution ratios as well as spills. Some people think that if some is good, more is better. That is not true! Using too much concentrate can make the product less effective, damage surfaces and can create health risks. Everything in a quality CMS should be color-coded with corresponding product numbers and names. The system should also include instructional wall charts and manuals making it very easy to use.

Lynn: Cost is another important factor. The CMS chemicals are super-concentrates, reducing the expensive shipping of water and excess packaging.

Laura: That is a more sustainable program as well. Reduced packaging and transportation, both of which have a big impact on the environment.

Lynn: That is correct! Also, the cost-in-use is much less compared to a pre-mixed, ready-to-use chemical. For example, a quart of ready-to-use product may be $3 compared to a quart of CMS product as low as $.035. And, because the dispensing is controlled there is no waste or overuse. These systems also help prevent theft of ready-to-use products.

Laura: What types of businesses use these systems?

Lynn: All businesses that use cleaning chemicals can benefit from a CMS.  We partner with healthcare facilities, grocery stores, schools, restaurants, food processing plants, office buildings, building contractors, hotels, the list goes on and on.

Laura: What factors should be considered when selecting a CMS?

Lynn: The major considerations when selecting a CMS provider are, first, a knowledgeable consultant to recommend the correct products for each surface and provide training for the cleaning crew. The second is safe, reliable equipment and technical service.  The service technicians need to maintain the equipment on a regular basis and be available 24/7 to respond to any emergency repair needs. And lastly, high quality chemicals that are compliant with all regulations and perhaps even third-party environmental certifications.

Laura: I see why you are so enthusiastic about CMS programs! Thanks, Lynn!

Lynn: Thanks for the opportunity to share the info.

If you are interested in learning more about chemical management systems, Lynn Miller is gladly available to answer your questions and can be reached at lmiller@imperialdade.com.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Benefits of Encapsulation

By Jameka Carter

The encapsulation cleaning method has been around for over two decades, but over the years it has gained a lot of attention in the carpet cleaning industry. In fact, nearly every cleaning company offers some variation of encapsulation solutions.

Some encapsulation methods involve sprinkling a dry powder over the carpet; however, today’s better-quality encapsulation detergents are built with a crystallizing polymer that immediately surrounds or “encapsulates” the soil particles. After the carpet dries, the encapsulated soil can be removed from the carpet during the post-vacuuming process.

The AirX RX82 Soil Resistant Carpet Cleaner brings the most advanced technology to encapsulation carpet care. It has a completely neutral pH yet cleans better than other carpet solutions. It dries faster, contains AIRICIDE Odor Counteractant, and leaves no sticky residue to cause resoiling.                              airex

The encapsulation method has many benefits that carpet cleaning techs and cleaning professionals should be aware of.

If you have not yet become acquainted, here are 10 benefits of using the encapsulation method:

  1. It improves the overall appearance of carpet on a day-to-day basis.
  2. It is considered a very low moisture (VLM) carpet cleaning method that allows carpet fibers to dry in an hour or less, meaning that facilities will experience less downtime and cleaning staff can work efficiently and quickly over large areas.
  3. The equipment costs considerably less than that used for extraction.
  4. When charging by the square foot, the encapsulation method can be very profitable because more carpet is cleaned in a shorter period.
  5. Unlike extractors, there is no risk of the carpet loosening from the floor when cleaning tiles or glued carpet.
  6. Carpet extraction uses about 20 gallons of water to clean 1,000 square feet; encapsulation uses about four or less.
  7. Encapsulation avoids the possibility of wicking or resoiling. This occurs when soils remaining at the bottom of the carpet fibers travel up to the visible surface and make the stain reappear.
  8. Minimal training is required compared to using a carpet extractor.
  9. Soil recovered using an encapsulation system typically is collected by a vacuum cleaner; using the extraction methods, gallons of soiled water are discharged into sewers.
  10. It keeps the carpet cleaner for longer periods of time, allowing facilities to prolong the time between deep cleanings.

For more information about carpet cleaning products and equipment visit http://www.imperialdade.com.

9 High-Risk Housekeeping Tasks

Janitors, Custodians, and Housekeepers are amongst the highest occupational groups at risk for injury. This is due to the physical nature of their work that often involves awkward postures, repeated motions, and forceful exertion. The following is a list of high-risk injury tasks and the best practices to reduce the risk of injury and increase productivity.

By Jameka Carter

Janitors, Custodians, and Housekeepers are amongst the highest occupational groups at risk for injury. This is due to the physical nature of their work that often involves awkward postures, repeated motions, and forceful exertion. The following is a list of high-risk injury tasks and the best practices to reduce the risk of injury and increase productivity.

Share these instructions with your crew to keep them safe.

Moving Trash Cans/Carts

The more supplies loaded on the trash can or cart, the greater the force needed to push. Pay attention to uneven surfaces. It can cause the barrel to tip over. If it tips, let it go to prevent any strain on yourself.

Lifting Garbage Bags from a Trash Can

It is so easy to injure yourself while lifting heavy objects. Heavy lifting becomes more difficult when the contents of the bag have been pushed down. Use a trash can designed with vents for easier lifting and less back strain.

Taking out trash

Moving Furniture

Moving and rearranging furniture involves forceful exertions for one person. Use equipment and devices to help move furniture or call someone for help to prevent serious back injury.

Carrying Buckets

Some jobs require lifting and carrying heavy buckets. With prolonged use, a thin handle causes significant contact pressure on the hand. Avoid heavy compression on your hand by padding the handle or using a handle with a bigger diameter.

Scrubbing

A worker who cleans floors by hand uses rapid and repetitive hand movements while kneeling, crouching, or crawling. There is also sustained bending of the upper body and neck. Use knee pads if you must kneel or use adjustable long-handled scrubbers with pivoting heads to avoid extreme reaches.

Sweeping

Sweeping floors may involve awkward positions of wrists. In addition, the back and neck are often in an awkward forward bent posture. Do not bend your back. Use lightweight brooms, standup dustpans, and lobby brooms. They allow you to remain standing up straight. If needed, bend your knees, not your back.

Making Beds

Housekeepers forcefully lift and hold each mattress corner with one hand and tuck in the bedsheet with the other. Prolonged and repetitive bending is hard on your back. Do not bend your back. Instead, bend your knees and crouch briefly.

High Dusting

Reaching up while holding a duster for long periods of time requires awkward and fixed positions of the arms, shoulders, and neck. This task can lead to pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, arms, and upper back. Stand at an angle and not directly under the dusting area for improved posture.

Not Taking Breaks

Working intensely and rapidly while in awkward postures, exerting force, and struggling to keep up with workload are factors often associated with an increased risk of injury. Take breaks every two hours to allow rest and recovery from physical exertion.

cleaning people.jpeg

 

Take Back the Lunch Break

When is the last time you took a lunch break? I’m talking a real lunch break, not eating yogurt at your desk. If you’re like many people, it probably was a while ago.

A 2017 study revealed that 20% of North American workers do not feel empowered to take a lunch break away from their desks. That number increases to 37% for Millennials. Many feel they will be judged as not hard working if they do. However, the same study found that 90% people that enjoy a lunch break away from their desks report feeling refreshed and more productive when they return. 81% of workers who take lunch breaks every day have a strong desire to be an active member of their company. In summary, those who lunch are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and feel valued by their employer.

With this information in mind, our supplier partners at Tork, an Essity brand and the maker of high- quality towel, tissue, and napkin products established the third Friday in June as National Take Back the Lunch Break Day. This year, that day falls on June 21. To spread the word, Tork has partnered with Joy Bauer, a leading health authority and TV personality. Joy will be helping raise awareness and educating consumers about the mental and physical benefits of taking a break and enjoying a healthy meal away from the office.

Tork has also teamed up with fast casual restaurants including Honey Grow, Dos Toros, Shake Shack, and Potbelly, just to name a few, to encourage their patrons to come out for lunch on June 21 and share their experiences on social media using the hashtag #TakeBackLunch. Many restaurants across the country will be offering special lunch deals and creating fun experiences for their customers. For restaurants that would like to participate and activate a promotional campaign, please visit https://www.torkusa.com/brand/torktakesback/2019tbtlb for more information and downloads.

To encourage employees and their colleagues to take the pledge to leave their desk during lunch, Tork has announced a contest for employees to win a free lunch for their office on National Take Back the Lunch Break Day on June 21. To enter the contest and take the pledge, please visit TorkUSA.com/TBTLB.

The Imperial Dade marketing team will be going out for lunch on June 21. What do you say? Want to join us? You’ll find us @ImperialDade #TakeBackLunch!

Expert Interview – Online Reputation Management

A business’ reputation is a valuable asset, one that requires an owner’s full attention. In today’s online world, where opinions are a click away, this is even more important. In 2018, a reported 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends. 60% say negative reviews turn them away and 49% say they only consider businesses with at least a 4-star review. These statistics reinforce the need for online reputation management. Wanting to learn more, I met with Ali Schwartz, an expert from Yelp, at Birch Coffee in Manhattan.

LC: What is your role at Yelp?

AS: I’m the Local Business Partner on the Business Outreach Team. My main focus is to educate local business owners on Yelp’s available tools. I provide trainings for local business organizations, chapters and alliances to share tips and tricks when navigating Yelp as a business owner.

LC: How long have you been doing this?

AS: I started at Yelp 4 years ago, originally part of Yelp’s Local Sales team, consulting businesses about their advertising options. After more than 2 years there, I worked as a Marketing Assistant for a year and then made the transition to our Business Outreach team last year.

LC: What do you enjoy most about your job?

AS: Business owners are each living out their own unique version of the American dream, it’s very inspiring! This role allows me to help a group of people that continuously surprise, delight and inspire me every day.

LC: Please explain “online reputation management.”

AS: It’s having a strategy in place to monitor what people are saying about you and your business on the Internet and then taking the resources provided like metrics, reviews, etc., and making your business better as a result.

LC: Why it is important for businesses to have a strategy to manage their reputations?

AS: Taking the time to engage with customers online is so important. Not only does it show great customer service, but you have the power to monetize from having the right strategy in place. Reviews, social media, e-commerce, it’s all part of the present and certainly part of our future. Think of it this way, if a customer walked into your store and started talking about your product, good or bad, you’d answer them, chat with them, maybe try to get their business. This same mentality should be implemented for your online customers as they are no different than your offline customers.

LC: What steps should a business owner take to start managing their online reputation?

AS: When it comes to Yelp specifically, a great starting point for business owners is to first log into their Yelp for Business Owners account at https://biz.yelp.com/. This is a totally separate platform, just for business purposes. Take 15 minutes to update everything including hours, ‘about the business’ section, photos, etc. Pro tip: businesses can save time by copying and pasting what may already be on their website! Next, have a strategy in place for reviews. It can be as simple as having a hostess, manager or employee respond to reviews as they come in. Having a plan in place is necessary and important.

If you tried to do the above for every single online platform, it’d take forever! It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the online world. I like to tell businesses to pick 2 to 3 platforms where they’re confident people are taking time out of their day to seek out their specific product or service, and then focus only on those, to avoid spreading their time and energy too thin.

LC: I’ve heard of “fake reviews” being a concern. What does Yelp do to minimize this practice?

AS: Yelp is aware that fake reviews exist in the world of online reviews. Yelp is actually ranked the #1 most trusted review site. This is because Yelp has a software that’s checking the authenticity of each review. This allows us to provide reliable content to consumers as well as protect business owners.

LC: What is the most important tip you can share?

AS: My number one tip for business owners is to hug your haters. The book, Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer, is incredible and dives into how to treat every piece of online feedback as an opportunity to get more business. Highly recommended!

LC: Thanks, Ali.

AS: My pleasure, and thanks for the 5-star coffee!

If you would like to learn more about managing your online reputation, be sure to attend Ali’s seminar 5-star State of Mind at Imperial Dade’s Innovations Expo on May 1. Visit www.ImperialDade.com/Expo for more information.

 

Expert Interview – See Something, Say Something!

Expert Interview – See Something, Say Something!

Every year, 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence. It is estimated an additional 200,000 cases per year are never reported. This is a serious issue that employers need not only be aware of, but should take steps to become prepared.  While visiting Imperial Dade’s PCA division near Philadelphia I spoke to David Murray, a member of our sales team and an expert in helping companies implement workplace safety protocols.

LC:  How long have you been with PCA and what is your current role?

DM: I’ve been with the company for 8 years and I am currently a Senior Account Executive. My job is to help clients better manage their consumable supplies through quantitative and qualitative analysis. My specialties include disinfection programs, infection control, floor care, and electrostatic sprayer technology.

LC: I understand you have another area of expertise and manage a business on the side.

DM: I do. In 2011, I opened an Israeli Self Defense School that teaches a military self-defense and fighting system developed for the Israel Defense Forces. It is derived from a combination of boxing, wrestling, martial arts, along with realistic fight training. In addition to training individuals, we consult with businesses and help them prepare for situations including workplace violence.

LC: How did you become interested in this field?

DM: Personal protection and protecting those who cannot do so for themselves is something I was indoctrinated with early on in life. I have been involved in martial arts and boxing since the age of 5 and have been privileged and humbled to train with some of the world’s best instructors. I saw a growing need for expert consultative services and training and wanted to put my knowledge to work helping others.

LC: Are most businesses prepared to handle emergencies involving violence?

DM: Many businesses have certainly planned and practiced their standard operating procedures, or SOPs, for various workplace safety components such as fires, natural disasters, communication systems going down, and sexual harassment to name a few. Consider workplace safety the big picture and workplace violence one component of it. Unfortunately most businesses have a false sense of confidence in dealing with workplace violence such as unruly personnel, active shooters, and terrorism.

LC: Why is that?

DM: There are 3 main reasons I have encountered. First, the task of creating the SOPs is often assigned to someone without the experience to understand modern day threats. This is inherently dangerous and poses potential harm to the staff who entrust their lives to the company’s safety programs.

Second, the person in charge may not possess real life experience with physical and verbal indicators, de-escalation tactics, and other important aspects of dealing with violence.

Third, the SOPs albeit good or bad, rarely are drilled in real time. Instead, managers and staff may be shown a video or handed a checklist. Staff must train to deal with workplace violence, no different than a quarterly fire drill. It is better to be prepared and not need to act than to be unprepared and need to act.

LC: Should all businesses invest in educating themselves about workplace violence and implement a plan to address it?

DM: Yes. Safety is the second largest component of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. If people do not feel safe at work, they instinctively become less productive which impacts the bottom line. The sooner businesses become educated about this topic the sooner they can restore order to those who have a concern about their personal safety. It can be a tough pill to swallow, but workplace violence is not going to disappear because we disagree with it, hope it will not happen, or believe someone else will handle it.

LC: What steps can businesses take to get started implementing a program and what resources are available?

DM: The first step is to implement a see something, say something policy. No professional assistance should be needed to deploy this mindset. If something seems weird, strange, suspicious, or threatening it is important to bring it to the attention of management and it should not be overlooked. This mindset helps develop situational awareness.

The second step is to bring in a professional to conduct a threat assessment of your facility. They can design a plan that fits your unique needs versus handing you a cookie-cutter program. Some of these professionals include local police, private security firms, consultants, and certified ALICE instructors.  ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate.

LC: Any additional advice?

DM: Be vigilant; not paranoid. Since the time we could walk we were taught to look both ways before crossing the street. We were not taught to be afraid of crossing the street.

David Murray can be reached at david@pleasecallagain.net. 

Expert Interview – The Power of Electrostatic Cleaning

I met Jeremiah Gray, featured in this month’s Expert Interview, while he was demonstrating a handheld electrostatic sprayer to Imperial Dade’s sales team. This innovative system peaked my interest and I asked him to share the details. Jeremiah is the Cofounder and Chief Operating Officer of EarthSafe Chemical Alternatives.

LC: Tell me about EarthSafe and why you started the company.

JG: EarthSafe entered the cleaning industry 4 years ago. Our goal was to leverage advanced technology to develop innovative and practical solutions for the cleaning industry. We addressed the long-standing challenges in making cleaning protocols more effective at reducing illness and keeping people healthier through touchless disinfection systems that combine electrostatic spraying technology with carefully selected chemistries.

LC: What is electrostatic spraying technology?

JG: Electrostatic spraying is a technology that has been used in industry for over 50 years to more effectively and efficiently apply liquids, such as paints and coatings, to a surface by creating a magnetic attraction between the spray droplets and the surface you want to coat. In industries like automotive manufacturing, vehicle bodies on the assembly line have been painted electrostatically for over 40 years, resulting in an 80% faster time to paint a car and a 50% reduction in paint waste during the process. Given the efficiencies that electrostatics brings to industrial painting, it’s easy to see the benefits that electrostatic spraying would bring to a cleaning industry in dire need of more effective and efficient ways to disinfect and sanitize surfaces.

LC: It is! So how did you take this technology and create a solution for the commercial cleaning industry?

JG: The challenge was in developing a system that delivered the capabilities of industrial electrostatic equipment but was also convenient, easy to use, and affordable enough to be accessible to custodians, housekeepers, and infection prevention specialists across every industry. We addressed that challenge when we launched our line of affordable, battery powered electrostatic sprayers into the market in 2015. Our sprayers are not only compact and portable, but affordable.

LC: How does the sprayer work? For example, when used to clean a hospital room?

JG: To give a basic understanding of how this technology works, consider that all of the objects we interact with on a daily basis in our homes, schools, offices, hospitals, etc. have the ability to build up an electrical charge. This is the reason that a balloon, when rubbed on your hair for a few seconds will stick fast to a wall, or touching a doorknob after rubbing your feet across a wool carpet will often result in a spark. For most metals, plastics, wood and other surfaces the charged surface will most often be negative.

JG: With this understanding, our portable electrostatic spraying technology was designed to spray disinfectant and sanitizing solutions that carry a positive charge and, much like the latex balloon, will magnetically attract to room surfaces. This attraction enables the droplets to not only coat the front side of surfaces, but also bend and wrap around objects to achieve nearly complete 360° coverage. This provides far greater reach into hard to clean spaces than what’s possible with traditional cleaning and sanitation methods. Greater coverage in less time leads to fewer missed spots, and the ability to more proactively and effectively treat surfaces to prevent the spread of infections.

LC: How much faster can a hospital room be cleaned using electrostatic spraying compared to traditional cleaning methods?

JG: Our Evaclean system can electrostatically disinfect 100% of all touchpoints in a hospital room in under 3 minutes. A typical cleaning process can reach 25% of those room surfaces in 15 minutes. This results in significant labor savings. Touchless disinfection of surfaces is proven to be more effective in reducing infection rates and outbreaks. In addition, this process is easier to train and maintain than cleaning protocols that require custodians to learn complicated checklists of all surfaces in a facility that need to wiped in order to be properly disinfected or sanitized.

LC: What other types of businesses can benefit from this technology?

JG: Any industry with a need for more effective cleaning and surface sanitation would benefit. With the 2017/2018 flu outbreaks as bad as they were, schools and businesses are preparing now to better protect themselves. Sports and athletic facilities utilize our system to not only prevent outbreaks like MRSA but also eliminate the odors associated with incomplete cleaning procedures. Quick service restaurants, food processing facilities, and grocery stores face a constant challenge of maintaining cost effective sanitation programs that can prevent outbreaks of E. Coli, Salmonella, or Norovirus.

JG: For me, nothing demonstrates the challenges that cleaning professionals and infection preventionists face more than watching my son and his 3 year old friends wreak havoc on a daycare classroom. Within 15 minutes, every toy and bin is touched, hands are coughed in, tables and water fountains are sneezed on, doorknobs are grabbed, and food is dropped. Their little fingers go everywhere. Now overlay the 25% of surfaces that are typically cleaned in a classroom each day with everywhere those little fingers went and you see very quickly that your standard cleaning protocol leaves 50-75% of surfaces untouched and able to transmit germs, some of which can live for weeks on a surface. Your child gets sick, they bring it home. You get sick, you take it to the office, or hospital, and on and on it goes.

LC: Preventing the spread of illnesses in any facility is a daunting task. What are biggest challenges facilities managers and infection control specialists face today?

JG: They key challenges that most face include a lack of time, staff, budget, and training. The good news is that technology exists that provides affordable options to customers looking to utilize their cleaning staff more effectively, efficiently, and safely to better protect the public health and create cleaner, more sanitary environments worldwide. Technology on its own isn’t the solution to their challenges. It’s a tool that helps make solutions possible.

JG: The goal needs to be better cleaning coverage that provides for more comprehensive and frequent disinfection of touchpoints and room surfaces. We’ll never fully prevent people from getting sick, but we can promote better health and reduce outbreaks, not by replacing workers with technology, but by leveraging technology to make those people we rely on to keep us healthy more effective. That’s the power of electrostatics. That’s the future of clean.

Jeremiah Gray can be reached at jgray@earthsafeca.com. For more information about EarthSafe and the Evaclean system contact your Imperial Dade representative or visit www.evaclean.com.