Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 by Cleaning, Sanitizing, & Disinfecting Touchpoints & Other Surfaces

COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that has been devastating countries worldwide. Its most common symptoms include dry cough, high fever, and shortness of breath. As of this posting, all 50 states have confirmed cases of COVID-19 and many states, especially Washington, New York, and California, have been hard hit by a high number of deaths due to the virus and its side effects, primarily pneumonia.

While many organizations are having people work from home, it is imperative to continue to maintain facilities and keep all frequent touchpoints clean and disinfected as much as possible. The cleaning supplies, chemicals, and equipment available at Imperial Dade are necessary now more than ever to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and help keep everyone safe and healthy.

Cleaning or Disinfecting? Know the Differences to Stay Healthy

When it comes to cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing surfaces, many people incorrectly believe that those terms and actions are interchangeable. While all three types of cleansing are effective and necessary, they have their specific uses and should not be treated as equally efficacious.

Cleaning

Cleaning is the first step to safe surfaces. It is, by definition, the removal of dirt, impurities, and some germs via soap and water or other surface cleaners. While cleaning surfaces with soap and water does reduce the number of germs on the surface and, thus, the risk of infection, remaining germs will continue to multiply.

Sanitizing

Another step for safer surfaces involves sanitizing. Sanitizing surfaces effectively reduces the number of harmful bacteria to safe levels according to most health standards and requirements. While sanitizing does kill approximately 99.99 percent of most types of bacteria, it does not kill or remove all viruses and fungi. In the current health climate, it is best to bypass surface sanitizers and head to the disinfectants after cleaning most surfaces.

Disinfecting

For the safest surfaces, use a disinfectant. Disinfecting surfaces involves using solutions that destroy or deactivate viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms after leaving the properly diluted solution on the surface for the stated dwell time, typically 10 minutes. Imperial Dade has many disinfecting solutions for commercial use, including Victoria Bay disinfectant sprays with EPA certifications and kill claims for emerging pathogens.

Common “Touchpoints” Requiring Cleaning & Disinfecting

As mentioned above, COVID-19 is a highly contagious and infectious disease, so surfaces used frequently by many people are considered high-risk touchpoints. The majority of individuals in the U.S. carrying COVID-19 are asymptomatic, meaning that they will not show symptoms but could still transmit the virus onto surfaces they have touched or on which their respiratory droplets (through coughing or sneezing) have landed.

Here are a few of the most common touch that should be disinfected in commercial and residential buildings:

ImperialDade_IG 

For more information regarding how to best prevent the spread of COVID-19, review Imperial Dade’s recent posts or contact your local branch today and ask to speak to a chemical specialist. Visit www.imperialdade.com/locations to find a location near you.

10 Steps to Going Green!

By Vickie Holland

You may have been told to “green” your facility or “We’re going green”.  This may have immediately raised questions for you, your staff, and your customers. Where do we start? What will this cost? When does this happen? How do we know if we missed anything?

Our Greensafe Program is designed to help you understand what “going green” really means and where to start.

10 Steps to Going Green

  • Conserve Energy: Turn off computers, lights, and printers when not in use. Use LED light bulbs.
  • Implement a Comprehensive Recycling Program: Place recycling containers for ease of recycling paper, plastics, and other materials.
  • Reduce Waste: Print less paper by going digital. Conserve water.
  • Use Green Cleaning Products: Switch to third-party certified green chemicals. If possible, use a dilution control system which reduces waste.
  • Use Sustainable Cleaning Tools: Microfiber mops and dusters reduce chemical use.
  • Use Proper Matting: Control soiling near the building entrances saves time and money and protects your floors.
  • Use Green Cleaning Equipment: Select CRI certified vacuum cleaners with optimal filtration to provide best indoor air quality.
  • Use Green Towels and Tissue: Switch to  third-party certified green products.
  • Use Green Trash Liners: Proper sizing reduces waste and save money. Use liners with third-party certification.
  • Train Employees: Train employees on proper equipment use and correct cleaning procedures to reduce cost and improve safety.

If you need to meet the requirements of LEED Certification, we can help. If you need to switch your entire program tomorrow or take the first step, we can help.

Please contact your Imperial Dade Sales Consultant or visit our website to learn more about the following services:

  • Greensafe cleaning program including site surveys, consultation, and product selection
  • Cleaning chemical dilution-control systems with third-party certified products
  • EcoLogo, Safer Choice, Green Seal, UL Certified, and EPA Compliant product offerings from major manufacturers
  • Carpet & Rug Institute Green Label Certified equipment from major equipment manufacturers
  • Complete custodial green cleaning training programs

Great Training Leads to Janitor Pride

By Jennifer Jaworski

Have you thought about the impact a janitor has on a building? Properly trained janitors keep your occupants and visitors healthy with the work they do. Producing a successful cleaning operation starts with the supervisor and/or trainer. This is where your janitorial staff looks for guidance and leadership within their position. Here are some ideas to increase janitor pride in your workplace.

Properly Train Janitors

It’s important to take enough time to train correctly, including explaining all safety precautions. Give examples and answer all questions when they arise. We all know training can become repetitive and unexciting – find ways to make it interactive and fun. Additional materials should be available for staff to review on their own.

Promote Green Cleaning

The key to green cleaning success is training your janitorial staff to use effective cleaning methods that reduce environmental impact and promote sustainability. By including various resources that combine traditional approaches with new tools and practices, you can ensure that janitorial operations will be effective. Green cleaning products have also been proven to be safer for your janitors as they have fewer chemical sensitivities.

Improve Productivity

Building strong staff skills doesn’t stop after your training programs are complete. Encourage janitors to continue developing their expertise and show your appreciation for those who shine in their work. Trainers can increase the self-esteem of their janitors, leading to the improvement of cleaning quality and productivity.

Imperial Dade can help you design a training program for your cleaning staff. Contact your representative today or visit us at http://www.ImperialDade.com for a location near you. 

 

 

SAFETY CHECKLIST: 6 POINTS OF PERSONAL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT (PPE)

By Vickie Holland

Ask any employee and they will know that wearing gloves is the first line of protection in worker safety. But does everyone know that employee safety involves more than just wearing gloves?  Wearing the proper equipment minimizes exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Employers are also required to train each worker who is required to use personal protective equipment (commonly referred to as “PPE”) to know:

  • When it is necessary
  • What kind is necessary
  • How to properly put it on, adjust it, wear it and take it off
  • The limitations of the equipment
  • Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of the equipment

All PPE should be comfortable to wear to encourage employee use. It should be safely designed, clean and well maintained. Here are 6 points of PPE that are designed to limit injury exposure to your employees.

  1. FACE PROTECTION

Goggles should always be worn, and workers should also consider face shields. This is true if working near stored chemicals, large mechanical equipment, mixing cleaning chemicals or similar hazards.

  1. HEARING PROTECTION

Hearing loss is becoming one of the most common occupational health hazards in a variety of industries, including professional cleaning. OSHA requires ear plugs/coverings to be worn if workers are exposed to “average” decibel exposure (about 85 decibels) for eight hours or longer.

  1. PROPER HAND PROTECTION

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), each year more than a million workers visit emergency rooms due to hand injuries. Of these workers, 70 percent weren’t wearing gloves or were not wearing the right glove. We can help workers select the proper hand protection for a variety of cleaning tasks.

  1. BACK SUPPORT

An estimated 20 percent of all workplace injuries are injuries to the back. Different types of back belts are available to address this problem. Studies indicate that installing posters advising workers on how to work without harming their backs can be very effective.

  1. FOOT PROTECTION

Many cleaning workers go to work without giving a second thought to the shoes they wear. This often leads to an accident. Work shoes and protective overshoes are available to protect workers from slipping, falling objects, even electrocution.

  1. BODY PROTECTION

The main purpose of wearing PPE for the body is protection from chemicals, heat, sparks, infectious material or other hazardous substances during work activities. Wearing the proper protection will reduce injuries and keep employees safe. Rips, tears or other defects should be reported to the supervisor immediately and not worn by employee.

For more information on PPE ask your Imperial Dade Sales Consultant or visit us at http://www.ImperialDade.com for a location near you.  

 

THE INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT): HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO THE CLEANING INDUSTRY?

By Vickie Holland

Do you use a Fitbit or Apple Watch to track your fitness activity? Do you use a Nest thermometer or other Smart Home devices? How about a remote car starter to warm up your car when temperatures dip below freezing? If you answered yes, you are one of many people already using the Internet of Things (IoT).

IoT is made up of devices, vehicles and appliances embedded with sensors or software that can connect and exchange data. IoT devices send and receive information from devices such as your computer or smartphone. This communication enhances the performance of the object and/or provides valuable information (“Did I meet my step goal?”, “Did I turn off the lights in the living room?”, “Has the package I am expecting been delivered?”). Soon almost everything we touch will be connected.

In addition to changing our personal lives, IoT devices are already making inroads in our industry. Several manufacturers have already developed dispensers and equipment with this technology.

Here are some exciting things you can already see in the market:

  • Restrooms
    • Restrooms that are low or out of products are the number one complaint of clients and users.
    • Dashboards with real time information provide product levels in your IoT connected dispensers. Knowing when, what and where products are needed helps to take a more proactive and efficient approach to cleaning, saving labor hours.
    • Information on the traffic flow of each restroom will minimize complaints and increase user satisfaction. Higher volume can dictate a more rigorous cleaning schedule. Patterns can be analyzed to dispatch staff at peak times. Alerts can tell you about situations that need immediate attention.
    • IoT devices can support compliance monitoring by employees in health care environments (e.g., use of hand sanitizer).
    • Better real time information can provide procurement and budgeting efficiencies based on actual usage.
  • Equipment
    • Cleaning equipment is often moved around a large building or campus and is sometimes “lost.” Equipment with built in sensors allow managers and supervisors to view where each machine is on their property. This is great for large campuses with multiple buildings and large buildings or office complexes.
    • Equipment breakdowns can disrupt your cleaning program and reduce productivity. Alerts can be set to notify a manager when there is an issue in your fleet.
    • Do you know which machines are most often used in your fleet? Are they being used as much as they should? Comparing equipment usage by site and machine can identify any underutilized equipment. This information can be used in developing your cleaning plans and your capital budget.

We have just begun to scratch the surface with IoT in the cleaning industry. As this technology continues to expand, more customers will be participating in programs that will increase efficiency and save money.

If you would like more information, please contact your Imperial Dade Sales Consultant today! Visit http://www.ImperialDade.com for a location near you. 

 

High Labor Costs Impacting Bottom Line? Invest in Innovative Equipment to Lower Costs!

By Vickie Holland

Whether you are a building service contractor or an in-house service provider, your budget may be your biggest challenge. And while you could spend plenty of time “shopping” for lower supply costs, you may be missing a much larger opportunity to impact your bottom line: decreasing your Labor Costs. In the past few years, new innovative equipment has been introduced to the cleaning industry to increase productivity and reduce labor time for your employees.

New equipment is designed to increase employee productivity by working faster, smarter, and safer.

A mop and bucket are OK for small areas, but for larger areas an auto scrubber is best. Some equipment manufacturers have designed smaller scrubbers that are perfect for areas too small for an auto scrubber, but too large to cover with a mop & bucket. Scrubbers, such as the Clarke Vantage Auto Scrubber and the Windsor Recover Wet/Dry Vacuum, are excellent additions to any fleet.

Having the right equipment for the job will maximize efficiencies, allow employees time for other projects and ultimately save on your labor costs.

You may be thinking about the last time you bought new equipment that was innovative but did not provide a return on your investment. Perhaps the large auto scrubber sat idle for months and the batteries weren’t maintained. Bad decisions can lead to underutilized or improperly maintained equipment.

Features and Benefits on Innovative Equipment Mentioned

Clarke Vantage Auto Scrubber

scrubber

  • Easy to operate. Foldable/adjustable handles with control panel
  • Quickly and easily remove solution tank for refills
  • Leaves floors safe, dry, clean, and ready-to-use
  • Battery Charger saves time and increases productivity
  • Easily transport up and down steps or ramps
  • Integrated squeegees allow forward or backward cleaning

Windsor Recover Wet/Dry Vacuum

vac

  • Ideal for wet or dry-cleaning tasks
  • Designed for ease of operation and heavy use
  • Equipped with on-board tool storage compartment
  • Features built-in handle and transport wheels

We can schedule time to tour your facility and learn your cleaning procedures. Our expert Sales Consultants can recommend the best equipment based on your needs.

Visit us at http://www.ImperialDade.com for more information and a location near you.

 

 

The Power of Electrostatic Cleaning

By Laura Craven

In his career, John Thomas has been a microbiologist, high school chemistry teacher, product marketer for leading chemical companies such as Ecolab, and is now leading the Health and Wellness initiatives for the Philip Rosenau Division of Imperial Dade.

LC: Tell me about Philip Rosenau’s experiences with No Touch Disinfection.

JT: The Philip Rosenau Company started looking at different approaches to environmental disinfection almost 10 years ago when the use of electrostatic spraying was being introduced into the cleaning industry.  At that time facilities were trying to react to infection threats using the same manual cleaning and disinfection practices that had been in place for decades.  We knew that there had to be a better method and electrostatic technology offered an improved method for applying disinfectants to all of the commonly touched surfaces in any given environment.

LC: What is electrostatic spraying technology?

JT: The basic concept of electrostatic spraying is to apply an electrical charge to the liquid particles being generated by the spray device.  This minute charge causes the particles to be attracted to the surface being coated, allowing for a full, even coat of liquid on the surface. As the force of this attraction is greater than gravity, there is a slight wrap around effect where the particles can attach to underneath surfaces and behind obstructions.

This effect is further enhanced by the process of atomization. Since all of the particles are similarly charged, the particles are naturally repelled by one another.  This causes them to more freely disperse over a surface and results in improved surface coverage.

Historically, electrostatic spraying has been used for a number of applications, such as painting and agriculture and has been proven to provide high productivity with greater product economy.

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

JT: Initially, we found the claims being made could not be substantiated and that EPA label instructions for the disinfectants being promoted did not say that the products could be applied in this fashion.  Also, the demonstrations conducted by the equipment manufacturers did not show the proper technique to achieve the listed dwell times required for the disinfectant.  It was a little like the Wild West and customers were being given a lot of incorrect or misleading information.

Fortunately, we were able to work with a limited number of equipment and disinfectant manufacturers and developed a program which combined effective and convenient spray technology, an effective and safe disinfectant, and, most importantly, proper in-service training of the cleaning staff.  We now call the program No Touch Disinfection.  First introduced to our customers seven years ago, we have continuously refined the program and added products and technology that give our customers the greatest range of options to meet their infection prevention requirements.

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

JT: When working with healthcare, we need to communicate with the environmental services staff and/or health professionals to make sure that we are implementing a program appropriate to the infection threats they are facing.  This applies to an acute care hospital where the issue is an infection caused by an organism known as C diff or a LTC facility where the concern may be an outbreak of influenza.  We can then select the appropriate disinfectant, match it to the electrostatic applicator, and conduct the in-service training needed to insure effective application.

Once the area is ready for disinfection, all touch points are evenly sprayed so as to deposit a thin film of disinfectant solution over the targeted areas and then to allowed to air dry within the specified dwell time for the product.  The electrostatic effect causes the disinfectant to come into contact with all of the frequently touched surfaces, even those that are rarely, if ever, disinfected.

LC: How much faster can an area be disinfected using electrostatic spraying compared to traditional cleaning methods?

JT: It is key to understand that surfaces still need to be manually cleaned using the proscribed daily cleaning practices in place for the facility.  What No Touch Disinfection can then provide is assurance that you are effectively treating all of the commonly touched surfaces in any given area, whether it be a classroom, breakroom, or resident room.  After cleaning, a typical hospital room can be disinfected in under two minutes, a school classroom in under three minutes and an auditorium in under ten minutes – a time frame that could never be matched with manual spray application of the disinfectant.  In the end, this is a relatively small investment that provides for a safer and healthier environment.

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

JT: Many institutions serving the public are interested in cleaning for health rather than merely cleaning for appearance, especially now that most understand that part of their job is to help stop the spread of infections.  This includes all levels of education from early learning centers up to the largest universities.  For example, we have a number of public school districts and colleges using No Touch Disinfection to control the spread of infections like Norovirus and the flu.

Likewise, large LTC and continuing care retirement communities are our customers.  For offices and other public spaces, some building service contractors are offering No Touch Disinfection as an add-on option when employee absenteeism increases.  The list can go on and on.

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

JT: The challenges facing those responsible for providing a clean and healthy environment are those they have always faced – time, staff, budget, and training.  This is where No Touch Disinfection, in combination with an effective facility hygiene plan, can help them get the most out of the resources that they do have.  It always comes down to making sure that you are using the correct products for the task at hand, the most up-to-date tools available, and providing the proper instruction and knowledge.  This is how No Touch Disinfection can make a difference.

Imperial Dade’s subject matter experts are available to consult with your organization about the latest cleaning technologies. Visit http://www.imperialdade.com for more information and a location near you.