Detroit Janitorial & Cleaning Services Blog

What You Need to Know: The Flu, Cross Contamination & Janitorial Services

Posted by Mitch Hesson on Wed, Feb 03, 2016 @ 12:16 PM

flu, commercial cleaning, cleaning for health, cross-contamination, michigan commercial cleaning companyWith flu season in full swing, cross contamination and your janitorial services is more important than ever. Poor cleaning practices, a few employees coming to work ill and not washing their hands and your employee absenteeism can quickly spiral out of control. What should your commercial cleaning company be doing to protect you and your employees from the flu and other seasonal viruses and bacterial infections? And if you are searching for a new Michigan janitorial company, how can you be certain to partner with a Janitorial services company that is serious about cleaning for health?


Your First Defense Against the Spread of the Flu In Your Workplace

Don’t encourage employees to come in when sick. Rather than be a hero, this just creates a domino effect where sick employees now take others with them until your absenteeism spirals out of control. Additionally, take the time to educate and remind employees about the importance of proper hand washing. We even recommend that you post hand-washing techniques in restrooms as a reminder. You might be surprised how many people simply do not know how to properly wash their hands. The CDC advocates hand washing:

  • Before, during, and after food preparation
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for a person or people who is sick
  • Before and after treating an open wound, cut or abrasion
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage
How do you wash your hands to effectually reduce the spread of disease-causing germs?

Wet your hands with clean, running water, and apply soap.
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a guide on time? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air-dry them.

Is Your Commercial Cleaning Company Spreading the Flu With Gross Practices?

So you are doing your part but is your janitorial services company doing theirs? Are you just crossing your fingers that the rag used to wipe down the toilet seat wasn’t used to clean your desk? Have you seen the janitor at your school use the same mop and bucket used to clean the restrooms on the floor of the kindergarten classrooms? When you look at your janitorial closet is it in disarray with a dirty mop bucket and soiled rags around? Do you ever see your office cleaners wash their hands? The reality is that your janitorial service’s practices, good or bad, can have a significant impact on the overall cleanliness of your facilities and the health of the people working and visiting your building. What best practices can help avoid cross-contamination in your facility? 

  • Color-coded cleaning cloths to eliminate cross-contamination from one area to the next.
  • Focus on hot spots and touch points to remove disease-causing germs where they are most prevalent.
  • Carry out frequent mop water changes to reduce spreading germs throughout your facility.
  • Prioritize floor care to focus on those areas, like a classroom, where children or adults might be sitting on the floor.
  • Using the right products for the right job. For example, using a regular cleaner for low risk surfaces and a disinfectant for hot spots and touch points. Likewise, using chemicals appropriately and according to directions in order to offer the greatest efficacy. 
  • Keeping cleaning closets clean and in good order. When mop buckets are dirty and rags collect, the risk of cross contamination is significant higher.
  • Well-maintained cleaning equipment is also important, whether it’s vacuum cleaners, mops, commercial floor leaning equipment, the better maintained it is, the more effective it will be.
  • Frequent hand washing by office cleaners, cleaning staff to avoid cross-contamination as they go from one area to the next. 
  • Entryway mats can offer an effective way to capture contaminants and soil BEFORE they enter your building.


Why Cleaning For Health Is So Critical

There is cleaning for appearance and cleaning for health; your office cleaning must be doing both. When it comes to your commercial cleaning company and communicable diseases, must be about more than the dirt you can. Actually, cleaning for health is about what you cannot see. You cannot see the ongoing threat of disease-causing germs and microbes like influenza viruses, E.coli , C.difficile, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Enterococcus. Cleaning for health comprises those cleaning industry best practices that really affect the health of your building’s occupants. These include best practices like color-coded cleaning rags, HEPA vacuum cleaners to protect and improve air quality, following appropriate chemical use and observing the necessary dwell times to help efficiently reduce germs and more. If your office cleaning company doesn’t understand the fundamental ideas of cleaning for health, it could be sickening.


Touch Points & Hot Spots Are the Most Important Element of Cleaning For Health

Touch points and hot spots are those surfaces or fixtures that are used by many people over an average workday. Touch points are things like door handles, computer equipment, touch pads, faucet handles, telephones and things like these. These common areas become ‘hot spots’ with regard to the spread of the flu and other diseases because so many different people touch them. So Larry from accounting rubs his nose, he is recovering from a stomach bug and when he opens the supply room door, he leaves a nasty splotch of invisible germs ready for the next person and other people over the course of the day. Certainly we cannot completely eradicate the spread of germs yet regular cleaning focused on these touch points can significantly reduce the amount of germs collecting on touch pints and safeguard the health of your building’s occupants.


The Bottom Line In the Prevention of Flu & Other Diseases

Whether you are in search of medical cleaning, school cleaning, office cleaning, industrial cleaning, hospital cleaning or other general cleaning, you must partner with a commercial cleaning company that understands the science behind proper cleaning and follows industry best practices in order to protect the occupants of your building and your reputation. Want to know what your janitorial company is doing to safeguard health? Ask them. And if they don’t have a full understanding of cleaning for health, hot spots, touch points, dwell times, then perhaps it is time to put yourself in more capable hands.



Tags: Commercial Cleaning, Janitorial Services, Industry Best Practices, Office Cleaning

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