Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Your Health at Work Conclusion

A visit to the site above will give you a complete breakdown by threat, danger, condition for creating a proper emergency plan for your place of work.

We all know to call 911 in an emergency and rescue, fire and police will respond.

However, once they arrive, do you know what information they will need?

How many people currently in the building?
Any and all hazardous materials stored anywhere on, in or near the building?
How about any vehicles parked inside attached warehouses?
Where are the propane tanks for the forklifts stored?
Elevator emergency call down key is where?
Any auto-lock or high security doors where people may be trapped?

These are just a few of the questions you may be bombarded with and you should have some type of prepared, knowledgeable response for them. It could save someone's life.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Your Health at Work Part 3

Let's all take a deep breath.

When was the last time the air filters were changed in your HVAC system?
The CDC has published some guidelines on how frequent this should be done.

This will not only reduce air borne dust, particles, spores, pollen but also help to reduce the possibility of Sick Building Syndrome. A complete analysis of this is available from the EPA.

Remember also that the frequent changing of the filters will prolong the life of the air handling units and reduce down time. This will also save money on costly service calls and repair bills.

We offer this service as well as our other programs at L & K Facility Services.
Just give us a call at 262-790-9330

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Your Health at Work Part 2

We are now entering the peak of the flu season.

Most of you should have noticed that we have placed large bottles of antiseptic hand cleaner by your break room sinks, coffee stations or bathrooms.

We provide these for your protection and to help make everyone aware of the possibility of cross contamination of surfaces that are shared by all.

We use an antiseptic wipe on each phone when we clean your office. However, if we clean your phone once per week or 5 x per week it is only clean until the first person uses it following our cleaning. Therefore, when someone who is coughing, sneezing etc... Picks up the phone on your desk to make a call, they are now transferring those nasty little germs over to the next person to use your phone. (you?)

If you would like more of the bottles of antiseptic for other places in your office please contact us at 262-790-9330

We care about our customers, 24 hrs. a day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Your Health at Work Part 1

Your sitting in front of your computer, nice hot cup of tea or coffee next to you.

Take a sip.

Now, how was that mug cleaned? Was it put in a dishwasher? If so, go ahead and finish that java.
If on the other hand, you like 96% of office workers everywhere, you probably rinsed that mug out with some tepid water at the sink and put it off to the side for your next cup.

Some researchers at the University of Arizona, tested some common work place surfaces including spoons used to stir coffee, coffee mugs and other commonly shared utensils.

You can read about their tests in this story from the Associated Press.

The CDC did some similar tests a few years ago and found that there were more bacteria growing in one coffee mug that had only been rinsed out night after night for one week then there was growing on a public toilet seat.

Still drinking?

Before you run over to the sink to wash out your mug, grab some paper towels to wash with because those sponges and dishrags have more bacteria in them than your mug currently does. Unless that sponge and rag is rinsed nightly in a bleach solution, the bacterial growth in those items can sicken an entire building of workers. The most common bacteria that cause intestinal problems, (those solved by Pepto) are now mostly resistant to antibacterial soaps.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Those shiny floors

Did you know that many of us in the Cleaning Field consider floor work or scrubbing and waxing floors to be a form of craftmanship?

It's true, stripping, scrubbing, sealing and finishing floors requires a learned skill and the process itself is filled with numerous challenges that must be faced and conquered in order to achieve the high gloss, durable shine required in your facility.

You can protect your floors and allow that shine to last longer by installing carpet mats at all entrances from the outside and also from the inside if they lead into production areas.

While I am on the subject of carpet mats, is it me, or has anyone else noticed that the mats being delivered by the rental companies really look terrible. I was looking at these black mats in 6 different buildings just this past evening and many of them looked like they were stored in or near a moth farm. These pitiful mats were threadbare in some spots, some had stains and they were just installed today! And some looked like they were used by a teething puppy!

I flipped a couple of them over and they all seem to be coming from 2 companies, that bad ones that is. Aramark and Cintas. I would recommend that all my customers stop the delivery driver next week and tell him/ her that you find the conditions of these mats to be unacceptable. Here you have this gorgeous, shiny floor, provided by L & K Cleaning and then they throw down this ugly, spotted, chewed up mat!.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Zen of Cleaning Safety tips continue

Since I have brought up the subject of office safety, I would fall short of my goal if I did not mention how to handle the cleaning supplies you will find in the janitor's closet.

Please, do not handle the cleaning supplies in the janitor's closet.

If you must, please read the labels. Yes, they smell pretty, yes they look just like some of the stuff you use at home. No, none of them are available to you at the supermarket. We buy commercial grade products from legitimate supply distributors and manufacturers. Many times these products are dangerous if not handled and used properly. It is why you will see a MSDS book in every closet. The Material Safety Data Sheets in those books match the chemicals found in the bottles.
This is per OSHA Codes, laws and standards that we must adhere.

Why am I writing about this today? Last night, I stopped in at one of my accounts and there was a woman, in the cafeteria, washing off some plates with a spray bottle from my cleaners cart. When I approached I noticed that she was using a bathroom disinfectant cleaner to clean her dishes. I then tried to explain to her that this was wrong and dangerous, unfortunately she didn't speak a word of English. In my limited capacity to speak Spanish, I got across the basic message of Parada and Peligroso.

Somehow, this woman wandered into the janitor's closet, saw cleaning chemicals and just borrowed a bottle. What would have happened if I had not seen this. Who would be to blame if she or any of her co-workers got ill from this?

We as cleaning business owners, understand that while our equipment and supplies are stored in closets in your buildings that they may be subject to use from time to time. Al l we ask is that a little oversight, control and definitely some label reading is done prior to use.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Safety Programs in your building

Safety is not just knowing not to stick your hand in a running machine. It's also knowing not to overload outlets, to not use electrical items that are not properly grounded and so on. To assist you in working out a work-site safety program in your office, here are some relevant websites:

From OSHA we have: Office Safety

From the CDC we have: Office Related Safety

From OSU we have: Online Office Safety Library

From the Underwriters Labs we have: Emergency Planning

and for those who are developing safety programs at work here is an excellent source of material including overheads, films, leaflets etc... from

Office safety is often overlooked by many planning safety programs for industrial plants. I hope these links have provided some important information and advice.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Additional Winter Safety Information

Some other tips, hints and thoughts about winter safety.

Isn't it peculiar that we all have (or should have!) emergency supplies at home and in our cars? You know, extra flashlights, batteries, radio, blankets, maybe some canned food and bottled water, candles, matches etc...

How many of us have these same things at work? Does our workplace have any winter preparations besides the first aid cabinet on the wall?

Has a good list and advice for surviving winter emergencies.

As well as the American Red Cross

Winter driving also presents a different set of challenges and FEMA has some great suggestions on this as well.

Thanks for stopping by, new posts early next week.
L & K Cleaning Services
Cleaning Peers & Advisors
International Cleaners Association

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Winter Safety Tips

Winter here in Wisconsin is bizarre to say the least. 51 one day, 4 degrees the next.

Take the proper precautions to protect your employees, guests and your facility.

Apply a proper amount of salt or ice melt to your sidewalks. But not so much that the un-dissolved salt becomes a slipping hazard in it's own right. There are a number of different products available for ice melting. A brief description can be found at MadScience. Additional information can be found at Declaring War on Ice.

Make sure you have adequate walk-off mats in your entrances and that they cover at least 10 feet into the building. Mats also help to protect your building from the abuse of not only the salt, ice melter but also dirt, sand, grit and other debris that can damage floor coverings, tile and carpet. A great selection of mats can be found at
Mats can also be rented instead of purchased. Companies like American Industrial can deliver and pick up mats on a regular schedule.

When you have your own staff or a service remove snow from your sidewalks instruct them to clear the snow back at least 1 foot from the sidewalk edge. This will help prevent the melting snow from returning to the sidewalk as water and later re-freezing into ice.

Thanks for reading. We will have additional winter safety tips in future posts.