Establishing Cleaning and Disinfecting Frequencies In Contracts By Skip Seal, Trainer and consultant

Sanitizing high-touch objects in non-critical care areas can be broken down into products, steps and frequency. Even though labor costs will often prohibit the dwell times required to disinfect surfaces in non-critical areas, I prefer to use the appropriate EPA-registered one-step detergent disinfectant to clean by spraying and wiping HTOs with color coded microfiber cloths.

The process cleans the surface by removing the soil and germs with the microfiber cloth so the disinfectant can continue to do its job as opposed to the non-kill properties of an all-purpose cleaner. At the very least, we are sanitizing the surface by cleaning it and providing further kill in the wet or damp cloth, preventing the transfer of germs to other areas and/or surfaces.

As a BSC, it is important that the procedures be written, be site specific and state how often and what HTOs your staff will “Clean and sanitize with an EPA registered one step disinfectant” as opposed to “Clean and disinfect with an EPA registered disinfectant.” If the latter procedure is stated, then the dwell time must be allowed for as prescribed in the product’s label instructions. Another optional procedure might be “Clean HTOs daily.”

Surfaces and cleaning frequencies should be part of the scope of work as written into new contracts. According to Dan Wagner, director of facility service programs and CIMS for ISSA, “It is crucial to remember that a scope of work needs to be clear, up-to-date and does not leave anything open to interpretation. A perfect example would be if a scope of work states that a 
contractor should ‘wipe down baseboards as 
necessary’ which is likely to mean something dramatically different to two people and can cause confusion and unmet expectations.”

Let’s say the two people Dan is referring to are you and your customer, and the contract is for a multi-use building. If the contract’s scope of work does not state (and budget for) which HTOs are cleaned, how and how often, then what is your customer’s assumption? The assumption is probably a high expectation that you have this subject covered. What if there is a MRSA outbreak amongst the occupants? Questions start flying and fingers start pointing.

The best practice is to accurately define the cleaning specifications to allow the labor required to clean and sanitize all HTOs in a building. That is feasible for new contracts. For existing contracts, be proactive and review current policies and procedures. Rewrite policies if necessary, retrain employees and document the training.

Skip Seal, CEO & Consultant,  skip@seal-360.com, or 918-607-5597. Attended San Jacinto Junior College and University of Houston. I.C.E.-GB; LEED Accredited Professional. Served his country in the US Army, and was decorated for heroism in ground combat while serving in Vietnam. As an RM, earned numerous sales awards over 22 years. Created the Training Certification Program™, which enables customization of cleaning procedure manuals for end-users. Promoted to Divisional Sales Manager and directed five divisions. Mentored numerous industry sales professionals. Created Spartan’s Certified Green Cleaning Specialist Program. Sales & Customer Service Training Distribution Logistics & Territory Management Site Specific Procedures RFP Creation/ RFQ Development Training Program Development Sustainability Programs Certification Assistance xSell360 Analysis & Recommendations

Skip Seal, CEO & Consultant,
skip@seal-360.com, or 918-607-5597.
Attended San Jacinto Junior College and University of Houston. I.C.E.-GB; LEED Accredited Professional. Served his country in the US Army, and was decorated for heroism in ground combat while serving in Vietnam.
As an RM, earned numerous sales awards over 22 years. Created the Training Certification Program™, which enables customization of cleaning procedure manuals for end-users.
Promoted to Divisional Sales Manager and directed five divisions. Mentored numerous industry sales professionals. Created Spartan’s Certified Green Cleaning Specialist Program.
Sales & Customer Service Training
Distribution Logistics & Territory Management
Site Specific Procedures
RFP Creation/ RFQ Development
Training Program Development
Sustainability Programs
Certification Assistance
xSell360 Analysis & Recommendations

Learn the Difference Between Sanitizing and Disinfecting, by Skip Seal

Learn The Difference Between Sanitizing and Disinfecting

By Skip Seal, Trainer and consultant 

To determine the appropriate cleaning procedure, we need to look at the differences among cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. When deciding what surfaces to clean, sanitize or disinfect, any surface or object touched by hands or skin should be considered. However, floors are not generally considered surfaces included in those involved in the transfer of germs.

Cleaning can be defined as the removal of substances and germs from objects and surfaces. Referring back to the CDC’s statement, HTOs in non-critical care areas should be cleaned daily.

Disinfecting is defined as killing germs on objects and surfaces. Disinfecting is a normal requirement in critical care areas of healthcare facilities when there is a known outbreak of communicable disease, and is part of the cleaning process when blood or other potentially infectious material is present in the facility. Dwell times for disinfectants means increased labor hours over the course of the contract.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on HTOs to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. In addition, sanitizers require much shorter dwell times.

Where does sanitizing fit into this discussion? Picture this: you walk into a restaurant and while you are waiting to be seated, you observe a person with weeping mouth sores drinking iced tea. That person finishes their tea, sets the glass down and departs. As luck would have it, you are served iced tea in that same glass, however you are safe from the germs that caused the mouth sores. What did the kitchen personnel do to the glass to protect you? Disinfect? No, they cleaned and sanitized the glass. Typically, a glass is allowed to air dry after being dipped into the sanitizer.

Therefore, you might draw the conclusion that cleaning and sanitizing HTOs in non-critical care areas is an acceptable, even good practice. After all, we are not eating or drinking from push plates and door handles.

However, studies show germs contaminate and survive on objects that are frequently touched by hands. For example, MRSA can survive on hard surfaces for months. These germs are efficiently picked up by hands and transferred to the mouth or to open areas on the skin. Even after hand washing, clean hands become contaminated after touching infected surfaces.

Skip Seal, CEO & Consultant,  skip@seal-360.com, or 918-607-5597. Attended San Jacinto Junior College and University of Houston. I.C.E.-GB; LEED Accredited Professional. Served his country in the US Army, and was decorated for heroism in ground combat while serving in Vietnam. As an RM, earned numerous sales awards over 22 years. Created the Training Certification Program™, which enables customization of cleaning procedure manuals for end-users. Promoted to Divisional Sales Manager and directed five divisions. Mentored numerous industry sales professionals. Created Spartan’s Certified Green Cleaning Specialist Program. Sales & Customer Service Training Distribution Logistics & Territory Management Site Specific Procedures RFP Creation/ RFQ Development Training Program Development Sustainability Programs Certification Assistance xSell360 Analysis & Recommendations

Skip Seal, CEO & Consultant,
skip@seal-360.com, or 918-607-5597.
Attended San Jacinto Junior College and University of Houston. I.C.E.-GB; LEED Accredited Professional. Served his country in the US Army, and was decorated for heroism in ground combat while serving in Vietnam.
As an RM, earned numerous sales awards over 22 years. Created the Training Certification Program™, which enables customization of cleaning procedure manuals for end-users.
Promoted to Divisional Sales Manager and directed five divisions. Mentored numerous industry sales professionals. Created Spartan’s Certified Green Cleaning Specialist Program.
Sales & Customer Service Training
Distribution Logistics & Territory Management
Site Specific Procedures
RFP Creation/ RFQ Development
Training Program Development
Sustainability Programs
Certification Assistance
xSell360 Analysis & Recommendations

Disinfecting for Health by Skip Seal

The questions have been asked: Do we need to disinfect? Is it possible to over-disinfect? Do we disinfect, then clean?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when cleaning non-critical patient areas (including common areas in office buildings and schools), high-touch objects (HTOs) should be cleaned daily using an all-purpose cleaner. These surfaces should be cleaned with a one-step detergent disinfectant cleaner if they have been in contact with known or suspected persons with contagious disease. Think of a one-step disinfectant as an all-purpose cleaner that is also a disinfectant.

When disinfecting is required, and a one-step detergent disinfectant is not used, cleaning must be performed before applying the disinfectant, otherwise the soil remains as a barrier between the germs and the disinfectant. Disinfectants, even one-step disinfectants, should not be used as general cleaners; instead consider disinfecting for health.

One-step detergent disinfectants can be both excellent cleaners and effective disinfectants. These products can be diluted through a suitable dispenser providing great economy. All disinfectants require contact or dwell times to meet stated kill claims. A one-step detergent disinfectant may be an excellent cleaner but to disinfect for health, it may require the surface to remain wet for up to 10 minutes.

End of story?

Not quite. These answers do not address the everyday world of most building service contractors. There are several factors to consider when making the decision whether to use a disinfectant or not. What areas are included in the scope of work? Are they critical care areas in a healthcare environment or public HTOs in office buildings, schools, etc.? In non-healthcare buildings, is there a known outbreak of communicable disease? What are the customer’s expectations compared to the contract’s specifications?

Skip Seal, CEO & Consultant,  skip@seal-360.com, or 918-607-5597. Attended San Jacinto Junior College and University of Houston. I.C.E.-GB; LEED Accredited Professional. Served his country in the US Army, and was decorated for heroism in ground combat while serving in Vietnam. As an RM, earned numerous sales awards over 22 years. Created the Training Certification Program™, which enables customization of cleaning procedure manuals for end-users. Promoted to Divisional Sales Manager and directed five divisions. Mentored numerous industry sales professionals. Created Spartan’s Certified Green Cleaning Specialist Program. Sales & Customer Service Training Distribution Logistics & Territory Management Site Specific Procedures RFP Creation/ RFQ Development Training Program Development Sustainability Programs Certification Assistance xSell360 Analysis & Recommendations

Skip Seal, CEO & Consultant,
skip@seal-360.com, or 918-607-5597.
Attended San Jacinto Junior College and University of Houston. I.C.E.-GB; LEED Accredited Professional. Served his country in the US Army, and was decorated for heroism in ground combat while serving in Vietnam.
As an RM, earned numerous sales awards over 22 years. Created the Training Certification Program™, which enables customization of cleaning procedure manuals for end-users.
Promoted to Divisional Sales Manager and directed five divisions. Mentored numerous industry sales professionals. Created Spartan’s Certified Green Cleaning Specialist Program.
Sales & Customer Service Training
Distribution Logistics & Territory Management
Site Specific Procedures
RFP Creation/ RFQ Development
Training Program Development
Sustainability Programs
Certification Assistance
xSell360 Analysis & Recommendations

 

 

 

Six Facility Spring Cleaning Tips You Can Use

Six Facility Spring Cleaning Tips You Can Use

Springtime means storm season for most areas of the country. Spring storms can create facility challenges, such as entry-way cleanliness and safety issues, water damage, and more. To help you with these seasonal weather-related facility challenges, we’ve developed a few tips for facility managers and cleaning contractors to help ensure that your facility is clean and safe for building occupants.

1. Freshen up facility appearance: To maintain the building and to improve the appearance of your facility overall, take time to address small maintenance issues such as changing light bulbs, touching-up paint, and replacing entry-way matting.

2. Entryway Safety: Springtime brings storms and wet weather conditions which can create safety hazards for building occupants. Be sure to invest in new matting systems or clean existing matting at all building entrances and exits. Spring is also a good time to perform floor care equipment maintenance, or if appropriate, invest in new floor care equipment that will address spring cleaning challenges. For example, wet-dry vacuums or air-movers are important to keep entryways safe and dry. Additionally, make sure your facility has enough “caution wet-floor” signs to use at entrances and exits during rain and storms to minimize slips and falls.

3. Focus on flooring: Winter weather can really take a toll on your facility’s floors. Restore your hard floors and grouted tile in the spring by cleaning them with cylindrical brush floor scrubbers. When it comes to restoring carpeting, deep-clean carpets with moisture-controlled carpet extractors to bring the fabric back to its original beauty. This deep-cleaning process also helps to extend the longevity of your facility’s flooring assets, and can delay expensive replacement costs.

4. Deep-Clean Restrooms: The Spring is the perfect time to consider implementing a no-touch deep cleaning system for restrooms that effectively removes built-up soils by sanitizing all restroom surfaces and fixtures.

5. Maintain and Clean air conditioning units: To lower your energy bills and ensure the best indoor air quality (IAQ) for building occupants, facility managers should complete a comprehensive A/C coil cleaning service. Completing regular A/C coil cleaning removes dirt, grime and built-up sludge from A/C units which can improve IAQ, lower energy bills and extend the life of air conditioning units.

6. Begin Using Environmentally-friendly Products and Cleaning Practices: According to a recent Harris Interactive survey, 84% of U.S. adults prefer to do business with a company that uses environmentally-friendly products and practices. Be sure to select products that meet the requirements of the EPA’s Designed for the Environment Program (DfE) for safer chemistry, or Green Seal certified products. What’s more, businesses can implement green cleaning methods such as the use of low-moisture dilution control chemical dispensers on hard-floor automatic-scrubbers, moisture- controlled carpet extractors that reduce moisture and improve carpet drying-times, and switch to reusable mops or surface wipes to limit environmental impact.

Tips provided by CFR Corp.