Here’s a list of what we have to share so far:
- Green Cleaning
- Back pack Vacuums
- Bidding on a Job
- Union Stuff
- Start a Cleaning Business
- Useful Info
- Janitorial Cleaning Career
Do your Best and Flush the Rest! 🙂
Understanding Ergonomics and How it Affects Your Cleaning Business
By Steve Hanson
Ergonomics has been a “buzzword” throughout many office buildings these days, but it is an area that many in the cleaning industry have not addressed. Understanding ergonomics along with using ergonomically designed products and procedures in your cleaning business can prevent injuries and help your employees perform their routine tasks better and more efficiently.
The U.S. Department of Labor statistics suggests that of all types of labor in America, cleaning personnel were fifth most likely to be injured on the job. In the janitorial industry, many of the injuries that occur are muscle and joint pain and other related injuries. These injuries can be caused by the constant, strenuous activity that is placed on cleaning workers. Problems can occur as workers use awkward postures and positions that are sustained for long periods of time. Rinsing out heavy mops, washing down floors and walls, and lifting heavy trash barrels can strain the back, neck, shoulders and wrists. The problem intensifies as much of the work your employees do is repetitive.
So what is an ergonomic product? Ergonomic products are designed to fit the worker, rather than physically forcing the worker to fit the equipment. The objective of using ergonomic products is to reduce stress on the body. Plus, using ergonomic products and performing cleaning tasks properly can help minimize injury.
By incorporating ergonomic equipment and techniques in to your business procedures, you can help your workers stay injury free and increase their productivity.
* When buying a vacuum make sure the handle is comfortable to the grip and conforms to the user’s hands. The vacuum should also be lightweight. Brush assisted movement helps reduce stress and makes vacuuming easier. The vibrations of vacuums is a risk factor as it affects arms and wrists. Large wheels help cut down on vibrations.
* Noise can cause fatigue and lower productivity. Look for quieter operating machines when purchasing vacuums and floor machines.
* Buckets and mops should be lightweight. Consider using a microfiber flat mop as they are lighter and easier to handle than the traditional string mops.
* Sprayers should have ergonomically designed handles that fit well into a user’s hand. Textured grips improve handling.
Cleaning workers should also be trained on how to perform cleaning tasks properly. This will help to minimize injuries. Following are a few key concepts to incorporate into your training program:
* When mopping workers should move their feet from side to side to reduce upper body strain.
* When cleaning, workers should stand upright and practice looking up – as opposed to always looking down at the surface being cleaned. Looking up will help to stretch the neck. Workers should also take breaks at regular intervals.
* Workers should bend at the knees, not at the back.
* A relaxed grip should be used when handling tools and equipment to reduce hand and wrist strain.
* Use carts to transport heavy trash. Bags should be lifted and put into dumpsters and not tossed or thrown.
The cleaning industry as a whole has been slow to improve on the ergonomics of cleaning equipment and in training their employees on proper cleaning techniques. Those businesses that do start to integrate ergonomics into their procedures will have a major advantage over other cleaning firms. Making a few simple adjustments in purchasing and training, will help your employees be more productive and contribute to the success of your business.
Steve Hanson is co-founding member of The Janitorial Store (TM), an online community for owners and managers of cleaning companies who want to build a more profitable and successful cleaning business.
Article Source: Steve Hanson
Janitorial Safety Employee Program
click here for more information on a great safety training program
by b. banks
For healthier buildings, workers and world more and more facilities and cleaning businesses are wisely gearing toward green cleaning and cleaning methods. With the products being available as well as cleaning techniques being used, green cleaning is helping us all. In researching costs of traditional cleaners, chemicals, equipment and products to the green ones this resource at Green Cleaning (Calc) is a great help. It can assist those in management-purchasing positions to better figure out cost comparisons etc..
Many people especially those working in smaller cleaning businesses can make some of their own products using things such as vinegar, borax, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and, hey, just plain water. There are many “home-brew” recipes for window cleaners, wall, oven and general purpose cleaners and more. Just google-away and see what you can find!
At your local janitorial supply store, by attending seminars and through networking you will be able to find an amazing amount of useful information on green cleaning and zero waste.
One popular green cleaning method being used these days is using reusable microfiber dust cloths instead of the old standard feather duster. The microfiber cloths will trap the dust keeping it from flying into the air. This will actually help quite a lot with maintaining clean air quality. The old style dusters will just move some of the dust off of what you are cleaning, and then sends the dust off into the air. You’ve all seen dust floating in sunlight, right? You breathe it, it comes back down… Not good, especially for those with allergies or breathing problems. People can end up staying home with sinus and allergy symptoms because of “dirty air”, air exchange filers will need changing more often… poor air quality from either dust, mold or chemical fumes will definitely affect health and create cost.
Besides opting to use microfiber dust cloths and mop heads produced by using recycled fibers, some other green cleaning methods that you may wish to consider are:
•Using green cleaning solutions-chemicals
•Proper mixing of “safe” chemicals, following label dilution and application instructions and not just going with “more is better” or the “glug-glug” method of measuring…
•Using better greener equipment such as vacuums with hepa filters and equipment that runs limits excessive noise levels.
•Recycling and buying products that are made from recycled products.
•Instead of paper towels use washable, reusable cloths.
Mop heads made from recycled fiber
Back Pack Vacuums – Use the Correct Fit and Technique By Steve Hanson
*Back pack vacuums are an ideal way to make your job easier than you ever thought possible. Instead of excessive bending, as with a regular vacuum unit, this ergonomically designed machine was made to fit in order to provide maximum comfort. This is achieved through all of the extra gadgets that come attached with the back pack vacuums, which are used for distributing the weight properly.
*For instance, the back pack vacuums are equipped with shoulder straps and a waist belt that is padded. When you first put on the backpack vacuum, it is imperative that you adjust the belt, so that it fits secure and snug around your hips. You will know if you have done this right, because the straps of the device should easily slip around your shoulders, and should be loose. If you are successful, then you have distributed the main force of weight from the machine off of your back and shoulders, and applied it to your hips.
*Another excellent feature of the back pack vacuums is their back-plate, which is a panel that provides ventilation and is the piece of the unit that rests directly on your back. It is also the support piece for the vacuum. The back plate should be adjustable, and you should take the time to lower or raise it in regards to your height, to ensure the ultimate in flexibility and the freedom to move around conveniently.
*To get the most out of the ergonomic backpack vacuums, you should know how to use them so that you can provide your muscles, tendons and ligaments with the proper support and security they need. With this in mind, you should never have to bend your back for any reason, and your upper torso should be kept erect with very little twisting or sudden sharp movements while operating the machine.
*Not having to bend or making excessive vigorous movements, allows you to keep your energy levels up, while still getting the job done. Of course, depending on where you are vacuuming, sometimes you will need to bend in order to get those hard to reach places under desks and other oddly shaped furniture pieces. When it comes time for bending, remember to bend with your knees and use the support of your legs, not your back.
Another fantastic way you can make your cleaning experience less stressful on your back, is to frequently empty the pack. By doing so, the back pack vacuum will remain light, which makes a big difference compared to lugging around extra weight that isn’t necessary to carry.
As an extra bonus, the back pack vacuum can be purchased with a storage station. This is not only a great place for you to store the vacuum, but you will also discover that this station is installed and stored up on the wall, which means you can take off and put on the back pack vacuums with ease, without ever having to bend down to get it, causing your back undue strain.
Give your back a break, and trust the vacuuming solution that gets the job done quickly, easily and conveniently!
Steve Hanson is co-founding member of The Janitorial Store (TM), an online community for owners and managers of cleaning companies who want to build a more profitable and successful cleaning business.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Hanson
The writer of the above article, Steve Hanson, is affiliated with The Janitorial Store
Cleaning Services – Bidding
Here are a couple of helpful articles dealing with bidding on a cleaning job or to acquire a client.
Bid Packet For Your Cleaning Business
by John F Smith
When you are bidding on a big company, it is important that you have a very good “bid packet”. Usually small businesses are not particular with this and they are used to receive only a one-page bid. But if you are dealing with big companies, make your bid as comprehensive as possible. Put complete detail of your services. If ever you win the bid, it only means that you had prepared a very good bid packet. But remember that your actual cleaning performance must be good as your bid.
The things to include in a good bid packet are: Cover Page – Put your logo and the name of your business. Include in the title the company name of your customer like “A Cleaning Proposal for MMB Corporation”.
Table of Contents – This is helpful especially if your bid has many pages. This would facilitate easy access to the specific information your customer is interested with.
Information About Your Business – Give information about your business for the potential client’s reference. Imply that your company can solve their cleaning concerns. Make a justification how unique your business is and indicate particular types of services that your company is good at.
Cover Letter for Your Bid Proposal – Include a brief introduction and the information about counting days of bid, duration of service, and the price. Also indicate other provisions like the restrooms. Show gratitude for giving you a chance to participate in their bidding process.
List of Specifications – If they provided you list of specifications, you have to include it in your bid package. But if there is no list available, give your own criteria. Often times the customers do not know the details of the cleaning jobs they want to be done, so you can offer services based from your list.
Contract – Make your contract short and easy to understand. One page or two is enough because a longer one will have more jargon terms which may confuse your customer. Again state your list of prices with the terms of payment, duration of effectivity of the contract, date of the start of cleaning service, procedures on termination the contract, and a space for the signature of both parties.
References – Include a list of referrals from your customers. Put columns on other information about their referral like the name of company, address, name of contact person, and contact number.
Carefully package your Bid Packet to make it elegant and impressive. You may put it in a nice binder depending on your creativity. Use a plain cover to show your logo in the cover sheet during your presentation. When you submit your revised proposal, if possible, give the proposal personally to your customer. To do this you need to first set an appointment with him.
For sure you will receive positive comments if you carefully prepare your bid packet and you will be happier if your prospective client chooses your cleaning company.
Learn How to start cleaning business for evicted homes, visit HowToStartCleaningService.com.
Article Source: EzineArticles
Understanding Cleaning Production Rates
by: Steve Hanson
When bidding a cleaning account, labor is always the biggest expense. In order to determine your labor expense for a cleaning account you’ll need to figure out how many hours it will take to get the job done.
In order to determine the number of hours it will take, you’ll need to break the job down into production rates by task. Using a cleaning rates production chart will be helpful in figuring this out. A cleaning production rate is not foolproof, but it will give you an average time per task under normal circumstances.
No situation is ever really “normal”, so it’s helpful to understand different circumstances that could affect a “normal” cleaning production rate.
Square Footage. Perhaps the account you’re bidding on has 2500 square feet of vinyl flooring that needs to be mopped. The standard production rate for mopping is 5000 square feet per hour, so that 2500 square feet of floor should take 1/2 hour to mop. However, you need to ask yourself some questions. Is the vinyl flooring all in one large area? Or is it broken up into two floors, with 4 restrooms, a break room, copy room, computer room, and utility room? Do you think it will still take 1/2 hour when the floors are scattered throughout the building? This may not be a “normal circumstance” so you need to take that into consideration.
Task Frequency. How often are tasks being performed — once a day, once a week, once a month? Keep in mind that by lowering the frequency of a task, you’re not necessarily reducing time and expense for the customer. Emptying trash 2 days a week versus 5 days a week doesn’t really save much time and will affect your production rate. If your bid calls for emptying trash in a busy office twice a week, you may find overflowing trash cans, which will slow your workers down.
Number of Occupants. If you’re bidding on a small office building with a few employees and very little public traffic, your production rates will probably soar. However if that same sized building has lots of employees crammed into numerous cubicles, and they get a lot of public traffic, then production rates will go down due to more people occupying the building.
Equipment. If you give your employees the wrong equipment, or give them equipment that has frequent breakdowns, then your production rates will be affected. If your building has wide hallways and open areas, they’ll get more accomplished with a wide area vacuum, or a backpack vacuum versus a 12″ upright vacuum.
Area of the Country. Buildings located in climates that have snowfall or lots of rain will have more maintenance required due to snow, salt, sand and dirt getting tracked into the building. Climates with high humidity can also affect production rates for hard floor care and carpet cleaning, as drying times are much slower.
Customer Standards. One of the most intangible variables in regards to cleaning production rates has to do with customer standards. Is your prospective customer primarily interested in price? Then perhaps the “normal” production rates will be accurate. However, if your customer is dissatisfied with the current cleaning contractor because the quality of service is not there, then your production rates could be affected because you’ll want to make sure your employees are spending enough time on each task.
Keeping these circumstances in mind when walking through a building and bidding on a new cleaning account will help you “massage” the numbers the way they should be for this particular bid.
Copyright 2006 The Janitorial Store
About The Author
Steve Hanson is co-founder of TheJanitorialStore.com, an online community for owners of cleaning companies. Sign up for Trash Talk: Tip of the Week at http://www.TheJanitorialStore.com. Read success stories at http://www.cleaning-success.com.
The Time to File a Grievance:
File a grievance whenever your employer violates a provision of the contract. Check your contract and/or contact your rep or shop steward.
Grievances mostly deal with contract violations. “When your problem doesn’t meet the definition of a grievance, it doesn’t mean you can’t take action—you, your steward, other workers in your shop and the union together can organize and pressure the employer.”
When the problem involved relates to the contract you should definitely file a grievance.
First step is to take a written account of the grievance to the immediate supervisor or department head.
A grievance must be initiated within a certain number of days from when the event occurred that is being grieved; check your contract to make sure you know the deadlines that apply in your case. This step involves the member, the steward and immediate management. Management has a certain number of days to respond to the grievance. If they do not respond in that time frame, or if the member or the union is not satisfied with the response at this level, the grievance proceeds to the next step.
A next step involves taking the case to higher levels of management. At this step, the staff rep usually gets involved. A hearing may be held, and witnesses may be called. Again, there is a specific number of days in which management must respond. If the member or the union is not satisfied, they may appeal the decision to the next step. Here, too, you must act within a certain number of days.
A Final Step in a grievance procedure is arbitration. Binding arbitration means that an impartial, outside party hears the case and makes a decision, which the employer, the worker and the union MUST obey. As part of the contract, the union and the employer have agreed in advance on individuals who will serve as arbiters.
Why filing a grievance is important…
Sometimes union members know the employer is violating the contract but they are hesitant to file a grievance because they think it’s no big deal or they don’t want to get in trouble. But contract violations are a big deal! And it’s your right to grieve them; your boss cannot retaliate against you for filing a grievance. Whenever we let an employer violate the contract without challenging him, we are weakening the contract for all members—it sends a message that we will not enforce the contract. When we file grievances, we let employers know that we take the contract seriously and we will make them take it seriously, too. Sometimes, just knowing union members will enforce their rights acts as a deterrent, and management will think twice before violating the contract.”
(Info above from the following article:http://www.local2627.org/Grievances.html)
Know Your Weingarten Rights
More on this
|Weingarten RightsIf this discussion could in any way lead to
my being disciplined or terminated, or affect
my personal working conditions, I respectfully request
that my union representative, officer, or steward be
present at this meeting. Until my representative
arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion.
(This is my right under a Supreme Court Decision called Weingarten).
Here’s an article (see below) on starting a cleaning business. When deciding to start a business it is good to choose your “niche”. Will you be cleaning residences? Construction clean-ups? Or commercial facilities such as offices? There are also highly sought after specialties such as hazardous and crime scene cleanups and “Cleaning and Restoration”, etc.. Some of these require training and certification. So, lots to think about…
How to Start A House Cleaning Business In 7 Simple Steps
By Fayola Peters
One of the main reasons people start businesses is to make money. For some it’s a blessing to make money doing something they love. I’m not saying that you have to love house cleaning in order to have a successful house cleaning business; however it would be a good idea if you didn’t hate it.
How much money you make depends on how big you want your business to be. It could be a one person operation where you set up at home and service areas close to home, or you could set up a commercial office and hire people to work for you.
Here are 7 simple steps to get you started on your own house cleaning business.
1) Decide exactly what kind of house cleaning services you will offer.
Here you decided what cleaning you will do, like making beds, vacuuming, mopping and waxing floors, dusting and so on. Also note what you won’t do, e.g. laundry. You can also decide to specialize, e.g. by cleaning carpets only, or cleaning suspended ceilings only.
2) Pricing your housecleaning service.
To have an idea of how to charge for your housecleaning service, use your competition. Check your telephone directory and the classified ads section in your local newspapers for cleaning businesses, call them up (pretend to be a prospective client) and find out exactly what cleaning services they offer and how much they charge. With this information gathered decide the best price to charge for your cleaning service.
3) Workout startup costs.
For this you need to consider, tools, material, transport, advertising, insurance etc. Write down a list all the tools and material you need, like cleaners, sponges, mops, carpet cleaning equipment etc. Next find out the cost of each item on the list and write it down next to the item.
Transport: you will have to estimate your costs here. You see it depends on where your client is located and your means of transportation to get to your client. (Having your own vehicle would be to your advantage).
Advertising: You can use free advertising (word of mouth) and paid advertising (classifieds, telephone directory ads etc). Phone calls to your local newspaper and the telephone company who publish your telephone directory will tell you the cost of placing ads.
Once you’ve gathered all this information, calculate your total startup costs.
4) Name your business.
Choosing an appropriate name for your house cleaning business is important. Here are a few examples I got of the internet, “Maid Brigade”, “All Shine Cleaning”, “White Glove Cleaning Service”. Please avoid using “Your Name Cleaning Services”. Using your own name as part of your business name is over done by many house cleaning businesses. Brainstorm and come up with a name that helps you stand out of the crowd.
5) Learn the zoning regulations of your community.
Check the city clerk’s Office or your local library for a copy for a copy of the zoning laws governing your community. Your reason for doing this is that some zoning regulations prohibit home businesses in a community.
6) Do a few free cleaning jobs.
Well you’re not actually doing them for free. You’re doing them in exchange for references (these add to your credibility for future paying clients and are invaluable). You can offer these free cleaning jobs to friends, non profit organizations in your communities etc.
7) Get your first paying client then get another and another and another and so on.
Tell everyone you know that you’ve started a cleaning business and place ads in the local newspapers. In the beginning you need to spend most of your time and money getting paying clients. However, the more clients you get the less time and money you spend on marketing and more time you spend on cleaning and making your clients happy.
This is just the beginning. Once you start making money take a house cleaning business course to help you better manage your business in terms of growth, accounting, taxes, insurance better marketing strategies and more.
You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated. firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Author: Fayola Peters is the webmaster of housecleaning-tips.com. To find more information about a house business cleaning course check out her website at housecleaning-tips.com. email@example.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Fayola_Peters
Custodial Worker’s Misc. Useful Infomation
A Resource for Custodians and Substitute Custodians
Training tips, helpful info, etc.
Page inspired by and dedicated to Fred Mascorro
Dec 10 Intl Human Rights Day
Worker’s Memorial Day
Please note: These are just general suggestions and tips.
Every building is different and requirements set by your employer may differ from the following.
Priority List for Evening Schedules:
During emergencies(someone called in sick and they don’t send a sub- ever happen to you? ha!) or special events, the following priority list had been developed -follow as needed, reducing or not doing the lowest priority tasks.(#1 being the highest):
•1. Complete all security procedures.
•2. Sanitize all restrooms.
•3. Take care of any safety issues.
•4. Empty trash receptacles.
•5. Stock paper towels, toilet paper and soap.
•6. Spot clean carpets and vinyl floors.
•7. Change lamps (unless a safety issue).
•8. Vacuum carpets and mop hard surfaces.
•9. Remove marks from walls and ceilings.
•10. Clean windows, display cabinets, etc.
Make a reference card
~To post in the custodial office/closets and front flap of custodial log book.
Important info to have available for custodians and substitute custodians:
All Emergency Numbers including:
Building administrator: Name…cell phone…pager…home phone…email
Supervisor-Name…cell phone…pager…home phone…email
Head of Maintenance-Name…cell phone…pager…home phone…email
Alarm company: phone: 000-0000/code number?
And of course:9-911 (the extra 9 accesses the outside line, but you knew that, right?)
Your-are-here info: Building address (if you ever need to call police they will ask…do you know this?)
Our Maintenance Building is located at:????? Rd. ph:(000)000-0000
Emergency procedures booklet or chart
Map of building
Note locations for gas, water shut-offs. Even subs should be able to locate these.
Attend any classes offered and required such as Blood Borne Pathogen training, Asbestos Information, Fire Extinguisher Use, etc.
How to Conduct a Fire Drill
•1.Phone security co. to inform them that a fire drill will be done.
•2.Trigger the alarm.
•3.Walk your area to be sure people go out.
•5.At a signal from building administrator that all students are outside turn off the alarm and give bell signal for “all is clear”.
•6.Reset the alarm and call security co. to inform them that the test is concluded and that the alarm is reset.
What you do if the fire alarm goes off:
•A. Make sure all people treat this as a real emergency.
•B. Scan the building for possible fire and pulled stations.
•C. If fire/smoke is found use fire extinguisher if reasonable and common sense….
•D. If false alarm call security co. right away, reset the pull station, reset at the panel and call security co. again to let them know it has been reset.
•E. Give the “all clear” bell signal.
Helpful Tips for Subs
Be on time
When done put cleaning equipment and tools away neatly and in their proper places.
Try to make the backpack vac bags last for 2 shifts.
Do not coil vac cords tightly. Loop loosely and hang it from top hook (uprights).
Report worn/damaged cord insulation or any other equipment defects to the head custodian.
Communicate… Notes, phone, Custodial Log Book, e-mail.
Ask questions and listen to the answers, take notes.
Memorize the phone number for the personnel dept.
Report high level type problems asap to supervisor and building administrator such as broken window, security issues, etc.
Use logic, good judgment. Think
Do not bring in family members, friends to help with your job.
Follow directions and take assigned breaks.
Report any injuries
If bullied or harassed report this to personnel
Keep your application updated.
A Basic List:
•Dump the trash & replace can and receptacle liners
•Sweep or dust mop the floor
•Refill soap and paper product dispensers;
•Clean and sanitize toilets, urinals and sinks and water fountains
•Wipe down/sanitize stall partitions, wall surfaces and fixtures.
•Sanitize touch points.
•Wet mop/sanitize floors
•Low use times such as summer breaks: Deep cleaning. Detail everything and scrub and hose down flooring.
Tips for Rest Room Cleaning:
Have a check-off list on your cart for subs
Wear disposable gloves to protect against germs, bacteria and chemicals
Use the right chemicals for the job
Block entrances with a wet floor sign or other barrier to keep the public out while you clean
Keep wet floor signs posted until floor and facilities are dry
Always clean under urinals and under sink edges as well as underneath toilets every time
Clean side partitions and under the edges of these.
Clean walls back behind toilets and all surfaces of toilet.
Pour water down floor drains regularly.
High dusting, making sure ceiling vents are free of dust as well as tops of stall partitions
If you want to try for a job in the cleaning industry you might benefit from the following tips. Also on the Custodial Resource Facebook page many people there share great advice.
•Be on time for interviews
•Keep your ap and resumes updated
•Dress to suit the situation
•After interview … Thank you Letter
•Interested in custodial/janitorial? Be sure to check out the other pages on this website and also the forums listed on the home page.
•Find a mentor – one who is now working in the type of job you are seeking.
•Keep a list of references – a list of people who would have positive things to say about your work ethics and personality.
•Post a resume online and keep updated/fresh
•Make business cards with your online resume address/url on it as well as your contact info
•Take any classes to keep up in the field you are interested in
•Veterans be sure to check out your local veteran’s office for leads and job search assistance
Custodial Workers Resource Safety Page
Hey, lift with your knees not your back, keep object close to body.
This page contains a list of safety tips for custodians,
maintenance workers and other service workers.
Millions of workers continue to be killed, injured, and made ill
each year as a result of their working conditions.
Worker’s Memorial Day is April 28th.
“Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living”
Find out and note:
***Employer, be prepared!!!***
If we are expected to “go down with the ship” please smile at us once in awhile and ensure we’ll always have parking spaces available in our service worker’s parking lots. A decent raise and Christmas bonus would be nice too. J