Tuesday, November 18, 2014

World Toilet Day November 19, 2014

Most people in developed countries such as the United States don't think twice about toilets.  To them, they can be found in every home, every business, every school and every public place. But that is not the case for some 2.5 billion other people on earth!

Sadly, 1 billion people are forced to defecate in the open which is not only embarrassing and unhealthy, but quite unsafe, especially for millions of women. These women risk attack, physical abuse and shame because they have to walk long distances to find toilets or because there are none and they have to relieve themselves in the open. They are also plagued by diseases due to avoiding the use of toilets until late at night and because they avoid drinking water to limit toilet use.

November 19 was designated by the UN in 2013 as the official World Toilet Day around the world. Although every day improvements in toilet availability and sanitation are sought by the UN and other organizations, on November 19 the world focuses on bringing this dire situation to the forefront of people's minds. Comedians, celebrities, Sesame Street characters, cartoons, documentaries and more are highlighted to get people thinking about what many don't have easy access to, or maybe no access at all.

The website link highlighted above gives a plethora of information on this important day and provides access and links to several eye-opening and informative sites and material for all.  Why not check it out and think about how easy we have it here in this country!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's Winter. It's Cold. Be Safe!

With the onset of winter, the potential for accidents increases. Snow, rain, hail, wind, sleet and whatever else is thrown our way always seems to land on the sidewalks and stairs and our feet don't always like it!

Proper care and forethought can help minimize the dangers inherent with winter conditions. This article entitled Keeping Walkways Free of Snow and Ice has some great suggestions. Check it out and apply the ideas to your facility or home to make it a safer place to enter.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

School Is Closed - Custodians Work

Even though school is closed today due to the windstorm and power outages, we are still working. Anytime school closes we can all come in early and do some extra "stuff" that we usually don't get to do. Today we have done extra cleaning, vacuumed IDF rooms and the boiler rooms, checked heating units, washed walls, taken deliveries, written work orders, ordered supplies, lubed gate locks and more. With no students or teachers here, the work environment is quiet and relaxed. I wonder how many more times this year school will be closed?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Good Information

Click for some good information on Ebola and EV-D68 cleaning.

CO or CO2?

This month's poll asked about the gas that kills. The answer is carbon monoxide. (CO). According to the online magazine CETCI Magazine, "Carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) are often mistaken for one another. Both gases are odourless and colorless and target the cardiovascular system. Both gases can enter the body through inhalation, skin and / or eye. Similar symptoms that both gases have in common are headaches, dizziness, seizures, and hallucination."  Carbon monoxide, however, is the more serious of the two and is the one that causes the most deaths. 

A chart on the website mentioned above gives some interesting comparisons of the two gases and helps one to understand the difference between the two. 

Click for the chart.

Do Custodians Just Clean?

The term "custodian" brings to mind cleaning. Most people think of custodians as doing just that, cleaning. But more is involved than just cleaning. Check out this article describing the typical demands of the custodians in our District. You'll see they do more than just clean.

Custodian's Demands

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ebola Cleaning Guidelines for Non-Healthcare/Laboratory Environments

OSHA just released its new guidelines for cleaning where Ebola might be present. These guidelines are for environments that are not healthcare facilities or laboratories. This link will take you to the three pages of guidelines.

Ebola Guideline Link

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Good Hygiene, Healthy People

I thought I'd share this interesting article from Kaivac found online at this link. It has some good points about keeping oneself from contracting or spreading contagions. You'll find the ideas and suggestions worth considering.

Protect Yourself From Serious Illness: Avoid Touching Dollar Bills

October 21, 2014


Hamilton, OH - As part of its series of advisories on how cleaning professionals can protect themselves from serious infection-especially now that Ebola has made it to the United States, Kaivac, developers of the No-Touch® and OmniFlex™ cleaning systems, suggests one way is to avoid handling dollar bills.
"While this sounds a bit extreme, the truth is infections can and do live on paper bills for many days after they have been touched by a person with the flu or some other infection," says Matt Morrison, Communications Manager for Kaivac. "What this is really telling us is that when it comes to stopping the spread of infection we have to be on guard and take precautions at all times."
In this case, Morrison advises cleaning workers to wear gloves and wash hands frequent as well as keeping a ready supply of hand sanitizers nearby at all times. As to other ways cleaning professionals can protect their health during their day-to-day activities, now with the Ebola scare and whenever the spread of infection is a concern, he advises the following:
  • Avoid shaking hands; use the knuckle bump instead.
  • Avoid large groupings of people; while Ebola specifically is not an airborne disease, if an ill person coughs, droplets can become airborne and pose a risk.
  • Do not share tools with other cleaning workers.
  • Do not wear personal protection gear (gloves, etc.) used by someone else.
  • Avoid sharing facility keys with other cleaning workers; in a larger facility, have one worker in charge of opening and locking all interior doors.
  • Install hand sanitation stations in all janitorial closets.
  • Politely keep a distance from office and cleaning workers if a public outbreak of a disease is a concern.
  • If concerned about touching something in a facility setting, don't; refer the matter to a supervisor.
"This is a perfect time to also develop an infection-control training program," adds Morrison. "Should there be more Ebola cases in the United States, this will probably become routine and frequent for cleaning crews throughout the country."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

One Cup of Mercury = $1,000,000+ Cleanup

Mercury is dangerous. In the past the dangers associated with mercury were little known. However, over time they became more apparent. That's why now you rarely find thermometers or other devices using mercury, especially in a school setting.

To give you an example, note this short article taken from epa.gov/schools that gave suggestions for a healthy school environment. You'll be surprised at the outcome of one cup of mercury and the havoc it wreaked.

On October 2, 2003, the Washington DC Fire Department Hazmat Unit responded to an emergency call from Ballou High School. A student had obtained 250 milliliters (or 1 cup) of elemental mercury from a science laboratory and had sold some of it to other students. This incident led to an exhaustive mercury spill clean-up.
Contamination did not stop at the school. Students unknowingly carried mercury on shoes and clothing through the streets, onto city and school buses, and into their homes. Eleven homes and one common area were found to be contaminated and about 16 families were displaced from their homes for a month.
As a result of the mercury spill, Ballou High School was closed for 35 days and more than 200 homes were tested for mercury contamination. Total cleanup costs were about $1,500,000.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Almost One Death Per Hour

Numbers are emerging of the death toll meted out by the deadly Ebola virus. This short article outlines how many have died in what countries over the last seven months. More deaths are expected. WHO continues to monitor and race against time in an effort to stop this outbreak.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Efforts to Thwart the Ebola Virus Receives Help From Jehovah's Witnesses

As the Ebola virus continues to ravage West Africa, Jehovah's Witnesses in those areas are endeavoring to implement procedures to limit the spread of the deadly disease. Government officials have requested help from Jehovah's Witnesses as well in educating people on ways to limit the spread of Ebola. Some simple guidelines as to quarantine and sanitation are going a long way to quashing this disease.

Click here for the full story.

Bee Ware

Although not in the field of cleaning, our crew is occasionally called upon to remove a small bee's nest or other insect. Of course, if these creatures are more than just "small", we have a pest control company that does the work since they are certified and have the chemicals needed to remove unwanted pests.

The short article linked here describes a monstrous bee hive in Arizona that killed a gardener. We feel for his family and have high respect for these tiny insects and what they can do as a group to the unwary. Always use caution around any pest to avoid injury or death.