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The Executive

HOUSEKEEPER Articles:

h Cleaning wit Microfibre e Impact of th Carbon Tax

Vol 16

No 2

PP322210/00016

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TM


Publishers LETTER

H

ello to all readers of Executive Housekeeper and welcome to another edition. I’m writing this as I sit in the airport lounge waiting for my flight to Fiji for a week of well earned R & R.

her busy schedule to put together a wonderful piece on the implementation of microfibre at her hotel. Starting back in 2006 as a trial, it has now reaped excellent results in water savings, cleanliness and guest satisfaction.

And... I’m thinking how great technology is when with the push of a button on this thing called an iPhone, I can forward this to my office on the other side of town, and now you are reading it.

Another excellent article has been supplied by Josephine van Damme of Lycette and Associates on the carbon tax and how it affects housekeeping operations. Written by Stephen McGoldrick of the Institute of Sustainability and Hygiene International, Josephine has edited Stephen’s article to make fabulous reading specifically for all Housekeepers.

Talking of technology, this issue has some excellent articles that look at technology in Housekeeping and hospitality. Both Madison Bishop of AHS Hospitality and Soenke Weiss of Optii Solutions discuss how current technology can assist in making the life of an Executive Housekeeper and their staff much easier. We hope you find all the articles in this edition most interesting. Some of the writers have gone to a lot of trouble to put them together for us.

We look at mould and how to control and eradicate it, the killing of bed bugs without chemicals, infection control, minimising operational costs etc. And our regular writers are back, Col Nation looks at upholstery cleaning, Dean Minett with his management column, our interviews, including in this issue one on a well know supplier to the hospitality industry, Gary Coman.

Maureen Jolowicz, Executive Housekeeper of the Radisson Blu and current PHAN President, has taken the time out of

Regards Neil Muir

View The Executive Housekeeper online now! Visit www.adbourne.com and click Executive Housekeeper

Adbourne Publishing 18/69 Acacia Road Ferntree Gully VIC 3156 PO Box 735, Belgrave, VIC 3160 www.adbourne.com Editorial Consultant Max Agnew Editorial Contributor Thomas Johnson

ADVERTISING Melbourne: Neil Muir P: (03) 9758 1433 F: (03) 9758 1432 E: neil@adbourne.com Adelaide: Robert Spowart P: 0488 390 039 E: robert@adbourne.com

PRODUCTION Emily Wallis T: (03) 9758 1436 E: production@adbourne.com

Marketing Tania Lamanna T: (03) 9500 0285 E: tlamanna@bigpond.net.au

Administration Robyn Fantin T: (03) 9758 1431 E: admin@adbourne.com

SUBSCRIPTIONS Enquiries: (03) 9758 1431 Fax: (03) 9758 1432 Email: admin@adbourne.com

Adbourne Publishing cannot ensure that the advertisements appearing in The Executive Housekeeper comply absolutely with the Trade Practices Act and other consumer legislation. The responsibility is therefore on the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisement(s) for publication.

Adbourne PUBLISHING

Adbourne Publishing reserves the right to refuse any advertisement without stating the reason. No responsibility is accepted for incorrect information contained in advertisements or editorial. (The editor reserves the right to edit, abridge or otherwise alter articles for publication). All original matter produced in this magazine remains the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without authority. The views of the contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher.

3


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Contents 6

PHAN Events

6

FNPHN News

7

PEHN News

8

SEQPHA News

10 Cleaning with Microfibre 14 Reinvention of Operations 19 The Impact of the Carbon Tax 27 Infection Control in Cleaning 30 Minimising the Operational Cost and Environmental Impact 34 Preventing Injuries to Housekeeping Room Attendants 38 Welcome to Radisson Blu 41 Thinking Management 45 Eco Responsible Hard Floor Care Methods 48 Managing Housekeeping 50 Interview with Shanti Persaud-Tiwari 55 Trang Spielvogel Profile 56 Gary Coman Supplier Profile 58 Jason De’ath Profile 59 The Evolution of a Property 62 Employing Overseas Workers and 457 Visas 66 Mould 68 How to Kill Bed Bugs Without Chemicals 71 Upholstery in your Décor 74 Product News

The Executive

HOUSEKEEPER Articles:

Cleaning with Microfibre Impact of the Carbon Tax

Cover images courtesy of Radisson Blu, Plaza Hotel, Sydney

Vol 16

No 2

PP322210/00016

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5


PHAN NEWS PHAN WELLNESS AFTERNOON

P

HAN members were in for a real treat on Monday 16th April at Sofitel Wentworth Sydney Hotel for a wellness programme including Meditation, Yoga, Hand Pampering, Managing Stress & Productivity through Fitness and Art.

The opening session of 30 minutes was Guided Meditation conducted by “3 Minute Angels”. This session provided a “taste of meditation” using the Yoga Nidra style that is said leave everyone feeling deeply rested and revitalised. Twenty minutes of meditation in the Yoga Nidra style is the equivalent of four hours sleep! All participants were provided with a towel and lay on the floor listening to the soothing voice of the leader who assisted us with breathing exercises and listening to and putting us in touch with our bodies. At the end of 30 minutes all participants would have been happy to stay supine in our total state of

relaxation but we had to move on to the next event. The participants then split into two groups. The Yoga group was taken through a series of exercises (Astanas) that provide relaxation and stretching to the degree that each is capable. This was certainly a lot more strenuous than the meditation! We were not all able to fully replicate the positions required but there was a sense of achievement no matter what level you were able to reach The feedback from many of the participants was that they would like to learn more so it is something the committee could consider for the future. Whilst the yoga was being conducted, the second group was treated to hand pampering. This unit was conducted by Leanne Bailey of Mary Kaye cosmetics and was total luxury with beautiful lightly perfumed hand lotions. The big revelation was the hand scrub, we all agreed, our hands after the scrub had never felt so smooth and soft, a real winner.

During the hand pampering we were also treated to a 5 minute neck and shoulder massage, what bliss! Our keynote session was Krista Elliott presenting her novel fitness approach “Stress Management and Productivity Enhancement through Fitness and Art”. She had us all working out learning some simple techniques that we could use in our workplace. These exercises are geared to assist relaxation and stress – fast, no fuss, in our work clothes on the job. Then we became artists, despite some initial nervousness, we all were able to produce an “artwork”. What a fun way to wind up a delightful afternoon working at working out and learning some techniques to assist recharging and re-energising – without leaving our hotels. We have lots of exciting events planned between now and Christmas and will update everyone in the next issue of Executive Housekeeper.

FNPHN NEWS T

he last letter FNPHN submitted we were maybe a little smugly gloating that we were having a ‘quiet’ period. It didn’t last long however and since the end of May Cairns we have been very busy once again. Recently it was because of Conferences on protecting the Great Barrier Reef and now of course it is the people from the Southern States escaping the cold, plus of course many groups from China, India and America. Sadly, recently our Sally Vowles passed away suddenly. Sally had been the Executive Housekeeper at Green Island

6

Resort for several years and later was at one of the local Dry Cleaning companies making sure the Housekeepers had as little dramas as possible with the Guest Valet service. After retiring last year Sally and her husband retired onto their yacht in the Trinity Inlet but unfortunately her health declined and we lost her at the end of June. On the Committee for many years she was the driving force behind many of the events etc. With unending enthusiasm, quick wit and an unfailing happy disposition her time spent within FNPHN helped build the very foundations of the Association. Known for her bright Kaftans many of

by Rae Read, president

us remember her as a busy butterfly, always willing to lend a hand with a cheerful word to anyone in need. Sadly missed by us all. The next big event on our Social Calender is our AGM coming up at the end of August with a couple of breakfasts in between. Other than that it is heads down and hurry scurry etc. for us up here in the sunny north which is always a shock to the system when we have had a brief lull in occupancy. Until next time Happy Housekeeping to All.


PEHN NEWS Our annual Mini Trade show – Supplier Night held on 25th July 2012 at Crown Promenade Hotel was a great fun filled night. This year’s trade show was bigger and better than last year, this yearly event seem to be getting quite popular and was well attended!

The Professional Executive Housekeeper’s Network – 2012 Annual Housekeeper’s Forum.

T

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he night commenced with a welcome from the President to the exhibitors having turns in speaking about their products, as attendees gather around to hear what they have to say, trivia questions were asked, and generous prizes have been received by those fast enough to answer. There were a lot of show bags given away by our very generous suppliers. We even had a massage therapist to keep everyone relaxed.

PEHN’s goal is to get housekeeper’s and suppliers in touch with each other and also for the suppliers to talk about any latest trends and share this knowledge to educate the Housekeepers. We would like to thank all our suppliers that supported us on the night and the Housekeeper’s, General Managers, Purchasing Managers and representatives from trade colleges that attended.

THIS YEAR

UTIVE IONAL EXEC THE PROFESS RK ER’S NETWO HOUSEKEEP HAVE A IS GOING TO

istmas Party r h C ie T ck la Formal B ember 6:30 pm Friday 7th Dec dars. ee in your calen fr te da is th p ee K

gowns. ts, bow ties and ha p to e os th ng Start Dusti have a BALL!! We are going to

The Professional Ex

ecutive Housekeeper ’s Network International House keeping Week – Picnic to honour all our hardworking ho usekeeping staff and associate d suppliers and sup porters. Wednesday 12th Se ptember 2012 Keep this date free in your calendars.

All your team are we lcome, just bring a sharing plate, your sunnies and if you lik hat and e a lie or sit down a mat or chair and if a game, a ball and you like bat. You will be ma d not to join!

ach year PEHN endeavours to talk to the Housekeepers about prevailing issues that they encounter on their day to day operations and invite industry professionals to talk about these topics and assist us in educating our members and giving them some insight in how it is done by some organisations/companies. At this year’s Housekeeper’s Forum, which was held on Thursday the 17th May 2012 @ the Radisson on Flagstaff the topics for discussion was: OH&S – Manual Handling and Injury Management where Natasha Black from AHS spoke about the issues faced by staff and implements that can be used to prevent injury. She has gone through the steps to take by Supervisors/Managers when a staff member has sustained an injury and how to get them back into the workplace. HR – Staff Recruitment, Speaker from Crown Recruitment – Grainne Hickland and Sarah Ally from Crown Recruitment has shown everyone the trends in recruitment, talent sourcing it’s evolution from the newspaper advertisements to social media where to look nowadays for candidates, i.e.: social media Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn. They covered, interview techniques to get the best out of the candidates, how to phrase questions during the interview, how to develop a rapport and manage the interview process. Then checking if the candidate fits.

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SEQPHA NEWS

by Libby Sharp, president

June our favourite month for our favourite function of the year, Race Day at the Gold Coast Turf Club. The sun was shining, the ladies all looked wonderful along with the gentleman, the buffet was spectacular we had lots of winners and I am afraid I was among the Losers who cannot pick the right horse. Again thank you to Melissa Bent for organising this wonderful event. The raffle was drawn for the $4,000 bed package and was won by Rachael Newberry from Gold Coast Tafe and a big thank you to AH Beard for donating the wonderful prize. At the end of the day we had raised $4,500 for Leukaemia from raffles and silent auctions. With some of the proceeds from this event we bought 30 slow cookers for the Clem Jones Leukaemia Village for families to use when they come to stay so they can then put dinner on and then go to the hospital and come home and dinner is cooked.

T

o begin with I want to thank all the members of this association, and to say how proud I am of all of them for the way they have thrown themselves in to assisting the Leukaemia Foundation with all the fundraising we have been doing for the 1st half of the year. We have raised so much money and the people we have assisted is truly amazing, and again without the help of our Suppliers we could not have achieved this. It really makes you feel good when you can assist these people who are going through so much suffering and bring a smile to their faces. Since last edition we have had an Easter breakfast at the Watermark Hotel and Spa and our special guest was the Easter Bunny, who was hopping around the room with all her chocolates. Ken Holmes from Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary had his head shaved by Kerry from Concept Amenities’ for the Leukaemia Foundation. Another great event, and seeing Ken Last month, his hair is growing back. Thank you Ken, you were very brave and you raised a lot of money. May saw us in the Treasury Hotel Brisbane with another fundraising breakfast and a tour of the rooms. In May we also had FIG JAM DAY in memory of Michael (Kerry Dowen’s Nephew) who would have been 21 on the day he passed away from cancer, so a barefoot bowls days was organised to raise funds for Kids with Cancer and in particular Colby a little boy who is disabled and has cancer. It was a great success and raised $3,000 with wonderful prizes donated and all the proceeds went to buy Colby a special bed.

8

We also bought a wheelchair for a lovely little boy Ryan because with all the Chemo he has had his bones have started to deteriorate. We had a lovely thank you from his Mum saying that Ryan is thrilled with his new chair and that we had made him very happy indeed. Some good news, Billy who had Leukaemia and we took to Dreamworld for the Pink Ribbon Tiger Breakfast has finally got the all clear, no cancer in his body. This is wonderful news for his family and all that know him. Erin from HotelHome will be married now and Honeymooning in Dubai. I am sure you all know Kerry Dowen from Concept Amenities and who is also Secretary for the SEQPHA. Well Kerry is moving to Las Vegas for 7 years as Vice President of Sales – North and South America and we all wish her every happiness and success in her new role and she certainly will be missed, especially by this association as Kerry has the loveliest personality and smile and is one of the most kind hearted person’s that has entered our lives. Our upcoming events are: Breakfast at Sea World Resort – August Cocktail Party at Alto – August – Sponsored by AHS Cocktail evening – Hyatt Regency – September. Being an Executive Housekeeper and along with all of you, there is so much pressure at work that for me, going to these breakfast’s and functions is like a breath of fresh air, you can talk with colleagues, mix with a variety of wonderful people, have a laugh while helping others who are not so fortunate and it gives me so much pleasure and emotion at what this great Association is doing.


9


Cleaning

with Microfibre by Maureen Jolowicz

The Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney utilises the Microfibre Cleaning System for cleaning all its 362 hotel rooms. The system has been in use throughout the hotel since October 2007.

I

n October 2006, I was approached by Microfibre Cleaning Technologies. This company provided a complete system for cleaning a room without chemicals. I was convinced to commence a trial upon hearing that microfibre cleaning exists in hospitals. A three month trial was initiated in December 2006, operating the new system on one floor of our 13 floor hotel. Consequently the trial was extended and we eventually trialled the system for a total of 7 months. At that time I was convinced that we should changeover fully to cleaning with microfibre. As the switch would require funds, I needed to convince the General Manager and the Owners to provide the initial $13,700 for the purchase of the hardware and the cloths. In order to do this I had to prepare a detailed professional proposal. As you can imagine, this is outside my normal scope of works and was a great challenge. The report I produced detailed the methodology used, the benefits of the new system, any drawbacks, proof that standards were not compromised and finally costings. Below are excerpts from the report:

CLEANING WITH MICROFIBRE TRIAL 1/12/06 – 30/6/07 Trial conducted on level 5; 30 rooms including 2 suites. 4 staff trained in the new procedure, the 2 regular staff on the floor and 2 backup staff.

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The floor has a permanent supervisor 5 days per week. There was nothing exceptional about the floor, i.e. it was our average standard which would be rated as high. MEASUREMENT OF CLEANLINESS/ GUEST SATISFACTION Results of guest comment cards for the trial floor for 7 months. 76% rated the bathroom cleanliness as excellent 74% rated the bedroom cleanliness as excellent Compared to the rest of the hotel for the 7 months 71% rated the bathroom cleanliness as excellent 73% rated the bedroom cleanliness as excellent There were no fair or poor ratings for bathroom or bedroom areas on the trial floor. There were 10 fair and 2 poor ratings for the rest of the hotel during the trial period. There were no adverse comments from guests regarding cleanliness during the trial period on the trial floor. Black light (infra red) tests were carried out by an independent company on the bathroom and bedroom. Results showed no build up of dirt on the trial floor, results were comparable to other floors.

Bacterial swabs were taken by an independent company. The trial room showed a count of 5 and the average of the non trial floors was 7.3. To the naked eye, consensus is that there is no deterioration in the standards. In fact glazed surfaces e.g. sinks, baths generally had an enhanced appearance and they seemed shinier. BENEFITS • Huge saving on water consumption – minimum of 1 million litres per year • Great saving on chemical usage (chemicals only used inside the toilet bowl) • Baths, sinks, chrome appear shinier • Wall duster excellent results • Flexible duster enables dusting of difficult areas e.g. wall vents,


Case Study

• New method is less physically strenuous • Staff stated they felt good about using the system, they feel they are helping the environment • At the end of the trial the staff that constantly used the microfibre method stated that they preferred the new method. It was less strenuous and they believed the results were superior DRAWBACKS • In the initial stages it was difficult, particularly in the bathroom, we had to rub very hard, due to a build up of chemicals on surfaces. However once the build up was removed it was easier, surfaces shinier and smoother underneath fridges easier and more effective

• Excellent results with little effort on stainless steel and chrome

• Surfaces feel smoother

• Able to more effectively clean rooms e.g. more regular cleaning of walls and vents and high areas, thus improving standards and reducing the need for spring cleaning

• Prevents dryness of hands with no longer using chemicals

• Takes time to be able to judge the correct dampness of the cloths in order to work at its optimum • Found in the initial stages productivity was lower – this loss of

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productivity for 2 weeks is reflected in the costings

least 90% and saving a minimum of 1,000,000 litres of water per year

We have consistently been awarded 5 star rating by AAA.

• Need to follow procedure to ensure cloths changed as required so they do not become full of dirt rendering them ineffective

• Assist with controlling the OH&S issues in the department, the system is less strenuous and involves less bending and stretching

The Radisson quality control system consistently rates us over 95% for cleanliness.

• Strong control procedures need to be implemented in order to minimise loss of cloths

• Should assist with keeping staff turnover to a minimum. The job is easier, a good result can be achieved with lass effort, less exposure to chemicals

• Does not appear to improve appearance of grout which is already stained • This system represents an enormous change. Very strong management skills are required and a receptive team in order to achieve a successful transition MANAGEMENT OVERVIEW The changeover to cleaning with Microfibre will facilitate: • The hotel’s environmental goals, reducing chemical usage by at

12

• ROI is expected to be 5 years Where are we at almost 5 years after using the microfibre system? A) Cleanliness The cleanliness score in our Medallia, over the past 5 years has been consistently around 9.1 out of 10, this is the rating from our guests. Our cleanliness rate is amongst the top of our Radisson hotels Asia Pacific comprising 62 properties.

B) OH&S Our OH&S incidents are minimal, one major incident in this time. C) Staff turnover Our staff turnover is very low less than 5%. IN CONCLUSION The Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney has proved that cleaning with Microfibre not only works but is a superior system to the normal cleaning methods. I urge other housekeepers to consider adopting this system. I would be happy to provide assistance. 


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Reinvention of Operations

in the Online Era

by Madison Bishop, Administration & Recruitment Coordinator, AHS Hospitality

The hospitality and housekeeping sector is becoming more technologically in tune. Innovation, efficiency, quality and teamwork are all integral tools in housekeeping. Communication is crucial for managers and executives in achieving and maintaining high standards.

I

t seems multi-skilling is the order of the day and technology is providing new mediums that support housekeeping operations. Modern devices may prove to increase connectivity and trim down response time. Steadily adopting these tools will show advances in efficiency. Manual labour is a large cost in a hotel’s budget and a lot of the labour expenses are associated with housekeeping. Technology based solutions are now becoming obtainable for hotels to enable them to cut these costs significantly through innovative means. Some new mediums on offer are iPads and iPhone/Android with custommade housekeeping applications. Several housekeeping functions such as room cleaning and room inspections have been automated. There are Apps for tracking housekeeping and room attendant cleaning time, duty rosters for cleaning schedules and a comprehensive housekeeping model. These technologies can assist in energy management, and staff organisation, boosting the average room rate, helping to overcome operational challenges in housekeeping.

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The housekeeping function provides hotel room, suite cleaning and inspection, checklists on iPhone/ iPad and room attendant quality, productivity and inspection software and performance tracking. Separate stay-over, vacancy/checkout inspection checklists on iPad, iPhone and Android are also available. A Maintenance App can monitor facility maintenance inspections, automated reporting of maintenance issues to the engineering department from a mobile device or a custodian work inspection checklist on an iPad. An imperative application is the Safety App for conducting safety inspections via mobile as well as health inspection and self-audit applications, on iPad, iPhone/Android, and preventative Open/Close checklists. In this unique and multicultural industry a training application with extensive help sections and simple Apps will reduce training. iPad software with built in languages with a very simple interface is easy to use for non-technical staff. In regards to reporting “iCloud� is used with all App data sent to and stored in cloud servers upon completion of inspection. This creates a control

panel for supervisors, hotel managers, operation and general managers to access all data via a web-based


admin portal. This web based control panel aids in viewing, analysing and graphing data. These new technological advances mean the hospitality sector is going through a phase of transformation in its operational strategy. Although the cost of technology is decreasing it may not be an option for hotels to allocate higher percentages of their budgets to new inventive applications. In a labour intensive occupation like housekeeping, an advantage of technology is it introduces enhanced efficiency and reduces operational costs. Having instantaneous communication between housekeeping staff and real time availability to streamline check-in and check-out is a reliable time saver. The room allocation process and management of schedules allows work to be dispersed equally among housekeeping staff, offering accurate forecasting of staffing needs,

lessening expenses of overstaffing and understaffing on a monthly basis. An example of a company that has implemented this type of system is the team at AHS Hospitality. AHS have taken this approach with a personalised quality assurance program using tablets. The applications have met requirements

and are working effectively in ‘real time’ scenarios. AHS Hospitality will continue to utilise new technology in order to provide the highest level of service possible. Leading innovation in the online era definitely provides food for thought for the housekeeping and hospitality industry. ď Ž

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[ADVERTORIAL]

Concept Amenities unveils life-saving Soap Aid Initiative

Soap Aid is a global charity that aims to help save millions of children’s lives from a totally preventable disease caused by inadequate sanitation, and is promised to be a huge development for the Australian hospitality industry.

T

he aim is to collect unused soap, often discarded by hotels daily, to reprocess, recycle, then donate fresh, new bars of soap for the simple act of hand washing to those in need across third world countries.

The shocking facts This ambitious humanitarian effort will help address one of the most critical needs facing childhood deaths in third world countries today. Across the globe, 2.5 billion impoverished people lack adequate sanitation (WHO, UNICEF) and death rates from hygiene related illnesses are countless. It is estimated that 1.4 million children under the age of 5 die each year. This equates to: • 4,000 child deaths everyday or one child every 25 seconds. • 160 infant school class rooms lost every single day. (WHO, WATERAID) It is a shocking fact that Diarrhoea kills more children every year than Aid’s, Malaria and Measles combined (WHO) and at any given time, half the hospital beds in developing countries are filled with people suffering from diarrhoea. (UNDD). However, by the simple act of hand washing with a bar of soap, the number of these life-threatening cases

16

could reduce by over 40 per cent. (WATERAID). These shocking statistics are the driving motivation behind Concept Amenities, a global leader in the supply of environmentally responsible guest amenities, who has established the independent charity.

Aiming to make a difference Plans for Soap Aid include the supply of education materials, for children, that communicate the importance of hand washing. Hygiene education and promotion of hand washing are simple, cost-effective measures that can reduce the number of diarrhoea cases across the globe. Concept Amenities’ CEO, Michael Matulick believes the hospitality industry can make a huge difference. “Every day, thousands of hotels around the world discard millions of pieces of soap, which often ends up in already overflowing landfills. By collecting waste soap and reprocessing it, our industry can help make a significant contribution to two critical objectives – protecting the environment and potentially saving countless human lives.” To ensure the success of its initiative, Soap Aid is currently in discussion with charities and distribution companies to ensure that the used soap can be

collected from hotel properties to be reprocessed by Concept Amenities and donated to children in need. It is important to note that Concept Amenities break down the used soap, removing any impurities and recast the soap into perfect new bars that bear the Soap Aid logo. Australia will be the first to have an established Soap Aid program, but Concept Amenities is aiming to gradually expand to other global regions. They will also encourage hospitality providers around the world to contribute to Soap Aid by recycling their guest amenities wherever possible. “Soap Aid is a unique opportunity for Concept Amenities to remain true to its core values of promoting eco-consciousness and improving the quality of life on our planet,” says Matulick. “With the help of others in our industry, we can save millions of lives together.”

How you can help Soap Aid welcomes your support and hopes that you too can join with us to make a difference to children’s lives. If you would like to know more about Soap Aid or how you can join the program? Head to www.soapaid.org and complete the support form. 


Contact us at save@soapaid.com or call 1 800 810 476 to find out more on how to get involved.

17


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The Impact of the Carbon Tax

on Housekeeping Operations by Stephen McGoldrick Institute of Sustainability and Hygiene International Supplied & edited by Josephine Van Damme, lycette & associates

Global Warming is changing the way we have to do business The Federal government has introduced a carbon tax this July 2012 as well as incentive programmes to encourage investments in green solutions. Stephen McGoldrick from the Institute of Sustainability will give you some simple but in depth explanations about global warming, the carbon tax and the impact on your hotel, housekeeping and the planet.

Who will have to pay the Carbon Tax? The carbon pricing mechanism, introduced by the Clean Energy Act 2011 and the NGER Act, applies to Australia’s largest emitters (known as liable entities). Liable entities either operate facilities that meet an emissions threshold of at least 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) or supply, or use large amounts of natural gas. The mechanism covers approximately 60 per cent of Australia’s carbon emissions and includes emissions from electricity generation, stationary energy, landfills, wastewater, industrial processes and fugitive emissions. Around 250 companies will have to pay the carbon tax in 2012/13. The tax will increase the price of electricity, fossil fuels and land fill i.e. Energy and landfill costs are likely to go up especially operators of large landfills

Global Weather It is important to note that the meteorologists and scientists advised governments that the planet is warming.

Will Carbon Tax go up? In the 2012-2013 financial year, the carbon price is $23 per tonne. The carbon price will be $24.15 per tonne in 2013-14 and $25.40 per tonne in 2014-15. From 1 July 2015 onwards, the number of units issued by the Government each year will be capped by a pollution cap, this is set by regulations. Most carbon units will be auctioned by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) and the price will be set by the market. You will not see the carbon tax on invoices. Industry groups predict that the energy costs are likely to rise 10% every year over the next 10 years. It’s likely that energy costs will double by 2020.

Sustainability Definition Sustainability is the long-term maintenance of responsibility, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of stewardship, the responsible management of resource use. Sustainability economics is sometimes referred as Triple Bottom Line (TBL).

What is CO2e?

You may hear the term CO2e. What is that? CO2e stands for CO2e = Carbon Dioxide Equivalents.

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You cannot measure your carbon footprint without understanding what a CO2e is.

What does Carbon Dioxide Equivalents mean? Let’s start with Carbon Dioxide or CO2. Carbon Dioxide is a 3-atom molecule – 1 Carbon and 2 Oxygen atoms. We breathe in O2 in and we breathe out CO2. Not surprising our atmosphere contains a lot of CO2. CO2 is measured in %’s or parts per million (PPM). The current amount of CO2 in our atmosphere is around 350 PPM or 0.35% and rising. CO2 is a Greenhouse Gas. A Greenhouse Gas is a molecule that is in a gaseous state, i.e. in our atmosphere with the specific ability to radiate heat energy from the sun back to the earth rather than allowing the sun’s heat energy to return back into space. The main greenhouse gases are listed in the diagram below – Carbon Dioxide, Methane, CFC’s, Ozone and Nitrous Oxide.

government has produced greenhouse gas tables for each fossil fuel your business or home uses. For example 1 kWh of electricity in NSW uses 0.89 Kgs of CO2e. This means if your hotel uses 10,000 kWh per annum the power station up the road will emit 8,900 Kgs or 8.9 tonnes of CO2e into the atmosphere because of the hotel’s energy consumption of electricity. Go look at your bill and multiple by 0.89 to see how many Kgs of CO2 per quarter your hotel emits. It is important to note that each state’s electrical generation emit different levels of CO2e based on the efficiency of the power they use, for example Victoria uses brown coal and emits more CO2e per kWh than NSW. This is why hotels in Victoria have a higher carbon footprint then a similar hotel in NSW with the same kWh usage per annum.

Greenhouse Gas Potency Carbon Dioxide (CO2) = CO2 Methane (CH4) = 21 x more potent than CO2 Nitrous Oxide (N20) = 310 x more potent than CO2 1 Kg of each of the above Greenhouse Gases would be equivalent to 322 CO2 gas, i.e. not 3 Kgs. Or (1 Kg of CO2 x 1 + 1 Kg of CH4 x 21 + 1 Kg of N20 x 310) = 322 Kgs of CO2e.

What is a Carbon Footprint? Your carbon footprint is the amount of CO2 generated by your process. However your process has upstream inputs and downstream outputs that cause carbon emissions associated with your business activity, i.e. Housekeeping requires energy, water, chemicals and the waste from the process creates landfill that emits high amounts of carbon emissions. To understand carbon footprints more clearly you have to be aware of the term “Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions”.

What are Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions? The more greenhouse gases in our atmosphere the more gas molecules reflect heat energy back to earth and warm the planet. To calculate the impact the combined impact that greenhouse gases have in ‘warming the planet’, scientists have measured the potency of greenhouse gases to ‘trap heat energy’ in the atmosphere. Because CO2 is the main greenhouse gas it has a potency of 1. The other greenhouse gases are compared to CO2 and given a potency score, e.g. methane (a colourless, odourless, flammable gas that is the simplest hydrocarbon. It is the major constituent of natural gas and is released during the decomposition of plant or other organic compounds, as in marshes and coal mines.) is 21 x more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. So when fossil fuels such gasoline, LPG, coal burning to make electricity, different amounts of these greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere. The amount of CO2 gas Equivalent emitted is measured by multiplying the potency by the amount of each gas given off. The

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The gases in the cloud are greenhouse gases.

Scope 1 emissions Are the carbon emissions from the energy used at the Hotel to do Housekeeping chores, e.g. vehicle fuel used to get supplies.


Scope 2 emissions Are the carbon emissions from the electricity company up the road for you to do Housekeeping chores, e.g. use of airconditioners, vacuum cleaners etc. Scope 3 emissions Are the carbon emissions of everyone upstream and downstream associated with housekeeping Examples of this are fuel used by staff to drive to work, energy used to make chemicals, laundries, textiles used in rooms, disposables and a downstream example is the volume of waste going to landfill as landfill generates around 1 Kg of CO2e per Kg of waste. The more your recycle the less greenhouse gas your business will emit.

What does 1 Kg of CO2e look like?

A black balloon can help your staff understand that every 1 Kg of CO2 that can be prevented from being emitted helps the planet and visa versa. In most cases the lower your carbon footprint then the lower your ENERGY BILL. Therefore it’s good for your business to know your carbon footprint and work out how to lower it. It is also good for staff morale and team work to set goals that are meaningful to your employees and your customers. A Carbon footprint is a measure of carbon emissions as a result of an activity. Your carbon footprint is measured in Kilograms of CO2e – carbon dioxide equivalents. Here are some examples of measuring the carbon footprint? Hotel Stay 1.5 Hours at a Hotel 15 Kgs CO2e/Room Night1 1 Linen Change (10 Kg/room) 0.4 – 1.0 Kgs CO2e/Kg Linen2 1 Kg of Cotton Sheets 25 Kgs CO2e/Kg of Textiles 1 Kg of Polyester Sheets  31 Kgs CO2e/Kg of Textiles On Premise Laundries are significant contributors to carbon emissions in a hotel. It is best to outsource laundries to a more energy efficient laundry.

Energy Consumption %’s in Hotels

Housekeepers are associated with many of the energy usages of a hotel. Dining at the Restaurant? Energy to make3 Meal

1 Kg CO2e/meal

Food at a Restaurant? 2 Kgs CO2e/Kg 17 Kgs CO2e/Kg

500 gm’s Chicken Meat 58 gm’s Beef3

The menu combined with the energy efficiency of the restaurant determines the carbon footprint of hotel dining. Accor Hotels found that feeding their clients beef was the biggest environmental issues in their hotels because of the amount of water required to make beef. What about Travel to/from Hotel? Travel by bus 15.7 km Travel by car 6.3 km Travel by plane 2.2 km

BNE/SYD = 60 Kgs CO2e BNE/SYD = 150 Kgs CO2e BNE/SYD = 420 Kgs CO2e

Public land based travel has the lowest carbon emissions whilst air travel has the highest. It makes environmental sense for governments to build a high-speed rail from Brisbane to Sydney taking 3 hours!

Carbon Emissions of Housekeeping? Scope 1, 2 and 3 Carbon emissions will vary by site, but here is an example. Assume a room attendant cleans a room 30 minutes. Items

Usage

Energy

Kgs CO2e

Scope 1 & 2 Electricity

3 x 40 watts

60 W

0.07

Air Conditioner

2.0 kW @ 30 min’s

1 kW

0.89

Vacuum

1.8 kW @ 5 min’s

150 W

0.17

Scope 1 & 2

1.13

Scope 3 Linen change

10 Kg’s

10 Kg’s

5.00

Waste

0.2 Kg

0.2 Kg

0.22

Chemicals

100 ml’s/room

0.1 Litres

0.20

Scope 3

5.42

Note: scope 3 can include other types of activities or products

Example Only 400 room hotel with 25 Room Attendants x 13 rooms/day or 325 rooms cleaned Scope 1&2  Scope 3 

367 Kg’s/day = 134 T CO2e/year 1,761 Kg’s/day = 643 T CO2e/year

The Scope 1,2 and 3 Carbon Emissions associated with Housekeeping of a 400-room hotel 2 Tonne/day of CO2e 777 Tonne/Year of CO2e Note: example only

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If the hotel outsources its laundry their scope 1 and 2 emissions will fall dramatically however the hotel’s scope 3 emissions will go up dramatically because the commercial laundry that supplies the hotel has to buy textiles and use significant amounts of energy to wash, clean, dry and deliver linen to you daily. Therefore it is important to know ‘some’ of the leading scope 3 emissions of your main inputs and outputs because the suppliers of a service that handle inputs and outputs are likely to pass on carbon taxes associated with their scope 1 or 2 carbon emissions. The carbon tax applied to the electricity and water suppliers of your laundry will most likely an increase in your laundry service by 1 – 4% over the next year depending on their energy efficiency.

You cannot manage what you do not measure (and visa versa) We learn that 367 Kgs of scope 1 & 2 greenhouse emissions occur from housekeeping in the example above for a 400-room hotel cleaning around 325 rooms a day. We can estimate then that housecleaning in this hotel has a carbon footprint of 1.1 Kg/room. Therefore housekeeping excluding the laundry service impact the greenhouse emissions of a hotel around 7%. Room Night Cleaning

15 Kgs 1 Kgs

• The selection of laundry and textile suppliers • Ensure you have sound cleaning practices

How can Lean methods help housekeeping – use less time to clean a room • Measure Hour productivity rate • Cycle times – sequence of service • Use Lean Housekeeping Principles such as 5S and waste elimination 7W • Develop overall efficiency scores % for housekeeping The following ideas are ideas that housekeepers can use to reduce their carbon emissions and reduce the hotel bills for energy, water, chemicals and waste.

Lights • Clean lights • Turn off lights

7.3%

(Scope 1&2 only)

The Housekeeping Staff are the EYES and EARS of the hotel Despite cleaning representing 7% of the carbon emissions of one room night, the Housekeeper plays a critical role in reducing the guest’s carbon emissions by implementing sustainable housekeeping practices. For example, 20 – 30% of guest carbon emissions could be reduced per room night by the Housekeeping team and their GM being committed to becoming a sustainable hotel.

Towards Sustainable Housekeeping Room Attendants and Housekeeping clean and service all of the rooms of a hotel regularly. Consequently, Room Attendants and Housekeeping Staff play a significant role in monitoring and reporting unsustainable practices as part of their day-to-day activities. Business Sustainability Assessors are trained to measure carbon, energy, water and waste footprints and help you lower them. Here are a few ways to improve your sustainability, although the best way to improve sustainability is to adopt a sustainability program with goals, monitoring and training of staff.

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• Clean rooms in the least amount of time; use lean housekeeping methods

• Use sensors to turn lights off (and on), e.g. movement, timers depending on application • Use key entry auto switch off lights • Occupancy sensor lights • CFL – 70% < incandescent • Replace T12/T8 fluoro’s with T5 fluoro’s • Use energy efficient appliances, e.g. hair dryers, kettle, microwaves, televisions, irons etc. • Investigate switch appliances that prevents them operating on standby mode • Check that refrigerators are sealed and are working effectively • Avoid one switch turning on many lights • Use sensors for lighting, e.g. presence, light levels etc. • Use auto-off/auto-on key systems to conserve energy

There are many ways to improve sustainability:

• Conserve lighting whilst cleaning without impacting your ability to see defects

• Turning taps, lights, TV’s and air-conditioners off when they are not in use

• Label light switches so clients know what switch turns on what light

• Ensure the design of each room allows for good ventilation and thermal performance, e.g. shut curtains if direct sunlight is heating up a room

Energy Efficient Ventilation • Use natural ventilation where practical o Cross ventilation


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• Use a digital thermometer to monitor room temperature • Are thermostats regularly adjusted and checked

Air Conditioners

Encourage the Reuse Linen by Customers • Customer awareness that linen does not have to be serviced daily

• Turn off Air Conditioner

• Customer linen reuse programs, e.g. boomerang on the bed

• Set thermostat on a wide range to prevent heating & cooling

• Carefully consider linen stocking levels to avoid overservicing of rooms

• Set temperature o Summer o Winter

23 – 25 18 – 20

• Heating Ventilation Air Conditioner systems to use timers • Keep thermostat away from heaters • Check when A/C last serviced • 1oC on thermostat = 10 – 15% impact on energy

Windows & Doors • Close the window and doors when the A/C is on • The glazing of window can significantly improve the thermal performance of a room • Report hot or cold rooms to management • Seal doors and windows effectively, i.e. check seals

Office

Cleaning Chemicals • Choose biodegradable chemicals • Measure and monitor your chemical and water usage • Seek expert advice to minimise chemical use without effecting the cleaning process • Use multiple coloured micro-fibre cloths to reduce chemicals and to improve hygiene

Waste • Remember that 1 Kg of waste = approx. 1 Kg of CO2e in landfill! • Recycling programs will cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce waste bill • Ensure recycling systems are in place, e.g. cardboard, plastics, mixed, organic etc.

• Turn off lights, computers and standby’s

• Use dispensable solutions where practicable

• Use both sides of paper

• Analyse suppliers use of packaging and challenge your suppliers

• Network computers and have one printer • Minimise the use of paper where possible

• Ensure bins are used efficiently; the bin is full when it is emptied

• Use energy efficient lights

• Monitor waste levels related to Housekeeping

• Check energy efficiency of your computers; use power save mode

Water • Turn taps off • Report leaky taps • Dual flush toilets • Use water meters to measure water usage, e.g. per floor • Low flow shower heads • Water efficient laundry equipment, e.g. continuous batch washers < 6 L/Kg • Water reuse equipment in the laundry • Check water bills

Textiles • Minimise the loss of linen • Durable linen has less carbon emission per use; i.e. more washes per purchased item • White linen lasts longer than coloured linen because it doesn’t fade • Outsource textiles and laundry services to laundry specialists that have energy / water efficient plants • Request commercial laundries suppliers to supply you with energy, water per delivered Kg measures • Choose energy and water efficient laundries

Be Sustainable Start Today! Develop a Sustainable Housekeeping Programme by engaging a sustainability assessor. • Obtain support of senior management and managers

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• Team up with other departments • Understand historical trends for energy, water, waste etc. • Engage a sustainability assessor if you need assistance • Establish baselines, benchmarks and targets/goals • Know your NABERS (Performance based rating system for existing buildings) star rating based on your region (Google it) • Develop a sustainability checklist for auditing • Meet regularly and prioritise action plans • Monitor and measure your progress • Celebrate your achievements

Finally... • Engage a Business Sustainability Assessor that understands hospitality! • Develop a team of sustainable room attendants that your hotel and GM will be proud of Even if political parties change in Australia, the Carbon Emission issue will not go away. So now you can explain to your GM about the Carbon economy and its implications to Housekeeping. 

references 1. http://www.panpacific.com/media/PDFs/United_States/Seattle/ panpacific_scp.pdf 2. Textile Rental Association of Australia (TRLAA), Stephen McGoldrick 3. CSIRO Thanks to Josephine van Damme from Lycette and Associates whom organised this excellent article for us.

About Stephen McGoldrick – Sustainability Institute and Hygiene International Stephen McGoldrick manages a consulting business that provides sustainability solutions across multiple industries such as hospitality, commercial laundries, cleaning and as diverse as agriculture. Stephen has over 10 years experience consulting to and then managing a large (250 tonnes a week) commercial laundry in Australia. Through that role he has had the pleasure working closely with executive housekeepers. Now Stephen is a Business Sustainability Assessor providing businesses (or specific operations, e.g. housekeeping) with formal assessments of the operation’s carbon footprint. The Institute offers an affordable program that includes a sustainability assessment, practical ways to reduce energy, water etc, staff training, forms and procedures and ongoing monitoring of key indicators such as carbon, energy, water, waste etc. Businesses that participate in sustainability programs can obtain a Bronze (participation), Silver (monitoring and carbon goal setting) and Gold (carbon reduction achieved). For more information on Stephen McGoldrick or the Institute or Sustainability and Hygiene International visit www.ishi.com.au or contact Stephen by email isustainhygiene@gmail.com or mobile 0414 535 161.

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Infection Control in Cleaning

A Training Perspective by Bronwyn McLaws, Managing Director of InSync Training Solutions

I have been in the cleaning industry for 15 years and a trainer in these industries for the past 10 years. I have come across my fair share of infection control issues whilst training over the years. The biggest single issue I constantly encounter is cleaners without correct knowledge of Infection Control methods and procedures, be it cleaning a hotel room, or commercial property.

F

irstly I need to clarify that in those 10 years I have had the privilege of meeting many industry champions who want to do what is right; who want correct information and direction on Infection Control methods and procedures. I have met with many innovative learners. Some have gone on to start their own cleaning businesses and apply Infection Control as a result of training with us. So this lack of knowledge is not solely due to a lack of desire to do the right thing. It is often, quite simply, a lack of knowledge!

training. The majority of cleaners have little or no formal qualifications, relying instead on skills and knowledge gained through on-the-job training and experience. Often well meaning supervisors themselves have not been trained sufficiently in Infection Control procedures and they can be passing on bad habits. For example – how to clean our cloths at the end of a shift. Many believe that a bit of disinfectant in a bucket of water and soaked overnight, until they are rung out the next morning and used again, are sufficient. Not good practise!

Why do cleaners need to know the principles of good Infection Control policies? You might wonder why it is even important in the Hotel/Motel and Resort environment. Well everything a cleaner does involves these principles. A little know fact is that on most public surfaces – especially in the Hotel/Motel and Resort environment lays a film of other people’s faecal matter. This is largely due to people’s hygiene out of their own home is not always as it should be. Put them in a Hotel room and it can tend to be worse. Here’s an example – if you leave the toilet seat up when you flush it after going to the toilet, microscopic faecal matter particles are launched out of the toilet onto the floor and to any nearby fitting. This can be transferred onto taps, benches and the like. If the room cleaner is not “spot on” with his or her Infection Control – then a dirty pair of faecal-laden hands will be delivering your fresh new towels onto your bed for use. I have actually observed this first hand. So in my opinion, education of our cleaners and empowering them to feel valuable is a vital step to “cleaning up” inadequate infection control practises.

One issue that has become apparent is a lack of clear understanding of what cleaning and disinfecting is. Disinfection is a two-step process, preceded by cleaning the surface then wetting the pre-cleaned surface with a disinfectant and left for dwell time. If we don’t correctly clean surfaces first, we will actually never disinfect them! And disinfectants need time to sit on the cleaned surface to do their work. This could take several minutes or hours!

I believe these issues exist for a number of reasons:

Secondly – this industry has an unfavourable image. This still infuriates me and for this reason my students are not permitted to think of themselves as “just cleaners”. I spend a lot of time with students educating them about

Firstly, because the cleaning industry is unregulated, there is little incentive for cleaners to receive formal

Hence, most surfaces are not correctly disinfected at all. So do we need to disinfect ALL surfaces in the community? It depends on the location and situation. In our homes, most likely not, but in hospitality settings with food preparation areas – it will call for disinfecting in certain areas and conditions. I have been to a number of hotels and seen cleaners not supported in correct Infection Control methods and procedures! This is not good for business, and good quality cleaners will eventually leave being replaced by potentially untrained staff. It can be a vicious cycle.

27


exciting career pathways open to them. A correct view of the important job they are doing is vital. This image can also lead to bad practises by cleaners themselves. As a result I have seen cleaning rooms that are so disorganised and cluttered that you can’t open the door and some rooms so filthy you don’t want to open the door! I have seen filthy mops, cloths and equipment used each day without any kind of thought to cleaning the equipment after use or the cleaning room itself. At times this has been due to a lack of resources given to cleaners on site. E.g: Cleaning rooms that are too small; not be enough cloths to perform proper duties; mops which are replaced only after they are falling apart. How can this provide any kind of quality Infection Control program? It simply can’t. This leads to the next issue: Employers who do not support Infection Control in the workplace. Let’s be honest, this lack of Infection Control is not limited to cleaners and supervisors – CEO’s of cleaning companies and supervisors in the hospitality industry also can be lacking in this knowledge. Again, I have met many wonderful examples of support from Managers/CEOs but I have also seen the opposite. The industry has small profit margins which can lead companies to undercut their competition and promise that work can be done in unrealistic time restraints – when

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in truth it places cleaners in very difficult situations to complete the work in the time permitted. Costs need to be cut so resources are restricted. I have seen some sites with only one cloth and one pair of gloves with holes in them because the budget is tight. However, is this where we should be saving our money – on the things that allow our cleaners to do the work we have promised they will do?? It is time to get the foundation of our cleaning right and Infection Control is at the core of it. These examples may sound extreme but I am seeing this constantly! Education costs money and many workplaces can’t spend money on training. Now whilst I can understand these pressures, let’s look at the benefits of educating our staff members: If cleaners know how to apply basic and simple infection control methods and this means good foundation cleaning skills, (which can also involve choosing better, less hazardous chemicals) we could be spending less time on excusing poor cleaning practises and spend more on paying cleaners the extra time they need, and hence keep our contracts happy. So many of these answers lie in educating our cleaning staff, our supervisors and CEOs of companies to make better decisions about how they do things. Let’s get serious about education with this huge workforce because they certainly make a difference in our community.  InSync Training Solutions is a Registered Training Organisation in SA, operating since 2009 and specialising in training Asset Maintenance Cleaning Operations – to clients who clean in Commercial, Health Care, Domestic and Hotel cleaning environments.


TECO Australia introduces Bar Fridges to its Range. Following its successes in supplying Split System and Window Wall Air Conditioners, and LED/LCD TVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to Mining Camp Accommodation and Common Area Portable Building Units, Student Accommodation areas and Hotel/Motel Rooms, TECO have introduced a range of Bar Fridges specifically designed to cater for the hospitality industry. Engineered to Perform with Super Quiet operation, Stylish Design, Internal Light, Glass Shelving and handy Drink Can Dispenser in the 117Ltr Freestanding or Under Bench Bar Fridge is suitable for medium to large rooms, and to cater for Student Accommodation and smaller Hotel/Motel Rooms, that require a small fridge for guest convenience, TECO have also introduced a 50Ltr Bench Top Bar Fridge.

Under bench/ Free standing bar fridges

Bench top bar fridges

To complement this range, TECO Australia will introduce over the coming months, Vertical Freezers, Chest Freezers and Frost free Refrigerators with Multi Flow Control ranging from 215Ltr to 410Ltr.

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Minimising the operational cost and environmental impact

of Smaller OPL and guest Accommodation Laundry by Brian Clark

Hotel guest laundry and smaller OPL laundries are often equipped with top loading commercial washing machines. However, a quick look at manufacturer’s specifications shows that top load washers use a lot more water – as much as 130 litres a wash cycle more than front loading machines – and generate a significant amount of waste water. As the Hotel industry strives for a greener image, it begs the question – what is the long term cost of operation and environmental impact of top loading vs. front load washers and what are other criteria to consider in building specifications for small output OPL and Guest laundry facilities?

T

here are two factors to take into account when looking at water usage and associated costs. They are ‘water in’ and ‘water out’. ‘Water in’ is the water required to perform a wash cycle whilst ‘water-out’ is the waste water discharge generated. Water in/water out costs vary considerably, depending on your location and are priced as much as $7 per Kilolitre or more in some areas. The exercise opposite shows estimated water usage and waste water discharge for a theoretical accommodation facility with 25 washing machines in the On premise and guest laundries over a 4 year period. For the purpose of the exercise it is assumed that the machines perform 6 wash cycles per day over 360 days of the year. The ‘water in’ usage rates are based on the published manufacturer’s specifications of a commonly used 8 kg commercial top loading washer and a new generation direct drive front loading 10 Kg commercial washer supplied by LG™.

30

As there are different absorption rates with different fabrics and water retention is a factor of spin efficiency, the ‘waterout’ is an estimation of 60% of ‘water-in’ in both cases. Water costs are based on 2011 Brisbane water rates of $2.61 per K/l and discharge of $1.31 per K/l. The exercise shows potential reductions in water usage of over 21.4 million litres of water and 12.8 million litres reduction in waste water over a 4 year period. Based on Brisbane water charges, there is a potential saving of over $72,931 dollars in water charges alone over the same period. The second part of the exercise looks at the replacement of powdered detergents with automatic detergent feed pumps which can be fitted to new generation washers. Detergent feed pumps are programmed to introduce liquid detergent and softener in the exact amounts required for the wash cycle and at the correct phase of the wash cycle.


WASHER TYPE

BRAND A TOP LOAD WASHER

NEW GENERATION FRONT LOADER

No of washers on site

25

25

Stated wash capacity kg

8

10

Total site wash capacity per day (kilos) 6 cycles

960

1200

Manufacturer stated Av. Water usage per standard wash program (lt)

173

49

Water usage per kg wash capacity (lt)

21.6

4.9

Total Water usage/washer/ yr (lt)

373,680

105,235

Waste water generation @60%/washer/yr (lt)

224,208

63,141

Water usage 4 yrs (lt)

29,894,400

8,418816

Waste water at 60% 4 years (litres)

17,936,640

5,051,290

Total facility Water/discharge cost 4 yrs

$101,521

$28,590

Calculations

Est. savings with 10 Kg Front loader 4 yrs

$72,931

DETERGENT FEED DATA

BRAND A TOP LOAD WITH MANUAL POWDER ADDITION

FRONT LOADER WITH AUTO DETERGENT FEED

Detergent use per wash Kg/lt

100 g

40 ml

Est. Detergent usage per yr kg/lt/site

3,120 kg

1,248 lt

Est. Detergent Cost per kg/ litre based on manufacturer RRP

$3.00

$5.00

Estimated Total cost per year

$9,360

$6,240

Est. Cost of Brightwellâ&#x201E;˘ Detergent pumps

$0

-$9,000

Detergent usage cost lifetime (4 yrs)

$37,440

$24,960

Total Cost of Water (4 yrs)

$101,521

$28,590

Total cost over 4 years

$138,961

$62,550

An automated feed system provides potentially significant operational savings, environmental and safety advantages, as user contact with uncontrolled chemicals and detergents powders is all but eliminated as the chemicals are supplied from a central locked storage area. As can be seen from the exercise, auto detergent feed systems have the potential to save up to 7,488 kilos of powdered detergent over 4 years with a potential saving of $3,480 after taking into account an allowance for the initial cost of the pump system. The detergent usage factors used in the exercise are taken from manufacturers recommended dosage per wash and it should be noted that there can be significant variations in price and dosage between products and that dosage is also affected by soil type, wash size and water hardness. Energy efficiency: New Generation commercial washers are fitted with direct drive motors rather than the older belt drive type. Manufacturer data indicates that belt drive machines use up to 30% more power than direct drive machines and the regular maintenance requirement with belts, pulleys and gearboxes is eliminated in direct drive units, thus driving down operating costs and reducing energy consumption. The G-Force generated in the spin cycles is a key factor in machine efficiency and in reducing energy usage in communal laundries. It can vary from less than 220G for top

Total Cost Calculations

Potential 4 yr SAVINGS Front loader inc water & detergent

$76,411

Environmental Impact for facility 4 yr Water usage reduction Lt

21,475,584

Waste water generation reduction Lt

12,885,350

Potential Powdered Detergent usage reduction 4 yr.

7,488 kg

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loaders up to 413G for front loaders. Basically the higher the G-Force the better the rinsing and fabric is far dryer at the end of the wash cycle, meaning less drying time and a dramatic reduction in energy needed to run the dryer. An ideal spin force on a 10 kg machine should exceed 400G on high spin. Capacity and power needs: Larger capacity washers and dryers mean more throughput. For instance a 10 kg machine provides 25% more capacity than an 8 kg machine which means fewer staff and fewer washers while guests may be able to do their entire weeks wash in one load instead of two, providing more savings in water, energy and operational costs along with improved availability of laundry equipment. New technology in access control and remote laundry management has the potential to reduce water and energy usage and operating costs even more, but that will be the subject of another article.

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Making space â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Stack or stand alone machines: The biggest issue in hotel laundry is the amount of space available. The easiest solution is to purchase stackable washers and dryers. Stacked machines use the floor space of a single unit and are only available in front loading configurations. Choose stack washers that offer the option of on-site assembly as large pre-assembled units may not fit into your doorways or access corridors. Modernising the specifications for your small OPL and Guest laundry facilities has the potential to significantly lower costs, save millions of litres of water, reduce waste water, minimise detergent usage and provide better wash results and improve user safety. It is an exercise worth doing. ď Ž Brian Clark is a commercial cleaning consultant and free lance journalist. He can be contacted at brian@janitech.com.au


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Preventing Injuries

to Housekeeping Room Attendants In Efficiency Clean Room Assignment Models by Steve Garvy

T

he housekeeping room attendant profession is not an inherent­ly dangerous job. This is validated by the number of guest rooms that are cleaned on a daily basis with­out an injury. But the guest room cleaning process requires room attendants to perform dozens of lifts, bends, pushes, pulls, reaches, twists and carries while cleaning guest rooms. The way room attendants per­form their tasks, including proper lifting and material handling techniques, has an impact on the exposures. The availability, use and condition of personal protec­tive equipment (PPE), assist tools, such as extended handle tools and step ladders, and slip-resistant footwear are also factors that may affect the type and degree of exposure. Based on the total number of employees, as well as the nature of the tasks performed when clean­ing guest rooms, room attendant injury frequency and severity exposures tend to be higher than other departments in a hotel. Room attendants are generally assigned between 12-16 rooms, or credits, based on room type or size, per day. These room assignments or credits included a mix of room types, sizes and status; including singles, doubles, suites, stayovers and check-outs. These assignment models generally include rooms in relatively close proximity to each other, or section assignments. This section approach reduces the amount of travel required for room attendants to complete their assignments. It also rosters a sense of guest room and section “ownership” among room attendants that is proven

34

to have a positive impact on quality and service. This assignment model provides for varying intensities and degrees of cleaning throughout the day because stay-over rooms may not involve changing over the entire room, including bed linen, terry, amenities, vacuuming, bathroom surface cleaning, etc.

Changing Exposures As a result of environmentally conscious, green initiatives focused on energy and resource conser­vation, as well as financial and economic factors, segments of the industry are gradually changing not only how and how often room attendants clean guest rooms, but how many rooms they are assigned to clean.

• 25-30 stay-over rooms/credits at 15 minutes per room per day as part of a third-party contracted program. • 30-40 stay-over rooms/credits at 5-10 minutes per room per day as part of an individual hotel or hotel company’s efficiency clean program.

These guest room cleaning models include an element that de­creases the volume of tasks in each room, but increases the number of rooms assigned. These models also include an element that does not increase the number of rooms or credits assigned, but increase the intensity and number of tasks required to clean those rooms. In both cases, the pace of work is increasing.

In traditional section assign­ments, room attendants assigned 12-16 rooms or credits had a mix of stay-overs and check-outs that provided for varying intensities, pace and degrees of cleaning. In new assignment models, these 12-16 rooms or credits involve all check-out rooms that require an entire turnover of bed linen, terry, vacuuming, bathroom surface cleaning, amenities, etc.

Scope of Exposure

Assignment models involving 25-40 rooms per day do not require room attendants to turnover an entire room, but the pace and in­tensity of work is escalated in order to meet the time and productivity standards.

There are different assignment types for room attendants under this new cleaning model. The number of room attendants in each assignment model may vary based on occupancy. As an example: • 12-16 check-out rooms/credits per day.

If left unchecked, these new cleaning models have the poten­tial to increase injury exposure and claim frequency and severity because of the change in intensity, volume and pace of work.


Unintended Consequences: Business Impact on Quality, Safety and Bottom Line There are obvious and imme­diate expense efficiencies to be realised from this cleaning model. There are also potentially adverse expense, quality and safety conse­quences that may be more subtle, but are significant and long-term that should also be contemplated by hotel management.

Guest Room Cleanliness & Quality In these new cleaning models, stayover rooms are not being as thoroughly cleaned each day. Rather, they receive a superficial and cursory cleaning during pe­riods the rooms are occupied. A thorough cleaning and inspection, involving changing over the entire room, including bed linen, terry, amenities, vacuuming, bathroom surface cleaning, etc., may not be performed until the guest(s) checks out.

And although the cleaning process for check-out rooms will involve changing over the entire room, the quality of the cleaning may be adversely affected because of the increased pace and volume of work required when cleaning only checkout rooms. In this new cleaning model, hotels may see an adverse impact on internal quality inspections of guestrooms and a negative effect on guest comment cards regard­ing the cleanliness of guest rooms. This may be more evident in new properties and/or properties that have recently undergone guest room renovations. As a result, this cleaning model may result in more rooms being taken out of order more frequently for deep cleaning, particularly in extended stay, all-suite and re­sort properties with high volumes of families and children because they are not being as thoroughly cleaned each day.

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As a result, the potential exists that room attendants will engage in more at-risk behaviours in order to meet their

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The elimination of section assignments also has the potential for an adverse impact on safety and claim experiences. In this new cleaning model, room attendants are frequently required to travel to several different guest floors be­cause they are assigned only stay­ overs or only check-out rooms. In many cases, this involves pushing carts greater distances and getting on and off of elevators. This has an impact on physical demands and fatigue, as well as the time between rooms.

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Room Attendant Safety These cleaning models increase the number of guest rooms as­signed, as well as the volume, pace of work and intensity of tasks required to clean those rooms. And some of these assignment models include financial incentives for room attendants that meet or ex­ceed productivity goals.

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35


productivity require­ments and financial incentives. They may feel that they do not have the time to put on personal protective equipment, to call and/or wait for help with heavy or awkward items or items that may be out of reach, or have the time to leave a room to get a stepladder or other assist tool. Room attendants may even leave guest room doors open or ajar in order to expedite their arrival and departure from room to room. Room attendants may also overload their carts so they do not have to make multiple trips to linen rooms. If a room attendant does not have to make repeated trips to linen rooms throughout the day, this can result in completing several more rooms per day.

Guest Safety & Security In these cleaning models, room attendants may not be as atten­tive to physical safety and security features in guest rooms, such as security latches, deadbolts, view­ports, guest room safes, assist and grab bars, window and exterior door latches, etc.

• Recalibrate productivity stan­dards to incorporate credits rather than number of rooms. • Gradually increase room counts to maximum productivity standards over a period of time. • Delay financial incentives until quality and safety standards can be consistently achieved while attaining productivity standards. • Conduct ongoing training on the change in pace, intensity and volume of work. • Training and reinforcement of proper lifting techniques. • Pre-shift stretching program. • Investment in tools and equip­ment to assist in maintaining efficiencies and safety, such as two-way radio communication, ex­tended-handle tools, stepladders, load adjusting linen bins, hand carts, etc.

Other items that may be over­looked as a result of the increased pace of work include routine wear and tear of furniture, carpeting, electrical fixtures, bathroom fix­tures, and even pest issues, such as routinely and proactively inspect­ing for bed bugs and other pests.

• Formal and routine room at­tendant cart inspections including wheels, tires, handles, etc.

Exposure Reduction: Standards & Strategies

• Use of slip-resistant footwear, including consideration of a formal safety shoe program.

These models are not unique to a particular hotel or company, and they are becoming standard in some segments of the industry. And while these new models may not increase injury exposures, they do change exposures because of the way the jobs are being performed. Therefore, it is important that hotel management is attentive to the changes and prepares accordingly to minimise potential for injuries. Because the hotel industry and property sizes and operations are varied and diverse, these strate­gies are not intended to be a one­size-fitsall approach. They are ele­ments to consider upon recognising that the

36

changing exposures have the potential to increase injuries.

• Standards for linen and terry par levels and maximum loads for room attendant carts.

• Ensure that other safety program elements remain effectively in place including, but not limited to, hazard communication, blood­borne pathogen, ladder safety, etc. • Observations of tasks and conditions to coach desired safe behaviours and to identify and cor­rect at-risk behaviours that are the root cause of injuries. Other strategies may involve logistics and supply-chain manage­ment concepts: • Adequate supply of linen and terry to ensure that par levels can be maintained in relatively close proximity to guest rooms and/or linen rooms.

• Adequate supply of room at­tendant carts in order that room attendants do not become overly possessive of carts and carts are readily accessible to all room at­tendants. • Align housekeeping housemen roles and responsibilities to more efficiently support the room attendants. • Ensure that par levels of linen, terry, amenities, etc. are maintained in each housekeeping storeroom throughout and at the end of each day. • Have housemen stock room attendant carts with minimum and maximum par levels of linen, terry, amenities, etc., prior to the start of room attendants’ shifts. • Stagger room attendant and housemen breaks so housemen can stock room attendant carts and linen rooms in the morning for half of their day, and then while room attendants are on break, housemen restock carts and linen rooms for remaining portion of their day. In conclusion, there are positive and adverse short and long-term consequences to this new assignment model. But when implement­ed, responsibly by incorporating activity and performance-based safety and security accountabili­ties with production and quality standards, these new assignment models have the potential to limit exposures and injuries while improving quality, productivity and service delivery. The most important consider­ation in this new assignment mod­el is that any and all safety and security elements are integrated into the operation, and are activ­ity, not results-based, measurable and have accountabilities built in to them for compliance.  Steve Garvy has more than 20 years of safety, security and risk management experience in the security, health care and hospitality industries. As a senior consultant with Zurich Services Corporation, he provides and manages property, casualty, liability and automobile risk control services for global luxury, full and select-service hospitality clients; as well as security, restaurant, gaming, golf and financial industry clients. He may be reached at steve.garvy@zurichna.com This article was published with permission of IEHA.


37


Welcome to

Radisson Blu, Plaza Hotel, Sydney

Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney is an intimate, boutique style, five-star hotel housed within a stunning heritage-listed building dating back to 1856. The building was once the headquarters of the Fairfax newspaper empire and then home to the Bank of New South Wales, now known as Westpac. In 2010 and coinciding with the hotel’s 10th birthday year, the hotel undertook a multimillion dollar redesign program transforming the lobby including reception, concierge, the lounge and the hotel’s signature restaurant and bar, Bistro Fax Restaurant & Bar. Radisson Blu occupies a prime landmark position in the heart of Sydney on the corner of Pitt, Hunter and O’Connell streets.

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Blah. яБо

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Thinking

Management by dean Minett

“Charles Darwin saw in the diversity of species the principles of evolution that operated to generate the species: variation, competition and selection” (Scientific American).

S

ome years ago I wrote about evolution as it applies to hotels, in particular decrying the reappearance of bland and non-identifiable architecture in many hotels. Whilst this is great for consistency, one still needs to incorporate elements that are unique to the local environment and culture. In spite of a sometimes bland physical environment, one of the great things about hospitality is that on a daily basis we encounter a tremendous diversity of ages, nationalities, attitudes and skills. Australians have generally handled diversity quite well, and whilst the issue of multiculturalism is often discussed, much of our strength appears to spring from our acceptance of different cultures and identities, blending them into our own. Indeed, from a marketing point of view, one could say that diversity is one of Australia’s unique selling points (USP’s/POD’s or SCA’s to those in the know!) Many years ago when I was a young receptionist, one of the senior receptionists and I decided that overseas guests were seeking the genuine Aussie experience, not a polished plum-in-the-mouth generic welcome. We therefore decided to welcome all international guests in a typical Aussie way, and hence for the rest of the shift said “Gidday” “Owarya” and “Just talk to the sheila on the house phone…”

Naturally I no longer condone this approach (!), however at the time no one complained, and in fact most appeared quite bemused and entertained by it! Now, I am not for a minute suggesting that this should now be introduced to all Australian hotels, however the thought did remain with me that whilst transplanting an overseas service culture to Australia may be understandable in some ways (e.g. providing international consistency of service), people do leave their own country generally to experience the culture of another. This was also discussed at a major industry conference recently where suggestions were made as to how best to attract overseas visitors in an internationally competitive market. The question of how we differentiate led me to ponder the massive number of overseas hospitality products introduced into Australia – hotel groups, restaurant groups, coffee shops and of course take-aways – all with their own brand of service. Australians are renowned for many unique attributes – friendly, hard working, loyal – so wouldn’t it be great if we could combine diversity with these to provide us with our USP instead of importing our service? When opening Sydney’s Southern Cross Hotel in 1983, we introduced a style of service that we called “friendly professionalism”. This was to

Charles Darwin, photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1868.

distinguish ourselves from the various international groups at the time which I felt were offering “professional friendliness” – you know, where someone says and does the right things, but without any great warmth. “Friendly professionalism” allows the genuine warmth and personality of the service-provider to come through first, but with the professional knowledge of how and where to draw the line. Now I am sure that many managers have developed their own style of this without me necessarily claiming exclusivity, however the definition does appear to me to be uniquely Australian, and is still found in many independent operations. If Darwin was right and “variation, competition and selection” are indeed the principles of evolution, then bring on the competition and lets grow the Australian species!  Dean Minett has recently returned to operate his own independent consultancy in hospitality and tourism development and operations. He has managed, consulted and operated in Australia for over 30 years and was most recently Country General Manager, Australia for The Ascott Limited. He may be contacted on minettco@bigpond.com

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I

hate to state the obvious – but cleanliness is everything in the hospitality and accommodation industries. An immaculate décor can be the difference between an 80% user rating and a 90% user rating. Enter Cleanstar, an importer with a vast range of quality products for every budget. Firstly, a brief background on Cleanstar. We are a family operated business founded on morals and hard work, so there is plenty of pride in the Cleanstar family. With over 100 years of industry experience, we are passionate about delivering quality products. Our business depends on it.

A RANGE TO SUIT EVERY NEED Stains, germs, uncleanliness – these words are synonymous with evil in hospitality. From carpet extraction machines to micro-fibre cloths, vac bags to domestic and commercial vacuums, spare parts to extension leads. Cleanstar have the right product to keep your business looking brand new. About a year ago I checked into my hotel in Malaysia. First thing I noticed was the brown ‘coffee-esque’ stain at the foot of the bed. No matter how helpful and friendly the staff was, and they were, I couldn’t help thinking about what else could be dirty. First impressions are essential to customer comfort.

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SAFETY IN NUMBERS Little Known Fact: Commercial Machines in Australia do not require an SAA Electrical Safety Approval to be sold. Scary. Personally, I like knowing that every single Cleanstar machine sold has been tested and received an SAA Electrical Safety Approval before hitting shelves. Safety is paramount, and must be treated as such. Every Cleanstar machine also has the industry standard C-Tick, which states that the machine abides the electromagnetic compatibility emission requirements. Cleanstar is always on the front foot with safety issues and puts your mind at ease.

LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! It’s a cliché, but where a machine is made can often determine the quality and performance. Zelmer, a European brand of domestic vacuum cleaners, have recently been awarded a Choice Recommendation for their Solaris Machine. Choice is a not-forprofit consumer watchdog. Ghibli, an Italian heavyweight in the commercial vacuum sector, have the powerful yet stylish T1 backpack vacuum. It is the quietest on the market and one of the lightest too. Wessel-Werk, German made floor tools are the industry standard for quality. Cleanstar Butler, a European made commercial vacuum, is an immensely popular and powerful dry vacuum. These are just a few of the quality products and brands that we stock.  For more info, please contact Cleanstar on (03) 9460 5655 or email us sales@cleanstar.com.au Mention this ad to hear about our special offers!


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Vikan Microfibre Systems ...making hotel hygiene EASY Vikan’s hands-on approach has earned us an unparalleled reputation for providing cleaning solutions to real-life challenges in the hospitality sector. We continuously strive to improve and implement best practice, to impart knowledge, to provide all the tools that are required to control and deliver excellent hygiene outcomes in hotels and hospitality venues; With continuous improvement, Vikan seeks to set the industry benchmark for effective hygienic cleaning. Our specialists are committed to advancing hygienic cleaning performance through continuous innovation and knowledge sharing. Vikan’s effective, efficient and durable products are driven by the needs of the end user, and developed in close collaboration with customers as they strive to better their cleaning performance. Our microfibre materials have been specially developed to deliver enhanced levels of cleanliness and ease of use. All our products are easy to clean and ergonomically designed to ensure efficiency.

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Eco Responsible

hard floor care methods by Bridget Gardner

Approximately 30 – 40% of your cleaning budget may be spent on maintaining floors. As the imperative to operate facilities more sustainably grows, floor maintenance is an obvious place for Executive Housekeepers and other faculty managers to explore ways to improve indoor air quality, reduce energy, water and waste.

I

n response, many so-called ‘environmentally friendly’ cleaning methods are now available. Given that not all such methodologies will clean all flooring and soiling types effectively, and not all ‘green’ claims will be legitimate, how do you specify the most environmentally sustainable floor maintenance method while ensuring the best outcomes for your building?

Specifying green methods The focus of ‘green cleaning’ encompasses a wide range of health and environmental impacts. The first step is to identify your facility’s key sustainability policy aims, then define the outcomes floor cleaning should achieve accordingly. Corporate sustainability reporting requires measurable outcomes. If a cleaning product claims it saves water, protects health or reduces energy, by how much and who says so? Step two is to identify the Standards and metrics by which to specify and monitor maintenance methods, thus ensuring your stated aims can be achieved, and your budget is spent on more than promises.

The dirt on floors With these two steps in mind, let’s explore the environmental benefits of five durable floor maintenance method examples:1

1. Mopping with GECA Certified detergents – examples by Agar 2. Steam cleaning equipment – example by Bio-Steam 3. Electrically converted water floor scrubber – ec-H2O by Tennant 4. Microfibre mops and water – example by Vikan 5. Ceramic buffing pads – example by Glomesh Cyclone Their suitability for a range of flooring and soiling types is rated in the table above. 1. Mopping with a GECA Certified detergent Mopping floors with a diluted detergent is still the most common way to clean durable flooring. Although most claim to be biodegradable, only testing against AS:4351 for Ready Biodegradability ensures they break-down rapidly and safely. Specifying that detergents be Certified against a voluntary ‘Ecolabel’ Standard, such as GECA 17-2007, ensures rapid biodegradability, exclusion of toxins and phosphates and verification of all marketing claims. Examples of GECA Certified detergents are Agars’ pH-7 Detergent for normal soiling and Veri Clean for heavy soiling. See the GECA website2 for more certified brands. GECA has not yet developed a Standard for disinfectants.

2. Steam cleaner equipment Steam cleaner equipment provides a 100% chemical-free maintenance method with very low water use and zero packaging. Neil Hodkinson, Bio-Steam’s director stated, “I’ve seen a recent acceleration in interest in the sustainability of steam”. While slow over large areas, steam removes industrial grease, bacteria and even chewing gum effectively, is ideal on commercial kitchen floors, and for lifting mould from wet porous surfaces. 3. Electrically converted water floor scrubber Tennant provides a wealth of thirdparty proof of the low environmental impact of the ec-H2O™ floor scrubber, that electrically converts water into a cleaning solution. Evidence includes a low eco-footprint, reduced energy, 70% less water, no chemicals or packaging and improved cleanliness. “Our facility management customers are demanding cleaning solutions that use fewer potentially harmful chemicals”, said Mauro Compagnoni, Tennant’s APAC Managing Director. 4. Microfibre mopping Microfibre mops can effectively clean lightly-soiled surfaces using water only. However a vast difference in quality exists between technology originating in Scandinavia, such as Vikan or JonMaster, and cheaper brands flooding the market. All the environmental advantages of other chemical-free methods can

45


be achieved if three requirements are specified and supported: 1) quality equipment with evidence of efficacy and longevity; 2) adequate replacement quotas and customdesigned carts; 3) on-site laundering facilities. 5. Ceramic buffing pads The final method we will explore is a floor maintenance system for all non-sealed durable surfaces, such as stone, porcelain and terrazzo, that negates the need for chemically sealing floors. Apart from the chemicals and packaging waste saved, the messy, water-hungry process of stripping is now eradicated. Impregnated with ceramic dust, Cyclone buffing pads by Glomesh are cheaper than previous diamond pads, but obtain the same stunning results. 

Floor surface/soiling types –

Green maintenance method suitability:  Highly suitable or  In most situations 1

2

3

4

Internal durable glazed or sealed surfaces i.e. vitreous ceramic tiles, sealed stone or vinyl flooring









Internal durable porous surfaces i.e. non-sealed and porcelain tiles, terrazzo, or polished concrete







Wooden or parquetry flooring





Washroom floors and urinal surrounds





External stone, quarry tiles or concrete



Removing grease from commercial kitchen floors





Removing mould from porous surfaces i.e. tiling grout or wood



Removing chewing gum from concrete



Removing industrial grease/grime from concrete Author: Bridget Gardner is Director of Fresh Green Clean, Australia’s leading independent consultancy in sustainable cleaning practices for the facilities cleaning and management sectors. www.freshgreenclean.com.au



5



 

References 1. NOTE: All brands described this article are provided as examples, and do not represent endorsements by the author or Executive Housekeeper magazine. 2. www.geca.org.au/certified-products.html

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Don’t mess about with cleanliness

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Managing Housekeeping

in the 21st Century by SOENKE WEISS

For decades, the management of housekeeping labour has been reliant upon two pillars: the credit system and paying room attendants by the room. Now, with ever-increasing demands for operational efficiencies, is it time to review the basics of our management methodology?

H

ousekeeping does many things, but there is this one thing that takes up 90% of its time: cleaning rooms. This is the primary activity of a department whose payroll makes up the largest single line item in the hotel budget and is charged with looking after the core product of the hotel. Over the last two decades, most hotel departments have seen considerable change, mostly for the better! However, the cleaning of rooms and the management methodology behind it, has not changed at all. As hoteliers, we are still expected to make considerable gains without actually changing anything fundamentally.

The Credit System The introduction of property management systems (PMS) in the early 1980s saw these software solutions incorporate the prevailing housekeeping methodology, which relied on the credit system. Since then it has become a global standard. During this time, PMS have also greatly evolved on many levels, yet the sophistication of housekeeping modules has remained stagnant and the credit system is still used globally. The credit system, however, has one fundamental flaw: It is grossly inaccurate.

Picture this: Two identical rooms sideby-side; both are allocated 2 credits on checkout. One is occupied by Figure 1 – Factors impacting room cleaning time a conference guest for one night, the other by 2 adults with a child who are in town for the theatre. On departure, room 1 might take 20 minutes to clean and room 2 takes 50 minutes. This is a 30 minute difference in cleaning time! When scaled over a 300-room hotel, this results in 9000 minutes (150 hours) of cleaning time submitted to the mercy of averages. To this day, these cleaning time differences are being ignored by most in the hotel industry. Yet when the key variable – the guest – is introduced into the equation, efficiency improvements become obvious. By including the guest factor, a hotel is able to accurately forecast individual cleaning times and consequently produce very accurate, individual work plans that can be optimised for efficiency and guest arrival times. Progress against these work plans can be measured in real time and problems addressed before they occur. The end result is an improvement in both productivity and guest

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arrival experience that is otherwise impossible to replicate with the credit system and traditional, manual housekeeping processes. As commercial enterprises subjected to the profit pressures of the 21st century, we cannot continue to operate on 1950s standards or ignore advancements in housekeeping labour management. At the core of hotel operations, housekeeping is too vital to be relegated to the ‘too-hard-basket’! Significantly, a time-based work plan is also fairer for room attendants, as it enables them to know how many hours they will spend at work on a given day in order to complete their allocated credits. A balanced workload can raise morale and productivity in a significant way, resulting in lower staff turnover and higher quality output.

Paying per room So, what if we make changes to the management of labour resources or enable further efficiencies through updated tools, cleaning procedures, etc.? Unfortunately, for the majority of hotels, this does not mean an automatic saving on the bottom-line. Most hotels pay their room attendants for each room cleaned. When considering that all other hotel personnel are paid for the amount of time spent at work – we do not pay porters by


…a hotel is able to […] produce very accurate workplans that can be optimised for efficiency and guest arrival times. suitcase carried or waiters by covers served – it appears unfair at first. When digging deeper though, it also becomes clear that this payment methodology prevents hotel managers from reaping the profits from the improvements they have implemented, potentially at considerable cost. Paying per room results in a fixed cleaning cost: a 300-room hotel will pay $3000 per day at 100% occupancy (at $10/room), no matter whether the department cleans the hotel in 8 hours or 6 hours as a result of the management’s initiatives. The end result is that the room attendants simply get to go home earlier and management do not see a cost reduction. And because of the pressure to ensure room availability, it is much more likely that overstaffing will take place, rather than understaffing.

Initially, this method was developed as an incentive to clean rooms quickly and has since been adopted as a standard by many unions and in enterprise agreements. Often backfiring with a reduction in cleaning quality and the room attendants cleaning only to meet fixed credit expectations, rather than as many rooms as possible, the methodology is now widely contested.

Implementation Similar to the implementation of yield management practices in the early 1990s, the above changes are difficult to implement without a supporting software solution. The sophistication of the credit system is sufficient for managers to process in their heads, however, the addition of a third dimension is beyond human capacity and needs the support of a solution capable of determining intelligent and dynamic work plans. Unlike revenue management systems, changes in housekeeping need to take into account the human factor.

Changes to processes and standards need to be explained carefully to staff and implemented in a sensibly designed and structured manner with the complete support of management. The changes outlined in this article represent a golden opportunity to effectively manage even the largest payroll in line with 21st century business requirements, whilst at the same time being fairer to staff and delivering quality and service benefits. With an expected productivity improvement of 8-15% as a result of an evolved methodology, hotel owners and operators need to consider carefully whether they can continue to ignore it.  About the author: Soenke Weiss is a housekeeping evangelist and Founder of Optii Solutions. A passion for housekeeping management combined with a revenue management background has driven Soenke to create the world’s first and only housekeeping software solution focused on management of labour resources to drive profitability and guest experience.

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Interview with

Shanti Persaud-Tiwari by Liz Lycette

Meet Shanti Persaud-Tiwari, Director of Housekeeping at the Marina Bay Sands, an integrated resort overlooking Marina Bay in Singapore. This enormous resort features a 2,561-room hotel, convention-exhibition centre, retail outlets, a museum, two large theatres, seven “celebrity chef” restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, an ice skating rink, and the world’s largest atrium casino with 500 tables and 1,600 slot machines. A 340m-long SkyPark with a capacity of 3,900 people atop the complex and a 150m-infinity swimming pool complete this impressive resort, which opened its doors in February 2011. We are delighted that Shanti is able to share some of her valuable housekeeping experiences.

What is your cultural background? I am of East Indian origin. Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born and raised in an agricultural country in South America, before migrating to Canada. What was your career path to date? My career path spreads over three continents, four countries and 12 hotels. What was your first role as Executive Housekeeper? I was Director of Housekeeping for Westin, Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, which was a 416-room hotel. What challenges did that bring? Being head of the department in the same hotel where I had my first job as a Housekeeping Management Trainee, I had to learn how to manage change and the challenges that each role brought about.

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What is your current position and Hotel? What are your job responsibilities at this hotel? I am the Director, Housekeeping Operations at Marina Bay Sands, an integrated resort in Singapore. A primary focus of my job is to ensure that my team and I continue to be innovative and adaptable to meet the demands of today’s discerning guests. I concentrate on using resources that help us deliver the highest quality standards of cleanliness and ambience through the upkeep of guestrooms and other departments such as Wardrobe, Laundry and Bay Floral. How many rooms/suites are there in the Hotel and what other facilities? Marina Bay Sands is the leading business, leisure and entertainment destination in Asia. It features large and flexible convention and exhibition facilities, 2,560 hotel rooms and suites, the rooftop Sands SkyPark, the best shopping mall in Asia, world-class celebrity chef restaurants and an outdoor event plaza. Its two theatres showcase a range of leading entertainment performances including world-renowned Broadway shows. Completing the line-up of attractions is ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands which plays host to permanent and marquee exhibitions.

How many staff are you responsible for? My team comprises of over 450 team members, of which 70 are leaders. And what areas are you responsible for? I oversee the operations of Housekeeping which comprise of: • Rooms & Suites – we have 2,365 Rooms and 196 Suites • Laundry – we have an external laundry operation that handles 15 tons of linen daily • Wardrobe – we handle the uniforms for over 9,000 full-time team members and 1,500 part-timers on a daily basis, with a GIMS system of 18 conveyor belts, each of which holds 620 garment bags. Each team member has an average of 9 pieces of uniforms; this means handling almost 95,000 garments. • Bay Floral – we handle the internal floral requirements for the Hotel, Restaurants, Casino as well as external floral requests from guests. What is your typical day like? A typical day for Housekeeping is 1,200 rooms checking out and the same number checking in. Our guests arrive earlier than the 3:00 pm checkin time, and most guests prefer to

linger on past the 11:00 am check out time. My day starts with a review of allimportant matters for the day and going through a recap of the previous day’s statistics and operational activities, before I attend shift briefings. By this time our Daily Operations Meeting takes place, and after this, it is very convenient to catch up with all my peers on issues or outstanding items. While it is easy to have up to four hours dedicated to meetings about planning, human resources, analysing or exploring improvement opportunities, there is always time to tour the areas on a daily basis. Towards the end of the day, it’s time to bid a pleasant evening to the majority of our day shift team members. I then gather the leaders for a quick update on the day’s outcomes and plans for the next day. When all is quiet after the team has gone home, it is time to catch up on serious issues that may require undivided attention for an hour or two. While this may be the overall structure of a typical day, time must be set aside for emergencies, meetings with guests or attending to impromptu important situations that may occur from time to time. What are your top three challenges this week? 1. Getting through having to turn over 1,700 check-out rooms for guest

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up; to experience the arrival of all FF&E; and to watch the teams come on board; and to ‘create’ a department – all these are not found in an existing property. There is also the privilege of being the absolute first to establish policies, procedures and standards, and to watch all these come to fruition. What are the top 3 challenges in an opening? 1. Not having the FF&E arrive on time, according to delivery dates. 2. Opening before all team members can be fully trained, as this is the key to success. 3. FF&E “punch lists” not being completed before opening day. What are your top 3 tips for success in Housekeeping Management? 1. To have a genuine passion for people and an overall positive attitude.

arrivals between 11:00 am – 3:00 pm for most of the week.

How do you manage moving from country to country?

2. Consolidating an abundance of ideas into a smaller list for our yearly upgrades for the next year.

Very easy: I find the right people contacts, ask for assistance, learn the laws and regulations quickly and follow the country’s rules.

3. Making plans to accommodate a group of guests who abide by sustainable principles and would expect our overall property to be fully environmentally friendly.

How do you deal with different cultures?

How did you choose those managers under you?

Learn, adapt, respect and integrate: sharing knowledge and experiences and learning new behaviours help to make cultural integration easier and well respected. Dealing with language barriers is not at all challenging – English is a universal language commonly used in Singapore. Besides, there’s always a ready pool of interpreters within our working teams to help facilitate discussions and sharing of ideas.

I believe in matching talent with responsibility and relationship, besides choosing managers with the right attitude. I prefer to promote from within the department as a way to motivate my team members. What criteria? A passion for all things ‘hospitality’ Commitment to the values of the hotel Adaptability and resourcefulness Hospitality experience

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In Marina Bay Sands, we have 61 nationalities within our workforce.

How does pre-opening work compare with working in an existing property? In pre-opening, there is a different energy due to the newness of everything. It was exhilarating to watch a building being created from ground

This will help with team member relationships as well as ensure guests enjoy a memorable experience with every visit. 2. To be flexible, resourceful and adaptable. Housekeeping means multi-tasking, despite not always having the right number of staffing or other resources. One must be able to think quickly and find creative means of addressing shortfalls. 3. To be organised, task oriented and acquire excellent follow up skills. Such attributes assist any budding manager to becoming a true role model for the profession. If you had to do it all over again what would you do differently? I would surround myself with talented colleagues and focus on a schedule with the right work life balance. What advice would you give someone starting out in housekeeping? To be a good listener and have effective communication skills; to have patience and be able to multitask and also to remain organised and


systematic in daily duties. Having a positive attitude and a good sense of humour are great assets as well. How about your personal life? How do you balance work and home life? I am able to have a good balance because I have a skilled and talented team so there is always someone ready to step up into a higher role. What do you do for fun? Explore this beautiful country of Singapore and its neighbouring countries. I love to take long walks along the Bay where I can immerse myself in the greenery and lush spaces. How do you think housekeeping management has changed since you started? Housekeeping is becoming more technologically developed and there

are less labour intensive activities, for example, there are now electronic ‘bed-lifters’ that help to make the bed-making process easier. The room products have also become more sophisticated to meet the comfort and expectations of today’s well versed guests. Where do you think it is heading? The future of Housekeeping is no longer simply lodging. Housekeepers are moving away from traditions and becoming more technologically inclined and are finding more innovative means of providing Housekeeping duties and guestroom amenities and features. More emphasis is placed on training and development of the teams and more measureable tools are in place to monitor success. In Housekeeping, it is difficult to attract a workforce who favours such a labour-intensive

job. As such, Housekeepers have to be more resourceful to attract the right people for the right jobs. The compensation packages for Housekeepers will become more attractive as the skills and qualifications are better developed to build a special breed of Professional Housekeepers.  About Lycette & Associates L&A specialises in all aspects of Housekeeping Management including on-site consulting, training and development workshops including assistance with initial set-up of housekeeping operations at the pre-opening stage. L&A also undertakes customised operational reviews of existing housekeeping operations identifying and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of current departmental procedures. For more information visit www.lycetteandassociates.com or e-mail info@lycetteandassociates.com

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Trang Spielvogel 

PROFILE

T

rang Spielvogel is the Executive Housekeeper at the RACV City Club in Melbourne. She is responsible for the upkeep of 112 rooms with an additional 24 new rooms soon to be available to Club members. These are currently being converted from office space to accommodate the RACV’s ever expanding business needs. Furthermore, she is also responsible for the linen room, which manages the cleaning and distribution of all the Club’s linen and uniforms. Trang was born in Vietnam but has been in Australia for 32 years. Originally planning to become a pharmacologist, Trang studied physics, chemistry and math; however she was later drawn to a career in hospitality. She has two degrees: an Arts degree majoring in Tourism at RMIT and a Business degree in Hotel Management, which she gained at the Australian International Hotel School in Canberra. Whilst there, Trang worked part time as a food and beverage attendant at a Vietnamese restaurant. She was also a librarian assistant at the school and did turndown services at Hotel Kurrajong. In between her 2 degrees she was awarded a 12 month scholarship to attend Chubu University in Nagoya, Japan to study the Japanese language and culture. In 1999 Trang returned to Melbourne where she took a position at the Centra Melbourne as a Telephonist before moving to Reception. She stayed at the Centra for two years before moving to Le Meridien (now the InterContinental) Melbourne working as the Assistant Night Manager and then a Duty Manager. In need of a challenge, Trang applied to the original RACV Club in Queen St Melbourne where she was successful in gaining the position as a Duty

Manager in 2004. Nine months later, Trang was promoted to Executive Housekeeper. Trang was faced with a new challenge during the transition of the RACV City Clubs: not only did she manage the existing housekeeping department but also was involved in the recruitment and training of staff for the opening of the new Club in Bourke St in July 2005. Since this time, Trang is happily challenged by the opportunity of constantly sourcing and purchasing new products and continuously revising and developing new procedures for her department. Trang has focused her attention on building a good team and trying to treat all her 29 staff as individuals focusing on their strengths whilst developing their weaknesses through clear communication, resulting in providing members with superior service. She enjoys good management support and loves working at the RACV City Club. She has been called on numerous times to assist the other properties under the RACV umbrella; currently 5 in Victoria and 2 in Queensland, by advising them on current in house practices. Trang is married to husband James, who currently a Les Clefs d’Or member, is working at the InterContinental Melbourne the Rialto. She is a member of The P.E.H.N. (Vic) and enjoys networking with other members at their functions and learning about new products. When she is not working, Trang enjoys shopping, dining, gardening and listening to music. She loves selecting home wares for her new home that she and her husband have just built outside Melbourne. Trang hopes to stay at the RACV City club for many years. 

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Gary Coman

SUPPLIER PROFILE exclusive fabrics can also be designed according to a client’s specifications and then woven and manufactured in Australia using the best Italian yarns. One of the great benefits that HotelHome has over its’ competitors in fabric manufacturing is that the same fabrics can be reproduced and remade at a later stage, allowing clients to purchase only what they immediately need whilst having the security and peace of mind knowing the fabrics have not been discontinued and can be identically matched in the future as needed. One of HotelHome’s best selling products is the “Cloud”, a mattress topper made of 40% down and 60% soft feathers. This innovation was born from a meeting Gary had in Dubai with many hospitality industry leaders. It took several prototypes to produce the final product, but the end result was so luxurious that many competitors tried to emulate this product with limited success. Gary’s product is still the number 1 seller.

Y

ou may have seen the advertising every time you open “The Executive Housekeeper” but have you really read it and thought about who owns and runs this company and what they can do for you? Gary Coman is the Chief Executive Officer of HotelHome Australia, a division of Coman Textiles based in Brisbane and supplying all of Australia and New Zealand. Gary has worked in the textile industry for more than forty years first starting his career as the youngest salesperson ever working for the Sheridan organisation long before it took over and then produced the Actil range, which was then a well-known textile brand in the consumer market. In 1971 he worked for Dunlop in the rubber division before moving to its newly created textile sector, Sheridan-Tennyson. Here, Sheridan developed in to one of Australia’s largest weaving operations and became the first printers of sheets and Terylene, the latter of which was used for curtain fabrics. In 1984, Gary set up his own business trading as Coman Textiles originally as the distributor for Sheridan and then other textile companies including Maurice Kain, Sekers and Sanderson. Fourteen years ago he introduced HotelHome which is his own brand name for Australian made high end quality bedding products including styled bed covers, valances, mattress toppers, cushions and drapery. As well as their large range of wide width stock fabrics,

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Gary works closely with architects, ff&e operators and interior designers as well as direct with large hotel groups and boutique hotels. HotelHome has recently secured contracts for the supply of all accommodation bed covering for a number of large coal seam gas mines in the Surat and Bowen Basins in Queensland, a project of some 3,000 plus rooms. HotelHome’s philosophy is “To produce the absolute best product with style at an affordable price” although Gary does concede that his prices may need to be slightly higher than other companies, as his bed covering products are not imports and they are made to the best commercial specifications, with the highest quality yarns and will look and wear better for much longer. Many Executive Housekeepers will have had issues with valances being incorrectly fitted, too short, too long, catching under bed castors etc. but the valances that HotelHome produces, are guaranteed to fit the beds properly leading to improved appearance for the guest and less stress on room attendants!! Gary is passionate about his company and employs 11 sales executives and 24 staff in manufacturing. He has a son and daughter who both work for the company and hopes in the future to pass on the company to them. Gary was raised in Brisbane, Queensland and now lives on the Gold Coast. When he is not working, he plays golf and enjoys sailing his boat close to home. 


· Temple Coverlet and Bel Air Cushion - “Siam Citron” · Bolster Cushion and Picket Quilted Valance - “Siam Black” A U S T R A L I A

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Jason De’ath 

J

ason De’ath has been the Executive Housekeeper at the PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney since November 2010 responsible for the upkeep of 345 rooms and overseeing the Public area cleaning of 1 restaurant, 2 bars and 6 function rooms and outsourced laundry functions. Jason’s first experience of Housekeeping was on Hayman Island working in the laundry. He was eventually promoted to the position of floor supervisor in charge of the penthouse suites tending to celebrities such as Bill Gates, Judge Judy and Princess Caroline of Monaco to name a few. In 2001 he moved to the Versace Hotel on the Gold Coast to work as a casual room attendant whilst also working at the Mercure. When a full time position became available at the Versace, Jason was trained and became responsible for the upkeep of all the marble floors working permanently on the overnight shift. After 18 months Jason moved to Heron Island as Executive Housekeeper where he stayed for one year. Jason found that this 70 room property was not challenging enough so he moved to Sydney where he worked at the now Radisson Blue with Maureen Jolocwicz working as a room attendant progressing to floor supervisor and then senior supervisor over a two year period. On leaving the Radisson Blue, Jason went to work for I.H.S. a respected outsourcing company that employs approximately 600 staff. Jason started as an Assistant Manager working his way through the ranks to become the National Training Manager for Australia and New Zealand. He worked for I.H.S. for approximately five years during which time he also spent six months at the Crocodile Holiday Inn

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PROFILE in Jabiru in the Northern Territory as Executive Housekeeper. Currently Jason is heavily involved in the multi-million dollar refurbishment at PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney. The project involves the pre and post preparation of two club room floors which are undergoing major construction works and soft refurbishment of another 212 superior rooms and all Public Areas. His main challenge is maintaining the productivity of room attendants on a daily basis whilst also maintaining a quality product. Room attendants at the PARKROYAL currently clean between 15 and 20 rooms on a daily basis. To keep them fit each morning Jason and his team participate in “Zumba” the relatively new dance craze which doubles as the daily warm up exercises and also helps to motivate staff to have fun in the workplace! I have it on good information that from time to time, both the General Manager and the Front Office Manager join in. The PARKROYAL is currently installing “Hot Source” an IT programme for Housekeeping/Front Office which should be operational by Christmas this year and Jason is quite excited about this. Jason is a member of PHAN (NSW) he is currently the secretary. He was lucky enough to meet Elton John whilst working at the Park Hyatt whilst working with I.H.S. and describes this as one of his most thrilling experiences. He currently lives in the Blue Mountains with his partner and two year old Shitzu, On his days off he enjoys grooming and taking care of his dog, and loves to listen to Celine Dion, Enya and Eva Cassidy. 


The Evolution

Case Study

of a Property

by Amanda Beazley, Managing Director and Designer, John Beazley & Co Pty Ltd

ABOUT THE PROJECT 2007 – The Rooms and Hallways In 2007 John Beazley and Co was awarded the contract to Design and Refurbish all of the rooms at the Hyde Park Inn. The design aesthetic was to be warm, inviting and homely but still modern. Sophisticated without alienating. This was achieved successfully by using warm colours in the fabrics and paint and then adding green frosted glass in the kitchen areas and the floating glass tops on the desks, appealing to the Corporate Traveller. We also made an effort to maximise the view of the Hyde Park across the road, by minimising the kitchen bench and opening up access to the window area. The complete project included a total refurbishment of rooms and kitchenettes, 7 rooms per floor including hallways, one floor per stage, a total of 92 rooms. As there are 15 floors at the property, it took over a year to complete works without greatly affecting occupancy and more importantly guest comfort.

rooms and the conference area. The hotel lobby should be an accurate representation of what the guests will experience in the rooms. We have therefore tailored our design to be sophisticated, show a refined elegance and luxury without being alienating. It is our intention to create a design that is overall clean, yet warm and inviting, modern and comfortable. To accomplish this luxury feel, finishes such as matt cream walls and floor marble were used, however on some walls there is a less expected colour... a spectacular onyx marble that was hand picked with rust and green streaked veins. This is to portray a warm and organic feel and to reflect the view of the Hyde Park opposite, as was done in the rooms. The white backed green glass is the same finish that has been used in the ‘Forum’ area, as is the perforated acoustic ceiling panels, creating a relationship and continuity between the two areas. The ‘leaf design’ in the ceiling light coffer is also used to create unity and give light, height and openness to the ceiling. The leaf design, is a modern repeat pattern of a gum leaf and is also used at the entrance of the Hotel and the lift roof, enhancing the organic feeling and once again emphasising the park within a city environment. Something that is specific to this hotel. The overall aim to increase the feeling of space and give guests a warm and luxurious feel was definitely achieved. BEFORE

2009 – The Reception At the completion of the Room Refurbishment, it became evident that the reception area no longer was an accurate reflection of the standard that you could expect in the rooms, in fact it was now looking extremely dated. We therefore pitched the idea to the hotel to Design & Refurbish the reception area.

AFTER

The concept of the design was to reflect an overall unity of the hotels interior, inclusive of the recently refurbished

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2011-2012 – Behind the Scenes Whilst all of these very visual elements were taking place, the management and owners of the HPI, once again to their credit, wanted to enhance the guests experience with elements that were not so visually obvious but certainly beneficial to the overall comfort of the stay. Once again by the appointment of John Beazley & Co, the hotel underwent a change of the hot water systems throughout the hotel with a clever design that meant constant and efficient flow of hot water to the rooms. The other major upgrade was to the acoustics in the room. The hotel, identifying an issue with the rooms, as in most city hotel rooms, the obvious outside noise of the city. Using John Beazley and Co and a modern and forward thinking system called Magnetite and a European double glazing system, the hotel room windows and glass sliding doors were upgraded for sound-proofing, greatly reducing the noise of the city within the rooms. The result was a guest experience that was not just a look that was comfortable and aesthetically pleasing, but also quiet rooms void of external noise. The current ‘behind the scenes’ upgrade that is taking place is the implementation of fibre optic cabling throughout the hotel rooms. This is to future proof the digital elements and technological advancements that are currently being designed for the hotel guest. A brave and forward thinking move by the hotel and one that will put it as one of the leaders in the market. 2011 – The Bathrooms Follow Suit To the hotels credit and their dedication to a maintenance and refurbishment programme, the next step was to upgrade the bathrooms. The bathrooms were previously marble and holding up very well, so in 2007 when we did the rooms, it was not a main priority to upgrade the bathrooms. However by 2011, it was obvious that whilst they could probably “get away with” not doing anything, it was to the guests and hotels advantage to continue the refurbishment and the new identity of the hotel and this included modernising the look of the bathrooms. To once again continue the theme created throughout the hotel by the use of green backed glass and the gum leaf pattern design, we developed a way to integrate this into the design. Bathrooms have longevity and so the design must also comply. We did not want to do anything in the bathrooms that was going to date quickly. Guests enjoy a clean and bright bathroom, so that was our main aim. We

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kept the design clean by the use of white, large format tiles which also had a fine design streak, quartz polyester vanity tops and high level tapware and finishes. The element that made the complete design cohesive with the remainder of the hotel, was the introduction of a frosted green glass panel that was back etched with the gum leaf design. This panel was inserted between the tiles mainly in the shower recess. This design now ran through the entrance, into the reception, in the roof of the lift and into the bathrooms, but it was only subtle, to be picked up by the most observant guest. Most people would probably just have a feeling of cohesive and continuity design thread based on the Hyde Park.

2012 – Back to the Beginning Well not quite... it has now been 5 years since the rooms had their major refurbishment and true to any good upgrade, the design and materials have lasted extremely well. It is my belief and recommendation that a good design should be turned around every 3-5 years for soft upgrade and 10-12 for full refurbishment. The design philosophy Beazley’s originally set in place was to use a neutral colour platform for all the items that have longevity. That proved it’s effectiveness as we were able to pick the soft furnishing accent colour and replace it with another, giving a complete re-vamped look without needing to change all the elements. We modernised the room décor slightly by introducing a contemporary approach to the artwork on the walls and the bed presentation. Bedspreads were replaced with the more modern triple sheet option. The main aim was to upgrade the room soft furnishings to bring it into line with the remainder of the property. Where once we wanted warmth in the design, we now need it to look fresh and modern, still offering the friendly ambience. The remainder of the hotel had now been upgraded to reflect this concept and the rooms were easily transformed into this approach.


Case Study

NEW CONCEPT The intentional design identity developed over time for the hotel now becomes distinctive. The warmth in the rooms is retained by the use of rich deep chocolate, however we added another element which was the warm and soft to touch bed wraps, added to the comfortable warm feeling. We introduced sage citrus green reflected in the surroundings of Hyde Park and keeping in line with the reception foyer and introducing another modern element. The green accent colour, is very dynamic and fun and the overall look was freshened up by changing the wall colour to a cleaner fresh warm white. To counteract the harsher cleaner colours such as warm white and citrus green we re-enforce the warmth by introducing texture as a major element. Use of texture such as smooth, silky, and soft all bring the element of warmth, awaken the senses and introduce sophistication and comfort to the hotel. We also chose to add yet another element of individuality in the design by using patterns developed by Australian born flamboyant designer ‘Florence Broadhurst’. As an Australian hotel we thought it would be unique to add an element of history, of eccentricity and individuality. What better way to do this than to use the patterns and designs of an Australian icon.

MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME A property dedicated to a maintenance programme, whilst it seems they are always doing something, in the end have a better property, they stay ahead of the market and most importantly they are dedicating some of their revenue earned each year back into the property. This ultimately means they are never behind the game. Properties not dedicated to a maintenance programme find themselves with rooms that appear worn and tired. Hence not being able to demand the higher rack rate, consequently affecting the yield or bottom dollar and ultimately not being able to afford a refurbishment as it is now so far behind both in profit and product – the vicious cycle. HYDE PARK INN is the opposite, this hotels management and owners should be commended for their constant efforts and consciousness of the guests comfort and overall experience both aesthetically and keeping ahead of the times and guest expectations. Well done Hyde Park Inn.  For further advice or free consultation please contact John Beazley and Co Commercial Design + Fitout Specialists.

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Employing overseas workers and 457 visas

beware of the pitfalls By Trish Babu, Workplace Relations Advisor, Accommodation Association of Australia

Operators in the accommodation sector frequently encounter situations where a job applicant mentions they are only visiting Australia, presents a foreign passport, provides overseas qualifications and refuses to provide any documentary evidence to support a claim of Australian citizenship.

I

t is a criminal offence under the Migration Act 1958 for a person to knowingly or recklessly allow an illegal worker to work or refer an illegal worker for work with another business. The possibility of a prospective employee being an illegal worker will exist whenever there is information to suggest that the person might not be an Australian citizen. If a job applicant refuses to cooperate with the check, you should explain that you will not be able to employ them until their work entitlement can be verified. In order to verify a personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entitlement to work in Australia, employers can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO). VEVO can be accessed at the Department of Immigration and Citizenshipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website: www.immi.gov.au If you wish to sponsor overseas workers on a temporary basis, a 457 visa or the Temporary Business

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Underneath it all — clean. When it comes to making your guests feel comfortable, no detail is too small— and every surface matters. That’s why for over a century, hotels around the world have trusted Diversey to deliver the cleaning, sanitation, and hygiene solutions they need. In guest rooms, public areas, and restaurants and bars, we’re creating safer environments and sparkling interiors that help your guests feel right at home. We’re Diversey, and we’re leading the world toward a cleaner, healthier future. Ask us about Green Housekeeping and how we can help you achieve your Sustainability targets. 12711 enAUNZ 03/12

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(Long Stay) – Standard Business Sponsorship (Subclass 457) is the most commonly used program available to employers. This visa can be used by employers to fill nominated skilled positions in Australia. Only certain occupations are covered under a subclass 457 visa. Occupations covered and relevant to the accommodation industry include, but are not limited to – Head Chef/ Chef, Hotel/Motel Manager, Caravan Park and Camping Ground Manager, other Hospitality and Accommodation Managers, Human Resource Manager, Accountant, Landscape Gardener etc. The employers can be either Australian businesses or overseas businesses. With this visa the workers employed from overseas can: • work in Australia for a period of between one day and four years; • bring any eligible secondary applicants with them to Australia – secondary applicants can work and study; and • after entering Australia, have no limit on the number of times they travel in and out of Australia. The validity period of the: • sponsorship is three years • nomination is 12 months • visa is between one day and four years. From 27 June 2009, there has been a requirement for sponsors under subclass 457 visa program to attest that they have a strong record of, or a demonstrated commitment to employing local labour and nondiscriminatory employment practices. Your 9 requirements as a 457 visa sponsor: 1) Cooperate with inspectors as and when required 2) Ensure that sponsored employees are offered equivalent terms and conditions to Australian citizens or permanent residents

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3) Pay the travel costs to enable sponsored persons to leave Australia when their employment ends 4) Pay costs incurred by the Commonwealth to locate and remove unlawful non-citizen 5) Maintain records of employment of the sponsored employee 6) Provide any records or information as requested by the department of immigration 7) Inform immigration when certain events occur (i.e. when a sponsored employee ceases employment)

Each company was ordered to pay $12,100 and the directors were fined $2,200 and $2,420 respectively for being knowingly involved in breaching the Workplace Relations Act 2006. Fair Work Ombudsman Nick Wilson commented that these penalties were amongst the highest ever for a case only involving improper recordkeeping and pay slip violations – and if the breaches had been committed under the Fair Work Act, they could have been even higher.

8) Ensure that the primary sponsored person does not work in an occupation other than an approved occupation

Under the Fair Work Act, the maximum penalties for breaching record-keeping laws are higher than they were under the Workplace Relations Act, so it is important to be aware of your obligations when it comes to 457 visa holders now, more than ever.

9) Must not recover certain costs from a primary sponsored person or secondary sponsored person

If the employer and employee are eligible, willing and able to meet

Be careful – You will not necessarily be relieved of these requirements if you cease employing the sponsored person. For instance, you have an obligation to keep records about sponsored employees for 2 years after they cease employment with you. A recent case has shed some light on why it is so important to keep proper employment records for all workers employed on subclass 457 visas. In Fair Work Ombudsman v Orwill Pty Ltd & Ors [2011] FMCA 730 (28 September 2011) the Federal Magistrates Court ordered two companies and their directors to pay a total of $28,820 in penalties after failing to keep proper employment records for three 457 visa workers at a Perth café in 2008. The employers failed to make and keep proper employee records, and did not record the proper details of each employee’s employment (such as the rates of pay for each employee) and failed to provide the employees with payslips. Both companies and their directors claimed ignorance of this requirement.

Applying for this Visa


their obligations under the visa, they can commence the 3-step application process.

Regional employer concessions

2) The employer must nominate the position to be filled.

Employers in regional Australia are no longer eligible for concessions in meeting the minimum salary and skill level requirements for their nominated positions under the Subclass 457 visa program.

3) The employee must apply for a visa to be allowed to work in Australia.

Requirement to pay market rates

1) The employer must complete an application to become a sponsor.

Applying for a new visa If you have an employee who wants to apply for a new visa (where their current visa is about to expire), the employee must lodge a new visa application. From 14 September 2009, 457 visa holders who want to change sponsors or nominated positions (within the validity of their current visa) will not be required to apply for a new Subclass 457 visa.

From 1 January 2010, sponsors of existing Subclass 457 visa holders will be required to pay market salary rates. The requirement to pay market salary rates means that sponsored Subclass 457 visa holders will benefit from the same terms and conditions of employment as are provided to an Australian worker undertaking equivalent work in the same workplace at the same location. Where there is an equivalent Australian worker in the workplace, the market

salary rate will be determined by the industrial arrangement that applies to this worker. The Subclass 457 visa holder must be provided the same terms and conditions that are provided to the equivalent Australian worker. Examples of industrial arrangements include enterprise agreement, modern award, award conditions with over award salary rates and common law contract. Where there is no Australian worker performing equivalent work in the same workplace, the employer may demonstrate the market salary rate by reference to the applicable modern award or enterprise agreement. In absence of an award or enterprise agreement the employer must provide the department with a range of evidence to substantiate the market salary rate. n

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Mould

by Kevin White, Mycologia

The common thought about mould is it’s everywhere, so why should we worry about a little bit of it on the wall? The reality is mould is a contaminant and despite the fact that it is common it still causes potential health effects. We all should minimise our exposure to mould, particularly in the workplace environment.

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he hazards associated with exposure to mould are often dismissed because of a lack of training. This lack of education and awareness has seen many individuals; workers and building occupants alike, exposed needlessly to potential allergens, pathogens, toxins and mycotoxins which can result in adverse health effects and costly litigation. Alive or dead: mould spores, and the fragments that break off can trigger a reaction when we touch or breathe them in. The gases they release also affect us. Individuals react differently to mould related allergens, toxins and mycotoxins.

During the cleaning of mould it is inevitable that thousands of microscopic mould fragments will be released into the air around our breathing zone. National OH&S regulations (and AS/NZ 1715) require anyone who is exposed to airborne contaminants in the workplace to be assessed for respiratory protection. This assessment process should look at potential concentration and then decide if personal protection is required and in what form. Increasingly in the workplace environment, management are working towards zero harm to all their stakeholders and this means minimising exposure to all workplace

Mould Cleaning Tips

contaminants. Despite this we continue to hear daily of people becoming sick from cleaning a bit of mould or having a look at some duct work. Part of the reason why there is a lack of understanding about the potential harmful effects of mould exposure is that managers, cleaning and maintenance staff and consultants don’t have sufficient awareness or guidance about the risks of mould exposure. This can be attributed to the lack of any formal Australian industry body to offer accredited training programs on mould. Currently there are a range of training providers offering training on mould remediation

by Mycologia

The cleaning methods that follow are provided as an indication of what procedures are currently being used by us and within the industry. Again, mould growth may reappear if the conditions that allowed it are not corrected. Recommended tools: • Microfibre cloths • Mould Cleaning Solution - For Hard Surfaces: 80% vinegar/20% water - For porous surfaces: 70% methylated spirits/30% water • Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for use while cleaning e.g. gloves, respirators, overalls

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• Vacuum with a HEPA Filter (a filter that stops tiny particles from being released into the air) Showers, tiled floors and bathroom walls: • Protect yourself by putting on a respirator and gloves • If the area is dry vacuum the affected area with the HEPA vacuum to remove the mould spores

• Wipe clean with microfibre cloth using the 3 bucket method: - Place microfibre cloths into Bucket 3 (the strongest vinegar solution). Gently squeeze the cloth so that it is damp but not dripping. Fold several times. Wipe clean the affected area using the microfibre cloths, refolding to use a “clean” surface of the cloth several times.


techniques however most are currently based on American systems and aren’t well suited to Australia because of differences in legislation, building codes and metrics. With the above in mind anyone cleaning mould should be trained in mould hazard awareness, where mould might be, how it might affect people’s health and how to minimise exposure through appropriate work practises and personal protective equipment (PPE). The Mould Hazard Awareness training should be conducted by an accredited trainer who then assesses the trainee on their understanding. The following competencies should be assessed: • Mould Ecology (what is mould, how does it grow and why) • Health Effects (exposure to people, how, why and symptoms) • PPE (what and how to use) • Microbes (what other microbes are important in water damage)

- Once the cloths have been used on all sides place into Bucket 1 (fresh water) and agitate the cloth in the water to remove particles from within the microfibres. Squeeze out water. - Move cloth to Bucket 2. Agitate. Squeeze out water. - Then into Bucket 3 where it is ready for use again. Repeat until all surfaces have been thoroughly wiped. Walls and ceilings: • If the material is porous (i.e. ceiling tiles) these may need to be removed and replaced

• Morphology of fungi (what does fungi look like, how do we identify them) • Exposure & Mycotoxins (effects and pathways of toxins emitted from mould)

It is essential that cleaning staff receive this level of training so that they comply with the National OH&S regulations and AS/NZ: 1715.  If managers or cleaning personnel want to further their knowledge on any other mould related issues, e.g. remediation, inspections, hazardous communication, HVAC systems visit www.mould.com.au

Mould Prevention Tips • It is important to note that mould cleaning and remediation will not be effective and mould growth may return if the conditions that allowed it (e.g. excessive humidity, uncontrolled condensation and/or water leaks) are not corrected. • Fix the moisture source as soon as possible. (e.g. leaky plumbing, clear overflowing roof gutters, provide drainage and slope the ground away from foundations and walls.) • Don’t let building materials stay wet. Watch out for condensation and wet spots and ensure they are cleaned and dried within 48 hours. • Got Condensation? Increase the surface temperature by adding insulation and increasing the air circulation. • Reduce moisture in the air: address moisture source, and increase ventilation (if the outdoor air is cool and dry) or dehumidify (if the outdoor air is warm and humid). • Squeegee surfaces dry after showering and ensure exhaust fan operates for at least 10-15 mins to remove excess hot wet air. • Regularly (every 3 weeks) brush surfaces of walls with water/vinegar solution to remove soap scum and surface mould.

• If the material is gyprock and the mould hasn’t grown right through then the surfaces can be vacuumed and damp wiped with mould cleaning solution and 3 Bucket method • Methylated Spirits mixed to 70% concentration are recommended for use on porous surfaces • Stubborn stains on the walls can be removed my making a bicarb paste solution and gently rubbing into the affected area. Wipe clean Soft furnishings and curtains: • Vacuum using the HEPA vacuum and horse hair brush on all surfaces

• If the materials can be washed or dry-cleaned do so in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions Clothing: • Put 1 cup to 500ml of white naturally brewed vinegar in your washing machine and wash on the warmest setting available. If odours persist, rewash a second time. Check garment instructions, be careful of delicate materials and clothing prone to shrinkage i.e. wool. Some items may require dry cleaning instead • Stubborn stains can be removed by making a bicarb paste solution and gently rubbing into the stain

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How to kill bed bugs without chemicals –

Steam by Steve Robards, Full Steam Ahead

For a wingless insect Bed Bugs can sure get around. They would have to be the experts on hitch hiking from anywhere in the world to anywhere else in the world and with their main host, humans, can do it faster than any other animal or insect.

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ed bugs have now ranged further than our beds and can be found anywhere humans congregate. Hotels, motels, backpackers, B&B’s, cinemas and aircraft are just some of the places they are found. They can change hosts mid transit hopping from clothing and baggage in the search of your blood. There are plenty of clinical reports and information on bed bugs including identifying the two main species found in Australia, their preferred habitats, feeding and breeding cycles here. Bed bug infestations can be treated either by an expensive pest controller using approved insecticides, mainly synthetic pyrethroids that have a residual activity and they may not be effective and can even repel the bugs without killing them. They simply up stakes and move to an untreated area. Other chemicals used are carbamates and organophosphates that are far more effective but may not be recommended for use on mattresses and in most cases need several follow up treatments to break the breeding cycle. Some people may not be tolerant to chemicals like asthma and allergy suffers (like myself) and will need a chemical free approach to the problem. I personally clean all my bedding including blankets, pillows and doonas with steam and vacuum on a regular basis. Not only to remove dust and pollens, dead skin and smells but also any bed bugs, fleas and other little nasties I have picked up in my travels. I have found myself more vulnerable than most people as I often pick them up in my course of work and bring them home. Treating bed bugs with steam is very effective as it only requires temperatures of 55 deg C to kill them, but it requires a complete and detailed approach using the correct accessories. It is not a job that can be rushed and every conceivable hiding spot must be treated. This includes under bed frames and wardrobes and other furnishings. Gaps around skirting boards and power points should be sealed. Use a steam accessory that will help encapsulate the steam

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allowing it to penetrate deep within the mattress and bedding as well as the carpet and curtains. Use a detail nozzle to treat around the piping and handles of the mattress and edges of furnishings and other tight to reach areas. Pet bedding should also be treated in the same manner. A steam cleaner with a built in vacuum and water filtration system is preferred. Even a small unit will be suitable but the higher the pressure and temperature the deeper the steam can penetrate into the mattress and achieve a higher and faster kill rate. Adding a small mixture of ‘bio remedial’ to the vacuum waste water tank, made up of eucalyptus and tea tree oil will also be of benefit. On completion, suck a small quantity of hot water through the vacuum hose, flush the contents of the waste bin down the toilet, treat all tools and the waste bin and any foam filters with steam and rinse with hot water. If you have been travelling do not wait until they appear, as soon as practical treat all your clothes by hot wash and hot drier. Treat your luggage with steam. A pre emptive treatment may help to save you from an early morning bed bug attack. Accommodation operators cannot be blamed for outbreaks of bed bugs as they easily hitch a lift from anywhere in the world via baggage and clothing. The arrival of summer usually sees an increase in bed bug complaints as the warmer temperatures promotes breeding as well as an increase in people travelling. Bed bugs arriving in our winter


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from the warmer northern hemisphere can after arrival lay dormant until our summer begins. Steam is by far the best and most efficient method of treatment to kill bed bugs, hence the recommendation for steam in the bed bug code of practice. With pest control companies charging up to four hundred dollars for each application, the cost of purchasing a steam unit for in house treatment is easily justified with the purchase price covered in treating several rooms.

Steam More Than Just Bed Bugs Steam can be used to clean an entire room either by itself or in conjunction with regular cleaning methods. Some operators may have several rooms that are only cleaned with steam for customers that suffer from Asthma or have other negative chemical reactions. The high temperature of steam provides a greater degree of sanitation for cleaning areas such as toilets and bathrooms again with little or no chemical use. Carpets can be vacuumed then treated with steam to remove odours from pets, urine and vomit. Residual smells from tobacco can be removed from all areas including curtains.

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housekeep_240712_OL.indd 1

Windows and mirrors are quickly cleaned along with fly screens and window tracks. Toilets can be cleaned and sanitised including those hard to get at areas with little personal contact. Hard floors can be treated with the floor mop attachments eliminating the traditional and so ineffective dirty water, mop and bucket tradition again without the use of harsh chemicals. Users of steam have found an overall cost saving in chemical purchases not to mention the negative short and long term affects on those doing the cleaning health. Steam quickly cleans all areas in kitchens from ovens, range hoods, racks, trolleys and fridges and this is where steam units fitted with detergent injection can be of great benefit. Harsh cleaning chemicals are replaced with environmentally friendly detergents that with the high temperatures of steam break down the grease and grime and effectively kill all bacteria anywhere in a working kitchen. But more importantly it is the consumer who demands the highest level of cleanliness and hygiene particularly when your facility becomes their home for the night. ď Ž

24/07/12 3:13 PM


Upholstery in your décor

Which to choose and how to maintain it By Col Nation

A Higgs Boson rings his local priest and says “Hold the service until I get there.” “Why” asks the Priest. The Higgs Boson replies “Well you can’t have Mass without me”.

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ot rolling on the floor laughing? It’s a science joke. It would have physicists doubled up, clutching their sides laughing, but if you didn’t think it was funny then I’ll try to avoid a lot of the science of fibres. When we choose soft furnishings we look at a number of different things that will meet our needs. Primarily this will be colour, style, texture, functionality, comfort, size and of course, cost. Some people may even consider durability, but rarely will the cleanability be a factor. Those who do consider cleanability will often mistakenly choose leather thinking that a simple wipe over will be enough to keep it looking good. So how do we choose something that will provide for all of our décor needs and still be easy to maintain? Hopefully this article will provide you with some information that may help you. I’ll start with leather. After we have finished eating all of the edible bits of the animal and used most of the other bits as fertiliser, we are left with just the skin of the animal. Most leather used in furnishings is from beef cattle or buffalo which we consume as steak, hamburgers and sausages, so rest easy that no animal loses its life for the leather alone. It would otherwise be a wasted resource.

Leather comes in a variety of finishes, some are absorbent (aniline, semianiline, Nubuck and suede) and some are not absorbent (pigmented/ protected). We need to factor this into our choice when considering leather. In warm, humid climates we tend to wear less clothing and have more skin contact on the leather, so the unprotected, absorbent leathers are very impractical for warmer climates

because they absorb the salts, and fatty soils from sweaty skin and develop darker areas in all areas that are in direct skin contact. They are however wonderful in cooler dryer climates because the unprotected leathers just feel so good. Wiping over an absorbent leather finish with a cloth will simply not deal with absorbed spills and soiling.

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Aniline, Nubuck and suede leathers can be a disaster in a bar area as they will become heavily stained in a very short period of time, but these may be fine in a reception area of a city hotel. Wiping over a non-absorbent, pigmented and protected leather with a damp microfibre cloth will help remove day to day dust and spills, providing we get to them well before the sticky soils dry into the surface. After a few months they will start to look tired as the build up of soils fills in the hollows in the grain of the leather. This can only be removed with a deep manual cleaning process followed by a re-application of a protective crème treatment. This is a time consuming process and the cost must be factored into the maintenance equation. So leather can provide wonderful style and colour, but it is not fool proof and can be easily damaged and scratched. This provides me with a wonderful source of income as cleaning and repairs to leather forms a major part of my specialty cleaning service on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

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The alternative to leather is fabric, and here is another minefield. Fabric is woven from fibres and there are three main sources of fibre, animal vegetable and mineral. Each has its own issues when it comes to maintenance. Animal fibres are wool and silk. In our trade we refer to them as ‘protein’ fibres. Vegetable fibres are obtained from plants and we categorise these as ‘cellulose’ fibres. Most ‘synthetic’ fibres are manufactured (synthesised) from minerals such as coal, oil and natural gas. There are other fibres as well. Glass and asbestos fibres are also mineral fibres, but we won’t be dealing with them as they are rarely used in furnishings. There is yet another classification, and that is the ‘re-constituted cellulose’ fibres. When cotton is harvested there is a lot of leaf litter, twigs and seed pods that get harvested along with the cotton fibres. This rubbish is removed with the ‘ginning’ process. Rather than burn the waste, they use this as a resource and mulch it all down and chemically extract the cellulose

and cook it up into viscose (thick and slow flowing) liquid which is extruded as a fibre, known as (viscose) rayon and also acetate. These have many of the natural qualities of true vegetable fibres, but can have a smoother, sometimes shiny texture due to the extrusion process providing a different feel and look to a fabric. They are not generally as durable as cotton and the viscose rayon in particular, is very subject to deterioration in humid environments. It is almost water soluble so cleaning rayon can pose some real challenges. Now I promised not to get too technical so I will simply say that most fibres have different levels of absorption. This can apply to both oils and water. Polypropylene is the least absorbent to water and is great for fabric that is subject to abuse from drink spills and the like. It can only be dyed ‘in the melt’ and water based dyes such as cordial colours cannot penetrate, therefore is highly resistant to staining from drink spills. It is however highly absorbent to oils, so oily soils easily penetrate. This poses


challenges when trying to clean with normal water based cleaning methods as the water cannot penetrate in to wash the oils out. The other synthetic fibres have varying degrees of moisture and oil absorbency and therefore have a variety of characteristics in relationship to soiling and cleaning. Can you imagine a pair of jeans made from polyester? It’s just wrong isn’t it? This is because jeans are traditionally made from cotton and being a cellulose fibre it has the absorption and breathability that makes it comfortable on our skin. Polyester, nylon, acrylic and polypropylene are the four main synthetic fibres and while these are good hard wearing fibres, they can tend to have that plastic like feel. But there are variations on these fibres such as ‘microfibre’. This is simply, very thin polyester fibres. Microfibre is the fibre used in the suede –look fabrics that have been very popular over the last 10 years or so. There are of course a number of manufacturers of ‘faux suede’ fabrics and of course some of these can be very good, but some can have quite a few problems. Polyester, especially microfibre, is a very popular synthetic fibre for upholstery, it cleans well, wears well and is resistant to sun damage, fading and staining, but keep in mind that microfibre cleaning cloths are made from polyester and these are very good at cleaning because they trap and hold the soiling. Microfibre upholstery can be very similar in that they are good at cleaning our arms and legs and holding in the soiling. But at least they are usually easy to clean with the right cleaning methods and detergents. So if you don’t like the synthetic feel, you are left with the cellulose or protein fibres. Wool and silk, our protein fibres, can give luxury and elegance to any furnishings, but silk especially, is quite easily damaged both chemically and physically and would not be a great choice for a holiday unit. Wool can be great and is used where flame resistance is a prime

concern, so fabric aircraft seats will invariably be made from wool fibres, but for some reason we rarely find wool in traditional furniture upholstery. This is probably due to the fact that wool can have a ‘prickle’ feel to it on bare skin unless they use very fine Merino wool, and this can be a bit costly. The cellulose fibres, cotton, linen and occasionally jute, will often be chosen because of their feel and breathability. They feel cool in the summer and warm in the winter. They can be dyed in a range of colours and woven into a wide variety of styles. They can be blended or woven together with some of the synthetic fibres, most commonly polyester, to give the durability and moisture resistance of the synthetic fibres, yet retain a lot of the breathability of the cellulose fibres. The biggest problem with cellulose fibres are that they are basically made from dead plants, if they are continually in a humid environment and are subject to soiling, the bacteria and moulds can have a field day. Bacteria and mould just see it as food and the fabric can deteriorate in high humid environments. They are very absorbent fibres and soak in most spills and soiling, but because of their ability to absorb moisture they are usually quite easily cleaned. One of the biggest problems is they do tend to fade quite quickly compared to other fibres and colour runs between different fibres can create some issues in multicoloured fabrics. Some dyes used in cellulose fibres have been known to change colour when cleaned due to chemical changes caused by soiling and exposure to the air. So there is really no magic bullet here. No fabric or fibre is going to be perfect in every situation. Some are going to be easily cleaned and some are not. Speaking of cleaning, rarely will care labels provide any real valuable information. They don’t give you fibre content information and generally provide little in the way of help when it comes to cleaning methods. Some will say ‘hot water extraction’ can be used, while others may say ‘dry clean only’.

If you see a fabric label on a lounge with a ‘dry clean only’, then it might be a good idea to avoid that fabric. It’s a bit hard to drag a lounge suite down to your local dry cleaner, and even if you did, then your sofa is not going to fit in their dry cleaning machine. On-site dry cleaning is available, but this involves the use of volatile petrochemical solvents that are not contained within a sealed environment like at your local dry cleaners and you risk having to evacuate your entire building when highly toxic, flammable solvent fumes waft through your air conditioning system. So choosing a fabric can be difficult if you are trying to meet all of your décor needs and still keep it realistically cleanable. If you are about to select some fabric or leather, it might pay to get a second opinion from the person who is going to have to maintain it. If your in-house maintenance and cleaning personnel are not familiar with upholstery cleaning and maintenance, then it might be an idea to outsource this task to a professional upholstery cleaner or get some training for your own staff. Hippies have a very simple solution when it comes to the maintenance of upholstery. Don’t have furniture and just make everyone sit on the floor. That solves a lot of problems. Next issue I’ll explain the Higg’s Boson. No I won’t, just kidding. Cheers Col Nation.  Col Nation is the owner of ABBsolve Services, (www.abbsolve.com.au) a specialist upholstery cleaning service on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. He also runs Nation Training (www.nationtraining.com.au) which provides specialised training in the field of carpet and upholstery maintenance. Nation Training provides training in Australia and New Zealand for the WoolSafe Organisation. Colin was the author of the draft of the Australian Standard for upholstery cleaning which was published as A/NZ Standard 4849.1 in 2003 and this year was elected President of the Individual Cleaners Association of Australia and New Zealand (ICAN).

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Product NEWS Keeping kitchen odours within the 18L Swing Bin 7641802 Weatherdon’s new durable, polypropylene swing top rectangular bin holds a generous 18 litres and is our newest addition to the extensive “Compass” range of bins.

The balanced swing top is on a sturdy central pivot so you can drop items in from both sides of the lid with ease. In a neutral shade to complement all spaces, it is ideal for kitchens, guestrooms, or office environments. R. Weatherdon & Co. (02) 9906 2202 sales@weatherdon.com.au

This versatile bin is compact in size and can be used with or without the lid. Standing 470 mm high, 185 mm wide and 300 mm deep, there will be no problem finding standard liners to suit.

MOLTON BROWN launches new Essentials Collection II Available exclusively from International Interior Images Molton Brown has long been synonymous with luxury and indulgence. Inspired by exotic locations, Molton Brown prides themselves in making the highest quality products using pure flower, plant and marine extracts sourced from around the globe, for a luxurious bathing experience that nourishes the skin and stimulates the senses. A bold, streamlined collection of some of Molton Brown’s best-selling body lines.

CleanScene 2012 Around 100 exhibitors are expected at CleanScene 2012, 23-25 October at the Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, to showcase Australia’s newest and most innovative cleaning and hygiene products. Presented by the National Cleaning Suppliers Association (NCSA) and

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From Paradisiac Pink Pepperpod to Travel-Reviving Cempaka, each exotic plant and mineral ingredient has been sourced for its potency and benefits. The tube design makes a modern statement, with impactful graphics and dynamic shape. In keeping with Molton Brown’s commitment to sustainability, the tubes and caps are all 100% recyclable. Your guests can now experience Essentials Collection II exclusively from International Interior

co-located with The Safety Show Sydney and Sydney Materials Handling, CleanScene will provide businesses with a unique opportunity to check out what’s best for their individual requirements. Highlights will include a free NCSA Industry Seminar Series, interactive demonstrations of new equipment

Images – the perfect reflection of a contemporary lifestyle. For further information regarding our luxury guest amenities please call our friendly Sales Team on (03) 9673 1444 or email info@interior-images.com.au

and services, an Industry Gala Dinner, a Cleanlink Cleaning and Restoration Conference, as well as an opening breakfast where the Innovative Products will be awarded. To register or for more information, go to cleansceneshow.com.au or call 03 8672 1200.


The One Convention Every Facility Manager Should Attend ...

IEHA’s 46th Annual Conference & Convention in conjunction with ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America • October 14-19, 2012 Doubletree Magnificent Mile • Chicago, IL • USA

Attendees Will Receive: • 10+ hours of exclusive facility manager-focused educational sessions regarding management skills and continuous improvement, featuring IEHA’s own expert members as presenters! • 20+ hours of additional ISSA sponsored educational sessions that will help you do your job better! • 17+ hours to discover new technologies, products and services to improve performance from more than 700 vendors on the ISSA/INTERCLEAN® tradeshow floor! • Global networking and the opportunity to share and learn with peers in every cleaning industry segment! • Take away proven best practices that you can easily and immediately implement upon your return! • Return to work recharged, enthusiastic and excited with newfound skills that everyone in your facility will benefit from! • And much more!

Register Online at www.ieha.org or Call (800) 200-6342!

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