Executive Housekeeper Volume 22 No. 3

Page 1

The Executive


Vol 22

No 3




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Publishers LETTER


elcome to the final edition of Executive Housekeeper for 2018.

The team here wishes everyone a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. We are looking forward to bringing you more informative and timely articles in 2019! We begin this issue with the recent relaunch of PEHN. Formed in 1996, PEHN was the country’s first housekeeping association, and has since grown to comprise a strong membership base. To keep up with the changing face of housekeeping, PHEN is now undergoing a transformation with a new website and fresh focus to encourage more housekeepers to join. The organisation will add more products, suppliers and resources to its website and social media platforms, while still holding social events for its members. We hope the new approach ensures PEHN builds upon its strong foundation going forward. We hear from the recently crowned Housekeeper of the Year Suranga Hewagamage in this issue. The prestigious award comes on the back of some outstanding work at the RACV Torquay resort – itself an award-winning destination offering a five-star gateway to the Great Ocean Road. We congratulate Suranga on the achievement. For something a bit lighter in this issue, we look at the dos and don’ts of recruitment. Finding the right fit for your team

can be a challenge, so Stuart Mullins of Executive Search breaks down what to look for in the hospitality world. We thank Stuart for sharing his knowledge and tying in a good dose of humour! Green cleaning is a big feature of this issue. One article comes from a leader of the green cleaning movement, Stephen Ashkin. The American explains some of the history and ways to implement green cleaning. Have you ever wondered what it is like to open some of the world’s biggest hotels? Our regular writer Janet Marletto shares her experiences at locations across the United States. And have you heard of Biophilia? Mark Thomson explains exactly what we are talking about. We would like to thanks everyone who has given us their expertise and time this year. Along with the writers mentioned above, we would also like to thank our regular contributors Liz Lycette, Barbara Sargeant and Col Nation, along with Libby Sharp from SEQPHA, and Donna from PHEN. Merry Christmas! Regards Neil Muir

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Contents 6

PEHN news



10 Save money on carpet and upholstery 12 Another opening, another show 17 Allowing our staff to think 19 Understanding commercial linen 21 Ceramic & stone flooring care 22 How to choose the right bedding partner for your hotel 24 We know you’re busy – Green cleaning made easy 28 Green vs Sustainable in the world of disinfectants 30 Welcome to RACV Torquay Resort 35 Suranga Hewagamage Profile 36 Sustainable cleaning products – what to look for and why ecolabels matter 38 7 cleaning myths that actually waste time, money and energy 40 The dog ate my homework 47 The central role voice AI will play in everyone's future 49 Preserving lower back physiology for a healthier cleaning industry 52 Preparing for the next (design) outbreak!! 54 Sustainable ‘Green Cleaning’ with microfibre 56 Addressing the cleaning challenges of a new type of guest room floor 58 Product news

The Executive


Cover images show RACV Torquay Resort Vol 22

No 3





ast month members friends and associates of PEHN got together in Melbourne to re-launch the association with a new look and purpose for the network. Centre to this is an updated website to be a point of reference for all members. A place where they can go to get information on products, suppliers, resources and educational information. The website will evolve as time goes along with more suppliers, more resources and more educational opportunities added as they become available. You will also be able to link into the social pages like Facebook and LinkedIn, which will regularly post updates. You will be able to join or renew memberships online and of course see and read the latest issues of The Executive Housekeeper. PEHN will continue to have social events, tours and forums throughout the year as always, but they want to be able to share information to those that cannot always attend the events. Because the industry has changed so much over the years they have found that Housekeepers are not only coming from interstate and overseas but hotels are outsourcing more. There is now a different dynamic within the industry. A new generation of Housekeepers are tech savvy, time poor, and hungry for knowledge and advancement. PEHN was formed back in 1996, when a group of Housekeeping professionals got together and decided that it was time to put Housekeeping out there as a profession, to gain recognition for the hard work and dedication in one of the most important areas of the hotel industry. This group of people made it their mission to not only form the Professional Executive Housekeepers network, but to chip away at the stigma of housekeeping only being a back of house area role. It is now 22 years on and although that stigma has changed somewhat, it is still not a first choice role for many of our up and coming hospitality students. Donna Musarella, PEHN President, stated at the PEHN relaunch recently, “I often go and do talks in our hospitality training schools, and when I ask the question what department would you most like to work in, Housekeeping is way down the list for most. They all want the glitz and glamour of front desk, or when aiming high, to be a general manager is a common goal. Like my PEHN predecessor’s before me, I also make it my mission to fly the flag for what an amazing department housekeeping is, the diversity of the teams, the skills required to manage not only large teams but to organise and manage the complete running and cleanliness of one of the biggest areas of most hotels, is not only very rewarding, but requires you to wear many different hats and juggle multiple tasks at one time. We need to grow and mentor those that have the interest and passion and


to watch. Games like heads or tails, guess the colour of the clinker, how far can your paper plane fly, catwalk models just to name a few. There were many great door prizes won on the night, but at the end of the day it was about celebrating Housekeeping week with many different hotels and teams represented, and a great time was had by all. In finishing PEHN would like to give a big thank you to all our friends and supporters and wish everyone a very safe and happy Christmas and New Year.  help give them the tools and knowledge to grow within this Housekeeping space. We have many 2IC’s and supervisors in this very room with us who are members, who are superstars, who want to grow and learn and be the future of Housekeeping Management. We owe it to them to share and impart as much knowledge as possible to help them achieve their goals in this profession. Which is why we need to create things like our new webpage to give them another tool to help them along the way." Most importantly there would not be any PEHN without the continued support of members, associate members, and suppliers. To the members who join up every year, come to functions, forums, tours etc, thank you all. PEHN is your network, it needs you to be supportive, re-join or renew your memberships, talk about it amongst your peers, promote and continue to grow the network so we can all look forward to seeing what the next 20 years bring. Hopefully we will see PEHN for many more years to come to offer support and guidance, friendship and fun times. Donna wants to acknowledge and thank Christiaan Knol who willingly accepted the task of creating the new webpage, for answering emails at all times of the day and night. He is very patient, and has created exactly what PEHN was asking him for. Like any network or organisation, there is always a group of people behind the scenes that keep the wheels in motion. With the presidents there is always a committee, who dedicate their own time to continuing to run the network, to organise functions forums and fun stuff for all to enjoy, thank you to the current committee who are always supportive and dedicated and the time you have given to PEHN. PEHN could not do this without you.

OTHER NEWS PEHN held its annual Trivia night event to celebrate Housekeeping week on Friday 21st September. It was a great turnout with some very competitive teams trying to win and be crowned Trivia champions 2018. Apart from the usual trivia questions – there were many interactive rounds for extra points, which were hilarious

Get into your 70’s Disco gear and come celebrate at the

Thursday 29th November 7.30pm – late Basco Brunswick 307 Sydney Road Brunswick (Enter via Phoenix Street for Red Room function space ) Members - $50.00 Non-Members - $65.00 Includes finger food and drinks RSVP: by 19th November pehn.aus@gmail.com Please deposit payment into the PEHN Acc: BSB- 033146 ACC: 149917 (Don’t forget to put your name in the reference section so we know you have paid) Catch the #19 tram from Elizabeth St – get off at stop 21 If driving there is a woolworths carpark behind the venue




hat a wonderful year it has been, with a big wholehearted thanks to each of you. The greatest gift I have experienced is your generosity and support in helping all our local charities. We have had fun and made new friendships. Sandy and Ian, whom are our charity King and Queen, this year have won two community awards with the help of our Housekeepers and supplier’s generosity. They both attend all our meetings and put so much love into giving and helping the homeless, when it comes to charity work they stop at nothing. For Housekeepers week we had a truly amazing morning at Sunfresh Linen. We had a beautiful catered breakfast under a lovely white marquee which was especially set up all donated by the wonderful George Brothers with great raffles and a tour of the most extraordinary Laundry. Sunfresh Linen has a very supportive culture with their employees and customers and they share this with our association. It was also a great opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of our Housekeeping teams and thank them for a job well done. In October it was a garden breakfast overlooking the beautiful broadwater on the gold coast hosted by Wendy Robinson the Executive Housekeeper of Sea World Resort with our Guest speaker Jason Blackburn the Assistant Manager of the Resort. It was also the start of our Kids Christmas appeal for the Gold Coast Hospital and also collecting gifts for the aged care home in the Hinterland, which we are looking forward to dressing up and distributing the gifts.

November it was another amazing breakfast in the sky lounge of the Pullman Brisbane Airport. The view of the airport was a real wow factor, no noise, but to be looking down on an airport, it was amazing to see all the plane traffic. Rachael Gieseg the Executive Housekeeper was our host with our Guest Speaker Alex Penklis who is the Chief Operating Officer for Brisbane Airport Group, Pullman, Novotel and Ibis. He has a wonderful sense of humour and kept us entertained. Also congratulations to Rhonda Patrick one of our members in her new role as Executive Housekeeper Sofitel Broadbeach we wish her every success. Our last event for the year is our annual Christmas party which is being held at The Star Broadbeach. Our next meeting will be our AGM beginning of February with four members receiving life membership badges. I hope that 2019 brings much happiness and good health to all of you. The best feeling of happiness is when your happy because you made somebody else happy. Libby Sharp – President SEQPHA libbysharpsmail@yahoo.com.au 0419 140 157


Save money


A lipstick mark on a glass, or a toothpaste spot on a mirror can make a bad impression on an otherwise well presented guest room. A stain on a carpet can also detract from the overall appearance. A lippy mark or a spot on a mirror can be easily dealt with using a simple spray and wipe, but those same marks on a carpet are a lot more difficult to remove and a lot more costly to replace when you can’t remove the stains effectively.


ater in this article I help make it easier for housekeeping staff to deal with many spots and spills.

Carpet and upholstery is not only porous but also three dimensional. They can also be made with a variety of materials which may be synthetic or natural. Natural fibres could be animal based as in wool or silk. It could also be vegetable fibre such as cotton, jute, hemp or linen.

Synthetic fibres could be nylon, polyester, polypropylene or acrylic and then there are even variations on nylons and polyester. Some manmade fibres can be made from plant based materials. We will hear the terms Bamboo Fibre or Art Silk (meaning artificial silk) and these are mostly viscose fibres manufacturers from plant based materials. This all makes it difficult to choose the right spot removal treatment and consequently a lot of carpets are ruined by inappropriate cleaning and this can be very costly indeed. I was working on a carpet in an upmarket hotel on the Sunshine Coast recently. It was a beautiful, high quality wool carpet. The marks on the carpet were big and black and made this upmarket hotel look anything other than upmarket. While everything else in the rooms was lovely and clean, the carpet was nothing short of an eyesore. The cost to replace a unit full of this carpet would run into a few thousand dollars. The hotel was less than three years old. What caused these marks? Some guests have had a few minor spills, but by far the worst damage was caused by the attempts by the housekeeping staff to remove these little spills. The use of the wrong type of cleaning agent caused major re-soiling problems that looked worse than the original spills, which by the way, were still visible in the middle of the damaged area. Incorrect methods used in the spot removal can not only cause re-soiling, but also irreversible physical damage to the carpet which can end up being a very expensive problem. Not only the cost of replacement of the carpet needs to be considered, but also the loss of income while the unit is out of service and the general loss of market perception of business itself by all those guests staying in that room while arrangements are made to replace the hideously stained carpet. Carpets and upholstery “ugly out” far before they wear out. Most carpets are replaced because they simply look


bad, even though they are still in good physical condition. Even a domestic rated carpet can last for many years and look good for a long time if it is maintained properly. Poor chemicals or cleaning techniques are the prime reasons that carpet or upholstery ugly out and have to be replaced. So how do you maintain a carpet properly? Get the App. Go to the App store and download the free WoolSafe App. In this app is a guide to looking after not only wool carpet but any other fibre. If it is safe on wool then it will be safe for anything else as well. Go to your app store, search for ‘woolsafe’, click ‘get’ and there you have it, a complete guide to carpet and upholstery maintenance. In the app are some initial suggestions to help you, then click on the ‘Stain Guide’ button, Click “select stain.” Scroll down the wheel until you find the stain, and click ‘OK’ and it gives you a simple step by step guide to how to treat the stain. If the stain removal fails to work you can then click on the ‘Cleaners’ button and it will bring up a map to find your nearest WoolSafe Approved Service Provider who can help you solve your problems.

A WoolSafe Approved Service Provider has been trained in the specific needs and techniques required for cleaning and maintenance of wool, and other fibre carpets and upholstery. Some are even trained in colour repair so they can often remove the dye stains and even re-colour the carpet back to the original. This can save you thousands of dollars in carpet replacement costs, not to mention the general inconvenience and loss of income while replacing carpet that is otherwise in good physical condition. Even cigarette burns can be re-tufted by some specialist technicians. You can find this help, and more on the WoolSafe website www.woolsafe.org So all is not lost when you come across those nasty looking spots and spills that detract from your overall image. With a little bit of practice, common sense, good WoolSafe Approved cleaning products, and a bit of know how, you will be able to easily deal with the majority of those annoying spots that guests may cause and this can save you thousands of dollars. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Col Nation is the Director of the WoolSafe Organisation for Australia and New Zealand. He has over 35 years experience in dealing with carpet problems and is a WoolSafe Registered Inspector and travels all over Australia finding solutions for carpet related problems. Colin is also an experienced industry trainer and can help train your staff on how to get the most from your carpet.



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Opening an hotel from ground up is like anything else: If you have been well-trained, have guidelines, and are working a competent team, it goes well even when there are the inevitable glitches out of your control. Happily, I have participated in such openings and am about to share a few such experiences.



hankfully I received a superior training with Westin Hotels as a management candidate for Housekeeping and Laundry/Valet services at the flagship, grande dame Hotel St. Francis on Union Square in San Francisco. Because of its floor plan configuration and history, I learned about handling old and new. You see, the St. Francis’ Main Building (its nomenclature at the time),takes up a full block of Powell Street facing Union Square. It houses the Lobby, restaurants, bars in the frontof-the-house and operation centres for Housekeeping, Laundry/Valet, kitchens, garde-manger, pastry shops including a cool chocolate room, staff dining room and locker rooms, as well as personnel, security, and some storage. Simply, it is the heart of the hotel and is in action almost twenty-four hours a day in one form or another.

To have this experience as a novice was priceless because it meant that nothing fazed me: a Princess Royal and Pavarotti (among other super stars) in Houston, members of Middle Eastern royalty and well-known CEO’s at the Walt Disney World Swan, and so on at all other properties where I was director. Of course, if the head of the department is knowledgeable and relaxed about a normally stress-inducing event, the whole team performs superbly…like poetry in motion. Needless to say, training for all tam members included aspects that could be applies to these special circumstances. At times, this inclusion made staff wonder why; however, when the time came, they were ready to perform at top level with ease and confidence and were relieved that they could participate, thanks to the advance training.

It is always a sign of a good operation when the staff has civilized accommodations. “Budget engineering” can be harmful to operations and morale. I have seen this play out in several hotels, but NOT at the stately St. Francis! To be surrounded by a high level of graciousness has a definite impact on training, mindset, and level of standards inculcated. This milieu provided me with experiences that a lesser property would not have. For example, the US Secret Service prefers the Hotel St. Francis because it allows them to do their security based job to the utmost. One element is the controllable entrance on a side street which can be secured so that no one other than the presidential party can enter or exit. Moreover, it connects directly to the suite and adjoining rooms regularly used by the Presidents. The Secret Service arrives well in advance to conduct inspections, install phones, computers, and high level security systems. Of course it also requires a list of all staff who will be giving any kind of service to the floors involved. Background checks are done well before the arrival. This means that any possible back-up or replacement staff must also be included in the background checks. No switching allowed. Period. The same sort of protocols was followed for royalty and heads of state. It was not only exciting to be included but also important for safety and security. Needless to say, the best of al staffs were on the background checklist.

Yes, training of every member of the team from top down ensures a smooth operation and positive morale, i.e. translated into a minimal absence rate and low turnover. Malcolm Gladwell in The Outliers contends that it takes ten years or 20,000 hours to reach mastery in any “job/ position/profession.” In the hotel business, I would say that it is slightly longer. For me, personally, at year thirteen, I had arrived at that juncture, for almost anything that could happen, had happened at that point. This experience really supports a good hotel opening. My second ground up opening, for example, started in 1989 at the Walt Disney World Swan in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA (a Westin Hotel, part of the Starwood Resorts on Disney property but neither owned nor operated by Disney.). This 750 room property was/is special for many reasons. Reason number one is that renowned architect-designer Michael Graves designed every inch of it including all surfaces, fabrics, carpet, finishes, and furniture. Above all, not one item could be purchased through usual channels. Every single item was a “creation.” In keeping with this exclusivity, the design team travelled to Ireland to look at the sheep that would be providing the wool for the bespoke carpets! Westin Corporate approached me for the position of pre-opening, opening, and post-opening Director of

The Walt Disney World Swan, Orlando, Fl.

Housekeeping ( plus Laundry/Valet) because, they said that I was an expert on surfaces and that the surfaces at the new property were an unknown quantity that only an expert could prepare for them. What? You say! An unknown quantity? How so? Customarily an architect/design team creates scheme boards to depict each surface/finish of the hotel. Nothing about the Swan was customary or average! There was not one drop of white anywhere in guest areas! Guests entered a hotel lobby dominated by grey blue. As Feng Shui enthusiasts know that grey blue is a “downer”. Not a joyful colour to greet already harassed New Yorkers upon arrival! So, I planned for all eventualities in terms of training, equipment, and products. Thus, we had anything we would need initially and could order more of items consumed. In fact, within one year, we had utilized every single item I had ordered pre-opening so that we never had to scramble. Even the Director of Engineering was very pleased because I took a Zen approach to bathroom chrome (and all surfaces actually) so that no harsh chemicals were used so that the chrome remained “like new” for the seven years I was there. Buying the best supplies and equipment paid off when used by staff trained to do work professionally. Because of the high occupancy rate, our suppliers requested our participation in the testing of product effectiveness. We could produce one (1) year results in a few months’ time. Due to the high traffic and wear and tear even those carpets created from the wool of Irish sheep had to be replaced years sooner than anticipated. At this point, you can see how my early training at the St. Francis prepared me for bigger challenges on an ongoing basis. What really made a difference was my own personal development and growth. Mindset supports on-going success. As such, my training prepared me to train others on all levels. In fact, I became known for staff

development from management level to hourly positions. I instilled the possibility of promotion in everyone willing to make the effort to move up the ladder. In fact this desire to move up was the lynch pin of my new opening strategy. I parlayed this desire to move up as I staffed for the opening of the Four Seasons Houston Center in Houston in 1981. How did I do that? I looked at my staffing guide and hired people a rank below their capabilities and qualifications with the promise promotion in a few months’ time. These highly qualified people trusted me and helped me set the standards for opening operations. For example, some supervisory level ladies agreed to start as room attendants so that they could model what I wanted the service level to be. Once the standard was established in each area, including the all-important housekeeping telephone coordinator, the promotions began so that positions opened up along the chain of command; highly qualified candidates moved into them with ease. You can imagine how wonderful the morale was! This approach proved to be magical! I can honestly say that I developed the concept myself and applied it from that time forward in all of my operations. The fact that he luxury hotel companies who hired me always paid the top rate in the area accompanied by full benefits so that good candidates applied. Of course, word of mouth helped too. The allure of good pay, full-time work, and compete benefits was effective. By adding professional training (at least three weeks for room attendants) and opportunities for promotion, the team synthesized quickly. Work schedules were always done in advance and requests for time off honoured. These elements contributed to a successful formula. How did this play out in terms of hotel ratings? There is a rule that the inspectors are to come one year after opening to evaluate the property for AAA stars and Mobil diamonds. I personally follow this same rule by waiting for an opening team to make necessary adjustments. Furthermore, there is usually a heavy turnover of staff during the initial period after opening. Well, in 1981, I guess that the AAA inspectors had a slack period and decided to ignore the rule. They showed up and completed their inspection six months….yes six months…after opening! This was shockingly unfair. They rated us at four stars…in just six months. After a year, they rated us five stars…..as was our intention! The Walt Disney World Swan was rated four stars which was expected because here are certain requirements in terms of services in order to qualify for five stars. When I was co-directing the opening of the glorious St. Regis Monarch Beach at Dana Point in 2001, we opened at a five star level and were recognized as such. These ratings were totally dependent on the quality of training for consistent cleaning and service. After


The Westin St. Francis, San Francisco

location, cleanliness is the most important factor in a hotel’s rating. Today, quality still matters for the most discerning guests who recognize and appreciate it. You can find that it exists in a number of exclusive properties. Needless to say, there is a LOT to opening any hotel from scratch. Established, successful companies have programs and procedures documented so that they are duplicable. Whether the format is old-school binders or on-line modules, it is wonderful when guidelines are provided as a foundation. The standards are key to all procedures and training. Each location adapts or enhances the standards so that they are met consistently. Thanks to computers all of this can be dons effectively. In addition to the resources like those mentioned above, the guidelines set by the Managing Director/General Manger serve to reinforce what needs to be done. A flow chart keeps everyone on target and allows for inevitable deviations and/or adjustments at regular meetings. Being totally accountable is a requirement for each player. Although the Director of Housekeeping starts alone to set up all necessary budgets, staffing needs and so on often there are decisions to be made at the corporate level> It is vital that relationships with local vendors be established and nurtured. For it is the vendor who typically provides vital training for equipment, sets up dilution ratios for cleaning chemicals and generally lends needed support from pre-opening to on-going operations. By remaining open and ego-less, the Director of Housekeeping makes a great team player by contributing based on experience and imagination. Frequently there


are brain storming sessions related to marketing during pre-opening as the team clarifies the property’s place in the community. The ecological concept of not changing towels on a daily basis was developed at a session such as that at a high profile property where I was DOH. In fact, it has gone on to be adopted worldwide using our original verbiage almost verbatim in most cases. It was my responsibility to do a pilot program to work out the details, to gather data, to analyse it, and to summarize the results. Tweaks were implemented; training of staff was completed so the program became part of the daily routine. Savings in water, electricity, and labour were realized enough so that the program is still alive and well today…decades later. (Now you know the source of the verbiage and procedures: c’est moi.) In conclusion, you will apply all of your professional and personal knowledge and experience during an opening. In fact, you’ll even learn more because it is likely that you will be sent for cross training or observations at other hotels while you are the sole member of the department so that new procedures can be implemented with grace. This enrichment is priceless and will save you from making many mistakes. During my openings, I applied principles and ideas gleaned during observations, visits, and cross-trainings, much to the delight of the Managing Directors who appreciated the results. When you are open to learning and improving all you do and who you are, your future is super bright! Whether you are up front or behind the scenes, you make major contributions to the success of the “show” that is the hotel. A standing ovation is in order! Bravo! Well done!  Janet Marletto can be reached by e-mail: jmarletto@yahoo.com and on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jmarletto/

At Empire Hospitality we pride ourselves in providing Quality Housekeeping Solutions.

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One of the ways in which humans were thought to differ from the rest of the animal world was in our ability to think. Now, whilst it has been shown that other animals do in fact have the ability to think and reason, there is enough evidence to suggest that humans appear to have a better grasp of this talent.


ust because we can think however doesn’t necessarily mean we will think well - indeed, in his book The Road Less Travelled and Beyond, author M.Scott Peck points out that one of the dangers in life is in fact to think too simply. I believe we all occasionally fall into the trap of seeking easy solutions to a problem, rather than looking for a more complex response to a challenge. A lot of the time this is because of time constraints, where one doesn’t really have time to think things through, so we rely on gut feeling or what appears OK at the time. (No doubt this is how those old sayings: “There’s never enough time to do it properly, but there’s always time to fix it up” & “Act in haste, repent at leisure” came about.) One of the other reasons for simple thinking suggested by Peck however, is that it’s often easier to agree with what everyone else thinks, so that we don’t have to think for ourselves. Of course, some Managers prefer not to have anyone else think, and positively discourage independent thought. Why? Perhaps because it casts doubt on their own judgement, hence casting doubt on their own abilities. On the other hand, there are a lot of people that prefer just to work and not think either. After all, it’s easier to go along with the crowd, because then we can’t be blamed, we don’t have to tax ourselves by thinking any differently and we don’t have to take responsibility for our actions. This attitude can be found entrenched in a lot of organisations, where those in charge would prefer the staff to have blind faith, rather than questioning the status-quo. Now, whilst this may have some advantages in say, the armed forces or in certain large organisations where the nature of the product & service delivery is clearly defined (eg some Fast Food chains), I would have thought that there was a greater benefit in having 300 people thinking rather than just one or two. As Managers, I believe rather than crushing the creativity of our staff, one of our greatest challenges is to stimulate the thinking of those around us, so that we have a far greater number of allies in meeting the adversities that face us, plus a far larger pool of ideas from which to draw. It is also true that brainstorming often stimulates ideas that may not have

arisen if everyone just waited for the boss. (I used to say to my staff over the years, that if we both agree all the time, then one of us isn’t necessary.) There is no doubt that reading a motivational book can encourage us, especially when we read of the multitude of people who “never give up”, however there is a far greater (additional) benefit in challenging people to think for themselves in order to become self-motivating. (It’s strange isn’t it that we have lots of resources in learning how to motivate our employees, but how many resources have you seen that assist in learning how to think?) Those of you who remember learning the principles of adult learning in a “Train the Trainer” program, will recognise that, for any adult training to be effective, it must be motivating & meaningful, as well as offering opportunity for feedback, both to and from the trainer. Utilising these principles have been proven time and again to improve the productivity of participants, because they actually get people to think about what they’re doing. Allowing team members to think and to contribute gives meaning to otherwise meaningless jobs and stimulate ideas as to how things can be improved. Eg A dishwasher generally washes dishes, thinking that that’s the primary role, so hey! who cares if a plate or two gets broken? On the other hand, better training and encouraging a dishwasher to think about their work, creates recognition of their importance in maintaining valuable assets in a hotel or restaurant. If encouraged appropriately, this employee will often then suggest even better and more effective ways of performing their task. Now, I’m certainly not advocating continual challenge to authority, or outright anarchy, but I do believe that some of our greatest assets are right here under other people’s scalps. Thinking is hard - if it wasn’t, everybody would be doing it – but the benefit of encouraging our team to think is a far more engaged, motivated and effective workforce. Think about it!  www.minettconsulting.com.au




02 9906 2202 | www.weatherdon.com.au | sales@weatherdon.com.au


Commercial Linen There is a retail mythology in buying linen which relates to the quality of sheet being determined by the thread count or threads per inch.


irstly what does thread count mean? – It is a measure of the coarseness or fineness of a fabric, It is measured by counting the number of threads contained in one square inch of fabric or one square centimetre, including both the length (Warp) and width (Weft) threads. The thread count is the number of threads counted along two sides (up and across) of the square inch, added together; it is especially used in bed sheeting. There is a common misconception that thread count is an important consideration when purchasing bedding. However, linen experts claim that beyond a thread count of 600, there's no difference in quality. The amount of thread that can fit into a square inch of fabric is limited, suggesting that bedding beyond 800 counts is likely a marketing strategy.

INDUSTRY STANDARDS Thread count is often used as a measure of fabric quality, so that "standard" cotton thread counts are around 150, while good-quality sheets start at 180 and a count of 200 or higher is considered percale. What determines commercial sheets? – The yarns used, the construction of the sheet and using the equal yarns in both the warp & the weft – makes the sheet stronger

A standard yarn used in commercial sheets is 20s or 21s – the higher the yarn number (20s), the finer the yarn, for instance, to produce a sateen quality satin stripe top sheet, most use a 40s yarn. Trickery of some retailers, they can describe a sheet with a higher thread count as being a finer sheet. Some people could be misinformed on this terminology of what finer really means. One could assume the word finer means luxury or improved, however the word finer in regards to thread counts often just means thinner, and is completely unrelated to quality. Higher thread count = finer yarns/ threads. To determine the difference, we look at the weight of a sheet. Weight is important. A good commercial bed sheet should weigh between 155-180 grams.

of the world’s cotton, they purchase the remaining cotton from America & Pakistan, who produce the best cotton to use for our commercial hospitality industry. Pictures are diagrams of pulling threads apart to count more within the square inch, to be able to market the sheet with a higher thread count:

Final visible thread

It is important to remember that commercial linen does get a harder workout and each time a sheet is laundered, some of the fibres can get lost which contributes to the wear and tear factor. Commercial bedding = need to use Thicker yarns/threads Domestic bedding (Retail) = Finer/ thinner yarns/threads The world’s cotton comes from genetically modified (GM) seed, China & India produce the majority

Article courtesy of Bev Martin Textiles. 


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Ceramic & Stone FLOORING CARE

The most commonly used tiles are ceramic and porcelain which are made in completely different ways but are often confused.



eramic tiles have a durable surface glaze which carries the pattern and colour, below which is softer material often of a different colour.


Porcelain tiles are much denser, harder and are highly water resistant. The hardness and the colour normally go all the way through, so chips and damage are much less likely and if they do occur are less visible.

CARE AND CLEANING OF CERAMIC AND PORCELAIN TILED FLOORS As with all flooring, the best care is regular care. Vacuum at least once a week, more often for heavily used areas. A combination of grease, moisture, dust and fluff can turn into unpleasant grime if they are not efficiently removed. If the tiles are uneven, textured, or have wide grout gaps it is essential to vacuum with a combination head or parquet brush.

HIGH GLOSS TILES High gloss tiles can be polished with either standard or diamond pads, but avoid polishing uneven tiles as only the high points are polished. If tiles are used in a “wet” area of the home, they tend to be subject to different spills and spots. Mopping with hot water and a mild household detergent should remove most stains. If the stain remains stubborn, you can use a soft brush or synthetic scouring pad to loosen the spot, but do not use steel wool or a metal brush, as these may scratch the surface of the tiles. After washing a tile floor, be sure to thoroughly rinse the floor with clean water. This will remove any detergent residue from setting and attracting more dirt to your floor.

GROUT Although the tiles themselves may be impervious, the grouting between them is susceptible to staining as it is porous. To prevent staining use a good quality grout seal. Alternatively, if the grout becomes stained or discoloured, it can be brightened by a good cleaning with diluted bleach. Use the edge of a sponge or a toothbrush for this job, and be careful to keep the bleach solution away from other surfaces. Alternatively seek a specific grout cleaner.

TERRACOTTA Terracotta tiles do not have a surface glaze and so are highly porous. Without adequate sealing they will soak up stains and fail to be the beautiful floor they have the potential to be. They are also quite delicate, so should be cleaned with care. Seek advice when you buy the tiles about the best sealants and cleaners and consider using a professional for restoration and sealing of older floor.

NATURAL STONE FLOORS A number of different stone types are used for flooring. Granite is the most hard-wearing and water resistant. Other stone types commonly used are marble, limestone and sandstone. Slate is often used in kitchens and bathrooms because of its water resistant properties, but has an uneven surface which means it must be vacuumed with a combination head or parquet brush. Porous stone should be sealed with an appropriate sealer. Smooth, gloss natural stone floors such as marble can easily be maintained to a high standard using a polisher fitted with a diamond pad. This article is courtesy of SEBO. 



Bedding Partner FOR YOUR HOTEL


The hotel bed. Often regarded as just the biggest thing in the room, it is rapidly becoming, along with fast free wifi and a great shower, the most important to the guest. After all, it’s the one thing in your room that you can guarantee that the guest will touch!


o, what should you be looking for when you are purchasing new beds and just as importantly who should you be buying from?

Let’s address the second point. Australia is blessed with manufacturers who produce some of the best quality mattresses in the world. Our raw materials are consistently better, healthier and more durable than anything you will get from a cheap, imported product. So talk with manufacturers who have specialist commercial sales teams, they understand the challenges and pitfalls that can be encountered in the selection process and should help make things clearer for you, not more confusing. Make sure that the mattresses you are considering are manufactured here, from locally produced foams. This is critical to the health and comfort of your guests and to the long term value of your investment. Foams made here in Australia are subject to controls that mean that potentially toxic additives such as formaldehyde and other harmful chemicals are eliminated from the manufacturing process. They also include treatments to inhibit mould, mildew and other allergens to make them healthy, clean and safe. Foams made elsewhere, typically in Asia, do not always have the same controls and health considerations and to the naked eye you can’t tell the difference. You will notice the difference in a few years though when these inferior foams start to break down much quicker than locally made ones and your guest start to complain about your hard, lumpy beds! Don’t be fooled by terms like “Product of Australia”, “Designed in Australia” or “Assembled in Australia” Make sure your mattresses are MADE in Australia, using only locally made foams.


Now, what should you be looking for in a hotel bed? The answer to this is pretty simple in one sense, buy the best quality you can afford! Technology in mattress manufacture has developed significantly over the past few years, and along with improvements in the manufacturing process, you get much more for your money than 10 years ago. This means that regardless of where you are positioned in terms of rating, you can afford good quality beds. There are also finance options, such as leasing your beds just like you do with other capital equipment in your property, means that you can buy a “ 5 star” bed for as little as 50c a day ! The majority of Global hotel chains specify Pocket Spring type support systems as their support system. Pocket springs will provide a supportive, but conforming foundation for the rest of the mattress to do its job. They will allow for much less partner disturbance, so everyone gets a good night’s sleep! It’s the premier support system of the bedding industry and is much more affordable now that ever. Technically advanced comfort layers like Latex and Memory Foam are incredibly comfortable and, in the case of Latex, extremely durable so the extra investment to include these will mean that not only will you have a bed that guests will dream about, it should also last longer.

HOW LONG SHOULD MY BEDS LAST? This is a frequently asked question when we are talking to hotels who are either looking to purchase new beds, or starting to see some negative feedback on their current beds. The short answer is, that like most things, the better quality you buy in the first instance, the longer their serviceable life will be.

There are of course a few provisos to this and the key one is how well they are maintained. Things like cleanliness, regular rotation and checking and maintaining the condition and structural integrity of the base is vital to preserving the life and performance of any mattress. So, let’s talk about quality. Always ask about the construction of the bed; what is the support system in the mattress? Are the foams Australian made and treated to resist mould, mildew and allergens? Is the base construction a commercial quality, timber platform that will resist bending and will it provide a stable, consistent support for the mattress? These are all key questions you should have answered as part of your decision process. A regular, programmed maintenance programme for your beds is vital. Just like all of the key operating equipment in your hotel, they need some TLC to make sure they keep performing at their peak. The key items to consider are these: Mattress Rotation More and more we are seeing hotels choose mattress construction that are Single Sided, or “No Need To Turn”. These still need to be rotated head to foot on a regular basis to distribute wear evenly and maximise the life of the foams and other comfort fills in your mattress. Fail to do it and you will finish up with a mattress with body impressions on the side that gets more use. It’s recommended for this to happen once every quarter, and the process is pretty simple. Just pick the mattress up off the base and rotate it 180 degrees, so that the head end becomes the foot. Base Maintenance At the same time as you are rotating your mattress, check your base for any damage, soiling and most importantly check that all of the fittings or legs are intact and screwed

tightly into the frame. Look for fittings that are loose or bent, and also check that all of the wheels or castors are intact. Loose or damaged fittings, along with unruly guests, are the main reason for damage to bases. This damage is generally NOT a warranty issue as it is caused usually by the fittings being loose and then damaging either the base frame or the threads that the fittings attach to. A few minutes once every 3 months can save you the inconvenience and cost of having to put a room out of service and buy a new base. Mattress Cleaning Just like anything your guests come into contact with, cleanliness and hygiene of your mattresses is important. A regular programme of either steam cleaning or Oxygen sanitising is a great way to keep your mattresses clean, smelling fresh and reduce the incidence of airborne allergens. If you need to spot clean, avoid using harsh chemical treatments as these will often degrade the foams and fabrics of your mattress. Again, steam cleaning is the best method to remove those red wine stains and “biological contamination” marks that occasionally appear. While we are on this subject, ALWAYS invest in good quality mattress and pillow protectors for your rooms. The cost is insignificant in comparison to having to replace a mattress because it is it irretrievably stained or damaged and they will help to preserve the life of your mattress, so they pay for themselves several times over. 


We know you’re busy



acility managers are swamped, especially in this economy. So spending time worrying about cleaning is often extremely low on the list of priorities, especially when there are no complaints from occupants/ tenants or if the program is on or under budget. So this article is designed to make it easy to implement a new Green Cleaning program or upgrade an existing one. In this article, a number of issues will be covered including: • Defining Green Cleaning • Implementing a Green Cleaning Program: The 10 Steps • LEED and Green Cleaning • Application: Case Studies • Emerging Issues

DEFINING GREEN CLEANING Although there have been concerns about the powerful ingredients used in some cleaning products for decades, the Green Cleaning Movement has its roots in Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking 1962 book “Silent Spring.” This book focused on the harm caused by the chemical DDT and forced the general public and members of the U.S. government to take a serious look at society's use of chemicals and pesticides. Carson encouraged that chemicals be used with greater awareness of their potentially harmful side effects. Within the decade, some manufacturers of cleaning chemicals designed for home use began introducing products that had a reduced impact on health and the environment. However, this trend had little impact on the professional cleaning industry until 1993 when then President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 12873. This order, which has been essentially reauthorised by both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, encourages the use of environmentally preferable cleaning products in U.S. facilities around the world. Because of the purchasing power of the U.S. government, janitorial chemical and equipment manufacturers put more time and resources into developing Green Cleaning products. Other developments that spurred the growth of Green Cleaning include: • Green certification organisations such as Green Seal, EcoLogo, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) program are independent third-party groups that have developed guidelines indicating what qualifies as an environmentally preferable cleaning product.


• The Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval program evaluates vacuum cleaners and carpet extractors as to their effectiveness and their reduced impact on the environment. • The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-EB:O&M (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design–Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance) programs certify buildings that meet specific performance guidelines and prerequisites. Of particular note, using Green Cleaning products and implementing a Green Cleaning program is a prerequisite for LEED-EB:O&M certification.

DESCRIPTION AND IMPLEMENTATION Green Cleaning can be simply defined as “cleaning that has a reduced impact on health and the environment”. A Green Cleaning program uses products, tools, equipment, and chemicals that have been Green certified self-certified to meet acceptable Green-certification criteria indicating they also have a reduced impact on health and the environment. Green Cleaning applies to cleaning performed by hired contractors or by in-house providers. Both groups may take advantage of new technologies and advances that allow for effective cleaning without increasing costs or exposure to potentially harmful ingredients often found in traditional cleaning and maintenance chemicals and products. These non-Green products often have an adverse effect on indoor air quality (among other impacts) and can endanger the health and well-being of both building occupants and the cleaning workers using the products. Also, several studies by federal, state, and local governments as well as private building owners that have implemented a Green Cleaning program report that indoor air quality has improved, complaints from office and janitorial workers about their indoor environment have diminished, there is reduced environmental impact, and the program has, in many cases, resulted in cost savings. Looking at the broader picture, implementing a Green Cleaning program has additional benefits including: • Improved water quality • Conservation of natural resources • Enhancement and protection natural habitats • Reduced costs and increased profits • Improvement in employee productivity and satisfaction • Enhanced student performance • Optimisation of life cycle economic performance • Contributions to the health and well-being of the community

IMPLEMENTING A GREEN CLEANING PROGRAM: THE 10 STEPS Fortunately, a Green Cleaning program can be easily implemented. These are some of the key steps to starting such a program:

filtration systems that can capture and trap as much as 99 percent of the harmful particles in the air, floor machines that have dust-control systems to capture impurities, or microfibre cleaning cloths, which have been shown to significantly reduce bacteria buildup.

1. Reach an Agreement

7. Incorporate Green Procedures

Building management, cleaning professionals, and building occupants all agree the facility should adopt a Green Cleaning program, including what it entails and how it will be carried out in their facility. Once decided, the agreement should be written in the form of a concise, easy-tounderstand contract.

The purpose of the new cleaning procedures is to help cleaning professionals use products carefully, safely, and with the goals of Green Cleaning in mind. This is often accomplished working with Green-astute janitorial distributors as well as Green Cleaning consultants and advisors. Additionally, lack of adequate training has traditionally been a problem in the cleaning industry. The adoption of Green Cleaning is an opportunity for all maintenance personnel to learn the most up-to-date cleaning procedures. This can streamline housekeeping operations and improve the health of the facility being maintained.

2. Build the Team Once an agreement has been reached, the parties must build a team that includes cleaning professionals, building management, and building occupants. Through discussions and meetings with all affected by the Green Cleaning program, the team generates support for the project and plays a pivotal role in its success. 3. Conduct Baseline Surveys One of the team’s first duties is to determine the current housekeeping status of the facility by conducting surveys that set a baseline from which to judge improvement. For instance, the surveys would include an inventory and evaluation of existing paper products, liners, and cleaning equipment used in the location. It may also include appraisals of the following: • Overall housekeeping quality • Cleaning procedures, including training and supervision • Recycling • Existing indoor air quality problems and complaint record 4. Develop a Plan Once all of the data have been collected, the team must analyse the information to determine the best procedures and opportunities for improvement. They decide which areas need to be addressed and with what degree of urgency based on contract requirements, costs, and potential health and environmental impacts. 5. Get Everyone on Board It is vital that everyone is involved in and supports the team’s plans and goals. Having all parties included in the process and aware of how and why things are being done helps keep up support. Often this is carried out by meeting with all stakeholders in groups to discuss the Green Cleaning plan and program. 6. Acquire the Necessary Green Cleaning Products and Equipment To begin the process of greening a building, new cleaning products and equipment may need to be purchased. These may include bio-based cleaning products that are environmentally preferable, vacuum cleaners with enhanced

8. Take Responsibility Through Stewardship Once a Green Cleaning program has begun, it is important that an initiative be implemented that encourages the concept of stewardship, where cleaning personnel, occupants, and visitors share in the responsibility for maintaining a healthy and productive indoor environment. Often this is an ongoing program adopted by the Green Cleaning team mentioned earlier. 9. Communicate and Provide Feedback Communication and feedback are vital among chemical and equipment suppliers, custodial staff and building engineers, occupants, and management. As with any new process or procedure involving many people, the ultimate goal is continued improvement. Information provided by all parties facilitates this.

LEED AND GREEN CLEANING The LEED program is closely tied to Green Cleaning, and how a facility becomes LEED certified mirrors how a facility implements a Green Cleaning program in many aspects. As a result, no discussion of Green Cleaning is complete without an understanding of the LEED program. LEED awards points to facilities, indicating steps they have taken to make a facility Greener, more sustainable, more environmentally responsible, and healthier. To start the process, the U.S. Green Building Council provides a checklist to building owners and managers and encourages them to construct a project team to manage the certification process. This team will prepare calculations and documentation to fulfil the prerequisites and creditsubmittal requirements to become LEED certified. The team should begin by identifying which rating system they want the building to be certified under: silver, gold, or platinum, the highest ratings. Using the checklist, the team members can then develop their strategy and determine which points would be easy or difficult to achieve, where they will need to collect data,


whether or not they need an LEED-accredited professional or consultant with certification experience, what the budget will be, and other potential issues they may need to consider prior to committing to the program. In some cases, the building owner may simply choose to follow the LEED Rating System as a road map but not actually undertake the formal certification process. In LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EBOM), is the specific Rating System focused on ongoing operations and maintenance, and which provides a detailed and prescriptive list of actions that can be used to help guide the development of a Green Cleaning program. Overall, LEED-EBOM helps a facility or project earns points based on satisfactory levels in such areas as: • Whole-building cleaning and maintenance, including the selection and use of chemicals, equipment, and janitorial paper • Ongoing indoor air quality (IAQ)

• Increased asset value • Reduced health care costs Companies also report savings through employee productivity gains, improved morale, and reduced absenteeism. For instance, the Green Building Alliance reports that at the PNC Firstside Center in Pittsburgh, employee turnover decreased by 26 percent once a Green Cleaning program was implemented. There was also an estimated worker productivity savings of $0.58 per square foot. (This and other studies may be found by visiting the Green Building Alliance website.) Beyond these economic gains, there are, of course, the global benefits of Green Cleaning such as reducing pollution and saving natural resources. It's difficult to place a value on such far-reaching effects, but we all know this is important and something we must be doing now.

• Energy efficiency


• Water efficiency

Green Cleaning has changed considerably over the years and will continue to evolve in the future.

• Recycling programs • Exterior maintenance programs • Integrated pest-management programs • Training • System upgrades to meet Green building energy, water, IAQ, and lighting performance standards If the facility earns enough points, it may be referred to as an LEED-certified building. The USGBC presents the project team with an award letter, certificate, and LEED plaque, which indicates the certification achievement. An LEED-certified building is one in which a Green Cleaning program is in place and working successfully. However, a facility does not necessarily have to be LEED certified to have a Green Cleaning program in place. All of the benefits of a Green Cleaning program are still possible for building owners, managers, and business operators in schools, medical facilities, and other locations.

APPLICATION: CASE STUDIES Several studies appear to prove Green Cleaning’s advantages, which can be applied to just about any building or facility. Most of these involve protecting human health. But there are also dollars-and-cents benefits of a Green Cleaning program. In varying degrees, buildings and businesses transferring to a properly implemented Green Cleaning program may see the following benefits: • Reductions in operating costs and liabilities • Rebates and government incentives • Optimised life cycle economic performance • Improved building occupancy rates in multi tenant facilities


• Higher rents

These are among the trends we are likely to see: • Day cleaning. Facilities that employ a day cleaning system, where buildings are cleaned while workers are using them, invariably use Green Cleaning products and equipment because they are safer for building occupants. In addition, day cleaning helps lower operating costs. In one case, a 300,000-square-foot building experienced an 8 percent energy savings, which amounted to approximately $100,000 annually. This occurs because facilities can be powered down for longer periods. Instead of operating lighting, HVAC, and other mechanicals 15 to 20 hours per day, facility managers often can reduce this to 10 or 12 hours, which can be a significant cost savings and reduction in energy demand. • Elevation of cleaning professionals. At one time, cleaning workers were rarely heard or seen. Now they play a vital role in keeping building occupants safe and healthy. In some cases, custodial workers are taking a seat at the conference room table, suggesting ways facilities can be operated in a Greener, more sustainable, and healthier manner. • Cleaning tasks performed effectively without the use of chemicals. This could be the ultimate in Green Cleaning. Studies already indicate some cleaning systems can both clean and sanitize using only water. Although chemicals — both Green and conventional — will likely always play a role in cleaning, avoiding them when possible is invariably healthier for the environment. • As referenced earlier, Green Cleaning and sustainability are becoming much more closely integrated. Sustainability takes a broader approach ensuring that not only are renewable resources being protected for future generations, but that steps are being taken to protect the health of building users, the local and expanded community, as well as business profits. 

Swan Bedding Commercial Swan Bedding has been supplying the hotel and accommodation industry with mattresses and foundations way surpass our clients’ expectations, the value in our commercial products are exceptional against their cost. Most importantly, our range of commercial mattresses offer superior comfort and support so your guests will wake up feeling rested and refreshed. Each series of beds in our commercial range are designed and tailored to satisfy specific level of commercial requirements.

Visit our website www.swanbedding.com.au for more information or contact your nearest office for a quote.


Green vs Sustainable


I was at a conference earlier in the year and listened to a fascinating presentation on “the perfect disinfectant”. The presenter was a distinguished and tenured university Professor in the USA, and was almost wondering out aloud what the issues were for a perfect disinfectant? The USA Environmental Protection Agency had a number of senior staff present for the discussion and they were very keen recipients of the information being presented on this topic.


nd what is the perfect disinfectant and is it sustainable? Logically the perfect disinfectant will be completely biodegradable or environmentally neutral, will not damage people, and will not damage the surfaces or objects on which it is used. The perfect disinfectant will water soluble and water compatible. In fact, water itself is a good start. It is not toxic. It doesn’t stimulate antimicrobial resistance either. And then there is salt. Very common and if separated chemically into its charged components then it too is sustainable. Another goal is to create a disinfectant that would be sufficiently selective. The perfect product would kill the bad bugs whilst preserving the not so bad bugs. The really nasty super bugs would die, or they would be stimulated


to become less nasty, and perhaps even revert to a friendly status. I felt like I was being called into a microbial love fest, and that I would also get the infection. The looming loss of Antibiotics (that actually work), was a technical backdrop for the meeting. And whilst the focus was really on the overall ‘built environment’, there was as much concern for the “chemicals” that might make people sick, as much as for the microbes that really do kill people. As the talk about the perfect disinfectant continued, I pondered over the facts that MRSA, VRE, CRE and C.diff are all moving around within the healthy community. I wondered about the wisdom underlying point of sustainability having precedence over safety and efficacy.

Where is the balance between the trade-off of disinfectant efficacy and Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) issues? When does the risk of ill health outrank the risk of sustainability? So, when it was my time to present, I introduced some lessons on the hard edge of disinfectants. These five lessons are worth repeating so that we all understand the context of disinfectant use: 1. Only use a disinfectant when it is appropriate for hygiene reasons; 2. When you do use a disinfectant, choose one that works and that will kill the bugs of concern in the context of the use. But use an appropriate disinfectant and not just the “strongest”;

3. Only use disinfectants (in Australia) that are registered with the TGA; 4. Use the disinfectant at the recommended conditions, such as temperature and dilution; and 5. ALWAYS Clean first. Sometimes that will mean you might use the disinfectant twice (once to provide initial cleaning, and then again for actual disinfection). Here is the thing to remember with a disinfectant. It is meant to kill microorganisms. It is meant to be reactive and dangerous to microbes. The most significant sustainability aspect with disinfectant usage is to keep people alive with a clean and hygienic environment whilst killing all the nasty bugs. Read the label and the Safety Data Sheet to ensure that unintended health and environmental effects do not occur through incorrect use or disposal. And remember – the bugs are trying to survive. They will hide, they will resist and the remnant will develop resistance if they are not all dead. The worst outcome can be a sub lethal dose, which allows survivors, and then evolution takes over (survival of the fittest). Water is a fabulous disinfectant, but only when it is really hot – hot enough to scald – and so even water

poses a risk as a disinfectant. Like all disinfectants, you must consider the weaknesses, as well as the strengths. The sustainable lesson on disinfectants is that these products are intended to disrupt the environment, albeit only locally, and albeit only temporarily. So, choose your disinfectant wisely, and use it well, and we will all have a more healthy and sustainable world. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr Greg Whiteley has qualifications from Hawkesbury Agricultural College (Bachelor of Applied Science), the University of New South Wales (Master of Safety Science), the University of New England (Diploma Australian Institute of Company Directors) and Western Sydney University (Doctor of Philosophy). He is the Chairman of Whiteley Corporation, and an Adjunct Fellow in the School of Medicine at Western Sydney University. He is the Collaboration Partner Study Director for an iMCRC Grant with the School of Medicine at Sydney University which is investigating Novel Solutions for Biofilm Mediated Infections and other forms of Biofilm Contamination.

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It is often said a first impression is everything, and at the entrance to the world famous Great Ocean Road, an award-winning luxury resort offers travellers the perfect start to their picturesque trip. The five-star Royal Automobile Club of Victoria RACV Torquay Resort is the gateway to the grand drive, featuring 92 accommodation options with panoramic views of the golf course and coastline.


he resort’s impressive list of accolades speaks for itself. It claimed silver two years in a row in the highly competitive ‘Luxury Accommodation’ category of the Victorian Tourism Awards. The resort was awarded ‘Best First Night Honeymoon’ by the Australian Bridal Industry Academy Victoria in 2016, and ‘Best Customer Service’ and ‘Number One Restaurant’ at the Golden Plate Awards. It has also been a finalist at the Restaurant & Catering Awards. When you first step on to the property, it is easy to see why the RACV Torquay Resort is the critic’s pick. A lush golf course weaves through the property, while an indoor pool, tennis courts and children’s play area make it ideal for families. Plus, there are discounts available making it an affordable getaway without compromising luxury. An extensive choice of premium dining and bar options is available with an emphasis on showcasing the region’s local ingredients. Such is the personal investment in his food, Executive Chef of restaurant Number One, Michael Bannerman, speaks with his beef supplier every few days to hear the latest on the product. More casual diners need not be disappointed, with the sports lounge and bar Whites Paddock offering a la carte dining options with a Mediterranean twist. Harding’s Lounge is another retreat available after a round of golf, with local macarons the centrepiece of the treats. Situated at No.1 Great Ocean Road, RACV Torquay Resort is truly at the doorstep of some incredible experiences, like the Twelve Apostles near Port Campbell and the inland rainforests of the Otway National Park. 


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IT’S OUR JOB TO MAKE YOU LOOK GOOD Australia’s outsourced hotel housekeeping leader for the past 25 years AHS Hospitality has been providing award winning housekeeping services to the Australian hospitality industry since 1993. Our expertise, professionalism, services and flexibility provide quality and compliant housekeeping results for almost every hotel brand in the region. With more than 250 senior housekeeping managers and over 6,000 trained housekeeping professionals, AHS delivers the highest quality service with unmatched efficiency.



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Suranga Hewagamage


Suranga has been working in Housekeeping for over eighteen years and like many successful hospitality personnel started his career as a casual minibar attendant at the Metro Inn Melbourne in 1999 whilst studying business administration at Victoria University. Suranga worked in various Housekeeping roles in hotels in Melbourne before accepting his first role as Executive Housekeeper in 2003 at the Somerset on Elizabeth St. where he stayed until 2005. Towards the end of 2005 he left to be part of the pre-opening team with the Oaks group first at the Oaks on Collins, the first Oaks apartment hotel in Melbourne and later he opened both the Oaks on Market and the Oaks on Lonsdale.


verall Suranga has been involved in the pre-opening of six Victorian hotels.

Whilst working at Mt Hotham ski resort,he was faced with the challenge of maintaining guest service whilst keeping his staff safe during fierce snowstorms driving around the resort to continually check on his staff whilst not having any telephone reception !! He worked for a time on Daydream Island in the Whitsundays where he met many travellers with whom he still stays in touch. Suranga is now Housekeeping Manager at the RACV Resort Torquay on Victoria’s Surf Coast, where he has been for five years managing 90 rooms and extensive public areas. He manages a motivated team to ensure 5 star service and attention to all guests. Being a car enthusiast, he loves to see the launch of high-end new cars at the resort, having the opportunity to see all new releases first-hand before they are available for sale. He is passionate about his role at the RACV and he says the culture of the organisation has made him fiercely loyal to his managers Dean Newell and Brandan Smith who have given him many opportunities for career development, by allowing him to undertake further studies and to assist

with other projects outside RACV Torquay including the rebranding of the Novotel Forest to RACV Goldfields near Ballarat and the redevelopment of RACV Cape Schanck Resort. He is a member of The P.E.H.N. (Vic) but due to his location finds it hard to get to meetings. Community service is an integral part of Suranga’s life and when Soap Aid started (www.soapaid.org), he became heavily involved collecting the used soap not only from his property but other hotels in Torquay and then periodically driving the boxes to the RACV City club Melbourne from where they could be collected. Soap Aid awarded him a certificate of appreciation for his selfless efforts. If you should happen to visit Torquay stop by and say “hello” Suranga is extremely personable and loves a bit of a chat. If you run out of things to say, just mention the word “travel” and you will have him hooked. No matter where work takes him, he is happy to explore. He is by nature a globe trotter and is happy to advise you where you can go next.

He loves Australia and is deeply involved with the Sri Lankan community in Melbourne. Suranga loves the everyday challenges Housekeeping presents and enjoys dealing with all guests and staff. He describes his learning experience at various properties as tough but rewarding having to recruit and train staff, manage the budget, control stock and equipment without the assistance of others. Suranga was recently awarded “Housekeeper of the Year” at the HM awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence and co-sponsored by AHS. I am sure he we shall see much more of Suranga in years to come with many more well deserved awards and if you happen to take a cruise—keep an eye out for him !!!!. 

He also loves (trying ) cooking and experimenting with different cuisines. His dream job is one day to work on an ocean liner and see the rest of the world not yet travelled.


Sustainable cleaning products


Cleanliness is one of the cornerstones of a great hospitality experience. Choosing the wrong products, however, can have a negative impact on human health and the environment. For example, they may contribute to health problems such as skin irritation and asthma, and when discharged into waterways, long-lasting toxins can threaten water quality and wildlife.


rocuring sustainable products for your hotel is all about considering the environmental, social and economic impacts of purchased goods and services. To determine whether a cleaning product is truly sustainable or not, you need to look at its entire lifecycle. That means from the sourcing of raw materials and the manufacturing process, to use and finally its ultimate disposal. Here are some of the key things to look for when you’re on the hunt for environmentally-preferable cleaning products for your business.

HUMAN HEALTH: HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES AND AIR QUALITY Most of us don’t know a great deal about the chemicals present in cleaning products – we simply trust that they will do the job and leave surfaces fresher, cleaner and healthier, with an indoor environment free from germs and dirt. Unfortunately, a lot of cleaning products can contain a range of potentially harmful materials. For example, there’s a vast array of chemicals which bear Risk Phrases to declare that a substance may be a carcinogen or harmful to a developing foetus. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are also present in many products. These contribute to poor indoor air quality, lingering in the air all day after the solvents used in cleaning solutions evaporate. They can trigger allergic reactions, headaches, eye irritation, and asthma problems, affecting cleaning staff and building occupants alike. While it is legal to use products that emit VOCs, many facilities management professionals are becoming increasingly aware of the problems caused by these emissions. Anything from the


paint on the walls to the choice of flooring and upholstery materials can cause the building’s air quality to suffer, but cleaning products are one of the simplest things to change. The addition of certain fragrances may also trigger allergic reactions, asthma, headaches and respiratory irritation.

HUMAN RIGHTS: ETHICALLY MADE Even though it may not be top of mind for most of us when considering green cleaning products, a truly sustainable product must also be made under safe working conditions, where fair and equal opportunities are available to workers. According to the Global Slavery Index 2018, 40.3 million people around the world were in some form of modern slavery in 2016. While Australia may have fewer instances of modern slavery than developing countries, it is still very much a factor in our products and services and we are certainly not excluded from risk here on our shores. In fact, the cleaning and hospitality industries have been identified as hotspots for modern slavery in Australia.

ENVIRONMENT: PALM OIL, WATER QUALITY AND PACKAGING From an environmental perspective, an important factor to consider is whether a cleaning product contains palm oil or palm kernel oil. If it foams and suds, there’s a good chance it does. The oil has many desirable qualities, such as having a stable shelf life and making cleaning products creamier. However, the production of palm oil can cause significant deforestation when it’s harvested unsustainably, wreaking havoc on the environment, devastating orangutan populations and other vulnerable species, and displacing local communities.

The environmentally hazardous substances aren’t just limited to palm oil. The discharge of nutrients such as phosphorous compounds, present either in the manufacturing process or in the cleaning products themselves, can cause algal blooms when they end up in waterways. Other long-lasting substances can be toxic to aquatic life in surface waters and streams. Finally, there’s the product packaging, which should ideally be as efficient and recyclable as possible at all stages across the product’s lifecycle. Inefficient use of packaging can result in greater transportation needs, natural resource depletion and increased burden on landfills.

DON’T FORGET FITNESS FOR PURPOSE Of course, on top of all these essential environmental and social criteria, the product must also be fit for purpose. Simply put, it must do what it claims to do on the packaging. There's no use having a cleaning product crafted from the finest ingredients if it doesn't deliver on its promise to give you a great clean!

ECOLABELS TAKE THE GUESSWORK OUT OF SUSTAINABLE PURCHASING If you're looking for products that will deliver that sparkling clean while also being kind to people and planet, independent certification removes doubt and confusion and

makes identifying environmentally and socially preferable products easier. Key qualities to look for in an ecolabel are: • independence; • transparency and consistency in its standards; and • third-party accreditation and verification processes (where the verification and licensing agencies are also independent of one another). Robustness, credibility and impartiality are what build the reputations of good ecolabels so that suppliers and consumers can come to trust them. When a product is certified against GECA’s Cleaning Products standard, consumers can be sure that the product has been assessed to meet environmental, human health and ethical impact criteria. GECA certified cleaning products can also contribute towards achieving credit points for projects being certified under the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star Performance tool. "When businesses choose an ecolabelled product, they’re encouraging a commitment to continuous improvement which can guide the market towards greater environmental awareness", says GECA's Standards Officer, Sahar Farzadnia.  GECA's standards look at the entire lifecycle of a product





leaning public and commercial spaces is a daily, even hourly, priority. Getting it right takes constant attention to high traffic areas, plus effective cleaning methods and well-trained staff. Getting it wrong – in other words poor hygiene and cleanliness – is a bad look for business, and can have pretty damaging consequences if you think about the risk of an infection outbreak. Without being an alarmist, good hygiene in public and commercial environments is important and something a business should aim to get right. Trouble is, there are many myths and outdated ideas about cleaning that muddy the waters (pardon the pun) for the average person responsible for keeping spaces clean. Everyone has heard and followed their fair share of myths associated with cleaning. It’s time to burst some of these cleaning bubbles and educate your staff how to clean effectively and efficiently.

1. LOOKS CLEAN, SMELLS CLEAN, MUST BE CLEAN, RIGHT? Like they say; looks (and smells) can be deceiving. Assuming an area is clean by sight (and sniff) is risky, because harmful bacteria are invisible to the eye. Visibly clean countertops, sinks and floors might be breeding grounds for viruses and bacteria. Spraying fragrances can cover up the problem without actually dealing with it. The only way to effectively clean is to completely lift and remove dirt and liquid from a surface rather than spraying a fragrance or other chemical to mask it.

2. BLEACH IS THE ULTIMATE CLEANER FOR EVERYTHING Many people believe cleaning requires strong chemicals, so a strong chlorine-based bleach is all you’ll ever need. Truth is, bleach will whiten stains, but it doesn’t really remove mould and dirt from surfaces and can leave a residue. It’s also extremely unsafe to use, for the operator and the environment. For most tasks, bleach isn’t the right choice and can damage surfaces. The high concentration fumes can cause skin irritation, burn eyes, nose and throat. While diluted bleach still remains a potential threat to your staff and patrons, there are far safer alternatives that can do a better job.

3. MORE CHEMICALS AND DETERGENTS CREATES A HEALTHIER ENVIRONMENT Well that’s not entirely true. Heavy-duty dirt and organic mess does not need more chemicals or detergents to


remove – just a good technique and quality equipment. While it seems necessary to use large amounts of chemical and detergents to thoroughly clean surfaces, too much chemicals can create a sticky residue that actually attracts and captures more dirt. Also, many cleaning agents are excessively lathery, generating suds which are difficult to remove in a single rinse – adding more time and energy.

4. FEATHERS ARE SUPERIOR DUSTERS A major concern while dusting is to avoid any kind of damage. Soft and gentle feathers have been conventional dusters for decades. However, feather dusters don’t remove dust, but move it around. Effective dusters should not just attract but also hold dust particles among their fibres.

5. VINEGAR CLEANS EVERYTHING Apart from being the staple in any kitchen, vinegar is also considered as a versatile and ‘green’ cleaner with a reputation for being suitable for everything. Unfortunately, this magical and economical, home-remedy can damage expensive décor made from materials such as hardwood, marble, stone finishes or wax floorings. Like most acids, vinegar can permanently damage natural or porous materials like stone. It’s better to use alternative, ecofriendly cleaning methods, such as a dampened microfibre cloth, especially when it comes to cleaning up dirt and grime.

6. NEWSPAPERS BRINGS A SPARKLE TO YOUR GLASS AND MIRRORS Newspapers are often looked upon as a shortcut alternative for windows and glass cleaning by many. But as there has been changes to the printing ink, using newspapers for cleaning might not be the best option. It can just leave behind a mess of ink and streaks on window trims and mirrors. This can result in more cleaning, leaving stains on your glass.

7. YOU NEED LOTS OF WATER WHEN YOU CLEAN Another common misconception is you need gallons of water for any kind of effective cleaning meaning lifting heavy buckets and pouring litres and litres down the drain. However, that’s not true, an effective and hygienic clean can be done with minimal usage of water. For most of us using lots of water during cleaning gives a sense of satisfaction but it just creates waste, long drying times and slip hazards. To minimise water waste and achieve effective cleaning results, use a dampened mop pad or disposable cloth that leaves you with sparkling floors, fast. 

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The below is dedicated to all those HR personnel / recruiters and managers that have gone through the process of recruitment only to be let down at the last moment. OR... The people that have been stood up by a date that does not show.


o those primary school teachers who had to listen for decades the proverbial “The dog ate my homework”.

(I tried this line once in grade three with a Mrs Candar. I never did use it again. After being given the cuts across the knuckles by her trusty ruler that we named bob. Why Bob? Because that's what you did when Mrs. C and Bob would walk the isles of the classroom. If you ever have to ask why the HR Department has a boxing bag erected in their office then you have never recruited. Have you ever interviewed what you believe is a brilliant candidate. That you and the team have interviewed several times by phone, Skype and in person. Reference checks were excellent. AND the boss is happy. The offer goes out... THEN: No reply. No answer Right at the time this offer comes out. The candidate was very efficient before hand. Now there are tumbleweeds rolling in the streets. You don't want to think it BUT you know what is about to occur.

9. My partner just got offered a promotion... really? Just then. What are the odds of that? Out to the punching bag. 10. I’ve had second thoughts. 11. I did not realise how expensive accommodation is. 12. I have been counter offered. This is even after the candidate replied with an emphatic NO when asked by the HR or Recruiter: Would you accept a counter offer? Off to the punching bag. 13. I have been told I'll lose my bonus. 14. I have a 6-month termination clause. 15. I wont be accepting and decided to stay where I am. 16. OR The phone interview was great and a person to person interview set up. Then you are hit within the first minute of the office interview; You are thinking, is this the same person? Trying to marry up the image on linkedin and the phone conversation to the person now in your office? Much like the first date where you both got it wrong. OR 17. In the worst case the candidate just does not show up on their start date. A no show. The first date scenario.

A script is about to unfold by the candidate that you have heard all before:

Where did I go wrong?

1. There was a sudden family medical emergency.

You didn't. Life just happened.

2. My grandmother has passed. (Again). This one should go straight into the rather large Grandmother passed away file. How many grandmothers do people have?

If one does walk past the HR office and hear or see an individual going hell for leather on the punching bag using expletives $#%@ $#%@ S#%@ leave them be. DO NOT say a word. Just keep walking.

3. The phone was not working. 4. I lost my phone. 5. My dog ate my phone. 6. Where will my 3 children go to international school? This was not on their resume. Never mentioned by the candidate in the interview till the offer. Each child of school age years in locations like Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, China etc. are a cost to the owner of a minimum of $20,000 used pa. We love children BUT there is a cost that must be borne by someone. Out to the punching bag I say!! 7. My partner needs a job.


8. I have had another discussion with my partner.

There should also be a HR venting booth. As you have noticed the HR department is pet / cat free for a reason. Replaced with the punching bag. Very wise indeed.

WHAT NOT TO SAY TO RECRUITER: • What’s the market like? • What’s out there?

The market will always be the market. The market will always be out there. The market has its ups and downs but it’s always there. As Basil Faulty stated to and elderly lady when she asked, "Where’s Torquay" There it is madam, its between the sky and the sea. It’s called Torquay. And so is the market. It will always there. And if it’s not one day neither will you or I. If you are talented and performing in your job you will always be employable. There will always be positions. There will always be a market for you. If you have an outgoing personality. Interesting in your own way and dress well again in your own way. You will be somewhat alluring to the opposite or same sex. The dating market will always be there not matter what age. OR • I am thinking of changing jobs. I think of many things but acting upon them is another thing. You would never try "I am thinking of marrying you" what reply do you think you would here “DON'T BOTHER”. So

do not use this on with a recruiter. What do you want the recruiter to do if you are just thinking? I asked my father many years ago; When will I get married? His reply was: "You will know when you know son" At the time I thought this is a silly reply. I was a teenager that knew most things and my father was old and knew little. Funny in the end he was right. What are the odds of that?... In other words... You'll will know when you know. One day it will hit you without thinking. "Today is the day", and a weight is taken off your shoulders. Now go for it. With a new lease of life, passion and enthusiasm you are well on your way.

WHEN THE STUDENT IS READY THE TEACHER APPEARS • I want to test my worth in the market. To be blunt. Test the market in your own time. Do not waste the recruiter’s time or the HR department’s time. • I want to practice my interview skills.


You have a mirror? There you go. Practice in front of that. • The position you have advertised on your web site who is it for? Most recruiters are given jobs by the client in confidentiality. So unless they have your resume and all your contacts and there is a trust. It would be unusual the recruiter would divulge this information over the phone. So do not ask. • If it’s a job too good to refuse • If it's a really, really good job. I would be interested. These are the Charlize Theron George Clooney type roles. What’s a really good job to you may not be to others. Recruiters and HR are not mind readers. IF a job comes up from time to time that pays very, very well. Are in ideal locations with exceptional companies and owners. The HR or Recruiter or Client is also looking for someone really, really good. A George Clooney or Charlize Theron type. A man was looking for the perfect lady. When he found her he soon realised that she was looking for the perfect man. A recruiter or HR will call you when they believe you would be a good fit for a role they have. • I am looking anywhere: Anywhere to a recruiter means anywhere. Many times a recruiter or HR department will call only to find that anywhere is not anywhere. BE PRECISE with a recruiter or your phone will stop ringing.

THE COVER LETTER: How many times have HR /Managers/Recruiters opened a cover letter to be hit with: 1. Dear Sir or Madam. 2. To whom it may concern. 3. Dear Sir/Madam I have heard so much about your esteemed company... pray tell what company is that? 4. Dear Sir/Madam, I am applying for the quality position for which you have advertised... Which one would that be kind sir? 5. Or there is no Dear Sir or Madam just a “Howdy”. Well Yee ha partner

STEVE JOBS AND THE DELETE BUTTON In the back shed of Steve’s parents house in Mountain View California. He turned to his mate Steve Wozniak with the words "lets invent a computer" but it MUST HAVE a delete button. Jobs was firstly asked by Wozniak what is a computer and why a delete button? Jobs knew then that as quickly as you can send a completely irrelevant; no where near experienced in this field CV the HR or Recruiter can just as


quickly delete. Hence Jobs and Wozniak were well ahead of their time. The words YOU MUST HAVE. IT'S ESSENTIAL. ABSOLUTELY VITAL. DEGREE QUALIFICATIONS NECESSARY mean just that. There is not hidden meaning. No Raiders of the Lost Ark secret code. As on a date a NO means a NO. It is now very easy to apply on line without much effort or thinking to any role; qualified or unqualified. So the days of the HR department sending an unsuccessful letter have long gone. Hence as quickly as some completely unqualified candidates send a CV the HR just as quickly deletes them. So don't complain that your never hear from a HR department or Recruiter. Have a good look at the roles you are applying for. OR If you keep doing what your doing; you will keep getting what you are getting. In the end its best to have a Monty Python sense of humour AND a punching bag. And isn’t it a relief these people in the end did not buy a bus ticket?

Get the right people on the bus and the Jim Collins wrong people off the bus. I hope you enjoyed the read and had a slight chuckle. In the end we are just human.  Stuart Mullins Director at Executive Search International.Recruiting executive’s world wide for the hospitality industry. Ph: 61 403 251 411 + 61 7 5598 1516. Email: esirecruit@bigpond.com Web: www.esirecruit.com.au

AUTHOR-WRITER-RESEARCHER FOR BEST SELLERS: Searching for the Beaumont Children. Best seller 2006 2008.Three children vanish from Glenelg beach in 1966 never to be seen again. John Wiley and Son 2006. Co Author with Alan Whiticker The Satin Man. Uncovering the Mystery of the Beaumont Children. Top three Best Sellers list Australasia: 2013 – 2015 - 2017- 2018. www.thebeaumontchildren.com.au Writer for the best seller Joe Bugner My Story. Best Seller 2015. The only heavy weight in history to go the distance with Muhammad Ali on two occasions. www.au.newhollandpublishers.com

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be Dale Carnegie no hope at all.

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Even if they appear clean, your hands can be a vehicle for spreading potentially deadly foodborne illnesses or infections. To reduce the transmission of pathogens, proper regular hand care is key.


n order to make hand hygiene more convenient, Diversey is proud to introduce the award winning IntelliCare® Hybrid Hand Care Dispenser, featuring the industry’s first hybrid automatic hand care dispenser with both touchless and manual activation.

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The Future. IntelliCare will be connected to Diversey’s Internet of Clean platform. This connects machines, dispensers, sensors, beacons and other smart devices to enable remote monitoring of key processes.

With IntelliCare, employees can easily perform hand hygiene at key moments, thereby protecting themselves, customers and your organisation’s reputation. IntelliCare offers numerous benefits, including: Flexibility. The hybrid dispenser range uses patented technology which allows a seamlessly shift from touchless to manual mode, delivering uninterrupted hand hygiene, even when the batteries deplete. Assurance. The long-lasting battery functions for up to one and a half years and supports around 90,000 dosing actions between replacements and IntelliCare actually assists staff in ensuring hand care dispensers are always full and functioning by providing low content and battery alerts. Intelligent Design. The dispensers incorporate a large window to enable at-a-glance product and content level and product identification. With an ingenious nozzle designed to prevent clogging and dripping to reduce maintenance requirements and wastage.

INTELLICARE WINNER OF THE 2018 ISSA AWARD FOR DISPENSING. To find out more about IntelliCare Dispensers contact our friendly Customer Service Team on 1800 647 779 or email aucustserv@diversey.com Diversey has been, and always will be, a pioneer and facilitator for life. We constantly deliver revolutionary cleaning and hygiene technologies that provide total confidence to our customers across all of our global sectors. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, Diversey employs approximately 9,000 people globally, generating net sales of approximately $2.6 billion in 2017.  For more information, visit www.diversey.com or follow us on social media.

Compatibility. IntelliCare can accommodate liquid/gel and foam products, allowing facilities to customise product selection based on environment, site or user needs. Cost Control. The IntelliCare system offers dual dosing capability. By selecting low or high dose mode, depending on the setting and application, operators can optimise product usage for the best-possible combination of hygiene compliance and cost control. The high dose mode is ideal for back-of-house applications where users are likely to be experienced and trained in relevant hand hygiene procedures. The low dose mode is generally more suited to front-of-house applications where users are less experienced and believe a larger amount of product helps ensure better hand hygiene. By keeping a lower dose setting in this environment businesses can work to significantly reduce cost in use.



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The idea of putting voice-controlled assistants into hotel rooms is gathering momentum. Both Marriott and Wynn Resorts have been running trials with Amazon Echo, while Best Western Hotels & Resorts have recently tested the merits of the Amazon Dot.


oday, a growing number of brands believe that AI assistants have the power to enhance the whole guest experience. Being able to control in-room devices, request room service, and receive tailored recommendations through a simple voice command is seen as an obvious perk that many will love. Hotels only stand to profit.

The race towards AI is intensifying amongst the likes of Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple as they battle it out to globalise their own platforms. While in China, search engine giant Baidu has developed DuerOS – a voice assistant platform that the company plans to make the most widely used voice assistant on the planet.

But the sentiment isn’t shared by all.

This intense level of competition continues to drive innovation and speed up adoption. In fact, AI voice assistants quickly look set to change from being seen as fun and frivolous to must-have and mainstream.

While some embrace the potential, a lot of hoteliers believe that voice AI is just a fad. There’s also a concern that if machine intelligence starts reducing the need for human interaction, something vital in the hotel-guest relationship will be lost.

According to a forecast by market research group Ovum, there’ll be 7.5 billion active digital assistants by 2021 – leaping up from 3.6 billion in 2016. That’s a staggering level of growth. Along with huge global uptake, we can expect to see greater user engagement as voice assistants shift to new platforms such as wearables, cars, smart home devices and TV sets. In particular, Ovum expects that TV devices (i.e. smart TVs, set-top boxes, and media streamers) will account for 57% of the installed base by 2021.

The following article argues this fear is misplaced. Rather than eroding relationships, automation has the potential to strengthen them. As voice assistants become integrated into everyday life, it’s also fair to assume that their place in hotel rooms will become highly desired, even expected, by nextgeneration travellers.

MASS GLOBAL ADOPTION IS COMING There’s simply no denying the fact that voice assistants are going to play a central role in all of our futures.



Based on these projections, it’s clear that AI will increasingly become integrated in our homes, helping to coordinate day-to-day life. Soon enough, the idea of ‘asking’ the TV to order our shopping, remind us about our social plans, or book a table at our favourite restaurant will become second nature. Relied on in the home, it’s easy to see how guests may come to seek and eventually expect that hotel rooms feature the same technology – just as they now expect to find them equipped with home comforts such as Wi-Fi and flat screen TVs.

WILL VOICE ASSISTANTS REALLY ENHANCE THE GUEST EXPERIENCE? Talking to a device instead of a human might allow hotels to streamline communication and speed up service, but at what cost? Some fear greater dependence on technology will mean less personal interaction with hotel staff, leading to a generally less human experience. It’s a valid concern. Providing personal, face-to-face contact is imperative, and nothing should detract from the focus on building rapport and relationships with guests. But it’s important to say that AI shouldn’t lead as a customer service tool. Nor should it replace human interaction. Its true potential actually lies in freeing up hotel staff to dedicate more time with guests at critical moments. For instance, by dealing with simple queries and service requests, automation can relieve a busy front desk and allow them more time to welcome guests at check in, or spend longer on the phone dealing with booking requests. Both situations represent golden opportunities to really learn about a guest’s preferences and needs, helping to personalise their experience in a way that limited time doesn’t always allow. Will all guests want to make use of an in-room voice assistant? Almost certainly not. And that's okay. Not everybody takes advantage of mobile check-in at the airport. Some aren’t comfortable booking their hotel room online. Mass adoption isn’t required for a service to be rolled out and considered good business sense. In the end, it all comes down to choice and providing alternate options to cater to all. As such, voice-controlled assistants should be seen as one way, not the only way, that guests can communicate during their stay.

A FUTURE OF VOICE AI IN HOTELS With the prediction that there will be more voice assistants on the planet than people by 2021, their ubiquity in our very near future looks assured.

our calendar, and organize our daily plans. As familiarity and dependency grows, it’s almost certain that hotels will begin introducing the technology to provide similar benefits to guests. Just as mobile check-in, messaging platforms and chatbots once seemed novelties, it’s inevitable that digital assistants will also become widely accepted, and expected, as they take a central role in all of our AIdriven futures. Footnote: Based on the feedback from trials of Amazon’s Alexia. The feeling is that to be truly successful in a hotel environment the Voice AI device should be designed with hotels in mind. In a home environment your Alexa or Google Home gradually trains you on how to ask questions to get responses. In a hotel environment where the average length of stay is approximately 1.8 nights the Voice AI needs to be far more accommodating (pun intended!) in the way that it allows for questions to be asked. Let’s look at a simple example. Let’s say a guest would like an additional face washer which is what Australian’s call the small piece of cloth that you use for washing yourself, especially your face. However other countries call it such things as a facecloth, face flannel, flannel or washcloth as it’s called in America. Ideally a hotel Voice AI should be able to understand the different ways in which a guest may ask for face washer or worst case, be easily programmed to understand all of these different ways. Also in a hotel environment it’s imperative that the Voice AI device interface with systems such as the Point of Sale (POS) system to allow the automated processing of Room Service orders and the Guest Response system to handle requests for additional towels etc. from guests. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR With a great passion for all things hotels, but in particular technology and a desire to help others his role as director at Technology4Hotels allows him to do both. Brendon has worked with hundreds of hotels to help them with their in-room technology. In the last few years he has helped them to increase guest satisfaction, strengthen guest loyalty and encourage repeat bookings as well as win awards such as the best business hotel, best city hotel, best upscale hotel and best luxury hotel in Australasia. Always going the extra mile, Brendon began his hospitality career over twenty five years ago working in 5 star hotels whilst completing his Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management. He has held various management positions within 5 star hotels, worked as a consultant in both hotel feasibility and technology and has an extensive background in hotel technology.

REFERENCES 1. httw-robot-concierge/81525924/

In the home, we’ll become habituated into talking with AI to help us make decisions, order services, coordinate






n 2001, I commenced employment as a risk manager in the cleaning industry. For well over a decade of managing safety and workers compensation, it become apparent that lower back injury was the most significant injury related issue. As such, I developed a strong interest in developing more effective risk control strategies to reduce lower back injury and improve return to work outcomes in the cleaning industry. A few years back, I commenced another PhD researching prevention of lower back injury within the cleaning industry with my research team of Dr Tamara Sztynda and Associate Professors Chris Zaslawski and Sara Lal, through the University of Technology in Sydney (UTS). The research was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship. According to Safe Work Australia statistics, lower back conditions are the most frequent cause of disability in the working population where eight out ten people will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Spinal discs commence degeneration as early as the second decade of life (Benoist, 2003). Commencing around the age of 25 in most people, males start to lose 0.3% of bone mass per year and females lose 0.5% bone mass per year which can increase up to 5-6% throughout menopause (Bono and Einhorn, 2003). According to Safe Work Australia, the cleaning industry has one of the highest frequencies of serious musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at 15,115 recorded over a 5 year period. Furthermore, the lower back is the most commonly recorded outcome of serious MSD at 35%, hence a study of lower back injury within the cleaning industry is well justified (Safework Australia, 2016). As my PhD study enters its advanced stages, in this article I plan to highlight some key findings of the study.

TIME IN SHIFT OF MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDER (MSD) OCCURRENCE A total of 144 MSDs that were recorded over a 5 year period in a large organisation were analysed. A total of 76 of 144 (52.78%) MSD’s occurred within the first two hours of a shift suggesting that time of MSD occurrence within a

shift is a significant factor and that preventative strategies such as pre-start warm up may be recommended. According to the literature, warm up and stretching programs can reduce the risk of MSD (Woods et al, 2007). I note that it is important that any pre-start warm up and stretching program be developed and overseen by a human movement professional. The figure below demonstrates the time within a shift most MSDs occurred.

MSD Frequency v Time in shift 80 70 MSD Frequency


60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Hours 1-2

Hours 3-4

Hours 5-6

Hours 7-8

Hours into Shift

SEASON OF THE YEAR OF MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDER (MSD) OCCURRENCE A total of 144 MSDs that were recorded over a 5 year period in a large organisation were analysed. According to the literature, MSDs occur in the colder seasons of the year due to the colds effect on muscles (Lloyd, 1994). Hence, it was originally speculated that most MSD would occur in winter due to lifting cold. However, the higher frequency of MSD’s occurred in summer at 44 of 144 MSD (30.56%) suggesting that heat may result in fatigue which may then result in MSD’s. This suggests that hydration is an important factor for cleaners in order to reduce MSD risk and this should be focused upon during manual handling training.


The figure below demonstrates the season of the year most MSDs occurred.

MSD Frequency

MSD Frequency v Seasons of the year 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

MSD Frequency

44 34



mean a shoulder or knee strain etc. Further research then demonstrated that older cleaners (over the age of 45) had less lower back related MSD suggesting they may be more educated in protection of their lower backs or may have injured their lower backs previously. This suggests that whilst training in correct lifting is important, there should ideally be a stronger focus upon the younger less than 45 years of age group.










Seasons of the Year

AGE AND MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDER (MSD) DIAGNOSIS – LOWER BACK OR NONLOWER BACK A total of 144 MSDs that were recorded over a 5 year period in a large organisation were analysed. There was a strong statistical relationship identified between the age of cleaners and MSDs in terms of their being lower back or non-lower back related. By non-lower back related I

A total of 144 musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that were recorded over a 5 year period in a large organisation were analysed. It is important to identify and assess hazards and then control them. Sometimes however preventative preinjury risk control measures fail, and incident investigations implement risk control strategies. It was identified that the most common risk control strategy engaged as a result of incident investigations was that of training on 124 of 144 occasions (86.11%). This is likely due its ease of implementation and the well documented training record trail it presents. Using lifting as an example, in training it is important to not only demonstrate a lift it is important to watch one correctly carry out a lift (competency based training). According to the literature, competency-based training is well suited to those of non-English speaking background common in the

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cleaning industry (Jungbauer et al, 2004). Managers need to understand the concept of competency based training, risk control, what risk management tools they have available, and how to apply them in the field.

• The benefits of emptying vacuum bags after each use.


• The fact that manual handling isn’t about just weight – frequency and duration of manual handling activity must also be considered during risk assessment.

A total of 144 musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that were recorded over a 5 year period in a large organisation were analysed. This study identified that 110 of the 144 MSD (76.39%) recovered from their MSD within 4 weeks. This was a good outcome as according to the literature, 60-70% of people recover within 6 weeks and 80-90% by 12 weeks. Recovery after 12 weeks is slow and uncertain with only half of those unfit for greater than 12 months returning to work and after two years the recovery chances are close to zero (Andersson, 1999). Statistical relationships were identified between age and recovery time, confirming that older cleaners do take longer to recover from injury. This information should ideally be focused upon when developing return to work programs post injury to enhance recovery and reduce workers compensation premium costs. According to the Australian Faculty of Occupational Medicine, fast return to work significantly benefits recovery (Australian Faculty of Occupational Medicine, 2015). As such, functionally specific return to work programs should be a primary business focus.

PRE-EXISTING INJURY IMPACTS ON BUSINESS A total of 144 musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that were recorded over a 5 year period in a large organisation were analysed. This study focused upon those MSDs that recorded the existence of a non-disclosed pre-existing MSD related injury or condition and later claimed a work-related aggravation, exacerbation, reoccurrence or deterioration, of their pre-existing condition. The research identified that 31 of 144 MSD (21.53%) were demonstrated to have a pre-existing element and 100% of claims with a pre-existing element were not disclosed pre-employment. Furthermore, statistical relationships were identified where these claims resulted in higher claims costs and poor recovery times. These findings should encourage cleaning organisations to consider their pre-employment strategies in future to ensure new employees are not placed at risk by cleaning tasks.

CLEANER KNOWLEDGE OF MANUAL HANDLING A total of 220 cleaners were surveyed regarding their knowledge of manual handling. The following outcomes were noted where cleaners may benefit from refresher training in:

• The importance of identifying and controlling slip, trip and fall hazards. • The steps within the lifting process.

This outcome basically highlights the importance of periodic refresher competency-based training in safety. This is particularly the case with manual handling and slips, trips and falls, as these two hazards most commonly lead to lower back injury.

CONCLUSION The main aim of the study was to identify, assess and control hazards within the cleaning industry with a view to reducing injury and improving injury recovery times. The four main recommendations to arise from the study were for cleaning organisation’s to consider: • Functional pre-start warm up strategies. • A more focused competency-based training approach. • More functionally based return to work programs. • Pre-employment strategies to reduce future risks. 

REFERENCES Andersson, G. B. J. 1999. Epidemiological features of chronic low-back pain. Lancet. 354: 581-85. Australian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2015. Helping people return to work. Using evidence for better outcomes. A position statement. Australian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. pp1-40. Benoist, M. 2003. Natural history of the aging spine. European Spine Journal. 12:4-8. Bono, C. M., and T. A. Einhorn. 2003. Overview of osteoporosis: pathophysiology and determinants of bone strength. European Spine Journal. 12:8-13. Jungbauer, F. H. W., J. Van der Harst, M. L. Schuttlaar, J. W. Groothoff, and P. J. Coenraads. 2004. Characteristics of wet work in the cleaning industry. Journal of Contact Dermatitis. 51:131 -134. Lloyd, E.L. 1994. Temperature and Performance I: Cold. BMJ. 309:531534. Safe Work Australia. 2016. Statistics on Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders.1-12pp (Access date 03.01.17). https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1702/ statistics_on_work-related_musculoskeletal_disorders.pdf. Woods, K., P. Bishop, and E. Jones. 2007. Warm-up and stretching in the prevention of muscular injury. Journal of Sports Medicine. 37:1089 – 1099.

• Manual handling hazard identification and assessment. • The benefits of using a figure of eight mopping movement.





In case you haven’t noticed, more and more hotels are replacing carpeting with woodlooking floors. We say “wood-looking” because these floors are very often a type of laminate or what is referred to as LVT – luxury vinyl tile. Real hardwood is often avoided because it is costlier to select and can be considerably more expensive to maintain.



very decade or so, our society (and particularly the hotel industry) experiences new trends or new terminology usually promoted as essential for hotel facility design. In recent times, designers have focussed on environmental and health concepts, however now one prominent concept is exploding. According to Harvard University trained Biologist E. O Wilson, human beings have an innate and genetically determined affinity with the natural world.“Biophilia”, although sounding like a medical condition, is currently being widely promoted as important to our physical and mental wellbeing. Studies have proved that if we are deprived form the ability to affiliate with nature, our physical and mental behaviour is affected. A well cited example is human exposure to natural daylight, our hormone balance which regulates our sleep is influenced by natural daylight which affects our mood and behaviour. Our industry has known that good indoor air quality is important for successful facilities. Environment control in temperature, humidity and quality contributes tangibly to a hotel guest experience. We now understand the hotel guest and staff visual experience can be impacted physically by design. Good hotel housekeeping is critical to making the visual guest experience memorable. Biophilia is “the missing link in sustainable design” according to Stephen Kellert Ph.D. of Yale University. Overseas studies have concluded that effective daylight use in buildings can save 31% of total lighting energy costs. It is reported that 90% of a business’s costs are connected to staff salaries and benefits. Spending on design elements can reap a 3.13 year payback on direct expenditure in the provision of biophilic features according to a 2016 Chicago work environment study.

From C+TC Design Studio: Daylight, plenty of wood, and a vertical garden make this Westin Buffalo lounge a biophilic haven Photo credit https://www. terramai.com/blog/biophilicdesign-in-hospitality/


The 116 room Westin Buffalo Hotel completed in 2016 uses greenery, natural materials and daylight to help connect guests to nature. Lorraine Francis from international Design organisation Gensler states "the bottom line is that guests are spending more time (and money) in hospitality spaces that leverage biophilic design" Green walls have become a popular addition in new hotels in Australia. The recently Capri Hotel and “W” Hotels in Brisbane have incorporated Green walls in their public spaces and this trend can be expected to increase. From Terrapin Bright Green: A lush canopy overhangs the Hudson Hotel lobby Photo credit https://www.terramai.com/blog/ biophilic-design-in-hospitality/ CAPRI HOTEL, BRISBANE Photo credit http://www.iatemywaythrough. com/2015/12/capri-by-fraser-brisbane/

Biophilic Design for infrastructure has been identified with 15 patterns in an Australian Creating Healthy Places study. Completed in 2017 by Professor David Jones, Dr Roös and Josh Zeunert at Deakin’s School of Architecture & Built Environment, and Paul Downton of Ecopolis. The study identifies things like “a visual connection to nature, the presence of water, variability in airflow, dynamic light, and geometric patterns inspired by nature, and creating places of refuge or mystery”. In 2019 an “outbreak” of Bio philia should not limited to green walls, however an integrated design and engineering approach can ensure the full benefits of Biophilic Design are realised. Housekeeping costs can be expected to increase in response to this increasing design trend and it is not likely to be a passing fashion. The secret to successful biophilic design is to understand the durability, safety and ongoing maintenance issues associated with the selection of specific design features. Costs can be managed successfully with the following simple tips

• indoor planting should either be professionally managed and outsourced with plant rotation or replacement an essential part of the service contract

ARTICLE REFERENCES https://www.buildinggreen.com/feature/biophilia-practice-buildingsconnect-people-nature

• for built in interior landscaping ensure that maintenance access is available without specific equipment hire costs for safety and access


• for indoor materials ensure low toxic but durable finishes are applied, understanding again what appearance life expectancy can be achieved in high use areas and the impacts of regular in house maintenance if required


• prepare for the unexpected by having spare parts for irrigation systems, specialist lighting components and consumables integrated into normal operational schedules

Mark Thomson is an eco Architect with qualifications from the GBCA and Earthcheck organisations.He believes Biophilic Design will be a essential ingredient of future hotel design

• understand the many tangible and intangible benefits that biophilic design and can have, not just on guests, but also on staff performance and mental behaviour. Having stayed recently at the Parkroyal on Pickering in Singapore, the experience achieved by biophilic design in this 5 star hotel was transformational. It was obvious by the number of guests taking photos of biophic features and staff proudly engaging guests answering questions, that the biophilic"outbreak" was highly successful. Biophilic Design and well planned integrated housekeeping services will surely distinguish successful hotel business in the future. 



He has over 30 years experience in the Australian design development and construction industry. He has built and refurbished multiple hotel projects around Australia and was co-owner in a national hotel chain up until 2005. His current business is Eco Effective Solutions based in Brisbane. He consults, researches and educates the industry on Sustainable Design. www.ecoeffective.com.au mark@ecoeffective.com.au



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‘Green Cleaning’ WITH MICROFIBRE


Can you achieve impeccable cleaning standards that impress the harshest critics, and be environmentally-responsible?


here are many factors that ensure housekeeping delivers impeccable standards with minimal impact in a hotel. Guests expect a service that is discrete, quiet and doesn’t disturb their experience of a relaxing and restful stay. Productivity and efficiency have an impact on the hotel’s costs and team morale. And then there’s the question of environmental responsibility and minimising water usage. Sustainability is an increasingly important consideration for hotels and resorts – for both guests and management alike. Making a difference in the environmental impact of housekeeping is not just about reusing towels and reducing laundry, either. Cleaning with high amounts of water and harsh chemicals can mean money down the drain, literally. Sustainable cleaning means choosing cleaning products that don’t use high volumes of water and toxic chemicals, which end up down the drain and into waterways. More and more hotels and resorts are looking for alternative cleaning technology that is environmentally responsible without comprising quality, effectiveness and productivity.

NO-COMPROMISE ‘GREEN’ CLEANING An effective cleaning process must not only deal with visible grime and stains but the invisible nasties as well, which must be completely removed to produce a clean-smelling and healthy result. Unfortunately, many cleaning processes rely on harsh, toxic chemicals which have adverse environmental impacts. The concept of low-chemical, low-water cleaning, dubbed Green Cleaning, is a healthy and effective way for a hotel property to fulfil its commitment to environmental responsibility without compromising quality and hygiene. The development of professional-grade microfibre has revolutionised green housekeeping at many hotels and resorts. Microfibre works differently to standard cleaning cloths, due to its scientifically-designed fibres that are


engineered to attract and trap dirt, dust, grease, food and liquid, with minimal chemical use. A damp microfibre cloth is able to remove dirt, grease, food and germs from any hard surface. Microfibre, as the name implies, is specially designed with incredibly fine fibres, 20 times lighter than a human hair. Superior-quality microfibre uses different polymers to create positive attraction, so the fibres trap and hold dirt and grease particles amongst the fibre, reducing the risk of transfer. This produces a sparkling result while also preventing any potential crosscontamination. Using damp microfibre cloths and mops with only a small amount of cleaning chemicals eliminates the need to wring out excess liquid, lift or empty buckets and pour high quantities of water and chemicals down the drain. Reusable microfibre cloths and mop pads can be washed again and again, further reducing product waste going to landfill.

PRODUCTIVITY AND ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF MICROFIBRE This shift towards Green Cleaning with microfibre delivers many savings and benefits, not limited to a lower environmental impact. Financial savings are numerous – reusable, launderable microfibre cloths can be used hundreds of times. Chemical and water costs are considerably reduced. Cleaning productivity can also be increased without increasing labour costs. A busy housekeeping team is always looking for ways to boost productivity so staff can achieve more in less time. Small efficiency improvements can add up to significant time savings. The microfibre process is a one-step workflow, so cleaning times can be significantly reduced. Plus, by reducing the use of water and chemicals, surfaces require less drying time. Instead of avoiding or working around wet areas to

avoid slips and falls, staff can be more productive and areas can be returned quickly for guest use. Microfibre is extremely versatile and can be used on all types of hard surfaces, including glass, mirrors and stainless steel with streak-free performance. Housekeepers can use a single system for virtually every cleaning application and minimise the time spent changing between equipment and products.

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SUSTAINABLE CLEANING HAS ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND FINANCIAL BENEFITS FOR AMANA LIVING Amana Living in Western Australia found its water use could be drastically reduced by switching to a launderable microfibre cleaning system across its residential aged care facilities. Amana Living calculated the reduction in water equated to around 600 litres per day, or 218,000L per year. It meant significant water and cost savings, plus a lower risk of injury associated with lifting heavy buckets. With a microfibre mop, the team no longer needs to lift 600kg of water as part of their daily cleaning rounds. Without the need to fill, carry and empty buckets, a team member now can clean more spaces in less time, with less risk of back and shoulder injury and lower water wastage. This means better productivity and happier, healthier employees. Amana Living staff were more productive with microfibre and could clean more rooms more frequently within the same timeframes without compromising quality or needing to put on extra staff. This greener cleaning method has reduced dying times at Amana Living which has vinyl floors in many high traffic areas. Slippery wet floors can be a serious fall risk for residents with impaired mobility. Previously, a traditional wet mop system meant floors would take three to

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As shown in the case of Amana Living, using less water and chemicals is more sustainable; it’s better for the environment, better for the guests, staff productivity and wellbeing and the business bottom-line. No wonder the benefit of cleaning with less water and chemicals is gaining recognition in the hospitality sector. With the superior capabilities of a microfibre system, you can confidently achieve a thoroughly hygienic clean for guests and a better-performing, sustainable business. 

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Cleaning Challenges


In case you haven’t noticed, more and more hotels are replacing carpeting with woodlooking floors. We say “wood-looking” because these floors are very often a type of laminate or what is referred to as LVT – luxury vinyl tile. Real hardwood is often avoided because it is costlier to select and can be considerably more expensive to maintain.


his is a significant change for hotels in more ways than one. As we know, historically hotel/motel rooms have had carpet installed in guest rooms. One key reason for this is because carpet provides sound insulation. By absorbing sound, carpet helps “quiet” guest rooms. This reduces noise within the room as well as helps prevent noise and the sound of foot traffic from drifting into surrounding guest rooms. Additionally, carpet can make it easier to keep a guest room clean. We know now that carpet absorbs dust and airborne impurities. With hardwood floors, this dust can be stirred up with foot traffic, become airborne, and find its way onto all types of surfaces. With carpet, this is less likely. Carpet has other benefits, more than we have mentioned here. So, why are so many hotels making the shift to hard surface flooring? Mostly because it’s now in style. Younger people are travelling much more for business and pleasure. They prefer the look of hardwood over traditional carpet. Many of these younger folks also live in urban areas where hard surface flooring - such as wood-looking floors are now the flooring of choice. We see this happening around the globe. Several studies indicate that what is called wood plastic composite (WPC) flooring along with LVT floors, mentioned earlier, are not only becoming more popular, but they are outselling carpet in many types of facilities, commercial as well as residential. "Wood floors continue to gain popularity in hotels and restaurants," said Dick Quinlan, formerly in charge of wood products for Armstrong Floors. “[They] provide a home-like feeling in public areas and guestrooms and give meeting areas a distinctive look.” Quinlan also says that hotel administrators like woodlooking floors because they allow designers to create more “unique and dramatic presentations” when styling guest rooms, meeting areas, etc. Typically, this means adding


specially designed area rugs and placing them atop the wood floor to give the room some extra pizzazz. Oh, and about that sound transmission problem mentioned earlier, a unique sound underlay has been developed that blocks sound from travelling between guest rooms. “We created one model room in our hotel with the [sound underlay] under the hardwood floors and have been booking it — and the room below — every night. We have not had one noise complaint yet,” says the manager of a North American hotel.

CARE AND CLEANING The good news about WPC, LVT, and similar types of laminate floors is that they are not difficult to maintain. For instance, it is typically recommended that they not be sealed or finished. These floors are usually manufactured with a protective coating that helps protect the floor and give it a natural sheen. This should make the job of hotel housekeepers much easier. Additionally, these floors can be cleaned in many of the same ways other hard surface floors are cleaned such as one of the most common types of floors, vinyl composite tile (VCT). This means that no specialized training or special cleaning agents are necessary. Again, lightening the load for hotel housekeepers. Further, LVT floors tend to be resistant to spots and stains. Moisture, which might affect a real hardwood floor or even a tile and grout floor, will not harm one of these floors. But they do need to be cleaned and cleaned correctly. Not only to protect the health of the indoor environment, but also to protect the floor itself. As durable as these floors can be, they are not indestructible. Poor care or lack of attention can impact their appearance. So how do we clean them? Here are some of the key things housekeepers need to know:

• Wood-looking floors should be vacuumed and not swept. Nor is a dry push mop recommended. We mentioned earlier that dust on a hard surface floor can become airborne. This happens when they are swept or dry mopped. Vacuuming the floor collects the dust and helps prevent it from becoming airborne. • Avoid wet mopping these floors. As we know, mops collect soils. That is what they are designed to do. But the more soils they collect, the more contaminated the mop and cleaning solution become. With both the mop and the cleaning solution now contaminated, the mop becomes a conduit of contaminants. Instead of removing them, it is now spreading soils, germs, and bacteria from one floor to another. • An alternative to floor mopping is a new floor cleaning technology known as "dispense-and-vac." With a dispense-and-vac system, fresh (non-contaminated) cleaning solution is dispensed directly to the floor. If necessary, a brush can be used to loosen soils in the floor. The solution and soils are then vacuumed up, leaving the floor dry in minutes. The process is about a third faster than traditional floor cleaning methods, and certainly much healthier. • Always use a pH neutral floor cleaner on these floors. If a disinfectant is necessary, it may be best to select a neutral floor cleaner that is formulated with a hydrogen peroxide cleaner. Hydrogen peroxide is often used in hospitals and other facilities as a disinfectant and is safe to use on wood-looking floors. • Spills should be cleaned up as soon as they are noticed. These floors are not indestructible. Instead, they are resistant to stains and spills, but a spill left on the floor

can cause damage. • Do not burnish or buff these floors. These techniques can remove the floor’s protective coating, as we discussed earlier. • If scratches or scuff marks develop on the floor, some manufacturers of wood-looking floors suggest using scratch repair kits specially designed for these woodlooking floors. In a worst-case scenario, the problem area can be removed and replaced with a similar looking floor. Finally, when selecting one of these wood-looking floors, consider the colour. A dark or very light floor will be quick to show soils and traffic patterns that likely will not be noticed with a shaded floor colour. Further, some wood-looking floors now have patterns and textures which can also help keep these floors looking their best between cleanings, especially in heavily trafficked areas.  Marc Ferguson is the International Business Development Manager for Kaivac, developers of the No-Touch Cleaning® system and the OmniFlex™ Crossover Cleaning system. He can be reached at info@kaivac.com.


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South Pacific Laundry (SPL) has been a provider of commercial laundry and linen services to the hospitality industry in Melbourne for the last 20 years.



Currently, the South Pacific Group is establishing a strong network of modern laundries across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia with plans for several more facilities up the East Coast of Australia. The relocation of our Sydney operations to a new larger facility in Bankstown together with the relocation of our Brunswick plant to Broadmeadows will establish South Pacific Laundry as the single largest privately owned laundry in Australia and in the Southern Hemisphere.

Contact Robert Teoh National PR & Marketing P: (03) 9388 5300 M: 0421 716 888 Coverage Australia wide

• A 365 day service to all its clientele with a 24 hour turnaround (depending on location).

Pricing Information Contact supplier direct Delivery Free daily delivery within 25km city metropolitan areas Minimum Order Contact supplier direct

• A leading edge technology in RFID to assist housekeeping and managerial staff in time reduction and efficiency. • Dedicated account managers and experienced support staff who are available 7 days a week. • A dedicated software design package and centralised billing system enables seamless transactions, paperless and customised reports. • Delivery rationalisation systems, providing and streamlining efficient delivery routes which will reduce the company’s carbon footprint. • Building of partnerships and sharing benefits with the customers from savings made through its constant laundry process innovations and group purchasing power of linen products. • Dry cleaning and uniform cleaning services. • Provision and supplying of corporate uniforms/work wears and customised hotel room amenities.

Full Contact Information South Pacific Laundry 9-23 King William St Broadmeadows VIC 3047 P: (03) 9388 5300 F: (03) 9387 2399

*Albury and Melbourne only

E: customerservice@southpacificlaundry.com.au robert.teoh@southpacificlaundry.com.au


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