FCM Summer 2020

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SERVING THE FACILIT Y CLE ANING & MAINTENANCE INDUSTRY

SUMMER 2020

� HOSPITALITY HYGIENE & COVID-19 � THE INS AND OUTS OF CARPET CARE � DOES YOUR COMPANY NEED A PPE AUDIT?

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Hard work and honesty are the foundations of Empire Cleaning Services’ four decades in business

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� CONTENTS SUMMER 2020

PHOTOS BY DAVID LAI

FLOORING 12 A Laundry List of Questions Understanding the effectiveness, bioburden of microfibre mops, wipes by Mark Wiencek & Ron Sample 16 Cleaning with Care Why soft surfaces like carpet require extra attention by Joe Bshero

HOSPITALITY 22 The New World of Hospitality Hygiene How the industry is pivoting to keep staff and customers safe by Rachel Debling 25 The Heat is On Maintenance tips to prevent commercial kitchen fires by Nate Wojtasinski

COVER STORY 18 Building an Empire Since its humble beginning nearly four decades ago, the team behind Empire Janitorial Services has triumphed by following their instincts by Rachel Debling

IN EVERY ISSUE 4

Editor’s Letter Strange Times, Stronger Measures

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ISSA News

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Expert Q&A Contactless Cleaning

32 Clean Matters Taking the Throne

INFECTION PREVENTION & CONTROL 26 Are You Cleaning Your Cleaning Equipment? The fight against pathogens doesn’t end when the mopping does by Drew Bunn 28 Do You Need a PPE Audit? The need for ongoing PPE program checkups is often overlooked provided by Bunzl Canada

TECHNOLOGY 30 Cleaning Up in the Digital Revolution Make a “clean sweep” for your company in the online marketing game by Robert Kravitz

There’s a common misconception that setting up a PPE program for cleaning and environmental personnel is a one-time job. In fact, continuous updating of PPE products and practices is essential.


/ editor’s letter /

STRANGE TIMES, STRONGER MEASURES

M

PHOTO BY PAUL BUCETA

onths into the global pandemic, it seems cliché to be speaking of any industry in terms of how much it has been affected. After all, hasn’t nearly every business, in every part of the world, felt the repercussions of COVID-19’s spread? The truth of the matter is, though businesses everywhere are suffering, many facets of the building cleaning industry have been thriving, as more frequent and more thorough cleaning and disinfection is at the top of most everyone’s mind. But others haven’t been so lucky. One industry that had been maimed in the wake of cross-country lockdowns is the hospitality industry, which we examine in The New World of Hospitality Hygiene. In other topical pieces, we take a closer look at the need for companies to check and re-check their employees’ PPE habits in Do You Need a PPE Audit?, and in Cleaning with Care Joe Bshero of Whittaker Co. takes us through the unique cleaning needs of soft flooring, especially during the time of COVID-19. On an uplifting note, our cover story on Empire Janitorial Services details how the Torres family built their company from a few small contracts forty years ago to the thriving business it is today. Perhaps the one positive takeaway from the fight against coronavirus is that frontline cleaners are finally getting the recognition they deserve, a belief I’ve personally heard touted throughout the industry over the previous months. If we can hold onto that one glimmer of hope, we can get through to the finish line together. RACHEL DEBLING racheld@mediaedge.ca

Editor Rachel Debling racheld@mediaedge.ca Publisher

Chuck Nervick chuckn@mediaedge.ca

Senior Designer

Production Manager

Annette Carlucci Rachel Selbie rachels@mediaedge.ca

Sales Chuck Nervick chuckn@mediaedge.ca

Contributing Writers

Drew Bunn Jeff Cross Joe Bshero Mark Wiencek Nate Wojtasinski Robert Kravitz Ron Sample

Circulation Taras Kozak circulation@mediaedge.ca Facility Cleaning & Maintenance is published five times a year by:

2001 Sheppard Ave E, Suite 500 North York, ON M2J 4Z8

President

Kevin Brown kevinb@mediaedge.ca

Senior Vice-President

Chuck Nervick

chuckn@mediaedge.ca

Director and Group Publisher

Sean Foley

seanf@mediaedge.ca Copyright 2020 Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40063056 ISSN 1712-140X Circulation ext. 234 Subscription Rates: Canada: 1 year, $50*, 2 years, $80*, US $75 International $100, Single Copy Sales: Canada: $12* * Plus applicable taxes Requests for permission to reprint any portion of this magazine should be sent to the Editor, Rachel Debling FORMERLY KNOWN AS

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June 2018 • Vol. 33 #2

Costa advised that he no longer wished to occupy his role as president. The emergency meeting took place at the defendant’s (MTCC 1292’s) premises. At the emergency meeting, the plaintiff and Mr. Da Costa entered into a heated argument, which led Mr. Da Costa to “lose it” and strike the plaintiff on the head with a chair. Mr. Da Costa was charged by the police and received a conditional discharge for assault with a weapon. iff commen The plaintiff commenced a civil action against Mr. Da Costa fo for his use of force as well as MTCC TCC 1292 for fo failing to ensure her safety and nd failing to employ security meet measures at board meetings. MTCC 1292 brought a motion summary judgment otion for su to dismiss the plaintiff’s plaintiff’ claim against it nly opposed by Mr. Da Costa which was only given his crossclaim MTCC 1292 ossclaim against ag on and indemnity. inde for contribution

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their premises reasonably safe for those who enter it. But what about when an individual commits assault while at one of these meetings? Should the occupier or organizer of the

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board meeting be liable for failing to ensure the safety and security of those lawfully on the premises?

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In Omotayo v. Da Costa, 2018, the defendant occupier, Metro Toronto Condominium Corporation 1292 (MTCC 1292), was successful in dismissing the plaintiff’s claim and the assailant’s crossclaim when a member in attendance at a condominium board meeting struck another meeting attendee with a chair. Justice Nishikawa found that the duty the condominium corporation owed to the plaintiff did not include preventing an assault that occurred during their condominium board meeting. Facts of the case T he plaintif f, J ac queline O mot ayo, was a resident and former chair of the condominium corporation. The defendant, Jose Da Costa, was also a resident and former president of the condominium corporation. An emergency board meeting was held on Oct. 4, 2011, to discuss the future organization of the board as Ms. Omotayo had recently been removed from her position as chair and Mr. Da

By Steven Chester

SERVING THE FACILIT Y CLE ANING & MAINTENANCE INDUSTRY

Let’s face it, we all want our businesses to be social media rock stars, and we know it ain’t easy. It’s becoming more prevalent that some of the most popular social media platforms have been infiltrated by those who game the system. This includes those that buy fake followers and “likes” in order to create the illusion that their social media profile is more popular than it is. These fake followers are predominantly bots – accounts run by software designed to look and act like real people.

APRIL/MAY 2017

New services are also popping up that allow authentic social media accounts to become part of the bot game. By signing up for the service, the user authorizes their account to automatically like, follow and randomly comment on other users’ posts, and in turn they trade that fake engagement with other users. Sound harmless enough? The thing is you have no say in in the message your account is spreading or where it ends up.

CARING FOR FRAGILE FLOORS

Summary judgment motion udgment m positi MTCC took the position that its duty w is confined confine to the physical under the law condition of the premises premise and foreseeable e unforese risks, not the unforeseeable conduct of individuals in attendan attendance. Meanwhile, Mr. Da Costa that MTCC 1292’s a argued th s to having rules of conduct duty extends s, policies re for meetings, relating to abusive l an gu a g e, thre at s aan d intimid atin g d a duty to h behavior, and hire and supervise competent professional professionals to oversee its luding, if appropriate, ap business (including, security Cos further argued personnel). Mr. Da Costa ult was foreseeable fore that the assault given the M quarrelsome nature of MTCC 1292’s board nd a prior unrelated u meetings and incident involving the plaintiff and another member of MTCC 1292 wherein the police was 292 wherei called. ng her dec In reaching decision, Justice Nishikawa looked Coleiro v. Premier ooked to C s where summary sum Fitness Clubs judgment d in favour of the defendant was granted

MALL GERMS: TOP FIVE HOT SPOTS

Ask yourself this: What’s more important, having 50,000 cosmetic followers, or having

500 followers who are in your target market REMEDYING FOUR that actually want to hear from you? COMMON CARPET As a consumer, it’s even simpler, as PROBLEMS deceptive tactics are easy to spot. If you’re using underhanded methods to promote your business, this can be viewed as a reflection of your product or service. Your integrity is at stake. This is one of the more complex topics that can’t be fully covered in this space. As always, I invite you to stay social and continue the conversation on Twitter at @Chestergosocial where I’ll share a link to the full article.

SCENT OF

SUCCESS Steven Chester is the Digital Media Director of MediaEdge Communications. With 15 years’ experience in cross-platform communications, Steven helps companies expand their reach through social media and other digital initiatives. To contact him directly, email gosocial@mediaedge.ca.

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ISSA INTRODUCES GBAC STAR™ FACILITY ACCREDITATION PROGRAM The Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC), a division of ISSA, has introduced its GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program on cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention, the industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recover accreditation. GBAC STAR establishes requirements to assist facilities with work practices, protocols, procedures, and systems to control risks associated with infectious agents, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. Accreditation criteria and facility applications are now available at www.gbac.org. “GBAC STAR is the gold standard of safe facilities, providing third-party validation that ensures facilities implement strict protocols for biorisk situations,” said Patricia Olinger, GBAC executive director. “Accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers, and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to deliver clean and healthy environments that are safe for business.” Ideal for facilities like offices, restaurants, hotels, airports, convention centres, stadiums, and other public venues of all sizes, the GBAC STAR program assesses a facility’s preparedness and provides staff with training for biorisk prevention and containment. The program also establishes a framework for communication and awareness best practices. Hundreds of companies around the world have already pledged their commitment to the accreditation, and earlier this summer the Georgia World Congress Center and Dinner in a Dash became the first companies to complete the program. Canadian facilities from coast to coast are also signing on to GBAC STAR, including the Toronto Congress Centre, the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre,

the Edmonton Convention Centre, and the Edmonton EXPO Centre. The performance-based GBAC STAR program enables facilities to create and maintain an effective cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program. To achieve GBAC STAR accreditation, facilities must demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. Facilities can apply online and provide all documentation and supporting evidence with their application. The GBAC STAR Accreditation Council determines the status of all GBAC STAR facilities. “In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the GBAC STAR accreditation program is exactly what facilities need to confidently reopen and keep staff, customers, and communities safe,” said ISSA executive director John Barrett. “The way the world views cleaning has changed overnight. To effectively recover from this crisis and prepare for the next, it’s essential that businesses take these necessary steps – and we’re thrilled to have a stable of top organizations that have already committed to the program.” ISSA has also released a new course called GBAC Fundamentals Online Course: Cleaning and Disinfection Principles specifically designed for cleaning workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus fight. By using the special promo code “MediaEdgeCourse” registrants can receive a discount off normal prices. For additional program details and information, please email chuckn@mediaedge.ca or contact him at (416) 803-4653.

ISSA UPGRADES ONLINE WORKLOADING AND BIDDING TOOL ISSA has announced enhancements to its Workloading & Bidding Tool, such as the addition of metric calculations and the ability to add daily and weekly frequencies, to help its members document and analyze their cleaning services during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the tool, available exclusively to ISSA members worldwide through the organization’s website, members can build out a location or cleaning project by entering room type, the area in square metres or square feet, and the activities to perform. The activities correspond with ISSA’s 612 Cleaning Times, a guide to industry time standards for performing cleaning tasks. Additional features include the ability to: • show the days of week each task will be performed, along with the number of times per day • add specific tasks associated with heightened disinfecting 6 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / SUMMER 2020

• create workload based on a room, floor, area, or building • calculate revenue to labour, supply costs, and general overhead Dianna Steinbach, ISSA vice president of international services, commented, “ISSA constantly updates and develops member resources to ensure members are best poised to implement industry best practices. The current pandemic made clear that the calculator needed more flexible cleaning times to meet increased demands and help with explaining the impact of current changes in cleaning scope of work. Thanks to the metric system update, members from all over the world now will be able to use the tool to improve their services and communicate cost calculations.” ISSA members can access the tool via the myISSA portal. There is a one-month window for members to transfer their saved calculations from the previous version of the tool to the new version, or to download them.


ISSA NEWS AVOIDING CORONAVIRUS CLEANING LIABILITIES Cleaners and restorers worldwide are at battle against the coronavirus and doing all they can to stop the virus from spreading. But without proper training, equipment, and chemistry, some might be causing more harm than good, making coronavirus cleaning a liability. What happens when a frontline cleaning or restoration professional doesn’t follow industry standards and instructions? It can lead to disaster. Here’s an example: Jim Pemberton, president of Pembertons in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, is an industry supplier, trainer, and consultant. He is inundated with questions from not only his direct customers but others across the country looking for advice on what to do to battle the coronavirus and help customers. He related one experience of a cleaner who thought he could simply add disinfectant to his cleaning solution, which isn’t what the directions indicated. Pemberton has had other conversations with cleaners who ask about misting, fogging, and other forms of applying products to surfaces. The challenge is they are thinking of routine cleaning procedures, not something as serious as fighting the coronavirus. “Many of these guys just want someone to tell them ‘It’s OK,’ and they don’t think about the consequences,” he said. However, dangerous repercussions may result from these types of situations. TARGETED TRAINING

Patricia Olinger, executive director of the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a division of ISSA, sees the same issue. “We are getting questions about how people can start a business right now in professional disinfection,” she said. “We are seeing people in many different industries thinking they can just pick up a piece of equipment, put disinfectant in it, and go! Someone is going to get hurt. The need for training, individual certifications, and company accreditation programs is evident.” One solution offered by GBAC is the GBAC Fundamentals Online Course: Cleaning and Disinfection Principles. Those who complete the two-hour training and pass the various test questions will receive a certificate of completion and will be in a better position to battle the coronavirus and other infectious issues. Another valuable collection of information is found on the ISSA website page titled Cleaning and Disinfecting for the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). COMPLIANCE ISSUES

In the United States, the EPA has provided guidance to the industry about products appropriate for battling coronavirus. Aside from products, a delivery system has to be used to get the product to the surface for proper disinfecting procedures. It’s a dangerous world when regulatory compliance is not followed. “This is a problem,” Olinger stated. “Considering health and safety, this is a major problem. They have to be careful. They will open

Frontline cleaning professionals require support and education to ensure they are adequately protecting building guests themselves up to liability if they don’t pay attention to regulatory compliance issues.” If a product is not approved for use in a fogger, sprayer, or other delivery system, it may be because it has not been proven to be effective, she added. “Individuals who are using sprayers, foggers, and the like should not only be trained on the disinfectant and equipment, but they need to understand the specifics of the infectious agents they are declaring war on,” Olinger warned. “It is extremely important for the health and welfare of the workers, the clients, and the environment.” She said more consideration must be given to the type of personal protective equipment (PPE) being used, not only for protection against infectious agents but also the potential chemical exposure to products being applied. Something as simple as donning and doffing — putting on and taking off — PPE can be a true skill and is critical knowledge to have. Individuals can do everything right from the cleaning and disinfection side and then take off their PPE incorrectly and become infected. This has been a major cause of infection in first responders and healthcare workers. It has been a concern during previous outbreaks and pandemics as well, including the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak. Pemberton adds some simple, final advice: “Read the label. The application directions, including dilutions (if not ready-to-use), application devices, dwell time, and more is all on the container to help our professionals use the product appropriately and also how to deliver it to surfaces.” Jeff Cross is the editorial director of ISSA Media, which includes Cleaning & Maintenance Management, Cleanfax, and ISSA Today magazines. He is the previous owner of a successful cleaning and restoration firm. He also works as a trainer and consultant for business owners, managers, and frontline technicians. He can be reached at jeffcross@issa.com. www.REMInetwork.com / 7


CONTACTLESS CLEANING Q+A: Examining the tech that takes the guesswork out of sanitation Interview has been edited for clarity and length.

T

he future, as they say, is now, and with each passing day our world is looking a little more like that of The Jetsons. As recently as a decade ago, the prospect of self-cleaning anything was a mere dream, but that is changing as companies like NanoTouch introduce hands-off cleaning technologies that are making workplaces and buildings safer and healthier. Company co-founder Mark Sisson explains this is just the beginning of a bold new frontier in facility cleaning.

8 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / SUMMER 2020

What is a self-cleaning surface?

For the purposes of facilities and hightraffic touchpoints, the term is used to describe a surface that eliminates contaminants autonomously, without any manual labour or chemicals. If you compare a self-cleaning surface to traditional cleaning and disinfection, there are a couple of main differences. Disinfectants are a ‘one-time kill.’ This means the very next touch, sneeze, or toilet flush recontaminates the surface and it PHOTOS BY MICHAEL BURNS PHOTOGRAPHY


/ expert Q+A /

than bleach. This oxidation reaction breaks down any organic contaminants into base components, such as carbon dioxide and water, without contributing to antimicrobial resistance. What are the advantages of having selfcleaning surfaces?

The biggest and most obvious advantage is a cleaner, healthier facility. That’s not to say self-cleaning surfaces are a replacement for routine cleanings. Instead, they serve as a cleaning multiplier, creating cleaner touchpoints between routine cleanings, and they do this with no additional manpower or chemicals. Are there any disadvantages?

There aren’t any real disadvantages but durability can be an issue, depending on the product. Touchpoint surfaces should be replaced quarterly, which is a very respectable life span compared to the labour involved in traditional cleaning. Are self-cleaning surfaces best suited for certain types of applications?

Surfaces that are touched by lots of different people, typically in public facilities like schools, doctors’ offices, hotels, banks, airports, and office buildings, would benefit from the technology. Examples of these touchpoints include door handles, restroom door push plates, elevator buttons, and reception counter mats. will remain contaminated until the next manual cleaning. Also, because most disinfectants only kill microbes and leave their bodies and other residue, you have to clean the surface before the next disinfection. A self-cleaning surface, on the other hand, works continuously and provides cleaner touchpoints between routine manual cleanings. A separate cleaning is not necessary with a self-cleaning surface since the powerful oxidation reaction completely breaks down any contaminants and residue. How does a self-cleaning surface work?

It depends on the product. Some utilize mineral nanocrystals that act as a catalyst, charged by any visible light (sunlight, incandescent, fluorescent, or LED). These nanocrystals, at the microscopic level, create a continuous oxidation reaction stronger

How do self-cleaning surfaces provide added value to facilities and property owners?

Facilities that employ self-cleaning surfaces provide a sense of safety and security. The largest private school in Virginia serves as example. The education institution uses self-cleaning surfaces because [they are] asking parents to write big tuition checks in a competitive environment. When parents see self-cleaning surfaces, they feel better about where they are sending their children to school. The visible nature of the products creates a positive first impression and a feeling of safety and security. And this improved occupant experience translates into real business value for the property owner and businesses that occupy the space. Another example is a large fam-

ily medicine practice with ten facilities. Their patient experience manager loves these products because their patients feel better about the cleanliness of their office, and this translates into a positive perception of their healthcare in general. This improved occupant experience then translates into additional value for the property and the owner. How do self-cleaning surfaces add value for facility managers and commercial cleaners?

It depends on who delivers the innovation to the property owner. Facility managers typically have a bigger picture, a strategic view. Visible self-cleaning surfaces in a facility helps with ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) initiatives for the built environment. The commercial cleaning industry, on the other hand, has been plagued with cost cutting and margin erosion. Since they are in a unique position to install and maintain self-cleaning surfaces as part of a value-added service, this is a valuable new revenue stream and typically delivers higher profit margins than their traditional, commodity services. What’s next for NanoTouch and selfcleaning surfaces?

From an innovation standpoint, we’ve got some consumer products on the drawing board, like a self-cleaning pet mat where you would place your pet’s food and water bowls. But the biggest thing we’re working on is a very large equity offering that will provide funding to educate the market and build awareness. When you create a completely new category of products, it takes a lot of sales and marketing to build awareness and understanding. The great thing about our products is that they go viral — no pun intended. Once a person sees a selfcleaning surface in one facility, they want to bring that idea back to other facilities they frequent, like their doctor’s office, school, or where they work. This presents an opportunity for the facility manager or commercial cleaner who deploys self-cleaning surfaces since each installation creates more demand and referrals. We actually joke about how our products constantly create more germaphobes. / www.REMInetwork.com / 9


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What’s your outbreak protocol? Communicable diseases cause a significant burden on society1 and the widespread outbreak of COVID-19 has brought a harsh reality for both healthcare and non-healthcare facilities alike. This respiratory disease, caused by a coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is a reminder of the importance of infection prevention efforts and the need for continued vigilance. 2 In the current COVID-19 pandemic, there have been numerous incidents of infection outbreaks at different types of non-healthcare facilities, such as large warehouses, food plants, meat manufacturing plants, grocery stores, etc. 3 As public facilities and business open in a phased manner after the unprecedented lockdown and closure due to COVID-19, it is imperative that cleaning, disinfection and infection prevention and control measures are undertaken and adhered to in order to prevent additional outbreaks. 2

Educate. COVID-19 has also highlighted the importance of infection control and prevention education for facility managers, custodians and professional cleaners to ensure facilities/businesses are cleaned and disinfected properly to help prevent the spread of illness causing germs and protect human health.4,5 Everything from hand hygiene to wearing masks to personal protective equipment, to choosing the correct product for each cleaning job, to knowing the proper process to implement, and execute environmental disinfection, all play a vital role in helping prevent the spread of communicable infections.4

Be “healthcare clean”. “Healthcare clean”, an approach to cleaning that aims to reduce or eliminate microbial contamination of all hard surfaces and non-critical equipment within the healthcare environment, may also be applied to non-healthcare settings, such as schools, offices, retail, hospitality, warehouses, fitness facilities, grocery stores, shopping centres, etc.6 Similar to practices implemented during normal flu seasons, it is important to ensure routine cleaning is being done when trying to stop the spread of mass communicable infections such as COVID-19.7 Surveys show that nearly all employees (86%) agree that disinfecting hard surfaces is one of the best ways to prevent germ transmission, and employers should make available and provide hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes at employee workstations. 8

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CloroxPro™ can help.

Toronto Public Health has issued a COVID-19 factsheet for non-healthcare workplaces that recommends frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common areas and high-touch surfaces such as door handles, counters, cabinet doors, elevator buttons, light switches, faucets, toilet handles, hand rails, touch screen surfaces and keypads. Common areas should have soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant. 9 In addition, the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, has issued comprehensive guidelines for various sectors of industry to help protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19:4,10 • Adherence to infection prevention and control (IPAC) protocols; • Hand hygiene, including the use of alcohol-based hand rub and hand washing; • Assessment of the risk of infection transmission and the appropriate use of personal protective equipment, including correct selection, safe application, removal and disposal; • Disinfect all frequently touched surfaces daily including desks, cubbies, cafeteria tables, restroom stalls/stall doors, door handles, keyboards/mice, pencil sharpeners and sink fixtures; • Disinfect after routine cleaning is complete; • Remove any visible soil from the surface with a detergent-based cleaner before applying a disinfectant; • Disinfect surfaces from “clean” areas, such as classrooms, to “dirty” areas, such as restrooms, to minimize crosscontamination; • When disinfecting, ensure surfaces remain visibly wet for the contact time specified on the product label.

The rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 has triggered Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) Emerging Pathogen Policy*. This policy permits manufacturers of disinfectants to make efficacy claims for its disinfectants against the emerging viral pathogen if: • The disinfectant has a Broad Spectrum Virucidal efficacy claim, meaning that it has a claim against anyone of the following four viruses approved by Health Canada: Poliovirus type 1, Chat strain (ATCC VR-1562) or Human adenovirus type 5 (ATCC VR-5) or Bovine parvovirus (ATCC VR-767) or Canine parvovirus (ATCC VR-2017) • Or, carry a specific claim against a specific coronavirus, such as MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV or human coronavirus strain 229E • Or, carry a specific claim against non-enveloped viruses of the picornaviridae, caliciviridae, astroviridae, reoviridae, or papillomaviridae families The following CloroxPro™ products are on Health Canada’s list of hard-surface disinfectants with evidence against COVID-19: • Clorox Total T360® Disinfectant Cleaner, DIN 02460769 • Clorox® Germicidal Bleach, DIN 02459108 • Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, DIN 02492636 • Clorox® Clean-Up® Disinfecting Bleach Cleaner, DIN 02494019 • Clorox Healthcare® Germicidal Disinfecting Cleaner, DIN 02469278 • Clorox Healthcare® Bleach Germicidal Wipes, DIN 02465671 • Clorox Healthcare® Fuzion™ Cleaner Disinfectant, DIN 02459744 • Clorox Healthcare® Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner Disinfectant, DIN 02403528 • Clorox Healthcare® Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner Disinfectant Wipes, DIN 02406225 • Clorox Healthcare® VersaSure™ Alcohol-Free Cleaner Disinfectant Wipes, DIN 02473151

* https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/disinfectants/covid-19/list.html References: 1. Diener A & Dugas J. Inequality-related economic burden of communicable diseases in Canada. Can Commun Dis Rep Suppl 2016;42:S1-S7. 2. Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario), Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee. Best practices for prevention, surveillance and infection control management of novel respiratory infections in all health care settings. 1st revision. Toronto, ON: Queen’s Printer for Ontario; 2020. 3. These are the Calgary-area workplaces hit hardest by COVID-19 outbreaks. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/covid-list-workplace-outbreaksahs-calgary-asfd-1.5564639. Accessed May 11, 2020. 4. Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace. May 8, 2020. https://www.ontario.ca/page/resources-prevent-covid-19-workplace. Accessed May 10, 2020. 5. COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure – Disinfection of Touchpoints. https://www.ccohs.ca/images/products/pandemiccovid19/pdf/std-op-proc-disinfection.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2020. 6. Gauthier J. “Hospital clean” versus “construction clean” – is there a difference? Can J Infect Control 2004;19(3):150-2. 7. Cold and Flu Season. https://www.wsps.ca/Information-Resources/Topics/Cold-and-Flu-Season.aspx. Accessed May 10, 2020. 8. Clorox Professional Products Company Survey. May 2015. 9. Toronto Public Health Covid-19 Fact Sheet. https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/8d59-Fact-Sheet_NovelCoronavirus.pdf. Accessed May 10, 2020. 10. Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (Public Health Ontario), Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee. Best practices for environmental cleaning for prevention and control of infections in all health care settings. 3rd ed. Toronto, ON: Queen’s Printer for Ontario; 2018.

© 2020 The Clorox Company


Protection. Where it’s needed most. CloroxPro™ offers three chemistries for outbreak prevention that goes beyond just cleaning.

These Health Canada registered disinfectants, based on 3 chemistries, defend against COVID-19.* * The registered disinfectants are approved to communicate claims against emerging viral pathogens.

CloroxPro.ca | cleaning@clorox.com © 2020 The Clorox Company


A LAUNDRY LIST OF QUESTIONS

Understanding the effectiveness, bioburden of microfibre mops, wipes by Mark Wiencek & Ron Sample

12 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / SUMMER 2020


/ flooring /

E

ffective cleaning of high-touch surfaces and f loors requires a dedicated workforce and proper cleaning tools and chemistries. While several studies have shown the adoption of microfibre textiles has improved cleaning and disinfection outcomes, questions remain regarding the quality and durability of different microfibre products, particularly after repeated laundering. This issue has helped foster a heated debate about the switch to single-use, disposable mop pads and wipers from reused, re-laundered cleaning textiles. PEOPLE EQUAL GERMS

Properly cleaning and disinfecting environmental surfaces in healthcare facilities is paramount to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Unlike most other institutions where large numbers of people gather, hospitals and other healthcare facilities treat people whose health is already compromised. Patients are more susceptible to infection than the general public. However, even healthy people carry billions of microbes on their skin and inside their bodies. Through poor manners, inadequate hygiene, or even completely normal behaviour, these microbes are shed from people and contaminate the surrounding environment. Microbes prefer to attach to surfaces and form communities called biofilms to protect themselves from drying out and from starvation. This is how these bacteria, viruses, and fungi can move from person to person, resulting in the transmission of diseases. The chain of

The cleaning textile, paired with the environmental services technician’s efforts, provide the critical agitation needed to remove dirt, stains, and even biofilm from surfaces. transmission can only be stopped by good hygiene practices (for example, hand washing/sanitization) and proper cleaning/disinfection of environmental surfaces. THE FANTASTIC FOUR

There are many ways to describe cleaning but most involve four components: tools, agitation, chemicals, and time/ labour. When considering cleaning tools, both the hardware (poles and mop frames) and software (mop pads and wipers) should be lightweight and easy to use. The cleaning textile, paired with the environmental services technician’s efforts, provide the critical agitation needed to remove dirt, stains, and even biofilm from surfaces. The chemicals used to clean, sanitize, and disinfect must be compatible with the mops, wipers, and other hardware. All these factors inf luence how much time and labour is needed for a consistent and effective process. TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Traditionally, cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection utilized cotton-based string mops and towels. These products are often laundered under high temperatures with bleach to effectively decontaminate before they are employed again.

In the early 2000s, several institutions began transitioning from cottonbased products to microfibre tools. These f loor mopping pads and cloths were either laundered or disposable products. The results of several studies have shown the migration to microfibre f lat mops and wipers has improved cleaning and disinfection techniques and effectiveness. However, the laundries are faced with a challenge every time they wash and dry microfibre products. If they launder according to typical care-label instructions, the mops and wipes may still have viable microbes, dirt, hair, and other debris when returned as ‘clean’ for use. These contaminants can compromise cleaning, increase the risk of microbial cross-contamination, and neutralize some disinfectants like quaternary ammonium compounds (quats). If synthetic textiles are laundered according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the microfibres themselves can become melted, twisted, and deformed. There are several industry associations, such as the Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council and Textile Rental Services Association, dedicated to improving the laundry process. Achieving consistent compliance to a relatively complicated process, however, will remain difficult. www.REMInetwork.com / 13


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While the economics for single-use textiles are straightforward, the total costs associated with laundered products can be complicated and variable.

Single-use, disposable textiles are a significantly different option for cleaning surfaces and applying disinfectants. They are lighter in weight, more effective at releasing cleaners or disinfectants onto surfaces, and avoid the re-laundering challenges. Although the quality can vary among manufacturers, reputable single-use products can clean as well as brand new laundered mop pads and towels. Since they are only used once, there is no risk of

cross-contamination from prior use or laundering and the fibres are in pristine condition for each application. ECONOMIC TRADEOFFS

One of the first considerations is whether one single-use cleaning product equates to one use and processing of a laundered cleaning product. Because of its lighter weight, single-use products might treat less area with a disinfectant than re-laundered tex-

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tiles. However, the area that can be cleaned is not affected and mop pad coverage can be extended by applying more disinfectant directly to the f loor instead of using more mop pads. While the economics for single-use textiles are straightforward, the total costs associated with laundered products can be complicated and variable. It often depends on how many cycles of clean-disinfect-launder-repeat a textile can go through before it is not capable of cleaning anymore. Relaundered mop pads and towels tend to ‘disappear’ over time as they are discarded due to wear or extreme contamination. Some savvier housekeepers and environmental services technicians have been known to hoard cleaning tools in the best condition, leaving the less-effective textiles for others to use. Manufacturers of single-use, disposable cleaning textiles strive to create effective products at cost-effective price points by developing more effi-


/ flooring /

cient products. The relatively expensive microfibres are deliberately distributed into the areas of the pads or wipers that make direct contact with the surfaces being cleaned. This can offer excellent cleaning results while providing great value. CLEAN GREEN

The issues of environmental impact and sustainability now compete with quality and cost as factors that inf luence buying decisions for singleuse versus re-laundered products. Both types of textiles available in the market today are composed primarily of non-recycled synthetic polymers. Generally, they are disposed of in landfills or by incineration at the end of their useful life. However, the overall impact on the environment can be complicated when considering life cycle categories, ranging from eutrophication of waters (phosphate equivalents) to climate change (carbon dioxide equivalents).

Single-use textiles are disposed after every use but weigh much less than textiles that are re-laundered, especially when considering the cleaners or disinfectants left in the textiles after use. Even if mop pads and towels can be reused effectively through dozens or hundreds of cycles, the environmental impacts of energy, water, and wastewater from the laundering process are considerable. Also, the uncontrolled release of microfibres into waterways has been recognized as a substantial environmental and toxicological hazard associated with laundering of synthetic textiles. Manufacturers of both types of products are developing more sustainable options for raw materials and disposal, including biodegradable or compostable textiles, but must balance

these features with potential negative impacts on quality and cost. WEIGHING THE OPTIONS

Indust r y professionals understand t hat cleaning outcomes are often more t han just aest het ics — t he results can also impact human healt h. W hile it is possible for laundries to st rike t he balance needed to effect ively process synt het ic mop pads and wipes according to indust r y standards, it is an ongoing challenge t hat requires keen oversight to ensure consistent compliance. If t here’s a lack of t r ust in t he laundr y process, single-use, disposable cleaning text iles should be considered as a viable alternat ive for any facilit y. /

Mark Wiencek, PhD, is the lead microbiologist at Contec Inc. Ron Sample is a senior technical support specialist at the company. They can be respectively reached at mwiencek@contecinc.com and rsample@contecinc.com.

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CLEANING WITH CARE Why soft surfaces like carpet require extra attention by Joe Bshero

16 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / SUMMER 2020


/ flooring /

T

he novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shone a spotlight on the importance of facility maintenance. As businesses begin to reopen, customers expect to be met with a new level of clean. During this vulnerable time, it’s crucial that organizations demonstrate their commitment to cleanliness to put patrons and employees at ease. And while thorough hard surface disinfection has recently come under increased focus, soft surfaces like carpet also require attention. Carpet is often recommended to help improve indoor air quality (IAQ), as it can act as an air filter, trapping dust, pollen, and other particles, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Removing these pollutants and surface stains regularly is crucial because dirty carpet can send the wrong message to visitors as soon as they walk through the door. In fact, a 2020 Harris Poll revealed that 93 per cent of Americans say dirty carpet, with things like stains, animal hair, or food residue, would negatively impact their perception of a business. To uphold brand reputation at a time when organizations need to secure customer loyalty and repeat business, it’s important that facility managers and their employees understand how to properly care for carpet.

A DEEP CLEAN

In addition to helping improve IAQ, carpet can also reduce noise and enhance comfort and appearance in indoor environments. Although soft surfaces like carpet cannot be disinfected, carpet can be cleaned and maintained with the proper tools and chemistry. The first step to properly cleaning carpet requires an effective vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. These filters trap 99.97 per cent of airborne particles, reducing the chances of particles being reintroduced to the air. Carpet should be vacuumed daily, especially in high-traffic areas near entrances or hallways.

Due to its absorbency, carpet can easily trap water, which is why it’s important to utilize low-moisture encapsulation. By relying on less water, this method allows carpet to dry in about 20 to 30 minutes without leaving behind any residue. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that facilities remove any visible contamination on soft surfaces like carpeted floors and then apply the appropriate cleaners. It’s also important to look for chemistries that include hydrogen peroxide as an ingredient. While employees can increase dilution rates to achieve a higher concentration, dosages above 4 per cent hydrogen peroxide can potentially damage natural carpet fibers, so proper measurement and dilution is key. With the right carpet care machine and chemistry, facility managers can effectively lift carpet pile and agitate the chemistry into carpet fibers. Before, during, and even after an outbreak, it’s critical to always pay extra attention to visible soils in carpet. Build-up of soil and particles can settle into carpet over time and become more difficult to remove, potentially impacting the perception of cleanliness. Ensure that staff have access to carpet cleaning tools to quickly address spots as they occur. MAINTAINING EQUIPMENT

Cleaning carpet is the first step to ensuring facility f loors look their best and promote the right image to guests, employees, and visitors. However, it’s equally important to clean carpet equipment after each use to avoid cross-contamination, especially in environments where building occupants may be at high risk of infection, such as long-term care facilities and hospitals. Before cleaning the equipment, ensure staff has access to personal pro-

tective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, to help prevent the spread of germs. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wipe down the machine with EPA-approved disinfectant wipes or spray. Remove the machine’s brushes and soak in a peroxide or white vinegar solution for several minutes. Allow the brushes to thoroughly dry before placing them back into the machine. Additionally, empty the collection tray to dispose of any potential contaminants and other soils and clean accordingly. Proper maintenance over time also keeps equipment in good working condition. Regularly f lush the machine’s spray nozzles to ensure the cleaning solution is always properly distributed on carpet fibers. Rotate the brushes to increase their lifespan and replace them when the brush indicator notes wear. As organizations adapt and enhance their cleaning routines to clean more frequently, it’s never been more important to have reliable, userfriendly, and well-working equipment on hand. ACHIEVING A HIGHER LEVEL OF CLEAN

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, facility managers are facing greater scrutiny from customers, employees, and stakeholders regarding cleanliness. According to the aforementioned Harris Poll, 58 per cent of Americans would assume the facility is not clean if it has dirty carpet and 56 per cent would look for an alternative facility to patronize. Organizations should be doing everything in their power to maintain a top-to-bottom clean and give customers the right impression of their facility. Adhering to a regular carpet care schedule and using the right tools, machines, and chemicals is essential. /

Joe Bshero is director of technical services at Whittaker Co., a leader in interim commercial carpet cleaning systems.

www.REMInetwork.com / 17


/ cover story /

BUILDING

AN EMPIRE

Since its humble beginning nearly four decades ago, the team behind Empire Janitorial Services has triumphed by following their instincts by Rachel Debling

W

hen the term ‘empire’ comes to mind, some may visualize towering castles, centuries of reign, and throngs of passionate followers; others may picture modern-day magnates who rule the boardroom with an iron fist, or multihyphenates dominating at the box office and on charts of all kinds. But no matter which dynasty one considers, they all share one common feature: they had to start somewhere. For Empire Janitorial Services, that start entailed a move of continental proportions — and a lot of elbow grease. A FRESH START

When Eduardo and Cathy Torres immigrated to Canada from Argentina with Cathy’s family nearly fifty years ago — both were barely 18 — they wasted little time in setting goals for their new life in North America. The couple quickly took on as much work as they could, with Cathy finding full-time employ18 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / SUMMER 2020

ment at Dominion Roller Skate’s Mississauga, Ontario factory while Eduardo earned money as a delivery driver for a lumber company. But their ambitions outweighed these entry-level positions, and to fund their dream of purchasing a home, the duo accepted the additional responsibility of cleaning buildings parttime at night. Over the next three years, Eduardo and Cathy’s hard work paid off. They married, attained their immediate goal of owning property, and were pleased when more opportunities in the cleaning industry materialized, including the Toronto-area Carlton Cards factory which they serviced for nearly two years as a subcontractor. Still, their growth didn’t come without sacrifice. “It was hard working day and night,” Cathy recalls of their early years in Canada. But the challenges presented to them in their new home country were nothing compared to what they had left behind. “[Argentina] was under a military government,”



/ cover story /

A FAMILY PORTRAIT: EMPIRE JANITORIAL SERVICES’ BYRON, EDUARDO, CATHY, AND ANGELICA TORRES

she remembers. “Things were getting very unsafe, especially for young people … there were a lot of disappearances.” Recognizing the potential a life in Canada held, she and Eduardo soldiered on, and by 1981 they had saved enough money to quit their day jobs and soon opened their cleaning business, Empire Janitorial Services. Named by her father (Cathy’s mother and brother also accompanied the two to Canada; Eduardo’s mother followed a few years later), the company quickly blossomed thanks to recommendations from satisfied customers. Their team started small, with Cathy, Eduardo, their mothers, Cathy’s brother, and a few friends rolling up their sleeves to work and drive the growth of the business. As an agile

One of the cornerstones of Empire’s business model is that staff are directly employed, which ensures a hands-on approach to onboarding and continuing training.

startup, they were able to tailor their services to customers’ requirements, from janitorial and carpet cleaning to landscaping. Over time, they began signing bigger and more prestigious clients, some of which remain loyal to the company today; longtime client RE /MAX West, for example, now has Empire cleaning eleven of its Greater Toronto Area offices.

20 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / SUMMER 2020

FAMILY VALUES

Over the course of the following decades Eduardo and Cathy welcomed a family, first into their North York home, then into the business when son Byron came on board in 1998 at the young age of 20. Now the company’s regional operations manager, Byron was at the time pursuing a post-secondary education in computer engi-


/ cover story /

Empire’s client base is now comprised of approximately 70 per cent commercial offices, 20 per cent warehouses and post-construction clean-up projects, and 10 per cent healthcare customers, amounting to 38 locations and more than 1 million square feet of cleaning space.

neering; however, upon realizing the field wasn’t for him, he decided to join his parents in their expanding organization. The couple’s daughter Vanessa eventually took on a role in the business as well, solidifying the family-run optics that endure in Empire Janitorial to this day. One of the cornerstones of Empire’s business model is that staff are directly employed, which ensures a hands-on approach to onboarding and continuing training. And these efforts aren’t just for show. As Eduardo says on the company’s website, “Our motto is: a happy, healthy workforce is a safe workforce.” Byron explains that fostering longterm relationships with employees remains one of the company’s main goals, and that means giving each team member the support they require to succeed, which in turn contributes to the success of the business as a whole. The family is proud of the company’s low turnover rate — “Clients don’t like to see new faces,” Cathy notes — and of their approximately 40 employees, a large percentage have counted Empire as their place of work for 15 years or more. This longevity can be attributed to the fact that the groundwork for success is laid long before staff ever set foot in a client’s facility. “Before we hire anyone, we want to make sure they know what they’re doing,” says Byron, especially in regards to staff who will be working with industrial clients. This process begins

with time in the classroom, followed by hands-on training and two to five days of on-site training. “It’s not like working in an office — you’re in a factory with forklifts,” Byron points out. He stresses that ongoing education is equally important, allowing their team to stay up-to-date and keeping staff and clients alike healthy and safe. LOOKING AHEAD

The more things change, the more they stay the same, and after forty years in business that sentiment rings especially true for Empire Janitorial Services, at least when it comes to the hands-on attitude of the Torres family. Though Eduardo has taken a step back from his many responsibilities as founder and co-owner, he is still a mainstay at Empire’s offices, and Byron predicts he always will be. (As his son explains, “He likes to keep busy.”) Vanessa is also still involved with the company as a supervisor in the Brampton area, but has recently shifted her focus to raising her children and for the most part is a devoted stay-at-home mom. Cathy, on the other hand, is more involved than ever in her position as general manager and co-founder, with no plans to reduce her workload any time in the future. A relatively recent addition to the Torres business family is Angelica, Byron’s wife, who came to the team in 2015. As special projects coordinator, her fresh perspective and business

acumen led Empire to begin signing post-construction projects which, prior to her arrival, the company had yet to pursue. Her instincts proved correct, and this sector quickly became an area of growth. Empire’s client base is now comprised of approximately 70 per cent commercial offices, 20 per cent warehouses and post-construction clean-up projects, and 10 per cent healthcare customers, amounting to 38 locations and more than 1 million square feet of cleaning space. Cathy notes Byron will eventually take the reins of the business and lead the team into a new era of profitability. On that front, Byron says one of his short-term goals is to forge ahead with a sector that the company has admittedly overlooked: condominiums. And by being selective about customers — Byron notes they never over-promise and under-deliver and will refuse to take on a job they feel they can’t complete to their standards — the Empire team will continue to reap the fruits of its labour. “Honesty, integrity — we do things differently,” says Cathy when asked about their ‘keep it simple’ attitude. “[We don’t] want to overburden ourselves with too much.” In the end, it’s all about balance, and for this family, the trusted formula of hard work, respect, and sincerity will continue to drive them forward for many years to come. / www.REMInetwork.com / 21


22 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / SUMMER 2020


/ hospitality /

THE NEW WORLD OF HOSPITALITY HYGIENE How the industry is pivoting to keep staff and customers safe by Rachel Debling

I

t’s no exaggeration to say that a sector acutely and detrimentally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic is the restaurant, tourism, and hospitality industry. Many foodservice locations across Canada were forced to shut their doors in March, or at best had to pivot to a takeout- and delivery-only model, leaving many out of work and business owners wondering whether they would survive the storm. Canadians under lockdown were also left pining for the dining experiences they had so enjoyed and wholeheartedly supported only a few months before. And as these businesses begin to reopen their patios and dining rooms to a new and admittedly strange industry landscape, only one thing is certain: proper and thorough cleaning and disinfection will be the number-one concern of owners, kitchen staff, servers — and, perhaps most importantly, guests.

MORE THAN JUST A “CLEAN LOOK”

Maintaining a clean, virus-free facility postpandemic is as much a safety measure as it is an optics and branding opportunity. Because of this, Jody Palubiski, CEO of Charcoal Group, the parent company of Beertown Public House and Charcoal Steak House, notes that while cleanliness has always been next to godliness in the com-

pany’s locations, COVID-19 has increased his team’s emphasis on structured sanitation protocols. As he notes, “Our guests are watching and wanting to know what we are doing to keep us all safe.” Some of the biggest changes can be seen in the products the company sources for its cleaning needs. The cleaning agent once used on tables, chairs, and high-touch surfaces has been replaced by another product from supplier Diversey: Oxivir, an antiviral and antibacterial product used in medical settings. Table cleaning protocols have also been modernized and updated with a threestep colour-coded process in which different cloths are provided to staff for wiping table surfaces (blue) and for wiping chairs, benches, and ledges (red). Front of house, single-use items are provided to guests or, when not applicable, rotable serveware items are thoroughly sanitized between uses. The Charcoal Group also has a sense of humour about the surreal situation. Music lists have been curated so every 30 minutes a cleaning-themed song, such as “Can’t Touch This” or “Don’t Stand So Close to Me,” is played, reminding staff to sanitize all surfaces and shared equipment. “It works really well, but after the first month back, with the same two songs repeating throughout the day, it made us a bit

batty,” Palubiski admits. “So we will switch the tunes up once a month and are taking suggestions from the team on what songs are fitting to cue us to clean.” THE NEED FOR ACCOUNTABILITY

Fast-casual establishments have also felt the pressure to radically change their approach to hygiene, as evidenced by the experience of Paramount Fine Foods. In the wake of COVID-19, the company opted for a new multi-surface cleaner from Ecolab that has shown efficacy in the fight against coronavirus, and management ensured staff was using it correctly as per the product directions. Designated team members at each location were also tapped to ensure adherence to the new protocols. “We knew how crucial this was to keep everyone entering our restaurants safe,” a company spokesperson noted. Takeout packages are also sanitized and given a tamper-proof seal before they leave the restaurant. Prior to COVID-19, Paramount regularly conducted health and safety inspections through third-party auditing company Noraxx, a practice that has continued into the pandemic and will continue beyond its borders. Other non-cleaning safety measures include touchless temperature checks on all team members at the start of shifts, www.REMInetwork.com / 23


/ hospitality /

hensive resuming-operations procedures, employee training guides, and checklists to help ensure facilities are ready to reopen, safely. The company also recently partnered with Airbnb on its new five-step cleaning standard, which was created with the guidance of Dr. Vivek Murthy, former Surgeon General of the United States. REDUCING POINTS OF CONTACT

TO SAFELY WELCOME BACK ITS GUESTS, ST. LOUIS BAR & GRILL HAS IMPLEMENTED A NEW ROLE IN ITS LOCATIONS, CHIEF SANITATION OFFICER.

the installation of plexiglass screens around POS stations, and the shift to a credit- and debit-only payment model to further prevent contamination. “OVERNIGHT” SUCCESS

Of course, the hospitality industry isn’t just the domain of restaurants — hotels across the country have had to shift gears to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, too. Lea Ledohowski, president of Canad Inns, notes a number of new care practices have been implemented throughout the company’s facilities, both in the suites and in the inhouse restaurants. Notably, staff has undergone additional training in sanitation and infectious disease control, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection of all touchpoints, plus the regular sanitization of foodservice equipment, has been put into play. “In addition to these, we also monitor and communicate the observance of all advisories as set forth by public health authorities and government agencies as we continue to prioritize the health and safety of anyone entering our facilities,” Ledohowski says. Other lodging companies are taking similar efforts. In June, Hilton launched a

new program at its properties called “Hilton CleanStay” through which they collaborated with Reckitt Benckiser (RB), the maker of Lysol and Dettol, and consulted with the Mayo Clinic to develop elevated processes and team member training. Suppliers are also working hard to ensure their customers are using their products correctly and effectively. Elizabeth Graven, lodging assistant marketing manager at Ecolab, agrees that knowledge is power. “During this time, following proper disinfection procedures is critical to mitigate infection risk in your facilities,” she says. “Ecolab recommends that facility owners make sure employees know how to properly use disinfectants, how often surfaces should be disinfected, and which surfaces should be of focus. Other recommendations include checking cleaning frequency charts, clearly communicating employee illness policy, promoting proper hygiene and social distancing protocols, conducting refresher training with staff, and auditing the work of employees or shadowing their team.” Like many other suppliers, Ecolab supports its customers by providing compre-

24 / FACILITY CLEANING & MAINTENANCE / SUMMER 2020

Empowering team members to take charge of the disinfection process is a step many restaurants are implementing through internal programs across all locations. St. Louis Bar & Grill is one such example, with the introduction of a new role, Chief Sanitation Officer. This rotating position, which changes hands each shift, is the person responsible for all disinfecting and cleaning, ensuring servers only touch clean, sanitized plates. They are also responsible for cleaning tables as well as regularly sanitizing touchpoints such as door handles and countertops. Scheduling is also important. The disinfectant St. Louis has selected for its cleaning needs requires 10 minutes of contact time to be effective, so guests must wait for a short interval prior to being seated to ensure their table is virus-free. Patience will at times be required of diners, but that’s something CEO Brent Poulton believes his customers will be understanding about, in exchange for the experience they crave. “That’s one of the most difficult things throughout [the pandemic] — you are managing reality, but you are also managing perception,” he explains. And despite some naysayers, he remains optimistic about the future of the industry. “It really doesn’t matter how many Amazon boxes or restaurant meals you can order to your front door, people are not built to be cooped up,” Poulton says. “We are social animals. We crave socialization, we crave personal interaction and that sense of routine... We are creatures of habit.” With the help of the dedicated cleaning staff and in-house employees on the frontlines of the fight against coronavirus, the hospitality industry will eventually return to some form of normalcy — albeit one that’s a little more sterile than what diners had previously been used to. /


/ hospitality /

THE HEAT IS ON Maintenance tips to prevent commercial kitchen fires by Nate Wojtasinski

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ommercial kitchens can be found in a variety of facilities, including stand-alone restaurants, casinos, schools, hospitals, and sports arenas, but their operation can come with many challenges. As a result, it can be easy to fall behind on upkeep, creating an increased potential for equipment issues and even kitchen fires. Failure to regularly clean inaccessible areas in ductwork and hood filters may lead to fires due to lack of proper ventilation. Poorly maintained fusible links in the fire suppression system and excess grease buildup in the exhaust hood system and flue of deep fryers can also be responsible for kitchen flare-ups that could have disastrous consequences to property and people. Here are three tips to reduce the risk of fire in commercial kitchens.

Commercial kitchens are equipped with electrical appliances that are often operated simultaneously. Over time, the wiring, cords, and switch plates can wear or fray and become a fire hazard. Kitchen staff should be trained to regularly inspect

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equipment for any noticeable damage. Facility managers should schedule routine professional maintenance assessments to ensure all systems are functioning properly. Employees should regularly clean kitchen areas that are consistently exposed to grease to reduce the accumulation of this highly flammable substance. These areas often include walls, ranges, grills, fryers, exhaust hoods, and hood filters. In addition to everyday maintenance, facility managers should periodically sanitize and thoroughly clean areas that are difficult to reach, such as behind stoves and other equipment. Inaccessible areas should be noted and addressed for professional cleaning and maintenance.

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All commercial kitchens are obligated to adhere to specific standards set in place by local fire inspectors as well as insurance companies. According to

the National Fire Protection Association, a U.S. organization, commercial kitchen exhaust systems should be inspected and professionally cleaned at specific intervals, as determined by the volume and type of cooking being done. An experienced and certified kitchen exhaust and hood system maintenance professional should be hired to perform this thorough cleaning to remove flammable grease and improve ventilation. In case of fire, facility managers should have an emergency action and evacuation plan in place. Exits should be clearly marked and fire drills conducted at least twice a year to ensure staff is fully trained on what to do in the event of an emergency. Fire exit routes should be framed and mounted in strategic areas like stairwells and hallways. At the start of each shift, one staff member comfortable with the evacuation plan should be designated responsible for calling 911 and directing employees and customers to safety in the event of fire. /

Nate Wojtasinski is national director of technical operations at Hoodz International. He oversees all technical training and support for the franchise network, including system standards, service protocols, and product testing.

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ARE YOU CLEANING YOUR CLEANING EQUIPMENT? The fight against pathogens doesn’t end when the mopping does by Drew Bunn

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o protect the health of patients, housekeepers in most North American hospitals and healthcare facilities have been taught to change the mop heads used to clean and disinfect patient rooms frequently, typically as often as every three or four rooms. Due to COVID-19, this has sometimes been increased to changing mop heads after each use, and during the pandemic, these practices may even be applied to hospitality cleaning protocols. There are several reasons for this. For one, as the mop is used, the disinfectant in the mop bucket begins to lose its efficacy. With use, the disinfectant degrades and in time becomes ineffective.

Thanks to a study published in Applied Microbiology in the early 1970s, we know that mops collect pathogens which are then redeposited on f loors as the mops are used. We also know, based on similar studies, this can happen with cleaning cloths. This hospital’s housekeepers follow these instructions accordingly. They likely believe, as do the hospital’s administrators, that these extra steps will help protect the health of patients and hospital staff, as well as housekeepers. But do they? Let’s take a closer look at what’s happening to see if these healthprotecting steps may be causing more problems than they realize.

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The following scenario may put this into perspective: Wearing gloves, as well as a mask due to COVID-19, a housekeeper is cleaning all patient rooms on one floor of a hospital. Upon cleaning the first room, she removes the flat mop head that has just been used. Any pathogens on the mop head may now be transferred to her gloves. In the process of removing the mop head, she needs to touch various points on the mop pole, again using her potentially contaminated gloves. With her gloves on, she grabs the handle on her cleaning cart to dispose of the mop head. While there, she also pulls a


/ infection prevention & control /

Cords on electric equipment are rarely cleaned, and though not an area that is frequently considered, they do become soiled and touching them can spread disease. COVID-19 concerns everywhere — to keep their equipment clean? Among the recommended steps are the following:

cleaning solution, disinfectant, and trash liner, all to be used in the patient room. Finished, she restocks her cart, removes her gloves as instructed, and proceeds to clean the next patient room. While this scenario may play out differently in different hospitals and in different settings, the point is that throughout the cleaning process there are several ways in which contamination on gloves can be transferred to cleaning tools. These same tools may then be touched by unsuspecting others, including cleaning workers, increasing the chances of cross-contamination. Think this doesn’t happen? Think again. It is already a recognized problem in the foodservice industry. According to a 2007 report commissioned by the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition: “Cleaning tools can be a significant source of microbial contamination if not cleaned. Cleaning tools like brooms, mops, squeegees, buckets, sponges, scrapers, foaming equipment, water guns, etc., should be cleaned and sanitized [and] stored clean, dried, and secured.” Aware of this, what should cleaning professionals do — especially now with

• Always thoroughly clean tools after using them. Use an all-purpose cleaner to clean their exteriors, wipe them down, and then clean again with a sanitizer or disinfectant. This is a twostep process. • Use a colour-coding system to designate which cloths are for cleaning equipment and which should be used for disinfecting. • Before using any cleaning tools, first wash hands and then put on gloves; this prevents soils on hands from finding their way onto the gloves or cleaning tools. • If mopping floors, change the mop head frequently and wash or dispose of after each use. Do not wait to change the mop head once it looks soiled, as at that point it is too late. Always clean and disinfect the entire mop pole and housing, rinse the bucket, then wipe clean and disinfect the handle. • If using a vacuum cleaner, clean and disinfect all touched parts, handles, cords, and controls. • Automatic scrubbers are complex machines and will require much more detail cleaning due to their many parts as well as splattering. The housing, shroud, wheels, squeegee, and the stem of the machine should be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Also be sure

to clean the cord — as it is often rests on the moist floor it too can collect soils and pathogens. • More Canadian facilities are now using no-touch cleaning systems due to COVID-19. Clean and disinfect all touchable surfaces, controls, and cords. • Always store cleaning tools off the ground; this allows them to air dry more thoroughly and prevents them from encountering floor-surface moisture, pathogens, or soils. • If working with a cleaning cart, clean and disinfect the cart after each use. Remove all supplies before cleaning. Pay special attention to cracks, crevices, joints, handles, and the wheels of the cart. This is where soil and contaminants build-up. • Always have two laundry bags at hand, one for fresh cleaning cloths and towels and one for soiled cloths and towels. • Pay attention to small cleaning items. This includes dustpans, brooms, and handheld tools. This is also a very good time for cleaning professionals to consider “breaking the cord.” Cords on electric equipment are rarely cleaned, and though not an area that is frequently considered, they do become soiled and touching them can spread disease. When selecting new cleaning equipment, battery-powered tools not only eliminate concerns about soiled cords but, in most cases, help improve cleaning efficiency and productivity as well — always a plus in the professional cleaning industry. /

Drew Bunn is the Canadian director of sales for Kaivac Canada, manufacturers of professional cleaning tools for commercial facilities. He can be reached at dbunn@kaivac.com

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DO YOU NEED A PPE AUDIT? The need for ongoing PPE program checkups is often overlooked

provided by Bunzl Canada

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aintaining the health and safety of cleaning and environmental personnel while they do their jobs is always a top priority, but the importance is heightened when widespread contagious illnesses emerge. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been a serious wake-up call, and too often cleaning staff aren’t provided the personal protective equipment (PPE) they require. Many facilities have well-established programs that ensure their cleaning teams are

regularly provided gloves, masks, and other PPE. However, as environments and cleaning requirements evolve, it’s important to regularly assess these programs to determine whether they address changing needs and concerns. A PPE program check-up should include three elements: a review of the basic components of each employee’s PPE kit, ongoing employee training on using their PPE properly, and staying up to date on the latest industry news and technology to help

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continuously improve the program. There’s a common misconception that setting up a PPE program for cleaning and environmental personnel is a one-time job. In fact, continuous updating of PPE products and practices is essential. THE BASICS

When evaluating your PPE program, start with the basics. Ensure that the main components are current and in working order. Next, look at work areas


/ infection prevention & control /

Providing ongoing training also gives employees an opportunity to offer feedback on the PPE program. that require additional protective gear and any new areas, conditions, or requirements that may dictate specialized PPE be added to the basic program. Think about employee demographics too. Product selection may need to be adjusted to ensure well-fitting, comfortable PPE for team members of all genders and ages. For example, select products from lines designed to meet the needs of a woman’s physicality. Too often, men’s PPE is assumed suitable for women if provided in smaller sizes, when in fact a different shape or design is required in order to keep female workers comfortable and safe. SAFETY REGULATIONS INSTRUCTIONS

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USAGE

PPE requirements vary by facility, the type of work performed by cleaning and environmental personnel, and applicable government safety standards. Safety regulations associated with the specifics of hazardous substances or working conditions can dictate product requirements and recommendations. In Canada, two of the best-known standards that apply to personal protection in the workplace are the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) standards. These outline the types of PPE recommended for certain work hazards, classify protection according to the hazard, and establish PPE categories to aid in selecting the products best suited to the hazards of a specific job. You can also request guidance from your product supplier’s workplace health and safety consultants. On receiving new PPE, thoroughly read the manufacturer’s instructions for every item. Note important information such as the conditions in which you should (and shouldn’t) use the equipment, how to store equipment to keep it in good working condition, how to adjust the size/fit, and

when worn product should be retired. THE IMPORTANCE OF LEADERSHIP

As with every aspect of company culture, a culture of safety comes from the top. Leadership and supervisory staff must make safety a part of every employee’s day. Lead by example by wearing PPE, asking employees about their PPE, and praising those who show attention to safety and highlight its importance. Appointing an employee representative as a program coordinator with the responsibility of ensuring each element of the PPE program is in place and operational can dramatically increase PPE program success. Start employee meetings with a discussion about safety and encourage employees to raise concerns about damaged PPE. Employees may hesitate to speak up out of fear they’ll be blamed for damaging the PPE. Put such fears to rest by making it clear that every team member’s safety is of critical concern and that it is a top priority to protect them from injury or exposure to dangerous chemicals or bacteria. PPE MAINTENANCE

Regular PPE maintenance should include cleaning, repair, and proper care and storage. Conduct regular inspections for damaged, improperly functioning, or ill-fitting equipment before it is used. PPE that is not performing up to manufacturers’ specifications, such as safety glasses with scratched lenses, which compromise their ability to withstand impact, must be discarded. Regular program maintenance also provides an opportunity to ensure procedures have been established to enable workers to obtain replacements or replacement parts for damaged PPE and to keep it clean. Re-

spiratory protection devices, for example, require regular maintenance including specialized repairs, cleaning, storage, filter replacement, and periodic testing. EMPLOYEE TRAINING

Hiring and training cleaning and environmental team members is typically an ongoing requirement, and updating training material should be ongoing, too. This might include updates on the equipment required for different tasks, information on how to properly don and remove safety equipment, and what to look for when inspecting PPE. Don’t make the mistake of thinking proper PPE training is reserved for complex equipment. Did you know, for instance, that the benefits of wearing disposable gloves can be negated if employees remove them incorrectly? Gloves are meant to shield hands from dirt, bacteria, and chemicals, but if removed incorrectly they can cross-contaminate hands and other surfaces. All staff using disposable gloves should be trained on how to safely remove them. Providing ongoing training also gives employees an opportunity to offer feedback on the PPE program. Compliance with PPE is a big hurdle for many facilities, and typically not because workers don’t put them on at the beginning of a shift. Instead, it’s because workers often remove their PPE during their shift because of discomfort and never put it back on. Employee feedback received during training can help pinpoint areas of improvement and may indicate the need for an alternate product choice. LOOK FOR INNOVATION

Seek out new products and technologies to help keep cleaning personnel safe. From biohazardous spill mops to electrostatic disinfecting equipment, innovative cleaning products and equipment are continually being introduced to help cleaning teams work more safely, efficiently, and get better results. /

Bunzl Canada is a global distributor of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment to over 45,000 Canadian businesses. For more information, please contact David L. Smith, ESP, director, cleaning, hygiene and sanitation, Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene, at 613-449-2146.

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CLEANING UP IN THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION Make a “clean sweep” for your company in the online marketing game by Robert Kravitz

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ost successful cleaning contractors have two key business objectives: first, keeping current customers happy, and second, always being on the lookout for new clients. Of course, these objectives are the name of the game for most service providers, not just cleaning contractors. The importance of the first objective is something most contractors learn quickly. It’s the second one that can be a bit more difficult. Even with the best service, some attrition is always expected. Clients will leave for one reason or another and will likely need to be replaced.

TURNING TO TECHNOLOGY

To help generate a steady supply of potential new clients, many contractors are now looking into digital marketing. Though it may seem new, its history stretches back to the 1990s, during the early days of the Internet. As online traffic grew, small websites started posting banners on their sites, charging clients every time their banner was clicked. Then Yahoo, the key search engine of the day, took this to a much more formal level, allowing companies to post banners on their sites to give these businesses much greater exposure.

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Today, digital marketing is much more than just clicking banner ads on websites. According to HubSpot, a leading digital marketing agency, digital marketing is quite simply any form of marketing that is online. So, along with online banners, digital marketing also includes things such as social media postings, videos on company websites and different video platforms, email newsletters, content marketing, and infographics. The key goals of this strategy are the following: • Improving the search engine optimization (SEO) of a company website • Brand awareness


/ technology /

CONTENT MARKETING STATS The following statistics are from HubSpot research based on a 2019 survey involving 3,400 marketers and organizations. • 70 per cent of those surveyed are actively involved in content marketing. • About 40 per cent say content marketing is “very important” to their marketing strategy; about 24 per cent report it is “extremely important.” • Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of those surveyed say they plan to increase their content marketing budgets. • To determine if their content marketing program is a success, 23 per cent look to see if it has increased sales; about 18 per cent base success on web traffic. • 74 per cent of global marketers invest in social media marketing.

• Connecting with current customers to build brand loyalty • Connecting with prospective customers to begin the sales funnel • Increased sales For some cleaning companies first embarking on a digital marketing program, it can also mean building a new website enhanced with better search engine optimization, creating a new company logo, or even changing the company’s name. For example, an established California cleaning company was originally called “Deluxe Building Maintenance.” When

they hired a digital marketing agency, they were advised to change their name to something a bit more modern. They dropped the “deluxe,” a term dating back to the 1930s, and rebranded the company as “True Facility Care Services.” Relaunching the brand under this new name helped improve their SEO considerably and better explained to a younger audience what the company was all about. SHOULD YOU TRY DIGITAL MARKETING?

Many cleaning contractors today may wonder if they should get involved with digital marketing, keeping in mind that while digital marketing can be very effective, it is not the only form of marketing available to this industry. Many companies, for instance, still find the old tried-and-true method of networking and meeting with people such as building owners and managers to be far more effective. However, that method can be slow, and not all contractors are comfortable with the “networking circuit.” So, if you are wondering whether digital marketing is a practical — and faster — way to reach potential customers, ask yourself the following questions: • Are you looking for more customers? • Are you looking for customers in a new area, or looking to service a new industry? • When doing local searches for cleaning contractors, does your company’s name come up? • If it does come up, are you listed on the first page of the search results? If you are looking for new customers but your site is not coming up in online searches, as far as the Internet and prospective customers are concerned, you don’t exist. Further, if your company name is coming up in search results but you are not listed on the first page, it is still not working for you. According to Moz, a leading SEO com-

pany, 71 to 91 per cent of all searchers never go beyond the first page. Once again, however, we must remind ourselves that digital marketing is just one form of marketing. It is not the “magic bullet” that can turn a cleaning contractor into a sales machine. Other types of marketing that contractors have found successful include advertising in business and trade journals, public relations, sending out regular press releases about company news, and writing educational articles published in leading trade publications. However, digital marketing has value; for most cleaning contractors, it is certainly worth investigating. BEGINNING THE PROCESS

Contractors who have decided to take the next step in the digital marketing revolution once again need to ask themselves some questions. Among them are the following: Who are your key competitors? Research who your key competitors are and then see if they are employing digital marketing strategies. If so, what are they doing that might be helpful for your company? There is no harm in replicating what a competitor is doing, but it’s even better to try and improve on it. Who are your current customers? The California contractor mentioned earlier found that most of their clients were architectural and design firms. Wanting more of these types of clients, they focused their digital marketing efforts on sites frequented by people in this industry. What digital marketing strategies should you employ first? In most cases, the first step is to develop a blog or a content marketing program. (See sidebar at left.) This can open doors to many opportunities. Content from blogs can be spread around the Internet, as well as shared on social media, and with links going back to your company’s site, prospective customers can learn more about you and your services. /

Robert Kravitz is president of AlturaSolutions Communications, a communications and digital marketing company. He is also a frequent writer for the professional cleaning industry.

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/ clean matters /

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TAKING THE THRONE Cintas has announced the five finalists in its 2020 Canada’s Best Restroom Award which honours outstanding public washrooms from coast to coast. The Bicycle Thief, a Halifax-based Italian restaurant, was selected as one of the top five thanks to its stately décor, including decorative mirrors, granite countertops, marble walls, and fresh flowers changed daily. The artwork and scented candles certainly didn’t hurt its chances, either. Over in Ontario, Toronto’s Leña Restaurante impressed with its attention to detail: its restrooms feature fisheye mirrors, classic brass accents, and the same wallpaper pattern as found in Chef Anthony Walsh’s family home. Zebra herringbone tiles add another level of eye-catching appeal. While malls are sometimes associated with crowded, unkempt washrooms, Yorkdale, also located in Toronto, Ontario, takes pride in its facilities. From the frosted glass sinks with waterfall edge to its large seating area, this gender-inclusive restroom will make you forget the stress of shopping for back-to-school supplies. Surprised to see an RV park on a “best restroom” list? If you were to ask any of Albertabased Westview RV Park’s patrons as to why it deserves the recognition, they’ll likely point you in the direction of the facility’s newly renovated, easy-to-clean, texturized epoxy floors. Concrete countertops and fancy tile help further elevate the far-from-camping experience. Alberta made another appearance in the top five with Calgary’s Hawthorn Dining Room. Designed by Frank Architecture, the look of these restrooms can be accurately described as “modern vintage,” with soft light rose lighting and oversized flowers adorning the wallpaper. The restaurant also partnered with Lowen’s Natural Skincare, a local company, for the luxurious soaps and lotions that can be found on its restroom counters. Canadians are encouraged to vote for their favourite facility by visiting www.bestrestroom.com/ca/vote/ before the August 14 deadline.

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Bicycle Thief. Halifax, Nova Scotia

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Hawthorn Dining Room. Calgary, Alberta

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Leña Restaurante. Toronto, Ontario

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Westview RV Park. Wetaskiwin, Alberta

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Yorkdale Shopping Centre. Toronto, Ontario

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GLOBAL BIORISK ADVISORY COUNCIL INTRODUCES GBAC STAR™ FACILITY ACCREDITATION PROGRAM The Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC), a division of ISSA, introduced its GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program. It’s the industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation. This program is performance-based and designed to help facilities establish a comprehensive system of cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention for their staff and their building. The program relies on GBAC’s comprehensive training, which teaches the proper protocols, correct disinfection techniques, and cleaning best practices for biohazard situations like the novel coronavirus. Successful GBAC STAR facilities are able to demonstrate that correct work practices, procedures and systems are in place to prepare, respond, and recover from outbreaks and pandemics.

WHAT DOES THE GBAC STAR FACILITY ACCREDITATION MEAN FOR MY FACILITY?

It means that your facility staff or service provider is implementing the industry’s highest standards for cleaning and disinfection of infectious agents like the novel coronavirus.

GBAC STAR™ is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation for facilities.

GBAC STAR is the gold standard of prepared facilities. This accreditation means that a facility has: Established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease. Highly informed cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response.

GBAC STAR IS DESIGNED FOR ANY SIZE FACILITY OR ORGANIZATION, INCLUDING:

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Stadiums and Arenas Convention Centers Retail Spaces Commercial Offices Daycares Athletic and Fitness Clubs

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Schools Assisted Care Facilities Veterinary Clinics Restaurants Hotels Spas

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Trains, Planes, Automobiles Church & Religious Buildings Grocery Stores Doctor’s Offices

“GBAC STAR is the gold standard of safe facilities, providing third-party validation that ensures facilities implement strict protocols for biorisk situations.” Patricia Olinger

Executive Director, Global Biorisk Advisory Council

“In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the GBAC STAR accreditation program is exactly what facilities need to confidently reopen and keep staff, customers, and communities safe.” John Barrett

Executive Director, ISSA

For more information, please visit the webpage www.mediaedge360.ca/gbac

and contact CHUCK NERVICK at chuckn@mediaedge.ca | 416-803-4653


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