Blog

May
15
Superbugs Poised to Become Main Cause of Death

New disinfecting techniques and the development of germ-resistant surfaces may help save the human race from what is predicted to be the most common cause of human death in about 30 years—antibiotic-resistant germs, Newsweek reports. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 2 million people a year are sickened in the United States by bacteria or fungi resistant to major antibiotics, and that 23,000 die from their infections. The World Health Organization predicts that worldwide death rates from drug-resistant germs will increase from the current 700,000 per year to 10 million by 2050, surpassing cancer, heart disease, and diabetes to become the main cause of death in humans. Doctors are limiting the use of antib...


May
15
Superbugs Poised to Become Main Cause of Death

Hospitals testing new cleaning solutions to eliminate antibiotic-resistant germs

New disinfecting techniques and the development of germ-resistant surfaces may help save the human race from what is predicted to be the most common cause of human death in about 30 years—antibiotic-resistant germs, Newsweek reports.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 2 million people a year are sickened in the United States by bacteria or fungi resistant to major antibiotics, and that 23,000 die from their infections. The World Health Organization predicts that worldwide death rates from drug-resistant germs will increase from the current 700,000 per year to 10 million by 2050, surpassing cancer, heart disease, and diabet...


Mar
26
Six Myths of Concrete Floor Maintenance

by James Flieler

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Concrete floors have evolved over the decades. They were originally restricted to the most functional facility areas, such as basements, warehouses, and industrial work areas. Now you see concrete floors just about anywhere in all types of residential and commercial facilities. You may notice these floors have a new look compared to concrete floors of the past.

Today’s concrete floors are often dyed or stained in many different colors and decorated with patterns and designs. Thanks to these new looks, some facilities, such as retail buildings, consider concrete the “in” floor. And for good reason:

  • Concrete can be amazingly durable
  • When compared to other flooring materials, such as stone, concrete is very cost effective
  • Concrete floors typically require less maintenance than other floors.

It’s this last point that often results in one of the biggest misconceptions about concrete floors....


Mar
26
How to Maintain a Healthy Breakroom

by Riley Quinn Doherty

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Germs spread easily when people spend a lot of time indoors, in close proximity to each other. This is especially true in the workplace, where several factors combine to create a perfect storm of contagiousness: numerous people occupying a closed space, highly trafficked common areas, and, sometimes, a culture that discourages sick employees from staying home.

According to a recent survey Staples conducted of workers throughout the United States, 44 percent had the flu last season, and nearly half of those people (45 percent) believe they caught it from a co-worker. Moreover, employees report taking an average of just 2.7 sick days to recover from the flu, meaning they’re coming back to work when their disease is at its most contagious (i.e., three days after symptoms first occur).

Every space in the workplace, from a private office to the shared restroom, provides an opportunity for germs to spread. The breakroom is particularly vulnerable. Consider how employees use the space: they congregate there throughout the day; touch common objects like faucets, doorknobs and drawer handles; and their hands are often near their mouths as they munch on snacks. One ill-timed sneeze during lunch can lead to several colleagues coming down with a cold within the week.

Facilities managers can take several proactive, simple steps to stop any office outbreak in its tracks. There are many tried-and-true cleaning methods and products out there that can keep the breakroom a welcoming place while also protecting employees’ health. Here are a few tips:

Stock the Breakroom With Hygiene Supplies

Keeping hand soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and facial tissues readily available will help workers practice good hand hygiene. Make it convenient for them to make healthy choices.

Regularly Clean and Maintain the Breakroom

Given the volume of people moving in and out of the breakroom over the course of the day, the cleanliness of the space can quickly decline. Be sure you’re checking in throughout the day to wipe down tables, drawer handles, etc., and dispose of waste including used tissues or napkins. At the end of the day, you (or a cleaning service) should fully clean the room from top to bottom with appropriate disinfectants. Communicate to your colleagues that they should be cleaning up after themselves, too.

Procure Effective Cleaning Products

Not all disinfecting products are made equal. Some are effective against certain germs but not others, and some require more work to disinfect effectively.

For example, several types of cleaning wipes require that you wet the surface you’re cleaning with the wipe—and keep it wet—for up to 10 minutes. However, the surface may dry on its own before 10 minutes, and employees will likely need to use that table or counter during that time. Peroxide-based wipes, on the other hand, require less contact time (one to five minutes) and can be effective against a broad range of pathogens, including cold, flu, norovirus, and tuberculosis.

It’s important to read cleaning product labels to note the ingredients as well as the directions for use, to ensure the product’s safety and efficacy. In addition, never use aerosol cleaning products in the breakroom, as they can contaminate food containers and potentially make employees sick.

Provide Education

Preventing the spread of illness in the workplace is a collaborative effort requiring buy-in and participation from everyone in the building. Facilities managers can play an important role in providing the education their colleagues need to keep each other healthy. In the breakroom, this could include posting signs describing the correct way to wash one’s hands and tips for avoiding the spread of germs, such as coughing into one’s sleeve.

Of course, it isn’t possible to completely avoid illness in the workplace; you can’t control your colleagues’ hygiene habits, where they go, and what they do outside of the office. But maintaining a clean, safe breakroom—in addition to all of the efforts that go into creating a hygienic workplace—can have a significant impact on the health and wellness of all employees, and by extension, the organization’s success and productivity.


Feb
12
Staying Safe During Extreme Cold

DuPage County sent this bulletin at 01/29/2019 01:09 PM CST

Extreme cold is heading for DuPage County!

dupage county news

COLD WEATHER SAFETY TIPS

Severe weather

Extreme cold is heading for DuPage County!

Starting late Tuesday night, DuPage County will enter its coldest snap in more than a decade. Temperatures will stay below freezing both day and night. The winter conditions will result in potentially life-threatening wind chills. Take some time to make sure your home is ready and make sure your family is safe!

If you cannot stay in your home, use this list of heating centers in DuPage County to find a warm place to stay. Please call the heating center first to make sure they are open and operating.

Metra has released a modified schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tips to keep your pets safe in extreme cold.

Report an outage with ComEd, check repair status, or view outage maps.

Check in on your local weather forecast.

Visit the DuPage County website and the 18th Judicial Circuit Court's website for details on office closures.

If you need additional assistance, please visit the Community Resource Information System's website. If you need to speak with someone, please call (800) 942-9412.

In an emergency, please call 911. If you have non-emergency situations, please contact your local municipality. Determine your local municipality's non-emergency number nowbefore it's needed!


Cold Weather Fire Prevention and Safety

  • Never use an oven or stovetop to heat your home.
  • Use of space heaters is not recommended. If you must use a space heater, make sure it is UL certified and located at least three feet from anything that could ignite.
  • If using extension cords, make sure they are UL certified and only connected to one appliance. Cords should never be placed under a carpet.

Frozen Pipes

To keep pipes from freezing on an outside wall:

  • Let hold and cold water trickle or drip at night from a faucet.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to un-insulated pipes under a sink or near an outer wall.
  • Make sure the heat is left on and set no lower than 55 degrees.

If a pipe freezes:

  • Make sure you and your family knows how to shut off the water in case a pipe bursts.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch. Use a hair dryer instead.
  • Always be careful of the potential for electric shock around standing water.
Extreme cold

Jan
16
Three Requirements For A Safe Workplace: Management Commitment, Employee Involvement And Planning.

If you are an employer or a manager, it is your responsibility to provide a safe work environment not only for your cleaning staff, but for all your employees.To do so, there are three of things that have to happen.

First, management commitment must exist and it must be continuous (not a one time thing).

Second, the cleaning organization must comply with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard and have a written hazard communication program in place.

Finally, employees must be involved in developing, understanding and executing the program.

The ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) leads managers through all of the above (see section 4, Health, Safety and Environmental Stewa...


Jan
16
Nov
29
How Safe Is Your Facility’s Water Supply?

According to a CMM Daily News article, Eight percent of U.S. water systems don’t meet federal safety standards. The artciele raised the following concers below;

Is the water system for your facility keeping out contaminants? If your building has been regularly maintained and is in an urban or suburban area, its water supply is most likely safe. However, if you maintain an aging facility, or one in a rural area, your water supply may not meet federal standards, CNN reports.

Since Flint, MI, made the news several years ago for its unsafe drinking water, testing in other towns and facilities, including schools, has revealed unsafe levels of lead, copper, and other contaminants. Recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports...


Nov
26
The Great Debate: Paper Towels vs. Hand Dryers

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The workplace restroom is crawling with germs. Research has shown there are thousands of different species of bacteria on the floors and on other surfaces of public restrooms. Even worse: That bacteria is not simply lying dormant—it is actively multiplying and dispersing at alarming rates. In fact, a toilet seat can spray aerosolized feces as high as 15 feet into the air, and during the course of 2 to 4 hours, bacteria can spread to more than 60 percent of frequently handled surfaces, such as door handles and sink edges.

Handwashing is a great first step to ensuring all of this potentially harmful bacteria is removed from hands before building occupants leave the restroom. However, hand drying is where things can get dicey and has...


Oct
24
Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak Sickens More Than 90

CDC offers tips to prevent contamination from infected chicken products

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a salmonella outbreak that has infected at least 92 people in 29 states, leading to 21 hospitalizations.

The strain of salmonella is resistant to several antibiotics and has been linked to a variety of raw chicken products. As a single supplier of chicken products has not been identified, the CDC believes the salmonella strain is widespread in the poultry industry.

Facilities with kitchens can avoid spreading salmonella by following these tips from the CDC:

Wash your hands before handling food, between handling different food items, and after handling raw meat or poultry.Don't wash chicken b...


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