This is Bob's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Bob's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Bob
Recent Activity
Image
Many of our commercial clients are in the midst of reopening; here's where we can help. As part of our ongoing service, we wipe cleared surfaces of furniture and fixtures, as well as touchpoints, with a hydrogen peroxide based cleaner/sanitizer, being careful to allow the required dwell time; it's quite effective against viruses. A good follow up is to spray most everything with a hospital-grade disinfectant (we like Johnson/Diversey's quat based Virex256), giving ample dwell time (wet). If you are concerned about latent viruses in your facility prior to reopening, or have had one of your folks confirmed or suspected... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Personal protective equipment needs be put on properly, and removed properly, in the right order. Here's a quick video, done from a health care perspective, that teaches exactly that. Just doing commercial janitorial, we use gloves and often surgical masks, ongoing. In the many health care facilities we clean, we're a bit more paranoid, leaning toward eye protection or wrap around facemasks; likewise when addressing a biohazard clean-up (I hate those). And that's during normal times. When we're called upon to address disinfecting a facility that's experienced a COVID-19 incident, we don the full body suits, as much to protect... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
The Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), part of the International Sanitary Supply Association, has created an accreditation program for facilities in the midst of re-opening. "...GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program on cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. It is the industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery 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." I've received certification in GBAC's SARS-CoV-2/COVID 19 fundamentals course, on infection control, contamination... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Reuters reports that the US government will block exports of critical medical equipment, including respirators, N95 masks, and gloves. This seems to me to be one of the most counter-productive initiatives floated in the current crisis. We import much more such equipment than we export. Much of it from China. China's move will likely be to prevent export of such items, and perhaps other stuff as well, to the US. She can direct those exports to countries most in need, including those that the US has just stiffed. Perhaps even donate the stuff, with appropriate photo ops. So the US... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Now that most everybody, it seems, is under orders to wear masks when in public, here's a bit more bad news. We've know for a bit, and a quick consideration of most any virus will confirm, that a standard surgical mask, let alone a homemade cotton mask or a bandana (with a 10-gallon hat, that's a fashion statement here in Arizona) will not stop the new virus itself; the virus is much too small. The idea behind the aforementioned masks is that they will stop virus-containing droplets coughed out by in infected party; cough and sneeze droplets are large enough... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
One sees stories of areas hard hit by CCOVID-19 begging for more doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. You'd think they'd welcome folks from other states. But only a bit over a dozen states have (temporarily) relaxed state licensing laws that allow only those licensed in a given state to work in that state. You'd think it would be, roughly, 50 states instead. All states license a fair number of occupations, from doctors and lawyers to barbers (in Arizona, its close to 80 occupations). The requirements often seem onerous, and the bureaucratic delays unreasonable. A bit ago, I noticed... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Our janitorial and floor crews have generally been quite careful about using protective equipment (gloves, goggles, sanitizer) but, as one might imagine, they're currently even a bit more focused. Several of our crews, independently, started misting Virex II 256, our Johnson/Diversey disinfectant, on their vehicle touchpoints (door frame and handle, steering wheel, gear shift, seat belt buckle and so on) on exiting client facilities and at end of the shift. (They remove and dispose of their gloves after exiting each facility, so the vehicle shouldn't be a problem, but you never know.) A couple of our folks mentioned it to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Forwarded to be by Doug Whitneybell, architect, a long time friend and client: From Johns Hopkins Univ. Hospital - regarding COVID-19: * The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (RNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic code. (mutation) and convert them into aggressor and multiplier cells. * Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
In a time of shortages of toilet paper and hand sanitizer for my janitorial clients, I'm pretty well stocked up personally. Being perhaps a bit paranoid, I keep a stash of Spam on hand, and jugs of water - and lots of books. My only issue, I realized several days ago, was extra dog food. PetSmart had plenty, so I now do as well. But, needing yogurt and blueberries for breakfast, and cabbage for some coleslaw, I ventured to my neighborhood grocery, expecting to see devastation. In fact, most everything was well stocked. Empty shelves in the paper products area,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Here's a study, just out, as reported by NPR: the corona virus can remain viable on some hard surfaces, for instance stainless steel, for72 hours. 24 hours on cardboard, less on fabric. Food seems to not be much of an issue, as the virus enters through the respiratory tract. The article include some thoughts on cleaning surfaces. The most recent post before this one details our relevant procedures in commercial cleaning. As always, enjoy! Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
We do not yet know much of what we need to know about the new coronavirus, in terms of transmission, viability in the air and on surfaces. Our best bet it to treat it similarly to those coronaviruses that we do know about. That's what most authorities recommend, and what our current cleaning and sanitation program is designed around. Here's a quick summation of what we currently do to keep our client facilities safe and healthy: In restrooms and lunchrooms, we clean with hydrogen peroxide and then disinfect using Virex256, a Johnson/Diversey hospital grade quat-based disinfectant. We train our crews... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Back in my misspent youth, I drove a 1960 MGA. Some years before CBN, my commercial janitorial firm, began its focus on environmentally friendly procedures, I was "green" without even knowing it. From one of my favorite blogs: “Those who make the ultimate contribution to humanity by commuting to their couch to earn their daily crust should be rewarded. I would add one more unsung group that makes constant contribution to Saving the Planet. Those forward-looking visionaries who drive two-seat roadsters. “These amazing green vehicles never operate on the road with anything less than 50 percent occupancy. Often enough, these... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Guidelines on evaluating one's risk from the coronavirus, from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html Scroll down about halfway, to "exposure risk categories". Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
I've posted this article several times over the years, generally at the outset of flu season. It looks like the new coronavirus behaves rather like a more traditional virus, in terms of transmission. So the same precautions ought apply. Sick employees coming to work will infect others, who will infect others. Here's an article quoting a friend, Dr. Charles Gerba, down the road at the University of Arizona: “In our studies, we found if we put a tracer virus on the doorknob of an office building, we can detect it on 50 percent of the people’s hands that work in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
A while back, I read and posted a review on a book that seems once again relevant: China Syndrome: The True Story of the 21st Century's First Great Epidemic by Karl Taro Greenfeld (Goodreads Author) Bob Croft's review I own a commercial janitorial firm, with a focus on health, and write a blog. Here's one I drew from the book: In the 2003 SARS outbreak,the biggest non-hospital outbreak in Hong Kong was at Amoy Gardens, a complex of eight-story apartment towers, and particularly in one of the towers. Much speculation involved how the virus, borne by various bodily fluids and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
With flu season in full swing, and new critters coming out of China, the good folks at my health provider, Banner Health, sent out a useful article on how to distinguish between cold and flu, and some notes on treatment and precautions. Here's their handy guide to distinguishing the two: From Banner's chief medical officer: "Dr. Minior said people who have the flu will usually have a high fever, and they will feel achy and generally weak. They might have a cough with some associated chest pain. Sometimes, they may have a headache, sore throat or sinus pain. When someone... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Seems that Windsor Castle, home of the Royal Family, is interviewing for a new housekeeper. According to a piece in CMM, here's a bit of the interview process: "Staff who interview candidates have set up a test determine if candidates are detail-oriented enough for the job. Tracey Waterman, head of housekeeping recruitment at the royal household, said she places a dead fly either in the fireplace or carpet in a room of the castle. She then brings candidates into the room, giving them a chance to look around. She said out of 10 candidates, about half will notice the fly.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
It's National Clear Your Desk day; h ere's an article via our friends at Cleaning & Maintenance Management. I don't generally pay much attention to the various often self-proclaimed "days", but this one has a couple of points. In commercial janitorial, we find it challenging to sanitize desks displaying clutter - clients don't generally want paperwork moved - and it's easy to spend a good deal of time hunting down a given piece of paperwork. (It's often in the sales department, and it's always the big proposal that needs be submitted today, and the finger is generally pointed at the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2020 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Disinfection via ultra violet light has recently been touted as a great advance. Here's a study, via Cleaning & Maintenance Management, that gives a bit of perspective. A quick excerpt: "After the disinfection time had passed, researchers found a significant reduction in pathogenic microorganisms from the medical equipment. Prior to UV-A disinfection, 37% of the equipment had pathogenic microorganisms, compared to 10% after. They found a modest reduction of MRSA, C. auris, and the bacteriophages on the disks, but no reduction of C. diff spores, even after 24 hours of exposure to the UV-A light." Further, "High-level disinfectants, including peracetic... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2019 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Here in Phoenix, where I run a commercial janitorial service, we just endured a special election seeking to derail, as it were, a major expansion of our light rail system. Our current system, as I understand it, cannot even cover operating costs with ridership revenue, let alone make any payments on the huge debt for the initial construction. I supported the referendum to halt expansion; the voters, in their wisdom, voted to continue expansion - with even more debt. Coincidentally, I just read "Strong Towns". Interesting work; resonates with much else of what I read. The author argues that prosperity... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2019 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Something I'd never thought of - turns out that 3-D printers pose a bit of a health risk, according to a study conducted by Georgia Tech and Greenguard Environmental, a unit of Underwriters Labs. We've worked with Greenguard for years; we're certified in their ongoing building maintenance program, and I have a good deal of respect for their findings. However, the health risk is easily mitigated: like much equipment and chemical usage in the historic building restoration process I enjoy, it's mostly a matter of ventilation, keeping a bit away from the equipment while running, use the lowest heat setting... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2019 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Caught an article from CMM on a hepatitis outbreak in Florida, blamed on a lack of proper handwashing. The sometimes dangerous and always unpleasant pathogen seems to be spreading via restaurants: patrons infecting the restaurant help, and the restaurant help infecting more patrons. Sounds to be a growth industry. With all the notice taken in recent years about the importance of handwashing, I don't believe I've seen evidence of much behavior change. About the only hopeful sign I've noticed the that more restaurants have extra trash cans positioned adjacent the restroom exit door, sometimes even just outside the door; they... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2019 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
Had a call from some folks wanting a day porter. It seemed to be about the same situation as one I wrote about a few years ago. A client wanted us to quote and provide a day porter for their facility, perhaps an hour per day, mid-day, in addition to our regular nightly cleaning. They're a large call center, with lots of folks using a couple of large restrooms, in something of a high pressure environment. So the restrooms get hammered, and my client thought they needed an extra mid-day cleaning I dropped by, early afternoon, to check the restrooms... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2019 at The Janitors' Closet
Image
A conversation with an old friend the other day reminded me of an incident we weathered some 30 years ago. Our first indication of trouble was when one of our crew was asked to leave one of our client facilities late at night: seems the police were evacuating the entire neighborhood; a warehouse facility a few blocks had exploded. Found out the next morning that the exploded warehouse facility was another of our clients.... I'd just about absorbed that information when several serious looking fellows from Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (they also do explosives) appeared at our office door. They... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2019 at The Janitors' Closet
Awakened by an unwelcome call this morning. One of our janitors had had her vehicle broken into last night (matter of fact, she was awakened by the police, who'd found her car); among other things stolen were a set of keys and fobs to one of our client facilities. Our long standing policy is that client keys are not to be left in vehicles (see the above as to why not). Fortunately, we figure that people, being generally imperfect, will forget and violate procedures; thus, we work "what ifs" into the system. We don't allow any client identifiers (name, address)... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2019 at The Janitors' Closet