5 Tips for Creating Your Own Office Cleaning Procedures

A clean workplace can promote productivity, satisfaction and a stronger culture among employees. However, one unclean hand can undermine all of this in just a few days.

A recent study uncovered the impact of hand hygiene on employee absenteeism— researchers found that a standard office desk harbors 10 million bacteria, 400 times the amount of germs than a toilet seat. After testing 4,800 surfaces in office buildings, researchers found that the dirtiest surfaces include: keyboards, refrigerator doors, microwaves, and sink-faucets.

The Importance of Office Cleanliness

In August 2018, a food service employee at the Newport Syndicate events center was working while ill, and was subsequently diagnosed with hepatitis A. The Northern Kentucky Health Department urges all residents who consumed food or drink at the events center to get a vaccination and wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.

OSHA standard 1910.141 requires places of employment like the Newport Syndicate to be kept clean. In order to prevent this from ever happening again, all companies should keep floors should be dry and clear of hazardous objects, and waste should be disposed of on a regular basis. Vermin and other pests should be prevented from sneaking into cracks in the wall or air vents—check last month’s blog post all about this topic.

Corporate cleaning services can cost you upwards to $50 to $100 an hour, so educating your staff about hand hygiene and office cleanliness procedures is a better way to boost productivity and improve office cleaning etiquette in your office. U.S. Standard Products offers an array of cleaning products for industrial and janitorial applications; this includes a full line of environmentally-friendly cleaning products. Read about these green products here.

In order to successfully achieve a clean office, it’s best to come up with your own office cleaning procedures. Here are the five basic steps to keep in mind when writing your procedures, along with some cleaning products we recommend that you should use:

1. Wash Your Hands

It only takes contagious germs two to four hours to spread onto most surfaces in an office building, so it’s important to keep your distance with sick employees and wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and OSHA recommend people wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and clean water. U.S. Standard Products offers hand soaps such as the Delight Foaming Hand Soap to keep your hands clean and moisturized.

2. Throw Away Trash

Break rooms and office kitchens are frequent homes for germs. Foods should be properly packed, and any expired or moldy foods should be disposed of immediately. Make sure they are handled in a way that does not leak or spill on the floor. Custodians should also change trash bins out regularly.

It is important to regularly tidy and organize your desk. Throw away unnecessary and unused papers, notes, wash dishes, silverware and mugs thoroughly. USSP offers dishwashing detergents such as DW 131 Dishwashing Liquid. Even the smallest amount provides maximum cleaning action.

3. Dust Off Your Equipment

Over time, your items and equipment on your desk will collect dust particles and debris containing microbes and germs, which can irritate the eyes and nose, cause dry skin, and trigger allergies.

Use sanitizing wipes to sweep dust off telephones, desktop monitors, printers and other electronic devices. Dust control products from USSP such as D-Dust and Magic Mist are ideal for surfaces and air dusters can also be used to blow our dust from between your keyboard.

4. Wipe Any Surfaces

Most surfaces in the office also collect dust and house germs, thanks largely to cross contamination. Disinfectants such as USSP’s Clean & Shine Neutral can effectively kill germs when used on desks, tabletops, and counters. To prevent physical contact with chemical solutions and avoid constant hand-washing while scrubbing, try wearing rubber gloves.

5. Scrub the Floor

Bacteria is the most abundant in soil and dirt, which can be spread around the office right under your heels. Carpet cleaning products such as Float Away Neutral pH Extraction Cleaner can remove soils, dirt, stains, and spills from carpeting and upholstery. Be sure to sweep or vacuum any food crumbs or litter as soon as possible.

Enforcing office cleaning procedures will help you maintain a clean workplace and provide a positive social environment for you and your employees. However, knowing is only half the battle, unless you get the right products.

Start exploring your industrial cleaning options by downloading our free catalogue or calling 844-877-1700. To stay up-to-date on the latest in workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media: Google+ | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Do-It-Yourself Pest Control Tactics for the Workplace

Earlier this month, seven Kansas Department of Revenue employees were placed on administrative leave after a bed bug infestation was discovered in one of their office buildings. All employees were even required to inspect their homes for bedbugs before returning to work.

Believe it or not, pest infestations in the workplace are more common than you think. In fact, this year in the Central US, 87.1 percent of companies saw an increase in bed bug activity.

Beyond bed bugs, other pests to watch out for in the workplace include: ants, fruit flies, gnats, beetles, and moths. Pests like these are not only a potential health risk for everyone in the workplace, they cause a horrible first impression for guests or clients.

But, fear not, we’ve compiled a list of warning signs to watch out for, along with some of the best pest control solutions you can easily integrate into your own workplace.

Preventative Pest Control Measures

To prevent pest infestations from happening in the first place, consider implementing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. An IPM program can be used to manage pests anywhere—in urban, agricultural, wildland, or natural environments. Think of IPM as the strategy your workplace will use to solve any pest problems that might arise, while minimizing risks to staff and the environment.

IPM programs detect pests at the earliest stages and combat them before they can become a major problem. Simple preventative measures and do-it-yourself pest control tactics can be posted in common areas to educate staff. Here are some key points to include:
• Keep food in sealed containers, and clean dirty dishes at the end of each workday.
• Ensure trash cans have plastic liners, and empty them every night.
• Refrain from leaving fruit on your desk overnight. Instead, place it in the refrigerator or bring it home.
• Keep the workplace as clutter-free as possible. Store items in cabinets, racks, or bins.
• Be careful not to overwater plants, which can lead to gnat infestations.
Setting up an IPM program can be as simple as writing up a check list to review monthly and keeping records of any pest-causing problems.

Educate Your Staff on the Specifics

Local pest control services can end up costing your company thousands of dollars, so whether you already have an infestation or not, it’s best to train your workforce to take all preventative pest control measures seriously. Educating your entire staff is the easiest way to prevent an infestation.

Pests will enter buildings in many ways: through cracks and holes in the walls, gaps around pipes, or even on workers’ clothing. Some will target places with poor sanitation, while others move indoors to avoid the cold or locate vital resources.

Pests like bed bugs attach themselves to furniture or personal items—they suck blood at night and leave itchy bite marks on arms and shoulders. Cockroaches can come from dark, unsanitary places and carry bacteria that can contaminate food. Spiders feed on other pests, but also wander around before settling in undisturbed places. And depending on where you live, some invasive pests are venomous, so having a standard medical procedure in place is critical, should an issue ever arise.

If you see a pest crawling around your workplace, take care of it as quickly as possible, and inspect the rest of the office for potential causes.

Here are some basic tips for conducting pest inspections:

• Check potted plants, which attract a variety of major pests.
• Make sure there are no cracks and holes in the walls or vents—seal them if found.
• Properly contain or package food or other items.
• Make sure your custodian empties your trash bins regularly.
• Clean up any workplace spills, especially sticky or sugary substances.

Pest Control Supplies to Clean Your Workplace and Prevent Infestation

US Standard Products offers a full line of environmentally-friendly cleaning products for industrial and janitorial applications—read about these ready-to-use solutions, here.

In addition to a variety of cleaning products, US Standard Products also offers two insecticides that are safe to use inside the workplace:

1. The Haunt-II Residual can drive a wide variety of crawling insects from their hiding places and contaminate whole colonies with long-term residual control, making it an ideal product for industrial and institutional use.
2. The Eradicate Insecticide is a fast-acting, water-based formula with botanical insecticide pyrethrum that works without leaving any stain, residual, or objectionable odors. Able to control or kill crawling and flying insects on contact, the Eradicate is a bed bug’s worst nightmare.

Utilizing these insecticides is easy, just use a power-operated or hand-held spray to lightly cover areas. Make sure the surface is dry before allowing anyone into the treated area.

Start exploring your workplace pest control options by downloading our free catalogue or calling 844-877-1700. To stay up-to-date on the latest in workplace safety news and trends, follow US Standard Products on social media: Google+ | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Cleaning Shouldn’t be Toxic: Go Green with U.S. Standard Products

U.S. Standard Products is proud to offer a full line of environmentally friendly cleaning products for the industrial and janitorial industries. Wondering what makes these products more “green” than their traditional counterparts? We’ll give you a hint: it’s not the color! In this blog, we’ll explore what these eco-friendly products are all about and take a look at the benefits of using them.

Tell me more about these “green” cleaning products.

Green or eco-friendly cleaning products enable users to tackle tough messes and buildup, while protecting their environment and personal well being. Unlike traditional cleaners, our Certified Green products adhere to the highest standards and do not contain strong acids or harmful chemicals like:

  • Heavy metals
  • Chlorinated solvents
  • Mineral acids
  • Chemicals that don’t easily biodegrade

While it’s true that eco-friendly cleaners tend to cost a little more than traditional, harsher cleaning chemicals, many believe that the benefits outweigh the price difference. Here are just a few of the benefits of using green cleaning products:

Health Benefits

Traditional cleaning products often contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that can impair neurological functions, according to Life Science. Other chemicals can irritate the respiratory system, be toxic to the reproductive system and act as carcinogens.

By using green cleaning products in the workplace, you can facilitate a safer and healthier work environment. Users are able to avoid breathing in toxins and coming into contact with strong acids that can be harmful to their health.

Environmental Benefits

When washed down the drain, the ammonia, phosphorus and nitrogen that are found in many cleaning products cannot be absorbed by waste treatment facilities. When they make their way to the waterways, the chemicals cause a severe imbalance in nourishment, which accelerates plant growth to the point of extinction. When the overgrowth of vegetation dies, the body of water is depleted of oxygen, creating “dead zones” that aren’t able to house natural ecosystems.

Additionally, when traditional cleaning chemicals are vented outdoors (which they should be for health reasons), the VOCs contribute to air pollution and smog.

U.S. Standard Products helps you do your part in keeping the environment healthy by eliminating the chemicals that cause harm to the environment from our green cleaning products.

Performance Benefits

Many eco-friendly products get a bad rap for not being as effective as their traditional counterparts, but with U.S. Standard Products, you don’t have to worry about the power behind our green cleaners. All of our products have undergone extensive lab and field-testing to meet our internal Safer and Superior New Product Standard, ensuring that the green cleaners are as effective, if not more effective, than their traditional counterparts.

Our industrial-grade products take the lead when it comes to performance, enabling your cleaning crew to easily destroy the grime, dirt, mildew and other buildups in your workplace. Plus, the more gentle formula is less corrosive, meaning less wear and tear on the surfaces being cleaned.

Arm your cleaning crew with the best green products around.

U.S. Standard Products produces and sells the following green cleaners:

  • Neutral Disinfectant Cleaner
  • All-Purpose Cleaner
  • Restroom Cleaner
  • Glass & Window Cleaner
  • Degreaser

To receive a catalogue with a full list of our products, or to place an order, contact U.S. Standard Products online today or give us a call at (844) 877-1700.

Five Ways to Amp Up Sidewalk Safety This Winter

Did you know that in most states across the country, the owner of the building is responsible for the safety of the people who use their parking lot AND sidewalks? It’s a potential legal and financial liability that’s important to address. Not to mention the productivity that’s lost if one of your key staff members suffers a slip and fall that takes them off duty for a few weeks (or months!)

Here are a few things you, as a property owner, should do to make sure you’re ready when the snow and ice start to fall.

Set Up Your Snow Patrol

Meet with your team and select some individuals to keep an eye on the snow and ice situation. Have a meeting and review what happened in the previous year, so you can properly plan for this year. Assign someone to mark areas that were hazardous last winter, so you can give them extra attention this year. Have someone else vet snow removal services, so you can select the one that has the best prices, strongest references and appropriate insurance coverage. Working as a team ensures that no one person has to handle it all and you don’t miss something that’s critical to the safety of your staff.

Get Your Services and Supplies Set Up Early

Winter can sneak up on you and if you don’t prepare ahead of time, you may find that the snow removal services have all filled their calendars or you can’t get the proper ice melt when you need it. Get everything set up now so you don’t run into an “out of stock” or “we’re booked solid” situation later in the season.

Watch the Weather

Paying attention to the weather conditions – by monitoring the weather channel or setting up weather alerts to come to your smart phone – can help you ensure that you and your maintenance team know far in advance when a storm is coming. Preparing your property early, by putting out ice melt products BEFORE the storm hits, is a good preemptive move.

Choose the Right Ice Melt and Use It Correctly

Ice melt comes in several formulas, typically including some blend of rock salt, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, acetates and other substances like urea and ammonium sulfate. These formulas vary in price, how well they work at different temperatures, toxicity and their impact on different surfaces like concrete or wood decking. Before purchasing, do your homework to ensure you’re getting a product that will work best for your unique business environment.

Don’t Forget the Details

Small things can make a big difference, like putting containers of ice melt in areas that frequently freeze up. Don’t forget the “Slippery Floor” signs and mats for internal areas that get wet when it snows. And even more importantly, ask your insurance agent to double check your coverage, to make sure you’re in the clear if someone does have a slip and fall on your property, in spite of your best intentions.

Don’t wait! Get started today. We can provide you with a wide range of ice melt product, for starters. Check out our catalog today!