What is in this article?:
- Clean School Perceptions (with Related Video)
- Cleaning for Health
Appearance is everything when it comes to school and university restroom facilities.
Often, one of the first impressions students, staff and visitors have of an education institution is the restroom. A clean restroom can signify that the school cares about maintenance and the health of its occupants.
When focusing on public restroom sanitation, a facility manager needs to take into account several key factors. The No. 1 priority should be the safety of the people using the restrooms every day.
Education institutions should make sure they are using chemicals that are not only effective, but also environmentally friendly; they should provide ongoing training to staff and use effective cleaning protocols.
Effective disinfectants can cover a wide range of surfaces and eliminate many potential harmful diseases and germs. Schools should be sure to check the efficacy of the chemicals they are using to ensure they comply with OSHA standards for bloodborne pathogens.
When researching pricing for safe, cost-effective products, schools need to ask about dilution ratios and compare them with other products. Check with at least three or four reputable distributors and have staff members test samples to determine which product works best for each facility.
When schools begin training employees in restroom cleaning, mapping out tasks on a training card is a great way to start. Training cards should list all of the key touch points to focus on each time a restroom is cleaned.
Train all employees on the same steps based on the program to ensure they follow them every time they clean. Have them review the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the specifics of each product they use, and store all MSDS sheets in a binder.
Use a checklist during each training session that indicates the group has discussed the MSDS sheets and binder location. When taking on the role of trainer for custodial employees, it's important to explain the vital role a custodian plays in preventing disease and improving the health of building occupants. Let employees know that taking extra care can make a big difference for the people they routinely work with. This insight can affect their overall thinking and make them want to raise the bar in their daily cleaning.
A clean facility often can positively affect employee attendance and help reduce costs associated with absence. In a school setting, student attendance affects funding. Helping kids' maintain their health benefits children and learning, as well as school budgets.
During training, discuss the importance of dwell time of disinfectants on surfaces, and emphasize the importance of eliminating germs and viruses. Patience is key. If there is a set process and steps are completed, speed and cleanliness will follow. Public health should not be compromised by taking shortcuts in restroom cleaning, and dwell time is an essential part of reaching the goal of a clean and sanitary restroom.
Another step in maintaining sanitary restrooms is to make sure employees are not cross-contaminating. Make it mandatory for custodians to use more microfibers and to avoid using the same ones to wipe both a contaminated surface and a clean one.
Training employees to complete the steps of cleaning consistently and in sequence will increase their speed and efficiency. Several cleaning methods are available, including the Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools program.