How Healthy is your Building?
Professionals involved in managing facilities
are well aware of the challenging health concerns present on a daily basis. Phrases such as “Sick Building Syndrome”, “Building-related illness” and “Multiple chemical sensitivity” are the legacy of traditional cleaning methods.
Tenants and employees, even customers and clients, may experience acute discomfort—even serious health issues—when no attention is paid to a buildings air quality or when toxic chemicals are used in cleaning with no concern for health and safety.
Traditional cleaning, in the long and short term, is damaging to your property and to the people who frequent it.
To combat this, USSI uses an innovative cleaning process
which is a combination of efficient management, specialized training, and proven tools.
By recognizing that cleanliness is not only a matter of appearance,
the cleaning process allows USSI to provide a defense against bacteria, airborne particles, fumes, and germs; it prescribes the use of chemicals that rate low for hazard while retaining effectiveness.
Safety – A Mission, Not a Selling Point
Taking a philosophy of health and safety one step further, USSI has dedicated itself to making the workplace safe not only for your workers, but for ours. In order to achieve this goal, we provide cleaners with ergonomic tools in addition to safer chemicals. These tools, combined with an effective, optimized process, greatly reduce exposure to health risks.
Here are three examples how USSI has created a healthier, more effective cleaning service:
Upright vacuums vs. Backpack vacuums
Many people consider a carpeted floor clean when they see the “tracks” left by a traditional upright vacuum. Unfortunately, an upright vacuum does little besides creating a superficial appearance of cleanliness. They do nothing to remove airborne particles and soil that built up in carpets. Further, they are not ergonomically designed.
USSI cleaners instead use the ProTeam backpack vacuum. Tests have shown that the four levels of filtration used by this device picks up more dirt and debris than an upright, thus greatly increasing a facility’s air quality. Further, because the vacuum rests on the hips, it eliminates bending and repeated motion from a stooped position. It also offers numerous adjustments. All of this makes the backpack ergonomically advantageous.
By using a ProTeam backpack vacuum, USSI is cleaning for health -- the enhanced appearance is a welcome byproduct.
(For more details about our carpet care program, click the link.)
Fewer chemicals, safer chemicals
Until recently, the predominant belief in janitorial work was that the more caustic a chemical, the better it worked. An appearance of cleanliness was given full priority, with no worry for collateral damage. Little or no consideration was given for the environment or the health of tenants and workers. In addition, if one chemical agent did not work, more chemicals would be purchased, until a janitor’s closet was overrun with numerous uncontrolled chemicals with no supporting Material Safety Date Sheet (MSDS).
Fortunately, that thinking has evolved, and USSI is at the forefront of that evolution. OSHA, environmentalists, and health care practitioners have worked hard to get manufacturers to create less hazardous products. Manufacturers and customers started looking at the hazmat rating diamonds on products (0=minimal or no hazard, 1=slight hazard, 2 = dangerous hazard, 3 = extremely dangerous hazard, 4 = death hazard).
Using a standardized cleaning process, USSI has reduced its chemical inventory so that the majority of cleaning is performed using only three chemicals, each with a hazard rating of one or less. Of those chemicals, two are Green Seal approved for quality and environmental safety.
(If you would like more details about how we're also cleaning for green to protect the environment, click the link.)
Material Safety Data Sheet
USSI goes “Beyond Compliance” when following OSHA guidelines. The Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for chemicals used are color coded. For example, a rest room specialist uses a disinfectant that is colored red. The MSDS is red and can easily be found in the event of an emergency involving that chemical. All of the cleaners in a facility are trained on the
safety program -- for their safety, and yours.