This is your promo text. Link to something new and exciting, like a revolutionary WordPress theme!

19 Reasons You Should Be Talking About Cleaning in Your Office.

Office meetings often cover lots of ground, but sometimes the most important things get overlooked in the face of more immediate concerns. Commercial cleaning is one of those critical business decisions that can prevent serious problems in the workplace.

Here are 19 Reasons you should be talking about cleaning:

World Health
Though it may be easy to forget how big an impact each individual has on the world at large, the cleanliness of your office could actually impact world health. Infectious diseases like swine flu and avian flu can quickly spread from person-to-person in your office. Each person who gets exposed will take those diseases home to their families and potentially spread them around the community.

Ebola provided the world a good example of how diseases can quickly spread across continents. In light of that, imagine how long it would take for an entire office to catch an infectious disease if even one employee were infected. Perhaps it would take several days, but it could take just one. Commercial cleaning services can actually save lives.

Infection control
Infectious diseases can appear unexpectedly. Think about all the people who come in contact with surfaces that have been contaminated by an office worker who is infectious but doesn’t know it. Having high standards about cleanliness can prevent contamination.

What are infectious diseases?

Infectious illnesses are illnesses you are able to “catch” from the person, a pet, a bug, the atmosphere or contaminated water and food. Most infectious illnesses are dispersed with a single, well-defined route. Focusing on how they spread helps determine the very best prevention techniques.

Modes of Transmission – the most popular ways illnesses spread are:

  • Contact transmission – when one is uncovered for an infectious agent from direct connection with infectious bloodstream or body substances e.g. bloodstream, urine, faeces, saliva, nasal secretions, or from indirect connection with contaminated products for example surfaces and equipment e.g. door handles. Infectious agents may then go into the person’s body via damaged skin e.g. cuts, the mucous membranes from the person’s eyes, nose or mouth, by ingestion e.g. the ‘faecal-dental route’ or with a sharps e.g. needle stick injuries.
  • Droplet transmission – when infectious agents found in large tiny droplets e.g. splash, spray, spatter of bloodstream or body substances are deposited around the mucous membranes from the eyes, nose, mouth etc.
  • Airborne transmission – when infectious agents found in aerosols and dirt are breathed in.
  • Food-borne transmission – when infectious agents are dispersed through use of contaminated food.
  • Water-borne transmission – when infectious agents are dispersed through consumption or connection with contaminated water.
  • Vector-borne transmission – when insect vectors for example mosquitos and ticks transmit infection to an individual via bites e.g. Dengue Fever.


When you think about how many people each person in the office comes into contact with daily, the numbers of people affected by your office hygiene suddenly look a lot bigger.

  1. A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide.
  2. You see that word “WORLDWIDE”, just imagine for a moment how you would feel if it was your office environment that started or contributed to a pandemic. Thankfully they don’t happen very often only 4 since 1918 but one of them the 1918 Spanish Flu swept across the world in three waves between 1918 and 1919.
  3. In terms of the loss of human lives, the Spanish flu was unprecedented in modern times. More people died during the pandemic than were killed in the First World War.

Worldwide, at least 50 million people are thought to have died, it has been estimated that about 25 per cent of the world’s population was infected.

OSHA Codes
Be aware that commercial cleaners can help make sure OSHA codes relating to cleanliness are followed down to the last detail. OSHA requires soap, toilet paper, and towels or a hand-drying station to be available at all times. It also requires that the proper chemicals be used for cleaning and that they be labelled properly. Professional cleaners know exactly what is required.

As you know, hazards for which OSHA does not have a specific standard are governed by Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (the Act; General Duty Clause) which requires that employers provide employment and a place of employment that are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

Viruses are responsible for colds and flus and other illnesses. Prevent the entire office from getting sick with professional building cleaning services. In an office environment, viruses can spread quickly. Making sure your keep away from one of your sick co-workers might not be enough. A new study shows that some viruses quickly spread through offices and other buildings, contaminating many surfaces in just hours. The researchers placed virus samples on one or two surfaces — such as a doorknob or a tabletop — in an office building Throughout the day, the researchers sampled 60 to 100 surfaces in the buildings, including light switches, tabletops, coffee-pot handles, sink tap handles, doorknobs, and phone and computer equipment. Within 2 to 4 hours, 40 to 60 percent of sampled surfaces in the buildings were contaminated with the virus, said study researcher Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona. In the office, “the first area contaminated was the coffee break room,” Gerba said. In a second part of the study, cleaning staff and employees were given disinfecting wipes containing quaternary ammonium compounds (QUAT), which were used to disinfect commonly touched surfaces about once a day.

These disinfectants, along with proper hand hygiene, reduced the spread of the virus by 80 to 99 percent, Gerba said.

Bacteria is another culprit for illnesses that arise in the office. Foods that aren’t properly stored or that are old can be a source of bacteria. The office refrigerator and sink can be another place where this life form thrives. These need to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent rotting food particles. It’s also important to keep microwaves clean and to remove trash, especially food waste, on a daily basis. Most of the bacteria they found came from human skin or the nasal, oral or intestinal cavities, the researchers said. Bacteria from soils were also common, Kelley said.

Although you might expect the computer to be a germ magnet, more bacteria were found on office chairs and phones than on keyboards and computer mice, the researchers said.

Men had about 10 to 20 percent more bacteria in their offices, on average, compared with women.

Infection control
In the event that an employee catches an infectious disease, it’s crucial to everyone’s safety that cleanliness is top-notch. Infection control depends on it. While the people in your office are experts at what they do, their expertise is probably not in cleaning to the standards required for infection control.

Allergic Reactions
Some staff members may have allergies. Dust and mold can trigger allergy attacks. They can even produce mycotoxins. Using building cleaning services can help address these types of issues and prevent them from occurring. Mold spores are airborne, so the entire office can be exposed to these toxic substances when they’re allowed to grow.

Workers suffering building-related illnesses cost business billions each year in lost productivity, sending many companies on a desperate search for answers.

The result: headaches, nausea, dizziness, irritability, itchy eyes, and respiratory illnesses, among other problems.

Building-related asthma, for example, can cause permanent damage to your health — and lost productivity and increased health costs for your employer.

Mysterious itching may be caused by exposure to fibrous glass from an air-duct lining. A sick building usually implies a constellation of symptoms that usually includes fatigue, headache, dry, itchy skin, and irritation of mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, and throat.

Slipping Hazards
Pieces of printer paper or pieces of toilet paper on the floor can cause people to slip. Protect workers and office visitors by picking up any papers that fall. Hire professionals to detail on a regular basis. Accidents that result in slipping and falling can cause serious back injuries.

Slips, trips and falls make up themajority of general industry accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), slips, trips and falls account for 15 percent of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities. See more at:–8249#sthash.sMw7tnCd.dpuf

According to the 2006 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index, the annual direct cost of disabling occupational injuries due to slips, trips and falls is estimated to exceed $11 billion. See more at:–8249#sthash.sMw7tnCd.dpuf

says Ostrander.

See more at:–8249#sthash.sMw7tnCd.dpuf

Tripping Hazards
Office clutter can also be responsible for creating tripping hazards. Never store piles of office materials on the floor, and be sure there is nothing that could cause people to trip and fall. Tripping can cause sprains, strains, back injuries, and even broken bones.

65% of all lost workdays are due to Slip and Fall accidents. This results in 95 million lost workdays a year. With all those slip and falls, about 90% happen when the person encounters a wet surface.

That’s a huge number of accidents that could be prevented. In workplaces it costs US$ 4 billion in lost productivity and compensations every year.  They occur in almost all workplaces with 95% of major slips resulting in broken bones 20% of over-3-day injuries.

Fire Hazards
Fire hazards can go unnoticed in an office environment. Paper can be a fire hazard in the office if it’s near heat or flame. It is also important to keep cleaning chemicals away from heat open flames, and to keep them in proper containers. Some chemicals can spontaneously combust.

Safety Codes
Violations of safety codes can mean big trouble in the office. Professional cleaners can help make sure no fire exits are blocked by trash or debris. No office wants to be in violation of codes. When it happens, it can tarnish your business’s good name.

The Environment
Some cleaning chemicals are terrible for the environment. Look at the ingredients on your office cleaning supplies. Do you know what each of those chemicals is? Do you know how much harm they do to the environment? Good commercial cleaners have those answers, and taking advantage of their services can make your office environmentally friendly.

  • 100: the number of times higher that indoor air pollution levels can be above outdoor air pollution levels, according to US EPA estimates.
  • 5 billion: the number of pounds of chemicals that the institutional cleaning industry uses each year.
  • 23: the average gallons of chemicals (that’s 87 liters) that a janitor uses each year, 25 percent of which are hazardous.
  • 63: the number of synthetic chemical products found in the average American home, translating to roughly 10 gallons of harmful chemicals.

A clean workplace improves air quality, and that keeps everyone cutting down on sick days and absenteeism. Your workers will have more energy and feel more creative. Just the simple task of cleaning can improve performance and boost business.

A clean workspace benefits your customer service as well, particularly if customers visit that environment. A well-maintained and clean work environment will make your customers feel confident working with you and entering your business. A bright, clean office area will make them feel welcome. They will also feel confident they can count on you to handle their issues.

Here are several factors that can lead to an unhealthy work environment:

  • Employees are working longer hours, often in space that’s teeming with bacteria
  • Reduced office space forces employees to work in closer proximity to colleagues – shorter distances for germs to travel
  • An increasing number of workers eat in their work space
  • People who sneeze, cough or yawn without covering their mouth
  • Workers who leave the restroom without thoroughly washing their hands

Employee Morale
In a national survey, workers reported that dirty bathrooms made them feel undervalued by their employers. Letting commercial cleaners take care of the routine deep cleaning can actually increase productivity by making employees feel valued. Facility Cleanliness ranked as number 10 on the top 10 employee complaints.

Personal Hygiene
There really is a direct correlation between a clean work environment and improved employee health. Facility cleanliness: Employees want a clean, organized work environment in which they have the necessary equipment to perform well.

Commercial cleaning involves cleaning office bathrooms on a regular basis and also keeping them stocked with supplies. Bathrooms need to be stocked with hand soap, toilet paper, and equipment for drying hands at all times. Office workers come into contact with 10 million bacteria every day, with many spreading the norovirus around the office without knowing it

Retaining Employees

Employee retention depends on making workers feel good about the work environment. When professionals come in to take care of routine cleanliness needs, the office feels more welcoming. If the office usually feels dirty, people start looking for new jobs. A pleasant work environment can help maintain and improve employee morale and spirit. When surroundings seem dingy and dirty, it can be difficult to stay productive and positive. Even small business owners with limited budgets can improve the working environment for employees when the office may need cleaning. If you can’t afford to contract the cleaning work out to professionals, roll up your sleeves and get busy making a pleasant place for employees to work. There is a lot of competition for talent in Silicon Valley (and around the globe for that matter) and when you can retain your employees, it means less time and money spent recruiting.

Employees’ Psychological Health
When employees spend 40 or more hours per week in an unsanitary environment, it can impact their psychological well-being. Many people in your office probably spend a great deal of their free time cleaning their homes. Hiring commercial cleaners shows respect for employees who value order and cleanliness. One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide. Organisations that are able to successfully create and sustain an office environment that promotes good mental health are more likely to minimise the negative financial impact that can result from absenteeism, high staff turnover, workers compensation claims and low morale.

Bottom line
Commercial cleaning often cost less per visit than the rates you’re paying current employees. When what you’re paying employees on an hourly basis is more than it would cost to pay for building cleaning services, it just doesn’t make sense to use employees’ time that way. Doing so hurts your bottom line.





clip_image002“If I’m Curt with you it’s because time is a factor. I think fast,I talk Fast and I need you guys to act fastif you wanna get out of this. So pretty please… with sugar on top. “Clean the F****** car”.


Remember The Cleaner (known as The Wolf) in Pulp Fiction?  He got things done. So do we – United Commercial Cleaners and we’re a lot nicer about it too!

Facts: All cleaning companies do the same thing.  They clean!

But, it’s the way they go about this that makes the difference.

It’s for this reason that Ray started up his company – he had a vision to build a truly great Australian based cleaning company, built on passion, service and integrity.   A company based on the true Australian values of hard work, loyalty and recognition.

Ray knows about cleaning, having worked for big commercial cleaning companies over the past 10 years, he knows how these companies go about their business, “what they do and how they treat their customers, their subcontractors and their staff”. He also knows how they cut corners.

These companies have given Ray invaluable experience in cleaning. He knows what to do and how to do it. He also knows how he wants to be different from all the other cleaning companies.

Here’s the thing about cleaning – if it’s done well, no-one notices.  Ray hopes all his jobs go unnoticed, for the right reasons of course.



There are essentially 5 things to look for when choosing your next cleaning company.  These 5 things are Ray’s rules.

He calls them SKIPS.

Service – No brainer really, but when was the last time your cleaners did anything out of the ordinary and exhibited great customer service?

Ray is passionate about cleaning and, for that reason, guarantees the work done by his company.  You must be thinking as “What sort of guarantee can a cleaner give?” I hear you ask?  Well, if your toilet doesn’t sparkle, his people will go over it and make it shine.  If the mirror is streaked, it will be cleaned again.

Knowledge – This is really a big one, because it’s not only Knowledge of the industry, but Knowledge of YOUR business needs.  Do you really need that site cleaned every two days, or will every three days’ work just as well?  Ray knows about what products to use, when to use them, and how to schedule jobs to maximize the benefit YOU WILL RECEIVE from each cleaning job.

Innovation – To Ray, cleaning is not just about a mop, a bucket, a vacuum cleaner or a feather duster.   He is forever researching and trialing NEW Techniques, NEW Methods, New Machinery and New Staff.  He knows the backbone of every business is to keep things fresh and up-to-date.

Passion – We all want our service providers to be passionate about what they do and Ray is passionate about cleaning.  He is also passionate about his staff, and he believes that treating people well and valuing their work delivers better results for the client.  He only hires staffs that love cleaning and a job well done, leads by example.

Supervision – Ray is a hands on operator.  He directly supervises his managers and ensures that they are all on first name basis with their staff.  He loves cleaning, and he expects his staff to love cleaning too.  Before handing a mop, a broom, a vacuum and a feather duster (!), all the new staff members are properly inducted into the company and expectations are set with each along with the training provided to all.  Ray understands that supervision is about working together with his staff to deliver a top notch job for the client.


Ray is a very passionate business owner. As passionate he is about cleaning, similarly he is also passionate about safety. His Quality Management System & Safety Management System shows his focus on quality, but it’s also the Work Safe tick of approval that Ray is focused on.

Safety is one of main focus for Ray and so should be a main focus for your current cleaners. If you’re not sure about it, you should ask them for information on their:

· Safety Management System;

· Safety Consultants;

· Toolbox Talks;

· Training systems; and

· Induction process.

United Commercial Cleaners has all these things and Ray is available any time to show you what he’s got, what he does & how it is done.

Cleaners who are engage in safe practices which mean that you, the client, are also in Safety Zone.

Decision Making

So, how do you, the client, work out who is a SKIPS cleaner and who is not?

Well, obviously Ray would love to talk to you about this, and show what his company can offer.

Ray would also like to show you that HIS Company is worth your time, “That his company is different” from other in market and obviously Ray would like you to prefer/choose his company over others.

But life isn’t always about what Ray wants, so all he asks from you is that, when evaluating proposals from other cleaners, you look on the following:

· Is it from United Commercial Cleaners? Well, big tick right there!

· Does the proposal sound like it was written FOR YOU, for your needs, and not just a template with your name and address cut, copy and pasted in. In other words, does it show real interest and passion in your needs?

· Look for innovations, appetite for change, dynamism.

· Don’t focus purely on price – although Ray guarantees his proposal will be competitive.

· Don’t focus purely on size of the company – small companies are nimble and therefore more adaptable to your needs.

· Has the OWNER, not his/her 2IC or his/her Operations Manager made themselves available to you to respond to any queries directly?

These are the things that make a difference in a world where all cleaning companies essentially do the same thing.


Ray has an open door policy.

This means that you should feel free to visit him, call him, or message him AT ANY TIME to talk about any of your cleaning needs.

Ray acknowledges that he is constantly learning, and is open to suggestions from you, the client, on how he can provide better service to you.

Ray is reachable on:

Ebola: What is it? & What Should I Do?





The tricky part about the Ebola virus is that the symptoms are similar to meningitis, cholera or other viral hemorrhagic fever. These symptoms may appear within 2-21 days after infection and some of these symptoms are very similar to normal flu.

The symptoms are:

  1.  High fever
  2. Headache
  3. Joint/muscle aches
  4. Sore throat
  5. Weakness
  6. Stomach pain
  7. Lack of appetite




When someone is sick with Ebola, the virus can be spread when in direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with:

  • Blood
  • Other body fluids, such as urine, feces, saliva, sweat, vomit, breast milk and semen
  • Objects (such as needles and syringes) that are contaminated with the virus

It can also spread when handling unsterilized needles or medical equipment that were used by an infected person, having unprotected sex with an infected person, and touching blood or other body fluids and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes (ways in which a person can get Ebola)

Ebola is not transmitted through the air, food or water.

Infection Control

One of the main reasons for such massive spread of Ebola in the countries affected is due to lack of proper infection control during the early stages of infection. Additionally, recognizing the best practice for early recognition of this virus, proper isolation procedures are also pivotal to ensure it doesn’t spread. Infection can also occur during post-mortem, leaving family members and other medical personnel at even more risk, especially when post-mortem procedures don’t include infection control.

So what exactly is “infection control”?

In addition to the best practice to avoid any virus that is not airborne, it includes proper sanitary restroom cleaning, proper hand hygiene and avoiding direct contact with sick individuals.

The CDC recommends the following for hospitals that have a patient infected with the Ebola virus.

(Read the entire guidelines page here.)

  • Patient isolation
  • Use of gloves, gown, shoe covers, eye protection and eye mask
  • Aerosol-generating procedures
  • Environmental infection control (proper cleaning of surfaces that have been covered in body fluids or tissues). This cleaning should be done with correct bodily protection.

What to Remember:

  • You CANNOT get Ebola through the air, water or food. Click here for an infographic provided by the CDC.
  • Remember to practice correct hand hygiene and surface cleaning practices. Wash your hands regularly, pay attention to the surfaces you have touched and avoid direct contact with people who are sick.  Pay attention to how your body feels. Even if you just have the common cold, take your health (and others) seriously.
  • The Ebola virus is not airborne.
  • Do not panic. Stay informed.[fblike url=”” style=”standard” showfaces=”false” width=”450″ verb=”like” font=”arial”] [twitter style=”vertical” url=”” float=”left”]




How To Use A Gas Burnisher

gas28This week’s post is about using a gas burnisher, or gas buffer have some in the industry call it. I got the idea for this weeks post from a question asked on one of the LinkedIn groups I follow and that was ”Has anybody got a best safety practice using a propane burnisher in retail stores “. So I started to think that since my company has vast experience in cleaning retail stores. For example big box retail stores like Kmart, supermarkets, retail clothing stores. I figured I would be in a good position to try to help in this situation. As with any other tool or cleaning equipment a safe operating procedure (SOP) should be developed and added to any safety Handbook as a reference for new staff and cleaners to understand how to undertake the task and what the hazards are. So feel free to use this safe operating procedure (SOP) for your business. Put it in a table form if you want to print it out and give it to your cleaners/janitors/custodians and do a toolbox talk (another subject for a blog post) on how to properly and safely use a gas burnisher.

In retail cleaning one safety concern is if there is clothing or flammable goods where you need to buff the operator must be very aware to not buff too close to the flammable goods as the muffler gets very hot and I have seen very expensive dresses being ruined and cost the cleaning company many hundreds of dollars to replace. Nothing worse than seeing a nice silk dress with black muffler stains and a nice big burn hole in the bottom from where the exhaust gases have been allowed to blow onto the dress. One of the most important things when using any type of machinery is to do a pre-start safety check and make sure that all guards and everything is in good working order and maintenance is kept up-to-date. Old broken down machinery is not good for any cleaning companies reputation and what does it say about the quality of work that you’re staff are performing for your client. As I always say if the cleaning room and the equipment does not reflect the quality of the company than what can I expect from the quality of the cleaning.

Burnishing floor with gas burnisher  NoiseInjuries to feet/ toesStrains – arms/ back/ shoulders & wrist
High speed gas burnisherPPE- Closed in footwear, hearing protection   Low – Medium




  1. Check buffer and gas cylinder for any visible damage. Check pads and drives.
  2. Check oil, when the oil is at the half empty mark call your Manager or Supervisor and inform operations.
  3. Check battery and gas.
  4.  To attach your pad tilt buffer in the direction indicated to the left, away from the filter (ensure your knees are bent). Follow safe manual handling techniques.
  5. Place clean pad on the pad disc; ensure the pad lines up evenly with the disk.
  6. Place the safety clip in centre of pad; push the clip firmly down ensuring you hear two clicks.
  7. Tilt the buffer back to its original position. Follow safe manual handling techniques.
  8. Ensure LPG bottle is connected properly check connection to ensure gas lead from the buffer is attached to the bottle correctly; it is attached by turning the end screw anti clockwise until tight.
  9. Bring buffer out to vinyl floor ready to be started.
  10. Turn gas on at the bottle.
  11. Listen and smell around theburnisher for any gas leakage. Gas odour smells like garlic.
    • Note: If you hear or smell gas turn the gas off immediately! Do not attempt to start the machine. Reconnect the gas lead and try again. If you continue to hear or smell gas ensure the gas cylinder is turned off and contact your Supervisor immediately.
  12. If there are no signs of gas leakage you can start the buffer.images


  • Always have the pad off of the floor when starting.
  • Ensure floor is clean – never burnish a dirty floor.
  • Pads must be clean.
  • When burnishing you must walk at a slow steady pace.
  • Assess noise level and use PPE if required.
  • Always use left side of the machine to do edges.


  • When you have finished buffing turn off gas at the bottle, return buffer to its designated area and remove pad.
  • Check machine (safety & maintenance) and clean exterior of machine taking special caution to avoid the exhaust as this may be very hot.
  • Store safe and secure.
  • Ensure that the gas bottle is turned off.

Note: If you have any concerns in relation to the maintenance of the machine, call your Area Manager or Supervisor.


  1.  Ensure the buffer is switched off.
  2.  Ensure no source of ignition is present.
  3. Close the valve on the empty LPG cylinder.
  4.  Cover the battery with a non-conductive material to eliminate the risk of the gas bottle coming into contact with the battery as this can cause an arc.
  5. Remove the manifold from the cylinder.
  6. Remove the empty LPG cylinder.
  7. Replace with a new cylinder. Always check that the cylinder is not damaged and is approved by checking the testing date to ensure that it is current.
  8. Connect the manifold of the new LPG cylinder.
  9. Do not over tighten as this will damage the brass thread.
  10. Open the valve on the cylinder and make sure connection is gas-tight. In case of any doubt, apply detergent solution to the connection with a brush: bubbling indicates a leak.

NOTE: Never search for a leak with a naked flame. If a leak is suspected, immediately close the main valve on the cylinder and notify your Supervisor. Your Supervisor will decide what action should be taken to solve the problem (e.g. replace manifold or cylinder or both).

So there you have it my safe operating procedure( SOP) for using a gas burnisher. If it has been of help to you and your company feel free to like it, share it, or drop me a comment. Also I have just finished finalising the terms for the new redesign of which is exciting. The website is now a couple of years old and definitely needs an upgrade. This was my first website and I have learnt much since then so I’m really excited to see when it’s finished. It should make it much more easier to navigate and get some cleaning training, or search for cleaners, janitors or custodians be sure to pop over and have a look.

Until next time this is Ray signing off.