By Eric Michaels

ISSA Conference 2015: Key Cleaning Takeaways for Building Managers

The annual ISSA conference is a showcase for new products and developments in the cleaning industry. In October 2015, building managers and system manufacturers gathered in Las Vegas to share what's happening and what can be improved in the cleaning process. Here the key takeaways from three important talks at the conference.


Standardizing Cleaning and Training Practices


Three cleaning consultants from different areas of the US delivered the presentation titled "Behind the Broom: Are Your People on the Same Page?" Judy Gillies, Lance Witschen, and Kevin Keeler made their points about getting custodians and management on the same page for better cleaning. Along with standardizing cleaning measurement technology and making sure systems are effective at delivering results, the three experts stressed the need for communicating the importance of the process with stakeholders.


Once you have the ability to measure and clean effectively, the process of training your staff begins. There will be hiccups when streamlining your operation, so this presentation stressed the need for quality evaluation on a regular basis. Additionally, they noted that that the system will not reach its potential without feedback from custodians and customers alike.


Cleaning ROI


The topic of cleaning ROI dominated Nicole Kenny's forum on cleaning for health and infection control. A recurring theme was disinfectants and their place in modern cleaning practices. Kenny stressed that piling on cleaning chemicals was a poor strategy when trying to neutralize dangerous bacteria. Likewise, she noted how cleaning technique matters as much as any other aspect of the equation. Without best practices, your expensive disinfectants are useless on the job.


Finally, Kenny mentioned the all-important question of toxicity in cleaning products. If your disinfectants are on their way to getting banned for their highly toxic ingredients, you are better off avoiding them at this point in the game and going with an effective, environmentally responsible cleaner.


Infectious Pathogens: Public Enemy No. 1


Rosie Lyles, head of clinical affairs at Clorox, presented a talk on cleaning for health versus cleaning for aesthetics with a focus on preventing infection in public places. This presentation had relevance for any building or facilities manager facing the challenge of modern disease control.


Lyles stressed the importance of training and education in every level of custodian staff to implement best practices. Instruction on MRSA, norovirus, and influenza should be part of any manager's training package, she said. Her final focus was on cross-contamination, a problem often traced back to poor cleaning systems dominated by mops and rags. Lyles warned about the dangers of using these old-fashioned tools today's "brave new world" for pathogens.


The 2015 ISSA conference was the place for facilities managers to get up to speed on the latest in cleaning best practices. Click here to learn more about disease prevention using advanced cleaning systems.

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