What sustainable cleaning solutions mean to us at Swish

At Swish it is our objective to meet the sustainable development goals of our customers and their customers by delivering proven innovative solutions that help make the spaces they work and live in safer and more environmentally responsible.

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Swish has been built on three pillars of Sustainability – Environmental, Social and Economic – these pillars have been part of our philosophy since the early days of the company. Over the years, we have taken many steps in our sustainable development journey with our focus remaining on understanding our customer’s problems and developing effective cleaning processes and solutions that create value and meet their changing requirements.

With our strong focus on sustainability, Swish recognizes the importance of offering cleaning products, which are less harmful to human health and the environment. We offer a wide range of cleaning chemistry, hand hygiene, towel and tissue products as well as can liners that are ECOLOGO and Green Seal certified. Along with that, we offer cleaning equipment that combines environmental benefits and efficiency to minimize the resources used to clean.

We are continually evaluating our products and operations against the “3 Pillars of Sustainability”. We believe that only by considering and balancing all 3 pillars are we able to properly evaluate our business activities, make informed decisions and ensure continued success.

Ask us today about ways to make your cleaning operations more sustainable.

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Cut Carpet and Mats Drying Time with Low-Profile Air Movers

Air movers, also known as air blowers, help significantly reduce the amount of time it takes for carpet or matting to dry.  Industry leading air movers can cut the drying time by up to 40%!

Why reducing drying time is important?

  • Promotes safety. When walking from a wet, just-cleaned carpet or mat, to a hard surface floor, the chances of a slip and fall accident occurring are very high. Drying the carpet and matting as quickly as possible helps reduce this risk.
  • Prevents re-soiling. Often, people start walking over a just-cleaned and damp carpet or mat before it has completely dried. Dry soiling such as dust and dirt, which can just be vacuumed up on a dry carpet, now can become embedded in the moist carpet or mat, marring its appearance.
  • Stops odours. Carpets and mats that remain damp too long can attract bacteria that harbour unpleasant odours.
  • Increases productivity. By reducing the time required for drying the carpets, you can have your cleaning crew focused on other tasks at hand sooner.

And one more thing. According to John Poole, a consultant with the American Institute of Cleaning Science, “Drying the carpet is as important as cleaning the carpet. [But] if you leave the carpet wet, you’ll set off mould and mildew, so it’s critical to dry it thoroughly.” Same holds true for entrance mats as well as other types of matting.

Why air mover placement matters?

Placing an air mover in a room and letting it go to work is a good first step. Is there a way to increase its efficiency at drying the carpets and mats? Proper placement of air movers allows them to be most effective, while ensuring maximum air circulation and faster drying.

To see how this is done, let’s assume we are working with a “snail” or “whistle” air mover in an office building.  These are the most common types of air movers and get their names because this is what they look like. Cleaning professionals refer to them as low-profile air movers.

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A low-profile air mover pulls dry air down through the unit and out the snout of the machine. The air is blown directly over the carpet. An air mover that produces 2200 CFM is typically needed to dry carpet and subfloor areas quickly. And by the way, the air blown over the carpet is not heated. It is the movement of the air over the carpet that speeds evaporation. Choosing an air blower with a mat holding clip makes it easy to keep a mat in place, thus increasing air circulation underneath and drying it faster.

Air Mover Placement Tips 

Here are some of the things we should know about the use and placement of low profile air movers in different carpet and matting cleaning situations:

Hallways.  Place an air mover at either end of a just-cleaned hallway.  For very long hallways, a general rule of thumb is to place at least one unit for every 200 feet.

Office areas.  Using the same rule of thumb, for every 200 square feet of carpet in an office, at least one air mover is needed.  Using this formula, a 20-foot by 20-foot room would need two air movers.

Corners. In most cases, placing an air mover in a corner of the room will dry the carpet most effectively, following the same formula. So, if the room is 20 feet by 20 feet, we would position those two air movers in opposite corners.

Adjustments. It may be necessary to relocate air movers during the drying period. Do so about every thirty minutes to make sure the units are reaching all mat and carpet areas.

Stairs. Drying stair carpet can be a bit more challenging.  A typical stairway can often be divided into two sections. Place the air mover at the bottom of the stairs – the first section – and then after thirty or forty minutes, move it to the next section further up the staircase.

As our consultant said earlier, view the process of drying the carpets and mats as important as cleaning them, and ensure air movers are part of your routine floor maintenance. Not only does this promote safety and keep the carpets and mats clean and healthy, it also helps prolong their life and improve the overall look of your facility. It is worth remembering that routine maintenance is one of the critical elements of floor care, reducing the need for costly restoration or replacement of carpets and mats.

For more information on air movers, other tools and cleaning solutions used for carpet care and matting maintenance, contact a Swish representative.

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Preventive Solution for Vehicle Corrosion

Corrosion can cause severe damage to fleet vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, and equipment, as well as emergency response vehicles (ERVs) such as fire trucks.

De-icers used on the roads, while effective at keeping highways open, depending on their ingredients, can

cause havoc on fleet and ERV vehicles. The risk of irreversible destruction increases multi-fold if the vehicle maintenance program in winter does not include regular measures to break the bond and slow, if not eliminate, corrosion before it can cause costly damage.

What is Corrosion?

Corrosion is a process that can affect most types of metals, but can damage other materials as well, such as electrical wiring, gaskets, even ceramics. It is a gradual process that often starts out slowly but soon covers large areas of a vehicle very quickly.

As it does, it eats away at metal, breaks down any protective coatings on the vehicle, and can weaken the entire structure of the vehicle. This is why some ERV maintenance operations refer to it as the “silent enemy.”

Some examples of the silent enemy at work include the following:

  • Almost by accident, a fireman noticed that an aerial device on a fire truck that was only five years old had become corroded. This severely compromised the structural integrity of the device. Had it not been discovered, it could have collapsed during a firefighting operation, potentially causing serious harm and risking human life.
  • In another incident, a 100-foot aerial platform lost its rear axle when the U-bolts failed due to corrosion. Nobody was aware of the problem or the corrosion. This too could have caused serious harm and endangered human life. Fortunately, it did not.
  • While today’s primers and paint used on ERVs are far more resistant to corrosion, it still happens, causing weeks of downtime and thousands of dollars in repaint costs.

Solution against Corrosion

Swish HazeAway Solution - Corrosion PreventionNow that we are more aware of all the damage our silent enemy can cause, how can fire departments, emergency medical services and companies with large fleet protect their valuable equipment?  According to Andrew Platt, account manager with Swish, who introduced this solution to several fire stations, prevention is key.

“Corrosion can start developing in the bottom corners of a fire truck. Maintenance crews must pay attention to these areas.  If they see it developing, we are happy to work side by side and train their teams to apply our Haze Away solution to the truck exterior using a hydro foamer, a sprayer device that connects to a standard hose. The product works right away. Simply apply, rinse the area clean and then wash the truck as usual. By adopting this easy-to-implement maintenance practice, the corrosion can be prevented, keeping the vehicle in operation and saving thousands of dollars.”

For more information on ways to slow or eliminate corrosion on EVRs and other vehicles, contact a Swish representative.

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“Five Critical Elements of Floor Care: Winter Maintenance Tips”

With over 60 years of experience in floor maintenIMG_0010ance solutions, Swish is only happy to share this simple, yet very effective approach to floor care. Protecting your floors in winter is key to significantly reducing the need for costly complete restoration in spring and summer. As Andre Peters, our CEO, reveals in his interview to REMI Facility Cleaning and Maintenance, when implemented properly, the 5 Critical Elements of Floor Care will increase productivity, reduce cost-to-clean and help create cleaner, safer and healthier spaces for all. Thank you, Facility Cleaning and Maintenance for hosting the interview.

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Single most important way to reduce the spread of germs

A reprotect_your_health_screensaver1cent study conducted by GOJO showed that 69% of working Americans didn’t take sick days when they were sick and 74% of parents had sent their child to school sick. Just think of how fast germ can spread and affect all around! According to the last week’s FluWatch Report by Health Canada, overall, influenza activity continued to increase across Canada.

While there are several preventive measures you can take to stay healthy this season, everyday hand hygiene – both handwashing and hand sanitizing with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer – is the single most important way to reduce the spread of germs.

Our friends from GOJO put together a practical info kit on best practices for staying healthy during the cold and flu season: from Q&A on Influenza to videos on proper hand washing and hand sanitizing routine to infographics on how to protect your kids from germs and how to deal with a sick co-worker and much more! Check it out, find a practice that works for you, your workplace and your home, and be well!

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Stopping the Spread of Germs in K-12 Schools

Image result for kids in classroomIt’s inevitable that sick kids will end up in school from time to time. In a recent survey, almost three in four parents admitted they’ve sent their child to school sick.1

There are a variety of reasons why this happens. Maybe the child’s symptoms haven’t appeared yet, or their parents don’t think a case of the “sniffles” is worth a sick day. Students could have a test or an event at school that they don’t want to miss. Whatever the reason, when kids bring their illness to school, they can quickly spread germs to other students, teachers and staff.

Focus on Attendance Compels Parents to Send Kids to School

Everyone knows a good K-12 education is important for children, and this message is consistently reinforced to parents and kids by their schools and communities. Today, schools are emphasizing the importance of regular attendance more than ever. Awards are given for perfect attendance, while absences result in phone calls, messages and other outreach to parents.

No one wants children to go to school sick, but parents can’t keep their kids home every time they sneeze or cough. At the same time, parents have to be concerned about their own attendance at work. Staying home with a sick child or picking one up from school in the middle of the day can be difficult for many working parents.

In the close quarters of a K-12 school, it’s easy for sick kids to rapidly contaminate their peers, as well as teachers and staff. Schools need a way to prevent germs from spreading and causing illness.

The PURELL HEALTHY HANDS CAMPAIGN™ Helps School Staff Combat Germs

The PURELL HEALTHY HANDS CAMPAIGN™ is a comprehensive program for K-12 schools that includes trusted hand hygiene products, classroom activities and educational materials that enable teachers to make hand hygiene an everyday lesson.Image result for kids handsStudies have shown that schools can reduce illness-related absenteeism for both students and teachers by up to 50% with a comprehensive hand hygiene solution centered on the placement of PURELL™ products in high-traffic areas, outside of restrooms, and inside or near classrooms.2,3

Parents and teachers trust PURELL™ products because they are proven to kill more than 99% of common illness-causing germs—and they’re formulated to be gentle on the skin, quick drying and convenient to use. In fact, 96% of parents say they want to see hand sanitizer in their child’s classroom.4

For more information on combating germs in your school, contact Swish Maintenance today.  Our Swish experts are available to help you decide which products will work best for your needs. Please contact them at 1-855-GOSWISH (467-9474) in Canada or 1-800-639-7226 in the US, or use your online account at www.swishclean.com. Products may vary depending on location.

Original article by Megan Powell – Market Development Director, GOJO Industries: http://www.gojo.com/en/Newsroom/Blog/2016/Stopping-Spread-Germs-In-K12-Schools

1. Wakefield Research conducted a nationally representative survey between Jan. 22 and Feb. 2, 2015, among 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 3.1 percentage points. Survey sponsored by GOJO® Industries.
2. Know Your Schools – Hand sanitizers installed in Solon Schools. August 2006.
3. The Effect of a Comprehensive Handwashing Program on Absenteeism in Elementary Schools. Guinan M, McGuckin M, Ali Y. The effect of a comprehensive handwashing program on absenteeism in elementary schools. American Journal of Infection Control. 2002;30(4):217-220. http://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(02)68131-3/abstract
4. Wakefield Research conducted a nationally representative survey between Jan. 22 and Feb. 2, 2015, among 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 3.1 percentage points. Survey sponsored by GOJO Industries.

 

 

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Sun Protection: A Universal Perspective

As part of its commitment to skin care and sunscreen-outdoor-workersprotecting workers worldwide, every year Deb launches its annual Sun Protection for Outdoor Workers Campaign, focusing on the prevalence of skin cancer among outdoor workers and highlighting the importance of sun protection in the workplace. The prevalence of skin cancer is on the rise and not just in the U.S. and North America, but worldwide. The World Health Organization has confirmed that the incidence of both non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers has been increasing over the past several decades. Currently, between 2 and 3 million skin cancers occur globally each year. One in every three cancers diagnosed is a skin cancer, and more than 65,000 people worldwide die from melanoma each year.  Additionally, skin cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all cancers combined.1

Skin Cancer: Back to the Basics A fundamental factor in skin cancer prevention is a strong understanding of the problem. Particularly during the warm and sunny spring and summer months, the topic of skin cancer surfaces quite frequently; but are we truly knowledgeable about skin cancer, including the main causes and steps needed for prevention? Outdoor workers and employers alike should take a few minutes to review the basics.

Image result for uv protectionAccording to the Skin Cancer Foundation, skin cancer is “the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.” Much of the damage to DNA in skin cells results from ultraviolet (UV) radiation found in sunlight. This damage from the sun can happen years before a cancer develops.

There are two primary forms of skin cancer, melanoma and non-melanoma. The most common form of skin cancer is non-melanoma, including basal cell cancer (deep tissue damage) and squamous cell cancer (small rough spots that grow on sun-damaged skin). Approximately 90% of all non-melanoma skin cancer is caused by UV exposure. Melanoma is the least common form of skin cancer, but the most aggressive. In the U.S. alone, one person dies of melanoma every 57 minutes1 and an estimated 73,870 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 20151. Like many cancers, skin cancers start as precancerous lesions. These precancerous lesions are changes in skin that are not cancer, but can become cancer over time. For this reason, it is so important to know the signs and symptoms so you and your workers can be prepared.

Workers must check their skin regularly for any unusual moles or spots. The ABCDE rule of melanoma will help remind workers what to look out for. A melanoma can grow anywhere on the body so it is important to check your entire body regularly, about once a month, for any changes or abnormalities.

A = ASYMMETRY – When half of the mole does not match the other half B = BORDER – When the borders of the mole are irregular, ragged or blurred C = COLOR – When the color of the mole varies throughout or there is no uniform pigmentation D = DIAMETER – When the diameter is greater than 6mm, but it could be smaller E = EVOLVING – Changes in the mole over time; weeks, months or years.

Fortunately, malignant melanoma is curable if found and treated early.  A delay in diagnosis can result in the malignant melanoma spreading to other spots and organs within the body. If workers have any of the above signs or symptoms, they should consult a doctor immediately.

No two workers are created equal

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Outdoor workers, particularly construction workers, are at a very high risk of

damaging sun exposure. However, other high-risk targets include horticultural, forestry, telecommunications, maritime, postal and road workers. Based on a field study conducted in Australia, construction workers can be exposed to 10 times the recommended daily UV exposure levels. It is important that outdoor workers understand the risks of sun and UV exposure and know the steps to minimize their risk. Workers should execute safe sun practices like covering up in the summer months, taking breaks in the shade, using sunscreen and drinking plenty of water.

Even though outdoor workers are at a high risk for developing skin cancer, it is important to note that no two workers are the same. Age, ethnicity, family history and other conditions can play a factor in the development of skin cancer. Those with fair skin, a family history of skin cancer, a weakened immune system, existing skin conditions and those that come in contact with certain chemicals (such as coal tar, soot, pitch, creosote, mineral oil, motor oil and shale oil) are all at an increased risk of developing skin cancer. Skin cancer can develop in those of any age, but as workers get older, increasing their time spent in the sun, there is more time for built-up sun damage to the skin, increasing the likelihood. Additionally, although the risk of developing skin cancer is rather low for most African Americans, Asians and Latinos, skin cancer is typically more deadly for these groups. 2

Sunscreen Best Practices

When time spent in the sun cannot be avoided, having a good understanding of sunscreen protection is crucial. Sunscreens of at least SPF 30 are recommended and should be labeled broad spectrum to protect against both UV-A (aging) & UV-B (burning) rays. Sunscreens with a higher SPF rating may block slightly more UV rays, but remember no sunscreen can offer 100% protection. Sunscreen should be applied to clean, dry skin 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two to three hours. Additionally the proper amount of sunscreen for an adult full-body application is two to three tablespoons—or about one shot glass full. Make sure to cover all areas of exposed skin including the face, arms, top of the head and behind the ears.

There are very real dangers associated with sun exposure, particularly for outdoor workers; and unfortunately, these dangers are oftentimes overlooked in the workplace. Education is the key to prevention, and we hope that employers will work hard to educate themselves and put strategies and systems in place to protect their workers. Employers who have outdoor workers are encouraged to visit http://info.debgroup.com/clean-hands-stay-healthy-downloads-ca-swish-0 to request Deb’s Manager’s Guide and Poster for Skin Care at Work: Sun Protection for Workers. The guide will provide additional instructions on how to minimize your outdoor workers’ risk of sun exposure.

For more information about how best to protect yourself from UV rays, visit https://www.swishclean.com/uv_protection.htm or contact Swish Maintenance today.  Our Swish experts are available to help you decide which products will work best for your needs. Please contact them at 1-855-GOSWISH (467-9474) in Canada or 1-800-639-7226 in the US, or use your online account at www.swishclean.com. Products may vary depending on location.

References

1http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts

2http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/skin-cancer/about/skin-cancer-risks-and-causes

Original article:  http://info.debgroup.com/blog/sun-protection-a-universal-perspective

About the Author

Armand Coppotelli is the Business Development Manager & Training for Deb STOKO USA. He has more than 25 years’ experience advising best practices to maintain good skin health.

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