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 Products may vary depending on location.

Original article by Megan Powell – Market Development Director, GOJO Industries:

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.
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.



Posted in Cold&Flu Preparedness, Infection Control, Skin Care, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Image result for worker sun protection

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 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 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 Products may vary depending on location.




Original article:

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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Myth: Promoting a Positive Company Image Can Be Expensive

PURELL ES Everywhere System Workplace WellnessThere’s a widespread perception that promoting a positive company image has to be expensive. Organizations often think office amenities or wellness initiatives need to be dramatic to have a positive impact on employees. Companies become convinced they need to build a gym or redesign the entire office; they need to do something dramatic so their employees will have to notice.

But the reality is when you look at actually completing these types of projects, they’re very difficult and costly to implement. It’s much more practical to do small, inexpensive things for your employees that make their everyday lives better and healthier.

Why Employees Appreciate the Small Things

Not all of your employees will hit the company gym, participate in health screenings or engage in other wellness programs. However, if you provide something simple like PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer and PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes throughout work areas, employees are more likely to use these products on a daily basis. In fact, just placing PURELL™ products at restroom exits can have an impact because employees pass in and out of the restroom multiple times every day.

Many companies underestimate the opportunity to enhance their image with something as straightforward as hand sanitizer and hand sanitizing wipes. However, the fact that employees are likely to use these products every day means there is a substantial opportunity to improve their view of the company.

Proven Outcomes: 88% of Image result for employee wellbeingEmployees Like the PURELL™ Advanced
Workforce Solution

GOJO recently conducted a hand hygiene intervention and outcome study at the corporate offices of Medical Mutual of Ohio (MMO), a Fortune 1000 healthcare insurer. The study evaluated the impact of the PURELL™ Advanced Workforce Solution—a comprehensive hand hygiene program, which includes PURELL® Advanced Hand Sanitizer and PURELL® Hand Sanitizing Wipes—had on an office environment.

The study, “Impact of a Comprehensive Workplace Hand Hygiene Program on Employer Health Care Insurance Claims and Costs, Absenteeism, and Employee Perceptions and Practices,” which was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that among employees in the intervention group:

  • 88% said they liked the PURELL™ products provided by their employer
  • 80% said having PURELL™ products throughout work areas positively affected their impression of their employer
  • When provided, PURELL® Hand Hygiene products had more of an impact on the overall impression of the office space than free coffee/soda, low-cost food, filtered water, a recycling program or ATM/banking

Employees also said having PURELL™ products available throughout the office and at their workstations made them feel “more in control of their health and well-being” and “free to interact with co-workers without worrying about germs.”

Landmark Study Shows Reduction in Healthcare Claims and Absenteeism

This study also found:

  • Employees filed 24% fewer healthcare claims tied specifically to hand hygiene-preventable illnesses, such as cold and flu and respiratory illnesses
  • Absenteeism fell by 13.4% compared to the previous year

The PURELL™ Advanced Workforce Solution is highly affordable for all organizations—not just large companies—and is easy to implement. Best of all: its effectiveness is proven, both as a self-funding wellness initiative and a way to promote a positive company image.

By Thom Wojtkun – Market Development Director, Office Buildings, GOJO Industries

For more information on PURELL® Hand Sanitizer systems and increasing employee well-being at your company, contact Swish Maintenance today.  Our Swish Product Specialists 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 Products may vary depending on location.

Posted in Cold&Flu Preparedness, Employee Health, Skin Care | Leave a comment

Protection For Outdoor Workers From Ultraviolet (UV) Rays

How can outdoor workers stay safe in the sun?AdobeStock_103924961-duplex-2.jpg

Roofers, construction workers, gardeners; all spend the majority of their working
day in the light of a silent threat to the health of their skin. Without adequate UV protection, they are putting themselves at risk.

According to a recent study by Imperial College London, working outdoors could lead to one death and around five new cases of melanoma skin cancer a week[1]. The findings from the study were hardly surprising, given that IOSH’s No Time To Lose Solar campaign revealed that despite working outside for up to seven hours a day, only 59% of construction employees regularly applied sunscreen[2].

Understanding the threat

UV light is invisible, and there are three distinct types: UVA, UVB and UVC. Often there are misconceptions regarding when protection from UV rays is required, which can make compliance problematic. UV rays are not affected by sunlight or temperature, and can’t be seen or felt, meaning outdoor workers are often unaware that they are at risk.

Interestingly, it has also been suggested that UVB wavelengths can be beneficial to employees if exposure is minimal and controlled. They can kick off the chemical and metabolic chain reaction that produces Vitamin D. According to Professor Andrew Wright, Consultant Dermatologist at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, “15-20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure, without skin reddening or burning, per day should be sufficient for most people to produce the required Vitamin D level[3].” It is crucial that Health & Safety Managers are able to establish when UV protection is necessary, and for this to be effectively conveyed to employees.

Duty of Care

Employers have a duty of care to protect their employees from hazards in the workplace and according to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidelines, UV radiation should be considered an occupational hazard for people who work outdoors. However, many employers are failing to meet this responsibility, as a study which IOSH conducted in conjunction with the University of Nottingham revealed that 70% of employees claimed that they had never received training on the risks of working outside[4]. It is a problem which is becoming increasingly prevalent, and one in which Health & Safety Managers must help to solve.

The key to combatting skin damage and even skin cancer for outdoor workers is by changing their attitude on the protection of their skin through education and training, whilst also providing employees with effective solutions.

How to effectively protect the workers

When it comes to choosing an effective solution for outdoor workers, it is crucial that Health & Safety Managers choose a ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen which provides protection against UVA, UVB and UVC rays.

With regards to application, for the average sized adult, it is recommended that employees apply at least one teaspoon of sunscreen to each arm, leg, front of body, back of body and face (including ears and neck)[5]. Where possible, it should be applied to clean, dry skin 15 minutes before the initial exposure, and reapplied liberally every two to three hours. For industrial workplaces, it is also crucial that the sunscreen chosen is both water and sweat-resistant, to ensure that they remain protected at work. Additionally, it is important for sunscreen to offer quick skin absorption to ensure that the hand dexterity with tools isn’t negatively impacted.

For outdoor workers who spend the majority of their day outside, it is also recommended that a high Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is used – either minimum SPF30 or SPF50 is advised. Sunscreens with a lower SPF such as SPF15 will only be able to filter out 93% of incoming UVB rays, whereas SPF30 and SPF50 sunscreens are able to filter out 97% and 98% of all incoming rays respectively[6].

Help and guidance in incorporating UV protection in workplaces is widely available. It is advised that companies conduct a detailed internal risk assessment first, and then implement protection methods. Ideally, these aspects should be formalized into a fully-fledged Sun Protection Policy.

Through implementing employee training and introducing sunscreen dispensers, employers can ensure that workplaces contain more informed employees, who are happier, healthier and will have minimized their risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer.

For more information about how best to protect yourself from UV rays, contact Swish Maintenance today.  Our Swish Product Specialists 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 Products may vary depending on location.

[1] Imperial College London
[2] IOSH No Time to Lose Campaign
[3] Professor Andrew Wright, Consultant Dermatologist at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
[4] IOSH
[5] British Association of Dermatology

Original article:

About the Author

Paul Jakeway is the Marketing Director for Deb in the UK & Ireland.

Having recently joined the business in 2015, Paul is focused on raising awareness of the importance of hand hygiene best practice in the workplace to prevent the spread of germs and improve skin health.


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