WORKING TO KEEP THE FLU OUT OF YOUR WORK
One of the major news stories nationally and internationally early on in 2018 has been the alarming numbers associated with the current flu season. While this is technically not a pandemic, it is still a serious situation with alarming statistics. Pandemics occur when a new strain occurs to which people have not experienced previous exposure. That is not the case in this 2017-2018 flu season, as we have seen the prevalent flu strains before, but that does not diminish the seriousness of this situation.
There is more than just one strain of the flu virus. There are numerous sub types of flu strains. Medical professionals state there are currently 18 Hemagglutinin and 11 Neuraminidase strains in the Type A category. Type B consists of the Victoria and Yamagata strains. Type C strains are typically mild respiratory illnesses and Type D typically refers to flu viruses in cattle.
In recent years, the H1N1 strain has been most prevalent in the United States and flu vaccines have targeted it the most. The H1N1 strain was responsible for the Swine Flu outbreak of 2009. There had been little exposure to the H3N2 strain among Americans until this season. This is a strain that was common in recent years in Great Britain and Australia. When the same flu strain strikes repeatedly, people and their regions tend to build up their immunity.
The almost daily media coverage of this flu season is typically accompanied by the standard follow-up stories on what individuals can do to diminish their chances of contracting the flu. Those news packages contain very useful information that we all must follow. However, what the news media does not often report is what can maintenance personnel do to decrease the likelihood of their facility becoming a breeding ground for the virus. Individual advice is usually concluded with the advice that if you feel sick, to stay home. That is valuable advice to prevent people from transporting the virus into a facility, but in our industry we need to look at what we can do on a large scale to make our facilities as clean and healthy as possible for those who enter.
The online world, as we know it, has been around for over two decades. In these initial decades of the internet, we have witnessed many changes. One of the most significant changes has been the evolution to the internet’s mobility. Twenty years ago, going online meant being tied to a desktop PC. Fast forward to today and online users are more likely to access an app while on the go than while tied down to a desk. And now, it is possible to access the full arsenal of interactive tools offered by National Chemical Laboratories on your mobile device.
Fresh off a relaunch of nclonline.com, National Chemical Laboratories offers the new and improved NCL Tools App. This app is your mobile information and training toolkit, and is for Android and Apple mobile devices. Direct access to information makes it quick and easy to find exactly what you are looking for, and share it easily when necessary
On the surface, customer review websites such as Yelp! or tripadvisor.com, may not seem relevant to Jan San Distributors and their sales representatives. Distributors may not see the Yelp! review traffic that businesses in the hospitality industries receive, but the distributors dealing with businesses such as restaurants, hotels, and fitness centers must be aware of the changing business landscape that sites such as Yelp have ushered in, and be prepared to establish themselves as a partner for their clients to help ensure they do not fall victim to bad Yelp! reviews.
As Americans continue to perform more of our routine functions online, from shopping to bill paying to even basic communicating, the impact of customer review sites, such as Yelp!, cannot be ignored. At the conclusion of the third quarter of 2016, Yelp! estimated they received over twenty five million unique visitors to their mobile app alone. By the end of last year’s third quarter, Yelp! also estimated that they have accumulated over 115 million written reviews of businesses. The impact of Yelp! reviews will only increase in the coming years and business owners can ignore their impact at their own peril.
Rubber floors are not new by an stretch of the imagination. However, the usage of rubber as a flooring material is growing in popularity and the types of environments in which you will find rubber flooring is expanding. More and more operators of different types of facilities are realizing the many benefits that can be found with rubber flooring.
First and foremost, we all know that rubber is an extremely durable material. One of the most common places to find rubber flooring for many years has been in gyms and health clubs. No other flooring material is relied upon more in an atmosphere that continually takes the beating of heavy weights, usually in excess of 100 pounds, being let go and crashing to the floor.
In June of 2016, National Chemical Laboratories unveiled a redesigned nclonline.com. Since the launch of the redesigned website, the response has been overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. The new look and interactive features have all received positive accolades.
However, no feature has received as much positive feedback as our PRODUCT SELECTOR TOOL. It is our hope that this feature on our website will become a useful resource for Jan-San distributors, purchasing departments, maintenance staff leaders, and end users. Our extensive catalog of 270 World Class Cleaning Solutions covers many different sectors and product categories.
Our goal in the sixty plus years of producing World Class Cleaning Solutions is for complete customer satisfaction. The best route to ensuring complete satisfaction is do whatever we can to assist others in selecting the appropriate product for their exact situation.
Everyone, at one time or another, has found themselves in this exact or in a similar situation. The clock is ticking and you need information on a product – fast. You go to the manufacturer’s website and your production comes to a screeching halt. Navigating their website makes you feel like a laboratory mouse in a maze. Your frustration builds, your patience thins, your focus decreases, and your productivity diminishes.
At nclonline.com, as you have already seen, we have recently introduced a total redesign of our website. Aside from the crisper, more modern layout, we have designed our site to provide you with more information in an easier to navigate format. This runs contrary to the strategy employed by others in and out of our industry.
When frustration mounts when trying to navigate a difficult webpage, many wonder (either internally or aloud), “Why is this page designed like this? Why can’t I find the information I need without jumping through hoops and going around in circles?”
Green cleaning is more than just using green chemicals. Green cleaning encompasses tools, process, and chemicals to achieve a total healthy green cleaning program for a school or facility. A healthy green cleaning program that combines all three will reduce the impact on the facility, the occupants, the environment, and the custodial staff. As you can see, green cleaning goes beyond just the discussion of chemicals, to include these other areas to be complete.
So where could someone look to learn more and put a program together? There are a few major organizations that you could look into when putting a program together, such as the US Green Building Counsel (USGBC), LEED, GREEN SEAL, EPA’s Safer Choice (formerly the Design for the Environment program), and OSHA (ergonomics). These are all great places to learn more and help create a guide that will help your crew to clean healthy and green in your facility. There is a lot of research out there on this topic and most manufacturers will be happy to talk with you about their section of this large area. But a program that contains a holistic approach to healthy green cleaning is rare.
With advancements in technology, many floor technicians have been thrown for a loop of late. Going into facilities now requires a floor tech to include investigator and detective into their job description. The flooring surface under their feet may not be the material that it initially appears to be. Wood grain does not mean you are standing on a wood floor. Do you see rich veining in what appears to be a stone floor in the room you are about to enter? It must be marble, right? Not so fast. Those floors which carry the aesthetic characteristics as hard wood or marble may very well be vinyl. Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) to be exact.
Advancements in technology and pressure to reduce maintenance costs have spurred the growth of LVT in recent years. The combination of new, cutting edge technology, economic value, and impressive initial visual appearance ensure that this type of flooring is more than a passing fad. LVT is here to stay and is likely to grow in popularity. As a floor technician you
Price versus cost.
Many would think this is the same.
But the reality is they are not even close. The price is what you pay for a given item when you purchase from your vendor. The cost is based on how long it will last (dilution or longevity of item) and how effective it will work to make the job better, faster, or easier. Just because a gallon of floor stripper is five dollars less in price does not mean it is a good buy. What if the higher priced floor stripper has a dilution ratio four times higher (1: 4 vs 1:16) and works better at removing the finish quicker, better, and easier? Granted, you would spend less cash up front when you purchase the product but you will wind up purchasing more product to do the same amount of square feet and spend much more on labor because the product is not effective.
Effective June 1st of this year, The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) system went into full effect. For many, GHS is something totally brand new, but the roots of this new system are anything but new.
The groundwork for GHS was first laid out in 1992 by the United Nations. With the rate of international trade of chemicals between different countries and continents on the rise, with no sign of reversing course, the need arose for a universally based system to warn end users of possible dangers contained in their chemical products. There are many similarities between some of the regulations, pictograms, and definitions and those found in Department of Transportation regulations and other OSHA regulations. Other countries have found similarities as well, but what GHS has done is eliminate any of the possible discrepancies that would occur when a particular chemical product was shipped from one country to another, and the label was foreign to the end user, causing confusion.