June 2018
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Ebola Virus – Cleaning and Decontamination Procedures

This just a short blog post about something that I think is VERY IMPORTANT at the moment and that is Decontamination Training for the EBOLA virus.


The Guys over at LINK LEARNING have put together this great cleaning training video on



Ebola Virus
Cleaning and Decontamination Procedures


So click on the link below to gain some much needed cleaning training for your staff!!!!!





Ebola Virus – Cleaning and Decontamination Procedures.

What Are Work Method Statements and how do they help with Cleaning Training!

Work Method Statements (WMSs) what are they, why do we need them and Safety at workhow are they going to make my cleaners/janitor/custodians safer. When conducting cleaning training for our cleaners one of the most important elements of the training should be Work Method Statements. So what are Work Method Statements and why do we need them?

The primary purpose of a Work Method Statement is to enable supervisors, workers and any other persons at the workplace to understand the requirements that have been established to carry out any cleaning task in a safe and healthy manner. It sets out the work activities in logical sequences and identifies hazards and describes control measures.

What Are They?

Basically a Work Method Statement (WMS) is a written guideline of how to do a job in a safe manner.

A completed Work Method Statement provides information concerning safety precautions and procedures. Any activity, no matter how simple or complex can be broken down into a series of basic steps that will permit a systematic analysis of each part of the activity for hazards and potential incidents. It should not be too detailed and should recognise a certain level of expertise and skill of its audience. It should not, however, assume knowledge of the safety precautions required.

So How Is a WMS Developed?

Usually the cleaning company will develop a list of activities that their workers are going to perform as part of their job and every task requires a Work Method Statement. What is becoming a more regular these days is that they will hire a specialised safety consultant to develop a Work Method Statement list as part of their Safety Management System. This list will be prioritized according to the severity of the risks. Starting with the tasks that involve the most potential for risk and ending with the tasks with the least risk.

A Risk Assessment of each task using a Risk Assessment Form will assist with prioritising what risk the task performed has to the cleaners.

A Work Method Statement Register will identify the Work Method Statement, its date of origin, its identification number, and the date for review.

Where a Work Method Statement does not exist a Work Method Statement Pro-forma can be completed and a new Work Method Statement will be developed from the series of steps to perform the task.

The description of the process should not be so broad that it leaves out activities with the potential to cause incidents and prevents proper identification of the hazards nor is it necessary to go into fine detail of the tasks.

The aim of a WMS is to:

  • describe the activity or task to be undertaken
  • identify the resources, manpower and skills associated with the task
  • assess and select control measures (as appropriate)
  • Systematically plan the activity so it can be completed efficiently, effectively and safely.


Work method Statements work effectively in providing cleaning training to new workers because they show in basic form the steps required to perform their job one task at a time. Work Method Statements also help with facilitating retraining or refresher training of your existing Janitors, these short descriptive task outlines can be quickly delivered to cleaning crews on site when your supervisors start the shift. Toolbox talks or Safety moments as we call them are great ways to deliver training to cleaners before, during and after their shift on how to perform a task. They can be printed out straight from the Safety Handbook and given to each of the cleaners in a group and the supervisor can give a short talk on the task, how to perform the task, and more importantly how to perform the task safely.


Copies should be distributed to all operations Supervisors and employees. Copies should be filed at each workplace and should be given to new employees undertaking the job covered by the Work Method Statement.

The Work Method Statement must be able to be easily read by those who need to know what has been planned to manage the risks and implement the control measures and ensure the work is being carried out in accordance with the Work Method Statement.

Relevant persons include:

  • the supervisor of the cleaning crew
  • the worker carrying out the task
  • The cleaning company and all the relevant stakeholders.

Manual with goggles and earphones on wooden background

What Kind of Policies Surround the governing of developing WMS’s.

A  Work Method Statement will govern all jobs performed by the cleaning company that have been assessed as posing a risk to an employee. The Work Method Statement will reflect the “best current practice” for carrying out the job. All employees will undertake their work in accordance with the Work Method Statement for the task. The Cleaning Company during their induction or orientation process should adopt a policy that all employees MUST perform their jobs safely and correctly adopting the procedures in accordance with the Work Method Statement. Another policy that can be implemented is a sign off sheet that the employee signs after they have received training, this ensures that the employee is acknowledging that they have been trained and gives the employees ownership of their own training. When a work place accident occurs then the sign off sheet becomes a valuable piece of information as you now have proof of training.

When Are They Revised?

The Work Method Statement will be revised after accidents and near misses occur to identify any possible improvements to the existing procedure. Revision will occur after any modification or alteration to operation or equipment. This continuous improvement ensures that the best techniques are being developed on a regular basis and improvements in productivity become a welcome by-product of this method of training. Technology is changing the way cleaning is being conducted in a way that we have not seen in the last 25 years and with it comes new ways to perform tasks. Work Method statements should be regularly updated to take into consideration these technology advancements.

Using Gas Burnisher

Gas BurnisherThis 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 the burnisher 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.Gas Burnisher


  • 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.


Safety Training with Chemicals!

ChemicalsEvery cleaning company owner understands the importance of choosing the correct chemicals for the particular building that is to be cleaned. But when choosing the chemicals for the particular building that we are going to be cleaning we  have to consider the health and well-being of our workers as well as the building occupants. Cleaning chemicals  are generally less toxic and harmful than they to be but this is not to say that they are still not harmful. I remember the days when we used to clean the toilets with almost pure chlorine. We used to think that the smell of bleach or chlorine would alert our customers to the fact that their toilets  were squeaky clean. Little did we know that after we left each night our customers staff and their clients were getting skin irritations and could hardly see due to the blinding fumes that we had left behind.

Back in those days most of our training was working with another experienced cleaning tech who would show us what to do. Dip our rags into a bucket of bleach and water and wash down the bowls and sinks with no PPE or respirators to be seen.

Chemical safety is much more than how it directly affects our front-line workers and our customers but also how we store them how we apply them to the surface we are cleaning how we mix them with water to the correct ratios all of these factors are now commonplace when training new cleaning staff.

Chemicals need to be stored correctly and proper training given to staff. Just placing chemicals within the cleaning room without proper arrangement is no longer acceptable. Chemicals have the potential to leak, create fumes and be a potential fire hazard.

Cleaning companies need to be diligent in their approach about training and enforcing the correct use, storage and mixing of chemicals this can be the difference between a law suit or a large workers compensation insurance claim.

Training, retraining and training again needs to become an integral part of building service contractors orientation or induction into their businesses for all new workers and enforcement through inspections to ensure not only the safety of our staff but also our clients their staff and strict standards need to be adhered to at all times.

From the first contact with a new worker BSC’s need to be actively promoting the safety message and educating their staff about the correct usage of chemicals and  personal protective equipment (PPE).

It is simply not enough anymore to show a new worker a cleaning room without going through proper training and explanation of what potential hazards are within their workplace including the chemicals they are to be working with. Cleaning staff need to have good written, reading and oral communications skills to effectively do their job properly in this day and age. The reading of MSDS’s and chemical labels to determine what can be harmful or hazardous to their health and the health of others need to be properly understood therefore an effective and efficient training program is essential along with a tests  and quizzes  to properly identify that the staff member understands and comprehends  all aspects of chemical use.

MSDSMaterial Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) describe the following for all chemicals

  • The identity of the chemical
  • Chemical and physical properties
  • Health and environmental hazard  information
  • Uses
  • Precautions to use
  • Safe handling procedures
  • Safe disposal procedures

MSDS’s should be the

  • Readily accessible by workers
  • Recorded on a central register with a copy of each MSDS
  • A copy of that document be kept close as possible to where the chemical will be used
  • Clearly written in plain language and understandable
  • Updated and current

An efficient training program can identify gaps within the new staff members education and/or ability to understand written comprehension this also helps the building service contractor to offer new benefits to the staff member by the way of helping them achieve more job skills.

Safety handbooks with a well thought out safe operating procedure( SOP) for every task to be carried out by the cleaning technician is a must for every janitors closet.

This serves as a reference and the guide for every staff member and it should detail every aspect they might encounter with any of their tasks, it should explain in detail and in step-by-step how to do a particular task and any potential hazards that they might encounter.

The safety handbooks should be included in every site that the company services. It also is a good reference for the clients if the unthinkable  should happen and a chemical incident occurs whilst the cleaning technicians are not on-site. It will serve as a reference point to satisfy if correct procedures were followed and/or if any first aid needs to be carried out some of the procedure’s for this also.

Correct chemical labelling is essential for chemical safety as it ensures that the chemicals are being used correctly and for their intended purpose. This is important as it guarantees that we are choosing the correct product for the correct surface to achieve the correct result without any damage to that particular surface. It also guarantees that we as cleaners are not endangering or harming the building occupants by leaving chemical residue behind that shouldn’t be used or be harmful to the building occupants. Labels for  the diluted bottles should be imprinted in the manufacturing process there by eliminating the bottle not being correctly labelled.

The old stick on labels fall off and get damaged in time when spills and drips from the bottle rundown onto the chemical label itself.  Printed labels within the plastic of the bottle are the best way to ensure that the diluted bottles are always correctly labelled. Most manufacturers these days are moving towards this practice.

Chemical labelling is also helps the building occupants in identifying which chemicals are being used in their building if they should ever need to know. Training employees in the correct use of chemicals and procedures for  handling chemicals should be the very first training program adopted by the BSC’s.

Hazardous chemicals have the potential to cause serious injuries. Spills can lead to serious bodily injuries and even explosions were coming into contact with an ignition source. People working with hazardous chemicals must be trained in their use.  Spills  must be cleaned immediately. Splashes on the body must be rinsed immediately especially  if it is in the eye area. Care must be taken to prevent injury from contact with spill substances during the clean-up process.

Hazardous chemical training includes:

  • Risk management-assess, control, and monitor hazardous chemical use
  • MSDS-what are they, their location and information they provide
  • Label information- learning how to read labels
  • Decanting- the proper procedures for decanting and diluting chemicals
  • Storage of chemicals-the correct procedure to store chemicals
  • Personal protective equipment-how to fit use and store PPE
  • Forms and record-keeping-how to correctly read and fill out forms
  • Emergency procedures-how to clean up the spill, incident reporting
  • Safe disposal of hazardous chemicals

A Chemical register should be completed with which chemicals are generally used on the particular site. If new chemicals are to be introduced they must also be added to the chemical register.

If a new chemical is required for use the following procedures should be undertaken:

  • An MSDS for the chemical should be obtained from the supplier or manufacturer
  • A complete risk assessment should be completed outlining the potential hazards for the new chemical
  • A “Trial of a new chemical” form should be completed and handed to all employees

The Trial of a New Chemical Form should ask the following questions to determine if the implementation of the chemical proceed:

  • Who will use the chemical
  • How will the chemical be applied
  • How often will it be used
  • What personal protective equipment is required for its use
  • Do we need protective eyewear
  • Do we need protective gloves
  • Do we need respiratory protection
  • Do we need other protective clothing
  • Will employees require specific training and supervision
  • A safe work Method statement and safe operating procedure will need to be designed and implemented

As you can see there are many elements to effective chemical safety training. There are countless ways to perform this cleaning training but one of the most efficient ways is to use a specialist online training provider. Research has shown that effective retention rates have been achieved when learners have the ability to learn at their own pace in comfortable surroundings. Online cleaning training is a new and exciting way to deliver chemical safety training. As part of a series of posts I will be highlighting other forms of training that all building service contractors should be implementing as part of their induction process and orientation into their own company.

How to Be a Janitor


Janitor is a common name which majority of common person believed that it is the person that usually comes and open door every morning for the student to come in. A janitor responsibilities and his purpose is more than that. Aside opening the door for the students and workers, he is the one that helps to pack all trash even though they have some other duties assigned to them. A janitor is also responsible for the furnaces operation maintenance, the air conditioning and boilers systems.

Some other duties janitor does are to carry out maintenance of the commercial properties cleanliness in places such as office, publics and buildings facilities. Good janitor receives good salary. According to US Bureau of Labor Statistics as at 2010, a janitor salary was about $23,000. The janitor salary is calculated on hourly basis. Before janitor could be employed in the in the educational or governmental sector, his drug and criminal background will be required. There is no special skill and intellect required in janitor’s employment and for this reason, salary cannot be calculated based on this because what matters most if how efficient and effect such janitor is in his work.

Requirements for Janitors Job

There are some essential things you need to put in place before you could be employed as janitor. Some employers want graduate with at least high school grade as their janitor. Some of these janitors do have equipment repair jobs and basic mechanical knowledge which they got form their vocational colleges or high school. If you are entering as a janitor managerial, it is very important that you have some college coursework which is basically on management.

Job Description

  • Janitor’s responsibilities include:
  • Availability to work in the all shifts including weekends.
  • Janitors carry out majority of the outdoors and indoors work including cycling and trash.
  • Janitor clean floors, desks, counters and tables must. If it is a smaller surface, use rag and spray cleaner but the large area requires more than that. However, carpeted area requires vacuuming. In case there is stain, carpet cleaning machine is the best choice.
  •  If it is bathroom cleaning, much detail are required for the maintenance of the clean bathroom so as to ensure that the toilers, mirrors, floors, sinks, dispensers and some other things are perfectly cleaned. Refilling of toilet dispensers, soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers and seat cover dispensers, air fresheners.

Types of Janitors

There are various types of janitors and can be categorized based on the department they will maintain and keep. Such include:

  1. Building Superintendent: His major work includes the following:
    • cleaning of the common use areas
    • removal of trash
    • repair of minor electrical works
    • plumbing repair
    • minor heating ventilation repair
    • air conditioning repair
    • painting
    • carpentry
    • showing vacancies to the potential tenants.
  2.  Office Janitor: His duties include:
    • helping in emptying wastebaskets
    • dusting work areas
    • vacuuming carpets
    • mopping floors
    • sanitizing
    • restocking bathroom
    • cleaning of the kitchen areas.
  3. Custodian: He helps to maintain institution facilities such as hospital or school.

 photo credit: Daquella manera via photopin cc

Retraining Older Workers for the Housekeeping

older-couple-on-the-beach---110713-lgMany senior citizens deemed it necessary that they need to work until there is no strength in them to work again. Due to the increase in the cost of the living on daily basis, old people still want to retain themselves in the working sector. Aside the increase in the daily expenses, the zeal that has been created in them for daily work cannot be quenched once all in the name of retrench of sack. Staying longer in the work like housekeeping and cleaning job will increase the lifespan of the old people more so that they are not sitting in one place. There are some post retirement jobs that can be retained for the older people to supplement the income of the older people and offer social outlet. The jobs that need little training such as housekeeping or cleaning jobs are very good for the older people that are just looking for the precious time to fill or add to their fixed income.

Housekeeping is one of the best job that can is retaining for the older workers. This is a situation whereby a company or an environment is kept clean on daily basis. Housekeeping job include floor mopping and putting away all cables and equipment after used.

Housekeeping responsibilities include; safety clothing, mechanical machines and computer systems must be kept clean otherwise, their performance will be affected.  All the above stated responsibilities require training. Therefore, housekeeping training is a quick process that allows you to start making money within the shortest time. For you to begin housekeeping training, it is very important to register in a home economics class. This will be an added advantage for those that are still in high school because the class will make you know more about the career challenges as a housekeeper and some of the solutions to the problems you can come across.

Attend hospitality management course. This will last you for few weeks to a year. You can also dig deep about the types of problems facing the housekeepers and giving you with the practical skills for your daily job. Also you can seek advice on your housekeeping training.

You can also become housekeeping aide. The job responsibilities of housekeeping aide are to ensure that windows and rooms are kept clean. The older workers do not have to go through series of stresses before they could feed themselves. All what they need is the type of work they will do in order to have daily exercise and maintain their daily routine just as if they are still in the working sector.

Through the housekeeping training, they will undergo varieties of housekeeping courses that will enhance their mentality and their daily living. Aside, their mental alertness will be very sharp and they will derive much pleasure in it. Housekeeping aide will offer good housekeeping services and thoroughly inspects and cleans the assigned areas. Also, she will follow all the safety cleaning and service instruction outlined to her in the housekeeping training manual.

The Benefits of Training to Cleaning Industry

imagesToday, commercial cleaning industry is a competitive business. This is because of the continued growth of the need for residential cleaning services, professional cleaning services, building cleaning services and many other cleaning jobs. Just like any other type of industries, commercial cleaning industries need to work with their best performance every time. This is for the industry to stay alive in the competition.

Some of the job titles in the cleaning industry are custodian, janitor, and day porter. There are also cleaning industries that accept housekeeping jobs.  Most of the employees in the cleaning industries are low skilled because of the lack of tertiary based courses for this type of job. That’s why most of the cleaning industries offer an on-the-job training for the new employees. There are also some industries that are sending their employees or staff for special trainings conducted by training agencies. However, there are also industries who have not realized the importance of training for their staff in cleaning staff recruitment agencies.

What are the benefits that a cleaning industry could get from training?

  • Training reduces damage of client’s properties and increase customer satisfaction. It also helps in promoting personnel safety especially when using cleaning chemicals.
  • Training helps the staff realize the priorities of the industry.
  • Training improves the staff’s professionalism. An on-the-job training may not be always enough to enlighten the employees about professionalism and house cleaning in Melbourne. If they are given a chance to attend a training participated by other people and conducted by professional trainers, it will help them understand deeper the essence of professionalism.
  • Training provides opportunities for the participants to learn new things. For example, training can teach a janitor about the new delicate surfaces in homes that are showing up today.
  • Training helps the cleaning industry teach their personnel about using different cleaning chemicals.
  • Training can help the industry reduce the costs of chemicals, assure the safety of the employees and improve the professional house cleaning quality.
  • If the staff is well knowledgeable about his job, he can be more than just a laborer but a consultant to his clients.
  • Training helps in boosting the morale of the staff. If the industry is helping the staff to improve their skills, they will be more motivated to work at their best.
  • Through trainings, the cleaning industry can keep pace with the changes in the business. Training can provide new developments, procedure or techniques as well as regulation. These developments are important in order for the industry to stay competent or in compliance.
  • Training reinforces best performance from employees through sharing good habits.
  • Training boosts morale, raising efficiency and maintains the highest standard of house cleaning jobs.

The management of a cleaning industry must bear in mind that the company will benefit from whatever improvement in the skills of the employees. It is important for an industry to upgrade its resources and one of its important resources is the man power via a labouring agency. The people must be upgraded too! Training will definitely pay off.

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Training, Recruitment, Labour Hire for the Cleaning Industry