Cleaning Best Practices
Cleaning Best Practices
The best way to get great results is to ensure ALL aspects of a cleaning project are addressed in total. There is no magic to this. Here we present as far as we are able, all the best management and staffing processes we have seen.
What do we mean by ‘best practices’ and ‘great results’?
We see this as companies who obtain contracts, their level of service to their clients is such that they are able to retain those contracts and they are profitable. Profit comes from retaining the contract (of course) but it is heavily impacted by non perfomance at every level. If slip and trip injury is regular then litigation and payouts along with sky rocketing insurance costs will be crippling.
Caveat. We are not cleaning contractors. We can only observe and comment from our perspective, discuss and assist where we can. Here we present information based on those activities.
A Comprehensive Approach
The whole business approach is like most things in real life. Missing one or more aspects results in a flawed process that will not meet expectations and will increase risk.
Here is a summary of the processes we have seen in practice:
- Management awareness and diligence. We see this as the single most important aspect.
- Center management is included in the process.
- Identification of special risk areas. All aspects of the site are taken into account.
- A training manual for staff.
- Special issues information sheets used to detail issues as they arise. Example: spills pickups, extended cleaning, anything causing delays.
- Management monitors staff performance and identifies then follows up on problem areas.
A Classic Example
We did a shopping center site audit in May 2019 at the request of a cleaning contractor. The site was not overly large, catering to the needs of a reasonably sized rural community. We found it to be reasonably busy during the week day morning we were on site. We were assured that at peak times it can become very busy.
We found every aspect of this site addressed risk and targeted excellence in performance. In 20 years there had been only 3 slip and trip injuries and it was easy to understand why this number was low.
Addressing risk through superior performance was their prime concern. This happened as follows:
Their mission statement was achieved. Staff cared. Management monitored and were supportive and focused. We saw their motivation and their diligence in work. There was a pride to their performance. We saw 2 spills identified, a staff member straddled then other staff members did the cleanup.
Center Management are on-board with risk assessment and reduction. They care and support the contractor. This was evidenced by their use of mats in a high risk external area.
The staff training manual spells out requirements and all staff are conversant with it.
Rotations through the center were scheduled. Staff know how long it takes to patrol the site. In the event of other tasks getting in the way, a rotation through the center takes precedence and hence ensures reduced risk for patrons.
Non compliance by staff is constantly monitored, identified and corrective action taken. This was done with the Location Attendance Advanced report.
Cleaning staff carry a special cleaning notes sheet that detail events that take place. Example, spills pickup or extended CMO cleaning.
Every fire box has ‘wet floor’ signs and any rain causes extra diligence and signage.
Reports are emailed and checked. We showed them how to set this up. The Location Attendance report in particular is checked for gaps and hence increased times of risk. Management showed diligence.
External to a main entrance with smooth tiles and where rain could impact the surface, it was carpeted with non-slip mats. This targets a high risk area. The whole area is also marked with high visibility tape in the event of rain to make patrons aware of potential risk.
The whole center floor is cleaned and polished with a reputable brand of polish. A simple ‘shuffle test’ showed to it to not be excessively slippery. We have seen some floors that were death-traps by comparison. Late in the day, it was clean and shiny.
A choke point in the food court was identified. This is where chips and similar are dropped because of congestion is top-of-mind to food court cleaners. This showed that management was very site-aweare and took the attitude that high risk areas required extra attention.
We pointed out where a tenancy impinged on the common area of the center and may increase risk. A substantial claim had been made under similar circumstances in another state of Australia some years prior. Management was absolutely on top of the issue. A simple check showed it to be well maintained.
Observation over a few hours, plus a simple sit and monitor showed staff patrolling the center. This simplistic observation is often overlooked and under-appreciated.