January 2013 Issue
December 20, 2012

Should your building be cleaner?

Author: Wendy Hord
Source: NYSUT United

Winter seems to bring increased sinus infections, illness and decreased indoor air quality. You can drink more water and use saline sprays or rinses to help keep mucus membranes healthy, but what about getting rid of the allergy-causing dust and enhancing cleaning to prevent the spread of infections?

Talking to the workers who take care of the buildings can result in improved conditions.

Consider this: School A is 88,000 square feet. The average size of a nearby home is 2,000 square feet. The school is like cleaning 44 homes every day, with more visitors and activity than your house. Four full-time custodians and one part-timer care for the building.

Each custodian is covering nine homes a day. Challenging? You bet. No wonder some things don't get done.

Staff can help make their areas "ready to clean" by clearing clutter off surfaces. Ask how else you can help. For chores that are not performed daily, talk to custodians to see how some things can get done on a scheduled basis. Everyone must work together to improve housekeeping and health.

— Wendy Hord, NYSUT Health & Safety specialist