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What can you do to fight the flu at work?

Posted by Linda Chambers on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 @ 10:32 AM

As consumer service providers cleaning contractors need to take extra steps in this high flu and cold season to protect themselves, their staff and their customers.

First if you or your staff are sick, I know it can be a big burden to your labor force but have them stay at home. Working, stressing their immune system, and spreading germs benefits no one.

Next have staff wash their hands even more than usual and if they can not get to a sink with warm soap and water put hand sanitizer or personal sanitizing wipes in each truck or rig. Have staff wipe off their cell phones at least once a day and especially if anyone else uses that phone. There are wipes safe to use on electronics. And even automatic cell phone sanitize machines you can buy. Some do both sanitize and charge!

wiping-cellphone.jpgWireless-wipes.jpg cellphone-sanitizer.jpg    sanitize-cellphone-charger.jpg

Next you have no idea what germs are running around at your customers either. If you have to go inside their home or business like carpet cleaners and kitchen hood cleaners, use hand sanitizer before and after and wipe down as many surfaces that you will have to touch as possible.

If you are an auto detailer and are cleaning a vehicle use disinfectant/sanitizing wipes after the normal cleaner to kill any lingering germs. Think of all the germs that live on a dash after a driver has sneezed while driving! man-driving-car-sneezing.jpg

Pay extra close attention to the steering wheel, dash, knobs and control buttons. Be sure the wipes you use will not harm the finishes you are cleaning like these  from this company,

Even if you only work outside of a customers home wipe down your own environment, like the inside of your truck once a day. Clean your hands after visits to convenience stores, restaurants or any public place and use a wipe to pick up and hold a gas handle while pumping gas.

If you have an office or work out of your home clean off phones, desk tops, key boards, anything you have touched or breathed on or into.  It may take a number of days or up to a week before you start to show symptoms and that is when the most damage is done before you know you are sick.

This is a good time to take extra vitamins, like C and B. Products like Airborne, one that I live by during flu season. If you start to feel run down, get extra sleep, eat foods with immune boosting properties; spinach, broccoli, sweet potato, ginger, garlic, yogurt and even foods like your mother's favorite chicken soup!

Also be sure to drink plenty of water to help flush out your body or green tea. Daily light exercise (not to exhaustion) also gives a boost to your bodies natural defenses.

This may sound like overkill but the flu does kill too. Hope all of you stay well this cold and flu season.

Tags: Health

Cold weather tips for mobile contractors.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Thu, Jan 07, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

cold_weather.jpg is finally here for most of you and with that special things you need to take care of now and be reminded of before you have a problem.

For those that do not work in the colder weather all equipment and supplies need to be winterized. Washers filled with a RV antifreeze solution. Winterize_with_antifreeze.jpgHoses should also be air dried out and not allowed to freeze where the cold may damage the hose material. The contraction and expansion of freezing and thawing will cause many hoses to get micro cracks which will shorten the life of the hose and possible cause serious safety issues for personnel and equipment later on. You can also apply lubricants or coatings to hoses that you are using out in the cold, to keep their materials supple, to reduce cracking.

For those that will still be working in this cold weather make sure your equipment is is top shape, that you have changed the oils over to cold weather strengths, that you allow your machines to warm up longer and properly before putting a load on them. That your other fluids are at full levels or when possible with small amounts of antifreeze to reduce the chance of freezing. Tires will loose pressure due to the cold temps so be sure to check levels often. Check battery charges often as cold drains them faster. At 32 degrees a fully charged battery only has a 65% cranking capacity while an engines starting requirement can increase from 100 up to 155%. 

Keep liquid chemicals from freezing by keeping them in insulated enclosed boxes or behind wind breaks. Containers should be kept full as possible, as larger volumes of liquids take longer to freeze. You might even consider placing a large cooler on your rig to keep chemicals in, as a cooler will keep cold out and a steady inside temp as well as it does to keep cold in when used as a normal cooler.

And there are other safety issues to consider. Controlling water run off while washing which may freeze causing slip and fall situations. You may need to stock up and carry, signage, litter or ice melt to spread out on walk ways and work areas. Carrying anti slip tire tracks and a small shovel to get a vehicle and trailer out of snow, ice or mud from snow melt if needed.ice_melt_treatment.jpgshoe_tread_covers.jpg

You need to make sure your employees know how to dress and stay dry while working in the cold so not to get hypothermia or frostbite.They need to wear hats, 10-50% of body temp can be lost from the head, waterproof gloves, warm wool socks (not cotton), and waterproof foot wear with non slip treads or added cleats or tread covers. Under garments with moisture wicking action will keep sweat wet away from their skin. Small hand and foot warmers will make it more comfortable to work out in the cold. Wearing a neck gator or scarf placed over your mouth will keep the cold air out of your lungs.

Do not let the colder weather stop you and your workers from drinking and staying hydrated. People tend to not drink as much in the cold which is a mistake when you are still exerting your self even if you can not feel the sweat. Drinking sips of warm drinks will help keep your core temp up but refrain from caffeine usually found in coffee and tea by drinking decaff as caffeine increases blood flow which will cause the body to loose heat faster.

Also stopping to eat small high calorie items like power bars as a snack, even just a few bites at a time, will keep your core temp up as your body will send blood to your stomach to digest it. Working at an even pace will keep you warm where moving too fast will cause you to sweat and burn calories needed to keep you warm that can bring on hypothermia or cause stress to your circulatory system which may bring on a stroke or heart attack.hypothermia.jpg

Remember to be aware of wind chill as it can damage any exposed skin well before you realize it. Know the signs and stages of hypothermia and frost bite. Have employees keep extra socks and 

Try and take frequent rests periods out of the wind and cold to allow your body to warm up but resist the urge to make the rest area hot. Moving from very cold to very hot locations will make you feel colder when you go back out and if the heat has caused you to sweat on your skin the evaporation will cool you down even more rapidly. Be careful if you are using an enclosed rig that it is properly ventilated so not to have dangerous fumes from building up including CO2 and carbon monoxide that you can not smell.

I hope these tips help keep you and your employees warm and safe during the winter cleaning season.


Tags: safety, Tips, Health, chemicals

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