Government facilities are not just bureaucratic structures; they are the lifeblood of public administration, serving as hubs for decision-making, citizen services, and civic engagement. As such, the importance of keeping these spaces in good condition cannot be overstated.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that over 2 million Americans are affected by healthcare-associated infections annually, serving as a reminder of how important it is to have stringent cleaning protocols in all public spaces, including government establishments.
Government facilities are responsible for upholding the health, safety, and operational efficiency of their employees, visitors, and the communities they serve. One way they can actively maintain these standards is by using commercial cleaning services. In this article, we will explore best practices and provide expert insights for maintaining government facilities. Read on!
What to Know About Government Facilities and Their Cleaning Practices
Overview of Cleaning Government Facilities
Government facilities include public centers, administrative buildings, courthouses, and offices that ensure the smooth running of a town, city, state, or nation.
According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the $25 trillion economy largely depends on the infrastructure that keeps it operational. Government facilities make up a crucial part of a nation’s infrastructure, as infrastructure encompasses public utilities, educational institutions, transportation, etc.
Many of these facilities represent the government and must maintain a high level of hygiene. They also need clean spaces to effectively carry out their administrative activities and deliver promptly on their services.
Guidelines for Cleaning Practices
Some of the guidelines that government facilities can use to keep their premises clean include:
- Establish Cleaning Protocols: Have a well-thought-out plan covering the extent of cleaning, frequency, and cleaning responsibilities in the government facility. It would also be wise to cover daily, weekly, or monthly cleaning activities so you do not neglect any tasks.
- Use Quality Cleaning Products: Use eco-friendly cleaning products that will not negatively impact the environment. Be intentional in using products that meet the industry standards for safety.
- Pay Attention to High-Traffic Areas: Pay extra attention when cleaning high-traffic areas like lobbies, waiting rooms, reception areas, etc. Regularly disinfect door knobs, elevator keys, handrails, and other common touchpoints.
- Dispose of Waste Properly: If you dispose of your waste improperly, all your cleaning efforts will be futile as all the germs you have disposed of will find their way back into your building. Ensure you use bin bags and trash cans with lids. Also, take all your trash to suitable collection points.
- Be Flexible and Adaptable: Let your cleaning be structured to cater to emergencies or specific needs. Also, keep learning about the changes in industry standards and adapt accordingly.
- Prioritize Training: Train your cleaning staff on the correct use of cleaning tools, proper cleaning techniques, and safety protocols. Doing this will increase their efficiency in cleaning your space.
Safety Measures to Consider When Cleaning
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a list of standards and procedures that employers must adhere to, especially when handling cleaning chemicals.
When executing government cleaning contracts, the focus isn’t just to keep the area clean. The safety of the cleaners and the occupants of the building must also be considered. Below are some safety measures to consider when cleaning a government facility:
- Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Ensure that your cleaning service providers use protective equipment like safety goggles, masks, gloves, and protective clothing to reduce exposure to pathogens and harmful chemicals.
- Proper Use of Equipment: A slight mistake while using cleaning equipment can cause accidents and damage the facility. So, work with a cleaning team that knows the proper use of equipment for different cleaning jobs.
- Electrical Safety: Ensure you store or put all appliances away to avoid electrocution or explosions. You can also use ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) for increased safety.
- Prevent Slips and Falls: When mopping floors, use ‘wet floor’ signs to alert people that such areas were recently cleaned so they do not slip and fall. Also, clean up any spills to reduce wet marks.
- Ensure Proper Ventilation: To avoid the buildup of dust and fumes, ensure the area you are cleaning is appropriately ventilated. You may have to open the windows or use fans where necessary.
- Proper Use of Chemicals: Provide your cleaners with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to keep records of every cleaning product available. Also, ensure you properly handle, store, and dispose of cleaning chemicals.
- Reduce Strain While Working: Some heavy cleaning tools are difficult to operate and adjust. Provide adjustable tools to prevent strain or injury and encourage good posture while in use.
Types of Equipment & Materials Needed
To be effective with your cleaning, you need the right cleaning tools and materials. Remember, this list is not exhaustive, and some tools are unique to the nature of the government facility and the type of cleaning you need.
Here's a list of essential items needed to maintain cleanliness in government buildings:
- Cleaning Agents and Disinfectants: For proper cleaning and disinfection of surfaces, you need all-purpose cleaners, disinfectants, glass and window cleaners, floor cleaners, restroom cleaners, etc.
- Cleaning Tools: You’ll also need cleaning tools, brooms and dustpans, mops and mop buckets, vacuum cleaners with appropriate attachments, floor scrubbers or polishers, window cleaning equipment (squeegees, extension poles), and carpet cleaning machines.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): You’ll need protective gear like gloves (latex or nitrile), safety goggles or face shields, masks or respirators, protective clothing (e.g., overalls), shoe covers, boots, etc.
- Cleaning Cloths and Sponges: For easy cleaning and scrubbing, you’ll need microfiber cleaning cloths, disposable cleaning wipes, sponges and scrubbers, and dusting cloths or dusters.
- Trash and Recycling Supplies: To correctly dispose of your waste, you should have trash cans and recycling bins, liners or garbage bags, recycling labels, and signage.
- Safety Equipment: To prevent cleaning accidents, you need a first-aid kit, fire extinguishers, wet floor signs, and safety cones or barriers.
- Maintenance and Repair Tools: To keep your machines in good condition, you need tools for equipment maintenance (e.g., screwdrivers, spanners, clamps), replacement parts for cleaning machines, light bulbs, batteries, and fuses for facility upkeep.
Tips for Scheduling Cleaning Sessions
Efficient scheduling of cleaning sessions in government facilities will help to maintain cleanliness and minimize disruptions to your daily operations. Here are some valuable tips to bear in mind when working with government cleaning services to create effective cleaning schedules:
- Assess Facility Needs: Conduct a thorough assessment of the government facility to identify cleaning needs. Consider factors such as facility size, traffic patterns, and specific areas that require more attention.
- Prioritize Cleaning Tasks: Prioritize tasks based on their importance and frequency. High-traffic areas, restrooms, and public spaces should be given top priority.
- Develop a Cleaning Calendar: Create a detailed cleaning calendar that outlines daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal cleaning tasks. Be specific about what needs to be cleaned and when.
- Consider Off-Peak Hours: Schedule cleaning sessions during off-peak hours, such as evenings or weekends, to minimize disruption to government employees and visitors.
- Assign Responsibility: Clearly define cleaning responsibilities for in-house cleaning staff or contracted cleaning services. Ensure everyone knows their roles and tasks.
- Special Event Planning: Account for special events, meetings, or government functions that require additional cleaning before or after. Plan these sessions in advance.
- Flexibility for Emergencies: Include buffer time in the schedule to address unforeseen cleaning emergencies, such as spills, accidents, or health-related concerns.
- Regular Maintenance: Integrate routine maintenance tasks, such as equipment checks and replacing supplies, into the schedule to prevent unexpected issues.
- Seasonal Adjustments: Adjust the cleaning schedule seasonally to accommodate specific needs, such as winter salt and snow removal or spring cleaning.
Benefits of Proper Cleaning Maintenance
Maintaining government facilities through proper cleaning and maintenance is essential for several reasons. It offers numerous benefits that positively impact the facility, its occupants, and the broader community.
Through the work of commercial cleaning companies, many government facilities have become spotless and gained a new look. A study by Oxford University confirms that happy workers are 13% more productive than unhappy ones, so the best cleaning companies are those that keep their employees happy.
Here are the key advantages of proper cleaning maintenance:
- Reduced Health Risks
- Enhanced Air Quality
- Accident Prevention
- Improved Aesthetics
- Operational Efficiency
- Equipment Longevity
- Long-Term Preservation
- Community Well-Being
- Improved Employee Morale
- Infection Control
How to Dispose of Waste Properly
The US is one of the largest producers of waste in the world, with waste management revenue in 2022 nearing $141 billion. Although several waste disposal methods are available, landfills are the most common, closely followed by recycling.
Whichever method you choose, it is crucial that you properly dispose of your waste without creating a nuisance, as proper waste management is beneficial to everyone. If you’re unsure how to go about it, here are some guidelines to dispose of waste properly:
- Try Segregation: Separate waste into categories like recyclables, non-recyclables, hazardous waste, and organic waste. Use clearly labeled bins for each category.
- Recycle: Recycle paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and metal in designated recycling bins. Ensure that recyclables are clean and free of contaminants.
- Follow Waste Disposal Regulations: Adhere to local, state, and federal waste disposal regulations. Familiarize yourself with specific guidelines for government facilities.
- Use Professional Services: Consider contracting professional waste management services for properly disposing of hazardous materials, large quantities of waste, and specialized disposal needs.
- Incineration: If available and environmentally sound, you can consider waste-to-energy incineration as an option for waste disposal. Also, ensure you comply with emissions regulations.
- Build Community Awareness: Educate government employees, visitors, and the public about proper waste disposal practices. Display clear signage to guide waste separation.
- Landfilling: When disposal is the only option, use landfills designated for non-recyclable waste and follow landfill regulations and restrictions.
Keep Your Government Facility Clean, Compliant, and Safe
Maintaining a government facility is no small task. There are many angles to consider, and the details matter, as you can see from this guide. That’s why partnering up with the right service provider is crucial. If you’re looking for a commercial cleaning company with the best customer service for your government facility, look no further than Georgia Facility Services. Call now to get more info about our various cleaning offers.