In prior articles I have stressed the difference between products that you may be able to use at home and how they would be in violation of company policy and OSHA regulations in a commercial work environment.

One aspect that needs to be touched on is having adequate supplies of products to do the job correctly and safely. There should be a system where you or the onsite supervisor can order chemicals, supplies, tools, etc. so that you never run out even though you may not stock too much due to pilferage or space limitations.

This should be a basic list of cleaning products, rags, spray bottles, buffing pads, vacuum filters/belts, brooms, etc. that are consumed or wear out over time. Items such as mop bucket sets, floor machines, barrels, carts and other heavy equipment should not have to be replaced. Also, consumable items such as paper towels, toilet tissue, hand soap and seat covers may be on the list if your company provides them in the contract.

I encounter companies that do not provide enough chemicals or tools to effectively do the work and invariably they are also the one that fail in providing training and close management of these supplies. I have heard comments that the workers are stealing or wasting product and management is only going to provide the budgeted amount as per the contract price. This philosophy may be short-term smart but is long term stupid since the budget was simply a guesstimate at best. Also, where is the training and supervision on correct use?

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or