Survey Says: Tenants Prefer Friendliness Over Cleanliness
According to a recent survey regarding building tenant satisfaction, commercial facility occupants want good customer service — with a smile.

The survey, conducted by the Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA) and CEL & Associates Inc., reveals that tenants prefer their building services to be more importantly, friendly (85 percent); responsive (71 percent) and attentive to their needs (66 percent. Cleaning (44 percent) nearly came in last place as far as importance.

New Product Test Gains Foothold
Slip and fall prevention is one of the biggest safety concerns housekeeping managers face in almost any environment where hard floors are present. Now, cleaning decision makers have a new resource to help them reduce risk of such incidents. The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), a non-profit organization that addresses slip and fall safety concerns, has begun testing and certifying hard-floor finishes and other related products to determine which items meet the institute’s rating of high-traction.

While many decision makers may be familiar with the label of slip-resistant, which many products carry, the NFSI has taken their testing a step further to assure even more traction, says Russell J. Kendzior, executive director of the organization.

"Slip-resistant products must have a .5 static coefficient of friction, which we believe many products can achieve given the way manufacturers typically test for such properties," he says. "We are looking at products to find a .6 static coefficient of friction under wet circumstances."

Products that receive the organization’s high-traction label must undergo a two-part testing process that includes lab and field studies. NFSI already has tested and certified multiple products that manufacturers volunteered for testing since the process began in March 2002. The group expects to have tested between 20 and 30 items by the end of this year.

Housekeeping professionals can find out if the products they currently use have been certified by visiting the NFSI’s Web site at and by doing a search for the product by name or manufacturer. The testing results should be available by September, says Kendzior. Manufacturers also can opt to place a yellow label on their products if they pass the test.

Mergers&Other Moves

  • The Kellermeyer Company of Toledo, Ohio, acquired the Bockstanz Brothers Company of Livonia, Mich. in June. Bockstanz/Kellermeyer is a distributor of packaging products, janitorial and sanitary products, safety supplies and paper goods for the Midwest. The company will be moving to Detroit.
  • A subsidiary of San Francisco-based ABM Industries Inc. has acquired Lakeside Building Maintenance Inc. Lakeside is a janitorial contractor in the Midwest, and ABM is a national building services company.

Safety Experts Ask Government to Act on Teenagers’ Job Safety
Four years ago, a 15-year-old died after falling from the roof of a four-story building while working as a window washer’s assistant outside Seattle. Now safety experts and children’s advocates want to prevent teenage workers from working as window washers.

The New York Times reported in August that many health safety experts say it is time for the government to revise its 60-year-old list of jobs barred to young people because they are too dangerous.

Federal rules already prohibit people under 18 from many hazardous jobs, but children’s advocates want the Bush administration to declare additional jobs off limits, including window washing.

In July, the U.S. Labor Department released a report it had commissioned from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health that urged the government to prohibit teenagers from engaging in a number of fields, including work on roofs.

Kathleen Harrington, a spokeswoman for the Labor Department, said federal officials were placing a priority on child labor problems and were studying the report with an eye to regulatory or statutory changes.

Many children’s advocates and safety experts say government action is needed because each year 200,000 workers under age 18 suffer injuries, with about one on-the-job death every five days. The injury rate for teenagers — 4.9 injuries per 100 workers per year — is almost twice that for adults, even though many hazardous jobs are barred to teenagers.

Letter to the Editor
Iread your article, “Are You Up to Speed?” (July 2002), and really do not agree. I work with a lot of contractors and am constantly asked, what new products are available? I recently met with the head of a manufacturing company and he wanted to know why the enthusiasm for his new products was never felt by the end user. Here is my response and my observation why the BSC is not open to new products.

You can have the greatest product in the world. It can provide a great result and reduce the overall labor. It can be a product that can increase the profit margins within an account. But how will the BSC know about the product? Tradeshows? Print advertising? Distributor Salesperson?

A majority of BSCs for a variety of reasons are unable to attend the tradeshows. Many read about the new products, but never take the initiative to ask their supplier about the product. and many times the supplier rep is not aware of the product. Many supplier reps do not have janitorial backgrounds or do not know how to present the products and identify customer benefits.

In talking with BSCs, I have found a majority of them WANT to know about new products or systems that are going to increase productivity, contribute to their risk management programs, and result in quality service.

I believe that supplier reps are the KEY component in exposing new products to BSCs . BSCs WILL RESPOND.

I want to make clear that I believe that MOST BSCs would be interested in the new technology if properly informed. In many cases if a new product is introduced, who is going to inform the BSC? Who is going to explain the value of the new technology? Who is going to show how the new product will equate to increased productivity, better quality, and increased profit? I believe that here lies the problem.

Ron Segura, president of Segura & Associates, is an industry veteran and member of the Pacific Association of Building Service Contractors Organization.