Check Employee Dishonesty Clause Before Hiring
Many building service contractors face labor shortages these days, and some are turning to former convicts to fill out their work force. And why not? Many people have been exposed to excellent janitorial training while they were in jails and penitentiaries, often performing these duties on a regular basis. And there is plenty of incentive for someone on probation to work steadily and stay out of trouble.

Despite these valid reasons why such candidates may make well-trained workers, there is one strong reason why most BSCs will have to rethink the idea of hiring someone with a record — the employee honesty form in most insurance policies forbids it.

The dishonesty form in most policies carries a condition that excludes coverage for an employee if the insured, any partner, officer or director discovers any dishonest act committed by that employee before or after he or she is employed.

One insurance company interviewed states that its policy directly targets a potential employee’s record. Any prior dishonest act will exclude employees from coverage under most dishonesty policies, says a representative of the company. This company’s policy words that provision as follows: “Cancellation to any employee — immediately upon discovery by you … of ‘theft’ or any dishonest act committed by the ‘employee’ whether before or after becoming employed by you.”

Another carrier targets the act of theft instead of dishonesty in its policy, but the resulting conclusion is the same: “Theft means the unlawful taking of money, securities or other property to the deprivation of the insured. Dishonesty is not defined in our policy — the dictionary is going to say something to the effect of not honest, cheating, stealing. In short, someone with a criminal record will certainly be considered to be dishonest and therefore excluded.”

It is important that all BSCs speak with their carrier about hiring anyone with a criminal record. Some companies make exceptions and extend coverage depending upon the type of conviction a person has (felony or misdemeanor) and whether that person will have access to sensitive areas while performing their job. Being sure of where your carrier stands is the best policy.

Window Cleaning Institute Announced
The International Window Cleaners Association (IWCA) has announced it will form an International Window Cleaner Certification Institute (IWCCI).

The IWCCI is a not-for-profit organization formed to provide a safety certification program for the window cleaning industry.

The Institute will offer a certification program for window cleaners so they can acquire the knowledge and skills for safe professional practice in compliance with recently established national safety standard I-14.1, developed by the IWCA and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in late 2001.

IICRC Offers Mold Remediation Certification
The Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) plans to offer two new certifications: Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT) and Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist (AMRS).

The courses are designed for individuals engaged in property management, property restoration, Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) investigations and other related professions.

The course will place emphasis on teaching mold and sewage remediation techniques to individuals who will perform these procedures in the field, and will include classroom study as well as hands-on training.

For more information on these new courses, call the IICRC at 360-693-5675.

Mergers&Other Moves

  • Neenah, WI — SCA has acquired Encore Paper Company Inc. of South Glens Falls, NY. Encore will be integrated into SCA Tissue North America LLC. The two companies have combined annual sales of approximately $850 million and 2,650 employees in 15 locations across the United States and Canada. The combined companies have 445,000 tons of paper production capacity and 580,000 tons of converting capacity.
  • St. Louis — Mitch Murch’s Maintenance Management Co. (MMMM), which handles 200 accounts servicing 28 million square feet each day, has purchased Total Building Services, Inc., also of St. Louis, a contract cleaning firm with a 16-year track record. The purchase includes all of Total’s ongoing contracts, equipment, management and employees. Chris Wieman, the vice president of Total Building Services, will join MMMM and oversee the Total accounts.
  • Soft Vac® Corporation announced an agreement with Easterday Janitorial Supply to private label their facility protection vacuum covers for American Building Maintenance (ABM).
  • Compass Mineral Group has acquired IMC Global’s Salt and Ogden businesses. The IMC Salt division has officially been renamed North American Salt Company. The acquisition includes all of IMC Salt’s water softening salt and ice-melter brands. The company will maintain the same management team, product brands and manufacturing facilities to ensure continuity with all of its wholesalers, distributors and retailers.

OSHA Reopens TB Rulemaking Record
On January 24, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reopened the tuberculosis (TB) rulemaking record for a period of 60 days, to give interested parties the opportunity to review and comment on the agency’s final risk assessment and the Institute of Medicine’s report "Tuberculosis in the Workplace."

OSHA last reopened the TB record in 1999, seeking comment on new studies or data that could assist the agency in determining the occupational risk of TB exposure.

Comments on this issue can be submitted electronically to Additional information can be found at OSHA’s web site.