Window Cleaners Win Certification on Web
Information on window-cleaning training and safety is available on the International Window Cleaner Certification Institute’s new Web site.

The site explains the window cleaner certification program and includes frequently asked questions, an explanation of the four levels of certification, a searchable database of member companies and a membership application.

Once signed on as a member, users can download study materials and exams. Materials are available in English and Spanish.

Streamline Hospital Bed Cleaning
Housekeeping professionals in healthcare facilities can streamline the patient-room cleaning process by using a software program called BedTracking® from Tele-tracking™ technologies.

When a room needs cleaning, a nursing or admitting staff member makes a phone call transaction that logs the need for housekeeping.

The housekeeping department is paged with a computer voice response system with a room number and status. The cleaner can change a dirty room‘s status to “in progress” during service and then to “done.” Cleaning staff also can enter “break” or “lunch” status to notify nursing and admitting staff who is available to clean rooms.

Departments relying on bed status can check the status of the room automatically.

Harness Your Payroll Headaches
Building service contractors who are plagued with timesheet and payroll problems have a new electronic option to reduce paperwork and employee fraud.

With the American ePay system, employees use a card with a magnetic strip to clock in and out at their work locations. Each employee has a unique personal identification number (PIN) that must be entered when the card is used. The same card also accesses an employee account into which the contractor deposits the person’s paycheck each pay period. Using the same PIN, workers can withdraw money from any local automatic teller machine as well as use the card to make purchases as a debit card.

Requiring the same PIN to clock in and to access pay, employers limit time fraud because workers are less willing to ask a friend to clock them in if there is a threat the person then could access their bank account, says American EPAY Inc. CEO N. Ben Aissa.
The elimination of paper paychecks also saves BSCs in payroll costs. To receive a pay stub, workers simply swipe their card through their on-site time clock and a receipt will print from the unit.

Contractors also can log into individual units from a central location to find out what time workers start and finish their shifts. Each unit costs the contractor $25 per month, per unit and a $1.50 service charge per weekly payroll per employee.

Two national building service contracting companies currently use the system, which was launched in September 2001, and about half a dozen more are testing it. Requests the company has received thus far include one to customize information in other languages, such as Polish and Spanish. Another request was to create a supervisor sign-off component prior to a company’s payroll department crediting employees’ accounts each pay period.

American EPAY will customize programs to the specific needs of contractors, Aissa says. For example, smaller BSCs with only five to 10 employees at a particular site can have workers clock in via telephone, instead of the card-swipe units, using a social security number instead of a PIN.