We’ve all been there on occasion. We wake up and we feel awful — fever, sneezing, chills. We know we should stay home, get rest and not expose others to our germs — but, we also know that there’s work to be done. In spite of our better judgment, we drag ourselves to work anyway and spread our illnesses to others.

We know our customers come to work sick, too, which represents an opportunity for building service contractors to stand out from the pack. In his cover story, assistant editor Dan Weltin makes a case for why cross-contamination isn’t just an issue for hospitals, dental offices and medical clinics.

With cleaning budgets and bidding what they are, however, we know that there often isn’t time or funding for BSCs to go over every office with a fine-toothed comb — wiping down every doorknob, sanitizing every telephone. So, Dan also offers tips and tools for contractors to empower their customers to take control of their health.

Doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians all are respected for the work they do to save and enhance lives. But janitors’ work can help keep people healthy, too. It’s time for the industry to give more attention and publicity — at least as much as it gives to shiny floors and dust-free shelves — to cleaning’s role in preserving public health.

Stacie H. Whitacre, Editor