Updates from the Leading Association for the Cleaning Industry Worldwide
Flu Season And Cleaning Providers
October marked the beginning of flu season, and October and November are the best times for an annual flu shot.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends annual vaccinations for certain groups of people, and in the event that vaccines are limited, it recommends these groups be given priority. Groups taking precedence include children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years; people over 50; pregnant women; people with chronic medical conditions; those who live in long-term care facilities; and those who live with or care for these types — and that includes health care workers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 43 percent of health care workers during the 2004-05 flu season received vaccinations. Due to this low rate — and because staff members are often implicated as sources of influenza-infection in health care settings — the Joint Commission (formerly the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations) implemented an infection-control standard on January 1, 2007, requiring that all accredited organizations offer flu vaccinations to anyone who comes in close contact with patients, including staff, volunteers and licensed independent practitioners.
The commission has also recommended that health care workers wash their hands regularly and wear gloves to prevent spreading the flu and other diseases. In addition, one of six primary updates to the ACIP’s 2007-08 Influenza and Control Recommendations states, “ACIP recommends that healthcare administrators consider the level of vaccination coverage among healthcare personnel (HCP) to be one measure of a patient safety quality program and implement policies to encourage HCP vaccination (e.g., obtaining signed statements from HCP who decline influenza vaccination).” (Click here to view all six of the ACIP’s updates and changes for the 2007 season.)
Of course, even if every staff member in a health care facility is vaccinated, an outbreak might still occur. With other infectious threats in the news today, including MRSA, C. diff, etc., the common flu is often overlooked. But according to the CDC, some 226,000 people in the United States alone are hospitalized with the flu annually, and 36,000 die from it every year. In addition, it’s estimated that a severe flu pandemic could kill up to 2 million people.
If there’s a flu outbreak in your health care facility, the ACIP recommends using anti-viral medications to control it. Two licensed anti-viral medications recommended by the ACIP for use in the United States during the 2007-08 flu season are oseltamivir and zanamivir. Both are effective against influenza A and B viruses. Click here for more information on how to control an outbreak in a health care setting.
Laura DiGiulio is editor of Executive Housekeeping Today, the monthly magazine distributed by the International Executive Housekeepers Association.
CIRI Picks Next Symposium Site
The Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI) will hold its 2008 Cleaning Science Symposium June 9-12, 2008, at the Marriott Conference Center at the University of Maryland, 12 miles from downtown Washington, D.C. The theme for the 2008 symposium is “Cleaning & Health — Making the Connection.”
CIRI has arranged for rooms at the conference center, located in Adelphi, MD, as well as a number of hotels nearby. Marriott has created a special Web site for the event and is now ready to take reservations. For more information on the 2008 symposium, or to book a hotel room, visit www.ciri-research.org/symposium.
CIRI’s vision is to raise the awareness of the importance of cleaning through scientific research. Click here to learn more, or to join the institute.
|28-29, 2008, Cleaning System Design, featuring Dave Frank. Las Vegas, NV.
|5-7, 2008, ISSA/INTERCLEAN® Latin America 2008. Centro Banamex, Mexico City, Mexico.
|May 6-9, 2008, ISSA/INTERCLEAN® Europe 2008. Amsterdam, RAI Exhibition and Congress Centre, Amsterdam Netherlands.
Balek Picked for Green Guidelines Committee
The Illinois Green Government Coordinating Council (IGGCC) has appointed ISSA Legislative Affairs Director Bill Balek to the Illinois Green Cleaning Schools Act Guidelines Development Committee to assist in the development of green cleaning product specifications.
The Guidelines Development Committee is responsible for establishing guidelines and specifications for “environmentally sensitive” cleaning products for use in school facilities, pursuant to the Illinois Green Cleaning Schools Act. The act, signed into law on August 13, 2007, requires all Illinois schools with 50 or more students to develop and implement a green cleaning program. As a member of the committee, Balek will co-chair the Product Policy Subcommittee, which will be primarily responsible for recommending green product specifications.
ISSA Supports LEED-EB Revisions
In formal comments submitted to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), ISSA has expressed support for the increased focus on high-performance cleaning for health and green cleaning reflected in the proposed revisions to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) standard.
The USGBC is in the process of revising its popular LEED-EB standard, including changing its name to LEED for High Performance Operations to reflect the fact that the standard primarily addresses environmentally preferable building operations and maintenance activities. Since its inception several years ago, the LEED-EB standard has been instrumental in helping fuel the increase in demand for environmentally preferable products and services within the community of building owners and operators.
Many of the proposed changes to LEED-EB revolve around cleaning and maintenance operations, and in general, the changes reflect an increased emphasis on high-performance, effective cleaning practices that have a preferred environmental and safety and health profile.
While ISSA was generally supportive of the proposed revisions, the association offered several recommendations to improve upon the present draft:
- ISSA praised the USGBC for proposing to provide additional credits for the adoption of standard operating procedures and auditing tools to ensure effective, high-performance cleaning practices as critical to the operational efficiencies of buildings and the businesses they house. In addition, ISSA supported the requirements of the proposed high-performance cleaning provisions that promote a greater emphasis on the health of occupants, such as the promotion of improved hand-hygiene practices.
- Along these lines, ISSA recommended that LEED-EB be further revised to recognize the ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) as an effective tool in implementing SOPs as well as auditing the effectiveness of a cleaning program. In advocating the reference to CIMS, ISSA pointed out that effective cleaning is dependent on effective management and implementation of an operational structure that commits a cleaning service provider to meeting customer and occupant expectations — the core purpose of CIMS.
- ISSA urged the council to recognize as environmentally preferable those products recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment Formulator Program to ensure that building owners and managers had a robust supply of competitively priced green cleaners. As proposed, the LEED-EB standard would recognize products that are certified by or meet the standards of Green Seal or Environmental Choice.
The comment period on the proposed revisions to LEED-EB ended on September 2, 2007. The USGBC has committed to responding to all comments and will post the comments along with its responses on its Web site. If changes are made to the draft, a second public-comment period will be conducted as it relates to those changes.
|Welcome New ISSA Members!|
HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL
Ceiling Professionals International
EDEN PRAIRIE, MN
Christal Cleaning Connection
LA QUINTA, CA
F.C. Schwendler, LLC
Florida Cleaning Systems, Inc.
Goodmaster's Cleaning Service
Harvard Maintenance, Inc.
NEW YORK, NY
ICS Contract Services
ISS Facility Services
TARPON SPRINGS, FL
Marquise Facilities Corp.
RICHMOND, BC, CANADA
Maxiclean Building Services
Quality Cleaning Services
Reynolds & Reynolds Janitorial Services, Inc.
Stanley Steemer International, Inc.
Three Frenchmen Janitorial Svc & Supply, Inc.
Willowbank Co., LLC
Charles Wall, Bush Intercontinental Airport
Judy Materne, City of Monterey
Patrick Brickham, City of Stockton
Colleen Bunnell, Exeter Healthcare, Inc.
Christine Sutton, Gustavus Adolphus College
ST. PETER, MN
Deborah Morris, James Madison University
Troy Batzel, Kwik Trip Stores, Inc.
LA CROSSE, WI
Melanie Lontkowski, Potawatomi Bingo & Casino
Arthur Usher, Smith College
Jasmin Ismailovic, University of Manitoba
WINNIPEG, MB, CANADA
Sheila Lukenbill, Utah State University
All information in "ISSA Reports" is furnished by ISSA. ©2007. All rights reserved.
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