When workloading restrooms, it is important to understand that a fixture can be a faucet, urinal, toilet or shower head. The goal is to make a total count of fixtures, then apply a cleaning time to that amount. A good baseline time to use is three minutes per fixture. Therefore, a building with a fixture count of 60 would take an estimated 180 minutes to complete a daily service.

Managers should keep in mind that the per fixture times are not estimates for how long it takes to clean each fixture. Per fixture times are averages based on completing the set of daily tasks identified — including travel time between restroom sets, emptying and refilling mop buckets and wiping down equipment.

When determining the per fixture cleaning times, there are a couple of options for mangers to consider. The first is to perform your own time and motion study. The second is to use industry specific reference materials — for example, ISSA’s 540 Cleaning Times booklet. This is an updated reference for cleaning times and tasks, and has been a go-to guide for managers for the past 25 years. Many have found that it is the easiest reference material to use when establishing baseline custodial workloads. In fact, many managers who choose to perform their own time and motion studies will use the book as a starting point to compare their numbers with the rest of the industry.

That said, as manager benchmark against ISSA’s 540 Cleaning Times, it is important to keep in mind that a number of assumptions were in place when they were established. First, it is assumed that a cleaning worker that will be servicing the restroom is set up to perform each of the daily cleaning tasks. This includes a restroom cart equipped with the proper tools, chemicals and paper supplies to complete the work. This will reduce much of the travel time back and forth from closets for additional supplies. Also, it is assumed that the worker has been trained to understand their daily cleaning duties and workflow in each restroom.

In my experience, this method covers about 90 percent of the overall challenges that most cleaning operations run into with their restroom workload. However, there are situations that usually need to be addressed when planning workloads for the year.

Special Projects

Every building in the world has them and they all require their own special treatment.

Throughout most of the country, custodial workers will have to deal with some form of hard water build-up, mildew build-up, darkened tile/grout, and more at some point. That’s why it is a good rule of thumb to build a quarterly deep cleaning schedule into your restroom workload for projects that address these concerns. This may include using more intensive methods which require their own special schedule.

Separate workloading should be developed for departments responsible for cleaning special areas, such as locker rooms with large shower bays. While the daily cleaning tasks for restrooms may be applicable, there are a number of additional variables that come into play (lockers, carpeted surfaces, etc.).

Daily restroom tasks will usually work for the shower bay and restroom areas in a locker room, but locker areas may require different coverage and need to be addressed separately. It is important for managers to keep this in mind when addressing locker rooms, or similar special areas within the facility.

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