Five Risks to Consider in Setting Your Cleaning Program
As a property or facility manager, you expect the best quality for your cleaning dollar. However, cleaning can impact more than just the appearance of your building. DCS is now being asked to do cleaning inspections and audits with a view towards mitigating risk, including:
- Hazard risk: Improper use or storage of chemicals, or lack of training on equipment can lead to lost-time incidents, either for contract cleaning staff or your staff. Make sure that your contractor provides worker education and training (with records), that all chemicals are properly labelled and stored, and that material data safety sheets are available.
- Financial risk: We are also seeing improper treatment and/or chemical choices leading to damaged surfaces, particularly flooring. Caught early some surfaces can be restored, otherwise the repair bill could be in the tens of thousands of dollars.
- Operational risk: Exposure to bacteria and viruses on common office touch-points increases the chance of workplace illness. Absenteeism costs Canadian businesses approximately two weeks of lost-time per full-time employee annually (on average). Cleaning for health can also support pandemic planning for your building.
- Marketing/sales risk: Poorly cleaned workspaces, entrance ways and common areas impact your building’s tenant satisfaction and reputation as a good place to work. Make sure you have comprehensive quality control systems to ensure consistent cleaning quality.
- Strategic risk: Unfortunately, illegal or improper sub-contracting arrangements are still fairly common in Canada, particularly in smaller facilities and outside of larger urban areas. If this happened in one of your facilities, media coverage would likely link it back to your company affecting your corporate reputation.
Some risks have a cross-over impact (e.g. illegal sub-contracting can carry financial liability). These are all preventable through proper cleaning work scopes/contract language, third-party audits and inspections, cleaning for health testing (and protocols) and ongoing communication with your service provider. For more information please contact DCS.