With schools now back in session, the health, safety, and education of our children and young adults are among the top concerns of virtually every parent and school official. When children spend hours every school day studying and learning in dirty, unhealthy environments, it can impede their ability to learn and grow as individuals. Would you rather have children learning in a clean classroom or spending their time in an environment chock full of germs, bacteria, dust, and dirt?
Providing a healthy school environment for teachers and school staff to work in is also critical to employee health. Employee-related illnesses can cost schools significant amounts of money in terms of employee health-related costs and pay for substitute teachers. It is for these reasons, among others that will be discussed below, that a clean school environment is paramount.
But, how can you achieve a healthy school environment and clean classroom space? We recommend cleaning for health using an operations management and green cleaning system that is designed for that specific purpose.
Why Cleaning for Health Creates Healthy Schools
At Pro Clean, we implement green cleaning and ManageMen’s Operating System 1 (OS) approach to providing a clean classroom. The OS1 method ensures that every cleaning employee is highly trained and certified to perform specialized functions that clean for health and not just appearances.
Green cleaning is a method of cleaning that uses chemicals, equipment, and processes that contribute to a healthy and clean classroom environment. Green cleaning focuses on cleaning key “touch points,” or surfaces that are commonly shared and, incidentally, aid in spreading bacteria, germs, and illnesses. These surfaces can include areas such as tabletops, door handles, countertops, faucet handles, and bathroom hand dryers.
Green cleaning, when properly performed, requires more time and resources than many companies are willing to dedicate. Companies that are considered green cleaning businesses must be audited and pass the ISSA’s Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) Green Building (GB) certification.
Healthy Schools Helps to Reduce Absenteeism
Schools have long been referred to by many parents as “germ factories” because of how easily illnesses are passed from child to child in those close-quarter environments. When one kid gets sick, it’s almost a guarantee that at least some of their classmates will come down with it as well. This means that either their parents will keep them home from school or a faculty member will send them home so as to not infect the other kids.
Furthermore, reducing absenteeism is essential for your school’s workforce as well. When teachers or other faculty are out due to illness, it creates the challenge of trying to find a substitute or having to cancel class altogether. This decreases productivity and also leads to a lack of continuity in learning for students, which can put their lesson plans — and their education — behind schedule.
Improving Indoor Air Quality Reduces Respiratory Illnesses
According to the National Education Association (NEA), “Asthma is a leading chronic illness among children and youth in the U.S. and one of the leading causes of school absenteeism.” Part of this may be attributed to school environments that are dirty, humid, and are not properly cleaned or disinfected daily. Having a clean classroom can help to reduce the occurrence of asthma by minimizing or removing the environmental factors that trigger it.
According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management’s (IDEM) Green Steps program, making minor adjustments can have a massive payoff in a healthy school environment. A healthy and clean classroom environment entails:
- Reducing dust mites by removing them from the environment
- Keeping exhaust fans clean and clear of impediments
- Keeping surfaces clean of food, water, trash, and other pollutants that can attract pests
- Minimizing dirt and dust by cleaning entrance floor mats regularly
- Using the appropriate amount of cleaning chemicals to avoid respiratory irritation
- Cleaning appropriately by knowing what surfaces to clean versus disinfect
How Your Facility Can Create a Class Classroom Environment
When you’re working with an in-house janitorial staff or a small “mom & pop” cleaning company, there’s no guarantee that they are doing anything more than cleaning for appearances. However, working with a commercial cleaning service that specializes in cleaning for health can help to ensure that your school campus is properly cleaned and disinfected.
At Pro Clean, we are a commercial cleaning company that cleans with health as the priority. As an ISSA CIMS-GB certified organization, we also specialize and are certified to clean Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings.
To learn more about how a commercial cleaning company can clean your facility in a way that promotes student and employee health, be sure to check out our new resource by clicking on the link below.