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Simple Suds for Staying Healthy

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Want to stay healthy? Wash your hands!

Our last blog post focused on the winter flu and other ailments. We also discussed the benefits of flu vaccines as a compelling form of prevention. Today’s post will investigate other effective ideas to keep you healthy.

One of the simplest ways to stay well is to wash your hands. This easy task is so essential to good health, that the CDC has created an interactive training course focused entirely on hand hygiene.

In the workplace, you touch things all the time. Elevator buttons, door handles, phones, keyboards, there are a host of touch surfaces. To wash hand properly, you need soap. So what exactly is soap? Soap is made by combining essential oils or fats with an alkaline substance such as lye. The two ingredients are heated and mixed together and work to neutralize each other. Fragrance and other materials are also added to the mixture. Then the soap is dried into a mold. Soap works as a detergent and surfactant that mixes with and dissolves oils and dirt so they can be washed down the drain.

Everyone thinks they know how to wash their hands. But few know how to wash them the right way:

What about antibacterial soaps?

Despite aggressive marketing, many studies show that regular soap is as effective for removing germs and bacteria as antibacterial options such as those that contain Triclosan. In addition, most antibacterial soaps need to remain on hands for two or more minutes to take full effect. People who are waiting for a sales meeting aren’t likely to wait that long for their turn at the public restroom sink. And remember, since the common cold is caused by a virus instead of bacteria, antibacterial soaps won’t provide an added benefit for the prevention of colds.

Wash your hands the right way.

Building owners can encourage tenants to wash hands the right way:

  • Hands and forearms should be lathered with soap for at least 15-20 seconds, which is longer than you might think!
  • While warm water is more effective for removing oils from your hands, it is not actually hot enough to “kill” bacteria, which thrives very high temperatures.
  • Proper drying is important not just because no one wants a damp handshake, but also because drying helps remove contaminants that are suspended in water droplets.
  • Encourage washing of hands after restroom use and before and after taking lunch or snack breaks.

Paper Towels and Air Dryers:

Many building owners and facility managers have held debates about the use of air dryer vs. paper towels. While the environmental advantage typically goes to the air-drying option, paper towels take a win in the hygiene department. Paper towels are one-time use and so do not require pressing of a communal button. Also, studies have found that air driers, especially very high-speed models can actually forcefully blow germs up to a few feet.

Alcohol Sanitizers:

Some facility managers have started providing alcohol sanitizing spray or gel sanitizer products for visitors and staff. While this is a good idea, remember that it’s important to remember that hand sanitizers are not as effective as hand washing for removing dirt.

Alcohol-based rubs are a good alternative for sanitation when water isn’t available. Here are some tips for maximizing effectiveness:

  • Apply the right amount – a nickel-sized application is about right.
  • Work quickly. Alcohol evaporates quickly. So rub vigorously to disinfect the front and back of your hands as well as your wrists.
  • Don’t dry off your hands! Much of the germ-killing is accomplished while the alcohol evaporates. So let the sanitizer go to work.

For disease prevention, it’s important to think of Mom’s words: “Don’t forget to wash your hands!” This time-tested advice is especially important in a workplace where common areas increase your odds of picking up or transmitting disease.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

The Power of Knowing Where to Go

Monday, May 17th, 2010

As the leader in emergency management training solutions, Allied Universal, Inc. is continually improving our award-winning products. We have just introduced a new feature to our comprehensive program that assists emergency responders and improves tenant safety.

Our integrated training system offers a dynamic home page for every commercial property owner who uses our product. The home page details important information for each property including:

  1. Required online courses to be completed
  2. Floor Warden reports
  3. Additional safety contact information

The latest feature featured on the building home page is our “View Map” link, which provides emergency responders with multiple views of individual properties and the surrounding areas. The maps not only provide driving directions to the building. But, more importantly, they provide access to Google Earth 3-D views of the surrounding area. Such detail prevents emergency responders from “flying blind” in an emergency. While en route, they will be able to assess the building’s best access points, so they won’t lose valuable time once they arrive. Access to real-time map information can also aid in running emergency drills.

“View Map” Feature Available for Every Building

3-D View helps responders determine ideal tactics for dealing with emergencies and gives a sense of scale for the building and any surrounding structures.

This new map feature is a perfect complement to other fire department integration features of Version 2.0 in our comprehensive safety training program

  • Fire Departments have access to the Allied Universal System clients’ properties, in their particular cities, viewable through the easy-to-navigate home page.
  • Department managers can monitor individual building testing and training of Floor Wardens and Fire Safety Directors.

Additional Newer Features of our Version 2.0

Real-time reporting with just one click:

  • Identify tenants that need special assistance in emergencies

Automated Features:

  • The system automatically creates and sends certificates to each user
  • Annual reminders are sent to each user to ensure ongoing training compliance and optimal tenant safety

Improved Confidentiality and System Control:

  • Controlled information distribution, with multiple tiers of system access

Our integrated map feature is the latest example of how our training system was built with dynamic flexibility. Online and integrated tools that bring together fire departments, facility management, and other entities, allow us to continually improve our system to meet tenants’ needs.

For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our e-based system offers the best emergency training available, with automated and integrated features. Allied Universal, Inc. is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit trade organization that promotes sustainability in how buildings are designed, built and operated. Visit rjwestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.

Announcing Version 2.0 of the Allied Universal Training System

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Version 2.0 is available to all Allied Universal clients at no additional charge.

Version 2.0 is available to all Allied Universal clients at no additional charge.

Allied Universal is proud to announce the release of Version 2.0 of our comprehensive e-based safety building-specific training program. The new system has even more integration and automation that brings together property/facility managers, fire safety directors, floor wardens, occupants and local fire departments. All of the new features showcase our commitment to offer the most user-friendly and complete training system on the market and further our mission to “SAVE LIVES THROUGH TRAINING.”

  • Real-time reporting with just one click—
    • Identify tenants that need special assistance to evacuate in the case of emergency
    • Have instant access to a list of primary and alternate floor wardens that is shared with building management and the fire department
      • Automatic email notification to property management and the fire safety directors each time either the special assistance or floor warden list is updated by users.
  • Improved fire department access—
    • One home screen allows department access to all Allied Universal Online Training System companies in the city
    • Departments can monitor individual building testing and training of floor wardens, fire safety directors and all the occupants in the building.
    • Fire Department approved across the United States and compliant with FDNY LL26, LAFD 57.33.19, as well as Federal OSHA and individual State fire codes.
  • Automated features—
    • Automatic certificates are sent to each user
    • Employee compliance reports are prepared for each tenant
    • Annual reminders are sent to each user
  • Improved confidentiality and system control—
    • Multiple tiers of system access help control the distribution of information
    • Confidential Information Access is granted for resources such as maps and emergency plans

The Allied Universal Training System, Version 2.0 gives building owners a complete picture of their emergency preparedness. We map out an exterior refuge map with a satellite picture of each building.  A map of the lobby is also created, showing the best exit routes. Elevator banks and stairwells are graphed, to show a comprehensive picture of accessibility and egress.

More info about the Version 2.0 rollout:

  • 30-day implementation with a simple monthly fee
  • All updates, training, and other resources are provided for no additional fee
  • Property managers can easily print and export building training information
  • Training and procedures are available for any kind of disaster, be it manmade or natural

If you own or manage a building, or know someone who does, do them a favor. Let them know about the Allied Universal Training System. Choosing our service provides a value-added tenant service that limits property management and individual tenant liability.  Furthermore, it cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves users over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, it saves lives.

BE SAFE.