When your employees are performing cleaning and maintenance services, it is your responsibility as the manager to make sure that each individual is safe from harm.
Today, many in-house cleaning departments, as well as contract cleaners, still perform work at night.
And, since cleaning work must be performed in every facility, some workers are performing tasks in high-risk crime areas.
In today''s society of heightened facility security awareness, technology is now being used to save lives, property and other important items.
Level of safety for cleaning services
Cases of criminal behavior, such as stealing, assault, rape, etc., are often reported affecting janitorial workers on the CM e-News Daily™.
There are several best practices to instill in your cleaning operations to help ensure the safety of your employees who are out in the field.
Hand-held communication devices, working in teams, proper lighting, personal protection deterrents and general awareness are some examples of things in your control that can easily be integrated into your services.
Furthermore, controlling the common entry points of the facility and working areas with security devices, such as cameras, can also add an extra level of safety.
Get to know the access control
Now commonplace, keyless entry devices are playing an integral role in safeguarding a facility while keeping janitorial workers safe and productive.
Among other benefits, a keyless entry system gives custodial workers a break from carrying around a pocket full of keys.
These modern systems also save time, money and frustration.
There are several models available on the market today for commercial use.
Keyless entry systems allow occupants, including the cleaning crew, to open doors with the swipe of a card or with the push of a series of buttons.
Some systems, often referred to as "edge" devices, include magnetic strip swipe cards, proximity systems or biometric scanners that analyze fingerprints and perform retina scans.
A keyless entry access control system can also include a keypad.
Regardless of the model, access control devices basically function in similar ways.
Typical edge equipment collects data from the user.
This data is then turned into a code or number, which is often sent to an electronic or human controller where pre-determined parameters are already set up.
Pending approval, the door will either lock or unlock.
Best bets for controlled access
Before installing new technologically-advanced entry systems, do your homework to make sure it will be a perfect fit to suit the needs of the workers, occupants and the facility.
Some questions to consider when shopping for a keyless entry system include:
- Can this system be easily retrofitted?
- If keypad or similar device, can this system''s codes change as needed?
- Can keys be interchanged or used only by one person?
- Is preventative maintenance needed to uphold the system''s effectiveness?
- What are the system''s vandal-proof features?
Access key management is also vital to the long-term success of the program.
Some systems use software integration.
With this back-end solution, occupants and employees are easily added and removed to gain access to an area or facility.
This also provides an increased security level.
In many cases, facility maintenance and cleaning professionals are asked to perform additional job functions and be increasingly aware of the facility''s systems now more than ever before.
Facility security is one example where the blurring of job responsibilities is occurring.
Responsible in-house cleaning managers and owners, as well as building service contractors, know that facility security is important to the facility''s overall image and cleanliness.
While security cameras and keyless entry systems help, personal protection is a topic that should be more prominent in training.
Each aspect of security, including entranceway security systems, installation of technology, self defense and best practice methods of improving safety standards, should be taken into consideration.
Fortunately, many facilities, such as universities, hospitals, government buildings, etc., have switched from traditional lock and key to swipe card systems and even biometric scanners.
These encouraging signs point to the steadfast approach to total security that owners and facility managers hope to obtain.
Get to know keyless entry systems and control access in the building(s) you maintain.