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Chemicals / Training / Staff
October 2012 Letters And Views

Letters To The Editor

Insight from the JanSan industry.

October 01, 2012
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Each month, we welcome readers to opine on the noteworthy — or even the trivial — aspects of their lives as JanSan professionals.

The following is some of the correspondence we have received in recent weeks.


A Twofer Of Commendation

I’d like to comment on two things in your August 2012 issue.

The first is in regard to “Communication When English Is Not A Native Tongue.”

It is so true; many people shy away from training people who speak English as a second language.

I have come to find out that the results can be very damaging to property, health and the environment when they are not trained.

About 99 percent of our custodial staffs speak a second language.

There are too many times I have seen accidents happen over my 20-plus years.

I go out of my way to show custodians with a hands-on approach.

There are some contractors — but not all — who seem not to care about the health of their workers because they have the mindset that they can just get another person to take their place.

It was a good article.

My second comment is about “Deciphering The Data,” the article about material safety data sheets (MSDS).

To me, it is a major problem to get workers to read the sheets.

What I have found to work best is to ask the custodial supervisor for the MSDS on any of the products that come in.

This way, they understand that it is important to me.

I also go out of my way to read it in front of them.

The article was written in such a way that it is easily understood what MSDS are all about.

Keep up the good work, and I look forward to next month’s magazine. - Reinhold Woykowski, safety and facilities manager at Raritan Valley Community College.


Editor’s Note: A recent discussion on the Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online Forum focused on learning from competitors’ actions and the business acumen of professionals in other service industries.

Excerpts from that conversation follow below.

As always, keep the conversation alive if you have something to add.


Posted by:

Ken Galo

What can other companies teach us?



Jerold Wiley

That is an interesting question.

Reading about other companies is a great way to learn what might work with your company and what will probably not work and what you absolutely do not want to do.

The TV series “Undercover Boss” is one way you can learn how companies do things.

The monthly Cleaning & Maintenance Management magazine highlights what other companies and individuals in the business are doing.

What do you notice when you are shopping; how do people in those businesses function; how do they interact with you or others?

What about your experiences at the doctor’s office?

What happens when you get your car serviced?

All of these experiences can tell you a lot.

Be observant, read a lot — both books and magazines.


One thing I consistently look for in other companies is what not to do.

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