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4 Surprising Allergens in the Workplace
Thu 16th June, 2016

You do your best to maintain a safe workplace. You regularly hold training meetings for your staff, and you drill employees on safety practices every few months. Additionally, you make sure hallways and exits remain free of obstacles.

But did you know that your office likely harbours allergens that could make your staff miserable?

Allergens hide on a variety of surfaces, and without proper action, they could increase the risk of allergic reactions and worsen respiratory conditions. As your employees struggle with sniffles, sneezes and sinus headaches, you can bet that productivity levels will drop as a result.

If you want to improve the health and safety of your team, watch out for the following.

1. Pollen in the Air Ducts

During the peak of pollen season, tree, grass and flower pollens can blow in through open windows, latch onto employees' clothing and track through your building on the bottom of clients' shoes.

Fortunately, you can stop pollen from circulating further when you invest in office-grade HEPA filters and replace them every month or so. HEPA filters remove small airborne particles and allergens, allowing your employees to breathe easier.

If you find that the HEPA filters in your HVAC system can't keep up with the pollen count, purchase several high-quality air filters and place them strategically throughout the office. Additionally, you can encourage employees to keep windows closed and to leave their jackets near the door.

2. Dust Mites in the Carpets

As you surmised from their name, dust mites live in and on dust in your office. They feed on shed skin flakes and excrete faeces that contain proteins known to trigger allergic reactions.

Although you can find dust mites hiding in furniture, in drapes and on shelves, your carpets likely harbour most of these tiny pests. Regular vacuuming keeps your carpets looking clean, but most common appliances lack the suction to remove dust mites from the deeper fibres and padding.

To keep dust mites under control, hire a cleaning professional to steam clean your carpets every few months. Additionally, consider installing carpet and rugs with low pile rather than high pile, or opt for hardwood flooring to keep allergies at bay.

3. Mould on Kitchen Surfaces

Australia houses thousands of mould species, and a large majority of them release spores too small to see. But despite the spores' small size, mould can cause a lot of damage to those with allergies and sensitivities. Mould can trigger congestion, eye irritation and wheezing.

Mould grows in a variety of office locations, from under bathroom sinks to forgotten corners of your break room and kitchen. They grow best in dark, humid environments, so purchase a few dehumidifiers for the muggy sections of your building.

To further cut mould growth, hire a professional to clean spills with an antibacterial soap and to frequently take the trash to the dumpster. Set your thermostat to 20 degrees Celsius (or lower), and avoid storing papers, books and similar materials in the humid parts of your office.

4. Formaldehyde on Furniture

If you've purchased furniture in the last few days, you may notice that some of your pieces emit a particular odour. While many people associate this scent as a 'new furniture smell', few recognise this odour as formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is an adhesive resin that holds many composite woods together. Furthermore, formaldehyde functions as an effective disinfectant. However, formaldehyde also releases a gas that causes watery eyes, burning throat and nausea in sensitive individuals. Additionally, formaldehyde acts as a potent sensitiser, making many people sensitive to other chemicals they might not have noticed otherwise.

While you could try to 'air out' your new furniture, keep in mind that wood composites never fully lose their formaldehyde gas, as the formaldehyde glue is what holds the wood together. To reduce risks to your employees, choose real wood furniture or hire a contractor to coat composite wood furniture with a sealer.

Let Your Employees Breathe Easy in the Workplace

The above tips can help you remove allergens from your office and create a healthier environment for your employees. However, you should keep in mind that each employee could suffer from a different allergen. Be sure to interview your staff and ask them about any potential allergies they have and take the appropriate steps to clear your office of the trigger.

Combat the Flu in the Workplace With These 4 Tips
Thu 21st April, 2016
With flu season just around the corner, you likely feel concerned at the toll this illness will take on your employees. You want your employees to
stay healthy so they can work well and have a better experience in the workplace each week.

According to the Department of Health, flu season in Australia begins in May and lasts until October, with its peak in August. The Australian
Influenza Surveillance Report also stated that last year one-third of all influenza cases were in children 15 years old or younger. The remaining
two-thirds of cases were in adults ages 35 to 44.

With much of the working public getting sick with the flu, you may wonder how to keep your employees healthy in the workplace during flu
season. Instead of worrying about how many of your employees will become ill, use the four tips below to combat the flu virus.

1. Sanitise Computers, Phones and Other Shared Office Equipment

Look around your office or workplace. What items are inside the building that your employees share? Do your workers share telephones,
computers, printers and other equipment? Sanitise these devices to eliminate germs that cover the surfaces. The next time your employees use one
of the items, they'll have a lower risk of contracting the flu.
Even if your employees each have their own desk with their own equipment, you should still disinfect these devices regularly to reduce their
exposure to germs.
2. Clean the Workplace Regularly

Additionally, you'll want to perform general cleaning on a regular basis. Specifically, you'll want to focus on the following areas your employee
frequent:
  • Bathrooms
  • Break rooms
  • Kitchens
  • Conference rooms
  • Lobbies
Make sure to not only clean the room as a whole, but to also clean the furniture and devices found in each room. For example, in the break room
or kitchen, you'll want to disinfect the microwave, fridge, counters, tables, chairs, sinks and other surfaces or appliances.
As an extra tip, remember to thoroughly clean and wipe down the buttons inside and outside elevators (if you have them in your building), as well
as door handles.
3. Ask Employees to Wash and Disinfect Their Hands

One of the easiest ways germs spread is through physical contact. During flu season (and even throughout the year), ask your employees to wash
and disinfect their hands frequently. Employees should wash their hands after each time they use the restroom.
If they cough or sneeze, your employees should wash their hands and use a hand sanitiser. Make sure to stock up on products like hand sanitiser
and antibacterial soap so your employees can access these products easily while they work.
4. Post Notices or Talk to Employees About Good Health Habits

Finally, either post notices across the workplace or hold a meeting with your workers. Discuss good health habits that will lower each worker's
chances of getting the flu. These habits could include:
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze. Use tissues or your elbow to cover these areas.
  • Get plenty of sleep each night to maintain a strong immune system.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
If possible, allow your employees 15 to 30 minutes each day where they can exercise around the office. You could also provide healthy snack
options in break rooms to further boost their immune systems. If you use these two tips, talk to your employees about them so they can take
advantage of these options.

Start Preventing Illness Now

To effectively avoid an influenza outbreak in your office or place of business, use the tips in this blog to keep your employees healthy and happy.
Remember to talk to a company that specialises in cleaning services such as those mentioned above. When expert cleaners use quality cleaners to
disinfect and maintain your workplace's cleanliness, you further reduce the risk of falling ill from workplace germ and virus exposure.

If you have any questions about the kinds of cleaners these companies use, feel free to call and discuss your concerns with them.
4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Commercial Carpet
Mon 15th February, 2016
You've invested a lot of money in your new office. You repainted the walls. You updated the plumbing. And you installed new carpet. These
installs and upgrades make your building look professional and inviting, and you hope that they'll last you for several years at least.
But as your staff file in for the day, you can't help but notice a distinct trail of dirt, mud and debris following behind them.
Though your carpet is new, it seems to have aged several years in just a few hours.
What can you do to prevent further damage to your flooring?

1. Clean Your Sidewalks and Parking Lots
To protect the inside of your building (and subsequently your carpet), you need to start with the outside. If your sidewalks, pathways or parking
lots have mud or dirt, you can bet that your staff will bring the mess inside with them.
So start by regularly sweeping the pathways that lead to your front door, and talk to a professional about maintaining your grounds. If you notice
some areas that refuse to drain after a storm, you may need to hire a landscaper to address the problem.

2. Invest in Furniture Coasters or Caster Cups
Office chairs, tables, couches and cubicles typically have thin, narrow legs that dig into your flooring. And every time you shift your furniture, those
sharp edges can snag the fibres and pull your carpet apart.
To redistribute the weight and minimise snagging, invest in furniture coasters, or caster cups. Though many homeowners use these devices to
protect hardwood flooring, you can use them to protect your commercial carpeting, too. Simply slide the cup or coaster under each leg of your
furniture to cushion your flooring.

3. Rotate Your Furniture Every Few Months
When you decorated your office, you took care to arrange your furniture so your pieces maximised your walking space. The room felt balanced,
and you love how coordinated the final results looked.
But though you may have achieved perfect office feng shui, keep in mind that you should rearrange your furniture every few months. The longer
your heavier pieces stay in the same place, the more their weight presses down into your new carpet. Eventually, the furniture will crush your
carpet's fibres, leaving unsightly dips and divots in your flooring.
So feel free to explore different furniture arrangements in your office. Though you may feel attached to your building's current look, you may
stumble across several new designs that you and your clients love.

4. Hire Professional Commercial Cleaners
Frequent vacuuming can remove the surface dust and dirt from your carpet. And when you vacuum on a regular basis, you can keep your
commercial flooring looking neat and professional.
However, ordinary vacuums aren't always strong enough to remove mud and debris once it has settled deep into the fibres and carpet padding.

If you want a thorough clean that keeps your carpet looking like new, you need to hire a professional steam cleaner.

Steam cleaning doesn't just suction away surface dirt-it kills germs, sanitises your fibres and deodorises your flooring. The water reaches deep
into your flooring, effectively loosening dust, debris and stains. And the powerful motor suctions away allergens and pollutants that could
otherwise aggravate your employees' asthma or other respiratory conditions.

Save Money on Your Carpet
When you follow these four steps, you can keep your carpet looking vibrant and new for years. Though some of the steps involve a minor
investment, the money you spend now could save you thousands of dollars on replacement carpet.

For more tips on keeping your office clean and professional, check our blog for frequent updates and advice.
Welcome to Comclean Australia's Blog
Fri 13th February, 2015
Welcome  to the Comclean Blog!
Welcome to our new blog! We will being making regular posts here to inform our customers of new developments. Stay tuned!

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