“Rehab for facilities” is how Mark A. Jackson, Business Services Liaison at the Charleston, WV-based West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities, Inc. (WVARF) might describe the use of Kaivac equipment in state nonprofit custodial programs “linking people with disabilities to meaningful employment opportunities”.
WVARF − the state’s central nonprofit agency − manages custodial among other contracts for state facilities, using well-trained people in Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRP) to fulfill them.
WVARF and Jackson focus on making custodial jobs easier, safer, and healthier for workers, but also ensuring they are competitive. “We look at State agencies as our customers, and we want them to use us because we are the best in the industry, not because we are a social program,” he said.
Jackson was familiar with Kaivac from previous employment with a janitorial company. He and fellow Business Services Liaison, Gary Wolfe, learned further about the safety, health, and performance of Kaivac from a cleaning consultant who directed them to 612 Cleaning Times (published by a nonprofit trade group, ISSA) citing times using Kaivac equipment that were much faster than traditional mops and buckets.
Faster, Better, Safer
Beyond speed, WVARF liked the hygienic, ergonomic, and “no-touch” aspects of using Kaivac equipment.
“It has been scientifically shown that Kaivac wet extraction of soils produces a more hygienically clean surface than traditional mopping, and since surfaces are left in a more hygienic state, Kaivac reduces not only exposure by the CRP custodian but also to the State agency workers, and their patrons, the general public,” he said.
“The ease-of-use of Kaivac equipment and reduction of worker fatigue can also reduce injury and time off work, and floors are left dry lowering slip/trip/fall hazards.”
WVARF implemented Kaivac equipment in February 2015, following the Ebola outbreak of 2014, as part of updating West Virginia’s rest area/welcome center contracts, and thereafter started a campaign called “Stop the Mop!”
In addition to using Kaivac’s no-touch spray-and-vac machines, Jackson applauds the Kaivac dispense-and-vac units, stating: “The Omniflex has a place in almost every janitorial site!”
“The contracts that utilize Kaivac equipment have fewer complaints and more compliments,” he adds.
Dignity for Workers
Eliminating the “mop-jockey” image of cleaning workers has provided a psychological boost for workers.
“Kaivac brings dignity to any janitor or custodian. Kaivac products have opened doors for people with disabilities that might not otherwise be able to use traditional equipment or methods.”
Beyond the “hygienic rehab” enabled by Kaivac equipment, worker empowerment and “morale rehab” are not to be minimized, notes Jackson.
Allen Rathey is the principal of the Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI), director of the Indoor Wellness Council (IWC), and author of articles about best practices in cleaning and indoor environmental management.
*The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) and the Indoor Wellness Council (IWC) do not endorse products.