Outsourced janitorial services can assist your school or business address the rising direct and indirect costs of student and employee absenteeism.
Janitorial Services Role in Preventing Absenteeism in Schools and Businesses
Absenteeism due to illness in schools and the workplace has become increasingly problematic in the U.S.
While the financial burden, both privately and to taxpayers, for lost school days may be difficult to calculate, the number of missed school days, averaging in the hundreds of millions per year, is not.
According to the Deb Group;
In the United States, there are approximately 164 MILLION lost school days each year among students in kindergarten to grade 12, which averages out to 4.5 sick days per student per year.
Conversely, the financial cost of lost employee time and productivity can be calculated and is estimated to be in the high tens of billions annually.
Sick days are estimated to cost the U.S. economy $84 billion each year.
To combat this, organizations must address the two primary sources of illness:
- Contaminated high-contact surfaces, and;
- Products and procedures, which contribute to poor indoor air quality.
Contaminated High-Contact Surfaces
As time goes on the studies continue to mount–listing the disturbing number of surfaces the average person comes into contact with every day that is coated with more germs and bacteria than a typical office toilet seat, including:
- Desks, specifically where you’re resting your hands right now.
- Computer equipment.
- Phones, cell phones, and tablets.
- Counters, especially in the kitchen.
- Coffe pots and mugs.
- Vending machine and water faucet buttons.
- Essentially every door handle and panel you can think of.
- Sinks and faucet handles.
- Toys–both plush and plastic.
- Gyms– every surface.
- Spas–pretty much everything that didn’t come straight out of sealed plastic.
- Soap–that’s right, soap, and;
- Every conceivable surface in a doctors office or hospital–dental offices too.
The reason for this ongoing and–essentially epidemic–challenge in our modern society is quite simple:
- People don’t wash their hands well enough, especially after using the restroom, and sometimes they don’t even bother to do that–more people than you’re probably comfortable knowing about, and;
- Schools and businesses, either willfully or unknowingly, are using subpar cleaning products and practices that move dirt and germs around, but do little to remove them.
Cleaning Products & Procedures
The hazards associated with bleach, as well as numerous other consumer and commercial grade cleaning products and disinfectants, are becoming more apparent every year.
These products contain a multitude of chemicals, ranging from benign by themselves–as is the case with Limonene until it comes into contact with high levels of indoor ozone–to carcinogenic.
The effects of our interaction with these products range from acute and immediate respiratory issues and burns to long-term neurological, endocrine, and reproductive problems, as well as cancer.
Most of the chemicals, where their production is not already harmful to the environment, do not break down naturally and are released into enclosed, nearly air-tight offices buildings and classrooms–rendering the indoor air toxic–and is then flushed down toilets, sinks, or drains, where it pollutes our water supply
The reasons for the use of these products are as numerous as the issues their use cause, including the ‘greenwashing‘ of labels that omit known carcinogens.
Further compounding the issue is outdated cleaning procedures and equipment, which waste costly and valuable natural resources, is ineffective at removing dirt, germs, and bacteria, and cost more long-term to maintain than their modern counterparts; e.g., microfiber.
Green Janitorial Services Reduces Absenteeism, Financial Loss, and Pollution
Outsourcing your organization’s janitorial services and facilities maintenance needs to a certified green cleaning provider can eliminate numerous issues in schools and the workplace.
According to Green Clean Schools;
- 14,000,000 school days are missed each year because of asthma, which is often exacerbated by poor indoor air quality, much of which can be attributed to the use of toxic cleaning products.
- 6% of school custodians injured on the job each year is due to chemical exposures.
- 23 million tons of carbon emissions could be avoided if all U.S. schools started using energy efficient cleaning equipment.
According to CleanLink;
- Reduced productivity due to absenteeism and “presenteeism” (when employees come to work sick) costs the U.S. economy $227 billion each year, however;
- [P]roper cleaning can reduce occupants’ exposure to contagious viruses by 80 to 90 percent, and;
- [A]ppropriate cleaning can result in a 5 percent productivity gain, which amounts to $11 billion nationwide.
References & Resources
Sick days lead to hundreds of millions of lost school days per year in the U.S. for students and tens to hundreds of billions of dollars annually for businesses.
The origin of these infections are most commonly the ordinary surfaces we come into contact with every day and then pass to ourselves by way of unwashed hands–typically through ingestion while eating, or by rubbing our eyes.
The conventional use of commercial and consumer grade cleaning products also negatively impacts our health, short and long-term, with issues ranging from asthma to cancer and death.
Switching to an outsourced, green-focused janitorial provider is a proven method to reduce absenteeism and add billions of dollars back to the U.S. economy, as well as protect and improve the environment.
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 437-3253
In Fresno CA, call (559) 206-1059
In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253