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Cause of Death: Fresh, Clean Scent

Custodial Department Another Line of Homeland Defense

Somewhere beyond anthrax, cyanide and the dirty bomb lies a more obscure threat to America. Just ask the victims of an industrial accident this past week at an otherwise innocuous chocolate factory in Chicago.

When a custodial worker unintentionally mixed one cleaning agent in with another, the resulting chemical reaction was a lethal fume that killed one and sent two others to the hospital.

Terrorism is not suspected in the incident, but the misfortune brings to light an intriguing topic that can impact any one or all of your listeners. According to John Walker, president of ManageMen, a cleaning industry education firm, “many corporations overlook two very important dynamics in their custodial training programs: —worker safety and physical security.”

jjanitor.jpgAs a guest on your show, Walker can provide insight into the unusual, though very real, notion of professional janitorial service agencies as another line of homeland defense.

Along with identifying the most dangerous, yet commonly used industrial cleaning agents, and the theoretical dangers they pose in the hands of terrorists, Walker can offer solutions for both small- and large-scale janitorial safety. “It’s not just about knowing the chemistries of the products being used,” he says. “There are other dynamics to custodial department safety in terms of employee screening and chemical security that many businesses have never even considered.”

John Walker is recognized as a leading cleaning industry authority. He is President of ManageMen, Inc. where he developed the ManageMen Operating System or (OS1), a cleaning process utilized by many leading cleaning industry organizations and validated as “best practice” in a 2006 University of North Carolina Study.

In 1993 he founded JANITOR UNIVERSITY. JANITOR UNIVERSITY is not for Janitors but for leaders and facility directors of large cleaning operations. It provides them a graduate school level curriculum and an avenue to learn the critical information necessary for professional cleaning management. The JANITOR UNIVERSITY alum is a Who’'s Who of cleaning industry leadership.

John is the former Director of Education and Training of ISSA (International Sanitary Supply Association) and produced many of their industry standard educational programs including ISSA’s Official 447 Cleaning Times, 14 Basic Cleaning Procedures, Carpet Care 101 and the E.Z. Trainer series for cleaning organizations. John was a contributing editor to Contracting Profits magazine and Housekeeping Solutions magazine. He was inducted into the Cleaning Management Institute Hall of Fame in 2003.

John and his wife/business partner Renae were the first recipients of the prestigious Pinnacle Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Cleaning Industry by the (OS1) Users Group in 2002.


Posted on June 18, 2008

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