Service Delivery Persons Wanted

ALSCO is the leading textile rental company in the world with a strong presence in many Australian cities and industries – including hospitality, manufacturing, healthcare and mining.

Our company prides itself on its excellent training and actively promotes a culture that provides limitless potential for career growth and advancement on top of an attractive remuneration package and flexible working hours.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a “Contractor Service Delivery Person” to work with our friendly team based at Adelaide.

The Service Delivery Person is responsible for maintaining and enhancing our culture of Service Excellence.  You must be customer focused with great understanding of quality service and be willing to go the extra mile to provide it.

You will have a set number of customers each week that will require your personal attention and be given the opportunity to increase your income through the expansion of services to your customers.

The role of Service Delivery Person is varied and also includes tasks such as:

  • Providing outstanding customer service
  • Ensure Customer requirements are met on a daily basis
  • Multi drop deliveries and pick-ups with loading and unloading
  • Manual handling
  • Stock control
  • Compliance with WH&S policies and procedures

You will have:

  • Own your own reliable large van or truck
  • An enthusiastic “can-do” approach
  • Pride in your personal appearance
  • Strong Customer Service focus
  • Appropriate licence for your vehicle
  • Ability to work unsupervised and maintain a high level of self-motivation
  • Have your own company set up eg PTY/LTD and appropriate insurances, including workers compensation and public liability

The successful candidate will be rewarded with a competitive rate and good working conditions.

If this sounds like the opportunity for you, please send your CV to Ross Parrott at rparrott@alsco.com.au

5 Reasons Why You Need Hand Sanitisers In The Workplace

Hand Hygiene Sanitisers

Hand hygiene is essential for good health, yet many people do not give it much thought – even forgetting to do it at times, especially when at work. Maybe it is the lack of amenities that makes one forget… or perhaps just the general busyness of the place… or maybe because there is no Mum to scold you into remembering.

Regardless of the reason why you forget, the truth remains: everybody at work needs to wash their hands. Hand washing can be done either by the good old soap and water route, or through the use of the more convenient hand sanitiser gels. Every workplace should have one, if not both, of these options and here are five reasons why:

1 – It prevents the spread of diseases

Think of all the things you touch with your hands throughout the day – money, door jambs, handrails, counters, and the list goes on and on. All these objects that your hands come into contact with are breeding grounds of countless bacteria (including e. Coli and salmonella, just to name a few) that can make you and your co-workers very ill. Hand washing is an effective way to prevent transmitting germs from one person or object to another person or object, significantly lowering the risk of spreading diseases.

2 – It keeps your environment clean and safe

You don’t want an office full of sick people sniffling and hacking through the day, struggling to finish their work. Regular hand washing can prevent the spread of common diseases (see reason number 1) such as the flu and the common cold on chilly months, and thwart the development of rarer types of diseases that we shudder to think about. The need for a hand sanitiser at work is especially important if your business is in the food industry where good hygiene amongst the staff and cleanliness of the workplace is paramount.

3 – To reinforce the habit

What you really want to do in your workplace is to establish the habit of hand washing among your staff. But how can they start developing this habit if there aren’t any liquid soaps or hand sanitisers in the washroom? The sight of a full bottle of liquid soap by the sink will remind everyone of what they are supposed to do (and it helps if the soap smells amazing too!).

4 – It boosts productivity

Healthy people make more and that’s a fact. The simple act of habitual hand washing can help keep your team or staff in tip-top shape and performing their best. And with fewer diseases (or none!) going around, you can expect exceptional attendance even during flu season.

5 – It is a great benefit for your workers

A well-equipped washroom is one of the best benefits you can give your hardworking team. It may seem like a small thing, but knowing that they have a place to relieve themselves and clean up afterwards before going back to work will make them cared for and valued. As an added benefit, a washroom that includes all the works – hand soaps or hand sanitisers, paper towels, hand dryers, and seat sanitisers – also looks good to guests and definitely helps present your workplace in a positive light.

Hand Hygiene Solutions from Alsco

Whatever your business may be or what industry you are in, there is a perfect washroom solution for you. Alsco offers different hand sanitisers suited to specific needs. Moreover, they offer other hygiene products which you can review in better detail when you visit their website. Not sure which one is the best for you? You can seek advice from their friendly sales representatives for free when you call 1300 733 177.

Anxiety and Depression – The Top Tell-tale Signs

Alsco Mental Health Depression

Take Time to Consider

With more than three million people in Australia experiencing depression, anxiety or related substance-use disorders every year, chances are you or a workmate are struggling with it.

Everyone has bad days at work and may experience a low mood from time to time, perhaps withdrawing from their usual activities. However if these behaviours persist for more than two weeks, combined with other symptoms that are out of character, it could be depression.

A colleague struggling with depression may complain of lack of sleep, become unproductive and irritable or find it hard to accept constructive criticism.

Signs of Depression

Signs of depression include:

  • finding it difficult to concentrate on tasks
  • turning up to work late
  • feeling tired and fatigued
  • being unusually tearful or emotional
  • getting angry easily with tasks or people
  • finding in difficult to meet reasonable deadlines
  • finding it hard to accept constructive and well-delivered feedback
  • having difficulty managing multiple tasks or demands
  • being vulnerable to stress and anxiety
  • drinking alcohol and using drugs to cope
  • having loss of confidence and negative thought patterns
  • appearing restless, tense and on edge
  • avoiding certain workplace activities such as staff meetings
  • becoming overwhelmed or upset easily
  • finding in hard to make decisions
  • being constantly worried and apprehensive

How Can You Help?

If a colleague has such feelings and they persist for over a two week period, and they interfere with his  ability to manage at home and at work, then he might need help. Having one or other of these features, by themselves, is unlikely to indicate depression, however there could be other causes which may warrant medical assessment.

If you believe someone at work may be suffering from depression or if you are worried about a workmate, please contact your Human Resources team for a confidential discussion.

For More Information

For more information on depression, anxiety and related disorders visit www.beyondblue.org.au or call the information line  1300 22 4636 (local call from a landline).

Top 6 Tips For Managing Wet Floors in Washrooms at Work

Wet Floor Manage Alsco

It is fuel for one of the oldest slapstick gags in the film industry, and the cause of incalculable giggling when witnessed in real life. But slipping on a wet floor is anything but funny for those who fall victim to such an accident, and when the rainy season hits, the risk of work personnel picking up serious injuries increases.

In fact, workplace accidents involving slipping on wet surfaces – whether in hallways, lobby areas or workplace washrooms – are quite common, with more than 68,000 recorded in Australia alone in 2014.

It stands to reason then, that properly managing wet floors in washrooms, or anywhere else in the workplace, is an important part of establishing a safe working environment. At Alsco, we are proud to play our part, providing a range of protective floor mats that absorb spills, drips and overflows, and are slip resistant for added security under foot.

These mats can be used in a variety of locations, from kitchen and processing locations to entrance ways. But amongst the most practical locations are workplace washrooms, either inside around the sink area where water spillage is common, or at the entrance way to protect people slipping on the way in or out of the amenity.

How Serious Is The ‘Wet Floor’ Problem?

In truth, it’s difficult to find statistics relating specifically to washroom incidents, but there is plenty of information highlighting the significance of the broader ‘wet floor’ accident category. According to figures in Key Work Health and Safety Statistics 2014, published by Safe Work Australia, injuries caused by falls, trips and slips represented 21.4% of all serious workers compensation claims in 2011-2012.

Its prominent share of workplace injuries continues, with the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reporting that between July 2013 and June 2014, Australian workplaces registered 68,200 ‘falls on the same level’ (which includes slips and trips), or 13% of the total number of work-related injuries and illnesses over the 12-month period.

In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the vast majority of about 1,300 registered incidents of slips and trips in the food and drinks industry (pubs and restaurants etc) are accounted for by slips (80%), and of them 90% were cause by wet floors.

Meanwhile, the US reports 540,000 serious slip and fall injuries in the workplace on average each year, with as many as 460 workplace fatalities directly related to slips on wet floors.

The indictment of the ‘wet floor’ problem at work is pretty clear, but there is little reason for the threat to remain so high. Adequately managing wet floors in your workplace is not a very complex undertaking, and there are several steps that can be taken to greatly reduce the risk of falling on a wet floor, in washrooms, kitchens, lobbies or anywhere else.

The Danger Areas

Whatever the nature of your business, slips and trips are always a risk – even in carpeted offices, staff can trip over a dog-eared carpet corner and get injured in the fall. Wet areas are usually confined to specific locations, however, and while statistics fail to identify the precise location of incidents involving wet surfaces, common knowledge tells us they are confined to 6 main areas. These are the

  • front and rear entrances, where rainwater is carried in on wet shoes, clothes and umbrellas,
  • kitchens, where water, grease, oil and moist ingredients can fall to the ground. Also refrigerators and other temperature-controlled food storage units might leak.
  • lobbies and waiting rooms, again where water from outdoors can be allowed to drip
  • washrooms, where splashing around sinks, overflowing toilets and leaking pipes can lead to wet areas
  • canteens, where spills can occur during break and lunch time. Also, cisterns dispensing hot or cold drinks, and refrigerated display units may leak.
  • warehouses and workshops where machinery oils, detergents and other liquid chemicals might spill.

Of course, any areas where there is a normally smooth surface – like marble floors or ceramic tiled floors – are aesthetically impressive and easy to clean, but they become hazardous surfaces should there be spillage at all.

So, What Can You Do?

As with all health and safety issues, there are several steps you can take to counter the likelihood of there being an accident. In fact, managing wet floors in washrooms, entrance lobbies and general walkways, is perhaps the most straightforward of all the safety-related tasks in any working environment.

We have put together a shortlist of the top 6 tips for managing wet floors in washrooms at work, and in that way protecting staff and visitors from the threat of slipping and suffering an injury – or worse.

Tip 1- Don’t Keep Wet Areas Secret

Our first and most logical tip is to make sure everyone knows if the floor is wet. Generally, this involves placing a ‘Caution – Wet Floor’ sign or a safety cone, strategically at the edge of the wet area. We say ‘strategically’ because it should warn people before they reach the wet area, not when they are in the middle of it. In the case of small spillages, such as from a coffee cup or drinks bottle, one sign should adequately cope with the task, but for larger areas, you may need to use 2 or more signs.

In a workplace washroom, the most common wet area is around the sink, where water frequently splashes over the top and then drips onto the floor below. However, wet areas can also be caused by leaking pipes or overflowing toilet cisterns or bowls in the cubicle. Wherever it may be, let your work mates know about the spillage and where it is immediately, and contact the staff member responsible for looking after a clean-up.

Tip 2 – Block Access

The second step is to block any access to the wet area. Having one or two wet floor stands or cones cornering the area is fine, but that is not enough to ensure workmates don’t wander onto the wet surface, placing themselves are risk. This is always important, but particularly so when managing wet areas in washrooms with frequent traffic, like those in medium to large offices or where customers might visit too.

There are a few options available to you to block access, like portable plastic barriers that can be hooked together to surround the danger zone. Barriers might also have retractable canvas belts, which are ideal for blocking off large spillages, or expandable barriers with scissors-action plastic slats, which are perfect from cordoning off smaller areas.

Tip 3 – Keep Cleaning Equipment Handy

Obviously, removing any spillage or overflow quickly is the most essential part of managing wet areas in washrooms or anywhere else. So, it stands to reason that the equipment necessary to do the cleanup should always be close by and easy to find.

The selection of products and equipment is pretty straightforward, with buckets and mops the most obvious, but it’s a good idea to have highly absorbent material (blankets, paper etc) to cover an area quickly and soak up the moisture. If you have janitorial staff, then this is something they can look after.

Otherwise, appoint someone to oversee things, and ensure they have a detailed list of ‘must-haves’ properly stocked. And most important of all, make sure everyone knows where the equipment is, just in case something happens before or after the janitor is gone.

Tip 4 – Maximize Awareness

We’ve already mentioned how important it is not to keep wet areas and spillages secret, and to warn workmates to take care. But being sure that everyone is constantly aware of the risk is important too. After all, vigilance is an essential tool when it comes to staying safe and keeping standards high.

So, it’s a good idea to put up posters in areas to promote awareness of the risks, like in the canteen, on corridors and (of course) in the workplace washroom itself. There are plenty of safety at work signs to download that address this particular problem. Just be sure they are large enough to see clearly, and not a small A4-sized print out hidden behind office plants or an open boardroom door.

Tip 5 – Choose The Right Floor Mats

Of all the areas in a workplace, the washroom is probably the favourite to find a wet and slippery floor surface. But while it’s a great idea to have a mop and bucket close by and posters that keep your workmates alert to risks, laying down a floor mat remains one of the most practical solutions. Why? Because they dramatically reduce the chances of slipping – even if the spill has not yet been cleaned up.

The secret is in the design of the matting chosen. Advances in technology and materials development means there is an array of mats available that are highly slip-resistant and absorbent, effectively locking away much of the moisture while ensuring the mat itself does not slide underfoot and cause a fall.

Successfully managing wet areas in washrooms means finding a way to negate the risk of injury. At Alsco, we provide a variety of floor mats specifically designed to handle wet areas and reduce the risk of slipping. Depending on the nature of your work, there may be certain wet area mats needed for certain sections of the workplace. For example, there are thick mats that let liquid and debris to fall through while keeping workers above the spillage and allowing them to work on. They are popular in kitchens and workshops, but equally effective around those sink areas in workplace washrooms.

Entrance mats normally suitable for lobby areas are highly absorbent too, which can be useful if placed at the doorway into the washroom, but they can also be used around the sinks too. For more on Alsco Mats, check out our online brochure.

Tip 4 – Choose The Right Cleaning Schedule

Finally, we want to highlight the wisdom in choosing the right cleaning schedule. Why? Well, an essential part of maintain a clean workplace is to mop the floors. These need enough time to dry, otherwise your commitment to hygiene will only create a safety hazard.

The logical choice is to have the cleaning done early in the morning, before the staff arrive for work, or in the evening after they have left. But it is important to schedule the cleaning with sufficiently drying time in mind. Don’t do it 30 minutes before work starts – make it 90 minutes or even 2 hours, if possible.

Of course, even with enough time provided, it’s important that the normal safety procedures be maintained. That means placing the ‘Wet Surface’ signs where necessary, and not allowing any possibility of a mishap occurring.

Solve The Problem With Alsco Mats

Over the years, Alsco has become a trusted name in the textile rental industry, serving a variety of industrial sectors Australia-wide. Through Alsco Mats, we provide floorcare solutions for every situation, making us the perfect option when it comes to managing wet areas in washrooms, kitchens, lobbies, and corridors.

And because we provide a complete mat rental service, our clients avoid the often high costs associated with purchases, maintaining and replacing floor mats in the workplace, with weekly rates starting from less than $1 a day.

Some of the key benefits of mat rental and you’ll see it makes good business sense:

  • Keeps floors clean and prevents floor damage
  • Presents a clean image to your staff and customers
  • No capital outlay
  • Tax deductible advantages
  • Complete managed service

For more on how Alsco Mats can contribute to a safer workplace in an affordable and reliable way, simply visit the website. You can also check out our range of floor mats on our brochure. And if you want to speak to one of our experienced team, you can fill our online enquiry form, or call us at 1300-659-892.

 

 

 

 

A Simple Way To Keep the Dreaded Flu at Bay!

Alsco Flu Hand Sanitiser

With winter approaching fast, it is time for the dreaded cold and flu season to become active in full swing. The common cold, including chest cold and head cold, and seasonal flu are caused by viruses. Flu symptoms are similar, but include fever, headache and muscle soreness.

With new strains of the flu virus coming out and circulating each year it is time to build your defences against these bugs and to dodge the bullets before they strike!

A rigorous hand hygiene routine such as with alcohol based hand sanitisers is your best bet against this dreaded disease. Don’t let absenteeism cause havoc with your work schedules. Install the hand sanitiser dispensers from Alsco!

So What Is The Flu?

Influenza is commonly known as the ‘flu’. It is an extremely contagious respiratory tract illness caused by influenza A or B viruses. The flu appears most frequently in winter and early spring.

It has symptoms which are similar to the common cold except that they are more severe and much worse. Along with sneezing, cold, congestion and cough, flu will also have symptoms like fever, body aches, fatigue and weakness.

An important aspect of the flu is the ability of the virus to mutate into new and novel subtypes as the episodes of the Avian Flu and the Swine Flu (H1N1) have clearly shown us.

What Is the Impact of the Flu?

The influenza virus attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract. The flu can cause complications that lead to increased physician visits, hospitalisation and in the worst case may even lead to death. 

The impact of influenza must be considered in terms of not just the number of deaths caused by it each year, but also the number of days people are absent from workplaces such as yours because of the disease. Influenza also causes pressure on the health care system.

How does the Flu Spread?

The flu virus spreads from person to person through respiratory secretions. Groups of people who spend large amounts of time in close contact with each other are at maximum danger of catching the flu. Such people could be together in a workplace, in a classroom, at a concert or even in hospitals and nursing homes.

Flu is spread when you inhale tiny droplets from the air which contain the flu virus. These droplets would have been sneezed or coughed out by a co-worker who has the flu. Another way is when you touch a surface or a machine which has been contaminated by an infected person. In this case, if you your contaminated hands touch your mouth, nose or eyes, then the virus enters your body infecting you too.

Why should you sanitise?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps in order to avoid getting sick. They recommend the use of soap and clean running water to clean hands properly. Another alternative is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands of germs and flu causing viruses. Hand sanitisers are particularly useful in situations where soap and water may not be available or cannot be accessed easily. Alcohol based hand sanitisers quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands. These include the dreadful influenza viruses.

That is why a frequent and thorough hand hygiene routine is the best way to try and prevent you from catching the flu.

What is the evidence behind this?

Studies have found that sanitisers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% have the highest efficiency against viruses and other microbes. Further, sanitisers may contain emollients which do not cause skin damage like irritants in soaps and detergents.

When should you sanitise your hands?

For an effective hand hygiene routine, it is essential to constantly keep washing and sanitizing hands.

Everyone must remember to sanitise their hands:

  • Everytime they sneeze, cough or blow your nose.
  • Each time they visit the washroom.
  • Before and after eating food.

Apart from this, there are certain industries where people need to take additional care. Some of these are

  • In Kitchens – Before, during and after preparing food.
  • In Restaurants – Before and during food service.
  • In Nursing Homes – Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
  • In Nursing Homes – Before and after treating a cut or a wound.
  • At Day Care Centers – After changing diapers or cleaning up a child.
  • At Animal Care Centers, Veterinary Clinics – Everytime you touch an animal, animal feed or animal waste.
  • In the Food Packaging Industry – Before, during and after preparing and packaging food.

The recommend way to sanitise your hands

It is important to follow the prescribed routine for sanitising hands. If this is not followed, all the germs will not be killed.

  • Apply the recommended amount of the sanitiser to the palm of one hand. Read the label to know the recommended amount or else apply about the size of a dime. Be mindful not to use less or you may not eliminate all the bacteria.
  • Rub both your hands together. Ensure that the product covers the skin all over your hands and fingers.
  • Keep rubbing all over till the sanitiser has dried off completely. Resist the temptation to hurry through or to dry off remaining sanitiser using a paper napkin or any other means.

A study (Kampf G 2010) to determine the efficacy of alcohol based hand cleaning products found that these products typically require more than 30 seconds to dry them off completely. Therefore, people were likely to apply only small amounts. Small amounts, however, failed to meet the efficacy requirements. It is important to use sufficient volumes and to not wipe off the sanitiser before it has dried completely.

How can Alsco help?

Alsco has a very powerful sanitiser that sanitises your hands effectively and helps in keeping you disease free. It has a quick drying action so that your hands can be sanitised without the use of a hand dryer or if clean towels are not present. The concentrated sanitiser is economical in use.

All you need to do is to click here and fill up the enquiry form to know more about Alsco’s managed sanitiser rental schemes tailored just for your workplace requirements.

For peace of mind make friends with the beneficial Alsco sanitiser.

Image Courtesy: Tina Franklin

Image licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

 

A Fresh Approach To Workplace Health and Hygiene

Alsco Fresh & Clean Launch

The Fresh Approach Launch

Around the country in October 2014, the Fresh & Clean branches experienced the exciting Fresh Approach launch.

Fresh & Clean branches were converted overnight to red carpet marquee events, with everyone arriving to the surprise of being welcomed to the new ‘Fresh” with pumping music, visual presentations, competitions, prizes and fresh breakfast catering.

The Fresh Approach launch included the release of everything Fresh; the branding, the vehicles, the look, the focus and the new Fresh range of products and services.

Smart Products for Smart Washrooms

The Fresh Approach launch journey began over 18 months ago with the planning, research and development of the Fresh range of dispensers and services. This new range of smart washroom and workplace dispensers and complementary consumables was developed to be:

  1. Efficient for service delivery – developed around proven dispenser technology with smart interchangeable service and design components.
  2. Complementary to customers’ washrooms in design and options (manual & hands free/auto) for washroom and workplace health & hygiene.
  3. Highly visible with new design and branding – who are we? – We are Fresh & Clean!

The Fresh washroom and workplace dispensers and services now complete the range which began with the earlier launch (Newcastle and Perth in 2013) of the new Feminine Hygiene Unit – designed by women for women. For years sanitary units have been ignored by everyone except the people that use them – women.

So when Fresh & Clean wanted to design a better unit we turned to the experts. Through research and company-run focus groups, we asked women exactly what they liked and what they didn’t like. We listened to their responses. Then Fresh & Clean designed a unit that would not only work for businesses but importantly for women as well.

The Fresh & Clean range will ensure washrooms are clean, pleasant and safe places, providing confidence and peace of mind. It is the smart, hassle-free solution to Workplace Health & Wellbeing.

Joanne Milton, Fresh & Clean

Why You Need an Eyewash Station in Your Workplace

Despite preventative measures such as wearing goggles, workers in the manufacturing industry remain at a high-risk of eye injury. In 2008, it was reported that over 500 individuals were admitted into hospitals for eye trauma. A sizeable percentage of these statistics consisted of employees from the manufacturing industry.

When a foreign object, which could be either a small physical particle or a corrosive chemical, comes in contact with the delicate and sensitive parts of your eye, it will result in injury. Some of the injuries which can be caused to the eye are:

  • scratches and abrasions on the eyes surface (cornea) from foreign objects like dust or sand,
  • penetration of foreign objects like metal scraping into the eyes,
  • burns caused by exposure to caustic chemicals, or
  • swelling caused by being struck on the eye by a fast moving object.

All eye injuries need to be treated as potential emergencies. Always get in touch with your doctor first!

However, there are injuries where the damage can can be alleviated, if not totally prevented, by immediately flushing the eyes with fluid – ideally within 10-15 seconds of exposure, then followed by appropriate medical attention. This is why eyewash stations are a safety precaution that should never be overlooked.

A well designed, easily installed, regularly maintained eyewash station, like that from Alsco, become an absolute necessity not just for workplaces, but for schools, laboratories and kitchens too. So, if you are the owner of any such place, call Alsco for any assistance you need.

Flushing Period

Flushing times differ depending on the kind of chemical or foreign object the eyes are subjected to. Exposure to mild irritants require 5 minutes of flushing, while, at least 20 minutes is needed for moderately strong irritants and non-penetrating corrosives, and an hour for penetrating corrosives.

Non-penetrating corrosives include most acids and the reason why they need a shorter flushing time is because they form a protective barrier when they become in contact with human tissue. On the other hand, penetrating corrosives like alkalies, hydrofluoric acid and phenol do not do this and enter the eyes quickly, thus requiring a longer flushing time.

Your doctor or your trained first aider should be able to advise you on the amount of time you need to flush your eyes for.

The Ideal Equipment

Not all flushing equipments are suitable for the eyes. For instance, emergency showers or deluge showers are designed for flushing the head and the body, and have high water volumes and pressures which can be damaging to the eyes.

A proper eyewash station should be dedicated for the purpose of washing the eyes only though it can be extended to the entire face. Moreover, it should be accessible and could be reached in as a little as ten seconds.

As for the flushing fluid itself, these stations should expel only tepid water with temperatures ranging between 60°F to 100°F, so it will be comfortable enough for the users to use throughout the required flushing period, and to prevent adverse reaction with the chemicals.

While plumbed eyewash stations are the best choice as they can provide running water continuously, they are not always possible due to location issues within the workplace. If space is an issue, one can opt for portable models instead. Portable eyewash stations are great for first aid and can be a practical substitute for plumbed equipment when it’s just not possible to have one installed near the hazardous area.

Portable Eyewash Stations

  • Time is of the essence when it comes to saving someone’s eyesight. This is why eyewash stations should be accessible easily and instantaneously. Portable eyewash stations are designed with this objective.
  • Portable eyewash stations are easy to install and do not require plumbing, allowing companies to set up more of them throughout the work area. Having multiple eyewash stations strategically located in the workplace is actually advantageous as it gives the workers better access to them when an emergency arises.
  • Moreover, portable eyewash stations also allow its users to be mobile, making the transport to a medical facility (or a plumbed equipment) faster and easier.

Eyewash Station Buying Guide

Choosing the best eyewash station for your workplace doesn’t have to be complicated. Regulations in most countries are pretty uniform and require that eyewash stations should be:

  • situated as close as possible to the hazard,
  • accessible within 10 seconds of exposure,
  • expel a consistent amount of water for at least 15 minutes,
  • in a well-lit area and under a highly-visible signage and
  • deliver tepid water (between 60 °F to 100 °F) only. If you are going to install a plumbed equipment, you must ensure that pipes are insulated so that the water does not get too cold.

That said, regulations may vary so it is advisable to check what standards your state has set regarding eyewash stations before purchasing and installing any safety equipment. Friendly and professional Alsco representative can assist you in your WHS compliance requirements.

Always wear safety goggles while working with drills, saws, chemicals and in hazardous situations since prevention is always better than cure. However, accidents do happen! It is best to be prepared with proper safety equipment. Eyewash stations can save precious eyesight.

To install this essential first aid equipment, give a call on 1300 659 892 and a friendly sales representative from Alsco will help you. Remember, you only have one pair of eyes!

Photograph Courtsey: U.S. Army CCDC

Image licensed under the Creative Commons — Attribution 2.0 Generic — CC BY 2.0

Alsco New Zealand is LSV Employer of the Year

Alsco- LSV-award

Employer Support for Limited Service Volunteer Graduates Awarded

The Employer Support Awards are designed to formally acknowledge those employers who recognise the benefits of employing staff who are Reservists. For the first time nationally, the Manawatu-Wanganui-Kapiti region have extended this formal acknowledgement to employers who support and employ Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) graduates.

LSV is a six-week hands-on motivational and training programme for young people run by the New Zealand Defence Force. The purpose of the programme is to help young people improve their job prospects and increase their confidence. The motivational training involves outdoor recreational activities with a strong emphasis on working together as a team and the discipline it takes to achieve this.

A Win-Win for Alsco and LSV Graduates

“Employing LSV graduates is part of Alsco’s social responsibility in the communities we operate in” said Palmerston North based Regional Operations Manager Robbie Turnbill. “It has also been very beneficial for us to be part of this program. LSV graduates have the characteristics the company is looking for in terms of time management, resiliency, leadership and integrity. They have great discipline and a very great attitude to work that rubs off well on the other staff. These young people are genuinely grateful for the start we offer them and that tends to result in people who give back to our company and to their community.”

For one such LSV graduate, Renee attributes LSV is turning her life around. Renee found herself disillusioned with study and soon occupied her time with drinking and confesses to doing “nothing much” from Monday through Thursday. “I turned 21 and knew I needed to get my life together” said Renee. She completed the six week LSV program which she says helped her to mentally get and stay positive, find her self-confidence and belief, motivate herself and take a positive outlook on life.

After completing the LSV program Renee was referred to Alsco NZ’s Central Production Hub for an interview, and was subsequently offered work with the ironing team which she has been a part of for the past seven months. “I love it” says Renee. “I like the physical, hands-on part of the job and have made good friends here.”

Another LSV graduate that Alsco NZ has employed through Work and Income is Losa who has been with the company for nearly two years. “For the first three days all Losa wanted to do was go home. It was a culture shock. I was used to doing things in my own time. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.”

What Losa took from the LSV programme was the personal pride in pushing herself to the limit, leadership and time management skills and the satisfaction that comes from achieving tasks under pressure. “All of these things helped me to get this job. Starting at 0600 every morning and being respectful to my bosses are things that I learned at LSV.”

Alsco NZ’s General Manager, Mark Roberts attended the regional event and has gone on to promote the LSV programme and the benefits of employing LSV graduates and partnering with Work and Income at the company’s national conference.

 

Alsco Is Proud to Sponsor the 2015 Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence.

Alsco Restaurant Awards

The prestigious award honours the very best in the restaurant and catering industry across various categories.

Alsco, a premier hospitality and restaurant linen and chef coats rental company is pleased to be a national Gold sponsor of the 2015 Savour AustraliaTM Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence.

These awards are the premier definitive awards in the restaurant and catering industry recognising the best in various aspects of restaurant and catering. The awards serve to honour best practices, recognise hard work and outstanding quality through a series of awards.

Alsco is proud to be associated with this prestigious event which attracts hundreds of nominations from all over Australia across the various categories. The awards are reputed to be the most objective award system in the world. More details about the Restaurant and Catering Evaluation System (RACES) and the list of the 2014 winners can be found here.

Nominations are now open for the 2015 awards. The closing date for the nominations is March 20, 2015. The nomination forms for the various categories can be found here.

This year Restaurant and Catering Australia (R&CA) has appointed a new chair of judges for the awards. Stewart White has been promoted from the chair of the NSW Judges for the Awards for Excellence to the Chair for the National awards. Alsco CEO, Bryan McVeddy, would like to congratulate Stewart White on his well-deserved new appointment.

For the first time this year, restaurants in Western Australia will also be recognised for their excellence in wine service. R&CA has also partnered with Wines of WA to bring the first WA Wine List Awards. This is an effort to encourage local food and wines. For the WA Wine List Awards, nominations are open till April 10, 2015 and the awards ceremony will be held on May 26, 2015.

R&CA has a Lifetime Achievers Program. Started in 2003, these awards recognise and celebrate those who have made an outstanding life-time commitment to this industry. There is a Young Achiever of the Year Award which is given too. The winners are announced at the Awards for Excellence ceremonies. A formal dinner to celebrate the success of the 2014 winners was held on March 3, 2015 at the Parliament House, Canberra.

Alsco is delighted to be associated with the prestigious Awards for Excellence that recognise the best in the restaurant and catering industry. Alsco is proud to service this industry with superior managed linen and uniform rental programs. “ Our smart and stylish uniforms, crisp linens and soft wipes help restaurants and caterers throughout Australia to deliver superior quality service to their customers in a hygienic environment. Sponsoring these awards is a part of our commitment to our clients.” said Jane Lawrence, Marketing Manager at Alsco.

 

Image Courtesy: Thomas Hawk

Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic License

 

6 Tips To Creating A Greener Workplace in Australia

The idea of energy efficiency is nothing new.

For more than 30 years, it’s been talked about and discussed, has become a key priority in building design, a major consideration in workplace management, and part and parcel of any policies to promote a greener workplace. But despite all of the progress in research, acknowledgement and adoption, most workplaces still have room to improve.

The importance of achieving a green workplace is highlighted by the continuing drive that government bodies place behind the subject. The Australian government, for example, already has a dedicated energy ratings system for residential and commercial buildings, and runs a national energy efficiency program, the Commercial Building Disclosure, designed to improve the rating for workplaces and commercial premises in particular.

Support for working in a greener workplace is extremely high too. In fact, the 2013 Sustainability @ Work study gathered opinions on sustainability in the workplace from workers and professionals in Australia, India, China, the US, the UK and Germany. The study found that, In Australia, there was considerable support for a greener workplace through sustainable practices, with:

  • 80% agreeing that employees should be actively involved in making working practices sustainable,
  • 72% agreeing that companies should prioritise investment in lowering the environmental impact of working practices,
  • 68% believing sustainability is everyone’s responsibility, and
  • 39% stating the 3 most effective way of reducing carbon emissions from energy use are to:
    • Rearrange the office space to make better use of natural light,
    • Invest in low energy lighting and on-site renewable energy, and
    • Only light a portion of the building in the evenings and on weekends so the whole building is not lit-up for only a handful of people.

Why A Greener Workplace Is Important

The workplace has a real impact on the environment, most specifically in carbon emissions through the use of energy (electricity) and the waste produced. Experts agree that lowering the carbon footprint, therefore, should be a priority.

In 2005, the ESD Design Guide from Australia’s Department of the Environment referred to a 2003 OECD study which revealed that commercial buildings (like offices, retail stores, schools, hospitals and services) were significant contributors to Australia’s carbon footprint, consuming up to 40% of energy and up to 50% of raw materials. Office buildings specifically accounted for 10% of Australia’s urban water demand.

According to a 2010 report from Climate Works Australia, office buildings (and workplaces in general) offer plenty of opportunity to reduce carbon emissions and improve the environment in general. It claims that by 2020, offices will represent about 20% of commercial building energy use (61TWh) and carbon emissions (36MtCO2e) in Australia. But there is an opportunity to reduce total emissions by 58%, with offices accounting for 23% of that reduction (or 3.8 MtCO2e).

So, what steps can you take to make your workplace that big greener? Well, as you’d expect there is no shortage of suggestions out there, but we recommend 6 in particular that will set your office or workplace on its way.

Tip 1 – Reduce, Recycle, Reuse

It is a popular and well-known concept at this stage, but remains one of the most effective ways to make your workplace greener. The principal is that by changing your everyday workplace habits, you can significantly lower the amount of waste that you produce.

The difference can be significant. In 2012, resource recycling company SITA Australia reported that, in 2007, some 5.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard was used in Australia, with 55% of it coming from industrial and commercial sources. Just 2.5 million tonnes were recycled.

It’s an improvement on figures from 2005, when Planet Ark revealed that just 11% of Australia’s office paper was recycled but did reveal that 9,000 businesses were providing over 1.5 million ink cartridges to the Close The Loop recycling specialists over 3 years. The 3Rs office recycling drive has 3 simple steps:

  • Reduce the amount of waste you produce at work by using less paper, cardboard, plastic or any other materials that generally end up being thrown out.
  • Recycle those products that might be thrown out, being careful to separate plastic types (for example, bottles and their caps, wrapping and packaging, and office machine waste, like ink cartridges), paper, Styrofoam cups, and glass.
  • Reuse an item instead of throwing it out every time. For example, drink your coffee from a ceramic cup instead of a Styrofoam or paper cup, and bring a home-prepared lunch in a lunch-box rather than buying a pre-made and packaged sandwich from a deli.
  • For idea to achieve this, check out the excellent Resource Smart report produced by the Victoria state government in their Sustainability Victoria website. You could also check out BusinessRecycling.com.au for information and advice on how to get started.

Tip 2 – Take The Paper Free Direction

This is not a new suggestion. In fact, it’s been championed by environment groups for decades, and was first mooted as a feature of the ‘office of the future’ by Business Week in 1975 but 40 years later, the popularity of paper is still high. According to the EPA, every office worker in the US creates about 2lbs of paper products every day, and 90% of office waste is paper. Add to that the carbon footprint created by paper manufacturing waste from ink cartridges, and you see how significant the problem remains.

On the upshot, paper is easy to recycle.

In Australia alone, almost half of the total paper used between 2006 and 2007 (2.5 million tonnes of 5.5 million tonnes used) was recycled. Other interesting benefits highlighted by the EPA is that every tonne of recycled paper (compared to virgin-made paper) reduces energy consumption by 60% in energy consumption, air pollution by 95%, 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water.

Of course, these days, technology has rendered paper far less important, email instead of mail, electronic files sent by email (internal and external) replacing paper memos, faxes and mailed documents.  But using computers, tablets and Smartphones more often, and storing documents electronically, would see your office edge even closer to a completely paper free status. For management ideas, check out Taiga’s Slideshare presentation.

Tip 3 – Lower Office Energy Usage Rates

Between lights, printers powered up and ready, computer screens flickering and kitchen items, like fridges, microwaves and dishwashers, the amount of energy used in a typical workplace can be quite high.

According to figures revealed in the 2014 Australian Energy Update report, the commercial sector accounted for 7.6% of the national energy consumption 2013, an increase of over 3% on the previous year. It may seem small, but it translates to 308 PJ (petajoules) – and just 1 PJ is enough to power the city of Adelaide for about 3 weeks.

But it is surprisingly easy to reduce the energy consumed. All you need to do is turn your computer off at the end of the day, and switch it to sleep mode when not being used during the working day. Make sure all lights are off when not needed (like is store rooms) and have a ‘last out’ rule where the last to leave the office turns off the lights. Let as much natural light in as possible, and if lights do need to be on, choose eco-friendly light bulbs.

If you want to know how energy efficient your workplace is, you can have it assessed under the Commercial Building Disclosure Programme, get a rating and receive further advice on what steps to take.

Tip 4 – Eat Eco-Friendly

For many of us, lunch is a welcome break from the stress and frustration of office work. But even during this escape, you can enhance the eco-friendly rating of your workplace. How? By reducing the energy consumed in making your lunch and reducing the waste created by it.

This is a lot easier to do than you might have thought. For example:

  • visiting a café or restaurant rather than buying a pre-made sandwich with wrapping to throw away
  • ordering a delivery for several people saves on carbon emissions on several deliveries
  • bringing your own lunch from home, packed in a reusable container, saves on both waste and carbon emissions

Tip 5 – Opt For A Greener Commute

This might seem like a loose connection to make, but let’s face it: getting to work is as significant a part of a working day as any boardroom gathering. Therefore, how you get to work, and the impact it makes on the environment, has a say in how green your workplace is. According to a survey carried out by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 71% of Australians aged 18 and older, travelled to their place of work or study by private passenger vehicle (car) in 2012. Only 16% used public transport, 4% walked and 2% travelled by bike.

In 2014, social research company McCrindle revealed that those figures equate to almost 6.6 million car passengers, 388,000 travelled by train, 301,000 by bus and 377,000 walked.

Fair enough, you might say, but switching to a more environmentally-friendly mode of transport can have a major positive impact. According to The Garnaut Climate Change Review (2008) on the Benefits of Public Transport, if commuters travelled by train from Wyndham Vale to the CBD, it would mean a reduction of 4.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per person per year.

Other ‘green commuting’ options include car-pooling and taking the bus, but with walking and cycling, genuine health benefits are available too.

Tip 6 – Choose Your Floor Mats Carefully

It’s generally accepted that floor mats are essential for safety and hygiene reasons. Either you have a floor mat with a textile surface that can absorb moisture or have a rubber or plastic floor mat that rises you a few inches above the floor level, and therefore, above the risk of slipping, tripping and falling (STFs).

In the most recent research from Safe Work Australia, STFs accounted for just over 21% of all accidents at work. In terms of hygiene, research has shown that as much as 85% of dirt, debris and moisture that comes off footwear in a workplace is carried in from outside, with 0.58g of moisture brought in with each person and 10-times that on a rainy day. And their contribution to a greener workplace?

Well, with the right choice, a business can make a very serious contribution.

  • use of common non-eco-friendly chemical floor cleaning detergent
  • recycled materials, the carbon footprint is reduced greatly too

For example, Alsco’s own Evolution Eco Mats use recycled materials in their construction, like PET plastic, and uses special hydrophobic fibre that retain less moisture during the wash. This means a reduction in both the energy and water required to clean these mats.

Full Mat Management Services From Alsco

At Alsco, we understand how important keeping your workforce healthy and safe for everyone. Using natural light instead of electrical light, creating less waste paper and plastic, opting for a cleaner commute and re-usable cups and packaging, are all critical aspects of creating a green workplace, but an equally important component is keeping floors clear of bacteria-carrying dirt and moisture, and avoiding the slipping and tripping that can come with poorly attended surfaces.

This is where we can play a part in making a genuine difference, with an extensive range of mats as part of our dedicated ALSCO Floor Mat Management Service, a service that includes the supply, collection, cleaning and return – all in one.

  • Dust Control Mats – captures 80% of dust and grit to help keep floors cleaner
  • Wet Area Mats – with anti-microbial properties to reduce the growth of bacteria
  • Anti-Fatigue Mats – lightweight, dense rubber that is soft under foot
  • Personalised Mats – to help build your company brand
  • Message Mats – communicate with your clients and personnel through icons and messages

For more on what a difference Alsco Evolution Mats can make, and the array of product options, simply visit the website link above. You can also fill our online enquiry form, or contact us at 1300-659-892.

 

 

A Greener Office Makes for a More Enjoyable Office  Image Courtesy: Office Now

Image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license